Our March meeting business was done swiftly by President Sue. Members were reminded that our AGM is on May 1, having been moved forward by a week. Volunteers were requested for the Cropthorne Walkabout. Various events - including the Spring Council meeting at No.8, a floral workshop, the Lucy Hingley lecture were available for members to attend.

Our pre-booked speaker was unwell and we were very fortunate to have Marcus Mumford step in at the last moment. He told us about his ‘Around the World in 851 days’ and what an interesting speaker he was. Marcus and his wife had quit their jobs to fulfill a lifelong ambition to travel the world by tandem. They had even celebrated their honeymoon on the journey and this was a test of marriage survival indeed! They had traversed many countries and continents, changing their minds and routes on the way. Up to Scandinavia, over to Ukraine and nearby countries, eventually celebrating Christmas in Crete. They had experienced a lump of concrete being thrown into their tent, bike punctures, accidents but had met so many helpful, generous and friendly people on their journey. Through Georgia, Azerbaijan, boat-hitching across the Caspian Sea, through Central Asia, along the Silk Road and the borders of Afghanistan, they experienced tribal villages, drinking horse milk, having their bike stolen which was recovered two days later. Travelling through India, Kashmir, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, they had eaten and survived a “tarantula in batter” and had done a half marathon. On to Japan, Canada and along the ‘Trans-Am-Bike-Trail” to Kansas. They even managed to do the Pilgrims’ Way from Santiago de Compostela, before returning up through France and back to England - 46 countries and 29,000+ miles later. Needless to say, there were many questions for Marcus to answer. We all had a wonderful time in his company and it was a brilliant evening.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday, April 10 when we will explore Traditional Tunes of the British Isles with Pat and Mike Ledbury.