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Another day in the life of Professor Bear

Saturday 25th March 2017

Today my carer, Margaret, took me to the Lalor Library where the Whittlesea U3A singers were performing as part of the Multicultural Festival. I sat and watched as they entertained the audience with a variety of songs from different countries. I was amazed how they had mastered the different languages.

It was great to see the faces of people light up as they recognized songs from their home country. They finished up singing  “What a Wonderful World.” And what a wonderful world it is!

I stayed on for the next act and it as was a beautiful Chinese lady explaining about some of the historical Chinese traditions. She performed a very graceful fan dance and then she asked for audience participation. She showed them some dance movements and how to use the fan. I was pleased to see some Whittlesea U3A ladies have a go.

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Thursday, 2nd  March, 2017

How busy my life has become since I became a member of Whittlesea U3A.  I have met so many friendly people who have made me feel most welcome as well as attending many diverse classes that have been of great interest. This morning, I am back at the Lalor Senior Citizens Centre in May Road, to join the Italian Conversation Class. I have been told that this must be a fun class: if the amount of laughter to be heard during class is anything to go by. Being a bit nervous, I took a deep breath and introduced myself to Antonio, the Tutor, and the students.

             “Buongiorno professore e gli studenti.  Mi chiamo professore Orso”.

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Wednesday, 7th March

Today, I am off to join the Chinese Medicine and Wellbeing Class at Mill Park Library.  I believe I will find the class very interesting, not only from a health point of view, but a personal one as I will explain later.

The class is conducted by Minjuan (Alyssa) Quan of the Confucius Institute of Chinese Medicine at R.M.I.T. Bundoora. I wanted to have a better understanding of the subject, so I read the earlier handouts. These dealt with Seasonal Health Preservation; how the seasons and the foods we eat affect the body externally and internally. The seasonal festivals that the Chinese celebrate and why, giving the understanding that we are part of nature. Herbal medicines and the meaning of Qi (pronounced chee) and yin and yang. 

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Well here I am tonight Share a Meal. I’ve gotten all dressed up and looking good too!. I’m at the head of the table, sitting with fourteen other U3A members, all looking very smart and with great conversations all going on at one time.

The table is buzzing! We all shared a little about ourselves, and what an exciting group we are, and I was so excited, tonight I received my Whittlesea U3A tag and lanyard, and I am number 17000! Gloria and Leonie have made a delicious meal with the Chinese New Year in mind.

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My interview with Don Langdon who is a Whittlesea U3A member of the e-book publishing course Monday at Whittlesea Library.

Don: If you went down in woods today would you be in for a big surprise?

Prof: No. Why would I go down… Wait a minute this not the way the interview is meant to go.  I’m supposed to be interviewing you and that means I ask the questions.

Don: Really! Who told you that?

Prof: Ah… You’re doing it again.

Don: Don’t you l know?

Prof: Stop mucking about and answer my questions.

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Hi, it’s Professor Bear here!

I recently sat on the lap of a lovely gentleman (we were not introduced!) at the first Morning Tea for the year. I must report it was a noisy gathering with lots of chatter, laughter, congratulations and praise for both the new U3A website and also the Knitting Group who made, donated and raffled a beautiful blanket. Everyone was in high spirits, excited and ready to commence activities for 2017. Carol Tait wished to thank the person who crocheted the blanket and also to the person who kindly drew her name out of the raffle bin.  She is overjoyed with her new acquisition!

I looked at the great array of books and jigsaw puzzles and thought I should take one and bring it back next week but then remembered how I had a full diary going to the many classes and exercise groups so left it for next month. I think I must invite more friends to this friendly morning tea. Did you see all the yummy food on the table, some superb chefs are here today!

Our members who were celebrating a birthday received a present and we all sang Happy Birthday. Although it wasn’t my birthday I joined them in the middle, a bit cheeky; but I was caught out and so I didn’t get a present. I might try again next month!!!!

Cheers Professor Bear




Professor Bear’s Continuing Adventures – U3A Trivia Night

Thursday 2nd February

My continuing adventures with the Whittlesea U3A never ceased to amaze me as I think to myself. Firstly, that fabulous trip to Lakes Entrance back in November. Not to mention the great lunch at the Groove Train and joining in Lilian’s line dancing. I have had so much great fun and met lots of great new friends, I couldn’t have wished for more. But now, on this mild night, the first Thursday in February, here I am with Bryan and Glenise, and we are all attending our fist trivia night with the U3A. At last, I have the chance to put my degree to good use. A test of brains and knowledge.

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Hello Everyone

On Sunday 19th February I went on my first Discover Melbourne trip with Marion Gaylord. I was so excited that I could hardly wait to see what the day had installed for me and the rest of the group. I woke up really early because we had to be at South Morang train station by 9.00am and you know how long it takes us bears to get ready in the morning. Not everyone came but I guess they were worried about the weather forecast and the possibility of heavy rain. I didn’t really care myself because someone is always carrying me around keeping me warm and dry.

Our first stop, once we got off at Flinders Street Station, was Melbourne Central and the movies. Some of the group went to see ‘Hidden Figures’ and others ‘Patriot’s Day’. Me, I opted for ‘Hidden Figures’ as I don’t really like too much violence. Great film! You should put it in the must watch list if you haven’t seen it yet.

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My anticipation and expectation about the ferry ride to Port Arlington had finally arrived. We are going on a special trip this Sunday,

Mary has been busy getting the tickets ready as well as our numbers and of course the U3A flag which were packed in the backpack. I overheard there are thirty-three U3A members going on the Port Phillip catamaran for a great experience; but they forget to get me a ticket so I will have to hide in Mary’s backpack!

Morning tea at Southern Cross station with my U3A friends was an essential start to the day, I didn’t have time to finish my honey and toast as I was woken up early to catch the 8.30 am train. My bacon and eggs were quite enough for my tummy, determined not to get seasick.

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Professor’s Journal- Exercising

One of my favourite times of the day is sitting beside Mary whilst she reads her many emails. Today was no exception there was an invitation from Ida, a retired physiotherapist with many years of experience in rehabilitation, who is our U3A exercise tutor and offers supervised exercises that are even suitable for Mary and I.

We gladly accepted! It is on a Wednesday, a great day to go as it will be Ida’s birthday.  

I love birthdays and I am in need of exercise after our fun filled holidays!  

Wednesday, gathering our dumbbells, weights and ball, off we went to the Thomastown library. This is an amazing library, a great place to exercise.

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November 11 – Remembrance Day

What fun it is being adopted by these active members. Always on the go and today is Friday. Margaret Cassidy’s class The Busy Hands Circle‘ have asked me to join them. These ladies were all being active doing things with their hands. Members were knitting, sewing and even crocheting and I, of course, was on show again the snap, photos kept everyone busy. One photo was taken amongst the lemons which were being shared with the class.

I think they wanted me to smell fresh so they could all hug me.

Today is Remembrance Day, 11th November at 11 o’clock. I proudly wore my Red Poppy.  When the clock struck 11.00 o’clock we all respectfully stayed still and stood up for one minute and then the chatter continued.

They definitely have busy hands and I learnt so much from their chatter. I heard I was getting another present, wonder what it is?  Find out more


Lunch at the Groove train

Today is Thursday and I am being taken out to lunch with Mary to join in Val’s U3A luncheon at the Groove Train. I am to meet new U3A members and as you can probably tell by my superb build.

I just love food.  Read more


Lillian’s line dancing class

When do all my new friends sleep, it is now Thursday evening and it is time to line dance with Lilian at May Road.

More photos and I thought I could just sit back and watch the entertainment.  Read more


Day 1 – Friday, November 19, 2016

Today’s cooler weather is such a relief after yesterday’s 30⁰ heat; far too hot for me in my fur coat.   Pam and Richard, who have been looking after me these last few days, have told me I can come on their WU3A Lakes Entrance Trip.  I am very excited but also nervous as I do not know many of my other fellow travellers.   I am to wear my new blue jumper by Norma Creations, embroidered with the WU3A logo.

At 8 am we boarded the bus at Thomastown and then on to Epping to pick up the remainder of the group. I was amazed at the heavy morning traffic that made for slow going.  Will we ever get out of Melbourne!  I was introduced personally to each of my fellow travellers who quickly made me feel welcome.  Relaxed, I made my way to the best seat in the bus, up front beside our bus driver, Allan, who seems a good sort of chap and a safe and experienced driver.Finally, we were on the Princes Highway and after a quick morning tea stop at a picnic ground beside Gumbuya Park, Tynong, we travelled to Traralgon where we stopped for lunch.  Everyone got off the bus, but I was forgotten.  No matter, I had a nice nap.  Read more


Day 2 – Friday, November 20, 2016

Saturday and my adventurous journey continues. What a breakfast I am having, this Motel is just the best! Eggs, Bacon, cereal, juice, toast I have eaten the lot and then joined everyone on the coach to go to Omeo. 

We are going to Omeo and Allen reminds us of the history as he carefully drives us around the winding road following the Snowy River. All around us are the forests of the National Parks and the scenery is superb.

ParkVic Alpine-NP-Benambra-Buchan-Bonang.pdf

We started out so early and travelled through Bumberrah, where the road was very bumpy and I got bounced around a bit.  Read more