An afternoon of Wit and Wisdom at Omagh & District Ladies Probus

Anita Robinson with Vice President Zoe Reid

After listening to the guest speaker at the meeting of Omagh and District Ladies Probus Club, which was held on Thursday 3rd May, a spokesperson commented “I along with many others I suspect, am recovering from a severe bout of Robinson’s Disease, a disorder caused by the repeated tickling of the funny bone to the point where the patient ends up doubled over with laughter.” This particular bout was caused by the eponymous Mrs Anita Robinson well known throughout Northern Ireland for her wry musings on life here.

While election apathy raged all around, members were right royally entertained to a series of vignettes ranging from Ladies who Lunch through to Ladies who Can’t Find Appropriate Underwear, stopping off at many points in between.

The gasps, giggles, grins and grimaces showed that most if not all present could recognise themselves in the woman driver (much better than the male version apparently), the swimmer reluctant to get her hair wet, the internet self diagnostician or the long-suffering woman “enjoying” a bank holiday trip to the seaside with her family.

In other words, Anita took her incisive scalpel of observation and wit to every woman you have ever known – every daughter, wife, mother and, most importantly, friend we have ever met and pointed out our common humanity in a tour de force of hilarious attention to detail.

While she used material which had by and large been written for her column in the Irish News or for one or other of her BBC Radio Ulster programmes, she was a consummate performer and the easy rapport which she established with her audience meant that the women who people her pieces came instantly to life; we know them, lunch with them, exchange minor grumbles and complaints and compare notes on the issues great and small which bedevil us all.

Moving seamlessly through her rogues’ gallery, Mrs Robinson held her audience riveted from start to finish and when club member Audrey Hodge stood to thank her for her talk it was clear that all present agreed that it had been a wonderful afternoon and a fitting way to bring our library based sessions to a close for the summer season.

The next meeting in Omagh Library Headquarters will take place on Thursday 6th September when the guest speaker will be a representative of Omagh Rotary Club who will examine the links between the two clubs.