Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Counting down.....

Probably one of our most enthusiastic speakers this month at our penultimate meeting – Dave the Bee Man as he will be forever known, clearly enjoyed his subject as much as we enjoyed hearing about it. Us WINGs ladies could now sit in the Mastermind chair I reckon, with the facts and figures on beekeeping that we have at our fingertips. They’re so clever, it’s amazing, and we kept Dave busy with our questions for ages. Did you know that a bee can fly at 15 – 20 miles an hour. Given the puny size of their wings compared to their bodies, that’s a fair old speed. And, apparently (although this wasn’t necessarily scientifically proven) if you suffer from hayfever, you should eat local honey.
Cue – sales of local honey by our trusty bee man! (and very tasty it is too). I could go on, but I won’t. If you’d wanted to know more, you should have been there!!
Our ‘guests’ from the Federation arrived without warning again. This time wielding their ‘suspension’ tool. I have to say they gave the impression that somehow we’ve done something wrong and that we are being suspended from the W.I., much like being suspended from school. I very much have the feeling that we’re on the naughty step, rather than there being an understanding that we are just very busy ladies who can’t commit to the time needed to run a branch of the Women’s Institute.

There is hope for the future! Several people have enjoyed getting to know each other enough to try and keep some kind of friendship group going in the new year so hopefully we will keep in touch. We still have our December jewellery making session on the 8th and we have arranged to meet for a drink and a chat about possible future events or get-togethers in the new year.

I didn’t manage to get any photos of our bee man on the night, but I have got hold of some ‘library pictures’ (as they say). Here he is in action.

Hope to see you in December



Saturday, 15 October 2011

Anarchy in the W.I.

Well, I think I’d be safe in saying October 13th was the most interesting meeting we’ve ever had. But not necessarily in a nice way.

We were joined by 2 ladies from the Federation. I’m afraid I didn’t get their names but one of them was Pat, our ‘new’ Adviser. They kindly pointed out all the things that Yours Truly and the Trusty Committee either hadn’t done, or had done incorrectly in advance of the AGM. Hey ho – moving swiftly on. I reiterated my intention to stand down as President, taking Ros, our Treasurer with me and our Federation ladies took over for the vote. They tried to persuade us into staying on, and the attendant members into taking places on the committee with little luck. Out of the blue, a voice from the crowd suggested we kick the W.I. into touch (sorry – World Cup fever) and take ourselves off as a maverick group of women, just getting together when we fancy it without the shackles of committee meetings and annual reports, but continuing with the now expected, inclusion of wine at every possible opportunity.

Members liked that idea so Doodle Poll is now doing the rounds. We need 75% agreement to suspend WINGs. (Not sure what will happen if we don’t get that, as we still have no President or Treasurer and as far as I can make out, even the Force that is the W.I. can’t make you rejoin next year, or stop us getting together if we so choose). Anyway, watch this space. I’ll keep you informed as and when there’s news.
Then we moved onto the good stuff. VINO!

Sorry about the red-eye Lou!
Lloyd Pietersen and his glamorous assistant Sheila (also Pietersen!) had been waiting patiently in the wings (no pun intended) while the argey bargey was going on in the main hall. Chez Lloyd’s mission is to bring wine tasting to folk in a relaxed and friendly way and they certainly managed that. We had a tutoring on tasting to start with – most of us chomping at the bit to actually be allowed to start the drinking part (well, I was. I shouldn’t tar you all with my brush). First up, we were treated to a Picpoul de Pinet from France, we had a viognier, also French, and finally, a Riesling – the most expensive of the 3 which we discovered after we’d played guessy games about how much they each cost. Much chomping of cheese and crackers, sloshing of water in glasses and it was onto the reds.
In true W.I. fashion, we asked good questions, and sometimes even stopped talking long enough to listen to the answers and actually learn something. Our reds were from South Africa, New Zealand, and Chile. The first, a cinsault, was terribly quaffable (IMHO) even for a confirmed white wine chick like me. I can’t remember which was the cheap one and which the expensive of the red. Must have had too much of it by then.

Anyhoo, a good time had by all. Certainly a brilliant way to diffuse some of the tension caused by the meeting, and a jolly nice way to bring my blood pressure back down. Heartily recommended!
Mandy xx

Thursday, 22 September 2011

10 'green' W.I. members sitting in a church hall.....

It was a bit like buses, only the other way round. One minute I had 2 speakers for September, the next minute there were none. A bit of rearranging of the programme and Kate Rowen kindly stepped in to do her talk on how easy it is to be green – thanks for that at short notice. However, this now leaves us no speaker for November! Deal with that one when the time comes.

It was a fortnight ago so apologies for the lateness of the post. We were a select group that week – small but perfectly formed (actually only 9 of us, despite the title of the piece)! Hope that meant that the rest of you were doing hugely exciting stuff and not just drowning in work and household chores.

I found out some interesting facts about which products aren’t the best to use, and now know how often my fellow W.I.-ers take their make-up off, and that not many of us fancy a hemp wedding dress!

At that time, I was still waiting for final confirmation from Waitrose who had written offering to do a cheese and wine tasting for us. We had chosen our October meeting, straight after the voting bit of the AGM. I’ve now heard that they aren’t coming after all, so for the second month in a row, we are without a speaker (this time with only 2 weeks to go).

It’s nailbiting stuff..... watch this space.

Mandy x

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Glam Gran!

Congratulations to Kate S on the birth of her grandson Freddie.  Is she our youngest granny at the tender age of 43??

Midsummer (!) stroll

8 brave souls: me, Catrina, Roz, Di, Nicky, Sandy, Mary, and Jenny, decided that a bit of rain wasn't enough to deter them from taking part in the inaugural WINGs summer walk.

We met at the Lock leeper in Keynsham and set off at 7:50 in light drizzle. We walked under the bridge and along the river, past Fry's and past quite a few people fishing. The path was good and it was a nice easy, level walk. (if a bit snail and cow pat littered).

We arrived at the Lock and Weir just after 8:30 and enjoyed a drink and a sit down whilst watching a heron fishing on the weir. Unfortunately there were no other WINGs ladies waiting at the pub to greet us.

As it was getting dark and raining again, we headed back at about 9.

Thankfully some had brought torches as it was quite dark by the time we got back to the Lock Keeper.

We mostly all had very soggy wet feet but we all enjoyed it.

Next year we should go earlier in the year and remember to wear wellies if it's raining!
Kate S