Unfortunately I wasn't able to go to the Annual General Meeting at the Royal Albert Hall but caught snatches of it on the broadcast and in the media. I did quiz people on their return. It was obviously a memorable occasion and the Queen's presence was much appreciated: the Princess Royal and the Countess of Wessex were welcomed too.But how disappointing that there was such a muddle over the resolution. Our WI had told our delegate to vote against it before we were aware of the amendment (not that that made much difference) so it will be interesting to hear what she did then and after with the "move to the next business".It was a shame that at such an important meeting as the centenary, the weakness of the NFWI resolution selection procedure was revealed. The system as it stands needs revising so that the members do not confuse voting to discuss a resolution at the AGM with the actual vote for or against it. Some members take no interest in the campaigning side of the WI but without it the WI wouldn't have lasted long enough to celebrate its centenary.
It was the evening for the local WI to meet but once more in a foreign venue: this time we were in the Rose Room where we used to gather many years ago before the membership outgrew it. We listened to an interesting talk about CID work in Bucks. The competition for a pair of handcuffs in any medium was startling to say the least---some of the exhibits looked straight out of "50 Shades of Grey". It made me wonder what I didn't know about our membership! We heard a report on the Royal Garden Party and another from a member who had just returned from a residential course at Denman College.Although Jean had gone on her own and it was her first visit she had found the experience most enjoyable. She had gone for a bit of a rest but worked very hard on a pastry course from which she had returned with goodies to share with friends.Some of the finished shawls for the fistula patients in Ethiopia which the members are knitting were on display but apparently there are twice as many about to be sewn together and edged before the end of July.We were also called to a gathering to make things with which to "Bomb" the town square when the WI has booked a stall at the next Farmers' Market.What with erotic handcuffs and bombing plans I don't know what our WI is coming to!
Three lucky members from the local WI joined others to attend the Royal Garden Party hosted by the Duchess of Cornwall in Buckingham Palace Gardens. The Bucks WI coach was allowed to park at the side of the Mall which was very convenient. It threatened rain but never did but wow! the wind! The queues to get inside the palace gardens were long and very colourful. It was like watching a fashion show while we waited.The security people were quick and efficient and we were soon crossing the forecourt and entering the beautiful main hall and then on through to the gardens. There were lots and lots of gorgeous hats being blown among the chairs and tables set out for tea. We saw the royal party which included the Countess of Wessex and Princess Alexandra; the Calendar Girls were in attendance too. The tea was lovely and as there wasn't seating for 8000 women, we stood about balancing proper plates and cups and chatting to members from all over the country. The queues for the loos were extremely long but everyone was talking 50 to the dozen so we didn't really mind. We wandered round the gardens and listened to the bands and then it was all over and it was time to find our coach and return home. A great experience to remember.