St Swithins Day and it did rain a tiny bit but not enough to stop the intrepid members of the local WI's "Green Gym" from their weekly walk.They don't go far and manage to replace any calories they might have lost in exercise by a midway coffee stop! It's the thought that counts. A very good promotional article appeared in today's Daily Telegraph from Lucy Worsley who spoke at this Year's AGM at the Albert Hall. Lucy has joined one of the London WIs in admiration of the WI's "subversive" history while playing its part in the establishment. Wasn't Bucks Federation lucky to have her to speak at a meeting in High Wycombe before she became such a regular presence on television programmes?
This afternoon a small group assembled to sew together some of the knitted squares for the fistula victims in Ethiopia. I think we have about 15 shawls completed now but it is hoped we will be able to present several more in September to the representative of the charity who spoke at our March WI meeting. There was a larger attendance in the evening when the Discussion Group gathered to talk about the effect of music in our lives. The topic was enlivened by the hostess possessing an authentic jukebox and loads of records from the 1960s. One could see in action the liberating sensation gained from music as the mood and arms lifted to the songs of Neil Diamond. It would have been feet as well if we had had the space! The music in the world around us is not always appreciated: the background music in shops and in documentaries on TV is not welcome: we could do without the jingles while one waits for a human voice on the telephone too.And oh to be rid of the advertisements on Classic FM! We realised the value of music in breaking through to people in comas and lifting the spirits and jogging memories in the elderly in social care.Every category of music had its champion. Some people work better with the radio on whereas others found they could not push the sound into the background.There was only one Philistine who never switched the radio on except in the car and only one who didn't like Neil Diamond.
The blood donors' van was in town again today. Some members of the WI help to serve drinks to the donors in order to release all the nurses to do more important things. We were told that there has been a recent drop in donors of around 4% because the age of the majority is getting beyond that at which blood may be taken and fewer younger people are coming forward. This is extremely worrying as there is always an urgent need for transfusions. Perhaps the WI should publicise this at the same time as it promotes discussion on organ donation following its mandate in 2014. After all to donate an organ is a once in a lifetime action whereas to donate blood can be a longtime commitment to helping others.A really noble thing to do and even "an armful" as Tony Hancock described it is replaced within hours.
The WI had a wonderful position for its centenary stall at the Farmers' Market today and the square looked resplendent with all the bunting in the shops and up the trees. We sold lots of raffle tickets and some of the items which the Craft Group have been working on during the first part of the year. The idea wasn't fund-raising so much as healthy promotion of the local WI and the WI nationally.There was a display in the adjacent cafe window which many people looked at and commented on so at the end of the day we have probably gained a couple of new members and enthused some of those who have already joined. We smiled a lot, talked a lot and stood a lot so we welcomed the assistance of the WI husbands in actually putting up and taking down the gazebo.We appreciate their help in all our activities and sometimes forget to acknowledge it as much as we should.