It doesn’t matter how carefully one plans an event the British weather can do its best to ruin it. Today our WI members were invited to bring a picnic into a private garden and enjoy a social get-together. Although there were two gazebos erected, there wasn’t enough cover for everyone so of course, in true Dunkirk spirit people sat around under umbrellas talking and laughing as if it was quite normal to do so while rain poured down the back of their necks and pools gathered round their feet. Some were forced inside and ate their picnic off their knees in the relative comfort of the host’s sitting-room.
Garden games were never used, quiz sheets took up water and stuck together, stalls were wrapped in plastic sheets and refreshments were unrecognisable under sodden film. But were we downhearted? Well, yes--- the hostess was! However, at the end of the day there seemed to have been about £140 raised for funds which was truly amazing as it hadn’t really been the object of the exercise anyway and there have been lots of positive comments about the afternoon.
The next day was dry but the winds nearly blew away the drying tents so an SOS had to be sent out for help in catching them before they ended up in someone else’s garden. Of course, the following day was bright and sunny so we had picked the worst day of the week. What a picnic in both senses of the word!
The local WI Book Group met to discuss perhaps the longest novel we have ever tackled and again perhaps the saddest and most depressing. “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara took some reading for all of the reasons above and only four of us managed to complete it. Some stopped because they couldn’t take any more about self-harming, whether physical or induced by decisions made in life, nor the accounts of abuse in childhood suffered by the main character. The novel was well-written and very descriptive of American post-war city life but oh dear, I think I shall try to put my head back in the sand.
Our WI members were very disappointed this morning when our visit to the Greatmoor Recycling plant was cancelled because the works had to close because of a technical crisis. We hope another date can be fixed soon. Following the National Federation AGM some of us have been attempting to shop responsibly and to cut down on plastics wherever we can so it would have been an appropriate time for the visit.
The Discussion Group talked about poverty this evening. First of all, we had to try to define poverty because there are definitely different conceptions on what constitutes poverty. It really boils down to having neither food, shelter nor money. The chance to have an education and a supporting family/friends are also important factors in deprivation. We agreed that expectations are greater now than when we were young. We didn’t talk about our rights to this that and the other.
We are now looking forward to the Meeting in Wolverton billed as “Haven’t you got a home to go to?”