Today the WIs in what we call the North of the County got together in Buckingham to display their craft skills and hopefully sell some of what they had made. Although there was another craft fair in the town, everyone was very pleased with having made some sales and to have had the chance to look around and see what had been made elsewhere. The standard was very high and there was a lot of "crafty" conversations going on.It was a good opportunity to display the WI to the general public.I wonder what would have happened if we had advertised it on Facebook. Reading about the success in Bristol when a new WI invited new people to come along and join, perhaps we would have been overwhelmed as they were. To block the traffic and have to get help controlling the crowd was an extraordinary piece of advertising: it certainly demonstrates the power of social media and the appeal of the modern style of these new WIs.
Longwick WI celebrated its 50th anniversary today with a lunch and entertainment. It was a very happy event. The hall was decorated with bunting and balloons, the lunch itself was lovely and of course there was a cake to be ceremoniously cut.Twelve former presidents were among the guests so you may imagine the memories evoked.We recalled the building of the new village hall and how we were in awe of a former president when we were the young ones ie in those days in our early forties.We felt very honoured to be asked to join the committee, let alone hold an office!
Our WI has not attempted white water rafting yet but our members play a mean game of skittles in the local pub. This is what we were doing tonight and the noise was deafening and competition fierce. Outside the elements joined in as the lightening flashed and the thunder rolled. It was all very dramatic. The prizes were extravagant---glacier mints! In spite of the din, this event does give us a chance to chat outside the monthly meeting.
Earlier in the afternoon the Book Group met: there was present almost everyone who comes to this group. We had been reading Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies. Although it was declared the winner of the Booker Prize, not everyone liked it. Some didn't appreciate the style of writing because of the grammar and punctuation used or thought it unnecessarily coarse, and others thought it marvellous. With an almost 50-50 split in opinions there was a good discussion with readers eager to point out examples to illustrate their point of view.We also discussed how the author came across in radio and television interviews and once more we couldn't agree. Anyway we are going to have to wait several years before the sequel arrives: I don't think she can bear to kill Cromwell off!
This afternoon the craft people gathered to learn about beadmaking which was great fun but very fiddly. Several of us produced necklaces, bracelets and sets of ear-rings to be given away as Christmas presents.WI members who do not usually come to craft were invited to this session so we hope they will come back again---not that we are low in numbers but it is a chance in a large WI to get to know new members better.It was an enjoyable activity but I fear for the vacuum cleaner of the hostess as there must be beads all over the house.The craft group made plans for the coming fair in Buckingham and are continuing to work on their padded boxes.
A Group meeting tonight which was very well attended. Matthew Collins was the speaker on Budget Travel with Borrowed Grannies. Unfortunately he was dreadfully late in arriving having become involved with the Polish contingent heading for a football match at Wembley. But it didn't matter really as the Convenor and hostess president re-organised the meeting and kept us entertained with an impromptu double act which went down very well. The refreshments as usual were excellent and the talk when it was given was interesting and entertaining. He was one of those speakers that need a large stage to accommodate sudden bouts of physical animation to illustrate an event.No one was in danger of falling asleep in spite of the late hour!