Today the local WI book Group met together. We had read "I Choose to Live" by Sabine Dardenne.The immediate response when presented with this autobiography was the doubt that one would be able to read it at all, let alone finish it.It told the story of a 12 year old girl's kidnap and imprisonment for 80 days at the hands of a Belgian paedophile. Although one learns of some of the ordeals the poor girl suffered, the horrific detail is not described---a lot is left to the reader's imagination or memory from the final court case. It was this relief that led to the book being read through. Half of the book covered the rehabilitation of the victim and the inordinate time (more than 7 years) before the court case was closed. It was interesting that both Sabine and the other girl snatched declined psychological counselling afterwards, although their respective families used it.Nowadays when someone has their car broken into the Police offer counselling but these youngsters were able to re-root themselves and live a normal life. Sabine had admirable strength of character and it was probably this unusual force in one so young which enabled her to come through the ordeal itself and the pressure of the media afterwards.
The Art& Craft sub-committee organised an outing to the Ranger's House at Greenwich to view the Wernher Collection. We had the benefit of a very good guided tour of the treasures but I would have liked to have been able to dodge back and see more and take time to examine tiny items which needed very close scrutiny. But time was pressing and we were off to Eltham Palace to tour the Art Deco house built by the Courtauld family on the side of the medieval Great Hall.This was definitely a house that one could have enjoyed living in. Just the marquetry was worth seeing, let alone the furnishings. It was a beautiful day so the gardens were much appreciated and provided a pleasant spot to eat a picnic lunch.From the coach we also enjoyed fine views of London in the sunshine on the journey there and back, travelling close by the Olympic Village and the Millennium Dome.Both coaches were full and seats had to be allocated to WI members only. The WI outings are always popular because they afford a way to visit interesting places without all the hassle of driving or making individual arrangements.There are photos already on the website so you can see what you missed or even prove you were there!