The local WI met this evening, once more away from its normal base. There was a good turnout to hear the speaker try to separate truth from myth in weather lore: we could have done with some reliable information for the month of August when the town show was a washout and the County Show just recovered from a heavy downpour to welcome visitors wisely in wellington boots.Once more we welcomed a new member and several guests who it is hoped will join later.The vice-president worked hard to obtain volunteers for various activities in the autumn but the audience was not very enthusiastic about anything---post-centenary lagged perhaps.A display has been set up in the library and next month there will be a discussion about the formation of an extra WI for the town. One member has been encouraged by the positive reaction to her plan to form a WI choir and the knitted shawls continue to roll in.
For the Bucks County Show, the local WI had joined others in a competition to construct a display to represent something that had inspired women in the 100 years of the WI movement. Most people had chosen past resolutions and there was plenty of variety in choice. Some of the displays were very imaginative and did the WIs proud. Unfortunately our WI was not among the prizewinners this year but we were pleased to be in the top half of the competition.Exhibits necessitate a lot of planning meetings even if only 4 people are involved. I would be sorry if our WI did not take part and it would be a pity not to have a presence of some kind at the County Show.
The Book group met to discuss Ben MacIntyre's "Agent Zigzag". This was the biography of a famous double agent in World War II.It is amazing to learn that an awful lot of the gung-ho adventures of James Bond are not as far-fetched as we had always thought. There really were people wandering around with multi-use wristwatches and suicide pills in their trouser turnups.These peolpe were playing with the lives of hundreds of members of the public both in Britain, Europe and North Africa. The author wrote with humour and pace but with sources quoted to prove that he had done a vast amount of research. Would the Book Group members have chosen this off a library shelf? No, yet all but one was pleased to have read this account of events that had taken place within most of our lifetimes.
Today I visited Greys Court, near Henley where the Oxfordshire Federation of WIs had set up a very good display about Lady Brunner's part in the WI over many years.Lady Brunner was instrumental in setting up Denman College and was National Chairman for 5 years from 1951.This was her home and it was very fitting to accentuate this link in the WI's centenary year.It's a lovely property to visit even if one isn't interested in the WI connection---wonderful gardens even on a wet day.
Three of our members visited the WI exhibition at the Milton Keynes Museum. One room was devoted to the WI with lots of exhibits and information about the WIs in the North of Bucks. In the refreshment area, there was a very interesting timeline with photos of WI activities fitting in with British social history.This show is one of three set up around the county. I believe our WI will feature in the one staged at Aylesbury in September.Some more of our members are due to visit the MK Museum later in the month.
"The Other Side of the Bridge" by Mary Lawson was our book group's choice for this month. It is a novel set in Canada which paints a wonderful picture of life spent in desolate countryside with extreme temperatures for months on end. It was a study of family relationships, the tensions between father and sons, and brother and brother. Also it pointed out the huge sacrifice of young men which Canada made in the World War II, a fact which is often forgotten. The author pulled no punches in her description of the mental and physical wounds suffered by the men in the forces and their families at home. We had enjoyed "Crow Lake" by the same author about 5 years ago and this one didn't disappoint.
The craft group met this afternoon to learn how to embroider with ribbons. We discussed the results of the stall on the market place and agreed that the craft had generated a lot of interest but it was not the time or place to achieve huge sales: another strategy was needed. There was talk of a summer lunch rather than wait for one in the middle of the Christmas festivities and plans were made for activities when we resume meeting in the autumn.