Since before Christmas there has been an exhibition at the V&A Museum in London called “Opus Anglicanum” about medieval embroidery, a craft which was centred in London for hundreds of years. We all learn about French and Flemish tapestries but fail to know about what was being done in the workshops around St. Pauls in London and exported to castles and churches throughout Europe. The reason I am telling you this is that the WI Life contained a voucher to visit the exhibition with a 20% discount on all tickets bought by members. It does annoy me when I hear WI members say that they throw the subscription book in the bin and never read the offers in the magazine. The subscription book costs the WI nothing and if one looks carefully at the offers one can get the value of the subscription back: I did last year and as I saved £16 on my visit to the V&A I am already well on the way to doing it again this year. I know we don’t want to buy a stair lift every year or can’t be bothered to get 10 pence off a margarine but in these days of so-called austerity we see that many people are dining out more often, travelling here there and everywhere and we all need everyday clothes, so take advantage of whatever deals there are on offer.
The members of the crochet group were able to report the successful making of two hats which just needed flowers to embellish them. Another flower maker is working on one to add to a knitted sweater and a floor pouffe was proudly given as a Christmas present. We are also adding to our repertoire of stitches in order to attempt more ambitious patterns.
The discussion group had given itself a very wide topic indeed---the sea. We heard about a member’s adventures sailing among the Greek Islands, about childhood memories of living by the sea, about walking coastal paths and the unexplainable lure of just watching the waves. Poetry was featured too. Of course, we also discussed pollution because of its topicality with the WI short list of resolutions and the dangers of over-fishing and the advantages of living on an island. All in all, if you set a wide topic you get a wide ranging response so we spent a very enjoyable evening in the warm with glass in hand and feeling glad to be on dry land on a wintry night.