The local WI craft group met together for a second session of beadmaking in a member's house.It is a fiddly business but very satisfying to make a necklace or a pair of ear-rings either for personal use or as a present for a friend or someone in the family. We created some really pretty things and had time for a lot of chatter as well.
Once more we had chosen non-fiction as the book to be discussed this month rather than the more usual novel. Last month it was the edited letters of the Mitford sisters but this time it was autobiography---if you can count as autobiography, a sporting life described with the help of a ghost writer. Our title was "It's not about the Bike" by Lance Armstrong. It was well written which was a bit of a surprise when one had read some of the biographies of sports personalities which fill the bookshops' shelves at Christmastime.Lance Armstrong tells his story of his fight against cancer and his determination to return to cycling.It was a tremendous struggle and revealed his single-minded approach and honest account of the treatments which he underwent. He acknowledges the work of the medical team and the dedication of his mother and girlfriends during hospital treatments. He also touched on his philosophy of life and the generous work he set out to do for cancer charities. Unfortunately the modern reader knows what happened after the period described in the book and this cannot be forgotten when reading. It made one wonder sadly why he allowed himself to be lured into using drugs after all his protestations against their use. I think we all learned about the rigours of training for the Tour de France and admired the bravery of the contestants.
The blood-doning van was in town today so several of us go down to serve teas and coffees to the donors after they have given blood. Our WI has done this for years and it is much appreciated by the nursing staff. Everything is laid on for us so we just serve out the drinks while the donors recuperate. I didn't realise that when the rota sheet is passed around at our monthly meeting some new members have been slightly alarmed to think that we were recruiting donors through the WI: they wondered exactly what they had committed themselves to in joining! Maybe your WI could help in this way because not all the stops made by the van have the benefit of tea helpers. Next time you see the van, make enquiries. It is a little thing to volunteer to do but is well worthwhile.