I am adding this date to my blog only because the WI is mandated to try to preserve public libraries in these days of stringent economic cuts. Our town is unfortunately one of the 13 in Bucks which is now going to survive only if it can call on volunteer support from the community. There was a meeting tonight to see how many people could find the time and enthusiasm to serve in the library in order to keep it open for the same amount of hours that it now provides.The attendance was good so one imagines this will be possible. Volunteers are not the real answer to the problem even if one professional librarian remains but it is this or nothing so we had better get on with it. The principle down-grades the profession of librarianship back to the days when working in a library was seen as date-stamping books.
Another sew-in day at a member's house.Actually it is beginning to resemble a sweatshop from the Third World. We are kept at the sewing machines and chained to the end of balls of wool but the results are going to be amazing. I just hope that the public will want to buy some of the stuff that is being manufactured so that our WI funds will swell and our expertise may attract even more new members who are interested in crafts.
Two coach loads of WI members and friends were up early this morning to visit the Manet Exhibition at the Royal Academy. We made good time in spite of road diversions until we actually came to drive along Picadilly when it slowed down to a crawl. It is a wonderful collection of Manet's work and beautifully displayed but it was very crowded.Someone reported that there had been a nasty incident when one viewer said she had been rudely jostled and the steward had to intervene.I missed the excitement but am sure it wasn't Bucks members involved! We went to the top floor to view the very different pictures of George Bellows which were on display up there: a lot of muscle and strain in boxing rings and illustrations of the under-privileged in America in the early 1900s but well worth seeing. I really enjoy the chance to visit the London galleries without the hassle of train and underground so I hope the BFWI continues to arrange them.
I forgot to mention that last evening on returning from the Science Day I went to the local WI's Discussion Group to talk about the value of art. It was a good subject once we got over the idea that it was too philosophical about something on which we had no real expertise.However, we were soon away on the practical uses of art in therapy, in industry and in what nowadays is termed the "feel good factor".With the help of an artist member of our WI, we got beyond the "I know what I like" stance and enjoyed a pleasant exchange of ideas.
The members of Current Affairs met this morning still slightly shell-shocked from their exertions at the Invention and Discovery meeting yesterday.We felt it had been a great success and had already received messages from WI members and the speakers congratulating us on the meeting.No time to rest on our laurels though so it was down to arrangements for an outing to Royal Greenwich and future activities.The next big event will probably be the Great Food Debate which we hope will fit in with NFWI's campaign and help the wider community to understand the challenges of feeding a growing world population and try to do something positive to deal with the problem.