Friday, 24 May 2013

Goodbye to Barbara, our original Darling Rose

When I wrote about what happened at our last meeting, there was something important that I didn't talk about. We enjoyed our meeting as we always do but, in truth, our mood was also sombre and very very sad, as something had happened that we really could never have been prepared for.

Barbara, much-loved mum to Debbie and Laura and inspiration for the Darling Roses, passed away on Friday 19th April. Barbara had battled bravely against cancer for over two years. Her strength and will to live had been so great that (and this will sound slightly strange) you could forget, when you were with her, that she was fighting that terrible illness at all. She carried on, as she always had done, filling her life with family and friends and never sitting still. She was the original party queen (I will never forget the karaoke parties!) and an amazingly talented crafty lady - brilliant at knitting and stitching, and always busy with something wonderful at home, whether cooking or jam-making or tending to her beautiful gardens. It was clear though that family was number one priority for Barbara.

Debbie started our WI, and she's often said that it was her mum who really inspired her to do this. And Barbara's been with us from the start, as a founding member and the spark for our name. When we were first trying to come up with a name, Debbie's only request was could it include the word 'Rose' as this was her mum's middle name. So, Barbara has been at the heart of what we've done, and our shock at her loss is profound.

We're thinking very much of Debbie, Laura, Peter, Graham, Dot, Mark, Maria and Barbara's beloved grandchildren Archie, Maggie and Millie and all of Barbara's family and friends who are trying to come to terms with her loss. Goodbye to our friend Barbara, you will always be in our thoughts xx

Saturday, 18 May 2013

April meeting update - a zen afternoon of acupuncture and knitting!

Hello ladies, here with a quick update on our last meeting and workshop, held on Saturday 27th April. Our luck held... amazingly it DID NOT snow - well, there was actually some snow near the airport, but it didn't make it as far as Moortown and... well, now I come to think of it we did all get pelted with hailstones on our way in (ouch) but the important thing is that it DID NOT snow. About time. The omens were good.

After a round-up of WI business (including the recent visits a few of our members made to the West Yorkshire Federation's Resolutions Conference and Annual Meeting), we were then able to welcome our guest speaker, Jane Wilcox. Jane is an acupuncturist, and also just happens to be a very lovely person - we love it when that happens! Jane's business, Well Rounded Acupuncture, is based at two clinics in the local area, and we were lucky enough to be given a fascinating insight into the basic principles of acupuncture by Jane. Jane wasn't able to push needles into any of us at the meeting (!!) - we're not really set up for clinical practice at our meeting hall you see... biscuit crumbs everywhere, you can imagine! But I did volunteer as a guinea pig and went through an exercise with Jane where she showed me how to channel my physical energy through positive thought - very interesting! Everybody ooh-ed and aah-ed while this was happening anyway... so I took that as a sign that people were impressed by the demonstration (I mean impressed by what Jane did, not my meagre physical strength!)  A few of us booked sessions with Jane after, so we must have been impressed!

A massive thank you goes to Jane for coming along, giving her time and providing us with such an interesting hour on acupuncture. If you'd like to find out more about Jane's practice, there's a link to her very informative Facebook page in our Blog List on the right.

Our friend, Audrey Wilson, knitting tutor and designer, then kicked off our knitting workshop after our shared lunch. We are knitting blanket squares which will eventually make one or two nice blankets for the Carr Manor care home for adults with special needs (run by Community Integrated Care), which is the local charity we are aiming to make something for at every workshop. Celia, one of the home's residents, really loves knitting and came along to join in with her carer, which was really lovely. We've got a lot of blanket squares to knit so, if you're a knitter, please have a look at the pattern on Audrey's blog and do what you can!

I'll leave you with some pics from the day. Next WI events are a trip to the West Yorkshire Playhouse Wardrobe Department (dress-up time!) on May 29th and a very exclusive peek into the Leeds Library - the beautiful old private members' library on Commercial Street - on 8th June. And we will be meeting Wendy Jones-Blackett (greetings card designer and business woman extraordinaire) and making hanging baskets at our next regular meeting on Saturday 1st June. Stay tuned!