Monday, 17 November 2014

Jam and Mehndi in September + Our 2nd Annual Meeting in October

On September 27th, we gathered together again for that most traditional of WI activities - jam making (come on, I'm sure you've heard it's pretty much compulsory). However, before we could light the camping stoves, we had the usual business of our meeting to run through, and also a lovely guest speaker to welcome -  Sadeia Afzal. Sadeia has practised the beautiful art of mehndi for many years, and joined us to give an introduction to the art and a demonstration. We all loved Sadeia's gorgeous, intricate work, and there was no shortage of volunteers wanting to be guinea pigs! A huge thank you goes to Sadeia for sharing her passion for mehndi with us (and for painstakingly painting Sarah in the corner!) - here are some pictures which hopefully give a taste.

"Have you got time to do my whole arm?"
Emily's 'Kidz Korner'
Then the heady, pungent whiff of mehndi cones was replaced by a powerful blast of berries and sugar in our jam making masterclass (ahem). I tell you, all the lethal-looking gas cylinders and maslin pans that have seen better days might make this look like less than a professional operation, but we sure do know how to make delicious jam, yes sirree. The results were yummy, and we had the added bonus of a very sweet-smelling hall, which was preferable to the Great Onion Stink of '13 that we created at the same time last year when making pickles and chutneys. Here are some more pictures - as always, the workshops where we cook together make for double the communal fun.

Kate led the apple cidery breakaway unit - looks like it was going pretty well!

So, there you have it for September. In October, it was time for our 2nd Annual Meeting, and due to the long list of business we had to review for the year, we didn't really have time for our usual hands-on workshop, and instead made way for a double bill of speakers at the end of our meeting.

We were joined by Pauline Neale who gave us the lowdown on the admirable work of Oxfam around the world, and Maggie Poppa, who gave an absolutely fascinating talk about her life and career, and in particular how she embarked on a brand new career in broadcast and print journalism, at an age when most people are settling into retirement. Maggie's tales were very inspiring. I personally love to hear stories about people's 'second acts' - the idea that it's never too late to do something totally new, or fulfill a long-held ambition, is a great thing to hear (and more importantly from someone who has really lived that philosophy).

As there was no workshop, there are no pics to show you of us doing anything really... ?! (Er, I don't think that came out quite right.) But anyway, instead I will show some lovely images of our lovely smiling ladies, just enjoying the day.

Maggie Poppa, our guest speaker, on the left
Thank you to Pauline and Maggie for joining us

That's all for now. On November 23rd, we'll be in the hall making lovely things with paper - books, festive decorations and the like. It is also officially our 2nd birthday! We'll be having a select gathering at Pizza Express to celebrate, counting the days...

No comments:

Post a Comment