A big thank you to our stalwart Darling Rose Sarah Glynn, for updating us on last Saturday's meeting...
It was Plato who said, "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything."
However, before we re-discovered the restorative and life enhancing power of making music, first more earthly matters had to be attended to. According to Debbie, we now have our very own store cupboard in the hall. We don't have to share it. It is ours, all ours. Not even staring up through the large hole in the ceiling could take the edge of such glad tidings.
The pre-workshop meeting covered a variety of diverse subjects including information about the WI Sustainable Garden 2016 competition. The brief of which is to make a hanging 'brasket' using, yes you've guessed it - a bra. So far there have been no volunteers to whip off their balconette and pop in some begonias but, the deadline isn't till the end of September, so who knows.
With the Darling Roses being invited back to do the catering for the third Leeds Wool Festival on 4th June, Queen Of Spreadsheets - Maia - talked us through the logistics to make it run even smoother than last year. Everything from labeling to portion size, sandwich fillings and mug dimensions have been taken into account by the planning committee. It's not hard to see how the Darling Roses could well end up with a job for life after the thought and work that has gone into ensuring the success of this venture.
An 'away day' venue for next month's meeting was explored, along with the idea of having a birthday tea and a toast to celebrate the Queen's special day at our June meeting.
Possible solutions for a way forward for Denman College were discussed, and news about the progress of the Resolutions that the WI will be voting on at June's AGM. After January's vote, the shortlist has been whittled down to a final two which will be presented and debated in June - addressing food waste and poverty, and campaigning on allowing carers of dementia patients to stay with their charges during hospital treatment. Debbie and Claire will be attending our local Federation's Resolutions Conference shortly, and will report back to us before we vote as a group on whether we support each campaign resolution or not.
After lunch it was time to face the music again. In the nicest possible way.
Jessica Bowie, in addition to being part of the group, Small Change Diaries, has been a full-time Ukulele teacher for over 12 years. She is clearly used to getting the best out of complete beginners and along with her glamorous assistant, Toby, they set to work on a lightning 'all you need to know about ukuleles but never dared asked,' session. We covered basic uke anatomy, tuning and tuners, different types of instrument- soprano, concert, tenor - how to hold one, how to strum one, where to buy one and then moved swiftly on to the nitty gritty of actually playing one of the wee beasties.
We started off with Hank Williams 'On The Bayoux' and moved on to 'Achey Breaky Heart', which you might not be surprised to learn, only involves two chords. Half of us took care of C and the other half, F and between us we soon had Billy Ray Cyrus's classic masterpiece, absolutely nailed.
Now it was time to get to grips with the 50's chord progression (I-vi-IV-V) (so called because it was popular in the 1950's) and also known as the Doo-Wop progression, which was a game changer in the world of pop and rock, as it works in any key and means even a relative novice to the ukulele can tackle lots of classics songs.
Again, split into groups we each tackled one of the 4 chords involved in the progression, and soon had a verse of Blue Moon, Octopus's Garden, Run Around Sue and Stand By Me, under our belts.
For the second month running we have been taken aback by just what total beginners can do with good tuition and a willingness to just 'have a go', and just how joyful making music together really is.
Thank you so much to Jessica and Toby for bringing and tuning scores of instruments, for their patience, humour and the wonderful gift of making the ukulele accessible to all of us