Thursday, 27 October 2016

October meeting - the Annual Wine & Cheese Fest!


A big thank you to Sarah Glynn for volunteering to write up this month's adventures...

Hands up if you aren't keen on wine? Hands up if wine isn't keen on you? A few of us it seems judging by the apologies in advance, for absences. Saying that, there was an impressively full looking house for the Annual Wine & Cheese fixture.

Halloween is the time of year when the dead walk amongst us. It seems fitting therefore that October 2016 sees the resurrection of the Darling Roses Supper Club, which has for a while now been languishing in limbo. Keep an eye out for details of forthcoming feasts. In its new reincarnation the person who picks the smiley face out of a box, gets to choose the next establishment to be graced with our presence.

While we are on the subject of forthcoming events - a draft calendar for next year is now in existence with workshops including make-up effects, lip balm and bath bomb making. There is a Buddha day and trips to Fountains Abbey and Paris on the menu too.

Andrea gave us an update on the Syrian family we have been supporting. She recently visited them at home and noticed they were very short of essentials such as bedding and household items. If you have anything surplus to requirements please do bring them along and Andrea will make sure they are passed on. At the start of Advent we are also collecting toiletries and sanitary items to donate to a women's shelter in time for Christmas. So again, all donations are very much appreciated. Remember to stash away any complementary toiletries when you stay in a hotel too because they're ideal.

The annual birthday/Xmas meal is on 25th November this year at our usual haunt of Pizza Express on Street Lane so get it in your diary and let Debbie know if you're able to join in the celebrations.

The annual membership fees of £39 are due in Jan 2017. Although Brexit is seeing prices rise to the point that Marmite is rapidly becoming an aspirational product, the WI annual subscription still remains incredible value for money.

Dr Mehmet Sen is a Consultant Clinical Oncologist at St James Hospital here in Leeds, specialising in breast, head and neck cancers. He also happens, by happy coincidence, to be Debbie's next door neighbour. He very kindly came to give us a Q&A session on breast awareness this month.

One of the first questions that came up was a particularly pertinent one - "If you were a woman, what would you be doing to reduce your risk of breast cancer?" Although a percentage of breast cancers are genetic, there are things we can all do to help ourselves here. Regular self examination is crucial as is attending all mammogram appointments (they're 99% accurate), checking out our family history of breast and ovarian cancers, moderating alcohol consumption and stopping smoking, along with 45 minutes of exercise at least 3 times a week.

A statistic that surprised us is that in a city with a population of approximately 100,000, the percentage of new diagnosis of all cancers is less than 1% per year. Also positive is the news, that as research advances, treatment is becoming increasingly specific and targeted at each sub-group of the disease. In breast cancers, surgical intervention is less invasive than ever and becoming less necessary. Ninety percent of breast cancers can now be treated as a chronic condition such as Type 2 Diabetes, rather than the death sentence it used to be.

A huge thank you from us all goes to Dr Mehmet for his time, his expertise and his caring and compassionate approach to his work.



Dr Mehmet, centre



After lunch it was time to follow one piece of Dr. Mehmet's advice - the moderate alcohol consumption bit - and make a start on the Wine & Cheese.

Whatever alchemy has been at work in the past between Majestic Wines and George & Joseph, was in evidence once again this year, with a spookily harmonious selection of wines and cheeses presented by each. A tangy goats cheese from Skipton was paired with a Sauvignon blanc and a surprisingly mellow Yorkshire Brie teamed up with a New Zealand Pinot Gris. A smooth and creamy Comte set off a spicy, fruity merlot. By the time we had worked our way through all six tasters of wines and cheeses we could barely remember which we had decided we liked the best. Honestly though, they were all delicious and an eager queue formed to buy slabs of our favourites to take home at the end.

Many thanks yet again to Stephen from George & Joseph in Chapel Allerton and to Emily from Majestic Wines in Meanwood. You did us proud.

Now - hands up who woke up with a hangover on Sunday?





Kate's very interesting take on jewellery, the wearable wine glass... a forthcoming workshop?!

Amanda, supreme conqueror of all wine quizzes

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