Party time!

We had a fabulous time at our annual Christmas Party. Many thanks to Janet for hosting us this year. On the way in guests were treated to an elder flower cocktail followed by food and nibbles made by all our members, the food was delicious! We also had very fun party games organised by Rachael – our favourite being “The Sock Game”. We had to guess what was inside socks only by feeling the outside – this proved much harder than it sounds!

AGM and Quiz With Prizes

Tonight we had our Annual General Meeting where we have elected a new committee and president. We would like to thank all the members of the committee for the past year for all their hard work and are looking forward to what the new committee members will have in store for the next year ahead.

Our AGM was followed by a quiz with prizes headed by our resident quiz master, Denise. The quiz included all the traditional topics of everything from the arts to geography, as well as a bonus sheet in which we had to link 30 fictional characters to their novels.

Musical comedy from award-winning Funny Woman: Harriet Braine

Harriet entertained us with a look at some dead white men, 1 live man and 1 live woman. We thought about mostly artists, from Hokusai ( of “Wave” fame) through to Tracey Emin, (from Croydon by way of Margate) On the way we glanced at Matisse, Matisse, Matisse, Mati-i-i-i-sse (to the tune of “Jolene”), Frida Kahlo’s vaguely famous artist husband, and the hitherto unsuspected abilities of Lancelot “Capability” Brown. Thank you Harriet for a hilarious and fascinating evening.

Written by Penny

Salsa Dancing

We welcomed Lorena on Wednesday for a delightful evening.
Lorena gave us a short demonstration of some simple step-sequences, and very soon we were dancing along with the vibrant sounds of Latin America music. It was a very enjoyable evening, with lots of laughter and some new skills!

Written by Louise

Notting Hill Carnival: a talk from one of the founders

Ansel Wong gave us a fascinating insight into the development of the Notting Hill
Carnival.

Whilst we are familiar with it as our ‘local’ carnival, it is now the largest carnival in the
world. Growing from a couple of hundred participants and spectators, it now
welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors, with the two-day event attracting people
from across the country. Taking the Trinidadian tradition as its model, in 1964 it
began as a small neighbourhood event enlivening the August Bank holiday and
celebrating the wonderful diversity, heritage, and traditions of the local Caribbean
community.

Whilst a number of our WI members have attended this vibrant carnival as
spectators, it was really interesting to learn how much work goes into its
organisation. Year-long strategic planning includes agreeing on themes, the making
of lavish costumes, and decisions relating to musicians, dancers and the licensing
and positioning of food and drink stalls. Ansel explained that the giant music
systems are set up in the central area, with the fabulous parade of dancers and
carnival floats moving in a larger outer-circle. The organisers work very closely with
Westminster Council and the police to ensure that the experience is a safe and
happy one for the crowds.

Ansel said that with the 2018 event just a couple of weeks away, they are already
planning for 2019!

Written By Louise