Emilio Vasarri – The Roman Wedding

Some key dates in modern divorce law:

  • The Age of Marriage Act 1929, made sure that both partner were over the age of 16 to be married.
  • Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, was introduced to consolidate certain enactments relating to matrimonial proceedings. This granted a divorce on the basis of irretrievable breakdown.
  • Under the Civil partnership Act 2004, same-sex couples can register a civil partnership, which has almost the same legal effects, rights and obligations as marriage does for mixed-sex couples.

We would all like to thank Penny for a wonderfully informative and interesting talk.

Annual Meeting Committee Report

At this AM we welcomed our new committee starting with our new president: Angela, Frances, Caroline, Louise, Ilona, Rebecca, Ena, Deb.

Thank you for Yvette for advising us on the correct voting procedures! And thank you to Louise for hosting an obscure picture quiz.

November 2019 – October 2020


It has been an interesting year, but we have managed to keep going with our meetings digitally to keep us entertained.

November 13th (2019)Annual Meeting and Quiz
After the administrative part of the evening, we enjoyed a quiz put on by Denise. The winning team won pens as prizes.
December 11th (2019)Christmas party hosed by Louise
We had a best socks/slippers competition, and everyone brought some food and drink to share.
January 8thResolutions. The following were presented and discussed:
Increase potential stem cell donor registration
Female crash test dummies
End modern slavery
Time to talk about death and dying
Protect our precious helium
February 12thHula Hooping with Maz
We had an active session of hula hooping with Maz. We learnt how to correctly control the hula hoop on our waists, and even on our arms! The NFWI sent their photographer Tasha Best to photograph our session, and as a result we have ended up being on the front page of the NFWI website!
March 11thQuilted Pin Cushion
Using scrap fabrics and a bit of stuffing Diana Darrer showed us how to make very beautiful and practical pin cushions.
April 8thEaster eggs as characters & zoom chat
Our first virtual meeting after the lockdown started. We had some fun showing and guessing some eggs and wooden spoons that we previously dressed up as book characters.
May 13thYoga,Pilates & Wellbeing – a practical session with Raquel
A virtual Yoga and Pilates session with Raquel. We set our yoga mats up with our laptops and practised some yoga positions.
June 10thTalk About Your Favourite Clothes
Continuing with virtual meetings, we all wore or showed our favourite clothes. We heard some wonderful stories about handmade and couture gowns, wedding dresses, vintage jackets, old t-shirts and designer blouses.
July 8thSex, fruit, and rock-n-roll: how manakins became the tropics’ dance idols – Talk by avian ecologist Dr. Alice Boyle
A wonderful talk given by Caroline’s sister. Once again digitally. We leant about the fascinating behaviours and dancing displayed by birds.
August 12thDesert Island Discs
We played music, spoke about our luxuries and books. The music playlist and all the items we talked about are up on the website in the “past meetings” section.
September 9thDitching Plastics – A talk by Wendy Paton
Tonight we had a discussion with Wendy Paton about her journey to ditch plastics. She gave us 40 ideas on what we can do to do our bit for the environment. 
September 30th5th Wednesday Special Meeting: Louise on Jewish Cooking Traditions
Louise has given us a special extra talk on Jewish Cooking Traditions. We learnt about all sorts of dishes as well as all the rules surrounding a Kosher diet. Some of the recipes are up on our website. Find them under “What we’ve done” -> “Recipes”
October 14thChoux Pastry Live! – Janet Cummins
Janet showed us how to make the perfect choux pastry live on zoom!


Craft ClubWe have kept up with craft club via zoom. All our members are welcome to join for a chat, even if they don’t have a craft to do at the moment.
Dining ClubIt has not been possible to continue with dining club because of the lockdown. However when we were allowed to meet socially distanced outside we had some nice safe picnics in the park when the weather was favourable.
Walking ClubLike dining club, walking club was suspended until the lockdown restrictions eased. In September we were able to do a distanced walk around Fryent Country Park and visit the horses in the stables there. We also had 2 separate tours of Highgate cemetery.
Book ClubWe have been able to open book club up to more members this year, as it is being held digitally just like all our other meetings.

Online Social Media

We have been using a members WhatsApp group to keep up with each other. Please get in touch with the committee if you wish to be added to it. Sometimes there are a lot of messages that come through on this group, if you feel overwhelmed by this, you can always set this group chat to “silent” on your phone.

We also have splinter WhatsApp groups for the various clubs and other events so that we don’t clutter the member’s WhatsApp chat with organisational details.

We have resurrected our Twitter account, and have has been tweeting about our activities.

Closing Notes

The committee would like to thank all our members for sticking with us through this difficult year. We hope to be back at the Mason’s Arms in Kensal Green as soon as it is safe to do so.

Ditching Plastic by Wendy Paton

Tonight we had a discussion with Wendy Paton about her journey to ditch plastics. She gave us 40 ideas on what we can do to do our bit for the environment. Here are a few of them.

Look for plastic free packaging toiletries.

There are now a few companies around offering plastic free shampoo bars, toothpaste, deodorant and toothbrushes. You can buy toothpaste in glass jars, or in chewable tablet forms. Also you can buy toothbrushes made from bamboo, and a mineral salt deodorant in the form of potassium alum.

You can also make your own shampoo. Use a tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) dissolved in 1 mug of warm water. Pour this over your wet hair and rinse off immediately. Then rinse your hair with a solution of 1tbsp of cider vinegar mixed with 1/2 a litre of cold water.

In the kitchen.

If you can’t live without clingfilm, instead of using the traditional plastic variety, now there is a compostable option. There are also bees-wax wraps that can be used to wrap sandwiches, bread, cheese and other food that you don’t want to leave exposed. You can even try to make your own.


For washing up dishes, you can use natural sponges made of walnut shells or coconut husks.

Soda crystals are good for limescale removal and toilet bowl cleaning. Use white vinegar for cleaning windows and mirrors. And sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is a good all round cleaner too.

Food shopping.

Try to buy food without packaging. More zero-waste shops are opening up around London, you bring your own containers, and fill them up with the produce that you want to buy. If you are buying meat or fish, also bring your own containers to the butchers or fishmongers, or ask them to wrap it in wax paper.

Feminine hygiene.

There are a few different options here, a menstrual cup, washable sanitary liners with wings that use a popper button to attach to your underwear, or period pants. There are multiple brands offering various versions of all of these products.

Desert Island Discs

Listen to our playlist


Our luxuries
  • Chanel No. 5
  • Dressing Table
  • Sewing Cupboard
  • Bed
  • Recliner Chair
  • Mini Sewing Kit
  • Sun Screen & Parasol
  • Saxophone
  • Gin
  • Paint
  • Ginger Chocolates
  • Silk Sheets
Our reading list
  • Testament of Youth Vera Brittain
  • The Colour of Magic Terry Pratchett
  • The Odyssey Homer
  • Expiation Elizabeth von Arnim
  • Wolf Hall Trilogy Hilary Mantel
  • War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • Middlemarch George Eliot
  • (Bilingual) Winnie the Pooh A.A. Milne
  • Earth Emile Zola
  • The Story: Love, Loss & The Lives of Women: 100 Great Short Stories edited Victoria Hislop
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy J.R.R. Tolkien
  • My Brilliant Friend Elena Ferrante
  • Learn to play the saxophone (Any)