Where did April go? In a whirlwind of walks – an average of two group walks a week mostly in local parks and some further afield, as well as other self-organised walks. We have all been keen to get out and see the blossom and bluebells and took in the menagerie in Golders Hill park, some of us remembering going there as children. We have all enjoyed catching up in larger groups, taking the opportunity for coffee and sometimes something stronger. We started playing tennis again although we’ll need more players as we’re all planning to be away at various times over the summer. Penny gave us a most interesting talk on the history of marriage and divorce in England which was beautifully illustrated. Many of us enjoyed reading ‘The Carer’ by Deborah Moggach and we had a good discussion. We had a virtual cultural night when we watched Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s production of ‘Chroma, Grace, Takademe, Revelations’ on YouTube, simultaneously gathering before and after the performance to chat as you would at a normal theatre outing.
The clocks have changed and restrictions have eased. We lost no time in arranging to meet in groups of six for walks in our local parks. It was lovely to see Chloe, our youngest member, who cheered us all up as she is of course getting bigger every time we see her. We started the month with some excellent tales and anecdotes of her time as a Prison Governor from Chris Duffin. We ended the month with some very good advice from NatWest about how to avoid fraud and scams and what to do if we have fallen victim. In between we discussed Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholl at our book club. Jigsaw puzzles continue to circulate and some of us are becoming very proficient at completing them. Many of us kept up our walks in pairs until the restrictions eased and of course there was our Monday afternoon zoom sessions which are always good for a chat.
Written by Angela
We saw lengthening days and drier, sunnier weather throughout February. Many of our members have had their first Covid vaccine which cheered us all up.
We had an excellent and inspiring talk by Misba Khan on her expedition to the North Pole. Misba started her adventure career by going out with her local Ramblers’ group and has been to the K2 base camp since going to the north pole, so every journey starts with one step. All this while working for the NHS and raising her family.
We had our first zoom theatre evening and watched the amazing Cirque du Soleil.
Jigsaws became an unexpected ‘thing’ this month with a sudden flurry of sharing of various puzzles.
We have continued to meet up in socially distanced pairs for health enhancing walks in our local area as well as meeting on Mondays for tea and chat via zoom.
Our book of the month, Americanah, proved popular with many members of our book club.
And lastly, a supply of seed potatoes was welcomed by and shared amongst our gardening members.
The long, long month of January is thankfully over. The days are getting longer with clumps of snowdrops and even some crocuses making an appearance heralding the start of spring.
Whatsapp continues to be a boon in the pandemic enabling several of our members to meet up on a 1:1 basis in local parks for a walk and a chat.
We have also started drop-in and chat zoom sessions on Mondays at 4pm which are proving popular. We had a theme for one session of sharing earrings from our travels with many people sharing interesting and funny stories about how they chose their jewellery.
There was an interesting discussion about the US Presidential inauguration as it was on the same day.
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart was our book of the month. This provided a good discussion with those of us who read it finding it well written, although gritty and definitely not a bed-time read.
Along with many WIs around the country we discussed and voted on the resolutions at our January meeting. This is part of the annual process which culminates in members voting to adopt a resolution which may form a national campaign if adopted. The resolution to ‘Stop women dying prematurely from coronary heart disease (CHD)’ gained most votes from our WI. The committee will discuss how we can support this resolution over the coming year.
Written by Angela
What a year! We started our Christmas celebrations with two festive craft sessions to make pomanders and wreaths. Our Christmas Party as so much of the year was via Zoom, livened up with a very imaginative display of Christmas hats and a really fun online version of the Countdown game enjoyed by all.
We continued our weekly zoom meetings with Craft and Book clubs, where most people liked Hilary Mantel’s memoir ‘Giving up the Ghost’. Our drop-in and chat session just before Christmas proved popular with everyone sharing stories of last minute changes to their Christmas plans.
Outdoors, we managed a couple of socially distanced walks in Queen’s and Gladstone Parks and a game of doubles tennis before the Tier 4 restrictions came into force.
And last but certainly not least we were all very happy to see our newest member, Chloe looking gorgeous in her little elf costume on Christmas Day.
Written by Angela