August 2021

We all enjoyed Ilona’s Iconic Dance Moves sessions where some of us remembered how to do the Locomotion, although I’m not sure our feet were moving in time with our arms. It was a month for walks, with Frances leading us on a very nice walk from Amersham via lunch at a pub in Little Missenden and a visit to the church there before a longer afternoon walk over a hill and back to a temporary cafe for refreshments before we all headed home.  Later in the month the sun came out for our walk through Victoria Park and along the Regent’s Canal to oh-so-cool Haggerston where we had a very enjoyable lunch followed by a final stroll to catch the train at Camden Road.  Tennis has continued through August with new recruits enabling us to keep going.  This month’s book missed the mark, with most readers giving it the thumbs down or at best neutral.  Hey, ho onto the next book.

Angela

31 August

July 2021

We had a lovely picnic in Queen’s Park to celebrate mid-Summer.  It was good to meet and chat in person as well as a chance to meet our new members. There was a lively discussion at Culture Club following the second play ‘The Time of Your Life’ by the Gecko Theatre company.  Summer walks have continued with a very enjoyable stroll along the Thames from Richmond to Mortlake including a pub lunch at Kew.  Tennis continues with more members joining in Coffee afterwards always helps!

Angela

June 2021

Tennis continued with a fifth member joining us so we can keep playing when one of us is not available. Coffee afterwards is being enhanced by specially baked treats to help us replace the calories we have lost playing.  For our monthly meeting we had a tour of Piccadilly and St James called “Putting on the Ritz”, given by Tina, a blue badge guide. We heard about various characters from the worlds of high society and finance as well as quacks and dandies who lived in the area over the last couple of centuries.  Everyone enjoyed the tour and some of us went on for a drink before heading home.   We had two adventures outside of London in June, one to the Chilterns where a great time was had by all and another to the seaside at Margate where we walked around the coast to Broadstairs where we all enjoyed scrumptious ice-creams.  Craft and book clubs continued, with members joining in for a chat even if they hadn’t a project on the go or read the book, which is how it should be.

Angela

MAY 2021

Monday cuppa and chat and Tuesday café walks continued this month, allowing members to meet up in a socially distanced fashion.  We also enjoyed the azaleas and rhododendrons in full bloom in Richmond Park, which we combined with a visit to Petersham Nurseries and a walk back along the Thames to Richmond station.  There was also a very enjoyable walk along the River Chess in sunny weather, which made up for the dull, grey days of this month.   Tulip Siddiq, local MP for many of us, gave us a lovely talk on what it was like to grow up in Hampstead, how she became an MP and how she manages life as a working mother.  We read the Bee Keeper of Aleppo which most of us found to be a good but intense read.  And last, but not least, we went to the ballet and watched Winterisse by  The Ballet Zurich.  An excellent production which many of us would not otherwise have seen.

Angela

Walk along the River Chess

April 2021

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.

March 2021

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

February 2021

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.

January 2020

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.  

https://www.thewi.org.uk/campaigns/resolutions

Written by Angela

December 2020

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