Recipes from my Suffolk Kitchen

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

W.I.

Image result for W.I.

 I'm not a great joiner of clubs or similar things, especially during winter when venturing out in the dark and cold doesn't appeal.
 So although I loved my 20+ years as a Cub Scout Leader before smallholding and my several years as Membership bod for the Suffolk Smallholders Society once we had the smallholding, I've not done anything lately.
Now there is more time and I really ought to make an effort. Colin's sister H happens to be President of a WI two villages away from where we live now and there was really no excuse not to go and visit a meeting. Last time I was a WI member was back in 1991 and I used to go with several neighbours and we enjoyed the meetings, it was a big group.......... about 30 or so members of all ages and  always interesting.
The group I visited on Monday is much smaller, less than a dozen ladies so H was pleased to have numbers boosted by one plus the subject was Bookbinding and you know about me and books!

The speaker was a neighbour of a member and had never done a talk before and then the overhead projector broke down just as he was about to start, but he did very well and had brought along old books and tools of the trade. He gave a brief account of the history of books and then described how he repaired damaged books and made things like record books for private hospitals. Then we all crowded around his lap-top to see the small photos which we should have seen enlarged.

After the speaker came delicious cakes and coffee, the members take it in turns to make refreshments, two people each month.

I just went as a visitor this time but will probably join properly next month. My only problem is that I don't really want to go on the theatre outings and other things organised so I hope that doesn't matter.

Back Soon
Sue

26 comments:

  1. I've served my sentence with the WI as a member and committee member for many years. The last time I belonged was about 20 years ago. Their membership fees, although they will argue are value for money, are horrendously high. Other local groups who do just as much for their members, but on a pay as you go basis, cost as little as £5.00 a year to belong!

    Like you, I'm not a great joiner, and the thought of leaving my cosy living room to venture out on a blustery, cold winter's night is what I believe they call a no brainer, not even for a great guest speaker! My muddy lane is far too dark for coming home.

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  2. So glad I'm not the only one who isn't keen on group activities, I like the idea but the reality is just not me. I have in the past been to evening classes but always find the hierarchy annoying, You know, the bossy one, the chatty one, the little mouse one etc, I can't do with all that. Maybe its just grouchy old me...
    Briony
    x

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    1. I'm a grouch too but hopefully can survive one evening a month!

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  3. There seem to be a lot of us, I am not a great one for joining clubs, either, but I force myself to participate in the village committees and events. I enjoy it when I am there but my feet are always reluctant to take me.
    Bookbinding! I would have been there like a shot, I have a few books which need that kind of attention. Did it whet your appetite enough to think about taking it up?

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  4. Another non joiner here I'm afraid.
    Not a big fan of clubs or classes. I think my feelings are very much along the lines of Briony's-x-

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  5. My venture into the W.I. was disastrous. I was new to the village and went as a guest. My first mistake was to sit down - in Dorothy's chair. Seems Dorothy was a long-standing member and always sat there. Ooops! Then 'the business' part - long, boring, argumentative - and I was thinking of the things I could be doing instead of sitting there.
    The treasurer came round collecting money. "It's my first visit." I explained. "Well, we have to pay for the room!" she said and insisted that I pay the subs. Tea and a biscuit cost me £1 and raffle tickets another £1. I came away a poorer but wiser woman. And I can't remember who the speaker was!

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    1. The business part was short , no arguments and Yes I'm not sure about the raffle - 50p here - I think they might be things I wouldn't want to win anyway! The "competitions" are not really competitions here

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  6. Well I have been thinking of joining something, only went once to WI, also a bit of a disaster. Problem is you are walking into a new set of ways with people who are probably set in their opinions.

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  7. I do hope you will venture to further meetings and like any other group, WI's vary from institute to institute. Like the banner says, we are here to inspire women, to support, to educate, to entertain. Over the years we have had fabulous speakers and we are a very small group, we often join together with other groups to be able to afford a good speaker. No one has a special chair and we have several women in their nineties, and you do not have to join in everything, I don't because I live some miles away. I live alone so the chance to get out in the evenings is one I jump at, better than staring at the walls or watching boring TV, you get some good conversation and most importantly, a good laugh. We litter pick and lend a hand when needed and if you don't like one group you can always choose another. People who go once and decide they don't like something are not giving it a fair chance.

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  8. Oh that speaker sounds so interesting!!!!!!

    I agree, I'd not want to go out at night, especially in winter. Actually at my age (near 80), I don't go out at night, PERIOD. :-)))))) But you are not advanced, so I do hope you go, in the nice weather.

    And the cakes after, are a lovely part of such meetings too. :-)

    You said it is a small membership. They would probably be happy to add-one, when you prefer the reason for the meeting. If you don't care for the theater type, I'm sure it would be fine.

    And of course, you have an "in" with the President.

    Gentle Spring hugs,
    Luna Crone

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  9. Bookbinding, how interesting, great that someone local is prepared to explain to others, and then cake afterwards, I would have loved that.
    We had cake at work today ~ it never fails to make a better day!

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  10. Unfortunately there's nothing like that here. I would think some of the talks would be very interesting. Mum was a member for a while and told me of some really interesting things she learned. I've been watching too much Jam and Jerusalem though and that's all I can think of when you say WI.

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    1. Ha! I watched one episode but decided it was variation on a soap so didn't bother anymore!

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  11. Sue. In the WI you do as much or as little as you want, so you don't have to go to the theatre if you don't want to.
    Enjoy yourself!
    Mary

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    1. I thought of you and all the things you have done with WI and decided to give it a go. Glad you have found the book page, another added recently

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  12. we could all form our own club of non club joiners, because I'm the same. No club participation.
    That said, I quite like the idea of the WI, if only for the tea and cake.

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    1. I would like a morning or afternoon crafting type club but so many people work that it's not feasible in a village.

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  13. I have a friend, Sue, whose advice to me, long and often was: "beware 'oughts' and 'shoulds'!" So, only join the WI (or anything else, come to that) if you really want to and not because you feel you should do so.
    I was once almost persuaded to join the WI, and no doubt meetings are somewhat different to what they were like in the 1970s, but it was all very 'organized' then, with a hierarchy, i.e.President, Chair(wo)man and Treasurer on the platform, plus a woman to thunder out Jerusalem on the old Joanna. And (on the occasion that I attended) when it came to the monthly competition, it was to see how many items we could fit into an egg cup, or something of that nature. I felt life was too short.
    I didn't join, but years later I joined the National Women's Register, a national organisation but with autonomous groups in the towns and villages throughout the UK. I was a member for years and it was really more my thing - we met in each others' homes, it was very relaxed with just the local organizer to coordinate matters. Whoever's house we met in, that woman provided tea/coffee and biscuits. Nothing more than biscuits so that it didn't turn into a cake contest between members.
    Also, through the NWR my family and I participated in holiday house exchanges, and also I joined a couple of their correspondence magazines, which, I suppose, were the blogs of their day.
    Meetings varied between guest speakers and things we organized ourselves, and we also enjoyed Christmas parties and safari suppers and summer outings, to which husbands/partners were invited.
    I hope that the WI has improved, and that doing silly things like stuffing objects into egg cups has long gone but the memory that lingers on!
    Margaret P

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    1. Coincidence!I started a NHR group (as it was then National Housewives Register) way back in about 1982 in the village we lived in then. It ran for a few years then sort of faded as various people moved away

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    2. How coincidental, Sue! Our Paignton Group, led by yours truly, broke away from the Torquay Group in the late 1970s. The Torquay Group folded many years ago, but the Paignton Group is still going strong, yay! WE did five house swaps in total, all of which were great fun and I still correspond with one of the swappers, and also one of the women on the correspondence mag.
      Margaret P

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  14. Sue I didn't know you had moved! Now following this new blog, congratulations on the move hope you have settled in well

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  15. I've never been a great 'joiner in' when it comes to organised stuff, even in my youth. I like to spend time with close friends and family in a very informal way.
    I gave our local WI a try just after I took early retirement, but really didn't enjoy it.
    Unfortunately it's based in just about the 'poshest' village around here, was established in the 1920’s, has more than 60 members, a lovely building all of their own, and more snobs than you can shake a stick at!
    Everything about it was SO not me, the hierarchy, the snooty behaviour of at least 75% of the members, and the car park had more Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Jaguar, Volvo cars than I could believe! I'd gone on my bike!
    I tried twice, but there is only so much being looked down upon that one can tolerate, so I decided it definitely wasn't for me.
    However, if your local group is smaller and less formal, I'd give it a go, I wish we had a less 'stuck up' group!

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  16. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I think branches can be so different, and the town ones probably totally so compared with rural areas. I know when my mum first moved down to be near us in Wales, one of the neighbours suggested she might come along and join the WI. For some reason, my mother was scandalised! "Join the WI!" she said to me, "Who do they think I am?" Mum was very hard of hearing, so I wonder what she thought it was? You'd have thought it was an outing to Hell and back!!

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  17. Hi Sue, I am looking forward to joining the WI when we eventually move to Suffolk. I haven't been a member before but am willing to give a try, so can't give a view of it till I try it.
    I am definitely joining the library reading group as I lead one here where I live now for years. I am hoping it will allow me to make friends, as I know no one there at the moment.
    We also will be investigating the U3A.. Can't wait now to move.. enjoy the sunshine Sue in Suffolk and hope your garden will give you hours of happiness.

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    1. Leiston WI is quite big and has it's own hall and they have craft club too

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