Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Back to the WI in February

No WI meetings for me in January, it's Big WI's month off and small WI just go and watch a DVD in someones house - pretty pointless and not my idea of a WI meeting. (I was glad I didn't go because the film was long and they didn't finish until 10.30 and I want to be home and in bed by then!)

The speaker at Big WI for February was Bob Harding Jones who had come all the way from Hertfordshire (although he once lived in Suffolk) and is a retired farmer. His subject was "Funny Stories from a speaker".

confessions cover final.jpg
He has written books of humourous tales and poems

He had a folder full of notes gleaned from his years travelling round to speak to WI's and other groups.
Two I remember were letters he received with instructions.........
One said " there is very little parking so please drive slowly passed the hall and someone will be there to show you where to park. If there is no one waiting drive round again and slow down as if you were looking for someone to pick up!"
Another " A chair will mark your parking space, but please move the chair before parking!"

He had lots of other tales like this and old country stories and also read bits from Sheila Stewart's  book "Lifting the Latch" and some of his poems.

Coffee and Cakes of course. It was a bit misty in places on my drive there so I was pleased to find that it hadn't turned foggy when I drove home....hate fog in the dark.

Small WI hadn't had a proper meeting since November because they had a Christmas meal instead of a meeting in December as well as the DVD thing mentioned already. I didn't go to the meal because it was quite expensive and I was having the free village Christmas meal the same week anyway. (This is one of the things I don't like about WI, it's expensive enough without all the extra costs.)

This week the meeting was a speaker from Suffolk Prickles Hedgehog Rescue. They are a voluntary self funded organisation. She told us all about how the rescue centre had started, taking in just a few sick, injured or underweight hedgehogs until up to date when they can have up to 200 hedgehogs being cared for in two centres.
The reason for the increase in calls for help to the charity seems to be warmer winters which has stopped hedgehogs "Hibernating" ( strictly speaking they don't hibernate) but then there isn't enough food for them. Warmer winters and wetter summers has also increased problems with internal parasites like Fluke worms.
From being one of the most common creatures their numbers have dropped to critical.
The decrease in towns and villages may be because gardens are too tidy and fenced so the hogs can't range, they like a big area to move round for food and to make daytime nests. In the countryside it has been the large fields without hedges that have seen numbers decrease.
She explained how they care for the hogs and try and release them back where they have come from once they've been treated and put on weight.

 We had a bring and buy sale to raise a little extra money for the charity as well as their fee. Coffee and cakes again. I've put my name down for the Suffolk East Federation Spring Quiz in March which will be fun.

Back Tomorrow
Sue






26 comments:

  1. In all the 6 or so years we've lived in this house, I think we've only seen a hedgehog in the garden twice. As you say, they used to be a common sight years ago. How sad that we (mankind) have had a negative impact on yet another species.

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    1. I got photos of one last year but no signs since

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    2. Why blame humans? They are known to suffer a virus which has been spreading, perhaps we are to blame for that, are we? They have predators, the badger being the prime one. We have many hedgehogs here in my garden they use it as a highway between my two neighbours gardens. I can watch them running through in the Summer evenings. We do not have badgers.

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  2. We used to get hedgehogs in the garden but I can't recall seeing any for the past six or seven years. It's sad.
    xx

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    1. Back in the 90's at the smallholding we saw several but as the years passed we didn't see any

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  3. I am glad you enjoyed your meeting. I have only ever seen a couple of hedgehogs in the garden it us such a shame.
    Hazel c uk

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    1. She was a good speaker with photos on a screen which always helps

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  4. Sounds as if you enjoyed the speaker. I agree with you about cost of being part of group-our U3A has two lunch groups which can be costly and I don’t go to either.

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    1. I find eating out is never as wonderful as it should be - probably because I cook good food from scratch anyway

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  5. A hedgehog rescue centre has started in our nearest town, and they all seem to be having the same problems with young hedgehogs starved and wandering round, the decline in them has been terrible.

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    1. The lady said there are hedgehog rescue places everywhere and all struggling to fundraise to cope with the numbers

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  6. Well well guess who?yes it’s Brummie Sue having another try! We get hedgehogs under our garden shed, have to be careful when we dog mind our friends little Jack Russell as she goes sniffing round when she goes on that side of the garden
    I’m not a great one for meals out and hate ‘paying through the nose’ especially being what I would call a ‘half decent family cook’ I can do far better myself at home!


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    1. High Five! you got through!
      The free Village over 60s Christmas meal is my favourite! although I will be doing the Big WI 100th birthday party meal next October and that will be over £20 but it's a one off.

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  7. I have given literally hundreds of talks to WI, Probus, any group you care to name I have given a talk to! Bob Harding-Jones’ tales rang true for me. The very interesting directions on how to find a far flung WI hall or come to think of it one, smack in the middle of Rochester, Knaresborough or Gravesend, Many’s the time I have driven round getting more and more crabby as I struggled with the instructions from folk that only ever venture out on their bike! Eventually landing: sweeping in with a rictus smile on my face as they kindly enquired as to me having had a good journey? Lying through my back teeth I used to say the directions were perfect, thank you! The bottom line is... there is nothing that comes close to making an audience laugh. That in a nutshell is why I did it for so long.

    LX

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    1. He made us smile rather than laugh out loud funny, but a good speaker.
      What did you speak about?

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    2. My wackerty-rackerty life Sue... it’s been a good’un. I am blessed with finding some good in the pain as well as the all the other ups and downs.

      LX

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  8. I would have loved to go to either one of them! I love hedgehogs. I remember when I was little we had one that frequently visited our garden. There aren't hedgehogs in America so I collect stuffed ones (toys) when I can lol. The image of that man having to drive around looking for someone to direct him reminds me of a Keeping up Appearances episode.

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    1. I guess it's either too cold or too hot where you are now. There is a person from wildlife trust who has been working on Ipswich estates to get people to help increase numbers by making hedgehog doors in fences. They reckon it's working and numbers are increasing in town really well

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  9. No hedgehogs in Canada but I do remember having them in the garden growing up in England. Sounds like Bob Harding-Jones was a great speaker to have.

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    1. Both February meetings were interesting. Journalling and Bevan boys(wartime coal mining) in March

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  10. I'm glad you enjoyed your February meetings. Those are a nice way to get out, learn something new and be around others for a bit. I wish we had something like that here. I tried a quilt guild here but it required a little more involvement than I was able to commit to.

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  11. Some people in the US keep hedgehogs as pets. A veterinary technician I know has one at her home and they just love it. But it is kept primarily in a cage. I don't think they are found in the wild at all in the US. Such sweet looking little animals.

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  12. I would never have thought of doing a talk about doing WI talks, to the WI.

    Hope your coffee was better than the one I got on Monday night, it was awful, I couldn't drink it. I might be a cheapskate, but Tesco coffee, yuk.

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  13. I bet the gentleman's talk was very funny.

    Hedgehogs are kept by some people in Canada as pets. They are so very sweet.

    God bless.

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  14. Some of the little antidotes made me smile. I haven't come across a hedgehog since our move.

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  15. I haven't seen a live hedgehog in years, not even that many squished ones on the road come to think of it.

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