I couldn't sleep when I got home from WI last week! This happens after most of the monthly meetings because it's always so exciting when people have enjoyed a meeting that we've put a lot of care and thought into planning. But this month was especially exciting and insomnia-inducing because I came home and made some lists!
The first list I made was of things that I'm going to preserve over the next few months! This month, we were joined by Angharad from The Preservation Society. She had us all in stitches as she told us about how she set up her own business making delicious jams, chutneys and preserves. She braved the daunting world of environmental health and food hygiene and last year, her Ravishingly Raspberry won a True Taste award. Luckily for Angharad, we weren't quite as tough as Food Glorious Food judge, Anne Harrison and we all agreed that her jams (which were sampled with some homemade scones and clotted creams) were absolutely amazing. For more information and details of stockists, visit Angharad's website -www.the-preservation-society.co.uk
The second list that I was making was of our WI to-do list! We've got so many exciting things coming up, and so many things to try not to forget! Plans are afoot for our first Spring Fair and Show which will be held on 25th May in the Heath Citizens Hall. There'll be competitions, lovely vintage and craft stalls and cake galore! Our members are already volunteering to make sure that it's a roaring success...we may not look like your typical WI group, but we've got the community spirit that the WI is famous for in spades!
Huge thanks to those who donated the fabulous prizes for our raffle at this month's meeting -
including Karen the Florist (www.karentheflorist.com)
Time to escape the house, step away from the Ferrero Rocher and get down to the Cons Club for our Christmas Quiz. 10 ladies took on the challenge set by Clare and Becki, and a fun evening was had by all. Congratulations to our winning team, and commiserations to our Silver and Bronze winners!
A hive of activity greeted members this month, when we were joined by 2 stallholders - Gemma, selling items from her "Pretty Things At Home" online business, and Laura selling her handmade jewellery. In addition, a large display table and a work bench was being set up for our practical workshop using sugarcraft.
No Clare this month, so after the introductions and housekeeping was dispensed with by Becki, Sara gave us a brief introduction to the tools of the trade and showed us an example of how a few simple moments can create fabulous cupcake toppers, or cake decorations.
An early tea break this month allowed the majority of our meeting to be dedicated to social time, looking at our stalls and of course, the much awaited decorating of plain cupcakes (thanks to our bakers for providing these!) All sorts of cake toppers were created - Yule Logs, Robins, Flowers, and even full 3D Christmas Trees! Pictures will follow shortly...
Next month we are having a Christmas Social, so come along on December 27th to the Conservative Club, 7:30pm, bring any unwanted but wrapped gifts for our bran tub and enjoy
I dont think any of our ladies realised quite how powerful our own hands can really be until they came along this week to our members meeting.
Sarah from Cardiff Holistic gave a workshop on reflexology using the reflex points on our hands rather than the more traditional foot treatments. Sarah clearly explained, with the help of a handout, how the nerve endings in our hands directly link to specific areas of the body and pressure applied to the hands can help to alleviate symptoms.
After a detailed and informative explanation, we were given some samples of hand cream, with additional essential oils in them, and were shown how to do a full treatment in the correct order - as a therapist would do. Sarah explained how as well as full treatments which can help identify problems in the body, simple pressure applied as and when to linked areas could help specific complaints such as headaches.
Following this, the traditional tea and cakes (and lovely chocolates!) were served and members were asked to vote on their preferred option for our own logo, designed by one of our members Gemma.
Next month, we will be creating our very own sugarcraft decorations for Christmas Cakes! See you then!
Wow! What a night we had at Birchgrove WI last week. Over 40 ladies packed into our hall for our regular meeting, a record number for our group. Once holding a glass of "fizz" (or OJ for those non drinkers), a leaflet and seated, our President, Clare welcomed the ladies.
The sub-groups were officially launched, and the leaflets pressed into our hands became clear - Thursday Night is WI Night! For no extra charge, ladies are invited to join us on Thursday evenings (1st, 2nd and 3rd of each month) at the Conservative Club for our sub groups, where drinks will be available to purchase from the bar.
Next week is the Brilliant Bakers - bring along something baked & 2 copies of the recipe, then taste test the night away!
2nd Thursdays will be the Resplendent Readers (book title to be confirmed), an informal book group.
3rd Thursdays will be the Cracking Crafters when you can bring along your own projects and swop tips & maybe work on a group project.
After all this excitment, we welcomed our speaker, a forensic psychologist who gave a truely interesting and most though provoking talk about her work with violent and sexual offenders, most of whom are serving long term sentences. If time had not been an issue, we would still be there now asking questions and finding out what life is like for this profession.
Social time followed, and the obligatory tea and cake - a mainstay of WI's across the land. The committee were certainly on a high after this tremendous evening & look forward to welcoming everyone back next month, or to the sub groups in between.
MEMBERSHIP FOR 2013 opens at next months meeting - £33 for the year!
Check back here soon for an update on the talk by former deputy mayor of Cardiff, Jayne Cowan. Unfortunately I missed this meeting but have heard that it was very interesting!
Next month - CSI comes to Birchgrove WI
What a fabulous speaker! Vintage Vision, a social enterprise consisting of both selling donated vintage clothing and teaching women sewing skills came to tell us about thier journey from idea to establishment. Now with 2 shops, and a hope for a group of women to feel the need for another in Cardiff, and a "pop up" at the Hay festival, Vintage Vision truely inspired all the ladies at our meeting last week.
Amanda talked enthusiastically almost without pausing for breath & despite the heat in the hall, our ladies would have listened for another hour or more! Then out came some of the donated clothing and the members listened to the stories that each piece held, whilst getting the opportunity to pass some round, and later to try on a few pieces. See our gallery for these images.
If anyone is interested in setting up a Vintage Vision in Cardiff, I am sure Amanda would be thrilled to hear from you - several ladies at the meeting have already expressed interest in volunteering.
This week, Birchgrove WI met David, the enthusiastic owner of Cardiff's newest tea rooms. Located in the West Lodge of Bute Park, David opened his vision of a traditional tea rooms with table service, china crockery and home made cakes, back in April 2012.
Nearly 3 months later he braved the ladies of the Birchgrove WI and told us all of his endeavours in planning and opening the tea rooms. David is clearly passionate about all things Pettigrew, and all the ladies commented on how lovely it is to see someone with so much enthusiasm for one of the staples of both British, and more specifically, of WI life - the cup of tea!
As well as being our guest speaker, David brought along some tea for us to try. I went for a lapsang souchong but other ladies had options of lavender tea or even peach!
so popular was this evening that an inauguaral Birchgrove WI trip has been mentioned - to the Pettigrew Tea Rooms!
Well, I think I've cracked it! This website should now be live online, and visible with our own domain name. Not an easy task I've discovered - needs time and patience to get it right, but fingers crossed we are go!
Other updates include our programme, now with the exception of October is booked and looking good.
Very excited for our meeting next Thursday...must dig out my Bara Brith recipe before then and find some books for our w
Just an update to all following our committee meeting! We have some exciting speakers planned for the next few months, keep checking our events pages for more news.
Next meeting June 28th, when David from Pettigrew Tea Rooms will be joining us to talk all things tea!
I'm Becki - Vice President of the group and willing volunteer to coordinate the website and social networking! Enjoy the Blog!