WI Newsletter – December 2003

The last meeting of the year is, in fact, Party Time. For several years, we have employed a caterer from Totton who provides an excellent five-course dinner, which means the minimum amount of work for us. Apart from organising the tables, the rest is all done for us, Mr J Davis provides everything else, from tablecloths to crackers, from drinks to food – it is excellent value.

As there was a split decision at Committee level, we even gave our members a choice of menu this year. We started with melon coupes in ginger wine, followed by crab claws in tartare sauce, with the main course either duck or lamb. They were both delicious. For dessert, it was a difficult decision, either coffee & walnut choux pastries or orange and strawberry meringues, both followed by cheese and biscuits as well as coffee, mints and mince pies. Yes, we were full, but gosh did we enjoy it, absolutely.

We keep the party flowing by moving two members from each table between two of the courses, this has proved very popular in the last few years and means one gets to speak to more people that way. See photographs on this website.

Following the dinner it was time for pass the parcel, we did this last year and the members asked us to repeat it, they enjoyed it so much. As the layers comes off small surprises are revealed. It was a fun way to finish the evening.

Now, our thoughts turn to 2004. We are looking forward immensely to our January meeting when our speakers are Diana and George Nelson. Diana is one of our members and she and her husband took a sabbatical from their jobs for six months or so last year and travelled around South America, Australia and New Zealand. They did it the hard way though, backpacking. We had some stunning emails from them whilst they were away, keeping us all in touch, now we get the chance to see the photographs. I believe they are being put on to a CD rom and will be a PowerPoint presentation.

Now would you expect to find the WI in the pub, well that’s where we will be on Thursday 15 January at 7.30 p.m. – in The Eagle. This is an experiment; we thought we would try some social events, away from the monthly meetings, with the minimum amount of organisation, members just turn up for a drink and chat. Anyone out there interested in joining us, please do come and say hello. No pressure to join the Institute, but come and see who/what we are. We really do have fun you know.

Our full programme for 2004 is also on this website, please take a look and come along to anything that is of interest to you.

The Hampshire Federation Chairman, Sue Atrill has laid down a challenge to all Hampshire members, asking each of us to visit as many different institutes as possible, so here in Abbotts Ann we look forward to welcoming visitors from WI’s all across the County throughout the year.

Happy New Year.

Sharon King