WI Newsletter – December 2004

Our December meeting, which takes the form of a Christmas Dinner, was a great success. Once again, our caterer John Davies and his excellent team provided us with a superb meal, there are several courses so it is a question of pacing oneself – well that’s how I manage anyway

We took the decision not have any formal entertainment after the dinner this year. We preferred to take our time and savour the excellent cuisine, which included smoked salmon terrine, soup, pork or duck, apricot brulee or a scrumptious chocolate mousse (guess which I had) followed by cheese and biscuits, mince pies, coffee and mints – see what I mean about pacing oneself. Instead, I told a seasonal joke and read out a series of spoof emails about the perils of arranging an Office Party in today’s politically correct society – fortuitous timing, as I had spotted it the in the Daily Telegraph the day before.

Earlier in the month, 10 of us attended a Christmas Workshop, courtesy of Frances Horn of Frances Horn Interiors, who kindly put this session together especially for us. We were all seeking inspiration on wrapping our Christmas gifts as well as wanting some ideas as to how to decorate our table for that all-important Christmas Dinner. The latter formed the first part of the morning, when we were shown a selection of slides, some of which illustrated how not to it. It certainly gave us food for thought -sorry pun definitely intended.

As for wrapping parcels, the ideas are endless, once you learn to look at objects not just for the purpose they are intended, for example a pretty hair slide can easily be adapted for use on a parcel, as indeed can all sorts of ribbons and braids. Raffia is very contemporary now and mixed with fresh greenery from the garden can be very effective.

It was then time for us to put all this into practice, we were shown how to wrap a bottle – unfortunately, our samples were all empty. I am fully aware that an easy way out is to buy a bag intended specifically for this purpose, but this is much more creative and individual. Our artistic talents were put to the test, and although the results were very varied, they were all equally attractive. A selection of these were displayed at the Christmas Dinner.

The cost of the workshop was subsidised by the use of the Pamela King Bursary – an event like this means that more members can benefit from this generous gift.

Now we can look forward to 2005.


Dec_news1 Our meetings start on January 27 when we have Diana & George Nelson making a return visit, with Part II of their sabbatical year spent backpacking around the World. Part I ended on Easter Island and I believe that Part II will see them meeting up with various family members in Australia and New Zealand.
Dec_news2 On February 24, our creativity will once more be put to the test. As our speaker for the evening is Sara Purkins of Cool Crimson, who amongst other things creates paper flowers. These can be used in all sorts of ways, including brightening up gift-wrapping – which we know all about now of course.

The remainder of the year includes Revd Nicky Judd talking about being a woman priest, a garden wander around the village, a themed evening – Desert Island Discs, and management for wildlife at Porton Down. Our full programme is listed on this website as well as contact details.

One important event we have lined up this year is our Evening with Angela Baker – she of Calendar Girls Fame. This is on Friday 15 April 2005 at 7.30 p.m. at The Fairground Hall, Weyhill. This is an opportunity to hear Angela’s story, followed by a buffet supper and first glass of wine – all for £8. There will also be a raffle and charity stall in aid of Leukaemia Research Fund. The tickets will be for sale with effect from 29th January 2005 – if you would like any please give me a ring – 01264 335630.

If you would like to know more about the W.I. in Hampshire then please click on www.hampshirewi.org.uk where there is far more information.

As I have said many times before, we are always looking to increase our membership and would love to welcome new members. However, you don’t have to commit straightaway. Just come along to one of our meetings – visitors are always welcome, and you can come to more than one before taking the plunge. Please forget our image as portrayed by the media and come see for yourself what we really are like.

Happy New Year.

Sharon King