WI Newsletter – June 2008

June is always a busy month and this year it seems to have been busier than ever.

The walking group even had to change their date and taking a break from the Clarendon Way enjoyed a very pleasant stroll around Longparish, criss-crossing the River Test. It was the sort of summer morning, which has been all to rare this year, when England is at its best and we all wonder why we travel so far away on our holidays. Then we get a rainy day and we all remember why!

Next on the Calendar was the Danebury Group round of the annual Federation Quiz and our team did well, but unfortunately played their joker (double points) on the “wrong” round, which meant they we didn’t win – again.

Four of our members were lucky enough to secure places on the Hampshire Weekend at Denman College and had a great time. Three were walking for wildlife and one learnt more about historic houses. The college is only about 45 minutes up the A34, in the village of Marcham set within beautiful peaceful grounds. It really is the jewel in the WI’s crown.

Then for our June meeting members were given the opportunity to visit Houghton Lodge, near Stockbridge, which was built in the late 18th century and has been owned by Captain Martin Busk’s family since 1910. It is renowned for its hydroponics growth of plants (the science of growing plants in nutrient-rich solutions or moist inert material instead of in soil).

Captain Busk, and his wife, were there to welcome our members, and whilst they enjoyed some wine and nibbles, he gave a brief explanation of how the plants are grown and encouraged members to explore the Hydroponicum – the quality of flower and foliage were noticeably rich in colour. Not daunted by the fact that it had begun to rain, umbrellas were produced from handbags and everyone set off to explore. The gardens lead down to the River Test, which offered a welcome stroll alongside this lovely stretch of water. It was possible to see the resident alpacas across the riverbank.

This was an excellent venue for our meeting – despite the disappointing weather.

Diary Dates:

01 July – Reading Group

07 July – Indian Cookery demonstration

10 July – Guided tour of Winchester

12 July – Walking Group

31 July – Meeting – 7.30 p.m. Village Hall

06 August – Trip to Blenheim Palace

09 August – Walking Group

12 August – Reading Group

06 September – Village Fete

In recent years July has been a themed meeting and this time we are attempting to recreate some favourite panels games from TV and radio; particularly What’s my Line? & Call my Bluff. If you want to see how we manage it – then come along the village hall on 31 July in time for a 7.30 p.m. start.

Sharon King