I went to my first WI meeting last week. S & I have been talking about going for a long time. Since 'Calendar Girls' this venerable organisation seems to pop up in the news quite regularly. First there was booing Tony Blair, then there was that mini-series on the Aga lady in the Isle of Wight who seemed to upset a lot of people. Now there are the Shoreditch Sisters, shaking up the WI in a trendy, Hoxton, London-centric kind of way.
I love the idea of the WI for several reasons:
- it's a social gathering with people you might not spend a lot of time with but can learn a lot from
- the talks because I always think you can learn something, even if it's that you never want to hear about woad ever again
- the tea and biscuits because it's always a good idea to throw caution to the wind and let someone else make the selection
- the campaigning nature of the organisation which is often reported on. They're currently on the case with Love your Libraries
Our local WI is small - no more than 30 members, one of which has attended for 70 years, a fact which blew my mind.
The speaker was interesting - she spoke about her work with the container ship crews in Southampton and how there's a whole group of people who support these men who spend months at a time on board only to be tipped out for a few hours on Southampton dock before getting back on the boat and delivering the containers somewhere else. Who knew?
I think I might go again but I have to admit, the actual meeting part of the meeting didn't mean much. I'm interested to go again and see what else happens although, if I'm truly truthful, I felt that little bit more fun could be had. I always expect to have a bit of fun when I leave the house, otherwise I might as well stay under my blanket and carry on watching Housewives of New York.
And on that matter, HONY is my newest TV addiction and, I admit, one of my worst. It's shallow, boring, vacuous and awful but in the best, ever way. I can't stop watching these women and their families. How were they picked? What made them do this? We're only on Series 2 over at ITV2 but I just can't stop watching and I tape it every day on the grounds that if I don't watch it during the day but in the evening, I'm not really watching daytime TV. I do worry, however, that if I'm taping HONY, it's only three small clicks from taping Daybreak or GMTV.
I don't think LuAnn and Jill go to WI in NYC. Now, that would make a good reality show.