Monday, 12 September 2011

and did those feet.....

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.


marigold jam said...

Interesting post - I have often thought about joining the WI as I have friends in different parts of the country who belong but somehow I never get round to it. If they don't have fun I am not sure though as like you I want to have a laugh when I am out with people!! Can't comment on HONY since I rarely watch TV these days but am addicted to blog reading instead!!

Gill said...

Well, Janice, I'll agree that there's not much point in turning out to sit with a bunch of tutting women, is there? But I'll bet that they'd be game for a bit of fun, wouldn't they? I hope so!
(If not, you can always come to Avening!)

The WI is the only group I know where every woman can be herself - she doesn't have to be someone's mother, sister or daughter, isn't defined by where she lives or what she does for a living and no-one will ask her marital status or how old she is!! How great is that?

projectforty said...

Hi Gill - I didn't hear any tutting and I definitely felt welcome, I just felt it was quite formal and I didn't know what was going on?!

VP said...

I've often thought about joining, but am put off by the reports in the local paper, where there's always a couple of competitions for the best doily, nosegay or similar mentioned. My skills would always be found wanting and I'm sure everyone would be sniggering away at my efforts.

I did a willow weaving course at Lackham a couple of years ago where I shared an area with some ladies from Frome. One evening they asked me if I was in the WI - I felt I had reached one of those life defining milestones!

hausfrau said...

Because of the inevitable ballet run I have been unable to commit to WI. But it is a useful excuse! I have been twice. Like you I found it a bit formal and failed to work out what was going on half the time. Perhaps we could add 'youth' when we're rather older?!

Only Me said...

It was an interesting evening and, not quite what I expected! The meeting section was a little confusing, having never been to WI before, butI do like the sound of WI and what it is all about - getting together with different people, being creative and learning new things is always good.

Sue Gee said...

I cant wait to join - Did you get a badge? In fact i may have just set a goal to be a WI Office bearer by 2015 - What a thought!!!!! I shall practice my victoria Sponge and Jam making this weekend!
Will have to be next weekend I am off on safari this weekend to Shamwari - perhaps to shoot some big cats....with my camera!!!