December Meeting

Get ready for our annual Brainy Birds Quiz

Our quiz masters have been fiendishly devising new categories and rounds for our December meeting which sees the return of our Brainy Birds Quiz.  Join us as we battle the quiz masters to take the prize in a fun and festive social which will see us rattling our brains as we frantically try and remember events from the past year. There will be prizes.  There will be mulled wine, mince pies, tea and cake.  There will be fun and friendship and just a smidgen of competitiveness.

Plus we have a lovely pampering raffle prize with all proceeds going to Solace Women’s Aid.

And we will be collecting our Christmas gift donations for the women and children who will be spending Christmas in a refuge having fled domestic violence. If you are in need of some ideas see below.  £20 maximum per item, any larger items will either be held in the children’s play rooms or distributed, if at all possible unwrapped is best so they have an idea of what the gift is

Ideas for children
Small Lego sets,
Art sets,
Books
Soft toys.

Ideas For teenagers
Headphones
Art supplies
Gift vouchers
Make up
Jewellery

Ideas for women
Toiletry gift sets
Store vouchers

 

Monthly groups, all information is on the relevant pages of the website.

Don’t forget we  have our stall at the De Beauvoir Association Christmas Fair on Saturday (30th November) at The Crypt.  If you have crafted or made something to sell do let us know. If you would like to help on the stall email us at the usual address and do come down for some Christmas shopping, it looks to be a bumper event. Hopefully see you there….

And heads up on our January meeting which this year will be on the second Thursday, 9th January when we will be learning how to embroider a flower with Cordwainers Grow.

 

November Meeting

 

What a great November meeting as we all got shimmying and shaking our  hips with Egyptian dance teacher, Carmen Creary who introduced to Raqs Sharqi.  It was an excellent workout and really good fun. Carmen kindly brought along some of her wonderful performance scarfs for us to use which helped us all shimmy our way around the Crypt.  If anyone is interested in doing more we will be getting some information about the local classes Carmen runs and posting this on our social media pages.

 

 

 

 

Raqs Sharqi literally means “Dance of the Orient”. The origins of the dance are uncertain but are known to be very ancient. It was not until during the 19th century when travelling artists and writers started to visit the Middle East that it was discovered by the rest of the world.

Raqs Sharqi is an art form enjoyed by young and old alike and an integral part of the Middle Eastern culture. In Egypt, no marriage or celebration would be complete without a Raqs Sharqi performance. Almost all Egyptian women can dance, having learnt as children, not in dance classes but at home and at family gatherings.

 

Plus tea and cake was enjoyed along with the odd glass of wine.

We collected our usual donations for the women and children staying at Solace Women’s Aid refuges. Any toiletries, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste etc and also thinking about this years Christmas donations for Solace. 752 women and children were helped by a place in one of their refuges last year .

 

Dates For the Diary

November 23rd and 24th Following the hugely informative and enjoyable history walks last month around Canonbury and Islington, led by our very own expert Lesley, we are really excited  to announce that she has been busy planning a follow up of a ‘watery’ walk around Angel. Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th, there will be two time slots on each day to choose from. £5 charge per person. Sign up sheets at the next meeting.
November 30th is the De Beauvoir Association’s Christmas Fair, we have a stall and have been busy making jams and preserves but are really in need of some Christmas Crafting ideas, if you would like to get involved in some Christmas crafting, or have some ideas for gifts we might make, either individually or as a group do let in touch at the usual address. We will also be looking for volunteers to help run the stall on the day. It has always been a great success for us in the past and enables us to continue getting in great speakers, donating to charity and most importantly having fun crafting together.

What we have been up to…
October 22nd Book group met to discuss Jonathan Coe’s Middle England for a lively evening of literary chat.

October 23rd We had a thrilling (and chilling) trip to Sutton House for a Ghost And Prosecco Tour. For those of you who are not familiar with Sutton House, it is the oldest domestic residence in Hackney and is also alleged to be haunted, with, among others – ghostly Lurchers; a small child running away from the angry next door neighbour and a mother who died in childbirth desperately seeking to be reunited with her twins.. Not to mention the ethereal piano playing from behind closed doors….

October Meeting

We certain got crafty at October’s meeting when we learnt all about the art of macramé and made some very impressive pot holders and all had a huge amount of fun knotting and twisting. Macramé is a form of textile produced using knotting (rather than weaving or knitting) techniques. We learnt some basic knots and how to put them together to create a holder. A huge thanks to Lilly for coming along and teaching us all. And thanks to our technical members who got the live feed going so we could all see what we were meant to be doing!

Plus tea and cake, of course.
We are continuing to collect toiletries for Solace Women’s Aid – so bring any shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste etc for the collection. If you have any miniature bottles left over from holiday then do bring these along as they are incredibly useful for those women who are currently homeless having fled violent relationships. They all go into a basket at Solace HQ where women arriving for appointments can grab what they need to take away.

 

 

Coming up…

September 28th: It’s the end of our BST Walking Group and as ever we will be taking one final long walk this year. This year we are going to go to Rickmansworth, and will be walking about the gravel pits and along the River Colne and a canal. It was Irene’s idea and it is one of her wild swimming walks. There are no plans to swim. If you would like to see some of the treats in store our valiant walking group leaders, Nichola and Debby did a dry run and have posted some beautiful pictures on our Facebook page. We will be leaving together from Moorgate station but do email us if you would like to join us and are not on the list.

October 22nd Book group will be meeting to discuss Jonathan Coe’s Middle England. 8pm at the De Beauvoir Arms but you do need to have read the book.

October 23rd We have a planned outing to Sutton House for a Ghost And Prosecco Tour. For those of you who are not familiar with Sutton House, it is the oldest domestic residence in Hackney and is also alleged to be haunted. The cost for the tour is £12 and we will be taking names and cash at the October meeting so if you would like to join us bring the necessary cash. If you can’t attend October’s meeting and would like to come along then email us at the usual address.

 

And finally…. thanks to all who helped out, baked and made jam for the Flower & Produce show this month. We sold a staggering 187 jars of jam – who knew De Beauvoir could eat that much jam. And our Blackcurrant Jam won first prize in the hotly contested Jam category in the show itself. We won the group prize for Domestic Delights as our chutney and pickles were also marked first prize. Congratulations as well to all our individual members who won in the competition.

 

September Meeting

October’s meeting and it’s all about Macramé…..

Rachel Kolsky, author of among others, Women’s London, joined us at our September meeting to talk about the many and varied stories behind the Votes For Women campaign including the contributions of many local Hackney women.

Before embarking on a highly successful career as a Guide And Lecturer, Rachel worked in the financial services industry for 25 years. A degree in Politics and Modern History and love of research, particularly social history, led her to train as a guide, firstly as a City of London Guide, then as a Clerkenwell & Islington Guide and in 2004 Rachel gained the Blue Badge for London. In 2005, together with a colleague she launched Go East London to encourage people to venture east of the City . Now known as Go London Rachel leads tours all over London and beyond focusing on the ‘human stories’ behind the buildings.

Rachel gave us all an incredibly informative and interesting talk covering the many groups that were influential in the campaign for the vote, from the suffragettes, to suffragists, those who refused to pay their tax as a protest and many more. It was a great meeting, thank you Rachel.

“Rachel Kolsky’s Women’s London is a literary lap of honour for the female pioneers who fought gender prejudice to leave their mark on the capital.” Ham & High, 8th February 2018

 

This month’s collection for Solace Women’s Aid will be general toiletries, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, shower wash, sanitary towels etc

 

Dates for your Diary
19th August – knitting group is meeting, if you would like to join us email us at the usual address. If you want to learn how to knit, do come along. We are continuing to add to the plastic pollution yarn bomb which will be out and about in September

20th August – book group will be discussing A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles in the De Beauvoir Arms at 8pm

30th August – BST walking group will be striding out along the canal to Limehouse, and then onto Canary Wharf, catching the Thames Clipper back to London Bridge or Tower Bridge. £6.50 on the Oyster. Meeting at seven o’clock at the Crown, Grove Road, which is on the 277 route.

There are also two history walks taking place this month, on the evening of the 20th and on Sunday 25th August. Led by our very own expert, Lesley, who is a qualified member of the Clerkenwell and Islington Guides Association. She will be guiding us around Canonbury and Central Islington. Highlights: Highbury Corner to Islington Green, winding either side of Upper Street and exploring a 16C manor house, a 17C water course, theatres, two churches, agriculture, pretty Georgian terraces and squares, an art gallery, a few romances and more…. If you have signed up for this you should have already received a confirmation email. If you are interested in this, and haven’t signed up do email us – there may be spaces. There is a £5 charge per person for this walk payable in advance

SAVE THE DATES
11th SEPTEMBER
Stone Rangers are hosting the Middlesex Federation East London WI group meeting and we are all invited to a 50s themed evening of rock ‘n’ roll and jive. There will be a dance class (tailored to all abilities), 50s themed food and other 50s themed activities. This will take place from 7.30pm in the private function room at The Plough & Harrow Pub, 419 High Road, Leytonstone, E11 4JU. We have a sign up sheet if people would like to go along together – 50s dress optional. It’s a quick bus ride from Stratford Station.

15th SEPTEMBER
De Beauvoir Gardeners Flower & Produce Show is on 15th September, we will be running a WI stall at this event selling jams and preserves plus cakes and bakes. The infamous De Beauvoir Dog Show will no doubt be the highlight of the day, but check out the competition categories if you fancy baking, or crafting and entering the competition, you can find information about all the categories here. We are looking for bakers and also people willing to help out on the stall during the afternoon – do get in touch if you fancy either or both at the usual email address

28th SEPTEMBER
As ever we end our summer walking group with a day trip, this year we are heading out to Enfield and a circular walk around the countryside taking in gravel pits, wild water swimming spaces and more…

 

 

 

August meeting

After the hustle and bustle of July which saw us having our most successful stall yet at Party In The Park, plus further fruit picking and jam making sessions throughout the month, our August meeting was a chance to kick back and unwind and catch up with everyone plus meet some new friends at our summer social at the Scolt Head pub.

 

 

Some pictures from Party In The Park 2019

 

yes we really did sell all that cake!

 

 

 

 

Dates For Your Diary

26th July BST Walking Group will be walking round Abney Park cemetery, and then along to Springfield Park, to enjoy the view over east London. Meet at the Cemetery Gates on Kingsland Road at 7pm promptly

19th August – knitting group meet – do check out the relevant page on the website for confirmation and venue details as lots of our knitters are taking their needles and wool away on holiday this month – our collaboration with local yarn bombers De Beauvoir K2P2 was a success and we may be looking at further projects together

our collaboration with De Beauvoir K2P2 at Party In The Park

Book group – if you are interested in joining the book group check out the relevant page on the website for updates on the next meeting

SAVE THE DATES

11th SEPTEMBER
Stone Rangers are hosting the Middlesex Federation East London WI group meeting and we are all invited to a 50s themed evening of rock ‘n’ roll and jive. There will be a dance class (tailored to all abilities), 50s themed food and other 50s themed activities. This will take place from 7.30pm in the private function room at The Plough & Harrow Pub, 419 High Road, Leytonstone, E11 4JU. We have a sign up sheet if people would like to go along together – 50s dress optional.  It’s a quick bus ride from Stratford Station.

 

15th SEPTEMBER
De Beauvoir Gardeners Flower & Produce Show is on 15th September, we will be running a WI stall at this event selling jams and preserves plus cakes and bakes. The infamous De Beauvoir Dog Show will no doubt be the highlight of the day, but check out the competition categories if you fancy baking, or crafting and entering the competition, you can find information about all the categories here. We are looking for bakers and also people willing to help out on the stall during the afternoon – do get in touch if you fancy either or both at the usual email address

Finally,
If anyone is passing through or by West Drayton where the Middlesex Federation office is based can you let us know. They have a number of free woollen de-fuzzers we can pick up and distribute among our membership but unfortunately, they need to be picked up by hand as they are unable to post these out.

July Meeting

 

It’s Plastic Free July this month, a global initiative that aims to help all of us be part of the solution to plastic pollution and we were joined this month by the founder of local community group, Plastic Free Hackney, Bettina, who shared her top 10 tips to reduce our use of plastic in everyday life. We heard more about how Plastic Free Hackney is engaging our community to reduce the plastic waste around the borough and had a lively discussion about all things plastic.

 

 

 

PLUS Party In The Park on 6th
This years Party in De Beauvoir Square is on Saturday 6th (2pm – 5pm) we are running the cake stall again this year and are looking for bakers who would be up for baking and donating a cake for the stall. Do let us know if you can bake something by emailing us on debeauvoirbakes@gmail.com or at the usual WI email address. If baking is not your forte but you would like to help on the stall let us know and do come along and support the party with your friends and family. It is always such a lovely afternoon with lots for the kids to engage with and Pimms and BBQ as well as cake for the adults. The police horses (and their riders) will be there along with the fire engine (emergencies permitting) plus music, games, and more.

 

Dates for your diary:-
28th June BST walking group will be taking a trip down to Greenwich, walking through the tunnel at Island Gardens and walking up the hill to the observatory to witness the setting sun from one of the best locations in London, full details are on the relevant page of the website but the plan is to meet at the 277 bus stop in Dalston at 7pm to start the journey. Dogs welcome

30th June: Petertide at St Peter’s
We are all invited to a day long celebration, with a service of Thanksgiving at 10am followed by a bring and share lunch and BBQ followed by cream teas and a concert in the church featuring classical favourites from international musicians Alexandra Fletcher (cello), Anthony Kondo (cello) and Asia Paletskaya (piano). Looks like it will be a lovely afternoon, come along and join in the celebrations.

15th July Knitting group will be meeting venue tbc

16th July Book group will be discussing Hotel Silence by Auour Ava Olafsdottir, venue tbc but if anyone has any ideas of a quiet venue where the book group could meet locally, do let us know as we are looking for a new regular venue

JAMMING AND PRESERVING WORKSHOPS
we are planning a number of fruit picking excursions followed by jam making workshops throughout July, email us if you are interested in joining us, our stocks are low and we need to start gathering jam and marmalade momentum for the WI stall at the De Beauvoir Gardeners Flower & Produce show in September

SAVE THE DATE 15th SEPTEMBER
De Beauvoir Gardeners Flower & Produce Show is on 15th September, we will be running a WI stall at this event selling jams and preserves plus cakes and bakes. The infamous De Beauvoir Dog Show will no doubt be the highlight of the day, but check out the competition categories if you fancy baking, or crafting and entering the competition, you can find information about all the categories here.

Finally,
A big thanks to Gideon and Esther from Living Waterway and Wild Hackney for their guided walk around Kingsland Basin and the canal….
Here are some pictures from our walk and there is further information on the outings page, do have wander around the basin if you get a chance, some of our members had not visited the space for a number of years and were amazed by the transformation from a vile smelling rubbish dump to a gloriously biodiverse environment for insects, birds and even bats who visit at dusk

 

 

June Meeting chocolate workshop with My Chocolate

If you are interested in signing up for the challenge of a plastic free July then check out www.plasticfreeJuly.org  where there are loads of tips on how to limit our use of plastic

 

June Meeting

From single origin chocolate to Dutch processed cocoa chocolate has come a long way from the bag of cacao beans Christopher Columbus brought back from South America in the 16th century and the boxes of Milk Tray and bars of Bournville familiar from many of our childhoods.

Long before chocolate was served in bar form it was a drink mixed with honey and spices that was greatly enjoyed by Aztec emperor Montezuma. It is said that he would drink it from golden goblets, before throwing them away, never using the same one twice for his beloved ‘chocolatl’ drink. When Montezuma needed something to fuel his long romantic nights he would drink a goblet of chocolatl before entering his harem, claiming it made his tongue dance, and pulse quicken.

For our June meeting Susie from My Chocolate joined us to take us on a chocolate journey through the history of chocolate, a tasting session and we watched in anticipation as Susie made  a huge bar of chocolate (plus a vegan one) that we all got to taste and take home.  It was a great session learning the art of tempering chocolate, we got to taste 100% chocolate which was love/hate depending on preference and discovered why white chocolate is a nightmare to work with in the kitchen. Thanks to Susie and My Chocolate for a great meeting.

 

just a small piece then….

Plus tea and cake and chat

Dates for your diary

June 20th we are delighted to be joining Living Waterway and Wild Hackney for a free guided tour along the canal and around the Kingsland Basin looking at the wildlife and floating islands that are offering homes to a whole host of birds, butterflies, insect life and more. We are meeting at 7.30pm at the North End of Kingsland Basin, just past Toconoco cafe. The entrance is 20-28 Hertford Road with ‘Norway Wharf’ above the gates. Hope to see you there

Save The Date – Party In The Park festival organised by the De Beauvoir Association in De Beauvoir Square is on Saturday July 6th and we are running the Tea and Cake stall for the fifth year running. We are looking for volunteers to bake cakes and help out on the day so if you have a signature lemon drizzle or are magic at millionaires shortbread and all in between or fancy an hour serving cake to very eager customers at this fun, family friendly event then email us at debeauvoirbakes@gmail.com or let us know at the meeting

May Meeting our 5th Birthday Celebrations and AGM

 

 

At our May meeting we  celebrated our 5th Birthday in style.  We held our Annual General Meeting ably assisted by our Middlesex Federation reps, Carol and Gerry (big thanks to them) and voted in the new committee with Amanda continuing as our president.  We reviewed the past year, voted on the resolutions for 2020, engaged in a lively debate about the resolution process which resulted in a group of members taking on the challenge to put forward a resolution for submission for 2021.  If you are interested in being involved in this process do let us know via the usual email.  The candle was blown out on our birthday cake which was then roundly demolished before a talk on Mental Health First Aid, ways of managing stress and we concluded our meeting with a very moving loving kindness meditation.

 

Dates For Your Diary

The next Book group is on Tuesday 21st May at Bavo on Southgate Road.

Our next BST Walking Group will be on Friday 31st May, meeting at 6.45pm walking along the canal to Victoria Park.

Knitting group is on Monday 20th May email us if you would like to join us, experienced knitters and novices all welcome

 

April Meeting Positive Bystander Workshop with Solace Women’s Aid

 

 

 

April meeting 

At our April meeting we found out what it means to be a positive bystander. We can be a positive or active bystander in many ways.

Carrie from Solace Women’s Aid joined us and ran a very informative and lively workshop where we ended up role playing a situation and leaping in to intervene in various ways when someone was being subjected to unwanted harassment.  It was a great evening and lovely to meet so many new women who had come along for the event.  We learnt how to Identify an abusive situation, how we might Assume Personal Responsibility and how to Determine How To  Help While Considering Safety and then how we might choose to Intervene

It was all in all a great evening and thanks again to Carrie and Solace Women’s Aid

 

March Meeting

 

March Meeting

A big thank you to Hackney Herbal who came to our March meeting to talk all things herbal.  Back in 2015, Hackney Herbal set out on a mission to show people how to incorporate herbs into their lifestyles, for health and improved wellbeing. The idea came from a desire to create more value out of the herbs that were being grown in private, public and community gardens.
They now grow herbs in a patchwork of sites around Hackney and from these they create unique herbal tea blends. The funds from the sale of these go towards  community activities in Hackney, which bring people together to learn, share knowledge and be inspired. We got to learn all about the various properties of different herbs and made a selection of unique herbal tea blends and took a whole batch of  herbal tea bags home at the end of the night.

 

 

 

March 10th – we took part in Solace Women’s Aid International Women’s Day celebrations with a free afternoon of Games and Cake at The Crypt at St Peter’s De Beauvoir. It was a successful afternoon and although this wasn’t the aim, there were generous donations made for the tea and cake provided and we will be sending Solace a cheque later this month. We had some serious crafting going on in one corner and scrabble and cluedo particularly went down well…it was Miss Scarlet in the Hall with the Candlestick if you were wondering.  Thanks to all who came and all who baked and helped on the day.

 

Knitting group will be meeting on March 18th and our knitters are getting involved with our local yarn bombing group, De Beauvoir K2P2 who are planning an exciting project for the summer and were in need of additional knitting support, email us at the usual address if you would like to join our knitting group, beginners welcome.

February Meeting

February and getting squeaky clean with Funky Soap

For February’s meeting we welcomed Anni from Funky Soap. Funky Soap is a small business located in the heart of East London dedicated to crafting high quality, healthy and effective skin and hair care products that will nourish your skin and are kind to our planet. They use the power and simplicity of nature to cleanse, soothe, heal and protect your skin.
The soaps are made from only 100% natural ingredients, using pure oils and butters and the cold process method to create the soaps and shampoos.
Anni talked about how she discovered the art of soap making and how she grew her business from creating soaps in her kitchen to employing a staff of 11 and moving to a workshop and shop in Leyton. She also kindly created a crib sheet for us detailing the art of soap making with details of all ingredients we would need to start making our own soap. Plus we all got to go home with a shampoo bar

 

 

 

 

Plus Jessie from Solace Women’s Aid came along to update us on all the news from Solace.

There will be tea, cake and the chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones

Dates For Your Diary
Feb 18th Knitting group will be meeting venue tbc 7.30pm/8pm start join us if you would like to learn to knit; hone your skills or get on with your own project in some lovely company
Feb 19th book group meeting at Bavo on Southgate Road, 8pm. This month’s book is Kate Atkinson’s Transcription, all details on the relevant pages on the website
Save the date….
Sunday March 10th we are planning to host an afternoon event between 2 and 5pm at the Crypt Café to celebrate International Women’s Day as part of Solace Women’s Aid International Women’s Day week long festival, there will be events taking place around London throughout the week, more to follow.

 

 


 

 

 

January meeting

QiGong 

What better way to kick off the New Year than with last nights practical workshop that helped us rebalance our bodies and our energy after the business of the festive season. A big thanks to John Haywood who joined us to introduce us to the ancient art of Qigong (Chi Gung), literally translated as ‘Life Energy Cultivation’. Qigong is a holistic system of co-ordinated body posture and movement, breathing and meditation used for the purpose of health. It is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance Qi, translated as life energy. There is also research published showing benefits for mental health, with a reduction in cortisol, the hormone produced in the body in response to stress, so a great way to kick off our own self care in the light of the 2019 national resolution on mental health.

John runs a weekly class at Castlehaven Community Centre in Camden on a Tuesday at 11am.

Dates for your diary
Book group is up and running after a December break and will be meeting on 8th January at Bavo at 8pm to discuss The Hitman’s Guide To Housecleaning by Hallgrimur Helgason, email in if you would like to join us but it helps if you have read the book

Knitting group is also back, for beginners and experts, we will be meeting on Monday 21st January, venue to be decided, again email in if you would like to learn to knit, hone your existing skills or want to come along for a knit and natter

SOLACE
We will be resuming our collections of toiletries for the women in the Solace refuges – bodywash, shampoo, conditioner, etc all welcome

Night Shelter
The Night Shelter at St Peter’s will be up and running from the 7th January, we are providing a home made cake every Monday throughout the course of the shelter running – we have had volunteers for January but if you fancy baking a cake in February or March to deliver on a Monday then let us know.