November meeting

We had a whopping 28 participants for this month’s Zoom meeting with some impressive Halloween head attire and some magnificent make up from Nichola S.  

 

For our November meeting we were joined by Florence Wylde Nicholas, a registered nutritional therapist. Florence’s very interesting and informative talk centred on how to boost our immune system through the foods we eat.  Florence runs a private clinic at the crypt and has another practice with an advanced disease focus.

Concentrating on immune health we found out that this is a very complex system with gut bacteria being hugely beneficial to our own good health.  Over 70% of our immune system is located in the gut, and gut inflammation can cause symptoms such as digestive complaints, fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, depression and anxiety, skin conditions, hormone imbalances and autoimmune flare ups. Our gut is a very efficient environment but our modern way of life can cause it significant damage, such as eating too quickly, alcohol and drug use, stress, antibiotics, painkillers, poor diet and dieting, poor sleep and sugar. So, suggested ways to nourish your gut are to chew food 25 times each mouthful, aim for 12 different fruit and vegetables per day, listen to your gut, does anything you eat cause you to feel uncomfortable or bloated, time restricted eating and oral hygiene.

Food for your microbes include polyphenols (berries, pomegranate juice, olives and olive oil, herbs and spices), prebiotics (root vegetables, beans, pulses, lentils, whole grains, artichoke, leeks, onions, garlic, apples and pears), probiotics (kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, miso, apple cider vinegar, kvass.)

Stress switches off immune activity and alters gut function, impacting digestion. Studies show that people who don’t sleep enough are more likely to get ill after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold and good sleep helps repair your body; suggestions for reducing stress include stop looking at screens 2 hours before bed; seek nurturing relationships, daily movement exercises, yoga,  mindfulness.  Dietary support for stress includes a diet rich in fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains, no processed sugar, minimise caffeine, fuel the brain with omega-3 (walnuts, oily fish, hemp seeds, avocado, extra virgin oil.) Calming nutrients include lemon balm, oily fish, magnesium (widely found in powder form and bath salts) and adequate protein; protein, fresh and unprocessed, is made from amino acids which are the building blocks for everything including neurotransmitters, hormones and immune cells.

Florence ended her very informative talk with the suggestion of supporting a small food group of 4 or 5 people with shared goals or similarities in their health, to better health.  If anyone is interested in being part  of the small nutrition group please do get in contact with us at the usual email debeauvoirwi@gmail.com
Florence has kindly sent over lots of follow up information:Podcasts
– Feel Better Live More: Episode 20: IBS, Stress and Gut Health- 

-Feel Better Live More: Episode 33 – The gut-brain connection with Miguel
– Feel Better Live More: Episode 63: Gut Health and Probiotics 
Books: 
Fibre Fuelled – Dr Will Bulsiewicz (gut health science and recipes)Dr Chatterjee – several wellbeing books, all fabThe Doctors Kitchen (recipes) 
Plus a tapping app called The Tapping Solution.

Book Group

Book group will also continue to meet on Zoom next meeting is on Tuesday 17thNovember,  and we are reading A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

 

The De Beauvoir Christmas Shopping Trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

In spite of everything that’s going on we want to bring some Christmas cheer to our local community in a socially distanced, responsible way.  Together with other local small businesses and crafts people, we are getting together to organise a community shopping day with a trail of festive street stalls around De Beauvoir, selling crafts, foods, gifts and more from our gardens and drives. 

As we are now back in lockdown this has been postponed to the first weekend in December, watch this space for further information

We are planning our usual Christmas produce, jams, chutneys, pickles plus craft items.  If you would like to make something for the De Beauvoir WI table do let us know. We have jars for jams and chutneys and will reimburse for expenses, such as pickle ingredients or craft supplies

If you are a local business or crafts person and would like to get involved and join the trail email us at debeauvoirwi@gmail.com

 

 

Solace Women’s Aid

We have been in touch with Solace and they hope to be in a position to accept physical donations towards the end of the year.

However, in the meantime, we could support the women and children living in their refuges by buying gift cards (maximum spend £20) which would enable them to buy what they needed.  With a gift card they can choose items for themselves, in itself an empowering act if you have been in a controlling relationship.  If you would like to donate a gift card to Solace then we are setting up a collection point (email in for details) and then we can send a package of gift cards off to Solace.

October Meeting

Our speaker for October was Elizabeth-Yemi Akingbade, founder of fashion brand Yemzi.  We had 24 members attending and it was an inspirational talk.  Elizabeth-Yemi takes inspiration from the iconography, colours and patterns derived from West Africa to produce luxury eco-conscious clothing and accessories. She shares her design skills and experience with young girls from marginalised backgrounds through workshops.

Yemi was born in Hackney and, after being adopted, grew up by the sea on the south coast. She went to the Art Institute of Design and along the way brought her sketches to create unique fabric designs; starting with a T-shirt collection and a pop-up in Paris Yemi went on to expand her skills through learning pattern cutting, bespoke tailoring, introducing silk and digital print, cutting and sewing to her repertoire.  Her inspiration comes from exploring her African, Yoruba heritage and how deliberate body scars are used to communicate between families and tribes. She developed mood boards, use of colours /drawing / silhouette / use of different techniques and trends.  Recently she has introduced tencel and bamboo to complement her use of silk.

Yemi has travelled to Ghana for inspiration and to the Berlin trade show, starting her journey at Bootstrap, Arcola street, Dalston with a fashion show on the roof top.  Following this she linked up with fashion stylists to use her clothes on shoots, where she delights in seeing her clothes on models of all sizes.  Bootstrap charity provided her with her first office in a container where she employed interns to work for her. Challenges included managing costs with cash flow and how to make lovely garments and a profit; managing staff who may not share her vison; models who do not know how to walk in clothes to the best advantage.

Initial distribution ideas were to sell through boutiques, but now Yemi has decided to sell directly to the customers on line through. Her web site, which is currently being upgraded, www.yemzi.com  . Her scrunches are available locally in Mildmay / Newington Green road and on her website

Yemzi has shared her knowledge, and how to do a photohoot, through teaching at Peabody and Inspire School.

https://www.yemzi.com/    https://www.instagram.com/yemzi/

Flower & Produce

As most of you will know, the de Beauvoir Gardeners ran an event on Sunday September 27th, with stalls selling plants and a competition for artists to create works based around Pets, Wildlife and Flowers that was displayed on the railings around the church.  All profits from the plant sales will be donated to De Beauvoir Food bank.

We had a very successful jam stall on Northchurch Road, on 27th September selling our entire stock and will give a 10% of profit donation to Solace.  Buoyed by this we are looking to hold such an event for the Christmas fair.  If you would like to contribute – jam, chutney, pickle or craft items let us know. We have jars if you need them for any preserving.

New Committee members – we welcomed 4 new members to join the committee, Ruth, Mary, Suzanne and Claire. As part of our ongoing planning for the year ahead we will shortly be sending out a small survey to all members, we would be very grateful if you could spend a few minutes on the questions.

Book Group

Book group also continue to meet on Zoom, on October 20th at 8pm.

The book for the next meeting is Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyememi.

Reviews have said that the book sparkles with wit and vibrancy.  Boy, Snow, Bird is a deeply moving novel about three women and the strange connection between them. It confirms Helen Oyeyemi’s place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of her generation.

Boy, Snow, Bird has been well received by the mainstream media but has subsequently been vilified by members of the trans community for having a transphobic ending (“I threw the book across the room”), but we didn’t realise this when the book was chosen by our group.

Solace Women’s Aid

We have been in touch with Solace and they hope to be in a position to accept physical donations towards the end of the year.

However, in the meantime, we could support the women and children living in their refuges by buying gift cards (maximum spend £20) which would enable them to buy what they needed.  With a gift card they can choose items for themselves, in itself an empowering act.  If you would like to donate a gift card to Solace then we are setting up a collection point (email in for details) and then we can send a package of gift cards off to Solace.

September meeting

 

For our September meeting we are joined by Juliana Brustik who will be introducing us to the Feldenkrais Method.

The Feldenkrais Method is a wonderful way to improve your overall mobility, functioning and vitality. For our meeting the workshop will concentrate on helping us learn how to sit with more comfort on a chair (very important in these times of Zoom) and how to improve your turning whilst sitting (equally important whilst driving or on a bike!).

About Feldenkrais

By heightening our awareness of our movement, breathing and posture, the Feldenkrais Method® brings us closer to realising our full human potential. Bringing this into our lives, we learn to move more freely, with greater ease, flexibility and grace. The Method can permanently improve our posture, balance and coordination, awakening our innate capacity for life-long vitality and continuing self-development.

 

About Juliana

Juliana came across the Feldenkrais Method many years ago. She say “ Having the permission during group lessons to listen to myself and follow my own pace whilst exploring some unusual movement connections felt like coming home to me. I experienced a deep release emotionally as well as physically.”

Juliana has worked as a dance tutor, performer and creator for over 30 years in community dance in the UK and abroad. She is also a fully qualified Feldenkrais practitioner.  She has always been interested in exploring various body awareness and somatic methods to deepen her understanding of the body/mind connection, to enhance her creative work and teaching and her overall well being.

She runs weekly classes as well as several workshops a year in and outside London. Clients bring with them a variety of conditions and interests, including Osteoarthritis, Scoliosis, Fibromyalgia, looking for rehabilitation support after knee and hip operations, dancers, sports enthusiasts and musicians keen on improving their performance skills.

We are meeting on Zoom so if you would like to  join us as a guest do email us at debeauvoirwi@gmail.com, first meeting on Zoom as a guest  is free

 

WHATSAPP WI GROUP

We have set up a WhatsApp group for members to keep in touch.  It’s a great way to keep connected and to arrange more spontaneous and intimate gatherings as we are still not yet able to meet at The Crypt, so a number of members have been enjoying impromptu walks, blackberry picking as well as a forum for sharing what we are up to and things that have interested, entertained or inspired us.  If you are a member and would like to  join the DBWI WhatsApp group, you need to have the app on your phone (it’s free to download) and then email us at debeauvoirwi@gmail.com and we will add you to the group.

 

 

BOOK GROUP

Our long running book group will be meeting virtually on 15th September and will be reading Your Duck Is My Duck by Deborah Eisenberg. Email in if you would like to join us but you do need to have read the book.

FLOWER & PRODUCE 2020

 

 

 

As most of you will know, the De Beauvoir Gardeners will not be running their usual, fantastic Flower & Produce Show this year.  However, they are running an event on Sunday September 27th, there will be stalls selling plants and a competition for artists to create works based around Pets, Wildlife and Flowers that will be displayed around the railings on De Beauvoir Square.  All profits from the plant sales will be donated to Hackney Food bank.  We will miss the dog show but hopefully it will be business as usual in 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From De Beauvoir Town (Hackney) Community on Facebook

A new food bank has been set up locally if you would like to drop of any donations.  It is open Tuesday to Saturday 12 – 2pm at 23 Englefield Road. Any surplus will be delivered onto the Hackney Food Bank.

 

Looking for local updates….

 

the De Beauvoir Association who run Party In The Park every year also publish a regular weekly newsletter with loads of fantastic information about what’s going on around De Beauvoir, virtual programmes for both kids and adults and information about Hackney council and local businesses that are operating in new and innovative ways throughout this crisis.

Sign up here at https://www.debeauvoir.org.uk

 

 

Solace Women’s Aid Update

As we are not meeting face to face and as all the Solace staff are working from home, it is not possible to continue with our regular collections for them at present.

They have launched a major fundraising campaign #staysafeathome

You may have seen in the news recently that there has been an exponential rise in domestic violence incidents during this crisis.  Their campaign aims to raise £150,000 to enable them to do everything they can to ensure their doors stay open throughout this worrying time, to make sure women and children can still receive the support they urgently need.

Their refuges are still open and providing life-changing and life-saving support to women with nowhere else to turn,

Their helpline team and all staff are answering the phones so women have someone to talk to and;

Their community advocacy teams are working tirelessly to make sure, no matter where they are, London is safe for women and their children.

You can donate by clicking the link below, any donation, however small, will help them to continue the amazing work they do to keep women and children safe.

https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/12477#!/DonationDetails

 

If you have donated already or are planning to donate you might also like to contact Seedlings For Solace that will match your donation with seedlings that you can then plant out in your garden. You can contact Seedlings For Solace on Instagram @seedlingsforsolace

August Meeting

 

 

The Art Of Foraging

We have been trying to find someone to host a foraging workshop for us for a number of months and were delighted Wendy, a WI sister from East Edge Sisters (East Ham) and a founder of London Bushcraft could join us for a foraging workshop this month. London Bushcraft offers an escape to a countryside experience while still in London with the only bushcraft company based in the capital.

We learnt an enormous amount about foraging for plants with some delightful recipes, foraging tips, gardening tips and the medicinal properties of various plants. Foraging is very calming and excellent for your mental health especially during the recent lock down; Wendy informed us that she regularly visits her local forest, in Epping, to forage and consequently rarely needed to go food shopping during lockdown.  We could look to arranging foraging trips in the future if that is something that you would like to do.

Wendy believes that bushcraft is very much needed in a society that has in some ways drifted away from its ancestral and natural roots. It provides people with an opportunity to connect with the world around them more fully – and sometimes also a part of themselves they have never come into contact with before.

 

 

 

WHATSAPP WI GROUP

We are in the process of setting up a WhatsApp group for members to keep in touch.  It’s a great way to keep connected and to arrange more spontaneous and intimate gatherings as we are still not yet able to meet at The Crypt, so a number of members have been enjoying impromptu walks, blackberry picking as well as a forum for sharing what we are up to and things that have interested, entertained or inspired us.  If you are a member and would like to  join the DBWI WhatsApp group, you need to have the app on your phone (it’s free to download) and then email us at debeauvoirwi@gmail.com and we will add you to the group.

 

 

BOOK GROUP

The next book group is scheduled for Tuesday 15th September, we are reading your duck is my duck by Deborah Eisenberg, book group will be held via zoom.

 

Other news from De Beauvoir WI

We asked our members to think about a design for a square to place on the national WI banner to celebrate the WI centenary in 2021, something to reflect our WI. The size of the patch is A5 (21.2cm by 15cm.)

Our jam making video is still in production but watch this space.

From De Beauvoir Town (Hackney) Community on Facebook

The De Beauvoir Community foodbank is still deliverying locally if you would like to drop of any donations.  It is open Tuesday to Friday 12 – 2pm at 23 Englefield Road. Any surplus will be delivered onto the Hackney Food Bank.

 

Looking for local updates….

 

The De Beauvoir Association who run Party In The Park every year also publish a regular weekly newsletter with loads of fantastic information about what’s going on around De Beauvoir, virtual programmes for both kids and adults and information about Hackney council and local businesses that are operating in new and innovative ways throughout this crisis.

Sign up here at https://www.debeauvoir.org.uk

 

 

Solace Women’s Aid Update

As we are not meeting face to face and as all the Solace staff are working from home, it is not possible to continue with our regular collections for them at present.

They have launched a major fundraising campaign #staysafeathome

You may have seen in the news recently that there has been an exponential rise in domestic violence incidents during this crisis.  Their campaign aims to raise £150,000 to enable them to do everything they can to ensure their doors stay open throughout this worrying time, to make sure women and children can still receive the support they urgently need.

Their refuges are still open and providing life-changing and life-saving support to women with nowhere else to turn,

Their helpline team and all staff are answering the phones so women have someone to talk to and;

Their community advocacy teams are working tirelessly to make sure, no matter where they are, London is safe for women and their children.

You can donate by clicking the link below, any donation, however small, will help them to continue the amazing work they do to keep women and children safe.

https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/12477#!/DonationDetails

 

If you have donated already or are planning to donate you might also like to contact Seedlings For Solace that will match your donation with seedlings that you can then plant out in your garden. You can contact Seedlings For Solace on Instagram @seedlingsforsolace

July Meeting

next month…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo credit: Kayvan Michael Bazergan

 

 

We had an amazing time at our July meeting when Nikki Santilli from Hot Jazz Rag taught us all an energetic Charleston routine. The Charleston was popularized during the 1920s and 30s and we thought this would be a fabulous meeting as we hit the roaring 20s of the next century.   Nikki was an inspiring teacher and had devised a routine including Charleston basics, the aeroplane, the black bottom and bunny jumps.  We all had a great time, dancing in our glad rags in the comfort of our own home.  We also learnt where the origins of the Charleston lay, with dockworkers wanting to let off steam after a hard days work.  Huge thanks to Nikki who also performed the routine expertly for us at the end of the workshop.

 

 

Nikki is an established Charleston teacher and also teaches solo jazz, balboa and lindy hop. She runs a regular social tea dance Paper Moon at Hargrave Hall in Archway and like many of us has taken her business online during this time.  She will be starting a new round of classes at Morley College in September, check out her facebook page Hot Jazz Rag for more information.  These are likely to  be accessible both face to face and on Zoom so we can all keep swiveling….

photo credit: Kayvan Michael Bazergan

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Kayvan Michael Bazergan

 

photo credit: Isabella Ferretti

DON’T FORGET YOUR SUNNIES….
To make our Zoom meeting photos more fun we thought it would be great to have a theme each month. This month we went Pulp Fiction and asked everyone to wear their sunglasses for the screen shot. See our results above…..

SCRUBS UPDATE
After four months of tireless cutting, sewing, organising, collecting and delivering scrubs and laundry bags, the Scrubs For The NHS team are winding down for now to take a well earned break. Obviously if there is another sudden surge in demand we will be springing back into action. To date we have delivered 430 sets of scrubs and 536 laundry bags from over 100 volunteers …what an amazing team effort!

BOOK GROUP
Our long running book group will be meeting virtually on 21st July and will be reading The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. Email in if you would like to join us but you do need to have read the book.

JOAN ALL OVER THE WORLD
The lovely Joan did get us the photos of herself on billboards in Miami, Aukland, London and Melbourne….it’s part of the #sending love campaign, a new global initiative to promote messages of love that unite communities all over the world during the fight against the effects of Covid-19. The campaign is being run by the World Out Of Home Organisation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FABRIC FACE MASKS
At our last meeting we did discuss the idea of making reusable fabric face masks. Our sewers are taking a well earned break at the moment. Stone Rangers WI in Leytonstone are already up and running with this and are donating all the profits of the masks sold to Solace Women’s Aid so if you would like to buy one (or more) then email stonerangerswi@gmail.com

Struggling with the new normal….
If you are self-isolating and need some help getting essential supplies, or just to have a chat you can call the local hub co-ordination team on
07394 075 597
And if you would like to volunteer to be part of the team then email
info@debeauvoir.org.uk

From De Beauvoir Town (Hackney) Community on Facebook
A new food bank has been set up locally if you would like to drop of any donations. It is open Tuesday to Saturday 12 – 2pm at 23 Englefield Road. Any surplus will be delivered onto the Hackney Food Bank.  There is still a big demand for food parcels locally so if you can give anything please do….

Looking for local updates….

the De Beauvoir Association who run Party In The Park every year also publish a regular weekly newsletter with loads of fantastic information about what’s going on around De Beauvoir, virtual programmes for both kids and adults and information about Hackney council and local businesses that are operating in new and innovative ways throughout this crisis.
Sign up here at https://www.debeauvoir.org.uk

Solace Women’s Aid Update
As we are not meeting face to face and as all the Solace staff are working from home, it is not possible to continue with our regular collections for them at present.
They have launched a major fundraising campaign #staysafeathome
You may have seen in the news recently that there has been an exponential rise in domestic violence incidents during this crisis. Their campaign aims to raise £150,000 to enable them to do everything they can to ensure their doors stay open throughout this worrying time, to make sure women and children can still receive the support they urgently need.
Their refuges are still open and providing life-changing and life-saving support to women with nowhere else to turn,
Their helpline team and all staff are answering the phones so women have someone to talk to and;
Their community advocacy teams are working tirelessly to make sure, no matter where they are, London is safe for women and their children.
You can donate by clicking the link below, any donation, however small, will help them to continue the amazing work they do to keep women and children safe.
https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/12477#!/DonationDetails

If you have donated already or are planning to donate you might also like to contact Seedlings For Solace that will match your donation with seedlings that you can then plant out in your garden. You can contact Seedlings For Solace on Instagram @seedlingsforsolace

June meeting

Adventures in Knitting

For our June meeting on 4th we had an inspirational talk from Rosina Godwin, an artist based in South-East England. Her sculptures subvert the nurturing associations of textiles, to explore both gender and feminist issues.

She gave us a demonstration and talk about her work and a short Q & A session. She describes her work and creative process as:-

“Unravelling the nurturing connotations of knitting. My artwork challenges the traditional hierarchy of the arts, by using a craft associated with women’s domestic work. I am interested in the visual language of textiles, and the poetry of juxtaposing opposing materials and characteristics (hard + soft, smooth + hairy, old + new). The talk and demonstration video explore combining unconventional yarns with plaster (dipping, casting, embedding, colouring and adding materials), and other sculptural practices.”

We learnt how to mix plaster and terracotta and how this can be used in incorporating knitting and textiles into sculptural items using various household objects including silicone cake baking moulds.  We really hope to be able to invite Rosina back in the future for a hands on practical session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have seen Rosina’s work when she exhibited at States of Existence, the first exhibition in the new Hackney Well Space. The show featured a range of artworks exploring life’s difficulties, to coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lock Down sharing

Lynn shared a picture of Joan and her granddaughter who had their photo taken by a photographer during lockdown and this will be appearing on Billboards around the world, if anyone catches sight of one, please take a picture for us to share.

We were in awe of Justina’s facemasks – Justina is an artist who creates the most amazing pieces out of various materials, but primarily uses egg shells – do check out her art on Instagram at @jkochansky.  The thorns on the first mask were attached using embroidery.

 

‘Nature’s Way Of Encouraging Social Distancing’

‘Fragile Barriers’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Group
Book group will also be meeting via Zoom on June 16th. We are currently reading Canal Dreams by the wonderful Scottish author Iain Banks who also wrote the classic novel, The Wasp Factory. If you would like to join us please email us for the full details, we do ask that have read the book.

Scrubs update

We have continued to respond to the #fortheloveofscrubs campaign for NHS workers and we have now delivered over 400 sets of scrubs and 500+ laundry bags  to our local NHS hospitals, GP surgeries, the London Ambulance Service and other health care providers. It’s been an amazing team effort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost Pubs of Hackney
If you were at our last meeting you may remember member Suzanne is doing some research on the lost pubs of Hackney. If you can remember any pubs that have now gone and would like to get in touch, Suzanne can be contacted via her facebook page or Instagram
https://www.facebook.com/suzanne.trotter
https://www.instagram.com/strottere8/

And if you fancy learning how to Charleston we will be opening up our July meeting to non members who want to join. 

 

Local Updates and Solace Women’s Aid

If you are self-isolating and need some help getting essential supplies, or just to have a chat you can call the local hub co-ordination team on
07394 075 597
And if you would like to volunteer to be part of the team then email
info@debeauvoir.org.uk

From De Beauvoir Town (Hackney) Community on Facebook
A new food bank has been set up locally if you would like to drop of any donations. It is open Monday to Saturday 12 – 2pm at 23 Englefield Road. Any surplus will be delivered onto the Hackney Food Bank.

Solace Women’s Aid Update
As we are not meeting face to face and as all the Solace staff are working from home, it is not possible to continue with our regular collections for them at present.
They have launched a major fundraising campaign #staysafeathome
You may have seen in the news recently that there has been an exponential rise in domestic violence incidents during this crisis. Their campaign aims to raise £150,000 to enable them to do everything they can to ensure their doors stay open throughout this worrying time, to make sure women and children can still receive the support they urgently need.
Their refuges are still open and providing life-changing and life-saving support to women with nowhere else to turn,
Their helpline team and all staff are answering the phones so women have someone to talk to and;
Their community advocacy teams are working tirelessly to make sure, no matter where they are, London is safe for women and their children.
You can donate by clicking the link below, any donation, however small, will help them to continue the amazing work they do to keep women and children safe.
https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/12477#!/DonationDetails

 

May Meeting

We had 23 participants at our meeting on Thursday, which is over half our membership, so well done to those of you who managed to negotiate Zoom. Our fiendish quiz maestros, Victoria and Nichola had been busy  and devised a mind bending emoji round based on chocolate plus general knowledge and film trivia.  A fun time was had by all. Thanks also to Lesley for hosting and negotiating Zoom

 

 

 

Our May meeting would have been our 6th birthday and AGM.  This has been postponed for now and so your current committee of 5 will stay in place until we have further guidance on COVID and social distancing requirements. Once rescheduled we will hold a vote on committee membership and hopefully share a belated birthday cake.

SCRUBS UPDATE

We are doing well with the scrubs (306) and laundry bags (454) production, many thanks to all our volunteers for sharing their time and skills.

If you’re looking for things to do we still have a lot of space on our WI banner for approximately 6 by 6 inch squares, depicting life in and around the area. They can depict anything and be of any medium that can be stitched to the banner.

We are also thinking ahead to our stall at the Christmas fair. As we will not have our regular fund raising cake stall at the Party in the Park this year our Christmas stall will be our main event. This stall sells all sorts of crafts and decorations made by you, our lovely team of WI sisters, so please put your thinking caps on.

Members shared what they have been up to in the past few weeks since our last meeting, including attending remote jazz; attending virtual church; remote schooling; allotment digging; knitting; ice cream making and lots of other creativity. Theresa showed us her beautifully coloured glass rainbows and other glass decorations.

 

Theresa’s amazing rainbow glass art work

 

Suzanne is doing a local history project on pubs that have now closed over the years, she has a Facebook page and if you have any information about long lost pubs near you please get in touch with her.

Judith recommended listen to Prof David Speigelhalter on the Andrew Marr show now on BBC IPlayer: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08csg28

At the next virtual meeting we hope to have Rosina Godwin sharing her adventures in knitting, which will be a demonstration followed by a Q&A session.

Keep well and safe
Angela and the committee

 

here’s Justina’s beautiful embroidery

 

May Book Group 

Book group will be held on Zoom next Tuesday 19th May at 8pm. There is still time to read the book if you would like to join in. If you want to join, please email us at debeauvoirwi@gmail.com and we will send you the number and password for the meeting. The book is The Mary Celeste Papers by Paul Gallimore.

The Mary Celeste Papers is a mystery novel with laugh-out-loud consequences, which bubble up and explode out of the grit and grime of a dead-end railway depot in England. Every character you meet in the book is fully three-dimensional, with the possible exception of Billy who may even have a foot in the sixth dimension.

#fortheloveofscrubs
If you have been following our social media stream you will know that a lot of our members and the wider community have got involved in #fortheloveofscrubs campaign. The NHS is in desperate need of many things as we hearing daily, but they are also in desperate need of scrubs as staff are having to change their scrubs numerous times over the course of day.

We are coordinating a team of over 90 volunteers from our membership and the wider local community to sew scrubs and laundry bags for the NHS in North and East London, going to hospitals, the London Ambulance Service, local GPs and medical practices.  What a team effort

 

 

 

 

 

 

Struggling with the new normal….
If you are self-isolating and need some help getting essential supplies, or just to have a chat you can call the local hub co-ordination team on
07394 075 597
And if you would like to volunteer to be part of the team then email
info@debeauvoir.org.uk

From De Beauvoir Town (Hackney) Community on Facebook
A new food bank has been set up locally if you would like to drop of any donations. It is open Monday to Saturday 12 – 2pm at 23 Englefield Road. Any surplus will be delivered onto the Hackney Food Bank.

Looking for local updates….

the De Beauvoir Association who run Party In The Park every year also publish a regular weekly newsletter with loads of fantastic information about what’s going on around De Beauvoir, virtual programmes for both kids and adults and information about Hackney council and local businesses that are operating in new and innovative ways throughout this crisis.
Sign up here  https://www.debeauvoir.org.uk

Solace Women’s Aid Update
As we are not meeting face to face and as all the Solace staff are working from home, it is not possible to continue with our regular collections for them at present.

They have launched a major fundraising campaign #staysafeathome

You may have seen in the news recently that there has been an exponential rise in domestic violence incidents during this crisis. Their campaign aims to raise £150,000 to enable them to do everything they can to ensure their doors stay open throughout this worrying time, to make sure women and children can still receive the support they urgently need.

Their refuges are still open and providing life-changing and life-saving support to women with nowhere else to turn,
Their helpline team and all staff are answering the phones so women have someone to talk to and;
Their community advocacy teams are working tirelessly to make sure, no matter where they are, London is safe for women and their children.
You can donate by clicking the link below, any donation, however small, will help them to continue the amazing work they do to keep women and children safe.

https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/12477#!/DonationDetails

If you have donated already or are planning to donate you might also like to contact Seedlings For Solace that will match your donation with seedlings that you can then plant out in your garden. You can contact Seedlings For Solace on Instagram @seedlingsforsolace

Help needed for refugee and asylum seeking children
We have received a request from the Shpresa Programme who are trying to collect old laptops and tablets so that young asylum seekers and refugees can complete online education set out by their schools and colleges in the Hackney area. Shpresa is a community programme that is trying to provide support to vulnerable families during this crisis through both food support and mobile credit top-ups. However they currently have a particular need for laptops and tablets.

Many young asylum seekers and refugees have been left unable to complete their new online education due to lack of access to technology. This has left them at a disadvantage which puts the future of their education in jeopardy and this donated technology will give them the ability to keep up with their learning.

If you can help get in touch with Esme on her mobile 0777 3350018 or at her email ejmadill@gmail.com.

And finally
A lot of our members have been with us since the beginning back in 2014 and will know that every August we decamp to the Scolt’s Head pub for our annual social. Rosie, the manager has always supported us by giving us the back room at no charge, by providing water and arranging snacks, and throughout the year by allowing our posters to be put on their railings. As with all small businesses they are struggling and although we have a policy of not promoting anyone’s business through the WI, Rosie has been so supportive of us throughout the past six years and we wanted to let you know that they are doing frozen meals that can be delivered to you if you live locally. Here’s the link http://the-scolt-head.orderswift.com/

 

April meeting cancelled

As many of you might have presumed, we are sad to inform you that we have had to cancel the next three main De Beauvoir WI meetings in April, May and June. We will be reviewing the situation in June to decide whether our July meeting and our roaring 20s Charleston workshop can go ahead.

With the reality of more people spending time alone or in isolation it is more important than ever to feel a sense of community, if you are working from home, walking through De Beauvoir, crafting at home, baking, creating, reading, gardening….take a picture and send it to us and we will be posting these regularly on our Instagram and Facebook Feed to keep all us connected.

Our community in De Beauvoir has been fully engaged in pulling together at this challenging time. If you are self-isolating and need some help getting essential supplies, or just to have a chat you can call the local hub co-ordination team on
07394 075 597
And if you would like to volunteer to be part of the team then email
info@debeauvoir.org.uk
They are looking particularly for volunteers who may be willing to give some time to manning the phone line and inputting information onto a spread sheet, if you have these skills and are willing to help do get in touch. If anyone has any genius ideas around how shopping etc can be done without the need for cash payment do let them know by emailing the address above

Going Forward…

The De Beauvoir WI BST walking group is on hold until further notice but we hope that we might be able to resume towards the end of the summer period, if not before.

Book group is still planning to meet, probably on a digital platform on April 28th and the book is Girl, Women, Other by Bernadine Evaristo, which won the Booker Prize last year (along with Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments). Check out the Book Group page for final confirmation and full details nearer the time.

SOLACE WOMEN’S AID

Our hope to support Solace Women’s Aid with Easter Eggs for the children cannot now happen as there is no safe central space to drop anything off, we are continuing to communicate with the team there to see if there is anything else we might be able to do for them

Forthcoming Trips

Our trip back to the gravel pits at Rickmansworth to see the new life emerging has been put on hold. However, if you’re going for a walk locally and haven’t visited the Kingsland Basin go check it out as Wildlife Gardeners Of Haggerston who took us round there last year have been busy over the winter months creating new habitats for all the visiting wildlife so expect to see some baby ducks, moorhens and cygnets making their entrances over the next few weeks
The plans to visit the Lavender Fields at Hitchin are on hold for now as we wait to see what the next few months bring. The Lavender Fields are open until the end of the summer however, and if at all possible, we will hope to make it there this year, if not, then there’s always next year.

Most of all, lets look out for each other and find new and creative ways of staying in touch

March Meeting

Next month ….

March Meeting

To mark International Women’s Day we were joined in March by Bee Rowlatt, journalist and author, who talked passionately about her heroine the amazing Mary Wollstonecraft. Bee chairs the Mary on the Green campaign which has been campaigning to memorialise Mary Wollstonecraft in Newington Green, and she is a founding Trustee of the human rights education charity the Wollstonecraft Society.

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights. Until the late 20th century, her life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships for the time, received more attention than her writing. Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her work and her life as important influences.  We learned about Mary’s childhood where she witnessed domestic violence in her home, her travels around Europe, and her time in Stoke Newington establishing a school for girls. Bee has written a book in which she followed Mary’s footsteps on an extraordinary journey in search of her life and legacy that took her to the wild coasts of Norway and elsewhere. It was a fantastic talk and a huge thanks to Bee for coming along and celebrating International Women’s Day with us.

 

 

Wollstonecraft is best known for writing A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.

Plus tea and cake of course.

Thanks to all who brought donations for Solace Women’s Aid, we collect toiletries every month to donate to the women and children living in their refuges and had a bumper package to take to Solace this month.  We will be looking for donations of easter eggs for the children next month, any donation gratefully received.

 

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Our usual knitting and book groups information are on the relevant pages on the website.

March 7th – a group of us are taking the banner on the International Women’s Day March in central London – there is a sign up sheet but if you can’t make the meeting and would like to join us email us at the usual address

April 19th – in the lead up to the start of our BST walking group commencing this year we are taking a trip back to Rickmansworth and the gravel pits to see all the baby birds, more information is on the walking group page

Looking ahead to June and July we are planning a day trip to Hitchen Lavender Fields where we can pick our own lavender and enjoy a lovely day in the country, there will be a sign-up sheet for 2 alternative dates and we will go with the most popular one. Again if you can’t make the next few meetings then do email in to let us know you would like to join us. The dates proposed are June 27th and July 18th. Check out their website at http://www.hitchinlavender.com

 

February meeting

It’s Fabergé for February as we welcome Geoffrey Munn who will be talking about Fabergé in the court of King Edward VII. Geoffrey Munn is a jewellery specialist, historian and writer, best known as a television presenter on the BBC Antiques Roadshow, where he has been a specialist contributor since 1989.

Some of his most notable discoveries include a Saxon gold ring found in the roots of a hedge. At the Black Country Museum in 2017 Geoffrey discovered a study of pear blossom by Carl Fabergé in enamelled gold set with diamonds that he valued at £1,000,000. This was one of only two or three similar discoveries in the entire history of the show. He has written extensively about antiques, including many articles about Gustav Faberge and the art of Fabergé.

The House of Fabergé is a jewellery firm founded in 1842 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, by Gustav Faberge, using the accented name Fabergé. The firm was famous for designing elaborate jewel-encrusted Fabergé eggs for the Russian Tsars, and for a range of other work of high quality and intricate detail.

It’s a busy month for us as we will also be voting on next years resolution shortlist, do bring along your voting slip from WI Life. All the resolutions on the short list are on the campaigns page of the website and in the November/December issue of WI Life on page 24.

We will also be voting on how to use our profits from all our fundraising from last year.

And we will be collecting our usual donations of toiletries for Solace Women’s Aid.

Plus tea and cake, of course.

All our regular winter specialist interest groups are back check the website pages for more details.

 

 

In January we had a fantastic trip out to the world’s first bricks and mortar museum dedicated to vaginas, vulvas and gynaecological anatomy in Camden, to see their Muff Busters: Vagina Myths And How To Fight Them exhibition. If you weren’t able to join us do go along and visit The Vagina Museum at Unit 17 and 18 at The Stables Market, it is such an informative exhibition and it’s free. The exhibition is on until the end of March. Here’s some pictures from our jaunt.

 

January Meeting

 

Next month….

 

 

What a fantastic start to the year as we all explored the creativity and joy of mindful embroidery with Cordwainers Grow, who run community embroidery evenings every Monday at their base in Mare Street. We learnt how to embroider some lavender stems with two simple stitches and also heard how craft activities such as embroidery can have significant benefits in terms of mental health and our capacity to engage in mindfulness through activity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A huge thanks to Debbie and Jacqui from Cordwainers Grow for leading us in the workshop.  Cordwainers Grow are a Hackney based community interest company focusing on connecting people with the natural world in creative and collaborative ways. They evolved out of Cordwainers Garden, a community growing space on land belonging to the London College of Fashion in Mare St. Wanting to make the link with what the staff and students were doing inside the college to the outside, in 2011 they started growing plants for dyeing and to make fibre. The garden closed in April 2019 but Cordwainers Grow continues and they champion community growing in the face of increased competition for space through their involvement with the Union Of Gardens.  We will continue to post information about upcoming events they are involved in on our Facebook page for those that are interested.

 

 

December Meeting

 

December was our annual Brainy Birds Quiz

Our quiz masters  fiendishly devised new categories and rounds for our December meeting which saw the return of our Brainy Birds Quiz.  We had a a fun and festive social rattling our brains as we frantically tried to remember events from the past year. There were prizes.  We ate loads of cake and mince pies while supping mulled wine and desperately trying to remember the whole of the London Underground and Overground system in an attempt to name all the stations representing by the pictures… .  T

We collected a bumper package of gifts for the women and children staying with Solace Women’s Aid this Christmas and also had a hugely successful raffle, all proceeds going to Solace.

 

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

 

 

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.

 

 

December meeting…

… and it’s our annual Brainy Birds Quiz. Our quiz mistresses have been busy compiling fiendish rounds, and we are all looking forward to some quintessential quizzing as we host our regular Christmas Quiz.  Grab a cuppa or glass of wine, a mince pie or two and a pen or pencil, and give your brain a good workout remembering the events of the past year. 

On Zoom at 7.30pm on December 3rd. Email debeauvoirwi@gmail.com for the link if you would like to join us,

Our Zoom themed screen shot this month is white

The De Beauvoir Christmas Trail

Bringing Christmas cheer to our community…

Kicking off at 10am on Sunday 6th December is the De Beauvoir Christmas Trail.  Lots of stalls in front gardens selling everything from bakes, jam and preserves, to ceramics and vintage clothing, olive oil and embroidered goods from Bethlehem, fused glass ware, Christmas decorations and much much more.  There will be stalls selling plants, animal toys, carol singers from the local schools and hot apple juice and hot chocolate to  keep you going as you wander the streets of De Beauvoir supporting your local small businesses and charities and getting your Christmas shopping done.

If the weather is terrible we will postpone to the following week, keep an eye out for any updates on our social media.  We have produced  a map showing you the location of all the stalls which will be available on the day. Scroll through the images below for a taster of the cornucopia of delights that will be for sale on the trail….

SOLACE WOMEN’S AID

We are collecting donations of presents and gift cards for the women and children spending Christmas in Solace’s refuges as usual this year.  If you would like to donate a gift card or a present (maximum spend on both is £20) then we will have a donations box on our stall at the De Beauvoir Christmas Trail along with a collection box for cash donations which we will then buy gift cards with.

We are also donating a percentage of our profits from the WI stall to Solace

AND GET READY FOR JANUARY

We have signed up for the SOLACE 40.

The SOLACE 40 is a challenge to walk, run or cycle 40 miles in January. That’s one mile for each Solace refuge which offers safety and security to survivors of domestic violence.

Every mile goes toward  supporting survivors build safe, strong futures

As we have been missing each other so much we are going to do this as a WI relay, enabling different members to join different sections of the walk and stroll on together.  Lesley, who has been a member since our inception, and who  is a  Clerkenwell and Islington guide has devised a 2 mile walk around De Beauvoir so we can do this in sections with different members joining at different points to walk for as little or far as they want to.  It is obviously a sponsored event to raise money for Solace but if every member was sponsored £10 and joined the walk we would raise nearly £500.  Can you walk (or run or cycle) a mile for Solace enabling them to continue their amazing work – email in if you would like to join us.  We are looking to run this over a couple of weekends in January, dates to  be announced when we have an idea of all who would like to get involved.  You can join us at any point or we can knock on your door to pick you up.

Book Group

After reading Isabel Allende’s Long Petal by the Sea, which is about Spanish refugees from the Spanish Civil War, who are then driven from Chile by the rise of fascism there – and bearing in mind the behaviour of the current president of the United States, we felt it would be appropriate to read Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here.  It was written in 1935, warning about the rise of fascism in Europe.

It is about a vain, outlandish, anti-immigrant, fear mongering demagogue who runs for the presidency – and wins. This is the story of Buzz Windrip who promises poor, angry voters that he will make America proud and prosperous once more; “vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected …He was an actor of genius”.  It’s a cautionary tale of liberal complacency in the face of popular tyranny.  So we thought we’d scare ourselves a bit more.

Please read the book and let us know if you would like to join us at 8 o’clock on Tuesday, 22nd December.