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 our pulses may well quicken as we welcome My Chocolate who will be running a chocolate making workshop, exploring the bean to bar process along with a tasting session followed by a demonstration of how to make chocolate.
Plus tea and cake and chat
Dates for your diary
Knitting group meets on 20th May
Book group meets on 21st May
Walking group will be striding forth on 31st May
Email in if you would like to join us at any of these sub groups
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. Let us know if you are interested in joining us, full details will be given at our June meeting and spaces are limited
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 email@example.com or let us know at the meeting
next month – even more chocolate than this months birthday cake
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
May sees our AGM arrive plus voting on the WI resolutions and a talk on self care for mental wellbeing
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
Coming next month….
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.
March meeting with Hackney Herbal
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.
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
We will be resuming our collections of toiletries for the women in the Solace refuges – bodywash, shampoo, conditioner, etc all welcome
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.