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….
We are still hoping that the De Beauvoir WI BST walking group can start walking again (albeit at a distance) on the last Friday in April, 24th, full details will be on the walking group page but we hope to saunter around Victoria Park.

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
We are still planning our donations of easter eggs and toiletries for the women and children currently in the refuges run by Solace. As we will sadly not be meeting as a group we have arranged a drop off point for any donations in the centre of De Beauvoir – if you have donations you would like to contribute then send us an email and we can let you know the drop off point, usual email address debeauvoirwi@gmail.com

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.