It started on Valentines day when De Beauvoir woke up to find the cycle path outside St. Peters had been yarnbombed. The bollards had a knitted cover and the newly planted trees either side where decorated with knitting and hearts. Anyone who saw it felt very loved.
Next up was International Women’s Day when the other end of Northchurch Road, on the junction of Southgate, was decorated with tiny pink pussy hats and the slogan of this year’s theme: ‘Be bold 4 Change’. No-one has yet owned up to being the mysterious knitter (or more likely knitters) and the secret is causing a stir. Local press coverage rang up our WI looking to solve the mystery of the Banksy style yarnbombers. Whoever they are – they can certainly knit! #debeauvoirk2p2
Our December meeting was a Dementia Friends session. We learned a little more about what it’s like to live with dementia, how we can make a difference and help to create a dementia friendly community.
Our AGM also marked our first birthday so we celebrated with wine and a fabulous cake by our very own superstar baker Sara Lawrence. We had lots of ‘business’ to attend to but the meeting was still well attended and what could have been very dry was actually a warm and chatty social evening. I’m not going to bore you with all the details but here are the bits you might want to know. We are solvent! Amanda is re-elected as our president and we have a new committee of ten.
As a group we discussed and voted in favour of the 2015 Annual Meeting resolution which Failing to care – assessment of need in long term care. The resolution is specifically about continuing care which is funded by the NHS and gives free long term care to people with complex and ongoing healthcare needs requiring full time care. It is about making it simpler for people to access this package and looking at the assessment criteria to make the process fairer. It opened up a much larger discussion about the state of social care in the UK and the combination of NHS and social care into one body.
We have decided to support a local charity and Sara and Jacquie have done a lot research – presenting us with various options over the last few meetings. We voted on Age UK (East London), Headway (East London), NIA, CARIS and Dalston Curve Garden – details of all of them can be found on our campaigns page HERE. The winner was the women’s aid charity NIA.
Sara also drew our attention to two things we might like to get involved with on a personal level. Next week is Mental Health Awareness Week and there is A Pause/Mindfulness event at Dalston Curve Garden on 13th May (click here for details).
This is followed by Dementia Awareness week and the campaign to educate people about dementia through the Alzheimers Society becoming a dementia friend programme (click here for details).
Jacqui James has organised for us to have a private view of local gardens who are part of the National Gardens Scheme on Monday evening, 1st June – (click here for details and to book).
There are a lots of local and london-wide events, competitions and centenary celebrations listed on our Around de Beauvoir, Federation and NFWI pages. If you want to find out about afternoon tea in the Crypt, picnics in Hyde Park, open air theatre in Perivale and a literature festival in the beautiful Abney Cemetery please check out these pages.
Next month’s meeting is a practical session where we will learn about needle felting – and have a go ourselves! See you then.
The March meeting was most interesting, in two parts.
To begin, Jacquie Campbell gave us an important insight into the work of Target Ovarian Cancer, as this is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. Vital for all women to watch for, the disease is known as the Silent Killer, as symptoms are so difficult to diagnose. You can read more about it HERE.
After a short break (for Vinvixen wine from Julie and delicious nibbles by Avril & Sara), Martin Usborne told us about the Hoxton Mini Press and its work here in the East End of London. Martin is a photographer, so all the books are beautifully illustrated. The principal work he discussed was based on the life of Joseph Markovitch, who had lived more that 86 years in Hackney, which was fascinating . In all his life Joseph left London only once, to go to the seaside with his mother; he loved Nicolas Cage, took five sugars in his tea, worked in a factory and dreamt of being a ballet dancer… This is the real EastEnders – the story of an individual life and a portrait of Hackney as it has evolved over almost nine decades.
Martin then went on to show us some more Hoxton Mini Press titles: Mothers & Babies (less than 24 hours old); Silent Dogs in Cars and Vintage Glamour. The last was a selection of wonderful photographs of Jewish weddings from the 1930’s.
For those of you who have had people look puzzled when you say you are going to the WI this article in The Guardian sums up what we are about and how relevant we are! http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jan/17/safe-sex-and-jam-womens-institute-100
The De Beauvoir WI has received a plethora of emails with interesting bits and pieces, so we thought we’d do a little round-up of news items for you…
Bio Hazard Public Meeting: This Saturday at London Fields
Katharine Hamnett CBE invites you to a public meeting held at : http://www.pubonthepark.com/ on Saturday 17 May at 12 noon (go to the tented area). For those of you who use London Fields, this makes very scary reading: LONDON FIELDS BIOHAZARD
Knit ’n’ Crochet Group
If you want to join other DBWI members at the Knit ’n’ Crochet group, details of the first meeting are posted on the group’s page here.
And you might like to know that there is a new Women’s Institute wool available from Hobbycraft, with a donation going to NFWI.
Kirsty Allsop’s Presents The Handmade Fair at Hampton Court
All things craft-based – workshops, talks by experts and ‘grand makes’ with fellow enthusiasts. September 19-21. (If anyone would like to organise a DBWI outing to the show, let us know). Full details here.
Lady Denman Poetry Competition 2014
WI members are invited to write a poem based on the theme ‘What My WI Means to Me’. The poem may be comical or serious and written in any style but must reflect and explain the individual’s personal feelings or experiences. The competition title must be used as the poem’s header. There is no restriction on the number of words used. Entries are via the Middlesex Federation, who will submit their chosen poem to the NFWI. If you’d like to enter, please send your poem to debeauvoirwi by July 31 so that we can forward it.