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….

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…

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Tea & Birthday Cake at our 4th Birthday and AGM

In May we celebrated our 4th Birthday with tea and cake and our AGM.  We looked back at all the fun we had last year and enjoyed a wonderful slide show of images from the last 12 months and planned for new and exciting adventures ahead. Thanks to our Middlesex Federation representatives who helped the proceedings go smoothly.  We had a lively discussion and voted on the resolution Mental Health Matters and committee member Sara will be taking our vote to the National AGM in Cardiff in June and will report back at June’s meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Women with The Fawcett Society

2018 marks 100 years since some women gained the right to vote. Although the Beast From The East interrupted our week we were very glad to be able to celebrate International Women’s Day with a talk from The Fawcett Society.  Angie from East London Fawcett came and gave a very interesting and stimulating talk starting with the origins of the Fawcett Society and the suffragists, led by Millicent Fawcett, and gave us an insight into their current campaigns and research around gender inequality.

We had a lively debate following the talk and also had the opportunity to see for the first time our De Beauvoir WI banner which we then proudly accompanied on the March4Women on Sunday.  The banner was then displayed outside the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday 8th (International Women’s Day) and appeared on stage at the Royal Festival Hall at Mirth Control alongside Sandy Toksvig and other inspirational women on Sunday 11th March.