Debauchery in De Beauvoir? For our September meeting we enjoyed a hugely entertaining and informative talk from Eleanor Bloom about Georgian London and the culture of gin houses and the darker side of the East End. How the madness associated with gin was due to a blight on the grain and why they really wore those stupendous wigs. We also enjoyed some delicious gin cocktails and a lemon and cucumber cake with gin icing.
Plus Jessie from Solace Women’s Aid told us more about the work they do with women and children fleeing domestic violence and explained how our monthly donations are used in the welcome packs they give every family arriving at the refuges they run across London
We had a great time when we welcomed award winning comedian, journalist and actress Samantha Baines when she came to do her latest stand up show about amazing women who have been ignored by the history books. We wish her the best of luck at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.
Our May meeting was our AGM where we decided on our new committee and voted on which of the resolutions the national federation will take forward. We also had a talk from Karen Moloney about her experiences of being a founding member of the Women’s Equality Party.
A few crafty pictures from our February meeting where we welcomed Ugandan and English inspired fusion brand AfroRetro:
For those of you who missed our January meeting, local designer Ella Doran came to discuss incorporating the “circular economy”, recycle and reuse, into her business. Afterwards she taught us all to make pretty gift bags out of recycled newspaper, double-sided tape and ribbon.
On Thursday 6th October Alex Nunn, from Action for Happiness, led us on an inspiring and interactive exploration of what really matters for a happy and meaningful life. The evening was filled with personal insights and as usual the women of De Beauvoir opened their hearts to trying to make a difference.
Ten Keys to happier living:
GIVING – do things for others
RELATING – connect with people
EXERCISING – Take care of your body
AWARENESS – Live life mindfully
TRYING OUT – Keep learning new things
DIRECTION – Have goals to look forward to
RESILIENCE – Find ways to bounce back
EMOTIONS – Look for waht’s good
ACCEPTANCE – Be comfortable with who you are
MEANING – Be part of something
For those of you who missed Party in the Park here are some pictures of our hugely successful tea and cake stall. Huge THANKS to everyone who baked, helped, organised, served and cleared up. Congratulations to the De Beauvoir Association for another brilliant community event. We would also like to give special thanks to two local sponsors, Biscuitea on Southgate Road and De Beauvoir Deli for their generous (and professional) donations.
Queue for £5 a box of a cake at the end of the day
De Beauvoir WI tea and cake stall, Party in the Park 2016
De Beauvoir WI members
Biscuitea donated these two amazing cakes
Goats cheese and red pepper palmiers
Mascarpone and summer fruits cake
Lemon and chocolate cup cakes
Something for everyone
Sarah and Nichola setting up
For those of you who missed July’s meeting – it was a cracker! There was more about baking but this time is was all about bread. Ben Mackinnon described how he founded artisan bakery E5 Bakehouse, in the corner of a railway arch in London Fields in 2011. The bakery has enjoyed huge success and the popularity of sourdough bread has spread but although he now employs 46 people he still runs the business along strong sustainable and ethical principals. Not least deliveries – which are only by bicycle – limiting them to Hackney restaurants and delis. Ben talked with passion, expert knowledge and candid good humour as we fired question after question at him. For those of you interested here is my own blog post on sending my husband to an E5 Bakehouse workshop for his birthday.
Nia – Ending Violence Against Women
We had another speaker at July’s meeting – the wonderful Heather Harvey from Nia, our chosen charity in 2015. She talked about the work that they do and the wide range of projects they run which range from a rape crisis support line to helping women exit prostitution. Small charities like Nia, which do so much to try to change the lives of frightened and vulnerable women and girls needs as much good PR and support as possible. One small thing that we can all do is vote for Nia in the Adiah Antigha Community awards, please show your support by voting for them through this link. I think many of us felt that their work was something that we could all help to promote and I am sure we will be discussing how we can help do this in the future.
August – Pub meet up
We don’t meet in the Crypt in August because it tends to be quieter due to summer holidays. We have a social instead and we are meeting in the back room at the Scolt Head at 7.30pm for a good old natter. It’s a great opportunity to discuss ideas for future speakers and WI resolutions so if you have ideas bring them along. Members get one glass of wine on us.