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.
Next meeting on November 1st is line dancing
Hackney: Portrait Of A Community 1967 – 2017
We had a wonderfully information meeting with Laurie Elks from the Hackney Society. Some of us were fortunate to meet Laurie when he gave us a guided tour of St Augustine’s Tower last month and in October he joined us to discuss Hackney: Portrait Of A Community 1967 – 2017 the book The Hackney Society published last year to commemorate the 50 extraordinary years of Hackney’s recent history since the society was established back in 1967. With 50 separate chapters from 50 different authors, the book catalogues the changing face of our borough, from ‘murder mile’ and gang violence to the rebirth of Woodberry Down and Broadway Market, from the closing of Clapton Dog track to the opening of Chats Palace, maternity services, regeneration, the Arcola, the An Viet Foundation, Rock Against Racism and much, much more .
“Of all the outskirts of London, the borough of Hackney is to me, the most interesting, and the least considered”
Sir John Betjeman 1979
Plus a chance to catch up with old friends, make new ones and drink tea and eat cake.
Dates for your diary
Saturday 29th September will be our last walking group this year. Following on from our trip to Eastbourne and our day walking from Birling Gap to Beachy Head (with a lovely pub lunch together) last year, we will be taking a trip out of London for a day long amble in the Essex countryside. Full details will be on the website but initial meeting point will be Fenchurch Street Station.
Monday 15th October – knitting group venue tbc
Tuesday 23rd October – book group will be meeting at Bavo to discuss Jagua Nana by Cyprion Ekwensi
Monday 22nd October is the big group meeting which this year is hosted by N1 Women’s Institute. The venue is St James Hall on Packington Street, N1, 7 – 9pm. It looks to be a very interesting meeting as Dr Hollie Price will be showing some Ministry Of Information films that were originally screened for WI groups during WWII plus a great chance to meet with other WI members from North and East London. We will be sending out more information on this in due course.
As the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness descended upon us, we had a fascinating September meeting as Sarah Calcutt, Operations Director of English Apples And Pears joined us to talk about farming and marketing the glorious apple and pear produce produced in the UK. We learnt about the astonishing advances in fruit farming over the past years, how a new variety of apple comes into being, and even got a sneak preview of three new apple varieties that are in progress, one of which might well be finding its way onto our supermarket shelves in 7 or 8 years time. She was a hugely informative speaker, passionate about her subject and we had some interesting debates about packaging (without current packaging around 40% of produce would end up being wasted through bruising etc although there are major developments around decreasing use of plastic that are ongoing) and the use of specialised equipment to analyse the soil in order to target fertilizer use more economically and ecologically.
It was lovely to see a lot of new faces and old friends at our August get together at the Scolt Head. It was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to catch up with members.
Forthcoming dates for your diaries…
Knitting group – 20th August – this will also take place at the Scolt Head – do come along if you would like to learn to knit or hone existing skills
We have a trip up St Augustine’s Tower on 5th September
Our next stint at the community café in The Crypt is on Friday 7th September, if you would like to help out or fancy cooking something do email in. The community café offers a low cost hot meal between 12 and 2.30pm. All profits currently go to the Hackney Playbus scheme. It’s a chance for local people to meet up and enjoy some home cooked food with friends in a lovely atmosphere.
all details of the groups and events are on the relevant pages on the website
We also have some jam making workshops scheduled over the next month – email in if you would like to join us
We will be running a Domestic Delights stall at the De Beauvoir Gardeners Flower & Produce show on September 16th outside St Peter’s Church on Northchurch Terrace selling jams and preserves and cakes and bakes. If you would like to bake something or make something or help out do let us know at the usual email address.
If you are interested in entering the various categories of the competition you can find all the details here
We had a fantastic hands on craft meeting in July when De Beauvoir artist, Marie Claire Porter brought her potter’s wheel to our meeting. Marie Claire began making ceramics in 2014. Trained as a medical doctor and working in the field of neurology, she is drawn to making pieces that not only have form, but function, fulfilling the need to create something that was both practical and artistic. She talked about her journey from neurology to potters wheel and demonstrated the art of throwing a pot. A number of very brave members got to experiment with throwing their own pots and we all took up the opportunity to make a coil pot. Marie Claire kindly offered to fire our pots and we clearly have a number of budding potters amongst our members looking at the array of items to be taken away to the oven.
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
Just a few images of Jane Lowe’s wonderful marmalade masterclass, images by Lesley Thompson.