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

October Meeting

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.

 

 

 

 

Throwing Pots

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Fab Hatter

In April we had a fabulous time with J Smith Esquire, De Beauvoir’s new milliner, whose wonderful creations can be see through the windows of his establishment on Southgate Road.   Justin Smith graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in millinery after studying the discipline for 6 years. He started his own label, J Smith Esquire in 2007 following the critical acclaim of his  graduation show and since then, alongside designing his own collections, has also collaborated with high end fashion designers and created exquisite pieces for art installations and for television and film.

He brought a wonderful collection of his latest hats and we got the opportunity to try on some beautiful, high end millinery, thank you Justin for being so generous with your time and sharing your knowledge and your amazing hats with us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s it worth?

What a fabulous start to the year as  we welcomed Nicola Whittaker from Fellows Auctioneers.  Fellows is a family run firm and Nicola is a sixth generation member of her family to join the business and she began working in the auction house aged 16 in her school holidays.  Fellows are based in Birmingham but have an office in Mayfair, London where Nicola now works. Specialising in jewellery and watches, she explained that unlike many other auction houses, they do not put a lower price limit on items they auction.  Passionate and informative she took us through a whistlestop tour of the history of jewellery, how changes in society emerged in changing aesthetics, and how things changed further as exploration, excavation  and gem cutting equipment developed. She was so generous with her time and her knowledge and  spent a further hour with us looking at the treasures members had brought in and giving us information on origin , history and potential value.    She also mentioned that that Fellows have open afternoons where anyone can go and peruse the items up for auction so we are thinking we may plan a trip there. If you are interested in coming along email us at debeauvoirwi@gmail.com 

 

 

 

 

Decorate A Christmas Cake

 

 

 

 

From pretty in pink through the night before Christmas and all manner of festive fondant foliage inbetween, we rolled, crimped and decorated a whole host of Christmas cakes at our December meeting. Icing sugar flying while we indulged in a seasonal glass of wine and munched on mince pies, a wonderful array of completely individual cakes exited the building at the end of the night.

A huge thanks goes to our talented  member, Lynn Brooks for guiding us through the art of working with fondant.  Here are some pictures of just a handful of the creative concoctions that emerged throughout the meeting plus a lovely picture of Lynn showing us the ropes.

 

An additional thanks to all from our membership and our community who donated gift sets for the women at Solace Women’s Aid refuge –  see above for just a portion of all the gifts that were delivered to Solace …