December Meeting

Get ready for our annual Brainy Birds Quiz

Our quiz masters have been fiendishly devising new categories and rounds for our December meeting which sees the return of our Brainy Birds Quiz.  Join us as we battle the quiz masters to take the prize in a fun and festive social which will see us rattling our brains as we frantically try and remember events from the past year. There will be prizes.  There will be mulled wine, mince pies, tea and cake.  There will be fun and friendship and just a smidgen of competitiveness.

Plus we have a lovely pampering raffle prize with all proceeds going to Solace Women’s Aid.

And we will be collecting our Christmas gift donations for the women and children who will be spending Christmas in a refuge having fled domestic violence. If you are in need of some ideas see below.  £20 maximum per item, any larger items will either be held in the children’s play rooms or distributed, if at all possible unwrapped is best so they have an idea of what the gift is

Ideas for children
Small Lego sets,
Art sets,
Books
Soft toys.

Ideas For teenagers
Headphones
Art supplies
Gift vouchers
Make up
Jewellery

Ideas for women
Toiletry gift sets
Store vouchers

 

Monthly groups, all information is on the relevant pages of the website.

Don’t forget we  have our stall at the De Beauvoir Association Christmas Fair on Saturday (30th November) at The Crypt.  If you have crafted or made something to sell do let us know. If you would like to help on the stall email us at the usual address and do come down for some Christmas shopping, it looks to be a bumper event. Hopefully see you there….

And heads up on our January meeting which this year will be on the second Thursday, 9th January when we will be learning how to embroider a flower with Cordwainers Grow.

 

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…

 

 

 

June Meeting chocolate workshop with My Chocolate

If you are interested in signing up for the challenge of a plastic free July then check out www.plasticfreeJuly.org  where there are loads of tips on how to limit our use of plastic

 

June Meeting

From single origin chocolate to Dutch processed cocoa chocolate has come a long way from the bag of cacao beans Christopher Columbus brought back from South America in the 16th century and the boxes of Milk Tray and bars of Bournville familiar from many of our childhoods.

Long before chocolate was served in bar form it was a drink mixed with honey and spices that was greatly enjoyed by Aztec emperor Montezuma. It is said that he would drink it from golden goblets, before throwing them away, never using the same one twice for his beloved ‘chocolatl’ drink. When Montezuma needed something to fuel his long romantic nights he would drink a goblet of chocolatl before entering his harem, claiming it made his tongue dance, and pulse quicken.

For our June meeting Susie from My Chocolate joined us to take us on a chocolate journey through the history of chocolate, a tasting session and we watched in anticipation as Susie made  a huge bar of chocolate (plus a vegan one) that we all got to taste and take home.  It was a great session learning the art of tempering chocolate, we got to taste 100% chocolate which was love/hate depending on preference and discovered why white chocolate is a nightmare to work with in the kitchen. Thanks to Susie and My Chocolate for a great meeting.

 

just a small piece then….

Plus tea and cake and chat

Dates for your diary

June 20th we are delighted to be joining Living Waterway and Wild Hackney for a free guided tour along the canal and around the Kingsland Basin looking at the wildlife and floating islands that are offering homes to a whole host of birds, butterflies, insect life and more. We are meeting at 7.30pm at the North End of Kingsland Basin, just past Toconoco cafe. The entrance is 20-28 Hertford Road with ‘Norway Wharf’ above the gates. Hope to see you there

Save The Date – Party In The Park festival organised by the De Beauvoir Association in De Beauvoir Square is on Saturday July 6th and we are running the Tea and Cake stall for the fifth year running. We are looking for volunteers to bake cakes and help out on the day so if you have a signature lemon drizzle or are magic at millionaires shortbread and all in between or fancy an hour serving cake to very eager customers at this fun, family friendly event then email us at debeauvoirbakes@gmail.com or let us know at the meeting

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

 

February Meeting

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.