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.
Osteopathy for Heath
We enjoyed a highly informative meeting in June when Sundip Balraj Singh-Aujla, a registered osteopath joined us to talk about women’s health, the importance of correct posture and how to maintain a healthy pain free posture. We learnt about the importance of sleep, nutrition and movement in maintaining a healthy body and healthy bones, along with the benefits of making exercise like yoga and Pilates an integral part of our lives to help us maintain pelvic and spinal stability. And we also leant how osteopathy can help in health maintenance and injury prevention. Thank you Sundip for a enlightening evening.
It was also a big voting month. At the NFWI AGM in Cardiff in early June the 2019 resolution Mental Health Matters was passed with a 98% YES vote from members. There will be a fuller report from the day posted on our campaigns page over the next couple of weeks.
We also voted on what we might do with our surplus from our fundraising activities last year, buttons were placed in jars and the tally was equally split between Bloody Good Period, the Freedom Club and financing a craft meeting for members.
Next months dates for your diary
July 7th is our big fund raiser for the year, Party In The Park, taking place in De Beauvoir Square between 2 and 5pm. We are running the Tea & Cake stall for the fourth year running and are looking for people to help with baking and also for help on the day. It’s a fun afternoon for all the family. Get in touch if you are willing to bake and/or help at the usual address.
10th June Processions March in Central London where we will be taking our banner on another trip out to celebrate 100 Years of some women getting the vote.
Plus on 30th June we are having a Girls Day Out with a trip to Bletchley Park.
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.
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
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.