Our WI Summer Season and learning about aromatherapy…

If you didn’t make it to last Thursdays meeting you missed out on the delicious smells of lavender, frankincense, nutmeg, and immortelle. Jane Williams gave us an expansive talk about aromatherapy which started with the history of the art of using scent extracted from plants and spices and ended with members giving themselves a personally scented hand massage. We smelled fresh leaves gathered from Jane’s garden, compared varieties of lavender oils (always keep lavender oil handy for kitchen burns) and discovered how to use essential oils safely. We also learned about how Jane helps cancer patients at University College Hospital where aromatherapy is something that helps relaxation and relieves some of the cruel side effects of cancer treatment.

For those of you who want to buy some oils Jane recommends Neal’s Yard and her own favourite Oshadi.

Essential oils and scented plant leaves

Essential oils are extracted from plants and spices.

Thursday also saw the circulation of a host of sign-up sheets for the summers big fund-raising events. The first is this coming Saturday when we are running a cake stall at A Royal Knees-up party in Rosemary Gardens to celebrate the Queen‘s birthday. There will be an afternoon of fun for families including a dog show. We are still looking for cakes so email if you can bake, the WI will refund costs.

Knees-up

The knees-up is followed by another cake stall at Party in the Park on 9th July – again we are looking for bakers and helpers on the stall. Lastly (but this is the big one) – we have agreed to co-produce the Flower and Produce show in September alongside the de Beauvoir Gardeners. The show will be a great opportunity to raise our profile in the area as well as fundraise. We are looking for volunteers from members and their families to help make this community day better than ever.

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de Beauvoir Bunting and Abney Park – a secret wilderness

Hello everyone, in advance of next week’s meeting I thought I would post two picture udpates to keep everyone in the loop about what we’ve been up to.

De Beauvoir Bunting

Last Sunday saw a group of us, plus some kind helpers from the community, take over the hall at St. Peter’s Crypt for a marathon bunting making session. We had a massive amount of fabric donated so a big thank you to everyone who gave their unwanted material – we have enough now for many sewing projects to come. Here are a few pics including a very serious one of me taken by Victoria! You will have to wait until Party in the Park to see the bunting in all its glory.

Bunting 2

Bunting

Bunting 3

 

Abney Park Cemetery

Monday night saw a group of us wrapped up warm (well except for me) meeting at the gates of Abney Park Cemetery for a tour of this wonderful and wild corner of Hackney. We spent a really interesting couple of hours exploring the history of Victorian Hackney through the story of the cemetery and the people buried there. It was fascinating, beautiful and just a little bit spooky. A huge thank you to Justina for organising the event. Please visit, support this haven for wildlife, take part in a course, a tour or one of their upcoming events – full details on their website.

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See you all next week to learn about aromatherapy.

Avril

May Meeting

Our May meeting was our annual AGM and we were celebrating our 2nd birthday. For those of you who couldn’t make it Amanda was unanimously re-elected as our President and the new committee who will support her consists of Julie (treasurer), Angela (secretary), Jacqui, Victoria, Sara and new members Debbie, Lesley and Naomi. Having just stepped down from the main committee myself along with Lisa, Jacquie and Pamela, I appreciate just how much these wonderful girls do to make it all happen – thank you.

There were a few reports on the year which included news of a very healthy bank balance and a list of some of the marvellous things we got up to in our second year. Great speakers, interesting trips, fund raising stalls, knitting, sewing, jam making and most of all lots of new friendships which are at the heart of everything we do. The year ahead is packed with even more than last year so roll up your sleeves girls and get stuck in – the more you do the more fun you have!

We did a lot of business on the night but we’d also been given some lovely colouring books by Pheonix Yard Books and so we coloured pictures as we listened to Sara explain this year’s resolutions. The resolution discussion was always going to be heated and while we all supported a campaign against food waste and agreed dementia needed more resources we also felt that the wording of both resolutions was just not thought through.

Bunting Making

Remember to support our sewing session making bunting on Sunday 22nd May – bring fabric, friends and neighbours (full details here).

 

Community Cafe

The WI is ran their first session of the community cafe today and from all accounts it was a great success. Our members have been incredibly generous with their time for this worthwhile community event and they appear in most weeks in the rota.

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See you soon, Avril x