Wycombe Wenches WI
Welcome to our roundup of Wycombe Wenches WI life during the Global Pandemic. We are in a very similar place to where we were in March, with the new four-week Lockdown, social distancing at all times and now the compulsory wearing of face Coverings. As ever though we stoic WI ladies have found ways to keep ourselves busy, active, positive and sociable.
Many have continued with their journey into the world of technology. learning new skills and jargon. The general WhatsApp group has been invaluable for this, with questions like help! my printers stopped working! After several members offered advice and suggestions via the App, the printer drivers were successfully updated and hey presto! The printer worked again. This is the type of ongoing support we have been giving each other over the last 9 long months, on every topic from gardening, technology, food preservation etc.
Even in these strange times of our ‘new normal’ we were delighted to welcome one new member to our WI. We would welcome any ladies who would like to give the WI a go to get in touch and join us. The fees are reduced until April next year.
Our monthly meeting in September welcomed speaker Carla Phillips whose talk was called " Travellers Through Time” which connects the public to our shared history through inspiring and engaging experiences. She spoke enthusiastically to us via Zoom about the lives led by Greek Women. She specialises in introducing people to the history that is all around them and encourages practical skills and critical, independent thinking. This is a positive about meeting virtually, we can listen to speakers from all over the Country not usually accessible to us in regular, face to face meetings.
Our October meeting welcomed Hazel Bandon, Senior Community Fundraiser from Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Rennie Grove provides end of life care for adults, care for children with life limiting illnesses in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire and runs a day care hospice in St Albans. They provide nursing care and support to families every day of the year at no cost to the patient. This is an expensive service to run and only 12% of the running costs are met by the NHS, the remainder being provided by fundraising and bequests. Prior to Hazels’ very informative talk we held our Annual Meeting, welcoming three new ladies onto our Committee for the coming year.
Our November Meeting marked Wycombe Wenches 9th Birthday, we had party hats, balloons and birthday banners as our backgrounds for the zoom meeting, but sadly could not share the birthday cake we normally consume in November! Our meeting had a practical activity this month, members had all received a card making kit and set about making a Special 3D Christmas Card under our Presidents leadership.
We are very fortunate to have an incredibly imaginative and active committee, who have worked tirelessly to come up with regular activities for our members to enjoy on zoom.
The Cinema Club watched Red Joan, starring Judi Dench, each in their own homes with a discussion via WhatsApp afterwards. We are voting for our favourite festive film on Netflix for December gathering. Jingle Jangle is way out in front at the moment.
The Book Club have enjoyed reading "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah, a story of bravery, courage, fear and love in a time of war. It was a great page turner.
September’s Supper Club involved eating, drinking and chatting along a theme of Harvest. October’s theme was Asian cookery and involved a quiz about Asian foods and ingredients. Most recently, November’s theme was an alphabet supper, where each person was given a letter to base their supper dish around and we were asked 26 food-based questions. Each answer began with a different letter of the alphabet.
In this ‘new normal’ we continue to have a Zoom get together on a Friday afternoon at 2pm, where our Additional Activity Chair, Judith, has come up with some fabulous activities that have proved very popular, we have played the Scattergories game, Play Your Cards Right, a Music from the Movies quiz and another where we brought a photo or item to discuss, that reminded us of an interesting holiday we had experienced. These afternoons are most enjoyable, along with a cuppa and lots of laughter we really get to know each other.
Our ladies who enjoy the gardening WhatsApp group have been busy sharing photos of their gardens in bloom, getting advice from each other with any horticultural problems they may have,, along with ideas of gardens to visit and shared photos of local National Trust gardens visited
Our Creative Wenches have continued meeting on a Thursday with knitting, nattering, sewing, cooking demonstrations, pumpkin carving, and nature tables created. We really do have some very talented crafters in our WI.
You can find us on Facebook at wycombewencheswi and our website, wycombewi.weebly.com. We update both of these regularly with news and dates of activities. Hopefully with the introduction of a vaccine in the New Year we could possibly begin to think of meeting again in our hall at Totteridge Community Centre. However, until that time you would be most welcome to join us now in our virtual, online world. It really is great fun!
Susan Dawson and Helen Speakman
Terriers Evening WI
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone but after one hundred years, through two world wars, four monarchs and numerous changes of government, it takes more than a global pandemic to keep the WI down.
Despite being unable to meet in the usual way WIs both nationally and locally have continued to keep in contact via telephone and social media and have kept the spirit of the WI alive. Terriers Evening WI helped to contribute to the national effort to produce PPE by stitching scrubs and supporting friends and neighbours locally as well as regular communication with members.
We had been due to recommence meetings at Cedar Park School in October but hopes were dashed at the last minute as the virus began to make a comeback . We did manage to achieve a short al- fresco meeting in August when a number of intrepid souls met up on Kingshill Common. The weather, however, did not cooperate and a sudden thunderstorm left sodden members rushing for shelter.
November is by convention the month for each institutes annual meeting and 2020 was to be no exception. Terriers Evening moved into untrodden territory with a very successful Zoom meeting.
Many members acquired new skills that night, often to the amusement of the others as we mastered the art of the webcam. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to see familiar faces and catch up with old friends. By general agreement it was decided to hold a “virtual” Christmas party in December.
We had been uncertain of what 2021 would bring and when we would be able to hold a full meeting at Cedar Park School but, at time of writing, the the news of the successful development of a Covid vaccine has been received. Although early days yet, hopefully, this will hasten a return to a full program.
In normal times meetings are generally held on the first Thursday of every month at Cedar Park School, Cedar Avenue, Hazlemere. New members would be very welcome in 2021, or come along, as a visitor, for a free taster session For more information please call Celia Carter on 07538 200933.