Warminster and Wylye Valley WI Lite
(formerly Sutton Veny WI Lite)
3rd December - Christmas
This year we decided to do something different for our Christmas meeting. So instead of making Christmas wreaths we had Scottish Dancing!!
It couldn’t have been more different if we tried. Meryl and Marion put us through our paces and were extremely patient when we started to fall about laughing. A few of our members take Scottish Dance classes so at least a few of us knew what we were meant to be doing. After a few practice dances, the steps seem to fall into place and some of the dances looked quite good. We then had a break with mulled wine and mince pies, and the laughter started up again. By the end of the evening we were all sold on Scottish Dancing and Meryl and Marion might be getting a few new members on a Monday night.
5th November - Make Do and Mend
Last night Jen Gale told us about the amazing year of “make do and mend”. She, her husband and her two young boys embarked on a year of “buying nothing new” (with a few exceptions e.g., food medicines etc); Jen worried that the family were all slipping into the “throw away “culture and felt that she needed to make a small difference to the world we live in. Clothes were patched and mended, toys were repaired and items for the house were sourced from free internet sites or charity shops. Jen admitted that it was hard at times, her husband missed his newspaper, she missed being able to buy new boots and the children were somewhat surprised when she said that they were going to make the Christmas tree out of egg boxes!! Jen wrote a blog about her ups and downs and you can read it at email@example.com.
After a break for refreshments, we dived head long into “Swishing” (a way of recycling good but unwanted clothes). Not being quite sure what Swishing was, we started slowly. Soon we were choosing new outfits and saying goodbye to old ones. New homes were found for dresses, shoes, hats and coats.
1st October - Felt making
It would seem that moving our WI Lite to Warminster was the right decision. Our membership is steadily growing with 6 new members joining this month.
For our October meeting we learned how to make felt. Not an easy process as we all found out. Using fine strands of wool and very soapy water, we built up layers of wool and soap. Pressing the layers together in order for them to “felt” was harder than we expected. We all took our felted pieces home to finish off. Hopefully for our November meeting, we will all be wearing lovely felt brooches.
3rd September - Wine tasting
This month we were treated to some great wines from Waitrose, as Andy introduced us to wines from all over the world. We tasted white wines, red, rosé and, as a treat to end the evening, Champagne! He showed us how to sniff the grape, swirl it round the glass to see if it had “legs”, slurp it into our mouths and spit it out. Most of us left out the last instruction and swallowed the wine. While we enjoyed the wine, we also sampled various cheeses and cheese biscuits.
4th August - Ladies' Night
We had a lovely warm evening for our “Ladies Night at the Races” and everyone dressed up for the occasion. Pretty summer dresses, high heeled shoes and hats were the order of the evening. Everyone brought a dish for the picnic and the table was heaving with delicious savouries and scrummy sweets. The winning dish was the Rocky Road Bars which all vanished very quickly. We sat in the garden for the picnic, eating the food and drinking Pimm’s and fruit punch. Afterwards it was time for some horsing around and silly games - Pick up Polo mints on a fondue fork, pin the hat on the lady, pick up cocktail sticks using palm of hand, a dressing up photo booth and a horsy quiz.
2nd July - 70's Night
Well, all I can say after Wednesday night is that the pop scene doesn’t have anything to worry about !! St John’s Hall rang to the sounds of Abba’s Dancing Queen. It took a while to sort out those who had high voices and those who liked to sing in their boots but with a few practices and a cup of tea or glass of wine (the wine helped!), we sang Dancing Queen. Not the best rendition maybe but it was lots of fun.
2nd June - First Aid
Tim from EFA Training gave a very interesting talk on latest first aid advice. He covered what to do if someone is choking and can't breathe, burns and scalds, how to check if someone is breathing and CPR and finally how to use a defibrillator. These are the things that you see hanging on the wall in many public buildings nowadays and are designed to be used by non- clinically trained people - something not many of us had appreciated. Interesting factoid - the success rate for starting someone's heart using a defibrillator is much higher than standard CPR (38%).
7th May - Herb and Edible Hanging Baskets
Our May meeting was held at Lakeside Garden Centre in Crockerton and what a great evening it turned out to be.
Last year we filled our hanging baskets with just flowers but this year we used edible plants and flowers. About 23 ladies turned up with fingers in various shade of green! We watched a short demonstration and then we were let loose to choose our own plants. With some of us using baskets and some pots, we carefully planted trailing tomatoes, strawberries, peas, herbs and edible flowers. The evening finished off with tea, coffee, a shortbread biscuit and a good chat.
Thanks again to Lakeside Garden Centre, we will be back!
2nd April - AGM and Box-Making
Our April meeting was our AGM and as a little light relief, box making.
Mel, our President, gave us a roundup of the varied meetings we have had over the past year. We also raised money for WI Lite by selling bacon rolls and homemade cakes to a Salisbury running club. This past year has seen us change our name from Sutton Veny WI Lite and the location for our meetings to St John’s Church Hall in Warminster. This move has been a very sucessful and we now have an increased membership and a good number of visitors each month.
Two committee members gave up their posts, Tina who has worked hard for us for 3 years and Michelle who has done the same for 2 years. Three new members (Sandy, Nicky and Kathryn) were appointed to take their place.
Dympna, our secretary, keeps us informed by e-mail mostly, of all that is going on for our meetings and for the Federation.
Caroline, our Treasurer, had the accounts audited and was happy to tell us that we are comfortably in the black. The fundraising we do for the running club and the increased membership, allows us to pay for interesting activities.
Verity, who has a craft and wedding dress workshop “Lace is More” at the Ginger Piggery at Boyton, showed us how to make lovely little boxes using folded card. She brought along a wide variety of bits and bobs, buttons, ribbon, lace, etc. to decorate them. It looked very tricky at first but turned out to be quite easy. Some members were so taken with them that they went on to make more.
31st March - Denman Visit
Yesterday we joined other members of the WI, from different areas of the country, on a visit to Denman College. Denman, established in 1984, occupies the former Marcham Park near Abingdon in Oxfordshire. The College offers visitors and students the opportunity to experience the pleaseure of short-term residential learning in a supportive, comfortable and inspiring environment.
Our day started, after coffee and biscuits, with a cookery demonstration from Mr Peter Lien. An excellent chef who had mastered the art of mulit-tasking! See the picture below. (Herb stuffed Plaice, Lamb with Ras Al Hanout and giant couscous and Ricotta and Blueberry Hotcake with Passionfruit Curd.) We were then treated to a two course lunch, with wine and more coffee and tea. After a tour of the teaching rooms and the beautiful en-suite bedrooms we were offered more food! A cream tea. We travelled home on the coach thinking which course we fancied trying.
5th March - Jewellery Making
For our March meeting we invited two lovely ladies from "Beads with a Twist" to show us some of their skills in jewellery making. They brought with them a selection of kits to make beautiful bracelets, necklaces and ear rings. Our task for the evening was to make a rather complicated looking bracelet. We had an array of pliers and tweezers and a small hammer. The kit contained short lengths of silver wire and numerous small silver rings as well as some glass beads. The art of twisting the straight wires into figures of eight was a skill that most of us found we did not possess! With some instruction and a few muttered words we all had our silver 8’s. The next job was to connect the 8’s to the glass beads using the small rings. We thought the 8’s were difficult well the little rings had a life of their own. After a lot of crawling under tables to retrieve rings, we finally had our bracelets joined together.
5th February - Richard Bertinet, Chef and Baker
We welcomed Richard Bertinet the famous French chef and baker based in Bath, and his assistant, Danny Hipkiss, to our February meeting. Richard enthralled us with his historical knowledge about early baking methods in France and how things have changed very little in the past 300 years. He spoke of the importance of using the best ingredients, strong flour, fresh yeast and good quality sea salt are part of his philosophy. He grew up in a family who put great importance in good bread and told us tales of pinching dough while his grandmother baked.
We watched him make a batch of bread dough using a metal bowl and a small scraper (no hands were used in making this dough). He made it look so easy, which is what experts do. We were all inspired to go home and make bread but I suspect that some of us will not find it as easy as he made it look!
If you want to find out more, see Richard's website.
15th January - Skittles at The Organ Inn
A wet and windy evening didn't deter 10 of us from turning up at the Organ Inn, Warminster for a game of skittles. Once Cate had introduced us to the "rules" of the game, we gave it a go. For most of us this was only our second attempt at the game so anything could happen. Some of us showed great skill getting balls to miss the skittles completely! While others sent the skittles flying in all directions. By the end of the evening, Caroline was declared the winner with Nicky and Dympna as runners up. Maureen, on the other hand, even after changing her throwing arm, came last!!