Staunton on Arrow WI has not been able to meet in person at the hall since the March meeting due to Covid 19. Zoom meetings have been held and members have kept in contact via telephone, Whatsapp, email and Facebook messenger. No arrangements have been made to return to the hall as yet with social distancing.
On this occasion the order of the meeting varied from the usual in so far as Penny Platts, our speaker, spoke to us on her subject prior to the business meeting. Penny held everyone’s attention while she talked about her holiday in Iran and showed us numerous very colourful photographs of places she had visited and of local people. We heard of a rather different Iran than that which we hear of in the media: one where foreigners are treated as welcome guests.
There was a good turnout this evening, as members welcomed Mandy Ames of Amanda Jayne Millinery, for a most interesting talk on creating hats and fascinators. Mandy went through in detail the different stages of making a hat and a fascinator, which materials she used and how she manipulated the materials into different shapes. Her beautiful designs were on display for all to see and the highlight of the evening was when members could try on the hats and fascinators. Some designs went perfectly with what we were already wearing!
Some of us went to see Cats the Movie, at the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford. It was a film based on the world-famous musical, Cats. Mixed reviews but there was general agreement that Jennifer Hudson's singing was phenomenal.
The traditional post-Christmas meal this year was held at the beautiful Cider Barn, at Pembridge. Members were able to bring their 'other halves' if they wished and we were greeted with a warm welcome and a glass of juice. The interior of the Cider Barn was spectacular, all exposed beams and rustic décor. Members enjoyed a delicious roast meal and we were all quite full by the end. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Many thanks to Alison Lord for organising such a wonderful experience.
Thirteen members met during the afternoon. During the meeting, subscriptions were paid. If you were unable to attend, please ensure you pay your subscription at the next meeting, on February 12th, thank you. After the meeting, a delicious afternoon tea was served.
The meeting commenced at 7.30 pm. Joint President Sarah Westaby was in the chair whilst Vanessa Woodward took the record. Sarah welcomed 18 members.
Gill Busby gave a very interesting cookery demonstration on making Christmas mincemeat, followed by a quick Tiramisu, which members got to taste at suppertime. We then played Secret Santa Pass The Parcel, whereupon much hilarity ensued. Just before supper, members played Charades. We certainly have a group with a great wealth of knowledge, judging by the swiftly guessed, correct answers!
Finally, Debbie Weaver spoke about how her daughter is raising funds for a voluntary programme called World Challenge, which she will be joining in eSwatini, (Swaziland). Debbie displayed some beautiful, hand made Christmas cards that were available for sale and her daughter is also considering other fundraising, which Debbie will let us know about in due course.
On the 6th of December, 11 members met at The Old Railway Garden Centre at Three Cocks, near Hay-on-Wye. Members enjoyed a delicious Christmas lunch of two mouth-watering courses. The portions were very generous and the roulade pudding was a sight to behold. Afterwards, members perused the garden centre to indulge in a little bit of shopping, well-timed with Christmas just around the corner.
Following the AGM and monthly meeting, Sarah spoke to members about the work of SSAFA and her own earlier role in this charity. Very few members had been aware of how far-reaching this organisation is and the enormous amount of support given to serving personnel, veterans and their families. Sarah's undoubted talents as a speaker held everyone's attention as she explained the intricacies involved in providing this support. Throughout the duration of her talk there was that total silence, always evidence that an audience is totally absorbed and one was left feeling that here was a charity many of us would like to support in one way or another, in the future. Debbie Stokes gave the vote of thanks. During the supper that followed there was further discussion and comment on Sarah's talk.
Seven members went to lunch at The Lion at Leintwardine. The food was wonderful and we all had our fill! Luckily for us, the floods stayed away that day. Thanks to Becky for organising another successful outing.