It was hard to believe that we were in the midsummer month as we paddled across the car park against a strong cold wind for our meeting, but it was lovely and warm inside. The talk was about hedgehogs and very interesting it was too. We learned that they are an endangered species: the population has fallen drastically in recent years. The speaker maintained that this wasn’t climate change so much as that they cannot build up enough body weight to last the winter and they are subject to a nasty virus which further weakens the young. He described his work in Brackley all the while cradling a live hedgehog, just one of 200 he has at home. Andrew Jackson urged us to look after those we find in our gardens.
We heard that the Bucks amendment for the national resolution on food poverty had been dismissed by NFWI but that other federations had also had theirs dismissed so this motion may not be the straightforward success the proposers had hoped. Arrangements were made for the WI’s role in the town’s birthday celebrations for the Queen. The draw for 2 bursaries this year for Denman College took place. A suggestion that the local WI gives a sizeable donation to the College Appeal was approved by the members present but enquiries need to be made on how we can manage the transfer of funds according to the rules of the WI and the Charity Commission.
I notice the WI is in the news again. First because of the minor unrest at the proposed withdrawal of “Home Fires” from the TV and also because of the reprint of a history of the WI by Maggie Andrews “The Acceptable Face of Feminism”---just in case you go to look for it, Bucks County Library hasn’t got a copy!
The local WI Book Group has enjoyed reading William Boyd’s spy thriller “Restless”. The plot was very complicated, full of bluff and counter-bluff with a fair amount of dead bodies littered along the way but it was completely believable. The heroine’s experiences in World War II alternated with the build-up to the final reckoning in 1976. The characters were well drawn and the two periods clearly described right down to the clothes and popular music of the times. We have read several novels by William Boyd and never been disappointed.
This morning at the home of one of our members there was a coffee morning in aid of A21 which is a charity working in Greece to help the Syrian refugees blockaded at the Macedonian borders. A table top sale of belts, handbags and scarves helped to bring in extra funds. Even though WI members are not allowed to discuss party politics or indeed the Referendum, there is nothing to stop them raising money for people at home and abroad who are adversely affected by political decisions made by others.
It was a small turnout for the craft group this afternoon but everyone was busy on some project whether it was knitting, crochet or sewing. Those that had attended the recent meeting at Cheddington, “From glad rags to kinky boots” had really enjoyed the day and gave an enthusiastic report to the others. We also heard of the holiday experiences of one of the group which had brought her up close to the problems of the refugees in the Mediterranean---not just the human suffering but also the responsibilities of the ships plying across its waters.