This evening the WI members listened to a talk about Calibre, the talking books library for the blind in Weston Turville. I think we were surprised at the size of the organisation which answers the needs of people of all ages across the whole of the UK. There were 3 visitors and a good attendance and everyone had mastered the new security gate. A presentation was made to a member who had joined 60 years ago as soon as she was allowed to do so. Arrangements are going ahead for all the events that have banked up for the end of March and plans are in hand for an outing to Alexandra Palace for the WI Fair and our WI bursary expedition on midsummer day. Members were pleased to hear that the Bucks’ resolution was going to be put forward at the NFWI meeting in Liverpool.
Almost a full house at the Book group this afternoon when we discussed “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd. Everyone had enjoyed reading this novel which was both amusing and thought-provoking. It was set in South Carolina in the time of civil unrest when the USA was trying to eradicate the colour bars in its society. We learned a lot about bee-keeping as we followed a young girl’s recovery from feelings of guilt about her mother’s death. The characters were all wonderfully described and totally believable.
The members of the group had enjoyed a celebratory tea at the local garden centre on St. Valentine’s Day.
The Happy Stitchers gathered together to sew and crochet. The learners are making progress and some are attempting real projects now, using the stitches which they have been practising. A single bedcover is nearing completion and one member is on to her second crocheted hat. Flowers for accessories and a matinee jacket are all under construction. People who want to do other things with needles are welcome but at the moment the most popular activity seems to be crochet.
The discussed topic for the group this month was the re-introduction of species that had either become extinct or were severely endangered. Living in Bucks we are reminded daily of the growth of the red kite population and enjoy watching them gliding across the sky. Again locally, we have muntjacs in our gardens and on the roadsides. These were introduced according to plan. Great Bustards, wild boar and mink are now living in certain areas of the UK. Parakeets in London parks and the rise of the grey squirrel were unplanned or accidental. We also considered that there were many opportunities for the law of unintended consequences to kick in and we thought about the dangers to other species when the ecosystem is altered. It was an interesting discussion which was far-ranging, taking in the damage from Himalayan balsam plants to bison and the possibility of recreating mammoths into the highlands of Scotland.