Last Autumn, I was flittering about on Twitter looking at who followed who, and trying to work the whole thing out.. During this time, I found, through my favourist bar Epernay a group called ‘Buns and Roses’. I had a giggle to myself, then clicked onto their website.
In the village where I am from, there is a WI. I had never seen them, and I didn’t know who was in it. All I knew was they had a ‘banner’ in the Church with a picture of the Virgin Mary on it, and a table in the Parish Hall covered with a cloth that we, at Gymnastics, were not allowed to touch. This left me with a certain impression of what a Womens’ Institute was, that I’m sure is a common conception across the nation..
But this WI group – Buns and Roses – were different. For one thing, they met in the Centre of Leeds in the ‘Rhum Room’ of Mojo’s Cocktail Bar. And it was as if they were created specifically to gain my attention – Cake, Cocktails and Creativity! I knew that I had to go along..
I gave the President, Georgie, a text to let her know my intention to go along to the next meeting. In the meantime, I visited a little Boutique that Buns and Roses said they were friends with, that I had never even known about in the city. (Now, sadly, no longer with us..) I love it when I discover new parts of the city I have spent my last 6 years in.. I met the proprietors, and had a wonderful time chatting to them, then skipped off to Epernay full of enthusiam for Leeds.
It was there I was telling Nate about these wonderful people I had met, and all through a WI group I’d not yet been to!
“Oh I know Georgie,” He said. “She’s one of my best mates. She’s absolutely mental – you’ll love her!”
And that I did. And everything she, and the other committee members do for that group. I’m even singing at her wedding next April! Since discovering the group last year, I have: cake-decorated, pattern-cut, made a fascinator, learned how to blanket stitch, folded origami lillies, been running the Buns and Roses choir, arranged ‘Jerusalem’ to fit with a Guns and Roses classic, gained new singing pupils, learned how to make Christmas hampers, and last night I ran a ‘Voice Confidence’ workshop for the group.
The WI have been wonderful to me – I officially joined up in January, and since have had many a ‘WI Life Magazine’ arrive on my doorstep to keep me in all the flowery gilets and Saga cruises I could ask for. But more than that, the WI members I have met are amazing women, full of support and encouragment, whilst often introducing me to more wonderful people and places. They’ve drank cocktails with me when I needed cheering up (Georgie), provided gossip and laughter after work, introduced me to the idea of making/adapting my own clothes (Zoe, and Elly), taken me to crafting events and introduced me to people like the Culture Vulture (That’s Elly too!), hosted card-making workshops (Gemma) and done so many other things I can’t list them.
I can honestly say that joining the WI has been one of the best things, if not THE best thing I have done this far in 2010, and I know it’s only going to get better.
Thank you ladies! Now, lets have some more cake. 🙂