A blog recording the thoughts of a mum of one who does a lot of voluntary work because it's more fun than resuming her career and is a bit worried about the state of the nation.

Thursday, 12 May 2011


I have finally made it to a meeting of the new local WI set up by my friend J after no-showing at the first two.

I find the pub heaving with all sorts of women that I know a bit from various phases of my life in the suburb (play group, school, ballet), and lots that I don't. Apart from having a drink and chatting, we have all come to hear a talk and try to get our heads around what it means to be at the WI really and not ironically.
I tell a member of the committee, who are all wearing hand embroidered name badges, that I grow a lot of fruit on my allotment but don't have much idea how to make jam. She says "I will take your subscription but they have very nice jam in Tescos."

The speaker is semi-famous. She used to present one of those iconic property shows where couples are taken somewhere they've never been before but might just conceivably want to move their whole lives to, and shown a series of derelict barns on a hillside full of goats, or luxury villas with artificial grass depending on their budget. She was unlucky enough to relocate to the suburb rather than to a Tuscan palazzo, and to employ one of the committee's husbands as her painter and decorator. Her anecdotes mainly focus on the celebrity editions of the show which sound entirely rigged, including her mortification when a well-known "It girl" urinated in the open air at the top of the drive leading down to a luxury Greek villa outside which she was standing with the local estate agents. The semi-famous one declares she is so enraptured by the whole WI buzz that she is going to join at some point - but she will be away filming a new show for the next 3 months.

After the talk we have the judging of the funniest holiday snap competition, which is won by a snap of a pair of white ankle socks and sandals. We then have notices. Our first outing will be to a racecourse where Peter Andre is performing. I'm not sure whether there will be any horses around but I'm pleased that being married to Katie Price didn't put him off them altogether. I won't be going on that trip but I'll probably be back to hear how to make a hanging basket with free Pimms next month.

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