Thursday 30th April
Check in with the Chair day!
Every Thursday morning Ray (who has the patience of a saint I must say) has the job of videoing me spouting off on Check in with the Chair. This week was filmed indoors and featured my Gran’s recipe for Rhubarb and Orange Conserve. Thrilled that so many members are watching and sharing the videos on.

Wednesday 29th April
26 Jars???
I am going to make and sell 26 jars of preserves for my 2.6 Challenge I already have some marmalade and some raspberry- it was all going to be ready to sell at my Open Garden Day at the end of May. There’s no chance of that going ahead so I will sell it along with the Rhubarb and Orange. Just got to find a big plastic box to use for a ‘Buy your Jam Here’ box for the end of the drive!

Had a good meeting this afternoon with the Officers, Yvette and Liz about WI Groups. We love all this Zooming about! I also managed to finish my second knitted blanket for prem babies- only had three accidental holes in this one!

Move over Dianne Bright, Knitter Extraordinaire!

Tuesday 28th April
Great idea today Sue….
Interesting Board meeting as we continue to get to grips with running the Federation remotely. All of the Trustees have been trying to make contact with their Link WIs and it was lovely to hear about the positive ways some of you are tackling the lockdown and supporting each other.

Sarah was congratulated for the hard work she is putting into developing and maintaining our social media presence. Well done!

Then Sue Myhill had this totally brilliant idea. The WFWI 2.6 Challenge!
Apparently the idea started when the London Marathon was cancelled and people realised that charities were going to run very short of money without major fundraising efforts. So we are going to have our very own 2.6 challenge where WIs and individuals can raise funds for their local charities if they wish! Further details later!

Monday 27th April
Ready for the Board Meeting!
Have to work quite hard on prep for these meetings as you have to have all the documents open on the computer to share during the meeting. No messing! Thank goodness we invested in building a decent website. It’s so good that all the Trustees are able to access the documents on-line before the meeting.

Sunday 26th April
Let’s make Jam!
My favourite time of year. Managed to get some of those large Navel oranges which are so gorgeous at this time of year so I pulled some rhubarb and made my Gran’s Rhubarb and Orange Jam – it never quite sets so its really a conserve…. Mmmm , might have to have toast in the morning!

Saturday 25th April
Ladies – you make me so proud
To be part of the WI. All over the country and all over Warwickshire there are individuals and teams of ladies making scrubs and other items for our NHS. Marvellous team effort. Well done.

Friday 24th April
Zooming marvellous…..
Met the ladies from Newton Regis WI for AFTERZOOM Tea again this afternoon! Its really great to see so many of our WIs starting to meet on-line. Every day we are starting see posts from WIs across the Federation about their virtual meetings and meet ups! Brilliant!

Thursday 23rd April
Weekly Staff Get Together.
Lovely to meet with Sarah and Kathy via video link this morning to see how we are doing with all the background work which goes on to keep the Federation ticking over. I have been SO impressed by their diligence and forward thinking!

Thursday is Check in with the Chair Day!
Down the garden today – only took twelve goes to get the recording done – as I was outside I had to project my voice for the phone microphone to pick it up. Every time I spoke Adrian’s dog from two doors away started barking up a storm! Hilarious.! Did it in the end. Really grateful to all those members who share the video on – it’s my ambition to reach everyone of our 3000 members!! ???

Wednesday 22nd April
Getting ready for the Board Meeting next week
As we are meeting fortnightly at the moment on ZOOM then we have to make sure we are well planned and prepared for the meetings as they are time limited. Provisional agenda and paperwork sorted ready to be discussed by Officers tomorrow.

Tuesday 21st April
Busy morning.
Had two sub-committee meetings on Zoom today.
It was lovely to see members of the Leisure Activities Team and Membership and Promotions. Both Committees have new Chairs – Veronica for LA and Yvette for M&P.
It was very interesting to watch both teams trying to make plans for the future when no-one is quite sure what will happen in the future with the Covid 19 situation!

Monday 20th April
Blimey….. Sarah, our very own IT wizard tells me that we are going to have a Federation You Tube channel! So watch this space! !

Sun 19th April
I never thought I would see the day…
When I got an attack of Knitters Envy. There I was on Instagram when I spotted the post from CamberleyWI with a picture of a fabulous knitted blanket for premature babies. It looked just like mine (except for the holes) and was completed with a row of beautifully knitted bunnies. I have never met Brenda from Camberley but I am dead jealous of her skills!

Sat 18th April
In the greenhouse!
Cold and wet outside today so I planted up my tomato plants in the greenhouse. Dreaming of summer days and wandering into the tomato scented warmth to pinch a nice little ripe cherry tom to eat on the quiet!

Friday 17th April
AfterZOOM Tea Party!
What a great afternoon! Met up with members of Newton regis WI on ZOOM this afternoon with our cups of tea and cake (well, all except Ollie who had a glass of wine!) We had such a lovely time! It was super to be able to see and hear everyone. Brilliant!

And I finished my knitted blanket!!! Those of you who know me , will understand that I am not a “ natural knitter” In fact, you can see my advanced knitting technique demonstrated on “ Check in with the Chair 3,” I have been knitting this blanket for prem babies ever since the start of the lockdown. It’s a bit of a stretch from the one poppy in three days knitting when the lovely Jeryl Stone stood over me and made me learn to knit a couple of years ago!

Thursday 16th April
Thursday is Video Day!
Met with Sarah and Kathy on-line first thing for our weekly catch up and planning meeting – its so lovely to see them. Then met up with officers to start sorting more things for the future.
Then outside into the conservatory to record this week’s “Check in with the Chair” video.

I’m making these as a way of keeping in touch with our members and friends – please feel free to share them on as this is a great opportunity to tell our friends and others about the WI and how we keep in in touch . We might even gain a few new members!
Spent a while this evening practicing on ZOOM with some our members from my own WI – it’s worth it to check that the sound and video links work!

Wednesday 15th April
Technology runs riot in the Bufton-McCoy Household!
Met with Sarah on ZOOM this morning to catch up on how we are doing with our on-line communications with our members. The videos and Trustee Top Tips are getting quite a following! Sarah is starting to fill the Gallery on the website which should cause a bit more interest from members too. Yvette has had a great idea about an on-line Book Club resource so watch this space!

Yes and my headphones arrived today- noise cancelling so that I can concentrate on meetings properly!
Then ….. I met on-line in the evening with some of the members of Acorns WI in Nuneaton. Acorns is our newest WI and I was delighted to be invited to their meeting. I told them a few tales from my book (still writing it as we speak) the meeting worked really well – oh the wonders of technology!

Tuesday 14th April
How lovely to see everyone on the Board!!
Well, I am delighted to report that the on-line Board meeting was a raving success!

We talked through our finances, our approach to keeping in touch with our members and how we are trying to second guess dates for events later in the year! We have cancelled and refunded quite a few events now and are trying to get new dates for postponed events for later in the year. As the meeting worked well we are now setting up similar on-line meetings for our various sub-committees so that everything is ticking over ready for when we get the green light to resume activities.

Easter Monday
Had a lot of lovely responses to my post yesterday on social media with a picture of Forgetmenots in my garden.

It was lovely to hear from people across the county and further afield. Spent quite a while prepping for the Board meeting tomorrow- we’ve only got an hour so I have got to make sure that every second counts!

Friday 10th April
Finalised most of the paperwork for Tuesday and went mad in the garden all day. Started to make plans for my own WI – we are hoping to hold an AfterZoom Tea next week, will let you now how I get on. I’m hoping to have a break from the WI over the weekend but we will see!

Thursday 9th April
For someone who has nothing in her diary … I spent virtually the whole day on Zoom.
Office catch up with Sarah, Kathy and Sue first thing followed by an Officers meeting  where we tried to plan a structure for the Board meeting on Tuesday. We decided that we are going to stick to key decision making for our first Board on-line. A normal Board Meeting takes from 10- 4 but I don’t think anyone will be able to concentrate for that long AND we don’t know how well the broadband will hold up so…. Fingers crossed.

Then I had to make my third Check in with the Chair video. I have done gardening and cooking so I had to find something different! Had to confess that I have taken up attempting to knit. My friends are still laughing hysterically at the very thought!
Spent the evening on Zoom meeting with individual Trustees to check that the video and audio links are all working so that (hopefully) we can get straight on with the business on Tuesday. It was so lovely to see them. I could have cried!

Wednesday 8th April
Blimey The Board are going Zooming!
Plans are afoot to have a full Board of Trustees meeting next Tuesday….. we have set a short agenda and are going to see how discussion and voting goes in an online format! Should be really interesting! I’m going to have practice sessions with individual Trustees tomorrow night if they haven’t done this before…. Wish me luck!

All of the Trustees are also going to be contacting their Link WIs over the next week or so- just to touch base and see if there is anything we can do to help!

Tuesday 7th April
What a treat !
Our office meeting this morning was fab – Sarah and I were joined by Kathy and Sue. We had such a lovely chat as well as a really good catch up about the refunds, letters going out and so on.

The third letter to all our members has gone out and we have had one or two really kind responses from members thanking us for keeping them in touch. I guess we are all missing seeing our friends these days.

Monday 6th April
Well, isn’t it strange how quickly we are all adapting to a new routine and way of life? We have always kept in touch either on the phone, email or at pretty regular meetings. Now we do everything on Zoom. Every morning I meet up with Sarah to see how we are doing with the refunds, subscriptions, events and so on. Its absolutely great to see her in person and to catch up.

I also had a meeting with Yvette and Jeryl today to discuss the possibilities of new dates for the Lunch with Rev Richard Coles. Trouble is we don’t know when the restrictions are going to be lifted which makes planning ahead quite difficult.

Sunday 5th April
Newsletter No 3 is on the way.
We are determined to keep in touch with as many of our members as we possibly can during this period … Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and this website for a start. I also want to reach out to members who might not be on email by writing them a letter each week – it has to be emailed out via WI Secretaries and I am hoping that most of you are receiving them. I do know that personal circumstances may prevent this in some cases but I am hoping to reach most people if we can. It’s really important that we stick together and look out for each other in these difficult times.

I was very touched to receive a postcard from Theresa in my own WI this week – just a brief but lovely message to remind me that she was thinking of me. Great Idea

Saturday 4th April
Check in with the Chair…..
Had 440 views on Facebook! and Dianne B, member of Studley Priory made the cake and sent me a picture! It was great to receive some feedback…..

Friday 3rd April
Grand Day Out ……
Had a long chat with Wendy from Johnsons Coaches today. Wendy masterminded the first GDO in Lincoln with us and last year’s visit to Winchester. We discussed whether the end of July was really a good idea even of the worst of Covid 19 is over. We decided that Monday 26th October would be a great new date- it’s half term so you can still park at the various schools all over the County and it will give us all something to look forward to!

Thursday 2nd April
Check in with the Chair – 2.
Started the day with a Zoom catch up with Sarah and Kathy – lovely to get us all together. Then an Officers meeting with plenty of discussion about what we are doing about events, planning, meetings and filing the accounts
with the Charity Commission!

Then off into the conservatory to try to make another Check in with the Chair video clip.

I thought I would share my Mum’s favourite cake recipe. Had to do it in one take as I didn’t want to waste the ingredients! It will be on the website and social media if you want to have a look and share with your friends and fellow members.

Wednesday 1st April
More Zooming….
We managed to get all of the Officers on line today- just a few technical hiccups but it was great to see everyone. Need to develop a meeting protocol as we all tried to talk at once!! Next stop a Board meeting!