Friday 31st July
No WI stuff today as it was our tenth Wedding Anniversary- celebrated on Zoom….. and we ate the Easy Cheesey biscuits as nibbles with our champagne!

Thursday 30th July
Easy Peasey Cheesy Biscuits were the subject of my last  Check in with the Chair Video today.  As the Lockdown eases I thought I would take a little time to do other things- but might do an occasional one when I haver a bright idea.
Great meetings with the Officers of various WIs across the Federation this evening as we met with Ruth and Christine and their Link WIs.

Wednesday 29th July
Virtual Show- here I come…..
Picked loads of peas today and took photos of various pods before I shelled them ready for the freezer!  How many peas? Did I hear you say?  Ah, Ha now that would be telling!

Tuesday 28th July
Plan, Plan and Plan again.
Great to see all the members of the Creative Activities and Public Affairs Committees on line this morning.   We keep making plans for events and then changing/ tweaking those plans every time we meet to try to keep up with the government guidelines.  Fingers crossed that some of them will come to fruition in due course.

Great meetings with the Officers of various WIs across the Federation this evening as we met with Heather and Veronica and their Link WIs.

Monday 27th July
Yet another Zooming Good time…
Checked all the paperwork ready for tomorrow’s sub- committee meetings and got ready for the Zoom Meeting with Cathy Morris – we had a little practice to make sure we had got the sound all sorted.  The actual ZOOM event went really well with all the participants singing along – everyone had a great time.

Sunday 26th July
Blog nearly done and Newsletter written. Happy days…

Friday 24th July
Ready for next week?
Looking forward to working with vintage singer, Cathy Morris on Monday prior to her ZOOM concert on Monday night. Great fun!
Invited the next two groups of WIs to meet with me on Chat with the Chair today.  Working with Trustees veronica Chapman and Heather Howell.  Should be really interesting on Tuesday night.

Thursday 23rd July – Video Day
Well, that was an epic…. Next door have the builders in, we gave them some biscuits to have with their coffee so that we could film without the concrete mixer and slab cutters in the background- all was going well until a delivery lorry arrived with a huge delivery of hardcore and the like!  Hilarious.  Got it done in the end though.  Not sure I will have persuaded many people to enter our Virtual Show though!

Wednesday 22nd July – Good News!
Delighted to hear that Anita Dudley of Treacle Tarts WI has completed her training to be a WI Adviser and we have her special certificate to be presented to her at the next AFM.
Well done, Anita . Congratulations.

Tuesday 21st July Board Blues
The Trustees were all very sad this morning to hear of the confidential proposal to close Denman.  We were sworn to secrecy until the news was released at 2.00pm.  We also had to acknowledge how difficult it is to keep any organisation going financially  when something like C19 happens. We all agreed that this must have been the most difficult decision to make.

The meeting continued with a final discussion about our current Risk register- which, of course, has a strong focus on the financial and organisational risks which must be managed by the Federation and Trustees. This included comprehensive plans for the possible re-opening of the Office in September. I am happy to report that the Trustees have done a really good job of working through this document. Well done everyone.

Monday 20th July  Busy Day
Really interesting talk on ZOOM this afternoon by the Wright Hassall team  I think we all learnt a lot about Power of Attorney – really useful session.

Tonight I spent some time on line with Officers from WIs across the county in our Chat with the Chair sessions.  This time it was the turn of Link Trustees Sue Ensor and Julia Baker. All of the WIs which are linked to them were invited and we had some interesting discussions about the Lockdown and the possible resumption of meetings.


Sunday 19th July
Newsletter for members ready for Monday- Yep
Agenda  minutes and paperwork for Tuesday- Yep
Invitations for next round of Chat with the Chair – Yep
Rhubarb and Orange conserve – Yep

Pick a load of blackcurrants – not yet but I will……
This Blog- Yep

Saturday 18th July
Ready for the Board Meeting on Tuesday?
Yes, nearly….. just a bit more paperwork to check out and forward to the Trustees and then I am done. OOO,nearly forgot!  Just got to email those members who were the winners of the Get Creative and Fill  a Vase competition.   There were some brilliant entries!  Check them out on the Gallery section of the website!

Friday 17th July
Paperwork out!
Sarah in the office worked over and above the call of duty today as she emailed all of our WIs on her day off to make sure that they all received the latest news from NFWI following our meeting late yesterday afternoon.  I cant tell you how much I appreciate her help!

The Risk Management Group of Trustees held another meeting on ZOOM to see if we could progress the Risk assessment plan for the possible re-opening of the Federation Office.  Well done , Veronica Chapman who visited the premises – following all the rules re cleaning, wiping down etc so that she could measure the available spaces for us to help to inform this morning’s meeting
Veronica Chapman

Thursday 16th July
Get yourself sorted out Anne !
After a morning meeting with the Country Trust discussing our possible programme of visits for children from September it was straight off to an Extraordinary Board Meeting with Trustees and members of the Membership and Promotions sub- committee where we discussed the new guidance from NFWI regarding the possible resumption of WI meetings prior to its publication tomorrow.  We tried to work out what the most frequently asked questions might be!!

Tonight saw the inaugural meetings on ZOOM of ‘Chat with the Chair!’  I had invited the Officers from all of my Link WIs to meet with me and our newest trustee Glyn Forknall to have a natter and share how we have all been getting along.  It was great to see so many participants and to hear how innovative and committed our WIs are to their members!

After a good old chat with them all I ran downstairs to fetch a cup of tea before starting a similar second meeting with Sue Myhill and her Link WIs – Delighted to say that we saw a very similar picture of  commitment and friendship.

As the trial has been so successful I will be contacting all of our WIs over the next couple of weeks and offering them all the opportunity to Chat with the Chair and their Link Trustee!

Wednesday 15th July
“Come on Raymondo! “
I said as I leapt out of bed this morning –   “We need to make this week’s Check in with The Chair video before the builders arrive next door and get the concrete mixer going!”
“But its only Wednesday…” he replied.
“ Yep”, I replied but I have a hilariously busy day tomorrow so today’s the day!”

He’s such a good egg that he complied and we got it done in three takes – finally I managed to do it in the time (under 60 seconds so that it will load easily onto all our social media channels) and without making a mistake just as the concrete mixer started whirring!

Later on I had the pleasure of being the speaker at Long Itchington WI’s meeting on ZOOM.  I I enjoyed telling them a few tales from the book I am writing.  I think it went down ok!   It was great chatting to them – we even managed to meet in small groups in break out rooms!

Tuesday 14th July
Committee Day!
Great to see the members of our Leisure Activities and Member & Promotion sub-committees today – all working hard to plan a great programme for our lovely members! Brilliant!

Monday 13th July
Where there’s a will there’s a way
What an interesting day….. first of all a small group of Trustees met on Zoom with Sarah to consider the Risk Assessment we would need to put into place ready for the possible re-opening of the Federation Office on September 1st. Blimey there is such a lot to think about!

Then it was back onto ZOOM for our On-Line talk about the intricacies and implications of writing your will and then how to handle probate with our good friends from Wright Hassall. Everyone who attended thought it was excellent and very helpful. We have another talk on Lasting Power of Attorney next Monday afternoon.  I think that will be very useful too.

Sun 12th July
Newsletter – check
Preparation for sub- committees on Tuesday- check
This Blog- check
Time to make more jam- check!

Sat 11th July
Channelling Bob Marley today
Yes, ladies I have been Jamming!  My favourite pastime. Today it was the turn of the strawberry bed!   Might have to get back in the blackcurrants in the week.  Lovely!

Friday 10th July
Fly Tipping reaches a whole new level
I walked with some of my fellow members from Newton Regis WI today- we have all done 2.6 miles to raise money for St Giles Hospice.  We were stunned to find an abandoned caravan in our lanes- people are always dumping rubbish and garden waste but a caravan is a new one on me. Disgraceful

Thursday 9th July
Check in with the Chair and other Thursday stuff!
Closing date today for the Get Creative and Fill a Vase Competition! Over 50 entries- brilliant!  Glad I’m not the judge!
Made my Mum’s tea Loaf for this week’s video, Ray is very happy as he absolutely loves it and is always saying that I don’t make it for him!  He’s got two now- the finished article for the video and the one I made for the filming!

Enjoyed meeting up with my Risk management Working party on Zoom this afternoon. Think we will get it all sorted!

Tuesday 7th July
Risk management and all kinds of official sounding stuff
Were the main topics of discussion at the Board Meeting this morning.   We have to assess all the risks which face the Federation regularly and of course the Covid 19 situation has certainly sharpened up our thinking!  We are going to have two working parties of trustees to assess the risks about re-opening the Office and our events and activities. That should keep everyone on their toes!

Monday 6th July
All is calm
After a busy morning, finishing the WI members Newsletter and talking to Sarah in the Office and sorting some financial stuff with Sue Myhill , it was a pleasure to settle down to an hour of Tai Chi with Julia Mitchell this afternoon. It was great to see so many of our members and we were all so laid back by the end of the session it’s a wonder we didn’t all fall over!

Sunday 5th July
If I never see another blackcurrant…..
There’s something very lovely about picking fruit which you have grown- almost therapeutic but then after the first five hours that feeling starts to evaporate…. Just a few pounds of jam to make now and I am done. Think I will finish the weekly WI Newsletter in the morning!

Friday 3rd July
Had a great chat on ZOOM with my WI friends from Newton Regis tonight. It’s such a lovely way to keep in touch.

Thurs 2nd July
Agenda done and sent off to the lovely Sarah.
Video- also done. No doubt I’m never going to win a prize for flower arranging! Still it made people smile!

Keith Wedgbury came and interviewed me during an absolutely torrential rainstorm tonight. Brought social distancing to a whole new level as he stood the other side of the doorstep under an umbrella with a long distance microphone! I told him all about the great things our members have been doing throughout the Lockdown.

Weds 1st July
Getting ready for the next Board Meeting and a video and a radio interview…..
I cant believe that it’s video day again tomorrow so I need to write the script. Hmmmm, that Get Creative and Fill a Vase Competition might be an interesting subject…. Mind you what I know about arranging flowers could be written on a very small postage stamp. (It’s less than I know about knitting!!) I need to get a welly on as I have to write the Agenda for the next Board meeting and start preparing for an interview with Keith Wedgbury for Coventry and Warwick Radio. Ooooh and I need to pick some blackcurrants…. Happy days