Wednesday 13th November
Autumn at Dunchurch
What a beautiful setting Dunchurch park is. Sue Myhill and I went over to check the final details for the Christmas Cracker with Paul Martin event. It sounds fabulous!
Tuesday 12th November
Busy meeting today…..
Lots of paperwork done! Yes! Great to have visitors from Shrewley WI with us at the meeting. Most of our visitors are surprised by the breadth of work we undertake! Jobs to be done include trying to replace the front door of Federation House, sorting the next Grand Day Out and organising Presidents days! All good fun!
Then a quick trip back via My Dad’s and off to Dosthill WI’s AGM – they have had a great year and raised money to install a defibrillator in the village – gaining some lovely new members along the way. Lovely evening
Monday 11th November
Ready for Board meeting!
Just checked all the paperwork ready for tomorrow – it’s the time of year when we review all the action plans and the buildings and the IT and……. So I just wanted to double check everything today!
Sunday 10th November
Lest we forget……….
They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Saturday 9th November
Finalised another AFM Speaker! Yes!
Met with Kebrina Barker in Nuneaton earlier today. Kebrina is a one woman recycling and repurposing dynamo! I have asked her to come to talk to us at the AFM. The theme of this meeting is “ Changing The Climate- one member at a time” and Kebrina will be an amazing catalyst for change for our Warwickshire members.
Last year we had Kath the Cake Lady as a speaker who could be described as “ an ordinary woman, just like us, who has seen an opportunity to do something extra-ordinary which will make a real difference”. Kebrina is another such special person and I just know all our members will be inspired to do more ! Brilliant Day!
Thursday 7th November
Christmas is a coming and the decorations are being made!
I had the privilege to attend the AGM at Curdworth WI tonight, they seem to have had a fantastic year! I was particularly impressed with the handmade Christmas decorations made by a member for the local Christmas tree display. All made painstakingly from recycled cardboard and jolly effective too!
Wednesday 6th November
Paperwork day – Just finished preparing all the paperwork ready for Board of Trustees next Tuesday so that it can go off to the lovely Sarah in the Office to be sorted and put on the secure Trustees area of the Website. We must have saved at least a small wood over the last twelve months by going paper free for Board meetings. I used to print of at least half a ream of paper every month before!
Tuesday 5th November
No fireworks at the Public Affairs Meeting!
Lots of discussion and plenty of plans for a huge range of exciting events and commitments for the future. Everything from a fab range of Serious Science lectures to A Drastic on plastic day! Super stuff. We also have a new Climate Ambassador so that’s two for Warwickshire so far! We could do with more- have a look on MYWI if you are interested! Let us know if you decide to sign up please!
Office and Finance meeting
We had a great discussion about all matters financial and are ready to go to the Board for approval on the final push top change to CIO status. We conducted the IT Review and set about updating the Building Review. It’s quite a responsibility because we own our own building!
Monday 4th November
Great weekend – back to the grindstone!
Lovely family weekend but really needed to get revved up today. It’s Office and Finance tomorrow and it’s coming up to the time of year when we review all our documentation. So I found all the relevant files and had a quick check of where we are. Risk Register, IT Rolling Replacement Plan and the Buildings Review…… Pleased to say that we seem to have done almost everything we promised to over the last year and we are ready to get the next improvements started!
Had a long chat to Sue, our lovely Treasurer about our plans for finalising the transfer to CIO status. Interesting times ahead!
Friday 1st November
What a lovely evening with the members of Studley Priory WI – celebrating their 30th Birthday.
All dressed up for a Night at the Races and super food and company. Great!
Thursday 31st October
Spent some time with Sarah in the office today getting things sorted for the AFM and the first half of 2020. Moved onto a meeting with the lovely Wendy from Johnsons Coaches when we planned the next Grand Day Out! Details coming soon. I think you will all love it!
Then off with Sue Myhill to see Rees our Legal Eagle at Wright Hassall – we are on the last leg of the transfer to CIO status and we were pleased to meet Nathan who will be helping with the property transfer. Rees has given us great advice throughout and is a real credit to Wright Hassall.
Wednesday 30th October
Fabulous Group Meeting
What a treat tonight! Went to my own local Group Meeting….. when I was still at home at 7.00 Ray thought I had forgotten I was going out! Usually I have to leave really early because the M42 to take me south is so awful .
The Polesworth Group had organised Kath the Cake Lady as speaker and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! Great evening all round.
Tuesday 29th October
M & P Day
Interesting meeting with our Membership and Promotions Team today ( well once I had got in through all the traffic and roadworks! Be warned if you are coming into the Office. It can take ages!) We were working through the plans for all the information and training sessions for WIs for the next year. It was also lovely to hear some very positive reports about the way Annual Meetings are going. Great to hear about people stepping up!
P.S some absolutely fabulous Christmas decorations coming in !
Monday 28th October
Home Sweet Home……..
Thought I had better pickle the last of the shallots today and spend some time with Raymond – not sure he thought that this would include planting the last of the daffodil bulbs!!
Friday 25th October
Proud moments for Warwickshire Federation!
Sue Myhill and I are attending the Autumn National Council Meeting in Bedfordshire this weekend. Lynne Stubbings made a grand job of chairing the opening meeting today with an inspirational speech.
Jeryl Stone gave a really impressive talk about Denman as she chairs that Committee. Sue and I felt so very proud to be able to witness this.
(Incidentally Sue actually made this fabulous sash for Jeryl!)
Weds 23rd October
What a brilliant afternoon with the inspirational Dr Gillian White. We sat enthralled listening to “The life of Queen Victoria in Portraits”
This was followed by copious cups of tea and slices of Victoria Sandwich!
We even had tea served by our very own Victorian serving maid AKA Julia Baker
Many thanks to the ladies of Church Lawford and Kings Newnham WI for all their help with the teas. Well done Gillian and Julia for organising a super afternoon.
Tuesday 22nd October
Spent the morning ringing and calling in on local Warwickshire businesses trying to get sponsorship and/ or advertising for the AFM on 30th March 2020. We use this to help us to keep the cost of attending as low as we can for our members! If you know anyone who might like to advertise or sponsor us then do let Sarah in the Office know!
Monday 21st October
It’s time to make sure that WIs have nominated those members who might want to serve on The Warwickshire Board of Trustees for 2020-2022. The closing date is Thursday this week
Sunday 20th October
Hmmmmm…… Choices ,Choices!!
Just sent off my deposit and application for the Warwickshire Federation Denman Weekend next year. 12-14 June 2020. I’m torn between Singing Lloyd Webber, Mindful baking and Glass Fusion. Really looking forward to another special weekend with all my friends from across Warwickshire!
Saturday 19th October
Ros Trophy Day
I was so sorry to miss the Agatha Christie readings at the Ros Trophy afternoon today. Sometimes you just have to put Family First, don’t you? Well done to the Fabulous Terry Barker for organising another great event along with the Creative Activities Team.
Friday 18th October
We love paperwork………
I did some paperwork for the transfer to CIO this morning whilst Sue , our lovely Treasurer went to collect the Deeds for Corunna House as they have to be legally transferred to the CIO in the near future. Gosh, I will be glad when this is all completed.
Wednesday 16th October
Alleviating Loneliness Campaign
Delighted to attend my own WI’s Village Coffee Morning today. Newton Regis has an outreach visiting Post Office on Wednesdays at the Village Hall. We thought this would be a good time to host a village get together.
Later on I drove over to visit Grandborough WI as they had invited me to come and meet their members. While I was there we had a great picture taken as part of their preparations for their Centenary Celebrations next year!
Tuesday 15th October
Had a really good office and Finance meeting led by Sue, our Federation Treasurer. Discussing budgets, plans for the implementation of the CIO and routine property maintenance stuff.
Then we were off into the magic land of Social Media and promoting your WI and it’s activities. Think I have persuaded some ladies to use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook today. The more reluctant ones were highly amused by the You Tube Video of two boys trying to work out how to use a phone with a proper dial (they call it a rotary phone!) I was using it to explain that everyone can be scared by technology!
Monday 14th October
What a lovely afternoon today. Our Warwickshire judges have a get together after the Show season is over to compare notes and plan for next year. What an interesting meeting it was. We are always looking to increase our pool of judges (I call it succession planning!) and members who are good at crafting, cookery, flower arranging and so on are great as potential judges for the future. If any of you might be interested in becoming a Judge then do give Sarah in the Office a ring for details
Sunday 13th October
Ready for Tuesday
Well, nearly…….. it’s Office and Finance followed by the social media course! So I just need to be on the ball!
Friday 11th October
Last minute decision…….
We have been offered the chance to run a trip to see the Tutankhamun Exhibition in March next year. Decided that the Board would make a digital decision on this so that the flyer will go out to WIs in the mailing. Put March 5th in your diary if you think you might like to go.
It’s the Exhibition at the Saatchi gallery with a Blue Badge Guide and this is the last time these artefacts are coming out of Egypt!
Wednesday 9th October
Fantastic day today. Thanks to Gillian and the Public Affairs Team. A really interesting range of speakers including Water Aid, Greenpeace, the children from Ferncumbe School, Severn Trent and The Environment Agency. We all enjoyed starting the day with coffee and Women Reaching Women Biscuits and ended by all pledging to make small changes in our lives which will all make a fantastic difference!
Tuesday 8th October
Sponsorship, Strategy and CIO Success…..
Great Board meeting today. All kinds of plans for the future agreed. We have everything lined up for the AFM on 30th March- just need to find some sponsors to help to pay for stuff.
Got the Strategic Plan approved. Whew!
The Charity Commission have given approval for us to move to a CIO so there’s a lot of work to be done to make this a reality but the approval means we can get on with it all now!
Lovely to have a visiting member from Ridge Lane WI at our Board meeting too!
AND well done, Julia. The planters outside Federation House look brilliant all planted up for the winter!
OOOOO! Just got to make the biscuits for Water For All day tomorrow when I get home!!
Sunday 6th October
Just double checked all the paperwork for Tuesday. Particularly the Strategic plan for the Federation. All the Sub- Committees have reviewed their plans for 18-19 and I have collated it all ready for Tuesday. All we have to do is decide the plans for 2022-23 as it’s a five year plan!
Must look out some jam ready for the raffle on Wednesday – I always donate home made jam for the Women reaching Women Days!
Friday 4th October
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Just had a confirmation email from the last speaker for the Annual Meeting at the IXL Centre on Monday 30th March 2020!
I do hope you will all be coming. I am pretty excited about the day we have got planned for you all!
Thurs 3rd October
Getting ready for the next Board Meeting
It’s Board on Tuesday and I have been pulling things together right left and centre today! All the paperwork is done and Sarah has lodged it on the Trustees Area of the website. We really are trying hard to be paperless as much as we can at every meeting at Corunna House!
Weds 2nd October
I couldn’t go as I look after my Dad on most Wednesdays but Julia (Chair of leisure Activities) tells me that it was a great day and everyone had a brilliant time. AND the weather was absolutely fabulous!
Tuesday 1st October
What a lovely time I have had today working with WI friends and colleagues on the use of social media and, in particular Instagram. I just loved watching people’s faces when the saw the possibilities for photo editing! Lovely to catch up with Sarah and Kathy in the Office
Monday 30th September
Death by E-mail….
Reminder to self……… never ever go away for a fortnight without email and internet. I must have spent four hours on emails today! Never mind I feel like I am well and truly caught up with everything Federation wise. AND the National meeting next year is going to be at The Albert Hall. OOOOO! Great!
Just getting myself sorted for the Instagram and Social media Course tomorrow!
Sunday 29th September.
We are back!
Had a fabulous holiday. Had to make cheese in Switzerland ….. what WI member wouldn’t?
I missed loads of fun while I was away. The Line dancing looked brilliant
The Abba Workshop was very well received
Sunday 15th September
I wasn’t sure if we would be able to go on holiday due to family stuff but we are going!
Ray has a BIG birthday and we are off on a River Cruise on the Rhine. Sorry will be out of touch for the duration!
Thursday 12th September
Blimey! Received an email acknowledgement today from the Charity Commission telling me that the Federations application to become a CIO has reached the scrutiny stage. Fingers crossed !!
Wednesday 11th September
Phew! Everyone tells me that the board meeting went off really well. My thanks to the Officers for ensuring that it did!
Saturday 7th September
Ready for the Board meeting…….
It’s going to be very strange for me on Tuesday as Veronica and Christine will be taking the meeting as Vice Chairs. I have an unavoidable family commitment but I am very grateful to everyone on the Board for working so hard to support me.
Thursday 5th September
My own WI show !
Spent all day cooking and getting ready for the Newton Regis WI Show, which went very well. The most popular class was the Make A Green Heart class, where all the entries will be used to decorate our village telephone box in February!
Tuesday 3rd September
Great meeting of the Public Affairs Team today!
The Chair, Gillian Crisp made absolutely certain that we all know what we are doing on the Water Day in October. It promises to be a most interesting and informative day. I think there are still a few spaces so do ring the office for a ticket if you would like to join us. We talked through all the plans for Serious Science 2020. Goodness me jane has found some terrific speakers for us. Looking forward to them all!
Sunday 1st September
What an interesting display Barford WI have out together as part of their Centenary Celebrations. I had a most enjoyable visit to the Exhibition this afternoon … Lovely
Wednesday 28th August
Starting to get organised
The next Board meeting is coming up soon and we have an O&F (Office and Finance) meeting next week so I have started on the paperwork…… and I made some of Delia Smith’s Olde Doverhouse Chutney with some of those plums. It’s like Christmas in a jar!
Monday 26th August
Plums, Plums and yet more plums.
Been busy picking the lovely Warwickshire Drooper Plums today. They are my total favourite! Made some jam and did some work on the AFM plans today!
Thurs 22nd August
Just had email confirmation that the Charity Commission have received the Federation’s Application to become a CIO! Fingers and toes crossed for a successful outcome!
Tuesday 20th August
What a team!
Great meeting today with the Digital Strategy Team…… just under two years ago we all sat round a table at Federation House wondering if we would ever be able to communicate with all our WIs by email and if the Board and Sub- committee meetings would ever be anywhere near paper free! Today we were reviewing the number of WIs who want to get onto Instagram- all 32 of them!! Brilliant
We all know there is more to be done but we are all so proud of how far the Federation has moved in digital terms! We finished off with a great celebratory lunch at the Hatton Arms.
Mon 19th Aug
Preparation for the Digital strategy Team Meeting
Just checked that I had the feedback from our Digital Committee Workshop evening all sorted and that I am all prepared for the meeting tomorrow. Then I made Sweet Marrow Pickle – just for some light relief!
Sun 18th August
One last read through
Today I read all the CIO application paperwork for the last time to check it and then posted everything of to the Legal People. Fingers crossed!
Fri 16th August
Blooming Marvellous Afternoon!
So glad we changed the venue – its absolutely chucked it down all afternoon. The ladies all came and we had a great time, making £456 for the Love Denman Appeal.
Thurs 15th August
AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH! Awful Weather Forecast
Every year I have a little Tea Party for my Link WIs in my garden and we raise a few pennies for Denman. I have made all the cakes and sorted the raffle as well as weeding for England and now………the weather forecast for tomorrow is downright awful and so I have booked Newton Regis Village Hall instead.
Tues 13th August
No chance of being bored at one of our Board Meetings!
Great to see all of the Trustees today and we certainly whizzed through some business! Everyone signed their Trustee declaration form for the Charity Commission- one of the last (I hope) hurdles for the CIO application. Plans are nearly all sorted for the AFM next March and we have lots of plans and events coming up for all you Warwickshire Federation members to enjoy!
Mon 12th August
Check that paperwork
Just made sure I have all the documents for the Board meeting tomorrow and that all the Sub-Committees have submitted their reports and plans for the future.
Sat 10th August Paperwork!
Spent a couple of hours today planning the answers to a few last questions about the CIO application. The Charity Commission wants everything done just so – quite rightly!
Think we are nearly there now………
Thursday 8th August
What a pleasure it was to attend the Centenary Garden party to celebrate the Centenary of Newbold Pacey and Ashorne WI this afternoon. It was lovely to see National Chair Lynne Stubbings as well as Trustees Julia and Sue. The weather was very kind, the tea was excellent and the cake was absolutely brilliantly iced by one of the members. All in all a fantastc afternoon!
Tuesday 6th August
M&P and a Marvellous Lunch Date!
Great meeting with the Advisers who make up our Membership and Promotions Committee today. Lots of plans for the future including support for WIs who have asked for an Adviser to attend their Annual meetings later in the year.
Then off I went to Henley in Arden WI- the ladies had kindly invited me to their Summer Lunch which was a splendid occasion. Super meal, great company and a very , very interesting speaker- the Town Crier from the City of Lichfield- who was great fun and highly entertaining
Monday 5th August
Almost ready for Board of Trustees ….
Just spent the morning checking that I have sent in all the relevant reports for the Board next week. Really looking forward to reviewing Winchester and the Digital Committee Evening!
Saturday 3rd August
Just collating the feedback we have received from individuals and from WIs. Overwhelmingly positive. It is really great when members take the trouble to let us know when things have gone well. People keep asking where we might be going next year! Have to think about that one.
Thursday 1st August
Yet another set of questions to be considered and responded to before our application goes off to the Charity Commission. I have emailed Melissa Green the General Secretary at NFWI about a couple of the questions so hope she will be able to help us out!
Tuesday 30th July
Every now and again the Office and Finance Group meet to discuss finances and other plans for the Federation. We discuss ideas and costs so that some of the legwork has been done before we get to the Board Meeting. Items up for discussion included Presidents Day, the new Business Disaster Plan and that hotel in Bournemouth (who still haven’t responded to our complaints)
Monday 29th July
An Absolutely Grand Day Out!
The sun shone all day ……. Had a fab time in Winchester, over 700 of us descended upon them and everyone, everywhere was incredibly welcoming. It was lovely to have the opportunity to meet so many of our members and to be able to stop and chat in the sunshine. Well done and thank you to Johnson’s Coaches for all their hard work on the day. Brilliant.
Sunday 28th July
OMG…… what if it rains like this tomorrow??????
Torrential rain all day. I know the forecast says tomorrow will be ok but I can’t help worrying. Found my mac and umbrella just to be on the safe side!
Saturday 27th July
Look out Winchester!
Fielding lots of phone calls and queries about the Grand Day Out on Monday. Double checked everything is ok with the Coach leaders. Triple checked everything is ok with Wendy from Johnsons Coaches. Weather forecast looks Ok too so we are good to go!
Thursday 25th July
I wasn’t able to go but the Papercutting Workshop went really well today…… many thanks to the Creative Activities Team for organising such an inspirational day.
Tuesday 23rd July
Waiting for the Massive Thunderstorm!!
I have never been so hot! What a day. I nearly slept in the car with the air conditioning on!
The Digital Committee Evening was a success. The Wi s who had worked so hard on their presentations really did well. There were lots of ideas flying around and a real buzz about possible ways of working for the future! Thanks to the Digital strategy Committee who set the evening up and the Board of Trustees for all their help and support on the night. Brilliant!
Monday 22nd July
Digital Committee Workshop
Great , all the WIs who are presenting have sent me their presentations for tomorrow night. It’s great to have support from across the County- many thanks to members of Kenilworth, Hatton Park, Studley Priory, Treacle Tarts, Whitestone Owls and Wishaw WIs for all their help and support. I have been doing research on then use of the Internet and found some really interesting data
Saturday 20th July
Getting ready for Tuesday!
Tuesday is the Digital Committee Workshop evening at Leamington Baptist Church. We invited WIs to send up to six members of their Committee to the evening and we have a number of WIs who will share what they do with the audience. I spent the day emailing back and forth, collating presentations and generally getting organised!
Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th July
Off to Denman I went! 24 hours to learn everything I could about using Instagram as a Social media and promotional tool. The class was very good and I am now a fully fledged Instagrammer ! You can find me on Instagram as askabusywoman Seems about right to me!
Tuesday 16th July
What a day!
First of all we had a Leisure Activities meeting where we learned how well the Treasure Hunt and other activities had gone. We went through the organisation for lots of Autumn events, all of which seem to be very well supported by members. The Dragon Boat racing is choc a bloc full! This was followed by Creative Activities where we sorted all the planning for a huge range of events including the Ros Trophy and Taiko drumming!
In between we all stuffed the 750 Goody Bags for Winchester with maps and leaflets ready for the Grand Day Out!
In the evening we had a rehearsal for the Digital Committee Evening on 23rd July. It was great to see the enthusiasm from the WI members who are taking part!
Monday 15th July
Up early today to pick up my Dad as I was heading for Winchester and I thought he would like a day out! The sun shone, the traffic was good and we arrived in plenty of time to meet up with Wendy from Johnsons and the Tourist Board staff. We checked out the arrival and departure points, toilets, shops etc as well as double checking all the arrangements for the day! All good. Dad and I then treated ourselves to lunch in a pub by the river. Good food and sitting in the sunshine. What’s not to like!
Sunday 14th July
Spent the morning checking the minutes from the last Board meeting and made quite a long list of things which I need to do! Sarah writes very good minutes and I am very grateful for her expertise.
Friday 12th July
A very sad day.
The Trustees and I attended the funeral of Steve Hunt today. We stood shoulder to shoulder with Yvette and share in her sadness.
Wednesday 10th July
I had the pleasure of going to the Open Meeting held at Budbrooke tonight and was made extremely welcome. The speaker from Arden Falconry was very good and we all got to hold a bird of prey if we wanted to. Brilliant!
Tuesday 9th July
Heather has managed to deliver all the poppies to the Memorial Arboretum for the British Legion to use. What a result! Fantastic to know they will be put to such good use.
We got through the Board meeting in record time today! All done by 2.30! and we have sorted out the majority of things for the AFM on March 30th 2020…….
Monday 8th July
Ready for the Board meeting!
I swear I can still smell the blackcurrant jam boiling! Picked loads yesterday and made sixteen pounds of jam! Checked all the paperwork and stuff ready for the Board meeting tomorrow. I just like to be sure I have got everything and got it all in the right order!
Saturday 6th July
Spent quite a while checking all the paperwork for Winchester. We have over 700 ladies going so it’s almost as big as the Lincoln Trip last year but without all the organisation for the Cathedral and so on. I am looking forward to a grand day out!
Thursday 4th July
Ready for the Board Meeting?
Think so! Got the agenda and reports all sorted. Sarah in the Office has loaded all the paperwork for the meeting onto the secure Trustee area of the website, so we are good to go!
Went to my own WI at Newton Regis tonight. Great idea for the Show in September. One of the classes is make a green heart ready for February! AND they gave us a kit to start us off! Winner! We are going to use all the hearts to decorate our phone box to raise awareness of the campaign. Great idea!
Wednesday 3rd July
Here I CIO again!
Had a really good discussion with the Solicitors today who are handling our CIO application. I think we are about ready! Whew!
Tuesday 2nd July
Public Affairs gets organising!
Lots of organisation for the Water Day on October 9th and the ladies have lots of other ideas in the pipeline to make sure all of us Warwickshire WI members are up to date with the current campaigns.
Monday 1st July
Back and up and running!
Well. It’s a wonder I didn’t go rusty the first week in Scotland. Rain! It didn’t stop! West Coast and eight degrees for three days……… it was 32 on the way home on Saturday which I reckon is four times as hot. Second week on East coast watching the dolphins was fantastic ( and much warmer!)
So to today. Busy morning catching up on emails, then a meeting with Sue, our lovely Federation Treasurer to fill in yet more forms for the CIO process. Then off to Dunchurch Park Hotel to meet the Trustees for a Big Birthday Bash for Heather and Julia. We had a good look at the venue for Paul Martin, walked round the grounds and then settled down for a sumptuous Afternoon tea to celebrate two Big Birthdays! Lovely!
I was so sorry to miss the George Elliott talk today at Federation House – well done Terry for organising it so well. I thought I had better start on the washing and ironing as we are off to Ardnamurchan in Scotland for a fortnight tomorrow. That’s the end of blogging until the end of June. Hope it stops raining soon!
Wednesday 12th June
OMG! Well done Warwickshire!
Not only has the lovely Lynne Stubbings been re-elected as National Chair BUT Jeryl Stone is now one pf the Vice Chairs! Wow! Astonishingly proud of them.
The Board had a night out tonight at Alladins, lots of cheering and celebrations all round! Not as it was planned as a celebration- rather just a chance to be sociable and not talk business all the time. Thanks Julia for organising a lovely evening. Lets not talk about driving home in a monsoon on the motorway though!
Tuesday 11th June
No way you can ever be bored at the Board meeting!
What a busy day, reviewed some pretty awful complaints and photos about “Fawlty Towers” and I have some pretty blistering comments to write in the formal complaint letter. Ouch! Fair enough though…..
Look out for the flyer for our very special Christmas Cracker with Paul Martin…. Pretty excited about that! We have done lots of plotting and planning for the future today so watch this space!!
Monday 10th June
Check, Check, Check.
It’s the Board meeting tomorrow I just need to check I have all the right info and the right documents AND in the right order! I would really have liked to go on the trip to Boughton House which was apparently absolutely brilliant!
Sunday 9th June
Had a super time this afternoon at Dosthill WI’s 75th Birthday party. It was great that Lynne Stubbings, our National Chair was able to be there too. Fabulous food, great company and a good time was had by all
Thursday 6th June
Phew! All the tickets for Winchester are in the post!
Sarah and Kathy have been brilliant getting all that sorted……. and all the paperwork for the Board meeting on Tuesday is on the website! All in all a very busy but productive week.
Wednesday 5th June
Fabulous Annual Meeting.
What an honour and privilege to be part of the Annual Meeting. It’s so lovely talking to like minded ladies from all over the country! Great debates on the campaigns – and overwhelming support for them both. Can’t wait to see how we can get the support for them going in Warwickshire! Really enjoyable day.
Great to meet Melissa Green, the new General Secretary
Loved seeing the wonderful Lynne Stubbings chair the meeting in fine style.
Fantastic to be able to support our very own Trustee and National Board Member Jeryl Stone
Tuesday 4th June
Look out Bournemouth!!
Sue Myhill and I drove down to Bournemouth late this afternoon as I had some family stuff to deal with which meant I couldn’t go on the coach. Good journey and lovely to see all our Warwickshire ladies in the hotel when we got there. The first person we spoke to said “ Welcome to Fawlty Towers” bit of a clue there. Not the best hotel I have ever stayed in but the company was great!
Monday 3rd June
Ready for Trustees!
Poor Sarah in the Office. I bet her heart sank when she saw about a dozen emails from me waiting in her inbox with all the stuff ready for the Trustees agenda! And then there was another lot about all the different coaches and sorting out for Winchester! Need to be super organised as we are all off to Bournemouth tomorrow for the National Annual Meeting.
Saturday 1st June
Spent some time today organising the agenda for the next Board Meeting and emailing Trustees and Sub-Committee members to ask if they would be prepared to be Coach Leaders when we go to Winchester! 14 coaches organised so far!
Thursday 29th May
OOO I do love the M6 roadworks…..
Met Sue , our lovely Treasurer at Dunchurch Park Hotel this morning. We are going to try their Marquee venue for a special Christmas Lunch with Paul Martin on Monday December 2nd. The flyer will be in the next mailing. Venue looks good and we have high hopes! !
Tuesday 28th May
Sue and I managed to submit the Annual Return for the Charity Commission on-line today without too many problems! We are well before the due date so that’s great news!
704 and counting!
Went off to see the lovely Wendy at Johnsons Coaches this afternoon. We have 704 members and friends going on the Grand day Out to Winchester. We started trying to work out the coach numbers and timings! Hopefully we will get the tickets out next week – just trying to mastermind the jigsaw of events at the moment! !
Sunday 26th May
Well, I am exhausted!
The Garden Open Day was a roaring success yesterday. The weather was with us and we made an astonishing £1485 for the building fund!
Thank goodness for all my friends, neighbours and WI pals who rallied round to help! Had a very funny text from Julia Baker today – and I quote
“ Brilliant and well deserved for all the effort put in by all….. you’re such a good organiser you should be in the WI.”
I will be getting her back for that one!!
Wednesday 22nd May
I am going to be taking a bit of a break from the WI for a few days now. Every year Ray and I open our garden to raise funds for the village church …… it’s on Saturday and I really must do the weeding and make the cakes!
Tuesday 21st May
Public Affairs Committee
The ladies on this committee are dead keen and organise a number of events throughout the year – including Serious Science evenings and our Women Reaching Women Days. Talking of which the flyer for our Water For All? event should be with you shortly – Weds 9th October. These days are always really interesting and informative so do please join us……
Monday 20th May
Business before pleasure!
Went into the Office early today to have a quick meeting about Finance and other related matters. Lots of work on our insurance cover, the Denman Weekend in 2020 and the update of the budget. It was a great meeting as we were all off to the Literary Lunch at Mallory Court once business was completed! What a fabulous Literary Lunch we had! Jo Toye was an inspirational speaker, the lunch was excellent and everything was brilliantly organised by Terry Barker and the Creative Activities sub-committee!
Saturday 18th May
Warwickshire Gets Creative!
Many thanks to members of the Board of Trustees and the Creative Activities Sub- Committee who got creative at the Library today. I hear it went really well and was much appreciated. Well done!
Thursday 16th May
Sarah and Kathy in the office are totally brilliant. Even though the Board meeting on Tuesday didn’t finish until 4.00pm, these wonderful ladies managed to get everything duplicated and pigeon holed ready to mail out today. We are so lucky to have such talented and dedicated staff.
Weds 15th May
What a treat tonight to be able to attend the inaugural meeting of Acorns WI in Nuneaton.
Well done to Ruth and Sue from our Membership and Promotions Team for getting this brand new WI up and running! Fabulous news.
Great discussion on the resolutions and a very interesting talk on recycling by a lady called Kebrina, from Nuneation who really will not take no for an answer when she talks to big companies about recycling! Inspirational. Do google her and find out what she is doing!
Tuesday 14th May
What a busy meeting !
It was great to welcome two members of Mancetter WI as observers to Trustees today.
It took us ages to approve all the budgets and flyers for all the events the Sub-Committees are putting on for all you lovely members in October and November! Whatever floats your boat! Nordic Walking? Taiko drumming? Olde Tyme Music Hall , Barge Art to name but a few of the options on offer. Look out in your mailing!
We also made decisions about the AFM in 2020. It will be on 30th March at Dallas Burston. Now all we have to do is sort out the budget, the speakers and the new venue for the shopping area!
Thanks to all of the Trustees and sub- committees for all their hard work.
Sunday 12th May
Memory Stick is full!
Spent a couple of hours checking the agenda and paperwork for the Board meeting on Tuesday. I always back up all the papers on a memory stick just to be on the safe side. We have such a packed agenda that we cant afford for any hold ups!
Saturday 11th May
Not a WI event but helped my sister to raise money for the Brain tumour Trust today. She lost a very dear friend to this recently so we were all doing our bit today. We made £250 – which was great
Friday 10th May
What an interesting afternoon.
As you know we are trying to move events around the Federation to give everyone a chance of being nearer to events ….. so I went to look at an alternative venue for Paul Martin ( OOOOO yes , from Flog It) for December. What an interesting venue – they offered us a Christmas dinner menu with crackers etc. Might be nice since it’s on December 2nd! No, the flyer hasn’t come out yet!
I will be taking alternative venues and costings to the Board on Tuesday!
Wednesday 8th May
Reminding myself of how WIs work on the ground!
What a lovely evening I had- haven’t been to a Committee meeting for a while so it was a great pleasure to see a Committee in full flow. Honestly, our WIs across the county work so hard for their members!
Tuesday 7th May
What a busy day!
Creative Activities and Leisure Activities Sub-Committees met today and blimey they have got so many activities organised for all you lovely members! Ever fancied trying Taiko Drumming? Nordic walking? Willow weaving? Public Speaking? All coming your way in October and November.! Look out for the flyers in the next mailing!
Monday 6th May
Today’s job- sort out the coach leaders for the various coaches going to Winchester on the Big Day out on 29th July. We are up to 540 participants and that’s a lot of coach leaders!!! Emailing all of the Trustees back and forth to negotiate who is doing what and going from where!
Saturday 4th May
Today’s job – sort out the coach leaders for the various coaches going to Winchester on the Big Day out on 29th July. We are up to 540 participants and that’s a lot of coach leaders!!! Emailling all of the Trustees back and forth to negotiate who is doing what and going from where!
Friday 3rd May
I love it when a plan comes together……
Had several really interesting emails today from Trustees. Julia has got the Quiz all sorted for 22nd May – we all have our jobs and instructions!! Sue has nearly got an ABBA night sorted for us! And the various quotes arrived for the AFM 2020 – all the Board has to do is make a decision about which to accept!
Thursday 2nd May
The Hundred Years Tour!
Well! The Jambuster option worked really well. We had a super day out, Martin The Blue Badge Guide had really done his homework. The weather was kind. The Spanish Flu Centenary Exhibition at The Florence Nightingale Museum was excellent. The fish and chip supper was really good and we got back to Warwick before 9pm. Winner!
Wednesday 1st May.
Where did April go then???
Got all the paperwork sorted for the London trip tomorrow. Thanks to Kathy in the Office for sorting it all out for me. Jeryl Stone will be my Deputy Coach Leader and Veronica Chapman will act as the Emergency Contact at home. (all really necessary in this day and age!) Must set my alarm early even though we are going much later than usual for a London trip. We are trialling what they call a “Jambuster “ option where we arrive at lunchtime, stay later and have a fish and chip supper before leaving after the rush hour. I will be interested to see how it works out. Still think I need to leave here well before 8.00 to be there ready for 9 ish when my ladies start arriving!
Serious Science – Wow!
I was sorry to miss Serious Science tonight but was wearing another hat as a Governor of the local school. Gillian Crisp, Chair of Public Affairs reported that:
“ Andrew Lound wowed us all with his in-depth presentation of the Apollo missions to the moon, showing fascinating images and videos, especially of the lunar landing in 1969. This brought the 2019 series of Serious Science lectures to a close, having taken us on a journey including the mission to Mars, Chemical Warfare through the ages, the workings of the human mind and finally to Apollo 11.”
Monday 29th April
Wish I had gone to Wedgwood! Sounds like the trip today was fantastic. Well done Gillian and Christine for organising such a super day out for our members.
Sunday 28th April
Just started to prepare the outline Agenda for the Board meeting on the 14th. Scoured the minutes of the last meeting to make sure I don’t miss anything important! Chased various venues and so on for the quotes for events in 2020 and spent a good while on the phone discussing matters financial with the lovely Sue Myhill our Federation Treasurer. There’s always a lot to do to keep the budget on track.
Friday 26th April
Getting ready for next Thursday!
Spent a short while checking all the arrangements are in place for the 100 Years tour in London next Thursday. Coach sorted, Blue Badge Guide sorted, Fish and Chip Supper sorted! All good then!
Wednesday 24th April
Grand Union Group Extravaganza!
What a lovely evening I have just had with the members of the Grand Union Group at Rowington Village Hall. Almost everyone was dressed up which really added to the atmosphere! The Olde Tyme Music Hall was highly entertaining and a grand time was had by all. I do hope that they will be able to continue this group as they are a great bunch of ladies and jolly good fun!
Tuesday 23rd April
The Trustee Team and the Denman Bake-Off….
What a day……… they even had the music on and a timer on screen- no pressure then!
We put on our Team Warwickshire T Shirts, courtesy of the lovely Sue Myhill and her sewing machine and we were off!
There were five teams of two taking part today and we watched Kelly Maugher, Head of the Cookery School demonstrate how to make marshmallow before starting off on the Challenge ,which was to make old fashioned chocolate teacakes…….
Melt the chocolate…….. line the half circle moulds with it…..make and bake the shortbread circles……. whisk the egg whites……
“OK so far! AAAHHH “
…… boil the sugar, water and liquid glucose to precisely 128 degrees …… add the gelatine… pour into egg whites in a steady stream whilst whisking……
“Ummmm, Jeryl does this look right?”
Whisk until cool…. force into piping bag…..
“ It’s very sticky – are you sure this is right?”
Pipe, with some difficulty into cholate moulds
smooth , add a spot of jam, press a biscuit down onto the top of each… coat with chocolate and seal. Press on transfer and smooth down…… into fridge!
“Whew, time to wash up and 10 mins to go. …. Oh, NO! We have to make Rocky Road with the leftovers.”
“What do you mean , you don’t know what Rocky Road is?”
“No, nor me, must be like chocolate biscuit cake really. Ok You mix it up and I will make the plate look like a rocky road with a curve of melted chocolate some odd biscuit pavers and mould the marshmallows in to mountains! “
“30 seconds…… Whack it on the plate then! “
A quick cup of tea and then 2 minutes to get the teacakes out of the moulds and on to the judges table.
Nail bitingly nervous we watched the judges cut open a teacake from each team, commenting on the thickness of the chocolate, the elasticity of the marshmallow and the shortness of the biscuit….. then they tried the five lots of Rocky road…. All different as no-one really knew what they were doing! Off the Judges went to consult before announcing that TEAM 4 were the overall winners!
We won! Amazed.
Getting ready for tomorrow!
Hope you all had a lovely Easter. We spent almost all weekend digging! Lovely not to be wearing a fleece and jumpers! Just been making arrangements to meet up with Jeryl Stone, Trustee prior to travelling to Denman tomorrow to take part in the Great Denman Bake-Off!. Jeryl says that the lovely Sue Myhill has finished our Team Warwickshire T-shirts so we are all set.
Thursday 18th April
Nuneaton Acorns WI went live last night! Fabulous news . Welcome to Warwickshire Federation. We all know that mighty oaks grow from tiny acorns!
The monthly mailing is all done and ready to go !
Well done Sarah and Kathy in the Office . Have a great Easter one and all!
Tuesday 16th April
Membership and Promotion Team is steaming ahead.
Great news from Ruth , the Chair of M&P. It looks like we may well have a new WI starting in the Nuneaton Area! Brilliant. Can’t wait to hear if the inaugural meeting is a success!
Digital Strategy Team
Plans are going ahead for the Digital Committee Evening on 23rd July. Up to 6 members of your Wi Committee can come along and find out what other WIs across the Federation do to use digital means to help them! If you haven’t sent your form in yet then please do!
Monday 15th April
A good meeting all round!
The key staff at Dallas Burston made the Officers very welcome this afternoon and were very positive about the feedback which we gave to them. They were so impressed that 450 plus members took the trouble to give feedback!
A good evening at Leamington Baptist Church. Its such a good idea to come along and listen to a five minute taster session from best part of 20 speakers! I always say it’s your chance to “Try before you Buy” – everyone found the evening really useful.. Well done, Trustee Team for another useful and successful event for our members.
Sunday 14th April
Preparations All In Hand….
Feedback for Dallas Burston re AFM on Monday ? Check .
Planner for Speakers Showcase on Monday ? Check .
Agenda for Membership & Promotions Committee on Tuesday ? Check.
Agenda and plans for Digital Strategy Committee on Tuesday? Check.
Time for a lie down in the HOT TUB then!
Friday 12th April
Did lots of letters and thank you cards today for all the events and support I have been receiving recently. I love using the computer for speed but actually there is something really special about writing and posting letters and cards isn’t there?
Thursday 11th April
Look out Denman!
Jeryl Stone and I have entered the Great Denman Bake-Off on Easter Tuesday! Not sure what we are cooking but I know what we are wearing! The lovely (and very talented) Sue Myhill, Federation Treasurer is embroidering our Team Warwickshire shirts for us to wear on the day! Here’s a quick preview!
Wednesday 10th April.
Nothing WI at all today. Thought I needed to spend some quality time with Ray as I haven’t really seen him since Sunday!
Tuesday 9th April
No chance of being bored at the Board meeting today!
The Trustees were in full Easter mode today with rabbit ears and bonnets abounding!
Julia, our lovely Health and Safety Rep sprang a surprise Fire Drill on us to make sure all procedures were being followed correctly! And all of this before we really got the meeting started!
We were pleased to welcome Sue Gill from Stockton WI as a newly co-opted Trustee and Margaret from Grandborough WI who was visiting as an observer to see what we do. (goodness knows what she thought of the headgear!)
We reviewed the half-year budget, discussed the recommendations from O&F and then reviewed the AFM. We received 450 feedback forms, which were really very positive about the venue and general format. We already knew that the Stalls area was too crowded and the feedback confirmed that. We also began to make outline plans for next year’s AFM!
Dassett Group Meeting
After the Board meeting I went and scrounged a cuppa at Sue Myhill’s house as there wasn’t any point in driving all the way north to go home and then driving back down the county to Kineton for 7pm. Thanks, Sue, much appreciated!
The Dassett Group Meeting was lovely. The speaker was Graham Short, the Miniaturist. Totally fascinating illustrated talk. The group were very welcoming, fellow trustees Ruth and Yvette and I had a great time. Loved the miniature refreshments and miniature prizes in the raffle! Great Fun!
Monday 8th April
Dame Stella Rimington….. WOW!
OMG! What an amazing woman is Dame Stella! She came across as very kind, very ordinary and very nice indeed. She has had one heck of an amazing life though! I think everyone who attended the lunch today was really impressed with her. Super !
Kingsbury WI is 75 Years old!
Lovely evening with the Kingsbury Ladies tonight. A lovely buffet and some great entertainment with songs from the Musicals. Made you forget all about the mother and father of a thunderstorm going on outside……. It was like the monsoon!
Sunday 7th April
Ready ! Got everything sorted for tomorrow. Clothes in car for a quick change after Dame Stella as I am straight off to Kingsbury WI’s 75th Birthday Celebration Evening after finishing off at Wroxall Abbey! I just love racing up and down the M40 and M42 ( actually I think that should be crawling like a snail not racing!)
Friday 5th April
Just double checking all arrangements for Stella Rimington on Monday are in place. Jeryl Stone is picking her up from Coventry station… Julia Baker is sorting the flowers for the tables….. Trustees are donating and bringing raffle prizes … Trustees are coming early to make sure all is set up! Should be a good day.
Meanwhile I am starting double checking the paperwork for Tuesday’s Board meeting. OOOOOO ! It’s the meeting before Easter. Where did I put that Easter Bonnett????
Wednesday 3rd April
Congratulations to Hampton Lucy and Charlecote WI
Well.. it was the Centenary Celebration at Hampton Lucy and Charlecote tonight! What fun! You could dress up as any decade you liked so Jeryl stone and I went as schoolgirls! At least the tennis racquets were authentic which is more than I can say for our freckles! A great time was had by all present!
Tuesday 2nd April
Great Office and Finance Meeting today. The half yearly budget is more or less on track! Brilliant. Sometimes it’s hard to explain to our members how much it actually costs to run the Federation – we have to pay salaries and pensions for our staff, pay our rates and electricity/ utility bills and maintain the building just like any other organisation. It’s a good job Sue Myhill, our lovely Treasurer is here to keep us all on track !
Sunday 31st March
Getting ready for Tuesday ….
The Board has an Office and Finance sub-committee which meets to discuss all matters financial . We will be reviewing the AFM, the half yearly budget report, insurance and the next stages of the CIO. Can’t wait!!
Friday 29th March
Money, money , money ……
Spent ages with Sue Myhill, our lovely Treasurer today discussing the finances of the AFM. Gosh, she works hard!
Thursday 28th March
Tick, tick, tick …….
Been analysing the feedback forms from the AFM all week. 450 members completed forms on the day and I started off using an excel spreadsheet but very soon decided that the old pen, paper and five bar gate system would be quicker! Haven’t finished it yet but generally there was a lot of positivity about the day. New venue so we didn’t get everything right! But everyone loved the Cake Lady and Simon King!
Tuesday 26th March
OOOOOOO ! Important stuff
Had to write formally to NFWI today to ask them to include our proposed change of charitable status on the Agenda for the National Annual Meeting in June. So pleased that our WIs voted unanimously to agree this change.
Monday 25th March
Two IT workshops today. A great range of ladies with all levels of skills on their IPads! Loads of work in settings and then adventures with Siri! I just love hearing our ladies saying
“ Would you mind setting an alarm, Siri?” Thank you, Siri” and “Sorry to bother you , Siri!”
The last of the collection for the homeless was picked up today. I still cant believe the generosity of our members. Absolutely fantastic!
Sunday 24th March
Just spent a couple of hours preparing for the IPad workshops tomorrow. It’s always interesting to meet with members who are tackling new technology. Looking forward to an interesting and fun day .
Thursday 21st March
Coleshill Group Meeting.
What a lovely evening I spent tonight with my old friends in the Coleshill Group- I went to school with several members! Lady Anne Foley was an excellent speaker , giving a first rate account of what it means to be a Soldier’s Wife. Lovely refreshments , great speaker and good company – what more can you ask for at a Group Meeting!
Wednesday 20th March
Amazing feedback on AFM
It has been lovely to receive so many lovely emails about the AFM on Monday.
The Trustees and I will be meeting with the team from the IXL Centre to feedback on what went well and what needed some improvement. We do this every year after the AFM and as this was our first year in a new venue, your feedback is very useful indeed.
We have counted the money, distributed the donations to the homeless and tried to put everything in the office back in the right place. Now it is onward and upward time as we get ready to greet Dame Stella Rimington in April.
Tuesday 19th March
Best described as lying down in a darkened room!
Monday 18th March
Wow, What a Day!
The AFM is officially over! Fantastic. Everyone did a wonderful job. Trustees, Sub-Committees , Stewards and helpers were all totally brilliant. Sarah and Kathy from the Office were truly amazing and the sound/ IT worked. Flowers on the stage were lovely, thanks Beverley. Speakers were great. Not a dry eye in the house when Kath Ryan, the Cake Lady was speaking. Lynne Stubbings gave a brilliant update on her life as National Chair. My speech went off well, in the end. Members loved seeing the Lincoln photos provided by the marvellous David Clarke. The entertainment provided by Bulkington WI was brilliant. Simon King was amazing and the grand Centenary Finale with Cathy Morris and her song from every decade has us dancing in the aisles!
Whew! Loved it!
Sunday 17th March I must stop changing my speech… My poor, long suffering husband Ray listened gamely all day to me saying things like “does this sound better than that? Shall I go back to version 6?” all day today! Went to bed very early in case I overslept, then woke up every hour to check the clock…….. you know the feeling I am sure!
Saturday 16th March
Julia, one of our beloved Trustees had a big birthday today and the Board were all invited along to help her to celebrate! Great idea, as it stopped me worrying about the AFM for a few hours!
Friday 15th March
Brilliant afternoon at Dallas Burston. The Hall was all ready with the chairs and tables set up on our arrival. Beverley French came along to set up her flower arrangement for the stage- looks great! The sound guys were there and we tested the system, set up the stalls and the Committee Display rooms. What a brilliant team! By 4.00pm we were on the way home- a great job done!
Thursday 14th March
The Office is full of piles of stuff to go to the IXL Centre tomorrow. The best tablecloth has been ironed to adorn the top table. Merchandise, paperwork, plans and a hundred huge mailing envelopes have been boxed up ready! We already have a huge pile of donations of sanitary wear and toiletries for the homeless. Sarah says we will have at least six times as much arrive on Monday! Brilliant.
Tuesday 12th March
Money, Money Money!
It was worth seeing our lovely Treasurer Sue Myhill’s face when I announced she would be walking on stage to this Abba tune at the AFM next week! We have got the Meeting all sorted, I think. Everyone knows which bits they are doing. Just got to make sure we don’t forget to take everything for the set up on Friday
Meanwhile we are getting ready to be a force to be reckoned with at Sewing For Pleasure at the NEC for the rest of the week.
We made loads of decisions about later in the year. Including another celebrity lunch in December, dragon Boat racing, Line Dancing and an Abba singalong! Flyers will be with your Secretaries shortly.
Monday 11th March
Ready for Board tomorrow?
Well, I am now! Spent a couple of happy hours trawling the minutes from the February Board and making sure we don’t miss anything tomorrow! Its our final meeting before the AFM so we have to make sure we have got everything sorted…….. I guess we will all be gliding across the waters next Monday smiling sweetly whilst paddling madly underneath! The Board are just like those serene swans on the lake! Especially me!
Saturday 9th March
Listen, Speak , Inspire
What an honour for Warwickshire Federation to be able to host a NFWI workshop today.
Four Warwickshire members were joined by members from Derbyshire and Somerset for a fascinating day learning how to speak in public with confidence. I really enjoyed listening to the ladies throughout the day as they grew in confidence. Brilliant!
Friday 8th March
Oooo! Celebrity speaker……
Busy day today. Spent all morning planning the sound script for the AFM on 18th March and on the phone trying to book another Celebrity speaker for a big lunch on 2nd December. It will be a similar format to Dame Stella Rimington in April, big lunch at Wroxall Abbey…….. cant tell you who it is yet but I really don’t think we will find it hard to Flog the tickets!
Sat 2nd March
Derbyshire Annual Federation Meeting
Off I went on the train to Chesterfield today. A fun day, spent with Sue Myhill, our Federation Treasurer at this Derbyshire Annual Meeting. Loved seeing the crooked spire! Sue and I were watching all the official proceedings with our notebooks on hand in case we have missed anything for our own AFM agenda on 18th March! Enjoyed hearing Jules Hudson of Countryfile/ Escape to the Country fame too.
Friday 1st March
Ooooo! Sex and The Tudors!
Well done, Public Affairs Committee! What a fun evening we had at Bulkington tonight with the inimitable Lesley Smith. Historian and raconteur extraordinaire! I now know lots of things which I ‘m not sure I should! Fascinating talk and all based in sound historical fact, often with artefacts! Great fun!
Thurs 28th February
Paperwork finalised with the Solicitors- at last!
Think we are almost ready to take the proposal to convert the Federation to CIO status at the Annual meeting on 18th March. The original Constitution has been re-drafted to record the changes which would be necessary if the vote for conversion goes ahead. I just love the name of our Solicitors – Wright Hassall – actually they have been really helpful but the name always makes me smile!
Tuesday 26th February
Blimey…… busy day or what!
Delighted to attend the Public Affairs meeting this morning – lots of business under way ….. everything from preparing for the Resolution Briefings
(extremely difficult to do when the result of the vote hasn’t been announced yet by NFWI) to planning for the Water Focus Day later in the year! All plans in place for Serious Science tonight and Sex and the Tudors on Friday!
Also great to talk to Susan Juned, who will be representing the Federation at the National Climate Change Conference on Saturday!
Then it was the Office and Finance Meeting, where we had a serious review of our current income and expenditure along with planning for the AFM on 18th March.
Finally the Digital Strategy Team met – a group drawn from all of the various Sub-Committees and trustees who have been masterminding the digital roll out across the Federation. WI Secretaries and Presidents are now able to access the monthly mailing on line via a password protected part of the Website. The next step will be a similar portal for Treasurers. Plans are moving on apace for the Digital Committee Workshop on July 23rd! Watch this space !
Monday 25th February
All Ready for the National Meeting in June!
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to Warwick for the Delegates meeting tonight, but Christine, Vice Chair did and she reports that 20 of the 26 delegates were able to attend the briefing. It’s great to know that so many pf our members take the Resolution process so seriously and I am looking forward to spending time with our delegates in Bournemouth in early June!
Saturday 23rd February
The Concert to end all concerts…….
What a fabulous evening. What an honour to be able to welcome 300 Warwickshire WI members and guests to our fantastic concert. Not to mention the Mayor and his consort , Matt Weston M.P and his wife ……… as well as the lovely Lynne Stubbings, NFWI Chair and John, her husband . Those of you who were there will know what a bling-tastic event it was!
Sunny Ormonde, aka Lilian from The Archers did a fantastic job of compering the show – she was funny, outrageous and delightful – a true professional. Brilliant.
We started off with the wonderful Cubbington Silver Band – splendiferous sound throughout. The Peas followed- their unique sound took us all down memory lane – fantastic. Second City Sound were a great example of barbershop at its very best, the Sa Central girls had us all toe tapping throughout and then the final act- The Retros had us dancing in the aisles.
I am in total awe of the hardworking team of Trustees who made the concert happen. Absolutely brilliant…
Friday 22nd February
Back from France!
Well, we had weather which would have been considered good in May! Lovely time. Back to reality now! It’s the Gala Concert tomorrow and I am just checking names, details, spellings and pronunciation of the honoured guests and dignitaries. Don’t want to get it wrong! It’s looking fabulous and the Trustee team have worked really hard to pull it all together.
Read about two hundred assorted emails so far – hmmm the work piles up when you are away for a few days!
Thursday 14th February
Have I got it all sorted?
Rushed round a bit today – We are off to France for a few days field walking on The Somme. Many of you will know that I am very keen on this period of history. We will be re-visiting many of the sites which we took Federation members to a few years back as part of my work on the Public Affairs Committee. No doubt I will be tweeting my finds on my twitter feed so if you are interested then you can catch up with me via annebuftonmccoy on twitter.
Wednesday 13th February
Judges, Shows and a good old catch up……
Had a lovely meeting this afternoon – it was great to see our Judges altogether. We welcomed Vicky, Bev and Fiona, newly qualified judges to the meeting and were sorry to hear that Dianne and Judi are to “ hang up their Judges hats” this year.
We discussed the allocation of Judges for the various applications for Judges which have been received and made plans for a moderation meeting next year.
It was a pleasure to attend the meeting and to be able to thank the Judges for all they do for our WIs and their members on behalf of the Federation.
Tuesday 12th February
The Board Meeting……..
A long day today, we were pleased to welcome an observer from Kenilworth WI to the meeting and sorted flyers and budgets for The Digital Committee Evening in July as well as a trip to Harry Potter World in October. People are always amazed how far in advance we have to work, but this is to allow time for everything to be processed, mailed out to WIs and to allow WIs two meetings to discuss them and order tickets if they wish to do so. We have to do this in time to be able to cancel an event without penalty if there isn’t enough take-up! (All part of the being financially prudent bit)
The first break saw us all outside with our “ Show the Love” green hearts- necklaces, brooches, biscuits and even a heat! We are all jolly proud to be part of this wonderful NFWI campaign, which is gaining ground every year!
We are all looking forward to the Centenary Concert on Saturday 23rd February at Warwick School, which promises to be a fabulous evening. There are still a few tickets left, so do contact the Office if you would like to join us. We also went through all the arrangements for the AFM in March, making sure we have all our bases covered…. I hope!!
A moment of sadness We were all very sorry to hear of the sad loss of Ann Beatty, such a stalwart member of the Federation for many years. We all shared our memories of her fantastic contributions over the years and took time to remember the many ways she had touched all of our lives.
Monday 11th February
Biscuits iced……… meetings done and dusted!
What a lovely day- busy though……. Everyone was thrilled with the sheer size and space in the Hall at Dallas Burston! Had a great discussion with Matt, the AV man, Matt will make sure all the sound and visual technical work on the day! We know where all the collection points for the mailing, the Homeless Period Collection and so on are going to be now. Looking forward to the day very much!
Sorted out loads of stuff with Sue , our lovely Treasurer and then off we went to Wroxall Abbey to make sure that all our plans for Lunch with Dame Stella Rimington are in place. Brilliant.
Home much later and iced those biscuits ready for tomorrow.
Sunday 10th February
Green Hearts at the ready!
Busy day today. We have a lot of meetings tomorrow- Dallas Burston to run through the arrangements for the AFM, then a meeting with Sue, our lovely treasurer about Independent Financial Examinations- she has some brilliant ideas! then we are off to Wroxall Abbey to finalise the arrangements for the Lunch with Stella Rimington on 8th April.
I have got all the paperwork and planning for Monday ( as above) sorted out and I am ready for Tuesday’s Board meeting. Well, all except finishing my green heart biscuits for the Trustees Version of Show the Love! Mind you, I just have to stop Ray from eating these biscuits before I have finished icing them………… he thought they were an early Valentine’s present.
Thursday 7th February
MMMMMM Chocolate workshop night.
OOO! just the thing after a busy day preparing paperwork for the Board meeting next Tuesday. My own WI at Newton Regis had a super- duper Chocolate Workshop – everyone had a lovey time.
Tuesday 5th February
A different sort of day……
Missed going to Membership and promotions Committee today as I was speaking at The Country Trust Conference. Those of you who know me, know that as an ex teacher I have a passion for taking disadvantaged kids on farm visits!
M&P have all kinds of exciting plans afoot- training treasurers and officers , helping WIs to promote themselves and opening new WIs!
Monday 4th February
Meetings, Meetings, Meetings!!!
Well, Sue Myhill and I had a great time today, asking each other lots of questions about the CIO plans. Bit disappointed not to see anyone else, but we consoled ourselves that it must have meant that the paperwork we sweat blood over had been reasonably clear. ( At least, that’s our theory!!!)
Then we had an Office and Finance meeting with Veronica and Christine, our lovely Vice Chairs where we discussed the quotations for the renewal of the electricity contract for Federation House – it’s definitely worth getting three quotes as there was quite a difference!
FINALLY we met with all the Trustees to hold our Annual Policy Review.
This was an evening meeting as we are trying to vary meeting times to encourage people who work to consider becoming Trustees.
We went through all of the policy decisions made during the year and formalised them for posterity. One of those quietly important jobs. Many thanks to Margaret for making sure we didn’t miss any decisions and to Sarah, for minuting the meeting so accurately.
Sunday 3rd February
Reviews and tomorrow!
As the first year of this new Board draws to a close I am really enjoying having a chat to individual Trustees to review how the year has gone – what went well, not so well and what they would like to do differently or more of next year.
Also trying to make sure that I am well prepared for the meetings tomorrow about changing the charitable status of the Federation. These are open to any/ all current members, who are able to come along for a coffee and chat at 11.00am or 2.30pm . Sue, Federation Treasurer and I will be there doing pour best to answer any questions or concerns.
Friday 1st February
Stella Rimington is coming!
Opened an official looking envelope in the post today and it was confirmation of how much Dame Stella is looking forward to seeing us all on April 8th! So I thought I had better double check that I had bought my tickets for the lunch at Wroxall Abbey. Ah! I had bought mine when this event was on members only release…….. in my head I had bought a ticket for Ray but, on checking , realised I must have dreamt it! Oops! Good job there are still a few tickets left for members and friends! I would have been in the doghouse otherwise!
Wednesday 30th January
Policy Preparation Day
Next Monday we have our annual Board of trustees Policy check up meeting. This is when we make sure that all of our policies are up to date and compliant with the Constitution and charity law. Any changes made during the year are discussed and made into policy. Sounds a bit pedantic, I know but we have to ensure that everything we do is proper!
Spent today checking the paperwork to make sure the agenda runs smoothly. We are trialling this as an evening meeting of the Board. We are very conscious that our current pattern of meetings would preclude someone who works (unless they have an extremely understanding Boss) from joining the Board.
Monday 28th January
What a day!
Totally done in when I got home last night. Presidents Day went really well. We did three sessions , 2.00, 4.30 and 7.30pm. Everyone who came was really appreciative of the effort put in by individual Trustees to ensure that their own part f the presentation was interesting, informative and professional. We covered a lot of ground with everything from keeping up with charitable law and GDPR to how to promote your WI on social media getting an airing. ( pic on twitter)
Huge thank you to all those Presidents and committee members who attended. Really appreciate your support.
Just making sure I have everything ready for President’s Day tomorrow ……… it’s a packed agenda and I just want to be sure that if we have WI ladies from all over the County coming along then we have done our very best to prepare and provide them with the information they need to do their job! It’s a great honour for our Board that so many Presidents are making the effort to come along to meet with us. Brilliant!
OOOOOOOO! My cheeses I made at Denman last week are beginning to do their thing! The Cambozola has grown a “furry white coat” of mould and the Stilton has a powdery blue coat. I emailed the Tutor Louise in a total panic in case I had done it wrong. She said “Chill out, this is the fourth panicking email have had. It’s all fine!” Happy Days!
Well done to the intrepid team of Trustees who spent all morning at the office proof reading the new Yearbook. It’s got to go to print shortly in order to be ready for the Annual Federation Meeting in March.
Well, that’s it then having seen Trish’s knitted smoothie hats I thought I had better show willing….. after all I did manage to knit some poppies for the display in Warwick (only because Jeryl Stone made me knit one! ) I will be doing the simple stripey one, not a clever dinosaur or banana!
Lots of paperwork at the moment. We have been getting ready for our Annual President’s Day Presentation next Monday and all of the Trustees have been emailing their ideas and agenda items in all day. I think it’s just about in order now
Busy day at Federation House today. Spent all morning with the Leisure Activities Committee. Goodness me have they got some exciting events coming up …… ever fancied Dragon Boat Racing? Look out for the flyer! Nordic Walking and Line dancing are also in the pipeline! And we’ve still got the Darts Final and the Treasure Hunt coming up! It’s all go!
Quick lunch break and then onto Creative Activities Committee…….. what’s your WI doing for the NFWI Get Creative Festival in May? Let us know if you are planning an event. We will be doing something very creative at Warwick Museum on Saturday 18th May! Look out for Stumpwork and Willow Weaving later in the year. Some really great ideas.
Trish has been really busy knitting exemplar hats for those smoothie bottles- totally amazing and fun
Favourite sort of day….. yesterday when I went to the market in Tamworth, Paul my lovely fruit and veg man uttered the immortal words “I’ve got a present for you!”
Yep, a 40lb box of Seville oranges so today I have been marmalading all day. Just waiting for Ray to realise that I have emptied his Laphroiag whisky into the last batch!
Did quite a bit of Federation stuff today, preparing for President’s Day on Monday 28th January. It’s a buy agenda and all of the Trustees are talking part so I‘m just trying to make sure we don’t duplicate our presentations! Hope you have booked your place, presidents!
What a sense of achievement. I have a cold box full of cheese to take home….. and oat biscuits, and cheese straws and the aforementioned tart. What a wonderful course. Thoroughly recommend going to Denman. If you have never been then why not go on one pf the Day courses Warwickshire are running and have a look!
We are making blue cheeses this time , so during the day we have made Cambozola, Goats cheese and now Stilton . Sooo excited! Also made the most wonderful blue cheese salad dressing and a gorgeous Gorgonzola, pecan and pear tart! Before we knew where we were it was time for another lemonade and then I was so tired that I don’t even remember getting into bed!
Spent the morning running round doing family stuff and emailing Trustees about bits and bobs. It’s only when you are going away for a few days that you remember how much there is to do. Poor Sarah in the office, a load of emails and then phone calls as the time to depart got ever closer!
Then we were off to Denman……….. my sister and I were going to make cheese with the lovely Louise Talbot.
On arrival it was great to see two more Warwickshire members – coincidentally also on the Cheese course. Fab!
After tea we got the first cheese started. Gallons of milk and cream! Then off to the Bar for a quick lemonade before bed!
It seemed very strange getting up and out to go to a Board Meeting today!
We decided to trial a Saturday meeting as we are aware that weekday meetings might put off potential Trustees. (and we are also trialling an evening meeting soon. Watch this space!)
We were delighted to welcome visitors from The Revel and Harbury WIs and hope that they found the day useful. We did loads of business as we were finalising flyers and budgets for events and outings in July. I am thrilled to bits because we are definitely on for another Grand Day Out on July 29th! Thanks to Mr Johnson for giving us the coaches at a very reasonable rate and for enabling us to have multiple pick-ups across the Federation. We are hoping that as many members as possible will join us for a Day Out to WINCHESTER. A great opportunity for smaller WIs to take part in an outing without incurring a major financial risk See you all there!
We also finalised a lot of details for the Annual Federation Meeting on March 18th at Dallas Burston Polo Ground. It is looking good, with a packed agenda and SIMON KING , the acclaimed wildlife photographer as Keynote speaker in the afternoon. We also have all kinds of special speakers and entertainment which celebrate Inspiring Women! So look forward to seeing you all there !
What a fantastic evening I had at the Platinum Celebration Dinner held by Curdworth WI tonight. Great food, good company- lots of WI friends I have made over the years were there. Fab to see so many great people! The evening went with a real swing, and the entertainment! Well! What a fantastic magician- Sue Myhill , our lovely Treasurer is still checking her watch to see if it really is hers – we all thought it was lost forever! Lynne Stubbings had a great time too as Wishaw have a long-standing friendship with Curdworth. Brilliant night!
Off I went on the train, all the way to Dundee! Best bib and tucker, WI badge highly polished.! I won an invitation to the 150th Birthday Celebration of The People’s Friend Magazine! What a bash! Everyone I met was interested to find out about the WI so those of you who have met me can imagine that I was in my element on that one! Dundee was lovely. Really enjoyable time…… and six hours on the train gave me so much time to prepare for the Board meeting! Bonus!
Drove to Warwick early today and met the Officers ( Veronica, Sue and Christine) at the Hall at Budbrooke. The Hall is new to us and we are using it as a venue for Presidents Day on 28th January so we needed to check it out. Lovely sunny morning and the Hall looks great.
Back over to the Office for a Staff meeting with Sarah and Kathy. We get together every month or so to see how things are going and make sure we haven’t forgotten anything important! It’s also a great opportunity for a catch up!
Then we got down to the graft of the Office and Finance group- led by Sue ,our Treasurer we grappled with various quotes, reviews and plans. It was great to be joined by Heather Howell for this meeting, as she co-ordinates Sales and merchandise for us. We went through loads of paperwork and made a series of recommendations which will be taken to the Board of Trustees later in the week.
The Centenary Concert Group also had a meeting today! Lots of plans for a splendid evening on 23rd February. Hope you have all got your tickets!
Have spent today catching up on emails and getting ready for meetings at Federation House on Tuesday. Sue Myhill, our lovely County Treasurer has been working hard preparing budgets for various events which we have in the pipeline for our members to enjoy later in the year. She has also prepared quite a long agenda for the Officers to discuss on Tuesday at the Office and Finance Meeting. (This committee does quite a lot of the preparatory legwork for the Board meetings)
Looking forward to seeing Sarah and Kathy in the Office on Tuesday- hope they both had a great Christmas break……
Also very grateful thanks to Veronica, Vice Chair who went into the Office just before Christmas to check over the re-decoration works so that the contractors could be paid before Christmas. She saved me doing a good two hour round trip for which I am very thankful.
Happy New Year to you all! Had a fab time away in the wilds of Ardnamurchan, very cold but beautiful as always. The cottage we stay in is literally at the end of the road and has no phone signal or internet. We had to use the more old fashioned means of communication.
Today is my last day of blogging until the New Year as I am going to settle down for a nice family Christmas and then spend the New Year in the wilds of Scotland. It’s been a really interesting and exciting year for me as Chair and I do hope that next year will be even better as we set off into the second century of the Warwickshire Federation.
Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year
Had to polish up my Badge and find out my best coat tonight as I was representing the Federation at the Carol Service held by The Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff of Warwickshire. What a lovely traditional service with a lovely choir and brass band. Smashing evening.
After a very busy weekend of family and village Christmasssy events it was lovely to get into the Federation Office today to see the decorators hard at work and Sarah and Kathy almost ready with the mailing!
Met up with the Officers to check out the Hall ready for Presidents Day at the end of January and then off to Dallas Burston to review the plans for the Annual Federation Meeting on March 18th with Christie. Then we had a little lunch party for ourselves at The Millstone Hare. Nice way to end a very busy day for the Federation!
Went to the Centenary celebration for Dunchurch and Thurlaston WI tonight! Amazing! A real 1918 them throughout! Traditional fare, a 1918 raffle and serving ladies who looked like they had stepped out of Downton Abbey! Brilliant evening. It was great to see Lynne Stubbings, our national chair there too!
You would hardly recognise Federation House today! The walls are bare and everything has been moved and packed away ready for the decorators to spruce it up! It looks really odd , but when you see the spaces where the pictures and hangings were then you really do know it was time for re-decoration!
Board meeting day today. Trustees were full of the Christmas spirit! We got a lot of serious business done today- finalising plans for Presidents day on January 28th, and making sure we are sorted for the Centenary Concert on Feb 23rd as well as making arrangements for the Annual federation meeting in March. We also approved plans , budgets and flyers for events in May 2019 which will be making their way to members in the mailing!
I am so grateful to everyone on the Board who work so hard to support the Federation. They are brilliant!
Paperwork day today. I like to be all prepared for the Board meeting so I was double checking all the paperwork and making sure it was all lodged on the new secure area of the website! We are well and truly on our way to becoming a paperless Board now!