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!
Well, what a lovely evening I spent tonight with members of Bilton WI celebrating their Centenary! Fabulous food, tinsel everywhere lots of fun and laughter. It was titled Sparkle Evening and it certainly lived up to the name! Well done, Bilton for celebrating in style.
I was also privileged to meet Shirley Brookes who has been a WI Member for an amazing 66 years!
Off to Federation House really early today. Loaded the car with food and puddings.
Met with the Membership and Promotions Team first and made all kinds of plans for helping new Committees and Officers to run and promote their WIs. Then it was the GRAND LUNCH! How fabulous to see all of our team together enjoying a social time together. They work so hard for us all and it was great to see them, the Trustees and Sarah and Kathy from the Office – who actually make everything happen!
Then we had a quick meeting of the Digital Strategy Team where we planned several events for helping members to gain digital skills and planned the next stage of development for the Warwickshire website.