Thursday 19th December
CIO – we have done all we can……… hopefully the Federation will officially become a Charitably Incorporated organisation on the 1st January 2020. This won’t change anything for our members but will make us a very happy Board of Trustees!

Looking forward to Christmas now. Hope you and yours have a peaceful Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Tuesday 17th December
Whew! I’m Still standing!
Tick- M&P meeting went well.
Tick- Meetings re CIO went well AND we signed all the paperwork.
Tick- The Tea party was absolutely great.

Everyone who came enjoyed the opportunity to chat and socialise whilst enjoying the wonderful array of food provided by my lovely Board of Trustees.

Fabulous teamwork!

Monday 16th December
CIO Paperwork Part 3.
All ready for tomorrow. Lots of documents all covered with post its of who has to sign what and where. Also ready for Membership and Promotions Meeting in the morning AND ready for the Tea Party which will follow the CIO Meetings!

Sunday 15th December
Cakes, Pickles and Jams …


Used some of my homemade mincemeat to make some mince pies for the special Thank You Tea Party which the Trustees give to all our lovely Sub-Committee members, Judges and IFEs. It will be a great opportunity to thank them all in, person for all their hard work for the Federation over the year.

Then Ray and I started labelling the pickles and jams which we give as gifts and sell for the village church funds. He must love me a lot!

Friday 13th December
CIO Paperwork Part 2
Got the agendas for the two meetings on Tuesday sorted…… we have to meet as our current Board and agree various documents, close the meeting and then meet as the new Trustees of the CIO and agree another lot of documents. Hmmmm, I think I have got my head round it all.

Wednesday 11th December
CIO Paperwork Part 1.
Looks like we may be on for a 1st January transfer to CIO status for the Federation! The property transfer documentation has been approved in principle by the Corunna Management Committee (necessary as we are part of that group) so I spent a bit of time talking to Rees and Nathan at Wright Hassall about preparing the necessary documentation and then called an extra Board meeting for next Tuesday to do all the official bits!

Tuesday 10th December
We wish you a Merry Board Meeting!

Well! What a lovely Board meeting today. All wearing festive outfits and we powered through an immense amount of business. It was great to have Anita Dudley of treacle Tarts WI as an observer. Anita is currently training to be a WI Adviser and she came along to see how things work at Board level. Great bring and share lunch break followed by a review of recent events and plans for the whole of 2020 with some reference made to at least one event for 2021!!

Monday 9th December
Ready, Steady, Go!
Board of Trustees tomorrow and we are working through all the budgets and flyers for events for members in May! Just been checking that we have everything for the VE Day celebration as well as embroidery, photography and a couple of trips! Spent a while talking through the accounts with Sue Myhill, our lovely Treasurer too.
Ooooooo I had better go and find my reindeer headband and a Christmas jumper- don’t want to let the side down at Trustees!!

Friday 6th December
Another traditional Christmas event …
We always have Hollyberry Eve in the village – a fun evening of seasonal fun and games with mince pies and suitable liquid refreshments! I am usually the MC and there’s always a lot of support from the WI and the church. Great fun – I wasn’t dressed up this year although Alison was and Petey the Snake went down a storm!

Wednesday 4th December
Busy day
Made a Christmas Pudding in Assembly at Austrey primary School- I do this every year and it’s always good fun. Then on to Newton Regis WI Coffee Morning – it’s my own WI and I do like to drop by whenever I can. Spent the afternoon sorting paperwork for the Board Meeting next Tuesday. Sarah in the Office likes everything in on time and I was a bit behind with being away. All sorted now though (I hope!)

Tuesday 3rd December
Think I am Jet Lagged ….
Blimey Everything really caught up with me today – and I was unable to make it to the Anker Group Carol service – my abject apologies to them all.

Monday 2nd December
A Complete Christmas Cracker
Paul Martin was absolutely brilliant today. Everyone really enjoyed meeting him and I think we all had a super day. Well done, Trustees for organising another brilliant event!

Enjoyed the Polesworth Group Carol Service in the evening at Austrey. Although I was really tired!

Sunday 1st December
I feel like Cinderella…… got home just before midnight!
Back home now and I hear that the Barge Art/ Shabby Chic sessions and the Willow Weaving went extremely well.

Thursday 21st November
I could almost wish I had been to Gloucester today – Veronica says it went really well………. However I was up most of the night watching these beauties.

Tuesday 19th November
Leisure and Creative get 2020 organised.
Busy day today as both of these sub- committees met to discuss all their plans for 2020. I am always filled with admiration for the amount of sheer hard work put in by the volunteers on all of our sub- committees- today was no exception. Brilliant.
Back home and we are off! If we see the Northern Lights I will post you a picture!

Sunday and Monday 17/18 November
Packing Frenzy! Ray and I are off to Norway on Wednesday so there’s been a bit of a flap on at home!

Saturday 16th November
Taiko Drumming Rules !
What a brilliant afternoon I had. My friend Olwen (Mancetter WI) and I went to Stoneleigh Village Hall to learn the art of Taiko Drumming. It was absolutely great fun. Hope we get the chance to run another session- everyone was really keen to do so. Thanks to terry Barker and the Creative Activities Committee for organising it!

Thurs 14th November
Ark Building Anyone?
Well, it rained and rained today which was fine by me as I had quite a lot of paperwork to sort after the Board meeting on Tuesday. Think I got most of it done….

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
Birthday celebration.
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
Nearly sorted…
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
Victoria
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
Sponsorship Time
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
Nominations time.
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.

Grandborough WI
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
Busy day
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
Judges Meeting
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
Water Day
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
Board meeting!
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
Nordic Walking.
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
Social Media
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
Packing!
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
Centenary Celebrations
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