Women in Winchester

Thanks to the continued glorious warm weather we were able to enjoy a meeting with a difference this evening. Tonight we met in Abbey Gardens, Winchester, rather than in our usual village hall. Here we were treated to over 2000 years of fascinating history on a guided tour from our Winchester tour guide Kate.

Kate had kindly put together a special tour for us that included some of the usual highlights but with the added bonus of information on influential and important women who have their history in Winchester. We learnt about Mary Sumner, founder of the Mother’s Union, Jane Austen, author and of course Bloody Mary to name a few.

The tour was so detailed and expertly put together that we ran out of time to do everything that Kate had planned for us as we asked so many questions. We are now all eagerly awaiting the rest as a second tour which we hope to book for 2019.

A huge thank you to Kate for a wonderful tour. We definitely all learnt a lot and hopefully even remembered some of it!



Tonight we enjoyed a wonderful relaxing evening of yoga with Jo Welch from Ananda Yoga. She started by teaching us all about the history of yoga, its background and the benefits of doing yoga regularly. Jo even answered all our questions including those on the new trend of Goat Yoga!

Having listened to her talk passionately about yoga it was then time for us to get stuck in! Whilst our yoga regulars unrolled their own mats the rest of us picked from Jo’s colourful selection. We were then guided through an hour yoga session where Jo catered for our varying flexibility and mobility needs.

We all left feeling very calm and peaceful. Thank you Jo.



Annual Meeting with Chocs, Prosecco & Marmite…

Thank you very much to all our Disparate Housewives WI members who attended this year’s Annual Meeting. I don’t know whether it was the promise of Prosecco and chocolates that lured you all along again this year or our second half entertainment…

An extra special thank you goes out to our Disparate Housewives member Sara who livened up our evening with a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable talk on keeping ducks. We learnt a lot about what to look for when buying runner ducks, how to care for them and particular foods that they can and can’t enjoy. The highlight though was getting to meet Marmite; one of Sara’s beautiful runner ducks.

Owslebury Handbells Team

After a gloriously hot day we were treated to an evening relaxing and listening to the Owslebury Handbells Team. They entertained us with a varied programme of music which demonstrated all the different ways that handbells can be used and the different sounds that they can make. Not only that but we learnt something of their history and a little bit about the bells themselves including how much they cost!

During our tea and cake break our members were allowed to have a go at ringing the bells. Some of us were naturals whilst others found out that it really isn’t as easy as it looks! It was also interesting to see just how heavy some of the larger bells are and none of us have any idea how some of the Owslebury Handbells Team managed to play “four in hand” (two bells in each hand)!

One of our members was also given the opportunity to accompany the Owslebury Handbells Team during two of their pieces by playing the tambourine and a tick tock block. Well done Jane – it sounded like you’d been doing it for years!


Book Folding

A massive thank you to our wonderful member Bev who shared her knowledge on book folding with us this evening! We all had a thoroughly enjoyable time learning how to fold the pages of our chosen book to form a beautiful heart pattern. It all felt very complicated at first but with Bev’s expert guidance we were all engrossed in meticulously folding the pages of our book in no time.

Tonight’s book folding was such a fantastically mindful activity that we nearly forgot to stop for coffee and couldn’t believe how quickly the time had flown. The competitive amongst us were determined to finish before going home!

A big thank you to our resourceful member Tina too who managed to source a large number of books for any of us who forgot or hadn’t managed to find one the right size.


First Aid

This evening we had a very informative and enjoyable evening listening to a talk by Steve Gooch, a paramedic from South Central Ambulances. As a group we believe that it is important to be kept up to date with first aid techniques especially as they can be potentially life saving.

Steve refreshed our memory on performing CPR allowing us to have a go on his Resusci Annie and demonstrated how this is adapted for babies and children. Whilst delighting us with his stories and anecdotes he also dispelled a few myths and old practices concerning burns and scolds. Steve’s interactive talk got our members up and involved as we were encouraged to practice responding to a choking situation using a choking training vest. Steve played the role of the patient himself and I am pleased to announce that he was successfully saved by every member who volunteered!

Thank you very much Steve! We hope to welcome you back again in the future for more first aid techniques.

Signing for the deaf

Happy New Year and welcome back to all our members new and old!

Our first meeting of the year saw us off to a thoroughly enjoyable and informative start. This evening we were joined by Anna Barber from the Hearing Impaired Unit at local secondary school The Henry Beaufort School and Annie Roberts who is studying Education Studies at Reading University to become a teacher of the deaf. Together they taught us about hearing impairment, its causes, its impacts and available treatments along with their limitations. We were also taught how to communicate effectively with people that have hearing impairments so that they are not excluded or isolated. Finally we even learnt how to finger spell the alphabet and practised signing our names.