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.


Gardener’s Question Time

Congratulations to two of our members whose names were pulled from the hat last year to attend tonight’s recording of the well-known BBC Radio 4 programme Gardener’s Question Time.


They both had a wonderful evening meeting ladies belonging to other Women’s Institutes from across Hampshire as part of this years centenary celebrations whilst enjoying the privilege of experiencing the live recording of the show.

If you would like to listen to the first of the two recordings that were done on that evening (and possibly spot one of our members asking a question!) then tune in to BBC Radio 4 at 3pm this Friday (19th January) or on Sunday (21st January) at 2pm. Unable to listen at these times? Catch-up online with iPlayer Radio here.

The second recording will be aired on Friday 2nd March (3pm) and repeated on Sunday 4th March (2pm).

This was the first in a full calendar of events that have been put together to mark the Centenary of the Hampshire Federation WI so why not get involved? Check out list below and see what you can take part in and click here for more details.


Festive Florals 2017

Our annual Festive Florals meeting is always eagerly awaited each year and officially marks the start of Christmas for a lot of our members. With everyone out in their best Christmas jumpers and festive treats at the Pop-up Café all that was missing was a blanket of snow outside!

A huge thank you goes to Jane who has yet again given up her time to organise and resource the evening and has shared her expertise to help us craft our own festive delights.

It was wonderful to see members old and new, as well as guests, talking and laughing together and sharing the extraordinary array of foliage that each had managed to scavenge from their gardens. From pinecones to holly and mistletoe to rosemary each sprig helped our decorations take shape.

Merry Christmas to all from the Disparate Housewives WI and we look forward to seeing you in 2018!