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!

Happy 8th birthday to us!

Today was our 8th birthday party and so we celebrated in style with prosecco, nibbles, party games and, of course, a birthday cake!

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening for both founding members and new starters as all the games were designed around us getting to know each other better.

One game had us decorating gingerbread ladies in an attempt to make them look like ourselves and later we had to work out who was who. Everyone really let their creative juices flow and there was lots of laughter; plus we got to eat them at the end! Three of our members clearly have an eye for detail as they successfully matched all the gingerbread ladies with the correct person. Well done to our lucky winners who each won a tea/coffee and cake voucher for our Pop-up Café.

Next we had a pot of coins that each had a different date on; all the way back to the start of decimalisation in the UK. One at a time we each picked a coin from the pot and talked about what we were doing in that year. Thank you to everyone for sharing their memories; what a lovely group of interesting people we are and we may never have known without this activity.

The scavenger hunt had us looking for 36 random items without leaving the room; ranging from a credit card to a digital photo of a bald man’s head! It’s truly amazing what people have in their handbags and pockets! Congratulations to the team that managed to find an impressive 31 items and won a tea/coffee and cake voucher for our Pop-up Café each.

Our final challenge was to “Find someone who…”. A game in which we discovered just how much we have in common! Animal lovers, bird phobias and exactly who wasn’t looking forward to Christmas because it meant being served the dreaded Brussel sprout!

Happy 8th birthday to the Disparate Housewives WI and all its members!

Thank you for a wonderful evening.



A Crème de la Crème evening with Mark Tilling

This evening our members were out in force for the chance to meet Mark Tilling, winner of UK Chocolate Masters 2006 – 2008 and captain of the winning team on Bake Off Crème de la Crème 2016, and witness his chocolate work.

Mark spoke to us about his career as a pâtissier and chocolatier and explained how the different types of chocolate are produced as well as what to look for in a good chocolate. I’m pleased to say that this included getting to taste some delicious samples! We were then treated to a demonstration of how to temper chocolate and turn it into a selection of impressive tempting treats.

We were all so captivated by his talk and demonstration that we nearly forgot to stop for tea and cake and it was time to finish before we knew it. No one was in a rush to go home this evening! It was so nice for us to be able to talk to Mark during the tea and coffee break where he was happy to answer our questions and lots of us even left with signed copies of his new book.

We would like to say a massive thank you to Mark for such an enjoyable and interesting evening and to our member Katy for organising such an excellent speaker for us!