Another day and another excuse to eat! Holland House is a Christian retreat house that offers everyone (irrespective of their religion) hospitality, good food, beautiful grounds and quiet spaces for reflection, exploration and refreshment. Six of our members enjoyed wandering through the gardens, walking down to the river and admiring the beautiful and interesting building before making our way into the house for a delicious afternoon tea. There was so much on offer, we all ended up having to take some cakes home with us.
We were thoroughly entertained by Jenny Stone and her talk on Shakespeare's women. Starting with a dynamic opening speech, she highlighted how Shakespeare would have been influenced by the wormen in his life, observed how he handled his female characters intejecting this with her experiences of working at the various Shakespeare's museums as well as extracts from his speeches and sonnets. Her enthusiasm was infectious - a great talk!
It was a good day for walking - we did have our wet gear on (and it did rain a little) but overall, we had a good time walking across the fields from Eckington Wharf to the Swan Inn at Birlingham. 5 of us did the walk and were met at the Swan by other WI members to enjoy a lovely lunch.
What started off as a pleasant musical entertainment and lunch soon turned into a drama! Not just one but two murders were committed whilst we were trying to enjoy our lunch. Our attempts at trying to work out who did it and why, were not wholly successful but we had a good time trying to work it out. Fortunately, the murders were part of a drama and it was perfectly executed (pun intended) by the talented team of actors. Who did it? Well, as in the tradition of ‘The Mousetrap’ , we will keep that one a secret. But in the meantime, what was the meaning of the earring found at the murder scene: accidentally left or intentionally planted?
At our August meeting, we welcomed Professor Collywobbles (aka Phil Collins) and his ‘friends’ to our meeting. Members and visitors, including several members of Pinvin WI and Pershore WI, were entertained with the fascinating history of Punch & Judy, and finishing off with a proper Punch & Judy show involving all the well-known characters. We finished off the meeting with tea and coffee and some delicious cakes made by our members.
Yes, Eckington W.I. The Craft Hub (aka Eckington WITCH) returned for a one-off special. We welcomed Chris Champness who is an expert in silver wire knitted jewellery for an afternoon making silver-wired earrings. Guiding us through the various procedures involved, we had a fun and enjoyable time with some fabulous results.
When thinking about the Falkland Islands, apart from the Falklands War between Argentina and the Uk, most people think about penguins. Our speaker for July, Mark Heatley, was about to let us know, it's not all about penguins. Mark had recently returned from the Falkland Islands after working there for almost 2 years. His experience as a police officer there was certainly different to most other UK police officers with a every low crime rate and the propensity of law-breakers to readily confess! From rescuing penguins, collecting ballot boxes, being followed by caracaras, tussac grass planting and having to wear sun block whilst at the same being exposed to antarctic winds, Mark and his slide show cerainly gave us an experience of life on the islands. And yes of course, there were some penguins!
After 2 successful free exercise trial sessions in the village, Eckington WI managed to secure an offer from Active Hereford & Worcester to provide a 12 week free course of seated exercise. This is being held at the Village Hall and is open to all villagers to take advantage of this opportunity. It will continue into September where hopefully there will be enough interest from villagers to continue on with the sessions, which will then become fee paying. In the meantime, we are enjoying our sessions and particularly our pom-poms!
Our June activity was a visit to Showborough House Sculpture Garden, near Strensham. This is a local garden which is open just for a few weeks of the year and showcases not only its gardens but also has an exhibition of sculptures by local artists, most of which are available to buy.
Whilst there was an occasional light shower, it did not stop members and friends from enjoying a pleasant afternoon discovering the delights of the gardens and the variety of sculptures.
Our June meeting was a members' only party celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. Dressed in finery, we shared a buffet supper, including of course Coronation Chicken, sang Jerusalem and generally enjoyed chatting with each other with music playing in the background. There were several entries for our Royal themed craft competition with the "Queen's Knickers" entry being voted most popular. It was a grand evening made even more special by the presence of our very own Queen dressed in her best Royal Robes!