Our July meeting was our last at Chetham's School of Music so was the end of an era! We've been busy sorting out plans for our move to The Federation in September so keep your eyes on our social media to find out all the details.
The theme for the July meeting was Body Kindness: we had a talk from Exactly Ourselves, a multimedia project by Elsie Swannick and Abigail Evans from Manchester that describes itself as an 'ode to bodies' and focuses on love and insecurities we have about our own bodies. They explained the background to the project, which involved a photography exhibition outside Manchester Art School, and we heard from two of their models about why they wanted to be part of it.
We also watched a video specially made for us by PERKY, an organisation from London who discuss womanhood, the body & sexuality amongst learning-disabled women. This was a valuable opportunity to reflect on the experiences of those who we often ignore or marginalise, and they shared their...
Every May we hold an AGM, which is an important process in the WI calendar. Every WI is overseen by the National Federation of WI (NFWI) and regional federation (Manchester WI is overseen by Lancashire), and we have to adhere to a few processes to remain affiliated. The AGM is also a chance for members to vote on national WI resolutions, which are campaigns that the WI as a whole takes on, and as well as on our president and which charity we will support for the year. There was plenty of cake, tea and prosecco at the meeting as well to help keep everyone occupied!
Current President Shelley gave an update on our finances. We keep a proportion of the membership fees, with the rest going to NFWI and Lancashire Federation. She explained how most of our income is spent on room hire, and how membership fees are vital in order to keep Manchester WI running.
Sushi School is a sushi making class for adults - it’s interactive, fun and you don’t need to know anything about sushi to join in! We arranged a workshop especially for the Manchester WI so we could learn to roll our own sushi.
Teej, our Sushi master, started off by explaining the history behind Yo! and that on the average morning before they open at 11am the chefs have rolled approx.150 rolls (that's about 1080 individual pieces of sushi!!!) We learnt to make a few different types of roll depending on your food preferences as they do cater to vegans: Cucumber Maki, Spicy Chicken ISO or a Yasai roll, and a Mini Crispy Prawn ISO or an Avocado Maki. We also had a Salmon cutting demonstration.
We got our lovely handmade sushi cut up to take home with us (admittedly some of it just got eaten straight away!!) We also got to take home our sushi rolling mat and a sushi making "how to" booklet with a 25% off voucher for the next time we dine in with Yo! I really enjoyed it and came home with lo...
I’ve always preferred writing things by hand, which doesn’t quite marry up with my job as a digital copywriter, but I love whenever anyone tells me my handwriting is neat.
I’d never tried calligraphy before, but I’ve always thought it’d be a lovely skill to learn, taking my love of neat handwriting to the next level.
I applied for the Manchester WI bursary when I heard it could be used to learn new creative skills, as I’d been interested in attending an Introduction to Modern Calligraphy course.
I signed up for a course run by Moon & Tide, and my excitement levels increased when I received my ticket through the post with my name written in beautiful ink script.
The course was held at Ziferblat in the Northern Quarter (unlimited tea and cake is the perfect accompaniment to any activity). At the start of the course, everyone was handed a potato (I wasn’t expecting this, but apparently it’s just the ticket for making sure a nib is ready to be used on paper), a nib, ink and lots of templates.
"I really fancy keeping chickens" is not something you hear very often but its a statement which my boyfriend came out with last year. I was surprised. A chicken is not your average pet and we had just got two kittens. But the seed was planted. I really like the idea of being more self-sustaining and grow fruit and herbs in the garden, but chickens would be taking it to another level. As a plus my eggs would come from happy healthy hens, they would be organic, and would not be 4 weeks old like most "fresh" supermarket eggs. But I needed to know the downside and get some practical knowledge.
A few weeks later on our monthly Costco shop we discovered a chicken hut on sale....looks like it was meant to be. Obviously we bought the hut and set it up in the garden (because who can resist a bargain that was hundreds of pounds cheaper than the same on the internet!!) A chicken run and lack of knowledge was the only thing holding us back from going hen shopping so I found a course in Manchester...
Learning vocabulary and rhyming off declensions are linguistic gymnastics which many would perhaps gladly leave in secondary school. After all, weekly pop quizzes and writing to European penpals is all very teenage, and once we’re able to drive, go to clubs and, yes, join the WI, what else does learning languages really hold for us?
Well, for those of us who love languages, the urge to conjugate never really goes away.
I studied German at school – as well as French, Spanish, Latin, and a brief flirtation with Italian, although the less said about the sultry Romantic languages the better. And German always held my heart. So the chance to go back to it a massive two decades after I left a full-time classroom is something I can only thank the WI for.
The Aquinas College adult learning course is once a week. There is homework, and extra worksheets are often floating around. But thanks to a small class of around 14 and a really friendly, approachable teacher, it’s been like I never left my ‘de...