April 25, 2018

After seeing the results of our annual Christmas wreath classes, and having seen her booth at our November members Bazaar, one of our lovely members requested I arrange another workshop with Alison from The Flower Studio. Well her wish is my command (on this occasion- I don't usually grand many wishes!!), so we met up at the Friends Meeting House on the 23rd April 2018 for a flower arranging workshop.

Inspired by the approaching summer and lazy afternoons spent picnicking in the countryside, the idea was to create a design which introduces some of the basics of flower arranging as well as using some more contemporary techniques to create an arrangement reminiscent of a floral meadow. 

Alison explained the names of all of the flowers and grasses which we would be using- the best name was definitely "Chincherinchee".

Then we were shown how to prepare our lovely "spring" wooden boxes so that they didn't leak water all over your table when watered (very sensible), and how to approach creati...

April 25, 2018

This was a meeting not to be missed! Chocolate tasting? yes please! Gloria Lilley, a co-winner of Divine chocolate’s ‘Three Choclateers’ competition, took us on a journey from the fascinating beginnings of chocolate in Mesoamerica to it’s present form as one of the most loved confectionaries in the world. 

After a brief history lesson we went back to the cocoa farms of Kuala Kokoo in Ghana and she guided us through the bean to bar process - showing us samples of the hardy fruit the beans come from and how they are transformed into the chocolate we know and recognise. Gloria also talked us through the different ways in which Divine ensures they keep to their mission of being 100% fair-trade. There are so many chocolate companies around that do not use ethically sourced beans and to this day still implement child labour. It was refreshing to hear the lengths Divine go to in order to help their farmers become sustainable and allow them to share in the success. 

By this point we were all rea...

April 18, 2018

I’ve been coming to Manchester WI for nearly 2 years now, and have had many conversations with ladies who want to get out on their bikes more. As a keen cyclist I want to share the love, so I took a ride leader training course last autumn with a view to helping those ladies achieve that goal. Rachel suggested that we start by applying to TfGM to be part of their Women’s Cycling promotion, Ride With Us, which took place in February and March, and we advertised three rides as part of this. 

The weather wasn’t great in March, though our rides fell on the weekends either side of the snowy ones, so we didn’t get much take-up, but two excursions were enjoyed. The first ride began at Patricroft station in Salford, with poor Rachel having to ride to the start from the city centre at the last minute due to an unexpected line closure. I met sisters Jenny and Suzy and we did our bike safety checks while we waited for Rachel. They both counted themselves as beginners so I decided not to take them t...

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