I’ve long since marvelled at the dizzy heights scaled by my fellow WI members in life and work, but it wasn’t until a special bouldering session that I realised it’s a literal skill as well as figurative. Rock Over Climbing was the venue where a group of Manchester WI members took to the walls and left the ground behind - well, some of us did. Led by member Charlotte Stoneley, a boulderer of 18 months, and our Rock Over Climbing guide Mel, we gathered at the venue in Manchester’s Julia Street - near Strangeways Prison - on a dark, damp October night.
For the uninitiated, bouldering is rock climbing - but at Rock Over Climbing, instead of dangling off ragged precipices a la Touching The Void, it’s performed on small rock formations or artificial rock walls.
Donning leggings or trackie bottoms, we were kitted out with neat-fitting - and let’s face it, pretty uncomfortable - rock climbing shoes which are neat around the toes to offer greater stability on the wall. And that was all the equip...
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...
We set up the Lady Skillers as a platform to explore skill sharing opportunities between our lovely members, taster sessions of new activities, and workshops where we could learn new skills outside of the monthly meetings. I find that sometimes people can be put off doing things that they might love to try because its daunting to go solo! This way people can make new friends, who have similar interests i.e dancing, ceramics, jewellery making, who they can then continue going with after the event (if they are so inclined!)
Our first venture was a Salsa class with Cuba Café, who hold beginner and improver classes in the basement of Stage & Radio NQ on a Wednesday evening. First we started off with a few basic moves to warm up, and then we partnered up with current salsa class members, who had come along especially to help, so we could put a couple of steps into action.
So to summarise- we picked up a few moves, got a bit sweaty, and had a lot of fun being twirled around the dancefloor...