Thursday, 28 June 2012

A Right Royal Manchester WI Meeting

Our first speaker, our first full afternoon tea, our first hat competition..... it was all go for the newly formed Manchester WI at our second meeting on Wednesday. 

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed being part of Manchester WI so far. Having moved to Manchester almost a year ago I have spent a lot of time talking to people I don't know in a bid to Make New Friends as A Grown Up and of all my experiences, the most positive has been being a member of the WI. So yay for that!

And yay for our last meeting...

Our speaker was Terence McNicholls, an experienced Toastmaster, and Toastmaster to the Queen, no less. Terence started proceedings by regaling us with stories and jokes from his 30 years of toastmastering, a fascinating insight into the world of presentation and protocol that is being a toastmaster:

 It was fantastic to hear all about this completely different world (royal dinners for 1,000 guests for example) and I hope Terence had a good time too! Then it was a break for fizz and finger food. The food was kindly provided by Impact catering and was absolutely fantastic!

I swear I have never tasted anything like their strawberry cream cupcakes and lavender cream scones. Om nom nom! I think the Queen would have been equally pleased!

And don't forget the fizz!

When the email went to member of the committee asking for volunteers for manning the plonk table, guess who was first in line?! I was very restrained and only had two glasses (well, it was a bargain at £1.50 a glass!) but only dragged myself away for some cake, and some tasty tea, provided by Mr Scruff:

I can particularly recommend purchasing a box of his Mint and Chilli tea, if you happen past his shop/cafe Teacup in the Northern Quarter - it was super duper tasty.

Finally, we had the judging of the hat competition! My hat looked ok, but was pretty pathetic. I was going to make a lace crown (cool, eh?) but I left to the last minute, and one coat of PVA was not enough to stiffen the lace enough to work with (what I'm now going to do with a load of stiff lace I have no idea). But it was ok, I had my back-up mini hat. Unfortunately three people tried to get it to stay on my head and concluded that it was unwearable (an attached comb upside down maybe?). So, emergency Primark trip it was! One floppy purple hat and two flower headbands later and I was in the clear. I didn't win. I was up against some fab hats, most of which I didn't get a photo of, including a genuine vintage velvet number from our Programme Secretary (and all round stand up gal) Charlie:
 The competition was judged by Didsbury-based stylist Steph, aka The Wardrobe Angel, who looked immaculate but had no hat, presumably due to her judging duties! She chose the top 10 by mingling and chatting with the behatted ladies. We had everything from crowns, to bird's nests, to flowers and the Olympic rings, but in the end there could only be one winner, and that went to the Queen of Diamonds, Amelia, who looks very glamorous in the picture below:

She was very modest, describing it as 'some playing cards and sellotape', but she was picked as the most innovative and I have to say I agree - it looked amazing!

So that's 'all' we've been up to at the WI! I know this post might read as a bit 'adverty' but we are so grateful to all the local businesses who have supported us so far that I felt I needed to give them a shout out.

If you're interested in joining the Manchester WI, look us up on Twitter or Facebook!


  1. Hi Jen. I approve of this cat-blogging and am glad that you've been converted to enjoy les animaux! Just showed this post to my boyfriend, while trying to convince him that some cats don't need a garden, so we could get one. How did you get around having one cat in a rented place?

    1. We offered to pay extra deposit, but the land lord took ages to agree (as it is actually their house which they were leaving for two years). In the end we were competing with another couple with two cats, so we won out as we had only one, and I had been the first to see it, but we did have to pay more per month. Luckily it was under our budget. You just have to be very upfront about it and, if you can, offer to pay more deposit/more per month. Even a little increase can be enough to indicate that you are responsible pet owners. Jen x

  2. What happened there? That comment was obviously supposed to go on the post about your cat... good work on the WI meeting coverage - might have to steal that picture :)

    1. Steal away! Give me an email if you want a copy without the writing on! Jen x


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