Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Merry Malago Christmas!

Did you eat, drink and be merry? We hope so, we sure did. Funny how all that eating and sitting around and TV-watching can be so tiring.

First things first, please don't forget that there is no December meeting, and the social once planned for Wednesday 29 December will now not be happening. The next date for your diary is Wednesday 26 January, when we will meet at 8pm, usual time, usual place, for candle-lit storytelling with hot drinks and cuddly blankets. Sounds like we're planning for a power failure, doesn't it? It's supposed to be atmospheric and exciting...

It feels like a long time ago now, but we'd like to extend thanks to all those who helped out on our Tobacco Factory Christmas market stall. It was freezing, but we made a few pennies for our coffers and Alice made our stall beautiful as ever. Lots of people picked up our posters and cards, so we're hoping that might translate into oodles of new members.

If you haven't been to a Malago WI meeting before then this is the perfect time to come along, find out what we're about and sign up for a year of thrills, spills and copious quantities of tea and cake (but don't worry if you don't bake, that's not obligatory). For just £30 you (and your friends) can become a member of Bristol's most exciting WI group - membership is already over a third full so don't delay. We're cheaper than the gym!

And so as New Year's Eve rolls around, we look back at an exciting year of MWI - highlights include Jane Brocket and her beautiful quilt extravaganza,  Morph-making with Aardman, Bollywood dancing, our second birthday party and pudding club, and the meetings in which we made do and mended - crochet, present-wrapping, and badge-making. Oh, they were all good actually. And we went hell for leather with our 10:10 commitment but there's still a way to go there - please have a look and see what changes you could make. Talking of our commitment to all things local, community and sustainable, Malago WI backs the Stop Sainsbury's campaign. Please take the time to send your objection to the council to help stop a superstore killing our community - we know it's the third time we've asked you to do this, but we're hoping it'll be three strikes and out this time.

Spread the word, tell your friends, and raise a glass or two to auld acquaintance this Friday eve.

See you in 2011 for a cup of Malago kindness!

10:10 - Malago WI round-up

So 2010 is coming to an end, and what have we done?
Many of our members signed up for the 10:10 campaign and pledged to reduce their carbon emissions by 10% over the course of the year. How did you get on? There's still time to make those changes that could amount to 10% and here's how;
  • join the campaign 
  • change your lightbulbs to energy saving bulbs and turn them off
  • insulate your home (free to those with low income, over 60 or with under 16's in the house) and reduce drafts
  • cut down on flying
  • drive less; use public transport/ walk/ cycle/ lift share
  • grow your own food
  • buy responsibly; buy quality items that last, buy secondhand, buy energy efficient products, buy secondhand or FSC marked wood and either shop on foot/ bike or for larger items use home delivery services.
  • get an energy monitor (borrow from the library or often free from energy suppliers) and see what changes you can make to your electricity use via behaviour change; e.g. re-arranging plugs so that unused equipment is off; un-plug phone chargers, use Standby Savers.
  • eat seasonal and local produce, eat less meat and dairy and reduce food waste 
  • reuse, repair and recycle 
  • consider your heating; thermostatic control (reducing the temperature setting by 1% could reduce CO2 emmissions by 12%), use the timer to avoid heating the house when empty, wear an extra layer of clothing
  • conserve water; water butts, stop dripping taps, reduce toilet flush, showers instead of baths
  • buy renewable energy
  • produce our yown energy and heat
There are so many ideas (these are just a few) and the 10:10 website is a good place to start with case studies and lots of great ideas. What's more, please share your own ideas.
As mentioned at the November meeting, is there anything we can do to temper the impact of consumerist Christmas? Try to recycle as much wrapping as you can? Christmas cards make great gift tags for next year's presents. Go out for brisk walks rather than staying inside with the heating on full blast? Send thank you emails rather than more cards? Re-gift any unwanted presents? We'd love to hear any ideas you have to reduce/reuse/recycle when it comes to the festive season.
And what of the Malago WI? Opportunities for reducing our carbon footprint have been identified. Some have been realised, whilst others are yet to be achieved:
  • adhere to the environmental policy
  • hold a screening of The Age of Stupid (I still have the DVD if anyone would like to borrow it)
  • efficient use of the water urn at meetings and events including operation, water saving and maintenance.
  • lighting and heating of the hall: talk to caretaker about light bulbs and heating controls.
  • meetings: consider sustainable materials and minimise waste.
  • host a swishing party and encourage 'slow fashion'.
  • travel to meetings: encourage members to liftshare/ walk or cycle whilst maintaining personal safety.
If you have any other ideas about how Malago WI could reduce its carbon footprint, then do share them with a committee member, so that we can continue to make improvements.
And that about sums it up....
See you in the New Year, where we hope you are able to arrive for the meeting 2 by 2 (having travelled with another member either on foot/ bike/ public transport or even by car)!!!!

Annual accounts

As our website acts as the official minutes for our meetings, we need to record all Malago WI business here. So for all members, here are the accounts for our financial year ending 31 August 2010 (10 months only):

£519.10 - Receipts at meetings
£2093.50 - Subscriptions
£356.50 - Workshops
£126.00 - Age of Stupid film screening
£30 - Apron sales (Fundraising)
£51.30 - Bee awareness event (Fundraising)
£180 - Swish evening (Fundraising)
£0.79 - Bank interest
£15.00 - Donations
Total - £3372.19

£75 - Hall
£1461.69 - Speakers and other meeting costs
£448.90 - Federation membership fees
£734.10 - National membership fees
£330 - workshops
£96.06 - Age of Stupid film screening
£15 - Art trail
£98.61 - Gores Marsh fundraising (expense from previous year)
£53.01 - Bee awareness event (Fundraising)
£114.39 - Swish evening (Fundraising)
£83.26 - Errors on audit last year
Total - £3510.02

Opening balance at 1.11.09 - £2094
Deficit for year - £137.83
Closing balance at 31.8.10 - £1956.17

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Too many puddings?

Is that what Ruth, our lovely judge, was thinking the next day? Thank you to everyone who came to our first pudding night and 2nd birthday party. It was a delicious special evening - who can forget the mysterious Ritz cake and of course the winning cheesecake? We are grateful to Daphne Vise, now chair of Avon Federation, for attending and showering MWI with praise and encouragement. We should also note for the record that Karen Bowers was voted in as president for the coming 12 months, with Lottie Storey as vice president, and that our accounts will be presented at November's meeting.

Our unreserved apologies are due to anyone who turned up on the 27th, we promise to not change meeting dates again unless totally unavoidable.

Onwards to the festive season - November 24th is Christmas Creations and 'Challenge Alice' wrap absolutely anything! Please bring your challenging presents, and if you fancy having a go at something less challenging please bring a gift to have a go yourself (after a demo of course, wrapping materials provided).

You will also have an exclusive opportunity to buy, with first choice of gorgeous vintage china cakestands and candles made by your very own committee. Perfect gifts or just treat yourself (you could wrap it on night and put under the tree with your name on and no-one will be any the wiser).

There will also be a prize draw for anyone renewing or joining for 2011 on the night. Cost a bargain 30 pounds. So members please bring any curious friends and beat the January rush. Any guests who want to come are welcome and we just ask for a donation towards refreshments for this our last 2010 meeting (please note there is no meeting in December).

Finally, another prize will be up for grabs - the best homemade decoration! We are thinking maybe something you made as a child, but anything as long as made by your own fair hands!

Our stall at the Tobacco Factory Christmas market (December 5th) promises to be absolutely full of beautiful things. We do need a few more volunteers to sell, and chat, for a couple of hours, please email us as soon as possible.

Please also email us if you are interested in joining a quilting group, and the last word to Jane Brocket:

"If I am in any way responsible for inspiring members of the Malago WI to have a go and enjoy quilting, then I’m truly delighted!"

Monday, 18 October 2010

Puddings and quilts

This Wednesday is pudding night, bring a couple of portions to share - and news hot off the press: non members welcome!

And thanks to our lovely quilting tutor Nicola, we had a lovely time (photos linked below) and at least a few of us are truly hooked.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Creative crochet, comforting puddings, and Christmas cheese

September's meeting was a busy one, we do seem to like our woolly creations. It took me 6 attempts to do a slip knot, and things did not improve on the night. But then the next day I did a whole crochet flower(ish). Miracle. Any creations of your own? Do send us photos! Many thanks to all the patient teachers on the night.

We meet again October 20th for a pudding night to celebrate our 2nd birthday. Please bring equivalent of 2 portions of a pudding - you may have made it or you may not....there may be stories to tell of a family tradition, it may be a recipe you have always wanted to try, or it may be angel delight! We will be sharing tastes and recipes (please bring the recipe if possible), with cream and custard ready and waiting (there will also be re-heating facilities). Please also bring your own spoon, bowl and a nice glass for some fizzy cordial.

As mentioned at the meeting we are running a stall at the Tobacco Factory Christmas market on December 5th to raise ever important funds. Please email us if you can spare a couple of hours to chat and sell, or let us know between mouthfuls of pudding. We will be selling cake stands and candles made from vintage crockery - if you would like to help make them, or indeed if you have an odd tea set or two that would love a new lease of life, please let us know as soon as possible.

Finally, if you have always wanted to know more about cheese, or just like it a lot, we are offering an evening of tasting in time for Christmas from Trethowens on November 4th (location is central Bristol). Email us now to reserve your place, more details at the meeting.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Phobias and meatballs

We had great fun at our summer quiz, eating some truly scrummy snacks while it rained and rained outside. Our expert quizmaster Claire did us proud and while many got 10/10 on the cake round, phobias and quotations weren't so easy! Oh, and a point of business to note is that the members present agreed committee members can attend one workshop free of charge each year.

A few key dates coming up, firstly our social evening September 15 from 8pm at the Tobacco Factory. We hope to see you there, it's a chance to really get to know other members.

September 25 is the Best of Bedminster show. If you haven't already let us know you would be happy to bake and/or help serving tea and cake for an hour or two please email us. It is always great fun and a very sociable day, whilst being an essential fundraiser for us too!

Please bring your crochet hooks for our 'ways with wool' meeting on September 29. We hope to ensure everyone comes away with a finished item (if you are already an expert and would be happy to show others please do let us know). Please also bring your diaries as we have a busy few months ahead.

The Brunel Group meeting hosted by Greenbank WI is the evening of October 4th. The cost is 3.50 and we hope to arrange car shares. Who could resist members from 5 WIs having a go at belly dancing? Email us now!

Finally, our October meeting date has changed to October 20. This is our AGM (which sounds dull) but will be a pudding club (which does not). Not to be missed.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Robbie Williams....and the stick man

Our talk from Nick Hand at July's meeting was certainly a memorable one. The buzz afterwards was all about feeling inspired, whether to get on a bike, make a basket, or indeed go and see a Robbie Williams' tribute band. More information on Nick, now on his way around Ireland, on

Volunteers needed!
As you know we wouldn't even exist without volunteers whether committee members, cake makers or helping out at events. We now have enough volunteers for rosette making - many thanks. We still need a few more committee members - the monthly commitment is an evening's committee meeting plus maybe a further 2 hours on average. If you would like an informal chat about whether it could be for you please email us or grab one of us at August's meeting. The lists for BoB stall helpers (25 Sep) and potential allotment contributors are also still open and will be on the board at the meeting.

25 August - a summer quiz
Working it teams, it promises to be a fun and sociable evening. Savoury snacks and cold drinks to help get our brains in gear. Of course there will be prizes, and we really hope to see many of you there. Prospective members very welcome as ever! 8pm at our usual hall, Bedminster Methodist Church, British Road.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Bollywood in Bedminster

Namaste, Malago WI

Last week's Bollywood dancing evening was HOT! We learned a lot, including our left from our right, and that we won't be forming a dance troupe any time soon, but everyone had a lot of ankle-jingling fun fuelled by exotic sweets and fragrant cordials. Thanks to fabulous teacher Prerna for her patience and enthusiasm.

July meeting
On Wednesday 28 July, we will welcome Nick Hand. Nick cycled the 5000 miles of Britain's coastline clockwise, meeting and filming artisan craftspeople including a lobster pot-maker, a daisy-grower, a kilt-maker, and many other artists.

Nick will talk about his travels and show us his beautiful photographs and interviews, showcasing his journey and the people he met on the way.

* Change of venue *
July's meeting will take place in the Hollywood-esque surroundings of the Aardman cinema in their new HQ on Gas Ferry Road, near the SS Great Britain. If you're driving, the SS Great Britain car park is the place to park. Timings are the same - 8-10pm.

Other news
Flickr ::
If you'd like to add your photographs of WI-related activities, such as crafts you're working on, baking, gardening or even the cake you're making for the meeting, please email them to

Best of Bedminster ::
Our favourite fundraiser takes place on Saturday 25 September and we need volunteers to help out on the day, as well as bake cakes for us to sell. Let us know if you can help.

Avon Federation AGM ::
Do you want to be our volunteer to go along to our regional federation AGM? Taking place on Tuesday 28 September in sunny Weston-super-mare, the AGM is an opportunity to see the wider picture of local WI activities. Deadline to book a place is 16 August - email us if you'd like to volunteer.

Food hygiene course ::
We intend to provide an opportunity for all members to attend a food hygiene course, date and cost TBC - again, drop us an email to put your name down.

It's crunch time for North Street. Bristol City Council planning committee meets on 21 July so please submit your comments and objections NOW. Visit the BASICS website for a list of compelling reasons why The Biggest Supermarket in the South West will spell the end of our community shops, including evidence from the independent retail strategy commissioned by the Council itself. And the Council's intention to GIVE land worth over £3.34 million to this development, at a time when they are calling for more than £50 million in cuts over the next 3 years.

Please do it now. Lecture over, as you were.

Don't forget the change of venue for July's meeting!

Pull the other one, it's got bells on

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

We May never be the same again...

Wow, Malago, is it just us or was Jane Brocket pretty blooming good?

Those beautiful quilts, the colours and fabrics, the enthusiasm with which she brought her subject to life... We could tell you liked it too - the oohs and aahs when she revealed each quilt made it sound like you lot were watching a firework display.

Turns out, Jane quite liked us too. If you lived in Bristol, Jane, we'd have you in a Malago minute. What an evening.

And we have another couple of exciting evenings coming up for you, the first being our Swish - the clothes and accessories swap which takes place on Friday 18 June at 8pm (taking place at the Pilates Moves studio). Tickets are £6 which includes a glass of wine and nibbles, and the event's open to members and non-members alike so bring your friends. Tickets can be reserved by emailing or you can pay on the night.

For the uninitiated swishers amongst you, the idea is that you bring at least 3 good-quality items you love but no longer use (with hangers please), which entitles you to take home 3 new-to-you items for your summer wardrobe. Simple but brilliant. And you can buy extra tokens if the selection of goodies leaves you unable to choose, and don't forget to bring a bag to take it all home in). Come along, it'll be a blast. All proceeds go to making your WI bigger and better.

June meeting
It's time to get the bangles out for our re-scheduled Bollywood night! Snowed off back in January, the June meeting will give you an opportunity to learn a few moves from Mother India, and enjoy a hot cup of chai and some delicious spiced cakes and snacks.

The June meeting is on Wednesday 30 June at 8pm, Ebenezer Methodist Church hall. Please wear your finest, brightest, spangliest garb, accessorised with jingly bangles and chandeliearrings. (But do make sure you're comfortable, and don't wear heels.)

Best of Bedminster
Malago WI intends to be part of the Best of Bedminster show again this year, date to be confirmed but it'll be a September Saturday. We will be serving our famous tea and cakes, as well as cupcake-decorating. We will need volunteers to help on the day, as well as to make cakes to sell. BoB is our favourite fund-raiser, and it's a great way to let south Bristol know about us and our activities, while helping out a good cause. Email us or let us know you can help by chatting to one of the committee next time you see us.

We're off to raid our wardrobes for some extra-special Swish treats.

See you soon!
Malago WI x

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Malago's green and pleasant land

Well, hellooooo Malagoooo,

Last month's meeting was another addition to the Malago memory urn as we hosted our first ever Brunel Group event, welcoming Knowle, Whitchurch eve and afternoon, Greenbank and Stockwood brances to our tea and chocolate-tasting soiree. It was a roaring success - Kate from Lahloo was our star expert and we learnt and tasted like perfect students - green teas, rose teas, whites and oolong, soaked up with chocolates, basil and other. Even better - despite being new to the Penny Vote we swept the board with the most Unusual Teapot competition and that was without Odette's open legged man coming in the top three!

A big clarinet toot out to Heather Leppard who led our Jerusalem rendition - locals thought the pied piper had come to Bedminster. We certainly scored as hostesses with the most so thanks to everyone who joined the fun. This bodes so well for the fun we have lined up over the next few months...

And onto May's meeting. We can barely contain our excitement at the prospect of Jane Brocket and all her wonderfulness on Wednesday 26 May. Don't forget - we will have (very limited) tickets for sale for this meeting, so spread the word. If you're interested in reserving a ticket in advance at £3.50, email, otherwise tickets are £4 on the night. And if you'd like to buy Jane's latest book, The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making, she will be signing copies - bring cash.

At the March meeting, we discussed the new Sainsbury's planning application for the Ashton Gate stadium site, and it was agreed that Malago WI would object to this application. Although we've objected as a group, we need you to object individually as well. Have a read of the basics blog, or (if you're already convinced) go straight to their 'Take action now' site for information on how to object, links to the Council planning website, and a few more good reasons why this development would not be good for our community. Please do this soon.

Coming up: on Friday 18 June, we're very pleased to stage the second Malago WI swish, in which you can bring your once-loved clothes and accessories, and swap them for something new to you. Not a meeting, this event is designed not only for fashion fun and frolics but also as a fundraising event. Taking place from 8pm at Pilates Moves, the evening will follow the format of our last swish back in August, but with bells on. This time, we will also have make-up demonstrations, food and a cheeky tipple, and the option to buy as many tokens as you want, should you spot more must-have items than you brought. And the event is open to everyone - we have 100 tickets to sell, so please help us spread the word. Tickets cost £6, so if you'd like to come bring some cash along to May's meeting (the last before the swish). Invite your friends!

June's meeting takes place on Wednesday 30 June, and is our rescheduled Bollywood night (which was snowed off back in January). More details nearer the time... Let's hope things hot up before then - not exactly an Indian summer at the moment, is it?

Malago WI x

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Marching on...

Hello ladies of Malago,

Now, wasn't self-portraiture fun? And not at all intimidating? It was great seeing so much creativity in the room, especially with the vastly different interpretations of the thumb-print ice-breaker.

If you took your work home to finish for the art trail exhibition, don't forget to bring it to the April meeting on Wednesday please. We can't wait to see what you've done. If you need re-invigorating, or just a wee bit of inspiration, the pictures from the March meeting are up on our Flickr site.

Now, onto April, which marks the first of the Brunel group meetings with which we've been involved. Brunel group consists of 6 local WI branches (of which Malago is one) and the idea is that we have the chance to meet representatives from our neighbouring Institutes and show them how we do it on our patch. 30 guests will attend our tea- and chocolate-tasting session, from the expert Master of Tea, Kate Gover of Lahloo tea.

We're pulling out all the stops for this very special occasion, so would invite you to bring along your most favourite cup and saucer to our tea ceremony. And cake-bakers extraordinaire (you know who you are...) will have beautiful crockery to display your wares upon. It will be a ritual of glorious proportions, with a raffle and everything, all topped off with an unusual teapot competition. Do you have one? Bring it along, you could win a prize.

Coming up in May, Malago WI is proud and very excited to present a talk from Jane Brocket. Jane is the creator of the Yarnstorm blog, set up in 2005 "to write about knitting but the subject matter soon expanded to include quilting, baking, gardening, colour, inspiration, books, paintings and films (in fact, all the good things in domestic life)."

Jane's first book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity, was published in 2007, with her second and third books in 2008 and 2009 (Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer is a recipe book inspired by foods from classic children's literature, and Ripping Things to Do features the best games and ideas from children's books). Jane's latest book, The Gentle Art of Quilt-making, was published last month, and it's this subject Jane will talk to us about (there will be copies of the book to buy at the meeting).

In a slight change to our usual format, we have 30 tickets to this talk for sale at a cost of £3.50 each, so if you know a non-member who would like to join us in May please buy a ticket for them at the next meeting (28 April) or email to reserve a seat. (As usual, Malago WI members will not be charged.) In the meantime, have a look at our inspiring selection of quilting links on the right (this month's picks).

And coming up in May, a foraging event in Ashton Court. April's meeting is your last chance to put your name down for this intriguing session on Saturday 8 May, 10-1pm, at a cost of just £10 per family. This event is open to non-members and looks set to be another in our increasingly successful series of extra-curricular activities.

Malago WI, consider yourselves well and truly updated. See you on Wednesday, and don't forget those name-badges so our friends from Brunel know who we are.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Thumby and Funny

Dear Malago Morph-makers

Wasn't February's meeting brilliant? Eternal thanks to Merlin and Aardman for showing us the tricks of the trade. We'll never view Plasticine in the same way again...

March meeting
We've had a creative couple of meetings so far this year, and the March meeting will be no exception. In the run up to the Southbank Arts Trail in May, we will devote the whole of the March meeting to making work for an exhibition that will act as our contribution to our local arts extravaganza.

Self-portrait is the theme, but do not be alarmed. Delve a little deeper. What we want to get to is a representation of you and your identity, not a pencil sketch of your face (unless that's what you really want to do). We will provide the tools, materials and the inspiration for you to make a collage, decorate a pebble or go wild with your imagination in our creative 'free zone' - we don't want to limit your creativity, but expert arty types will be on hand to help out if you get stuck.

Ice will be broken, tea will be drunk and, like the voice workshop and recent creative writing session before it, what may seem daunting to begin with will end up as an exciting journey of self-discovery. Well, that's the plan, anyway.

We will provide some goodies from our ever-expanding craft box, but if you would like to bring along an item or two that you feel represents you to incorporate into your work then go right ahead. Magazines, scissors and perhaps even a picture frame for your finished work would all be welcome additions to the proceedings.

Safe Land for Bees - volunteers and cake-makers needed
Malago WI will be providing refreshments in the form of our famous tea and cakes at this event on Sunday 11 April. Taking place at Windmill Hill Community Centre, Safe Land for Bees looks at the local issues facing our bee population and offers an opportunity to find out more from expert speakers, as well as shop for bee and honey-related products and have a jolly good time too.

We need your help. If you could contribute time or cakes please email or talk to Alice at the March meeting. The event fits nicely with the national WI SOS for Honeybees campaign, and allows us to make links to activities on a local level. If not for Malago WI, do it for the bees.

The Age of Stupid
Malago WI has signed up to the 10:10 campaign, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 10% in 2010. As part of our ongoing look at environmental issues we have organised a screening of The Age of Stupid, in which Pete Postelthwaite stars as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, looking at old footage from 2008 and asking: why didn't we stop climate change when we had the chance?

The screening takes place on Tuesday 13 April, 8pm, in the Tobacco Factory Green Room. Tickets will go on sale at the March meeting and cost £3.50, available to both members and non-members. Tickets are limited, so it'll be first come, first served.

And finally, another opportunity to socialise with your fellow WI-ers - the next social takes place on Wednesday 17 March, 8pm in the Tobacco Factory. Come along for a drink and a chat in less formal surroundings.

As we overheard one of our members say last month, Malago WI is like playgroup for grown-ups. What could be better?

Malago WI x

Highlights from WI national HQ


If you have never before had the chance to visit Denman College to see what it has to offer, our two, free open day events in June will provide you with a perfect snapshot. During the two days the college will be organising a range of activities and demonstrations featuring craft and cookery. Refreshments and entertainment include: live music, hog roast and cream teas. One of the highlights of the programme is a horticultural talk given by renowned garden designer Bunny Guinness, on the 29 June; tickets for Bunny’s talk are £10 per person.

Day tickets are free but must be booked in advance. When booking, please specify whether you would also like tickets to Bunny Guinness’s talk. If arranging a coach party, please give the college two months’ notice.


From 1 to 4 June, Denman is offering members the chance to get hands-on with a practical course all about bee-keeping. Learn about the incredible life of the honeybee, the structure and management of a colony and the products of the hive. Practical sessions include handling bees and making beeswax products. This course is suitable for anyone who is interested in honeybees, in keeping bees themselves or in using the products of the hive. Students will learn about the bee hive and other necessary equipment, the honeybees and the organisation of a colony, and the hive products, through a mixture of theory and practical sessions. The current threat to honeybees in the UK will be explained, as will the most amazing bee phenomenon: swarming.

SHORT STORY COMPETITION - to tie in with our successful creative writing meeting,

Lady Denman Cup 2010 – ‘Every picture tells a story’
WI members are invited to write a short story based on the black and white photograph seen here. Stories must be no longer than 500 words and members may interpret the photograph as they wish.

Entries may be in English or Welsh. Only one entry per member will be accepted. The winner of the 2009 Lady Denman Cup is not eligible to enter.

Each competitor should send four copies of their entry, typed if possible, on A4 paper to their Federation Secretary. The name, federation and WI of the competitor should be typed or printed on each copy. Please note that entries will be judged in the first instance at federation level and only three entries from each federation will go forward to the national competition. Members do not need to include the photograph on their entries.

Each federation is asked to send up to three entries to the Administrative Secretary at the NFWI Unit, Denman College, Marcham, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 6NW, no later than Friday, 6 August 2010. Federations are requested to submit three copies of each entry for judging at national level. Federations are asked to publish in their newsletters a closing date for judging at federation level.

Full details of the competition, including the photograph and entry forms, are available to download from the Moodle.

FITNESS STUFF (ties in nicely with the running club that WILL get going soon)

‘Why try the WI tri?’
In order to keep stimulating sport, fitness and general well-being within the WI, the NFWI

It involves a combined effort by the whole WI: members are challenged to complete a five-mile swim, a 20-mile cycle ride and a 50-mile walk or run.

The challenge must take place between 1 April and 30 September 2010. Please note that the challenge does not need to be organised as one whole event but can be made up of lots of individual events or activities. WIs taking part in the challenge must keep a record of their achievements which must be confirmed by the WI President’s signature when the challenge is complete.

WIs must present their completed record, along with an entry form, to their federation. The WI with the highest proportion of members who have taken part in the challenge will then be submitted to the NFWI. The Elizabeth Bell Trophy will be presented at the AGM 2011 to the WI which had the highest proportion of members taking part in the challenge. Federations must submit their chosen record to the NFWI Unit no later than 19 November 2010.

To find out more about the challenge, or to download the schedule and supporting documents, please visit the Moodle or contact Helen Neal on

BREAD BOOK - might be of interest bearing in mind our recent workshops.

Women’s Institute Bread by Liz Herbert
The Women’s Institute Bread book is a treasure trove of delicious recipes – from the simple to the intricate, from the traditional to the original – and will be out in paperback in April. Paperback rrp £9.99 (also available in hardback).

WI books are available from bookshops and online via

For a complete list of WI books, please send an sae to: Booklist, WI Enterprises Ltd, 104 New Kings Road, London SW6 4LY.
Federation Support Committee is launching an exciting new challenge – for WI members to complete a triathlon!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

February forever

Dear women of Malago,

It may be the shortest month, but it feels like February has gone on forever. Roll on Spring! While we wait for the daffs to come up, here's the latest from your local Women's Institute.

January's meeting
It was amazing to see so many happy faces at our January badge-making session. Welcome, first-timers, and welcome back, old-timers. We hope you enjoyed yourselves, and made some new friends. Thank you for your generous cake donations which totaled £41.60 for the Haiti earthquake relief fund.

We're nearly full, which is an amazing start to the year! If you haven't yet joined, email for an application form - places are limited, so don't hang about if you like us. Membership is £29.50 - cheques made payable to Malago WI. If you want to come along and see what we're all about, you'll have to wait a little longer. Our February meeting is full, but March 31 sees us donning smocks to attempt a self-portrait or two, in advance of the Southbank Arts Trail.

February's meeting
For those of you who are paid-up members, our next meeting takes place on Wednesday 24 February when we'll be making Morphs with Aardman. Could it get any more exciting than this? Members will each receive a Morph-making kit complete with enough plasticine to construct your own model of Tony Hart's malleable friend with help from one of Aardman's top animators. There will be a prize for the best effort, as well as a raffle to raise much-needed funds.

Bread-making workshop
For those of you booked on one of the bread-making workshops with the wonderful Mark's Bread, please make sure you bring along your payment to the February meeting - £12 cash or cheque please. The photographic evidence from the first session is up now on our Flickr site - it looked a lot of fun. Very impressive.

Reclaim the Night
On Friday 26 February, representatives from Malago WI will join Bristol Feminist Network to take part in Reclaim the Night - an international campaign against sexual violence, with very obvious links to the WI No More Violence Against Women campaign. These marches empower women to stand together and reclaim our right to be out in our city at night free from the fear of violence and harassment. If you'd like to join us on the march, from 6-8pm, please email us at

That's all for now.
May your jack never flap,
Malago WI x

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


Hello Malago WI

We hope you survived the snow and ice, and had lots of fun building snow men and women. We hear there might be more on the way...

Although it was fun, we were sad to have to cancel the Bollywood night on 6 January. However, do not despair - we will shake our things to 'Dhansak Queen', 'Korma Chameleon' and 'Paperback Raita' later on in the year when we reschedule. Perhaps we'll have an Indian Summer after all.

The big 'M'. Membership for 2010 is open, and all interested parties should have received an application form by email. If you haven't, please email to request your copy. Numbers are limited, and the deadline for application is 31 January. Priority will be given to 2009 members.

Please bring completed forms and cheques for £29.50 (made payable to 'Malago WI') to next Wednesday's meeting (27 January) - if you cannot make the meeting, again email ASAP to let us know.

January meeting - Badge-making, new year and WI campaign resolutions
On 27 January, we will be starting our WI year with the opportunity to get crafty and make yourself a name badge. Of course, this will be done in traditional Malago style - we will eat (cake), drink (tea) and be creative with glue guns and finery. And come along prepared to add your new year resolution to our tree for others to be inspired by and, possibly, help you to achieve.

Which brings me onto a request for:
Materials - anything you can think of can be part of your fabulous name badge, so bring along paper, pens, tape, card, ribbons, buttons and fabric
OHP - we desperately need an overhead projector. It seems they are a dying breed, so if you can help, please drop us a line.

Campaign resolutions

It's that time of the year when the National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI) selects our national campaign resolutions for the year ahead. 2009 members will remember that the resolution passed at the NFWI's AGM in May was SOS for honeybees.

This round of votes determines which resolution will be shortlisted, usually between 1 and 3. Then in May we will have a further opportunity to cast our votes in selecting one resolution, which will be run by NFWI. This year we have been asked to vote as individual members, whereas previously we have voted as a WI. The shortlist of resolutions is as follows:

1. The mandatory clear labelling of food with true country of origin; 2. Save our pub; 3. Reduction in impact of flooding; 4. Provision of lifelong health and welfare support for armed forces personnel and families*; 5. Dignity and respect for women in accordance with their human rights; 6. Access to the disability living allowance mobility component for children under three years of age.

*Please note that because resolution 4 does not fall entirely within WI objects, it could only be passed for debate and not a campaign i.e. it would not be possible to use WI funds or press the government or any other decision maker on the issue.

For further details on these, visit the NFWI website.

The pros and cons of each resolution will be covered in next week's meeting, and paid-up 2010 members can vote using the forms we'll provide at the meeting. Don't worry if you can't attend or would like further time to consider the resolutions - you have until 5 February to complete the form from the November/December 2009 issue of WI Life and return it to NFWI, 104 New Kings Road, London SW6 4LY, to be received no later than 5 February.

Further details about other campaigns on a national and local level will be available on the website and at future meetings, and if you are aware of other campaigns which may be of interest to the membership, or if you would be interested in a greater role in our campaign activity (whether in relation to a specific campaign close to your heart or more generally), we'd love to hear from you. Email us or come and have a chat at the meeting.

2010 programme

Our programme is set for the first part of 2010 - have a look to see what we'll be getting up to in the months to come.

And don't forget our extra-curricular activities such as socials and workshops. If you've put your name down for the bread-making workshop, we'll need the cold, hard cash (or cheques) by the end of this month - £12 for members, £15 for non-members.

Phew, that was a long one.

See you next Wednesday,