Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Happy Birthday - we are three!

You don't look a day over two, Malago WI!

We had a fantastic birthday meeting in October, swishing and sweeting with all those beautiful clothes you brought and the amazing sweet jars filled with party bag sugar. Deliciosa!

And in amongst the high jinx, we even managed to conduct some very formal WI business, including saying a very fond farewell to our outgoing president, Karen Bowers, who has served with dedication, generosity, hard work and a whole lotta love. She is missed already.

Moira delivered our accounts with aplomb - apparently she presented Malago WI accounts to the official WI bods at head office, who were full of praise, saying they were some of the best accounts they'd seen. High praise indeed.

Incoming committee members for 2011-12 are as follows:
President - Marie Wilkinson
Vice president - Lottie Storey
Treasurer - Moira Broadway
Secretary - Yvonne Long
Members at large (covering programming, membership, fundraising, artistic direction and events) - Emma Squire, Nancy Horlick, Lindsay Brazington, Alice Hendy, Angie Last

So, onwards and upwards. November's meeting is our annual Ways with Wool extravaganza, and this year we will be making some rather spiffing pom pom crafts, including necklaces, wreaths and lampshades. We'll provide wreath frames and some equipment and yarn, but if you have your own stash - even an old woolly jumper that could be unravelled and reused - then bring it along. The more the merrier.

If you're able to bring a cake, then drop us a line to let us know. We're laying down fat for the winter, so expect hot tea and great hunks of gateau - we can always do with more of the latter, and we know you lot are a dab hand at the stove.

And don't forget - we're opening up membership for this meeting, the last before Christmas. So bring along your subs for 2012 - £31.50 - and tell your friends. Malago WI is open for business!

Tiddly om pom pom...


Sunday, 23 October 2011

Happy Birthday to us...

Many happy returns, Malago!

Can it really be 3 years ago that we held our very first meeting? Haven't we come a long way??

We had such fun at our September salsa, on that steamy evening in the Southbank Centre. Feels like a world away now that the nights have drawn in and we've got our thermals on.

October's meeting is going to be a corker, with celebrations a-plenty. Time to make sure those beautiful pre-loved clothes, shoes and accessories are clean and ready to go. Bring them along to Wednesday's meeting when we will swish the night away, with our swap, birthday cake, and sweet bar. The party will also be an opportunity to introduce the new committee and to vote in the new team.

Don't forget to bring hangers along with your swish items, and we'll see you on Wednesday - usual time, usual place.

We were thrilled to hear about a WI opera from 1969, 'Of the Brilliant and the Dark', which has been resurrected and will be performed as a one-off event at the Cube on 20 November. Check it out, sisters.

And membership for 2012 will be open from November's meeting onwards. Grab your place while you still can, for an annual fee of just £31.50.


Saturday, 24 September 2011

September news

Change of venue alert!

Happy autumn equinox, Malago WI. Are you enjoying the fairest of the seasons?

Seems we're set for some heat this week, and Malago WI is no exception. On Wednesday we'll be feeling hot with a spot of salsa at the Southbank Centre. Wear clothes and shoes you can dance in, and we'll provide the tunes, refreshments and sparkling company. Same time, different place - don't miss it. There's one free drink in it for you and every member (September and October are members-only meetings, we're open to all for our November Ways with Wool though).

October's meeting is our 3rd birthday and we're celebrating in style with a swish. Bring along old favourites from your wardrobe for our swap-a-thon - clothes, shoes and accessories in tip-top condition are all you need to bring to swap with your ever-stylish Malago pals. Free clothes! Woo hoo!

Best of Bedminster - Saturday 1 October
Malago WI will provide drinks, cakes, and kids activities once again at the Best of Bedminster show. For the third year running we're heading to North Street Green from 11am on Saturday 1 October - come and support your local community, and if you can donate a cake or two then drop us a line.

Other news
Earlier this year, we talked campaigns with Selina from InterCre8. The Women's Institute has now adopted Love your Libraries as the new campaign - lend your support by visiting the website. And, indeed, your library.

Malago WI committee and programme for 2012 is shaping up nicely. We'll be voting in the new committee at October's meeting, and there's still room for more. If you'd like to lend your support - in any capacity - then please collar a committee member on Wednesday, or send us an email. We'd love to have you.

Brunel group
Malago WI is part of the Brunel group (a wider collection of 6 local WI branches) and the next Brunel group meeting takes place on Tuesday 25 October at 7.30. Anyone who'd like to attend from MWI is welcome, tickets are £3.50, the meeting takes place in Stockwood. There will be a vintage feel, with a guest speaker who will reflect on one exciting 20th century year, and Malago WI will judge the photography competition. If you fancy going back in time with the Brunel group then bring your ticket money, put your name down at our September meeting and we'll give you all the details.

That's all for now, we're watching Calendar Girls.


Monday, 29 August 2011

August news from Malago WI

Malago mesdames, bonjour!

As summer putters to a rather pathetic close and thoughts turn to golden leaves, roaring fires and hearty stews, what better way to celebrate the last day of August than a good old Malago knees-up? And August's meeting sees us examining the tricky subject of sleep.

Many things - such as loving, going to sleep, or behaving unaffectedly - are done worst when we try hardest to do them
CS Lewis

Good old Clive Staples knew a thing or two. As does Dr Sue Jackson, sleep expert, who will be laying down the basics for us. Why do we sleep? What does it do for us? How can we improve the quality of our sleep? What with tips for getting at least 40 winks, and our famous Malago tea and cakes, August's meeting will score high on the refresh-o-meter. 

Coming up later this year:
You dancing? I'm asking!
September's meeting will welcome the Strictly season with a session of dance basics.  This meeting is MEMBERS ONLY and requires a change of venue. Not the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, I'm afraid, but next best thing - the Southbank Centre

Malago WI will once again be serving refreshments at the Best of Bedminster show, which takes place on Saturday 1 October. Jacqui and Hannah, committee fundraisers extraordinaires, have been plotting and planning, drawing up a rota for the day. If you'd like to help, collar them at the next meeting. Or just come along on the day to support our cause, have fun in the sun (hopefully), and enjoy everything North Street Green has to offer.

And October's meeting is our 3rd birthday party! Join us for fun, food and a swish. For the uninitiated, swishing is clothes-swapping - bring along clothes, shoes and accessories that you don't wear anymore and swap them for a new-to-you outfit or two. Previous swishing evenings have kitted our members out in some fantastic new clothes and we've been very impressed with the standard of swish items. 

November is our last meeting of the year, and sees the return of our ever-popular Ways with Wool night. Plans are top secret at the moment, but you are sure to take home a beautiful (and possibly festive?) woolly treat. Watch this space.

We're off for a kip. See you Wednesday!
Malago WI

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

July newsletter

Q: What's grey and white and wet all over?
A: British summer.

The weather might be a joke, but we are carrying on regardless in the (perhaps deluded) belief that willing the sun to shine will make it so. And with that in mind, we are excited and delighted by July's meeting - our Magnificent Malago Summer party (Wednesday 27 July, 8pm). Wednesday's meeting will be a charming affair, complete with our village fete-style, 'Best of Malago' show, a gentle quiz, and strawberries & cream. What could be finer?

The categories for the show are:
1. Sweet - cakes, puddings, confectionary, jams and anything else you'd find on a dessert trolley
2. Savoury - quiche, tarts, pies, pickles, chutneys and all things mouth-watering
3. Craft - I don't think we need to tell you any more about this one, just bring along something you've made

Edibles should be labelled with ingredients (let's avoid any allergic reactions) and your name. Please bring along the recipe too, if you can.

Judging will take place during the first half of the quiz, and all entries will then be divided up and shared and eaten by all. General merriment to follow. What better way to spend a warm, summer's evening? (Stop laughing!)

You might remember back in the Spring, we used the WI resolution vote as the basis for our speech workshop. Well, the votes are in and the overwhelming majority of WI branches voted for the libraries campaign. Find out more on the 
National WI website.

And if you haven't already been, we'd recommend a trip to M shed, where Malago WI have a little exhibit. Aren't we fancy??

Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Darkling Plain - 11 and 12 July

Malago WI will be taking part in 1940s vintage fair at the Tobacco Factory, 11 and 12 July, 6 - 7.30pm.

The fair features stalls, bunting and jitterbugging, and is a warm up for the headlining Pride Bristol theatre piece, The Darkling Plain. The play is a 1940s' comedy which features the WI, playing a major part in the war effort.

Find out more about the play on the Pride Bristol site, on the Darkling Plain's blog, or buy tickets for the play from the Tobacco Factory website. Entry to the pre-play fair is free, so come down and say hello to Malago WI.

Pip pip!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

A Midsummer Malago Dream

Hello Malago!

If Glastonbury fever and the summer solstice are getting your leylines in a twist, come along to our next meeting where we will find inner peace with a Tai Chi special. Jackie Wright will be taking us through the motions and helping us find some much-needed balance - Wednesday 29 June, 8pm.

We'll cool down with drop or two of flower fizz and if this weather holds we might even attempt an outdoor session - if you haven't experienced the Ebenezer garden, you're in for a treat. Don't forget to wear your loosest, comfiest clothes. Are those druid robes clean? Stonehenge mud can be a devil to get out.

Just a brief one this month, back to Paul Simon Glastontelly.


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Art, cakes and DIY

Dear Malago WI

How are you keeping? Well, I hope, despite the unseasonable chill. For those who weren't at April's meeting, we hope you'll notice an improvement in our diction from here on in. Selina from InterCre8 did us proud - we learnt trick after well-enunciated trick designed to get our vocal cords waggling like never before, and I doubt I'll ever forget our little library mime. A triumph.

But it wasn't all fun and bumping into each other - there was the serious business of resolution votes to contend with too. The results are now in and I can reveal that, although a very close-run contest, the Megafarms resolution just pipped Libraries to the post. More on campaigns later in the year.

Coming up next month, we have Jo Behari, DIY expert extraordinaire, who will give us the lowdown on easy ways to Do It Ourselves and fix those annoying little jobs about the house. Hooray. Membership has hit record levels, and we are now freezing membership - this means May's meeting will be members only. No guests for the time being, but we will be sure to let you know when membership is open again.

And don't forget: this weekend is the Southbank Bristol Arts Trail, when wondrous arty delights await you in homes and other locations across Southville and beyond. Malago WI will be selling cakes and creating children's crafts at the Tobacco Factory market on Sunday, 10am-2.30pm. Pop by and say hello!

*Last minute call - is anyone a dab hand at face painting? If you could spare two hours to paint faces at our stall, please contact us ASAP (wearemalagowi@gmail.com). Thanks *

That's all for the time being. All together now: Mo Mah Meee Mah Malagooooooo....

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Full As An Egg

Well, hasn't it been a great summer so far? We've been on the Pimms, which explains the lateness of this missive - apols, dear Malagoers. We had such a lovely time with Ali Cook at our March meeting, and look younger already thanks to her magic potions. It was quite a turn-out, wasn't it? We weren't expecting that, hence we were a bit short on materials. It won't happen again, we promise. Great to see Maureen, our new Avon adviser, joining in the fun too.

Coming up TOMORROW NIGHT: Our April meet sees the return of the fabulous Selina Keedwell of Intercre8. Some of you old-timers will remember Selina from 2009, when she led us as one voice in a confidence-building speaking and singing workshop. Well, two years on and Selina is back again, this time to give us a few pointers for speaking in public - a subject that fills even the most confident among us with fear and dread, hence the need to tackle this beast head-on. And, as we are expert multi-taskers, the subject matter of which we will speak is the 2011 WI resolutions, with a vote at the end of the evening. Neat or what? 8pm, usual place, usual cakes.

Exciting news! We are nearly at maximum capacity. Membership has been so popular this year that we will close our books after our April meeting, so if you want to join - tomorrow's your night. Cheque books at the ready...

And on to May. Two things:
:: Art Trail
Our activities for the art trail are moving on a-pace, and if you haven't yet volunteered your services for cake-baking, puppet-making or stall-holding, drop us a line. It's the weekend of May 21-22, and we're after scones and other small, round baked wonderfulness PLUS odd socks (not together, you understand). Bring your socks to tomorrow's meeting.

:: May meeting
In May, we welcome the amazing Jo Behari, of Home Jane. You might recognise Jo from her current Channel 4 series, Make Do Mend. C4 describes Jo as 'a DIY mistress of all trades - an expert on everything from plumbing to painting'. We need her in our lives!  You can catch up with the series on C4 on demand, or catch the real thing at our May meeting, Wednesday 25 May.

A demain,

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Marching on...

Dear Women of Malago

I'm sure there's a pun involving bags to be made, but I'm not going there - our bag-making session was such fun and so many creative and beautiful bags were spotted around the room. And it was a top turn-out too. Well done to all who came, brought friends, joined up and made lovely things.

If you're up for it, we'd love it if you'd bring back your finished article for photos and prizes. Don't be shy.

So, what news? We're getting near our ceiling membership number, so if you're dithering now is the time to take action and join up. Bring your subscription (£30 cash or cheque) to the March meeting.

Talking of which, we are very excited to welcome back Ali Cook, who taught us Indian Head Massage all those months ago, and who will bring her aromatherapy bag of tricks and recipes so that we can all make our own cleaning/beauty products. Meeting is Wednesday 30 March, 8pm, usual place. Don't miss it.

And if you want to see what's coming up later this year, have a look at our programme page which is up-to-date with the latest meeting information. Another exciting programme to peruse is that of Denman College - yes, that very location Donna described at the last meeting. Fancy a trip away learning a new skill? Denman's the place.

The weather's been so lovely these past days you'd be forgiven for thinking spring has sprung and summer is on the way. It won't be long... in fact, we're counting down the days to the Southbank Art Trail - Malago WI will, once again, be in the thick of things, selling our wares at the Tobacco Factory Market on Sunday 22 May. If you would like to help out, please talk to a committee member at the next meeting or email wearemalagowi@gmail.com. We need:
:: cakes
:: volunteers to work on the stall on the day (short shifts available)
:: volunteers to help with a kids' activity

Until Wednesday, we remain
Ever yours, ever Malago WI x

Saturday, 19 March 2011

STOP PRESS - March meeting confirmed


Confirmed: our March meeting takes place on Wednesday 30 March, at 8pm, where we will be making aromatherapy potions for home and body with Ali Cook of Pure Bliss Aromatherapy. All materials will be provided.

Ali is a woman with many strings to her bow: not only did she teach us Indian Head Massage back in the first year of Malago WI, but she is also one half of Bristol Vintage who are putting on the South West's first vintage wedding fair this weekend. Head to the zoo pavilion on Sunday 20 March between 10am-5pm for all things vintage - free entry! And you might spot a committee member with a beehive. Buzz...

More news soon. Enjoy the sunshine x

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Trees, keys and teas

Once upon a time...

January's meeting - what a fantastic start to the year. Lots of new faces as well as a good gaggle of old friends made for a really energetic and welcoming meeting. Martin the storyteller told tales of wonder and delight, sparking memories of childhood winters and imaginings of celebrity stalkers. Such fun.

And onto February in all its gleaming glory. The shortest month means that our meeting falls on Wednesday 23 February, and we will sparkle and shine with our Malago bag-making extravaganza. Bags and iron-on transfers will be provided, as well as a few bits and bobs from our stock cupboard, but please bring any embellishments you'd like to use/share such as:

If you need to buy these supplies, head on down to our local craft shop and new partner, Paper Village. As well as all the above, PV sells the best treasure, including embroidery threads, gem stones, fabric paints/pens, pom-poms, lace, braid, thread, feathers, glitter varnish and much more. If you do need to stock up, you'd better get to Paper Village by the end of Saturday as they are closed for a few days after that. Look out for more MWI/PV news in the future.

We're also swapping books, so bring along a book you think your fellow WI-ers might enjoy for our swap table and you can take a new-to-you tome home in exchange.

February's meeting also sees a visit from Donna Butcher, who will give us a short talk about the WI's training school, Denman College.

Don't forget to tell your friends, and drag them along for a chat, a cuppa and a craftastic meeting on Wednesday - membership is filling up fast.


Monday, 24 January 2011

Are you sitting comfortably?

Happy New Year!

We are so looking forward to the first Malago WI meeting of 2011, we can barely contain our excitement. January's meeting (Wednesday 26) will feature an expert story-teller, Martin Maudsley, who will delight us with tales a-plenty before divulging a few secrets of the story-telling world. We'll be budding Jackanory presenters by the end of the evening, no doubt. Coincidentally enough, the week after our meeting is the fifth annual Bristol Storytelling Festival, so if your whistle is well and truly wetted head over there for more of the same.

If you haven't been to a Malago WI meeting before, you can expect fun, friendly folk and the opportunity to learn new skills, all washed down with lashings of tea and cake. Newcomers will be made most welcome - do come along and try us out for size. There's no obligation to join, just come as a guest and see what you think. If you would like to become a 2011 member, the cost is £30 for 11 meetings (no December meeting). Email us for a membership form, bring along a £30 cheque or cash on the night and be prepared to have the last Wednesday in every month exponentially improve your quality of life. If you are already a convert, please help our cause by telling your friends about Malago WI, or bring a friend along. Pick up a poster or some of our beautiful business cards and help us spread the word far and wide.

To get the very latest updates on all matters Malago, please sign up to our mailing list - there's a box over there on the right for you to enter your email address, and we'll pop up in your inbox every now and again. Facebook and Twitter users can also find us in those worlds - again, links on the right there, see?

January is that time of year when WI members are asked to vote on 2011 campaign resolutions (more about campaigns here). You will need your November/December issue of WI Life, as the voting form is on page 37 (with details of the resolutions pages 34-37) - no other format will be counted. Hand your form to Odette McBride at January's meeting, who will forward these to our Federation. This vote whittles down the resolutions to one, which we then vote for or against in April/May. Do let us know if you don't receive WI Life and wish to do so.

As a prominent women's group in Bristol, Malago WI has been asked to take part in the Bristol City Council Women's Voice survey. The Council would like the views of women and women's organisations in the city on the best ways to ensure that women's issues and concerns influence the decisions that are made by public bodies such as the Council, the Primary Care Trust, Bristol Hospital Trust and the Police. Fill out the survey here.

See you for stories and sweet treats soon,
Malago WI x

The history of Malago WI

Malago WI - the inaugural meeting

Malago Women's Institute began in October 2008. President Karen Bowers and Vice President Lottie Storey met while pregnant and became good friends during their maternity leave. Their antenatal group became a close-knit support group, just one of many similar groups of women in south Bristol and indeed across the land. When it came to return to work, Karen and Lottie wanted to preserve some of this camaraderie which proved so vital during the more testing child-rearing times - a striking parallel with the original aims of the very first WI 111 years previously.

Karen and Lottie decided to form Malago WI to provide a focus for all women in the community to come together each month, learn new skills, meet friends and generally have a jolly time. Joined by eight capable friends who together formed the first committee, Malago WI took off, buoyed by the renewed interest in the WI that was sweeping the country at the time. Since then, Malago WI has programmed exciting and diverse meetings and welcomed 15 speakers, over 200 women, and continues to provide a focal point for all women to meet up each month in south Bristol.

Malago WI hopes the original values we started with still lie at the heart of everything we do. That heart is filled with joy to see there are so many women out there who get as much pleasure from Malago WI as we do.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Malago WI fundraising

In order to fund our monthly meetings, Malago WI has to undertake regular fundraising activities. Previously these have included the Best of Bedminster show, the Southbank Art Trail, the Tobacco Factory Christmas Market and others.

We rely on the generosity of our members, who make cakes and other products to sell, help with logistics/buying/selling/sourcing materials, as well as staffing stalls and making tea. Without this support, we could not take part in these activities, and we regularly request help at meetings for this sort of thing.

If you would like Malago WI's Marmalade Cafe to provide our famed tea and cakes at your event, please get in touch:

WI campaigning – a potted history and process

The Women’s Institute has its origins in Canada. Following the avoidable death of her infant due to contaminated milk, Adelaide Hoodless set about campaigning for domestic science to be taught in schools. She addressed a group of farmer’s wives in 1897, who were inspired to form the first WI, mirroring the ‘Farmers Institute’ and including an educational programme.
The organisation grew rapidly and was replicated in Britain from 1915. It was backed by government for the duration of the First World War, with a remit to promote domestic food production. 

Over the years the Women’s Institute (WI) has campaigned on a wide range of issues that matter to women and their communities, including Equal Pay in 1942, Breast Cancer Screening in 1975, Aids in 1986 and the introduction of new legislation EU to reduce the threat of hazardous chemicals in everyday products in 2006. Today our campaigns range from climate change and ending violence against women to the plight of the honey bee.

Every year WI members have the chance to put forward issues or ‘resolutions’ that they would like the national body to campaign on. These resolutions go through a year long debating and consultation process by the membership. Once the resolutions have been short-listed by the membership a select number are chosen for discussion at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June. If passed, these then become mandates and form the basis of campaigning activities in the years ahead. This process ensures that our campaigns have been through a democratic process involving all members and come from the grassroots of the organisation.

The Public Affairs Department carries out the campaigning, lobbying, policy and research work of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI). The department aims to ‘enable WI members to turn their concerns into campaigns, and thus bring influence to bear on decision-makers and opinion-formers about local, national and international issues.’ We achieve this through the resolution/ mandate process. The department represent the NFWI at a national level with policy-makers, produce supporting notes for resolutions and material and information to raise awareness, enable all members to lobby and campaign, and to take personal action on the mandate.

The national resolutions process is as follows:

Resolution submission form sent to WIs.
Resolution submission deadline.

The ‘long-list’ of resolutions is sifted and reduced to a ‘short-list’ of approximately 10 
resolutions. The sifting is done by a committee made up of federations representatives
(rotated between feds), NFWI officers, members of the Public Affairs committee.
The short-list of resolutions competed with background notes are published for members to 
Members have the opportunity to vote for their preferred resolution by completing the 
voting slips received through WI Life. These should be handed to rep within their WI, who 
then forwards them to the Federation by 31st January.
WIs discuss the final resolution and individual members use their voting slips received via 
WI Life to either support or oppose the resolution becoming a mandate.
The resolution is discussed and voted on at the AGM. WIs are represented.

Federations and individual WIs are also able to campaign as they see fit. They should be selected democratically and approved by the organisation, which is both non-partisan and secular.

If members have a concern that they would like turning into a campaign, either at local, federation or national level, then speak out and let your committee know.