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!