Since going along to that first meeting, all on my own.... & even though it did take over my life, over the last couple of months, with the organising of the Christmas Fair...
....it has not only given me an outlet of making random posters, nattering on twitter and been encouraged to be just generally excited about stuff. It has also opened up a whole new world to me.
I've lived in Hither Green for over six years, but it has only been the last few months that I've actually began to feel not only part-of but also (dare I say..) a local! I've made so many friends and met so many people that the rewards I now get since joining FUSS definitely outweigh the odd late night designing another poster.
Not to mention the momentous occasion last week, when I realised I didn't have any fresh thyme for a meal I was cooking.... I was able to pick up the phone and call my neighbor Ann if she had any. Within 5minutes I'd popped over to hers, where she gave me a large bunndle of thyme fresh from her garden!
I live in London.
This sort of thing does NOT happen.
Well it does in Hither Green!!
Seriously, by the time I got back to my flat, you'd have thought I'd won the lottery. I was so excited that I had become part of such a friendly wonderful community. If you don't get why I'm excited - you haven't experienced what I'm on about.
Trust me, being able to smile and say hello to people when you walk down the street is such a great feeling. It makes me feel, well, calm (calm isn't a word I use very often) and incredibly happy.
As you can tell it has had a great affect on me. To the point, that I have an urge to get out in the world, well my 'local' London, and meet more people. So I've decided that I'm going to Join the W.I.
Yes, The Woman's Institute! And NO I'm not 60, or 30...yet....
But after bumping into The Goldsmith's W.I. at a fanzine event at The Amersham Arms a month ago or so, I saw a group of young like-minded girls who get together to do Stuff.
I like to do stuff!
So I went onto their blog and had a read, went onto heir facebook page, then came across another London based W.I. and another and another....
When the first British WI meeting took place in 1915 at Llanfairpwll on Anglesey in North Wales, its aim was to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to help produce food during the First World War. Later, it campaigned for improvements in women's education, and lobbied governments on issues ranging from free access to family-planning facilities, to equal pay.
People have a preconceived idea of what the W.I. is like - Blue rinse hair, quiet, not much laughing and very serious....visually seen in black & white! But this is just not the case and now a new wave of W.I. groups are appearing in london!
The ones I've been looking at include The Shoreditch Sisters, Borough Belles and Goldsmith's W.I. The majority of the women attending these groups are in their mid + late 20's and they hold onto to the traditional learning, craft making mixed with a modern approach. The Shoreditch Sisters hold the most of their meetings at Concrete, a funky bar that's situated under Pizza Eat in the Big Tea Building.
Now, I feel I need to mention that I am yet to go to a W.I. meeting - I'm planning on going to my first meeting in January! For just over £30 a year you go once a month to meet other people & chat, learn crafts and basically have a laugh. And if you're not too sure you can just go along to one meeting for £3 to try it out.
I shall come back and report after my first visit!!
If you're reading this and want to come along with me, just give me a shout on facebook or twitter @EatWobblyJelly
Here are a couple of articles on these new breed of W.I. groups: