A reminder about the New Forest Show Coffee Morning

First of all, thank you very much to all those who came along to our birthday party last night – it was lovely to chat to lots of you, especially those who stopped by the stand I was running and asked about Craft Night and the WI Shows!

coffee morning
Some of our members have expressed an interest in coming along to the next meeting about the New Forest Show and the entries/rules! The organising committee have very kindly arranged a coffee morning – t
wo of the committee are already planning to attend, but all Sotonettes are invited along.  The more the merrier (and more people means more questions that we can think to ask)!

We need to know by this Friday (the 28th of February) if you’d like to come. The details are:

Date: Friday 21st March 2014
Time: 9.45am for a 10am start, finishing at noon.
Venue: Colbury Memorial Hall, Main Road, Colbury SO40 7EL

If any of you would like to come along, just email sotonettes@gmail.com and we’ll sort out arrangements.
I’ll be driving and can offer a lift to anyone who’d like one! For those who can’t make it, we’ll get a copy of the final schedule up on our blog as soon as we can after the meeting.

I hope I’ve got a few more of you excited about this year’s New Forest Show and the crafty competitions organised in the WI tent.  If you have no idea what we’re on about, have a read of the last New Forest Show blog post!

Jen  (Sotonettes Committee)

#readwomen2014

If you haven’t seen our Facebook posts or heard us chatting about the Sotonettes Book Club already, you’re missing out!  In the autumn of 2013, Kate (one of our Sotonettes Committee Members) decided to start up the book club and it’s already become very popular.  If you’d like to find out more about it, have a look at the Book Club page – the next meeting is tomorrow, so please do come along if you’re interested!

The year of reading women

Joanna Walsh’s 2014 bookmarks

At the moment, the Book Club has chosen to focus its reading activities on female authors and books with female leading characters. The Guardian has recently written an article about a newly trending hashtag, #readwomen2014 and the reasons behind it.  Writer and illustrator Joanna Walsh is starting the campaign for people to read more literature written by women and has even created her own 2014 bookmarks (see above). Read more about this hashtag and Joanna’s campaign in the article here and on her website and blog.

Without spoiling The Guardian’s work, we should highlight the work by an organisation called Vida.  A few years ago, they carried out a study which revealed a surprising imbalance of published reviews between works by male and female authors.  Find out more about their 2011 findings in another Guardian article and the subsequent results for 2012 and 2013 on ‘The Count’ site.

This got me thinking – how many books on my bookshelves are by female authors?  After a thorough count, our living room collection contains 68 books by male authors and only 22 by women (it was looking very bad for the girls until I found the 7 Harry Potter books).  It seems I fit perfectly into the norm with male authors dominating my bookcases, but do you?  Let us know your thoughts – you can comment on this post below or drop us an email at sotonettes@gmail.com or find us on Facebook!

A review of Anna Karenina

First of all, thank you to everyone who made it to January’s book club meeting even with the last minute changes in venue! You’ll all be glad to know that this month we are returning to Cafe Creme at 7.30pm on Tuesday 18th February to discuss Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. We hope to see you all there! All the details you need are on the Book Club page.

Anna KareninaAlthough we had two months to read Anna Karenina, January’s book, I think it’s fair to say we all found it quite a challenge! With over 800 pages of pretty dense writing only a couple of us managed to finish it (but that didn’t stop a good turnout of people who’d just made it part way through!). There were mixed feelings about the book – some keen to continue the slog to finish and others less so!

The book primarily consists of two parallel storylines of the unhappily married Anna and her tragic affair with Vronsky, and the newly married Levin and Kitty. We found Anna an intriguing character – a big deal is made about how likeable she is, but the book never really says why!

We found the portrayal of women in the book certainly reflected the time in which it was written. In particular we noted the double standard applied to men and women – Stiva (Anna’s brother) also has an affair but suffers none of the rejections from society that Anna faces!

I personally found it to be a great book (although I didn’t quite finish it!).  The characters seemed vivid and the emotional journey of the characters really pulled me in, even if it was punctuated by chapters which went on and on about agricultural practices!!

As a group we gave Anna Karenina scores out of 10 on the following categories:

Plot – 6
Portrayal of women – 8
Writing style – 5
Enjoyment – 5
Discussion – 6

Looking forward to seeing you all at the next meeting!

Kate (Sotonettes Committee)

The Romsey Show

Our current President, Hannah, has written a little bit about the Romsey Show.  All Sotonettes members are kindly invited to the next coffee morning on Tuesday 18th February – we’d love to see a good Sotonettes showing if people are free! More details below…

While the New Forest Show is undoubtedly the biggest deal in the Hampshire WI calendar, the Romsey Show, held a few weeks later, is also a chance for local WIs to show off their skills. Every year, the WI have a tent where the public can meet local WI members and get a better idea of who we are.  They also have a few craft competitions that any Hampshire WI member can compete in the and the tent is where the experts among the federation lead talks and demonstrations to show just how diverse the skills and interests of WI members are.

This year the entire show is themed “Hampshire Life 1914-1918”. The centenary of the start of the First World War in commemorated in August and as a result, the Romsey Show is celebrating and remembering life on the home front. The WI tent is going all out to join in the fun. We’ll be dressing up, themed talks and demonstrations will be organised and the competitions will link to the contributions Hampshire women made in the First World War.

The Romsey Show is unique for its more relaxed atmosphere. While the New Forest Show can be a little intimidating, the Romsey Show is a great place to get the confidence to compete in bigger craft competitions. It’s also entirely judged by public vote.

If you like meeting new people, the show also offers a great chance to volunteer on the day and meet women from across the federation. It’s a one-day show so the commitment isn’t huge and as a WI Tent attendant, you get a free ticket to look around the rest of the show while it’s not your shift. The Sotonettes have been involved as attendants on the day for the past two years and this year we’ve joined the Romsey Show organising committee.

We’ll be kicking off this year’s event at a Coffee Morning on Tuesday 18th February at 10am in Ampfield Village Hall. In addition to meeting the people involved in the organisation of the show, the craft competitions will be announced. (Don’t worry – if you can’t make it, we’ll post all of the details up on this blog).

If you’d be interested in going, it would be great if you could let the committee know by emailing CarolesCards@hotmail.co.uk as soon as possible – otherwise we might run out of cake, and that would be terrible!

New Forest Show Coffee Morning

I hope we’ve already got a few of you excited about this year’s New Forest Show and the crafty competitions organised in the WI tent.  If you have no idea what we’re on about, have a read of our last New Forest Show blog post.

Mango chutney anyone?

Mango chutney anyone?

The organising committee have very kindly arranged a coffee morning to go through the classes for the show and provide advice (and answer questions) on anything and everything about our entries.  This will also be the first chance to see the finalised schedule and all the criteria associated with it!

Two of the committee are already planning to attend, but all Sotonettes are invited along.  If you’d like to come, here are the details:

Date: Friday 21st March 2014
Time: 9.45am for a 10am start, finishing at noon.
Venue: Colbury 
Memorial Hall, Main Road, Colbury SO40 7EL

It would be fantastic to have a good group of Sotonettes attend this meeting but we know it’s tough when meetings are during the day on weekdays.  If any of you would like to come along, just email sotonettes@gmail.com and we’ll sort out arrangements.
For those who can’t make it, we’ll get a copy of the final schedule up on our blog as soon as we can after the meeting.

Sotonettes Announcements

Not a very exciting blog post today but an important one nevertheless!

1. Craft Night is tomorrow (Tuesday). Although we normally meet at Cafe Creme, this place is unexpectedly unavailable this week so we are changing venue – we will now be chatting and crafting at the Slug and Lettuce on Above Bar Street (in the upstairs room where we have our main monthly Sotonettes meetings).  Still no charge and everyone is welcome, whatever your crafting ability or interest!  For more info, have a look at the Craft Night page.

2. Sotonettes Committee Elections are coming! Even though we are only celebrating our 2nd birthday this month, big decisions need to be made.  Once a year, all members get a chance to vote for who they’d like to be running the Sotonettes but also nominate themselves to join the new year’s committee!
If you’ve enjoyed coming to our meetings but would perhaps like to have a bit more say in what’s planned or how we are organised, this is your chance!  If you like working with other people as part of a team and think what we get up to is your kind of thing, we’d love to hear from you.  Over the next week or so we’ll be profiling a few current committee members so you can find out what sort of things committee members spend their time doing!  Meanwhile, read about our 2013-14 committee here.

If you’d like to stand for the Sotonettes Committee (and we really hope lots of you do), please let us know by Friday 21st February. You can email us at sotonettes@gmail.com, find us on Facebook or chat to one of the current committee in person at either the Craft Night or Book Club.  If you’re just curious about what it involves, still get in touch and we’ll provide as much info as we can.