Spring & Autumn WI Council meetings

All Sotonettes members have been invited to the 2014 Hampshire Federation Spring Council Meeting – the details are below.  The Sotonettes are part of the Hampshire Federation – they run all sorts of events throughout the year but the two big meetings in the Spring and Autumn really pull the crowds in!

We have one ticket available for free to the first Sotonettes member who gets in touch with us – just email sotonettes@gmail.com.

One of our committee members will be going but we’d love a big Sotonettes turn out if we can! If you would like a ticket or are just curious, email ticketing@hampshirewi.org.uk and they’ll get you sorted out with a ticket and/or more information.

When: Wednesday 19th March, 10.30am-3.30pm
Where: Portsmouth Guildhall
Price: £15
Speakers: Valerie Stevens, European Area President of ACWW (Associated Country Women of the World) & Geoff Holt MBE (the first disabled person to sail single handed around Great Britain – amongst many other achievements).

And if you’re wondering what goes on at these meetings…

In the October of last year, Kate (one of the Sotonettes Committee members) was invited to attend the Hampshire Federation Autumn Meeting 2013. Kate has very kindly written about her experiences at the Autumn Meeting – she had a lovely time and we’re sure anyone who comes along to the Spring one will have a great time too.

It was kind of surreal coming out of the train station into the Basingstoke shopping area and spotting WI ladies as far as the eye could see in every direction – I knew this wouldn’t be an ordinary day!!

There were representatives from all the WI’s in Hampshire – it was great to get chatting with fellow WI ladies and to hear their experiences – everyone was so friendly! There were presentations from the Hampshire Federation on the logistics of the WI such as latest finance and membership info, talks on the fabulous WI activities and campaigns going on all across Hampshire and the plans for the future.

This Autumn Meeting had two wonderful guest speakers. The first, Jenni Murray of Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, gave an engaging and hilarious talk of her experiences as a presenter on Woman’s Hour (including brilliant anecdotes of her interviews with Margaret Thatcher among others!). You can check out the interview at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ldhxk.

photo (1)

The second speaker was author Julie Summers on her fantastic new book ‘Jambusters’ – it’s all about the history of the WI and the important role the WI played during WWII. I managed to pick up a copy while I was there and can now say it’s a great read!

Although I had no idea what to expect as I travelled to Basingstoke, I had such a fun day! I came away feeling so proud to be part of the WI community, with a new appreciation of its history and evolution and excitement about being part of its future.

Although these meetings are on weekdays and can be tricky to get to if you work full time, I couldn’t recommend the experience enough!

Kate (Sotonettes Committee)

Posted in WI

Birthday Cake!

2014 cake

A few of you have asked for the recipes for our birthday cakes – if you’re a keen baker, treat yourself and your friends with this one – everyone said it was delicious!

This year’s birthday cake (above) was a Honey Chocolate Cake.  I decided to make this cake with Fairtrade ingredients as it’s Fairtrade fortnight at the moment.  If you’d like more information about the Fairtrade Foundation, have a look at their website.  Sainsbury’s and the Co-op are the best supermarkets if you want to buy Fairtrade goods without the inflated price tag! They both stock an excellent range of teas, coffees, chocolates, spices and of course, bananas!  There’s also a Fairtrade shop in Eastleigh and our members recommend Rice Up Wholefoods in Southampton city centre.

fairtrade ingredients

The recipe is from Nigella Lawson’s recipe book Feast but it’s also online at Nigella’s site.  I’m known to tinker with recipes a little – the only change I made this time was to make the glaze with 100g of milk chocolate and 75g of dark chocolate – the recipe suggests it all to be dark chocolate but I find that can make it a little bitter tasting (for me anyway)! I used Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Fairtrade Belgian Milk and Dark Chocolate, Cadbury’s Bournville Fairtrade cocoa and Sainsbury’s Fairtrade light brown soft sugar.

The cake should be adorned with very cute little bumble bees made of marzipan and flaked almonds but unfortunately time got the better of me this week!

The WI are very keen on campaigning about our dwindling bee population, so maybe this cake and its decorations may be seen at another Sotonettes meeting soon!

If you’re a keen baker too, I’d love to hear from you and share ideas!

Jen x
(Sotonettes Committee)