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14.3.13

My WI Experience: Elizabeth

When I first started blogging there were a few blogs I instantly fell in love with, and regularly stalked on Twitter.
One of those was Elizabeth, who blogs at MommaTwo. Elizabeth really helped me out in the early days of my anxiety and made me realise that these feelings I was, well, feeling, were completely normal and other people went through the same.
From that moment on I took a real shine to her.
I also started stalking her Twitter hashtag #whatyourocking everyday. She would tweet a photo of her outfit that day, and as I admired her pretty dresses I found myself buying more and wearing more.
And from then on my style was born.

I remember Elizabeth mentioning last year that she had been to a WI meeting. At that point, yes in a little girl admiring her idol kind of way, I looked to see if I had a local group. I found a few and specifically the group I will be attending once the weather stops being silly and allows me to get there.
I wasn’t quite ready to go at the time but Elizabeth certainly planted the seed in my head ( as did Kirstie Allsopp)

When I put the call out asking for friends to get involved with this little project of mine I was glad Elizabeth agreed.
theWI INSPIRING WOMAN
I joined a month ago but had been as a guest twice in the six months before - I had to wait until I could definitely make the times of the meetings, which I couldn't when I was working full time. We meet in the evenings but I often wouldn't have been home in time as I worked quite a long way from home.

I joined because I wanted to meet more people locally and I enjoy crafty things and know my Grandmother enjoyed it - I also quite liked the idea of being a proper 'country wife'. This felt like a proper 'country folk' thing to do. 

I went along initially because my next door neighbour is a member and she thought I might like it - we've already bonded in our love for charity shops and vintage things. 

I was expecting lots of 'jam and Jerusalem  and laughing at little old ladies, if I'm honest - I was kind of anticipating a rather ironic enjoyment of the whole thing, with added baking and craft.

What I actually got was much better - lots of wonderful women with excellent senses of fun and humour, no singing, sadly, but real camaraderie. I am the youngest member by at least 25 years but we're hoping to change that soon and I'm planning on pestering some school run Mums to come along. 

I get to meet new people and take part in things, and join in with more activities in our local village, so it's helping me to meet more people and find out more about what's around us - we've lived here a year but because we were both working full time we haven't learned much about the area or met many people - and I'm enjoying that, and throwing myself into as many things as possible. 

So far I've seen talks on dairy farming and gardening, been bowling and am looking forward to a theatre and shopping trip next month. 

I think there's certainly a stereotype of middle class and country living old ladies - and in our group that is lived up - but they're bloody good fun and we're hoping to expand the group.

I think more people should join the WI as there's an awful lot of good with the groups and it's a great way to learn about new things and meet people - but there's also a strong political undercurrent and seeing women come together and bring change, and help people - well, it's important. 

The WI is perfect for anyone who wants to DO more, and to spend time with like minded, interesting people. It's what you make of it.