555792_10151034556804248_535687531_nA couple of weeks ago while picking my daughter up from school I was approached by a lady who was holding a leaflet.

“Would you like to take a leaflet?” She asked me.  She had a friendly face and was very polite.  How could I refuse?

So I took a leaflet.

“It’s for our WI meetings which we hold at the social club.” She told me.

Aaaaaah I became interested. I’ve always liked to go on random little jaunts.  Sometimes they’ve taken me to good places and other times rather bizarre ones!!! Like the time I ended up in a pub and praying with a religious circle – it’s a daft little tale and no harm was done.  I’m far too polite at times.  I feel like I need to join in.

I’ve been contemplating going to WI meetings for a long time.  But they’re for old people.  Right?

I kind of keep up with the news and obviously it’s well known at the moment that the WI has reached its 100 year anniversary.  I’m also quite a big believer in empowerment for women and independence.  I feel that us ladies still get a raw deal in many areas of life that can prevent us from having that independence.  If you want my honest opinion, I feel that the care that ladies give to their children while they are growing is as important a job as any other job – it’s just underpaid.  And why when a woman chooses to parent her child does she lose an element of independence?  But that’s a different blog so I won’t go into too much this time.

I made my mind up pretty much there and then as I smiled to her and told her that I would attend the meeting.  And I really did attend the meeting last night.  So how did it go?

It’s dark in the evenings now, so I chose to drive to the Social Club, parked outside and walked in.  I’m quite a sociable person, I know how to small talk and chat with the best of them so I didn’t feel a sense of apprehension as I walked through the door.  Immediately I heard the laughter and chatter – it was as though  a warmth was radiating through the door.  I walked in and was greeted.  The room was packed!  I’m not sure why I was surprised that it was so packed.  I had spoken to the organiser over the phone and she welcomed me warmly.

“We’ll stick you with the rowdy bunch.”She joked.  I found it quite amusing as I paid for a raffle ticket and then took my seat. Next to a bunch of very friendly ladies.  Where ever I looked there were beaming ladies, waving, asking if I was ok?  How it was nice to see a new face.  I felt truly welcomed.

The lady rung the bell and the meeting began.  Sadly the Candlemaker who was going to show everybody how to make candles didn’t turn up. But hey ho in typical WI fashion they carried on regardless.  Reading out the dates of the clubs and events that were to be held over the next couple of months. And a list of causes to support within the community.  Everybody scribbling in their diaries.  Then next up there was a game involving picking cities, countries, rivers, landmarks and objects in handbags beginning with a letter.  If I’m honest I found this bit a hoot.  The handbag answers often involved teeth, denture cleaner and deep heat.  It will give you an indication of the average age.  In fact one lady read a poem out that she’d written and again she mentioned missing teeth and also wrinkles.  And as for the quiz – the questions were definitely more relevant to the older generation.  But I can honestly say, they were lovely ladies and what else would I have done on a Tuesday night?

I have learned from the ladies that the town connected to the village that I live in has another WI which is for younger ladies with the average age of 30-40! They apparently at times do work as one group. I’ve already looked into it and I’m definitely going to go.

Support in the form of friendships is good, support in the local community is marvellous and top it off with social events and the ability to learn new skills is definitely my cup of tea.

After all, isn’t that what empowerment for women is all about???