Bakewell NWR at our outdoor meeting for 6. Caroline, one our members, kindly invited us round and the lure was the new lambs she'd been fostering. As usual, anything and everything was talked about but we all agreed we were looking forward to meeting indoors and getting on with our programme.
Lincoln Diamond Day Reunion Lunch
We thought you might like to see a couple of pictures of (most of) the Lincoln Diamond Day lunch organising committee making the most of the first opportunity this year to eat together in a restaurant.
We were at a pub called The Tally Ho near Sleaford in Lincolnshire and had a table for 5 and a table for 4 but, as we were the only people in the dining room, cross table conversation was easy!! It was so lovely to sit and talk and............ most importantly, to eat a meal we hadn't had to cook ourselves!!
Deepings Member and EA02 Area Organiser
So Lockdown is lifting on 17th May,
Though we had rain and hail today!
Then there were the claps of thunder
Shaking the whole sky asunder!
At last we should all be pleased,
Because Lockdown is being eased.
During that time life was so abnormal
What in future will be NORMAL?
Now we have reached the middle of May,
Some restrictions will go away.
But what is now safe to do?
What CAN we do we will not rue?
The Lockdown claws are now uncurling,
The roadmap to freedom is unfurling.
Are we heading towards a schism,
Or have we grounds for optimism?
Roll on summer, with warmth and sun!
Our vegetables might even begin to run
Away with themselves and start to grow
(They’re a good month behind you know!)
If the brave the weather can deride,
As down the thermometer seems to slide.
At least we now can eat and drink inside,
(If the confined space you can abide).
As from our cocoons we emerge,
Some to pubs and restaurants will surge.
To hostelries, doors open wide,
To encourage us inside.
But only if you book, you sap!
Woe betide those that have no app!
Let alone no mobile banking -
You just slipped right down the ranking!
We can visit shops, go on the bus
And leave our county without fuss.
If museums and art galleries are more your style,
Then with hungry anticipation in you can file.
Now we should be full of vim,
Shedding pande-pounds at the gym.
You can exercise inside in a group
But wearing a mask, as in you troop!
Swimming pools have opened their doors,
(Though not as good as distant shores!)
Lane swimming increases power,
But you still can’t use the shower!
Everyone wonders, but no-one asks
Should we all still wear our masks?
We still have to proceed with care
How much risk do you want to share?
From this day we can even hug!
Doesn’t this on your heartstrings tug?
Although you still have to avert your face,
Just to keep their safety in place.
Now ‘Staying Local’ no longer applies,
We can re-strengthen our family ties.
Travel round the country they permit
And friends and family can now visit.
No restrictions on distance travel
‘Stay local’ s no longer under the gavel -
You won’t be fined for having a brew
Whilst in your car enjoying the view!
We can even go away
And take a summer holiday,
Mostly restricted to UK,
Though inflated prices you will pay!
If you want to go abroad
Restrictions cannot be ignored.
Let’s hope the Indian B161 Variant
Will not make many far less sentient.
For those with friends and relations
Scattered though all global nations,
Hope and pray them soon to see,
When the green light shines on THEIR country.
In retirement we still resent
The wasted time we should have spent
Doing the things we now CAN’T do,
Now this Lockdown is nearly through.
So CARPE DIEM, we must be bold.
We know not what the future will hold.
So dust off your bucket list,
Review, amend it, so nothing’s missed!
Now you have your revised plan
Get out and do what’re you can.
Enjoy your life and try to cram
As much in before the doors again slam!
© Pauline Rhodes (May 2021)
NWR Poole recently had a special treat! Beth Calverley, spoken word poet and granddaughter of one of the members ran a Zoom workshop. It started with members giving Beth thoughts about their lives which she gathered and used to create a poem – on the spot!
We thought that you might like it too, so here is the image of the poem! It was a novel and very interesting experience. We were all involved with the process and very much enjoyed Beth’s performance of our collaborated creation!
If you think your group would enjoy a Poetry Workshop, see Beth’s website details below:-
Our Lucky Lists
a collaboration between members of NWR Poole and Beth Calverley
Notes from the conversation:
My lucky list: loving family, caring friends, beautiful home, walks to the sea
"What peace there may be in silence"
We've had a lot of silence recently
Monday - such a beautiful day
"each little bird that sings"
They were going bonkers!
A lovely little book - sketches of St Ives
"the sound of the waves and gulls for company"
Girls of the sea
A warm feeling to another person
The loveliest season of the year - longing and togetherness
"this gives life to thee"
Cornish beaches - Loue Valley and Harbour, where I went as a child and teenager
An autograph book entry upside down
"May the task is hard and the way ahead seems rough / and yet in all the trails you meet you find you've strength enough"
"Grant me the serendipity"
Bookshelf fell down - surrounded by books to sort out
"Mum and Dad" - a beautiful thing
"You live life to the fullest / and each day brings out the best."
"Can't we shake hands"
So relevant at the moment
Looking at the harbour
A view that changes every day but doesn't change
Amazing - it's all grey - you know that bluish grey
No boats on the water - waiting for next week
Excitement of a tanker!
Reflections after reading the notes:
How grateful, conscious we are of and for the sea
Caring thread going through - really good friends
How emotional we're feeling - about life - I didn't know - bring back to the surface
How many brought your children into the conversations
Very emotional - the times we're living in
we're all missing our family - touchy feeling
Trust - we love you for sharing it
© Beth Calverley
The Poetry Machine
07810 872 602
We thought you would like to see this photo taken after planting our Diamond Jubilee Magnolia Galaxy in Buckingham Park, Shoreham-by- Sea.
It has taken us some time to get this tree planted but we managed to do it on a lovely sunny day last week. It has a commemorative plaque at the base dated 2020. It will be looked after by the Park Ranger and should eventually become a very spectacular sight in this corner of our lovely park.
The local press printed a picture and an article which can be viewed here Shoreham-by-Sea-Tree-Planting-article.
Local Organiser of Shoreham by Sea.
In April on a cold but sunny day a few members of Wantage NWR, walking group, enjoyed a welcome break in the Parkinsons.Me Community Garden for the first permitted walk of the year and a photo is attached.
The garden, located in West Lockinge near Wantage, was created in aid of those with Parkinson's and was featured on Gardener's World in 2019. Further details of this lovely garden can be found on the following website: https://www.parkinsons.me/community-garden-west-lockinge
Wantage NWR (Walking Group)
Crieff, Comrie and Auchterarder Group coffee tag .
The Zoom September planning meeting was well attended and full of its’ expected enthusiasm and ideas.
We concluded that the way forward was to continue with the certainty of Zoom, at the same time looked for a way to meet without Zoom as the medium is challenging.
At that point, in Scotland only two households could meet up, which, for all our group meant two people.
So we created our own coffee tag. This involved names being randomly listed then lady one met lady two, a few days later lady two met lady three and so on until the circle was completed and lady twelve met lady one .
We were able to meet in a variety of settings until the end of the year, including coffee shops, gardens and taking a walk, sometimes with the family dog. Topics of discussion were various and our members reported the subject discussion along with a relevant picture after meeting up, in an email, which in itself prompted further super discussions!!
We all enjoyed these meetings and the different medium of a one to one chat
It was such a success that we repeated it with a secret Santa coffee tag.
(Crieff, Comrie and Auchterarder NWR)
I’ve had it!
A year ago, if you said, ’I’ve had it’ people, presuming that you had contracted COVID 19, would have commiserated with you! But thankfully now they will congratulate you on having had your second inoculation.
The first of April 2021 has become a very special day for me. Doubly so. I sang my mam’s song: ‘This is My Lovely Day’
On Maundy Thursday 1995 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Every year since the Easter Tritium brought back memories of the fear I experienced on that day. However, from now on I will be singing:
‘This is the day I shall remember the day I am dying
They can't take this away…’
They can't take this away
It will be always mine, the sun and the wine
The sea birds crying ‘
THIS IS MY LOVELY DAY From the London Musical "Bless The Bride" (1947) ( Music: Vivian Ellis / Lyrics: A. P. Herbert) Lizbeth Webb & Georges Guetary …
Dalgety Bay Group has been meeting every fortnight during Covid times.
We have now all got the hang of Zoom and on a cold snowy or frosty night it's quite nice to think we don't have to turn out into the cold.
We have covered topics like the RNLI, our favourite poem and a tale about someone we never had chance to say to say 'Sorry' or 'Thank you' to.
We dressed up for our online Christmas Party, with our glasses of wine and crisps and took part in a quiz.
One of the fun things we have done is to share our special soup recipes. It has been the right weather for a tasty soup.
Here is one of the recipes from our collection. I can recommend it.
Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Soup with Coconut Milk
450g of chopped sweet potato
2 peeled and chopped red peppers
400ml can of coconut milk
1tbs ground coriander
700 ml vegetable stock
Melt butter in a large pan and cook onion until soft but not brown. Stir in the ground coriander and cook for 2 mins. Add the sweet potato and red peppers and cook for 5 mins. Add the stock and bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for 20 mins. Cool a little then blitz. Add the coconut milk, season to taste, heat and serve.
This is my annual email to let people know how much money has been raised from hiring out my Murder Mystery plays during the year and to thank them for hiring them.
I would like to thank the NWR office for kindly forwarding emails from NWR groups to enable them to book plays.
This year I sent £725 to the Disasters Emergency Committee who are helping “people around the world who are struggling to cope with the effects of this pandemic, alongside their daily struggles with conflict, hunger and natural disaster.” https://www.dec.org.uk/
I have obtained matched funding so the total received by the charity is £1,450. Sadly, due to the pandemic this total is lower than usual. However, it brings the total raised for third world charities (from all the plays, including matched funding) to £17,109.
Thank you so much for helping to make this total possible.
The Arnold NWR group would like to thank you in the office and the question setters and clue holders for a fantastic and fun TTT this year! As you can see from the attached screenshot, we had 18 members join by Zoom and one or two others were in touch by phone. This is a record turnout for our Zoom meetings and everyone said how much they had enjoyed it. The quiz has been a firm favourite over the years and we were so glad it could go ahead. This year has been a challenging learning curve for many of our members, but most of them have embraced the new ways of keeping connected. Long live NWR!
Romiley members social distancing!
When lockdown started we were all at a loss what to do. All our meetings were cancelled and so we started a weekly Would I Lie To You email with one member of our group of 15 contacting one other member, who had to email a lie while the others emailed a truth about themselves. Later in the week we had to guess who was lying and that person secretly asked another to be the next liar and so it went on. We did not question each other, as in the TV programme but we found out some very interesting facts about each other in the course of the time we did it.
We also revived an idea from a meeting we held several years ago when we chose six words and wrote a story, poem or dialogue including the six words and then emailed them to the group. It was great to read the different ideas we came up with.
As lockdown eased we had meetings in each other’s gardens with a maximum of 6 in each. It was great to get together and see each other face to face and talk about our lockdown experiences and find out about each other’s truths! It was a welcome change from reading emails.
We then decided on a socially distanced walk and picnic, in which 12 of our members took part. We picnicked on a bench and the photo is of us all socially distancing while picnicking. Again it was good to see each other face to face and chat.
We’ve recently started writing Haiku poems with the theme of An Emotional Snapshot of Lockdown and have read many interesting and poignant ones.
As I write this towards the end of July, who knows how our meetings will continue. We’ve enjoyed the outside meet ups and walks and cannot even think of how long it will be before 15 people can be inside in one room again. We’ll just have to get used to being wrapped up while sitting in a member’s garden or walking together.
Marion Molteno, an NWR patron has recently published her new book Journeys Without A Map: A Writer’s Life - as an e-book. It’s available from all major e-book suppliers – just click here:
Some of you will have read her novel 'Uncertain Light’. Marion says that this new book has grown out of that book, as after it came out she did a fair bit of journeying with it, talking to groups across the UK - including several NWR groups - and in India & Pakistan.She then brought together stories & reflections from those journeys, and beyond that to the long unexpected personal journey her novel-writing life has taken her on.
From October Marion will be doing a series of zoom interviews for NWR members with some of the extraordinarily creative women she got to know in the course of these journeys. I hope you’ll join us for that.
From the blurb of the book - here’s what early readers have said:
An amazing story, compelling and written with great pace. I was swept along by the details of the actual journeys – the hazards, adventures, happy or unhappy coincidences- and the writer’s journey as well. A moving and humbling experience. – Carol A. Caffrey
A wonderful book – extraordinarily diverse and fascinating – different countries, cultures, languages, people, poetry. Gives a real insight into what goes into creating an important novel, and because she’s a great story teller, whether it’s Shropshire or India it holds the same fascination. – Nicky Road
Engaging all the way through. Her vivid way with detail makes for equally fascinating reading whether she is getting lost coming out of the metro station in Delhi, describing inspirational women who have influenced her, narrating moving refugee stories, or reflecting on the writer-reader relationship. – Linda Wright
What a brave book this is – laying bare levels of feelings, thought and creativity, that though beautifully written still feel quite raw. We learn a lot about her but also about writing and being an author. A wonderful achievement. – Greg Lanning
See their article here Wimborne-article-in-Viewpoint-May-2020
or read below.
Maryanne Pike, local organiser for the Wimborne National Women’s Register, gives readers some insight into the organisation and how it is coping during the Covid-19 pandemic. She writes:
Yes, it was definitely the pill! It had been a lively discussion topic, ‘The Most Influential Thing to Come out Of the Sixties’, so many contenders: fashion, music, free love (possibly due to the aforementioned medical advance?) to name but a few. However, the new opportunity for women to control their own fertility was certainly the majority favourite.
It was also the decade that started NWR, the National Women’s Register, formerly National Housewives Register, and it was the members of the Wimborne group of NWR that had been debating the topic as part of NWR’s Sixtieth Jubilee this spring. All over the country members were celebrating the week when Maureen Nichols, the founding member, wrote a letter, with a brilliant suggestion, to a newspaper.
Maureen had been moving around the country with her young family following her husband’s job moves. This was the era when greater mobility of the workforce was becoming more usual. She thought how wonderful it would be to have a group of like-minded women, a register she called it, who would be readymade friends wherever you went.
The need for such an organisation was shown by the overwhelming response to her letter and NWR was born.
So there we were, 60 years later, and looking forward to our spring programme of discussions, visits, trips and talks, (not to forget the odd party). Then something shook the world and all our activities were put on hold.
It took a couple of weeks to come to terms with the situation and our disappointments. Then, like so many people and organisations, we decided we were not going to be beaten and we took a dive into the virtual world.
Our fortnightly meetings usually take place in each other’s homes but now we meet in a virtual room and, instead of twice a month, it’s twice a week. We have a weekly coffee morning (bring your own coffee), and a weekly evening get together (bring your own…whatever you fancy, most often it’s in a glass).
Of course it’s very different and there’s been a lot to learn, not least the etiquette of this new social contact. Many of us have also learnt that we are not as bad at technology as we thought. Each meeting has a topic, the discussion mentioned at the start of this article was at one of our evening meetings, sometimes we need to give it a bit of thought beforehand and, most importantly, it is giving everyone an opportunity to stay in touch.
We are very grateful to the National Organising Group too. They have stepped up to provide access for all members to the Digital Theatre resources and have organised webinars with interesting and entertaining speakers and quizzes for any members throughout the country that would like to take part. Their regular newsletters with useful links and ideas help us to feel less alone.
So, this remains a difficult and challenging time for us all but, being a member of NWR is helping to make it more bearable.
Initiated by the 60th Anniversary of NWR, Buckhurst Hill & Woodford Green reunited some "old timers" as we call ourselves (going back forty years in some cases) and, having arranged a date in early March, we were pleased to be able to go ahead with our plans before the full restrictions were put in place. Most had moved away, but travelled to London for a very enjoyable lunch. In the event, twelve were able to attend (some travelling long distances), and for those who couldn't make it, it was good to have been in touch again. It inspired us to try and make this an annual event!
WhatsAppening, WhatsAppening ?
Confusion, chaos reign
I try to answer Maureen but
Kath interrupts again
From Canada to custard creams
Camels, change and crocus
Such abundance of the C word
Makes it very hard to focus
Kaiser Chiefs and croquet
Covens, haircuts will be fun
Clever curtains closing
Crosswords, colouring, cajun
I’ve a finger that’s arthritic
Which slows me down somewhat
I’m always getting left behind
Slow down, you rotten lot
The typos keep on coming
With gauge tees, mooing couse
The doves seem to be coping
But groping photo’s not allowed
It was late when Antje joined us
She couldn’t find the link
Connected to another line
Talking to herself we think
You can’t have your cake and eat it
It was virtual you see
And we also lacked a hostess
To make our cups of tea
That did not seem a problem
For in reality
Our ladies, safe behind their screens
Were sipping G&T
One by one we said Goodnight
And signed off for a rest
I so enjoyed my time with you
Bedale Ladies, you’re the best !
Written by Judith Brickwood, a member of Bedale group after their first WhatsApp meeting.
Here are some photos of our group’s Celebration Afternoon Tea at Lytham Hall on Diamond Day. The local press came, took photos and wrote two articles about us. We each had a goody bag containing a special memento which consisted of a tea light holder with our own commemorative transfers affixed. We proposed a toast to Maureen Nicol and a good time was had by all.
As our National Organisation celebrates the 60th Anniversary of our creation, we the members of the Boscombe East Group celebrated our 40th Anniversary in February.
The members decided to mark the occasion with an afternoon tea at the Listen Hotel, Boscombe. We invited some past members who had moved away from our area and were very pleased that they could join us.
To mark the occasion members wore red for the ruby anniversary and all looked splendid.
Over the years our members have been involved with the Southampton National Conference, organizing two local conferences and attending many national and local conferences. One member was a trustee for a period of time.
It was lucky that I found the copy of the original letter sent to all members in February 1980 when the group became too big for most homes to accommodate. As one of the present LOs along with my colleague we decided to split the group by geographical location. It has worked well ever since and we have welcomed many new members over the years.
Here’s to the next 40 years!!
Women of the World
we see your life,
in a world of conflict,
pain and strife.
Women being wives,
we feel your pain,
trying to build towards
a life of gain.
Women being mothers,
we know your cry,
aiming, for your children,
for the best of life.
Women being strong,
we share your loss,
and the heart-felt cost.
Women being heard,
your voice is loud,
it can also be seen
through the dark, dark cloud.
Women of hope,
never give away
your pride, and the effort
towards a better day.
Women of the future,
work through this test,
to help you all
we’re doing our best.
The women here
have not forgotten you
and send strong support
for all that you do.
Nikki Bennett. Copyright