Monday, 15 July 2013

SHWI on the run...

Team SHWI! L-R Kirsty, Vicky, Blanche and Anna
Usually on a Sunday morning I enjoy a lie-in before having a (typically) lazy day doing, er, not much. However this particular Sunday morning I was up bright and early at 7am to join my fellow SHWI-ers Kirsty Bowen, Vicky Porteous and Blanche Spataro, AKA Team SHWIrunners, in Graves Park to take part in Weston Park Hospital’s Cancer Charity’s annual 3k fun run. We had entered the event with most of us having no previous running experience and through training for this event we have improved our fitness levels and managed to raise currently over £300 for the charity with donations still flooding in (THANK YOU to those of you who have given so generously!). 

We arrived in Graves Park bright and early on what was to prove the hottest day of the summer so far ready to run with several hundred others who were all united in their determination to support a wonderful organisation doing so much to combat cancer. Although it was far too hot to consider costumes, in a nod to our WI membership we decided to run in pinnies (which explains the accompanying picture!).

After a quick belly dancing session as a warm up (no, really) and a bit of fraternisation with some Star Wars Storm Troopers (again, really) we headed to the starting line ready to complete two laps of the park. On starters order we ran like the wind (ahem) around the sun-drenched (read ‘punishingly hot’) course and were ably supported by family, friends and fellow SHWI members who spurred us all on the complete the course in times ranging from 15.51 minutes to 18.51 minutes and receive finishing positions of 74th-154th places out of 388 participants – not bad at all! After completing the race we stayed to cheer on fellow SHWI and Sheffield Running Club member Grace Tebbutt to annihilate the uber-tough 10k race. Grace achieved a fabulously quick time of just over 48 minutes and was the 4th woman to finish the race! Wow!

Taking part in the event was another example of how Seven Hills Women’s Institute has inspired me and others to challenge ourselves and try new experiences – I never would have thought I’d spend a beautiful summer’s day running around a park rather than lying prone sunbathing in it! I am extremely proud of us all for having raised funds for such an amazing institution that has touched so many lives in Sheffield. This experience has inspired us on to continue running – who knows, the next time I blog about a race it may be a marathon…

Anna Pilson
SHWI Committee Member (and runner!)

Sunday, 7 July 2013

How to make an apron from a pillowcase...

SHWI ladies with their aprons
June's meeting was a crafty meeting. It seems, to me at least, that SHWI can normally be a bit of a foodie haven, but when there is craft, everyone really enjoys it.

Jen in Blue Peter mode!
When I got there, there was a rather delectable quiche made by Laura Bainbridge, (bacon and blue cheese, if you were wondering), and moreish, to the point of indecent, strawberry cupcakes, made by Julie Grigg.

The meeting's activity was headed by the lovely Jennifer Marsden, who had discovered the genius idea of 'pillow pinnies', a way to create a pretty apron very easily, out of a surplus pillowcase. 

One can never have too many pinnies, indeed, some of the ladies have specific 'baking' and 'serious cooking' aprons; here's looking at you, Vickie Riley!

Jen had, in true Blue Peter style, come with three ready-made versions with different levels of difficulty. Duly, the women of Seven Hills WI came equipped with ribbons, trinkets, buttons and knick-knacks with which to decorate their creations. 

The first version was simply a pillowcase turned lengthways with the opening at the top, with the top corners folded inwards, so the apron had a trapezium shape. It was all secured by a running stitch, so even the most fledgling sewer could take part. You could make this a little more jazzy by adding a pocket, by sewing across the pillowcase, creating an open compartment. Then, to make it into an apron, you just had to sew ribbon around the top, for the neckline, and then halfway down the pinny for the back-straps.

The second was a skirt pinny, using the pillowcase sideways so it created the more traditional shape. Sophie Harrold's included fabric inspired by the Hungry Caterpillar, so very apt for an apron, I think!

The third used two pillowcases; one longways, one sideways, to create a full length pinny in a butcher-style. That was my favourite way, as it would cover up any splashes!

As always, the night was full of laughter, chatting and catching up with everyone. It was also the night when I went on the helter skelter for the first time, and I screamed all the way down and fell over when I landed; smooth. I'll do it again though.

There's no meeting in July, but we had the calendar photo shoot and picnic in the Botanical Gardens on Sunday 7 July and for once had amazingly sunny weather!

Zoƫ Loveday
SHWI member

Photos by Laura Bainbridge