Sunday, 12 January 2014

Merry Christmas, Love SHWI

It's sometimes hard to avoid Christmas, with tinsel being made available in October and fizzy cola flavoured beverages making adverts that manage to whip up the majority of TV watchers into a frenzy in November. But when it's actually December, then I'm more than happy to get into the festive spirit! Praise be then, that SHWI had not one, but THREE festive events to enjoy. 
First up was a Christmas Coffee morning for the Don Valley Group - a selection of Sheffield based WIs - at SHWI HQ Electric Works. All the ladies were encouraged to bring cakes and bakes, with Glee Bah Gum making a return appearance (they were our guests at the September meeting) to treat us to some carols. It didn't take long for the ladies to join in, with members of Crosspool WI and Norton Lees singing away to some festive favourites. 
Cakes and bakes at the Don Valley Group Coffee Morning

Next up was the SHWI Christmas Party - a rather less sober affair than the coffee morning, it has to be said.  Electric Works allowed us back in to take over our usual meeting room, but this time with funky red lighting and DJ K-Bo (aka committee member Kirsty) providing some banging tunes. A delicious buffet was provided courtesy of SHWI member Blanche (of Coco Catering), treating the ladies to arancini (giant crumbed balls of luscious risotto), pork pies, moreish dips, beautiful brownies and much more.  
Blanche and Vicky enjoy the party atmosphere

Thankfully it didnt get too messy - it was a school night after all - but the photos taken that night might suggest otherwise....
Last, but by no means least, was the December monthly meeting. We kicked off proceedings with the now traditional Christmas Quiz - compiled and hosted by president Lindsay.  
New members sign up and get ready to quiz!

Last year I was lucky enough to be part of winning team 'Specs and Tits', and this year we were determined to keep our title. Team Captain Anna P rallied the troops and put in some revision, by scouring gossip columns and looking at the biggest news headlines of 2013. All that work paid off, as Specs and Tits were victorious and no doubt determined to win again at the 2014 quiz.
After all that excitement, it was time for our guest speaker, SHWI member Liz. She was here to give us a confidence building class and did so in a friendly and encouraging way.

First she gave us tips on how to set goals and the best way to achieve them - by being realistic and believing in yourself. Next we were asked to compliment our fellow SHWIers and learn to accept compliments graciously. This was a little funny at first, but once we got going you could feel the love in the room. There might have been a few tears shed... But it was all good! I've kept my list of compliments to give me lift when I need it.
Finally it was time to swap Secret Santa gifts! Another festive SHWI tradition - if you bring a wrapped up present (£5 budget) you can swap it for another! Picking one to take home is more stressful than buying one for a random lady!
Some of our Secret Santa presents
All in all, December was a great month for Seven Hills... But now the 2014 programme is out I'm looking forward to seeing what the new year brings! 
Laura Bainbridge, SHWI committee

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