12 May 2019

From scary computers to creative drawing!

Wow! Our last meeting was quite a stretch! Lots of information to absorb about how our data is currently used by computer companies and how it might be used in the future. We heard about the surprisingly large digital footprint that can be acquired simply by using the internet and social media in particular. We also visited some of the ways in which that data could be use or abused. Our thanks to Heather Child for her fascinating presentation.

Our next meeting will be something completely different! We will be exploring Zentangle, a method of drawing that allows even total beginners to make beautiful and interesting images. As a confirmed incompetent in the art department, your blogger awaits with bated breath!

24 April 2019

Big Data and Artificial Intelligence

Tonight's Talk
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence! The title of tonight's presentation by Heather Child seems really timely in light of recent scandals with Cambridge Analytica, Facebook and Instagram involving improper use of our data and online threats to our democratic process. Heather is an author living locally. Your blogger has read her first novel, "Everything About You", and was completely absorbed in her compelling presentation of a possible near future where the online world threads through every aspect of life, almost taking on a life of its own. Her next novel, "The Undoing of Arlo Knott", is out later this year and looks just as interesting. Alongside writing, Heather is a marketer and communications professional working in the charity sector.

Last Month
Jane Duffus flooded us with stories of local women through history. So many women! It was strange to realise how many important local people were largely lost to history, probably because they were women. It was nice to meet some of them at last.

Time of meetings
Please don't come too early! The church have asked us not to turn up before 7.30 as that might impede another group using the hall. Once we have access, we need to set up, so if you want to come between 7.30 and 7.45 bring your muscles and energy! We are happy to see everyone else from 7.45, when we aim to start serving refreshments.

Plant sale
Advance warning: next month, please bring your spare plants for us to sell to each other.

Durdham Down Group Event, Saturday 6th July
We will be passing round the signing up sheet for this tonight. It should be a fun event.

23 March 2019

Durdham Down Group Outing this summer.

University of Bristol Botanic Garden Visit.
The Holmes
Stoke Park Road
Stoke Bishop

Durdham Down Group (DDG)

Saturday 6thJuly 2109 at 2.00pm

Guided tours, lasting approximately an hour and a half, have been arranged for the DDG at theUniversity of Bristol Botanic Garden. This will be the opportunity to experience a unique display of plants to enchant us all; explore the glasshouses to find succulents, orchids and a Giant Amazon Waterlily; visit the unique Sacred Lotus collection; discover prehistoric plants that dinosaurs ate and learn about the collection of rare and threatened natives.

The cost of the tour will be £8.00 per person (includes £6.00 entrance fee), however, “Friends of the Garden” pay a reduced rate of £2/head for the tour.

Tours do take place in most weathers so please come suitably equipped. The Guides will make full use of the glasshouses if the weather is inclement.

There will be the opportunity to have tea/ coffee and cake at the cafe following the tour, served in the beautiful, period Devers Room or sitting on the West Terrace overlooking the pond.

For further information on and travel information to the Botanic Garden go to: www.botanic-garden.bristol.ac.uk

Attached is a form to complete for the numbers from your group with details of methods of payment. Please return this by Friday 31stMay.  (The Botanic Gardens need sufficient time to organise the number of volunteer guides required.)

The Women Who Built Bristol and other news

Well! Our last meeting was lots of fun! Emma Britton talked about her life in the BBC and we raffled a nice collection of regifted Christmas presents. 

Before our next meeting will be our tour of BBC Bristol, so those of us going will have the chance to see where Emma works her magic.

Next Meeting, March 27th
This should be interesting! Jane Duffusis coming to tell us about “The Women Who Built Bristol”. As well as being a long term freelance journalist and editor, Jane is well known locally for running ‘What the Frock’ comedy events, showcasing female comedians at a time when space for them in the mainstream of comedy was limited. She is also an active feminist, member of the Fawcett Society and endurance runner. She is telling us about some of the characters she assembled for her celebratory book about Bristol’s amazing women over the ages.

There will be a little bit of business to attend to, including the result of the Resolutions vote, feedback on a drumming workshop, voting for National Trustees and a quick introduction to the Durdham Down Group event this summer, which we are organising (see below).

Durdham Down Group Event, Saturday 6thJuly
We are going on a guided tour of the Botanic Garden, The Holmes, Stoke Park Road, Stoke Bishop, Bristol BS9 1JG.  The guides are highly knowledgeable local volunteers and the café will be waiting for us at the end of the trip for afternoon tea. This outing gives us a chance to meet with other WI members from nearby, as well as the opportunity to experience a unique display of plants to enchant us all; explore the glasshouses to find succulents, orchids and a Giant Amazon Waterlily; visit the unique Sacred Lotus collection; discover prehistoric plants that dinosaurs ate and learn about the collection of rare and threatened natives.The cost of the tour will be £8.00 per person (includes £6.00 entrance fee), however Friends of the Garden pay a reduced rate of £2 for the tour.

Change of programme:
April and May are swapping places, so April will now be Heather Childs talking about Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, and May will be Heather Lucie presenting Zentangle – a relaxing way to create beautiful images.

24 February 2019

Renewals, Radio, Resolutions and Re-gifting

We are delighted to announce that our membership renewal is going well. There are a few members who have not yet got round to it, mostly because they could not attend the January meeting, so could those few please check out the emailed newsletter for a reminder of the ways in which renewal can be done.

This month's special guest is Emma Britton, breakfast presenter on BBC Radio Bristol. She is a brilliant speaker; warm, funny and engaging. It should be a great evening.

Christmas is just a memory but we are sure that, once again, several members will have received nice presents that simply don't fit in their homes. We are inviting you to bring them along so we can help them find new places to live, via a fund-raising raffle.

We posted off our votes to Avon just in time for their inclusion in the National numbers. The votes cast were as follows:
1. Improving Plant Biosecurity in the UK - 3
2. Trees - Improving the Natural Landscape - 4
3. Pelvic Floor Education - 8
4. Suffering in Silence; why we need to end the taboo around menstrual health - 8
5. A Call against the Decline in Local Bus Services - 5
6. Don't Fear the Smear - 4

It will be interesting to see if the national result is as evenly spread out. We should know which resolution(s) will go forward shortly and we will set aside time to consider them then.

17 January 2019

Welcome to 2019!

After the joys of the Christmas Party, we all need to calm down, so this month we have a presentation from 
Diane Rodgers, Holistic Massage Therapist
Massage for Wellbeing.

She will speak on the benefits of massage for physical, mental and emotional health. She will also give a demo and tips on how we can share this with family and friends, and there will be an opportunity to practice together in the workshop. 

We will also be processing this year's membership forms and handing out membership cards, and finally, we will be thinking about this year's resolutions. Add in time to chat and catch up on news and it's going to be a busy meeting!

Membership: forms are available on-line. You can now pay this month's subscription by BACS in advance. If you pay online, please do so as soon as possible, so that Sally has time to process all the payments, and remember to put who you are on the payment. Whether you decide to pay by BACS, cheque or cash, please bring this year's membership form with you to the meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting, members of the Committee will be giving very brief descriptions of each of the resolutions proposed this year. You will have a chance to discuss them during the evening and we will ask you to vote at the end. We will collate all the votes and send the totals to Avon for inclusion in the national figures. It's one member, one vote and all votes get counted individually (i.e. we don't just tell them which resolution got most votes from Clifton WI). 

The resolutions up for discussion this year are:
1. Improving Plant Biosecurity in the UK
2. Trees - Improving the Natural Landscape
3. Pelvic Floor Education
4. Suffering in Silence; why we need to end the taboo around menstrual health
5. A Call against the Decline in Local Bus Services
6. Don't Fear the Smear


We are hoping to migrate to a new website in the near future. Apologies that this blog is not currently well-maintained. We hope to do better soon!

7 December 2018

Happy Christmas!!!!

Royal York Crescent Christmas Fair
We will have a stand at the Fair on 8th December, opposite 42 Royal York Crescent. Come along for some nice cakes and preserves and maybe even the odd craft item.

Our Christmas Party
Is at Nettle and Rye, 7.45 till it ends on December 12th, admission by ticket only (or if you haven't actually received your ticket, so long as we have had your payment, you'll be on the list!)

The Committee look forward to seeing many of our members at the Fair, the Party or the remaining group parties, but whether we see you or not, we are sending festive thoughts your way! 

Happy Christmas!

6 December 2018

New website coming soon and next 6m programme


Meanwhile, our next event is our Christmas Party on Wednesday 12th at Nettle and Rye in Clifton Village. After that, it looks like this:

January: Massage for Wellbeing

Diane Rogers, Holistic Massage Therapist

February: “My Somewhat Unusual Journey into Broadcasting”

Emma Britton, from BBC Radio, Bristol

March: Ladies Who Made Bristol

Jane Duffus, author

April:  Zentangle – a relaxing way to create beautiful images

Heather Lucie

May: Big Data and Artificial Intelligence

Heather Child, author

June: Antibiotics

Sue Easmon

July Walk and ‘refreshments’

Our popular annual walk lead by a member

17 July 2018

Gromit Unleashed 2 - our July walk Weds 25th

Join us for a 'cracking time Gromit'!

July is the month when we head out and about from our usual base of Alma Church Hall. 

We gather for a walk somewhere in Clifton and finish at a local pub.

Patsy Rose kindly arranges the route for us each year.

On Weds 25th July we are going to see some of the statues which form the Gromit Unleashed exhibition for 2018.  Some of the statues are in Thornbury, Chipping Sodbury and Weston Super Mare so we are sticking to our locality!

We will be meeting by the Gromit statue in Royal Fort Lodge Gardens at 7.00pm, the postcode is BS8 1UH.

The gardens are part of the main Bristol University campus and if not familiar to you it might be worth going along a little earlier to see them and the mirror sculpture.

You will find Gromit on the path to the right at the entrance to the gardens on the corner of University Walk and Tyndall Avenue.

If you are not able to join us for the walk we will aim to finish at the Avon Gorge Hotel bar around 9.00pm and you would be welcome to find us there.

5 July 2018

Alma Fayre 11th August 2018

Clifton WI will have a stall at this popular annual fayre once more.  We will be hoping to meet lots of people and answer any questions they might have about what the WI and in particular the Clifton group gets up to.

We will also be offering tempting treats to help raise funds so if any members can offer any help on the day or donations of baked goods, plants, crafts etc please do get in touch thecliftonwi@gmail.com

24 June 2018

Dates for your diary

Party time

In August Clifton WI will be 10 years old and we will be celebrating.

Please come along to the June meeting, contact us at thecliftonwi@gmail.com for any queries or see your members monthly newsletter emails for further details.

We will supply :                               
A Birthday cake 
Silly Games!                           
Lots of chances to chat!

We would like you to supply:         
Yourself in your favourite party outfit 
Finger food
A posy of flowers in a jam jar
2 photos of yourself one aged around 10 years and one now
old/damaged crockery                                                                    

We look forward to seeing you at Alma Church Hall on August 29th for our party

Alma Street Fair

This is on Saturday August 11th and we are hoping to have a stand. Previously we have that this is a good way to introduce ourselves to people in Clifton as well as offering some goodies and raising funds for ourselves and our nominated good cause.

It is good fun but doesn't just happen by itself, so ......

We will need someone to coordinate it, lots of helpers and lots of goodies to sell. Previous stalls have gone really well so this should be a good opportunity for us to meet local women, recruit and earn a tiny bit of money.

If you would like to be involved in arranging this, helping us on the day or just to find out more please contact us at   thecliftonwi@gmail.com 

There are pictures of our previous stands at events around Clifton on our gallery http://cliftonwi.blogspot.com/p/gallery.html

The international theme continues at Clifton WI

Last month (May) we were sashaying around the hall to latin beats and rhythms for our introduction to Salsa.  It was fun but certainly some of us were 'out of puff' at the end.

This month (June) we will be learning about Japanese kites from Paul Chapman.

Bamboo Woodblocks and Washi

Paul Chapman, a member of the Koryu-dako traditional kite group of Nagoya, has travelled extensively in Japan to discover and experience the fascinating culture of the Japanese kite. He will talk about his experiences with a particular focus on the traditional kitemaking processes that involve the essential elements of bamboo and washi

He will bring a number of rare examples to show and discuss, most of which date back to the Edo and Meiji periods. These will include a kite-making woodblock and the preparatory drawings used in the making of blocks which were then used to print the traditional Kabuki Theatre images onto the washi and which are often seen in the fine ukiyo-e images of the Floating World.

25 March 2018

Clothing from recycled materials

Our speaker at our March meeting is Linda Thomas who will explain how she uses recycled materials in the designs she makes.

Have a look at her website and this blog to see what she makes from her Bristol base.

25 November 2017

NY Times
January 2018 is a time for resolutions and not just those related to eating well.  

WI resolutions should reflect the view of Clifton Members by the end of this month.
The shortlist of resolutions will need to be voted on at the January meeting on the 31st or by posting the voting slip in your copy of WI Life directly to the NFWI.

Here is the shortlist as a reminder:

1.         Positive body image in a digital age
This meeting urges every WI and the NFWI to campaign to ensure that government and the media industry promote healthy body images and ensure diversity is represented in the media.
2.        Stop female genital mutilation
Almost 200,000 women and girls in England and Wales are affected by or threatened with the risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). This figure rises to 200 million worldwide. FGM is illegal in the UK, but it is still happening. We urge the NFWI to use its collective voice and influence to raise wider awareness of the traumatic health consequences of FGM and support and partner with agencies that are working to end this practice in the UK and worldwide.
3.        Raising awareness of modern slavery in the UK
Modern slavery affects thousands of people in the UK every year, and leaves them facing servitude, forced or compulsory labour, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. This meeting calls on every WI and the NFWI to raise awareness of this important issue and to lobby for more effective support for the physical and psychological health of victims of this crime.
4.        Mental health matters
Mental health matters as much as physical health. The NFWI urges all WI members to recognise the importance of parity between mental health and physical health, and take action to make it as acceptable to talk about mental health issues as much as physical health issues, and to lobby government for better support for mental illness.
5.        Healthier Mouth, Healthier Body

Health research suggests that there is a link between gum health and serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and even dementia. The NFWI calls upon the government to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and the impact that it can have in preventing life changing acute and chronic health conditions.

Clifton WI have been asked to highlight these messages from good causes we have supported in 2017

The Marmalade Trust - 'challenging loneliness, one spoon at a time'

On Christmas Day local Bristol charity, Marmalade Trust, invites older people who are on their own to join them in restaurants in Bristol and South Glos for a free festive lunch. Every guest is made to feel very welcome and part of their own Marmalade family. 

They will be collected from their home by a Marmalade volunteer who will drive them safely to and from the restaurant, accompany them inside and introduce them to the other guests. The groups are kept small and everyone is very friendly.

Marmalade Trust want to highlight this opportunity whilst also seeking volunteers to assist on Christmas Day.  For further details: https://marmaladetrust.org/

SS Great Britain - Being Brunel

As you may be aware  a new national museum, Being Brunel, will be opening alongside the ss Great Britain at the end of March next year. 

 The new museum will be based in redeveloped, previously derelict, 20th century buildings on the water front including Brunel's original drawing office. Being Brunel has been designed to be interesting, engaging and fun. 

The SS Great Britain Trust needs around 80 volunteers to bring it alive, hence this message to Clifton WI members.  For further details: