Sunday, 23 December 2012

Festive year-end at the Geffrye

Our December coffee morning was held at the Geffrye Museum as per EEWI tradition. Many were hoping for snow, but the weather didn't cooperate.

In fact, it was almost summery. We sat down for frothy cappuccinos, enjoyed admiring the gardens, and even started on a bit of knitting.

And then, the fire alarm went off. We calmly made our way to the nearest exits, cups in hand, and waited patiently outside for the firemen to sound the all-clear. Fire engines, wailing sirens, and men in yellow hardhats entertained us for the last coffee morning of the year.

Thank goodness it wasn't snowing. 

Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to you all! Looking forward to seeing you again in the New Year.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

christmas marketing and a cup of coffee

Stacey sells her lovely wares
If you missed our Christmas Market on Tuesday, we missed you too!  There were lots of lovely stalls and beautiful handmade goods, with plenty of our own EEWI women sharing their talent plus some great visitors too.  Lydia and some of the committee has been working too to get together some handmade gorgeousness together to raise money for U-TUrn and did very well.  And we were delighted to hand over some of your generous gifts to the ladies to enjoy over Christmas.  Many thanks to everyone who joined in baking, making, pouring and giving.

If you could not get along, don't forget we'll be at the Geffrye Museum tomorrow Friday 21st at 10.30  for a cup of coffee and a relaxing run into the weekend before the serious stuff - I'm thinking hoovering, wrapping presents, cooking - begins.  All welcome - bring your mum and the children!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Knit & Natter: Wednesday the 19th

Just a reminder that our Knit & Natter will be a week early this month: we are meeting tonight, Wednesday the 19th from 6.30 – 8.30pm.

We're meeting at The Coborn Arms, 8 Coborn Road, Mile End, London E3 2DA. Click here for a map.

This EEWI-inspired group is open to anyone who feels like popping in with a project - knitting or otherwise. It will be a casual meeting, and everyone is invited – not only knitters! Bring along your stitching or paper crafts, or simply join us for a few drinks and a good catch-up.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

getting ready for christmas!

We're starting to get into gear for our Christmas Market next Tuesday (details below).  Clare will be getting her spices  ready for the mulled wine, Elizabeth has signed up to make lots of mince pies and Niki went home yesterday to practice her fourteen pointed stars so that she can pass on her expertise.  Lydia is making some hand-made loveliness to sell for U-Turn and some of us got out the needles and thread yesterday to make some pretty heart-shaped lavender bags to go on the stall too. And we have some other lovely stalls lined up for you selling handmade goodness.  Entry is free for members, £3 donation for non-members.  

Times are tougher for everyone this year, but we know that EEWI members have big hearts  so we are also hoping you can also bring along a small wrapped gift for the women at U-Turn who will be joining us again this year.  It's greatly appreciated.

It would be lovely too if you're able to join us for our last coffee morning of the year.  We seem to have made it an EEWI tradition to go along to the Geffrye Museum to see a bit of Christmas past before we indulge in some Christmas Present.  It's a lovely setting, and  a great way to ease into the holiday.  We've decided to stick to the Friday after our meeting, so we'll be hoping to see you at 10.30 on 21st December at the Geffrye.  It may well be your last opportunity to sit down with a cup of coffee before the big day.

All women are welcome. Come and say hello.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Save the Women's Library Tribute

If you want to offer some support to the campaign to keep the Women's Library in Tower Hamlets, you might want to go along tonight to a free tribute event running from 6pm - 8pm at the Women's Library in Old Castle Street.  Details here.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Knit & Natter, Wednesday 6.30pm

Thanks to Aneeta's fabulous talk, we're all getting our knitting needles at the ready for tomorrow's Knit & Natter group: Wednesday the 28th from 6.30 – 8.30pm.

This time we're meeting at The Coborn Arms, 8 Coborn Road, Mile End, London E3 2DA. Click here for a map.

This EEWI-inspired group is open to anyone who feels like popping in with a project - knitting or otherwise. It will be a casual meeting, and everyone is invited – not only knitters! Bring along your stitcheries (cross-stitch, crochet, tapestry, finger-knitting or pattern planning) or simply join us for a few drinks and a good catch-up.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Friday, 16 November 2012

knitty gritty november

Knitty Gritty - The Next Steps Knitting Book

As we get well into our pre-Christmas crafting groove, we're delighted to have Aneeta Patel of Knitty Gritty fame to introduce us to her new book Knitty Gritty the Next Steps at our 20th November meeting.  Aneeta's first book laid down the foundations for novice knitters.  This follow-on book takes knitters into more challenging territory.  Aneeta will be able to tell us what writing a knitting books entails - quite a lot of hard work as it happens - and talk us through how to move up a step in our knitting adventures.  We'll also be able to have a go at a bit of knitting ourselves with Aneeta offering expert advice on any knitty gritty challenges you may have.  Do bring along your own knitting project if you wish.  We'll also have some spare needles and yarn for those who want to have a go, but if you have some spare to share too that would be great. You'll be able to buy a signed copy of the book on the night too.

We're also playing host to Esther, a bright young woman who is participating in a Channel 4 documentary and wants to get a bit of practice in public speaking.  Esther is going to speak to us for five or ten minutes and about feminism and encouraging women into public life.  She'll be filmed during her talk and later you will be able to give some feedback if you wish.  Don't worry if you do not want to be filmed - that will be arranged in advance.

We're at our usual home - St Margaret's House, Old Ford Road E2 9PL, but don't forget - earlier time of 7pm for a 7.30pm start.  All women are welcome - if you are not a member, we invite a donation of £3 to cover costs.  Tea, coffee and cake available, or something a little stronger for a donation.  If you are an enthusiastic baker we'd love to taste any recipes you want to test on us.  We're always kind.  And if you don't fancy getting out the mixing bowl, any other refreshments gratefully received.  Just saying.

Our coffee morning on Friday 23rd will be at the Larder Cafe in Globe Road starting at 10.30.  We've been before and it's a good spot for a follow up trip to the Museum of Childhood or, erm, Prick Your Finger, the local yarn shop...

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Knit & Natter, Wednesday 6.30pm

Inspired by our last meeting on changing the world and working together, we've decided to start a regular knit & natter group at local venues. This EEWI-inspired group is open to anyone who feels like popping in with a project - knitting or otherwise. It will be a casual meeting, and everyone is invited – not only knitters! Bring along your stitcheries (cross-stitch, crochet, tapestry, finger-knitting or pattern planning) or simply join us for a few drinks and a good catch-up.

Our first drop-in Knit & Natter will be on Wednesday the 24th from 18.30 – 20.30pm.

Venue: The Crown, 223 Grove Road, Bow, E3 5SN.

The group is likely to be fortnightly and at a more accessible venue; we'll post more info once we've taken a vote and agreed.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

personal power

My head was spinning a bit last night after John-Paul Flintoff's talk about how we can change the world.  All those inspiring stories about small steps building up into big changes.  I especially liked the idea of growing too many tomato seedlings and sharing them with your neighbours to encourage them to grow their own, and the fabulous reminder of how Rosa Parks changed the world because she'd just about had enough that day. I was very taken too with the process John-Paul took us through.  Find your spark, try getting your mates to help out with ideas, write them down, try small steps, watch them grow, change the world.  And as for the big reveal of that home-made shirt... it was a tour de force.

Big thanks to John-Paul for g-whizzing over to the East End and donating a copy of How to Change the World* to the honesty library at the Mill too (Isabel was delighted).  We hope you enjoy your marmalade, jam and Knit-Nurse's Granny's boiled fruit cake because we think that a decent piece of cake can make the world a better place too.

So come on people - how are you going to change the world? Let us know.

* you can borrow a copy at Tower Hamlets Idea Store

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

apple days and coffee mornings

If you are a regular at EEWI you will know that we like to celebrate apples at this time of year and this Thursday (18th) is Apple Day at the Queen Mary Farmer's Market.  

There will be:
  • Apple juice pressing demonstrations
  • Varieties of apples decorating the market
  • Apple games including apple bobbing
  • Apple and spoon races!
  • Cooking up of tasters
It'll be an opportunity to get children involved in particular, as they can help with mashing, juicing, and of course the all-important tasting of the juice.

The apples and pears on sale on Apple Day will be seasonal and brought straight from the farm by the grower. 
You can taste apples and pears you’ve never come across before. There will be many Mertons, a plethora of Pippins, perfect Pearmains and several seedlings. These names may reflect the areas from which the fruit hails – Ribston Pippin or Howgate Wonder; or bear the names of their makers such as Lady Studeley; other give indications of their taste or characteristics – Rosemary Russet or Pineapple Pippin; others still, such as the Devonian cider apple Slack Ma Girdle, may be a warning against overindulgence (or an inducement for it).

Enjoy the market and Apple Day this week.

And f you are confused by the dates I put on the newsletter for the coffee morning, it is on Friday !9th ( that;s right - I can't read a calendar!).  10.30am, Museum of London at Docklands.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

how about changing the world next week?

Writer, thinker and sewist John-Paul Flintoff is a man after my own heart.  His first book, "Sew Your Own" is his story of starting off on a journey to have a suit made, and ending up sewing his own shirts - and lots of other things too.  His wife is very funny too about his adventures into making do and mending.   Now John-Paul, a member of the faculty of the School of Life, has been thinking about how we can make more of a difference if we want to by changing the world.  And we all have something we want to change, don't we?  We are the WI after all.

If you want to share John-Paul's words and wisdom, join us next Tuesday 16th October at 7.30pm for 8pm start at St Margaret's House, 21 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green.  Refreshments are available, but donations of home baking are always very welcome.  You might also want to join in the fun by wearing a little something you sewed yourself, just so we don't leave it all to our speaker. Non-members are very welcome - we just ask you to make a donation of £3 to cover costs.

October is also a very good month to join EEWI as you get a recession-busting 15 months membership for the price of 12. What's more, existing members can also bring a guest-for -free this month so we can spread the goodness a little more widely.  So bring your mates, have a cup of tea and a piece of cake, and get to change the world a bit(e) at a time.

If you want to consolidate your world changing plans, you can share them with us in the cafe at Museum of London Docklands  at West India Quay on Friday 19th October, 10.30am (free entry, map here).  All welcome - though you will have to pay for your own tea/coffee/cake.

Monday, 24 September 2012

plastic magic

Stacey fell in love with the mermaid.

Diane hazarded a guess on the pastry mixer.

Carol kept the winning team in order when things got out of hand.

I, on the other hand, had to phone a friend.

There were certainly some strange examples of plasticware and I'm still not entirely persuaded that one of them wasn't a moustache brush rather than a cuticle polisher.  But, oh, those lovely bakelite bangles! Many thanks, Carolyn, for sharing the plastics passion.  I think some us were a little smitten too by the end of the evening.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

a roadshow, batwalk and books

After a few weeks of being out and about, we're back in Bethnal Green tonight 18th September to hear lovely EEWI member Carolyn Clark lead a Passion for Plastics: The Roadshow.  Carolyn is a something of an expert and will be sharing her knowledge and showing us some of her vintage collection, including some lovely jewelery.  What's more she would be more than happy to answer any conundrums about any vintage items that you'd like to know a little more about so bring them along.  And so you don't have it too easy, Carolyn has been working on a mini-quiz to see what you know at the end of the session.  We do hope you'll be able to make it.  Usual location: St Margaret's House, 21 Old Ford Road, 7.30pm for 8pm.  Refreshments available, though do feel free to bring along something to share.

We're out again on Thursday 20th September evening, this time for a Batwalk in Mile End Park with Ken Greenway from Tower Hamlets Cemetery.  We're meeting at the Palm Tree Pub in Mile End Park (by Haverfield Road) at 6.30pm, just before dusk when the bats get flying.  The event is free for members and their families so bring your children or your granny and granddad too.

Our coffee morning next Thursday 27th September will take in a trip to the Guildhall Library for a curated visit to see their food and wine collection, including some advice from the WI.  Meet at the Cafe Below, St Mary Le Bow at 9.30am, Guildhall Library at 10.30am.

And finally, if you are looking for something stimulating as we ease into autumn, Carolyn is also leading local history workshops at Bishopsgate Institute using material from their archives.  There are still places available if you'd like to join: let us know by emailing us at eastendwi[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk.  

The sessions are held in the lovely setting of the Garden Room with refreshments, start at 2pm last for an hour and a half as follows:

25th September: East End: Myths and Realities 
9th October: Changing Lives in Victorian London
3rd on 23rd October is on 'Spitalfields: Movement, Migration and Immigration
November 6th, 13th and 20th: Workshops of your choice 
8th January: Final celebration.

Lots to see and do.  Hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


We've been doing some food preparation for this Sunday's Edible Garden Feast.

There's been some food magic going on with Mike the Chef and Wizard in Chief.

We're used to prestidigitation - like the dozens of scones we whizzed up for the St Barnabas Fete last weekend.  But I don't think we've ever practiced cavitation before.

Come and join the fun on Sunday at 4pm, Mile End Children's Park, Locksley Street for Food Stories, Recipes for Life and enchantment.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

we were there too!

It was a busy August.  Sharing food stories while we made bunting.  Coffee on the Slow Boat at Chisenhale Gallery.  Tea in Elizabeth's garden listening to the birds.  And finally, when the weather was bright and sunny, we enjoyed a free day in the park watching the Paralympic Games (thank you LLDC).  Top banana.

By the way, this is not a hamburger.  It's a Victoria Sponge.  

Come and find out the full story at St Barnabas Community Fete this Saturday from 12 o'clock.  We'll be serving tea and scones; and there will be more food stories and bunting making with the Edible Garden.

See you in the Tea Tent.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

food stories and fabric

Couldn't resist, sorry!

We're all about food and fabrics at our meeting next Tuesday.  We'd like to invite you to bring along your food stories and transfer them onto a piece of bunting that we can use to decorate the Edible Garden feast in September.  Is there a particular food that you love or loathe?  What food do you cook when you want to make someone happy?  Would you rather have tea and biscuits or coffee and cake?  We'll bring some fabric and yarn to help you sew your story, though do bring your own too if you want to. We're also going to be auctioning some lovely fabric, so don't forget to bring your pocket money too.  Usual time and place:  7.30 for 8pm, St Margaret's House, Old Ford Road, E2, Tuesday 21st August.  We'll have tea, coffee, cake and more for those who fancy a tipple.

And if you're missing your sport, don't forget that we'll be choosing 20 lucky members to receive a free ticket to attend the Paralympic Games on 31st August (hope they've arrived by then!)  If you can't be at the meeting and want to put your name in the hat, just email us at eastendwi(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk by midday on 21st August.

For those of you who didn't manage to get on the Slow Boat last week, we have a second coffee morning next Thursday 23rd August at 10.30am when we'll be off to Elizabeth's house to sit in her garden, eat cake and watch the birds.  Details in the newsletter or drop us in email for the address.

Now back to that cup of tea.

Friday, 27 July 2012


So the grand opening ceremony is tonight.  Lydia has been to the rehearsal and is staying mum, but says the wild flower meadow is fabulous.  I don't think she spotted Regina, but if you look closely tonight you might see here - will she wearing her nurse's unifrom?  Who knows?  Meanwhile Ruth volunteered to help out with the alterations to the costumes (well done, Ruth!).  This is what she had to say about it:

"Turning up, going through a couple of layers of security at Three Mills, passport in hand and signing in front of two witnessed the official secrets act I know I was going to be privy to something very cool.

I was asked about whether I could work a sewing machine and off we went. My eyes were like saucers walking through what I can only describe as a fancy dress warehouse on acid.  I had never seen so many amazing costumes up close. Huge towering flamboyant outfits, sparkly, shiny, feathery and glittery in equal measure.  It reminded me of someone's dreams brought to life.

Two french Costumers (people who make and work with costumes all day) guided me and I was off, working on some very bright fabric, made into very slippery outfits, which were very tricky to sew. My nerves, and the needle were put to the test.  I have to say it was the most complex sort of sewing I have ever done but great to cut your 'sewing teeth' on the opening ceremony costumes. Needless to say the needle got broken a couple of times and I actually broke a sweat. Appropriate for the Olympics.

I asked how many outfits there were to do of this particular style, and the reply came back, "Cinq cent".  I thought that sounded pretty manageable until I realised it was 500 and not 15. The sweats were back and the needle was broken again, I went off for a well earned break. The place was staffed by volunteers as all the official costume people had gone home for the day. I was pleased to hear there were complimentary snacks, less pleased when I found out they were pot noodles.  So So not Olympic!

On my way back to start outfit number 5 of 500, I had a very wide eyed walk around the whole warehouse. Obviously not being able to take photos meant I committed a lot of very ostentatious outfits to memory and will be pointing and waving at the TV tonightand saying " I touched that, I sewed that, I tripped over that.

I managed to sew about 20 outfits in total in 5 hours. It was somewhat reminiscent of a very glamorous sweatshop because of the volume of outfits, but it was the most enjoyable sewing experience I have had the pleasure of taking part in. They even asked me to go back, so my stitching can't have been that bad now, can it?"

Oh, and we did manage to ring All the Bells, so we can honestly say we've done our bit for art. We made a mighty noise for three minutes on the top of the Mound in Mile End Park with some very imaginative bells - I think the cow bell was my favourite.  Then we did what any self respecting WI lady would do:  we went off for a cup of tea and a bite of something...

Next up, fireworks.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Even more cake!

EEWI welcomes the Olympic Flame with cake at Stepney Green Park

If you haven't managed to get yourself some EEWI cake recently, then come along to the Museum of Childhood this Sunday 29th July to join in their lovely free Summer Festival.  There's lots of fun to be had for children and hopefully some sunshine too.  The Museum grounds will be buzzing with live music, dance, walkabout acts, arts and craft activities, designer stalls, food, face painting, rickshaw rides and games. The event runs from 11.30-16.30.  Don't arrive too late!

We've been making a lot of cake lately and our bakers have been truly magnificent. We delivered a hefty order of cupcakes and the most perfect heart shaped biscuits to Magic Me for a tea party to celebrate the end of their project "Where the heart is" a few weeks ago.

We followed up with a quiet afternoon at Parklife when it rained almost the whole day!  Then last weekend we served tea and cake in Stepney Green Park at the event to mark the arrival of the Olympic Flame - take a look at Stacey's blog for the full picture.

I can definitely promise that there will always be a nice bit of cake wherever we turn up.

all the bells

We'll be ringing ours in Mile End Park, on the Mound just north of the Green Bridge (near Clinton Road).  Just bring along your bells - any bell will do as long as you can ring it for three minutes!  Then we'll be having coffee and breakfast somewhere local.  Come and join us, ladies.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

smashing time coming up

After a couple of weeks of intensive baking, we're handing over the floor to actor Gill Stoker at next week's meeting while we sit back and relax.  Gill will be giving us a 45 minute performance on the life of composer, suffragette and general firebrand Ethel Smythe.  We meet Ethel Smythe towards the end of her life when she is attempting to sort through a box of 'junk" with each item bringing back memories of her life and career. The action will be next Tuesday 17th July, as usual at St Margaret's House, 7.30pm for an 8pm start.  Tea and coffee will be available, but do feel free to bring along refreshments or a bottle to share.

We'll also be  trying a new venue for our coffee morning on Friday 20th July.  We'll be at the Carmelite Cafe in the Nunnery (Bow Arts) at 183 Bow Road E3 2SJ (opposite St Mary's Church).  We'll meet at 10.30 as usual.  You can walk to the Nunnery from Bow Road or Bow Church DLR (turn right along Bow Road) or buses 25, 405 and 225 all stop outside. Director Rosamund Murdoch will be coming along to our evening meeting, so you'll have an opportunity to find out a bit more about what's going on at the Nunnery too.

No smashing of windows please.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

and more strawberries...

Just one of the cakes featuring strawberries that turned up at our Swedish Midsummer picnic  We also lots of other Swedish delicacies, plus some pretty little flower garlands to complete the Swedish vibe.

Thanks to everyone for joining in the fun, with special thanks to Veronika for organising the food, those who baked and contributed home-made goodness and those generous souls who brought along prizes for the free raffle (I'm very much enjoying the Steig Larsson novel that I won).  But maybe, just maybe, the elk took the biscuit.

Congratulations also go Katharine who won our £200 Denman Award token to be spent at Denman College.  We're really delighted!

Well done too to those adventurous souls who braved the threatening rain to help out at the Edible Garden on Friday morning.  We watched Corinne and Sue do most of the heavy work filling up the new beds Tom has built, and were awestruck that Anna cycled from Streatham with her bike trolley full of bricks for the bread oven.  Our contribution of a spot of weeding, tea making and sharing scones and banana cake seemed meagre in comparison.

If you have time do pop in to the Edible Garden this weekend  - Mile End Children's Park Locksley Street - where there are lots of activities culminating in a feast tomorrow afternoon (11-5 today, 11-4 tomorrow).

Friday, 15 June 2012


Strawberries on the beach

It doesn't exactly feel like midsummer, so all the more reason to enjoy a Swedish style indoor picnic at our next meeting this coming Tuesday 19th June.  Did you know that strawberries play a major part in the celebration? Veronika will be telling us all about it.  We'll bring some tasters of Swedish food, and we hope too that you'll be able to bring some food and drink to share to make it a lovely relaxed evening.  And if it is raining, we have the doors open so we can listen to the raindrops falling on the mulberry tree and raise a glass to summer.  Usual place - St Margaret's House, Old Ford Road E2 (behind the Gallery Cafe), 7.30pm for 8.00 start.  Guests are welcome (recommended donation £3).  And don't forget that we'll be picking out our members-only Denman Award winner so if you haven't thought about your entry, visit the Denman site this instant.

Our coffee morning on Friday 22nd June is a visit to the Edible Garden at the children's play park in Mile End Park (entrance in Locksley Street, off Burdett Road).  Come along from 10.30am and have a slive of cake and a cup of coffee.  The garden is coming along nicely - at least a bit of rain is good for that!  There's more information on the Edible Garden blog and information on Phakama's Velela festival that weekend.  Everybody is welcome.  Do come.  Rain or not, it'll be a lovely morning.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

edible garden stop press!

We are delighted to announce that the Edible Garden is being launched this Friday at the Growing Zone in the Children's Park, Locksley Street, E14 7EJ at the south end of Mile End Park.  The event runs all day from 9.30 until 5.  It's a great spot with lots of promise and especially child friendly.  There is a programme of activity all day - from hands-on work to prepare the space to story sharing, cooking and eating.  There is a request for contributions of salad and veg if you have some to spare as there will be some food preparation and cooking going on too.  Everybody is welcome, so do go along for a while, even if you're not a gardener because there will be a lot going on.

Hope to see you there.

Friday, 18 May 2012

later that day...

We had coffee.  We had cake.  It was oh so green and lush and exotic and all together uplifting.  We all came home happy even though the fabric shop closed too early.  And... IT DIDN'T RAIN!!!

Thank you for being our benefactor and sat-nav, Karen.  You made our day.

ETA: Read more here from Stacey about our day out  

well, well, well

Well done everyone who braved yet another rainy evening to come along to our wellness meeting.  Have to say, there were some lovely brollies.  Karen's butterflies took the biscuit, though Niki's pink brolly and Viven's patterned brolly and green mac were also rather jolly and now I'm determined to ditch my black one and get something a bit more cheerful.  Perhaps I'm feeling a bit more positive after using one of Tracy's homeopathic remedies to give me a bit more zip, or because I had oa yoga class with Amanda yesterday, or because I've been thinking a bit more about what I eat since I heard Gerry's talk about chinese medicine and food types.  Many many thanks to you lovely ladies for your time, to Veronika and Elizabeth for some healthy baking, and to everyone who shared their company.

I'm off to Kew now for coffee!

Monday, 14 May 2012

this week's meetings

Mile End Park  in March
If you've had enough of the rain, come along to our meeting tomorrow Tuesday 15th May  when we will be focusing on wellbeing. There will be a variety of activities and talks about staying well, including an opportunity to learn a little bit of gentle "chair" yoga to help those of you who spend a lot of time sitting during the day.  We'll be meeting as usual at St Margaret's House, Old Ford Road, next door to the Gallery Cafe (go thorugh the gates and follow the path).  Doors open at 7.30pm for a prompt 8pm start.  Visitors are welcome - donation  £3 to cover costs.  Tea and coffee will be provided but if you wish to share a bottle of wine or some home made goodness that would be lovely.
We'll be hoping for at least one rain-free day because on Friday 18th May we are going to be out and about with a visit to Kew Gardens.   We have 20 free entry tickets: if more than 20 turn up, we'll share the cost of paying for extra tickets.  We will meet in the ticket hall of Kew Gardens Underground/ Overground station at 10.45am and will be leaving to walk to Kew Gardens promptly at 11am.  It should take between 45 - 50 mins to get to Kew Gardens station by District Line from Mile End or thereabouts, a bit longer if you are coming by Overground.  It should be a lovely day out; and if it is raining there are all those lovely palms and hothouses to visit.

Look forward to seeing you soon.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

love your women's library

Many of you will know that EEWI has worked closely with the Women's Library over the last few years, supplying tea and cakes, visiting exhibitions, and volunteering to safely record and store the Women's Institute archive.  Now we hear that the future of the Women's Library is threatened following budget cuts at London Metropolitan University.  It would be a scandal if this much-loved - and much fought for - guardian of women's history was forced to reduce opening to just one day a week, or even worse.  Please consider signing the petition to the Secretary of State for Education asking him to do something about his.

You'll find the petition here.  And an excellent articles about why it is so important here.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

call out for crafters

Abbey Gardens (located here) are looking for crafters who might want to make something a little fruity - or veggie-  for their community patchwork.  For this year's Summer Fair on 9th June, they are planning to produce a community picnic rug made from patches in their colours, each with a 'plate' on which favourite fruit and veg-related foods and food stories will be embroidered, appliquéd or fabric crayoned. They will be preparing the basic patches in advance and anyone who fancies doing one (or several...) or making appliqué or crochet shapes for other people to stitch onto the patches is very welcome to join in, ahead of the event or on the day.

The Friends of Abbey Gardens think it  would be great if some of our wonderful EEWI crafters could get involved.  Email us if you want to find out more, or have a word with Lydia Thornley.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

tea, cake and spoons

Alison carves a wooden spoon
We had to wear our woolly jumpers and socks on Saturday to stay warm in the cold and rain at Victoria Park, but what a lovely day we had - read about it here on Stacey's blog.  Alison made so much cake over the weekend she must have worn out her wooden spoon, because here she is making a new one at Tower Hamlets Cemetery spring event where Clare led our team of bakers on Sunday.  Between us all, we made hundreds of cups of tea, stirred bowls and bowls of cake mixtures, iced scores of cakes.

No wonder we sometimes have to sit down and have a civilised cup of tea ourselves occasionally.

Cake Break for MS at Colleen's Pop Up Tea Room
Chilly weather doesn't matter when you can bask in the warmth of EEWI made tea and cake.  Thanks to everyone who joined in the glow.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

this weekend

We'll be serving tea and cakes on Saturday in our tent by the Bandstand in Victoria Park to celebrate the work that's been done to enhance the park over the last year or so...or is it longer?  I lose track.  We may even have come over all 40s, but the cakes will still be lovely.

We'll also be at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Dickensian Spring event on Sunday from 11am - 4pm serving tea and cakes.  There's always lots of green things to do there.  You might want to wear your boots...

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Get out on your bike

We love our bikes and we love London.   So if you too wish you could walk and cycle around more safely, then sign the  Love London, Go Dutch petition for safer cycling if you haven't done so already.  The petition aims to get the Mayoral candidates to pledge to make London more liveable by making our streets as safe for cycling as those in Holland.

You might also want to do something a little more active.  Click on the video above to see more about the Big Ride on 28th April for making cycling safer in London (and there's a Brompton bike to be won just by visiting the website).  You can make your way to the Big Ride from Hackney Town Hall at 10.30pm, or join Tower Hamlets Wheelers who will be meeting at Beaumont Square, near Stepney Green, at 9.45am.

We'll be getting out and doing a bit of cycling together ourselves during the summer (ahem!) so look out for info here about EEWI outings.  Just take a quick look here to see how cool you can look on a bike.  Love it.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Just for the record, this is how good you can get if you practice lots. Yes, those blurs are two hoops on each of Marawa's arms going round in opposite directions.  And this is how you have to start your journey to hula-hoop amazingness...

A strong push on the hoop from the side, get it to swing round your belly button, move gently back and forth, use those abs, arms up, stand on one leg, add more hoops, swing a hoop round your arms above your head.  You get the picture?

Well done everyone who had a go - which was nearly everyone.  Carla and Vivien were absolute stars and even got a round of applause for their multiple hoop demos.

Meanwhile, there was some sedate knitting going on elsewhere.

Thanks to Marawa for inspiring us to swing to ever greater heights, to Janine from the London Cycling Campaign for speaking so enthusiatically about better cycling in London (more of which tomorrow), and to everybody else who made the evening such cracking good fun.

Don't forget coffee morning is next Wednesday 25th (moved from Friday) - details in post below. And don't forget that, rain or shine, we will be selling cakes at the St George's Day event at the Museum of Childhood this Saturday 21st.  Come and say hello. (Hopefully our abs will have recovered by then).

Friday, 6 April 2012

it's april so it must be...

Freezing cold, of course.  And time for Easter eggs, and chocolate bunnies and extra inches on the hips.  So to shake us all up a bit we're getting a visit from Marawa the Amazing* at our next evening meeting on 17th April to show us how to hula-hoop (Sarah - I hope this isn't too late for your bump!)  I can't even remember the last time I tried a hula hoop and I'm really looking forward to giving it a try. And don't worry, we'll find something a little more restful to do for those who would prefer to watch.  We'll be at our usual home - St Margaret's House, 21 Old Ford Road, London E2 9PL- 7.30pm for 8pm start.  Visitors are welcome - we just ask that you make a donation of £3 to cover expenses.   We'll provide tea and coffee, but do feel free to bring wine, cakes, nibbles to share.

We're trying something  different too for our coffee morning this month.  We'll be having a Cake Break for MS on Wednesday 25th April starting at 11am with our own pop-up tea room, hosted by me, at my wee house in Tredegar Terrace, E3 5AH.  Just look our for the bunting on the fence to find us.  Bakers especially welcome, with their homemade cakes to sell.

We'll also be selling cakes at the St George's day celebrations on 21st April at the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green from 11am - 4pm.  If you have not been before, it's a lovely fun day, with plenty of activities and entertainment for all the family.  We're just hoping that the weather warms up again by then.

Until then, have a Happy Easter.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

news on the newsletter

Thanks for the positive comments on the new look newsletter.  We'll be sending out the next edition of the EEWI newsletter at the beginning of April.  BUT...if you are worried about not receiving last month's newsletter, don't worry we have not deleted you from our mailing list.  You may want to take a peek in your junk/ spam folder to see if the newsletter has ended up there, and mark it up as not junk/spam.   Just one of the little glitches of moving over to a new mailing system.  Sorry!

Monday, 26 March 2012

spring sprung

We were a little tempted to have ice cream at Benets on Friday, Annie, Stacey and me, but we managed to show some restraint.  We did have a lovely time chatting about this and that - the trials and tribulations of planning permission, how Google maps is not always as helpful as it might be, stepmothers in fairy tales, you know, that sort of thing.  Good coffee and tea too.

Spring crafting
It was a good ending to a busy week that saw the start of spring with a little crafting and lots of sun. Hope those of you who made posies at our meeting are still enjoying them and that you have remembered to water your bee-mixture paper pots.  Maybe it's not quite warm enough to sit out in the garden with your lanterns but if you have your hammers ready, and tins saved, at least you'll have a little time to make a whole lot more for the long evenings. The trick, apparently, is to fill the cans with water and freeze them before getting out your hammers and nails - and maybe best to use a less powerful hammer than the one in the picture here!

As ever thanks to everyone who shared their expertise and joined in the fun, especially Jo and Elizabeth and our friends from Phakama who led sessions, to Veronika, our lovely auction auditor, who made sure everyone who joined in went home with a bargain or two, and to Ruth who diligently collated promises of food and skills for the Edible Garden project.  And thanks too to all those behind the scenes who share the goodness, give up time and make our meetings happen.

Don't forget to let us know what you enjoy and what you want more or less of.  We want to know.  And I'll promise not to forget to post the info on what we're doing next.

Enjoy the sun this week... and don't forget to give your EEWI bag a trip out too if you can.