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.