Archive for June 2012

Buns & Roses helps homeless into work

Tuesday, 26 June 2012 § 0

Those of you who came to our (excellent) work skills session in May will hopefully remember that all the leftover suits and workwear from the swishing were being put to excellent use. 
We collected them all up and took them to St George's Crypt in the city centre as part of the Suit Amnesty campaign.
St George's Crypt is a fantastic place. Martin gave us a tour of the building and we learnt what they do and how they do it.
You can read all about what we did and why in the article in the Yorkshire Evening Post here: Suit Amnesty to help homeless back into work - thanks to WI
And Coddy (Lucy's husband) took some pictures for us.

Behind the scenes with the YEP snapper
Smile please

June Book Club

Saturday, 16 June 2012 § 0

"The Book of Lost Things" by John Connolly

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

Taking readers on a vivid journey through the loss of innocence into adulthood and beyond, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly tells a dark and compelling tale that reminds us of the enduring power of stories in our lives.

As usual we met up in the Tiled Hall Cafe in Leeds Art Gallery for Book Club to discuss "The Book of Lost Things" by John Connolly which was suggested at the last Book Club by Susan.  We had a good mixture of previous bookclubbers as well as some new faces.  

In general the group really enjoyed the book and Susan had said that when she had first read the book it had really grabbed her and she couldn't put it down and was struck by the very poignant tone of the book.    Lianne really enjoyed the escapism of the book and Jenny said that the descriptions of the strange beasts and creatures in the book made her feel quite inspired and as if she wanted to draw pictures of how she had imagined them all to look.  Claire liked the fact that the female characters in the book were all quite villainous.  Ruth was less keen on the book and felt perhaps as though it was trying a bit too hard to be childlike and was perhaps too formulaic.

Comparisons were drawn between the book and Labyrinth (both the David Bowie version and also Pans Labyrinth) and Jenny said that she enjoyed being frightened by her imagination of all the strange creatures.  We all agreed that the biggest villain in the book was perhaps the most ordinary in description - The Crooked Man - and Lianne said that as she'd been reading it she initially imagined him as similar to one of Noel Fielding's characters in The Mighty Boosh, but that this evolved and changed as the book progressed.  We discussed the heroes and villains of the book and decided that there were quite a lot of villains - The Crooked Man, the King, Snow White, the female hunter, Red Riding Hood, but fewer heroes - the Woodsman and  Anna, although maybe she was more of a catalyst.

Most of us were very happy with the way that the book ended and found that it was a satisfactory conclusion and discussed just what was "lost" during the book including innocence, selfishness, David's mother and his OCD rituals, but also concluded that a lot was also found that wouldn't have been had there not been losses first.    

About half the group had read the book electronically (Kindle / i-books) and the rest had read it in hard copy and when we compared and contrasted we noticed that the hard copies had additional material at the end including fairy tales that had been referenced and an interview with the author.  The Kindle readers felt cheated!

The next book was chosen and to keep things fresher in our minds we've opted for a shorter time interval to read the book as well as agreeing a further four books that we will read for future meetings.  (Lots of the members mentioned that they felt inspired and motivated by the Bookclub and that it had re-ignited their interest in reading!)  We are now reading "How to be a Woman" by Caitlin Moran and will be meeting on Sunday 29th July at the Tiled Hall Cafe at 2pm. We hope that you will be able to join us.  

Our forthcoming books following on from this will be: "Fifty Shades of Gray" by E L James, "Lolita" by Vladimir Navokov, "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan and "The Living Dolls" by Natasha Walter.  If you have any other suggestions, please get in touch and let us know.
Review by Lucy Rider, Buns & Roses WI Secretary 

June workshop - All Write Now

Monday, 11 June 2012 § 0

At our June workshop, entitled All Write Now, we were joined by Matthew Bellwood, a writer and storyteller based in Leeds.

The creative writing workshop was all about telling stories. Shaping our experiences to make them understandable, thought-provoking, funny or evocative and finding ways to share our experiences with others.

Matthew was a great tutor for the session and had everyone sit in a circle to work together and share with each other. He told us some of his stories along the way and related his advice and experience of writing and storytelling.

There were exercises on finding your voice, creating fictional places, story songs, writing for five minutes about anything at all, using random words to create a story and even tweeting.

Matthew has been tweeting short stories about Leeds on the @365LeedsStories feeds and will share some of the ones from our workshop in his narrative.

You can find out more about Matthew at, and here are some pics of our girls (and a boy!) in action.