Archive for August 2012

August meeting - Gossip Purl

Sunday, 26 August 2012 § 0

Our August meeting was Gossip Purl, a knit and natter session.

After the usual business we sat down to enjoy an evening of crafting. We had some of our expert knitters on hand to give advice, and those who didn't want to knit brought along other craft projects to work on.

An informal and relaxing evening in excellent company.

Park Sabbath - Buns & Roses have a picnic in Roundhay Park

Monday, 20 August 2012 § 0

Summer is finally here - well sort of!  It was certainly warm today and we met up outside the Mansion and were hopeful of good weather.  Unfortunately, after just 30 minutes of knitting, nattering and enjoying the company of Otto (Susan's gorgeous schnauzer!) the rain was a bit too persistent so we headed over to the bandstand to continue our picnic.  There was a nice mix of us there including members, non-members, boys and even a lovely dog and little Alex.

Otto particularly enjoyed the picnic and got rather a lot of treats!  Roundhay Park is lovely and we learned from iPhone googling that it is one of the largest parks in Europe with over 700 acres (2.8 km2) of parkland, lakes, woodland and gardens and is owned by Leeds City Council.  The "Roundhay by the Sea" weekend was on while we were there with lots of fair rides and noise - we opted to stroll over to Tropical World after playing Twister in the bandstand!

Tropical World was even more muggy and humid than our British summertime and we saw lots of butterflies, tropical birds, lizards, rats and meercats!  (Zoe was pleased to see the meercats!).  It's only £3.30 for an adult and children under 5 go free so it's a great day out for a family with children or grown ups!
We had lots of fun even if the weather wasn't perfect and look forward to our next Buns & Roses social event.

August workshop - Embroidery

Saturday, 11 August 2012 § 0

Our august workshop was entitled Night of the Living Thread.

Led by Hayley and Gemma, it gave everyone the chance to practice their embroidery and applique skills to make a small picture to adorn their home.

With piles of fabric, beads, buttons, ribbons and thread to play with and lots of books, magazines and pictures for inspiration our ladies came up with some great ideas for their pieces.

We had everything from teacups and birds to skulls and chemical symbols!

July Book Club - "How to be a Woman" by Caitlin Moran

Saturday, 4 August 2012 § 0

July Book Club - "How to be a Woman" by Caitlin Moran

1913 – Suffragette throws herself under the King’s horse.
1969 – Feminists storm Miss World.
NOW – Caitlin Moran rewrites The Female Eunuch from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller.
There’s never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven’t been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain…

Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina? Why does your bra hurt? And why does everyone ask you when you’re going to have a baby?

Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin Moran answers these questions and more in How To Be A Woman – following her from her terrible 13th birthday (‘I am 13 stone, have no friends, and boys throw gravel at me when they see me’) through adolescence, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, fat, abortion, TopShop, motherhood and beyond.

As usual we met up in the Tiled Hall Cafe in Leeds Art Gallery for Book Club to discuss   "How to be a Woman" by Caitlin Moran which was suggested by Lianne.  There were many bookclub regulars as well as a couple of first timers which was great and there were certainly lots of different opinions.

Most of the group really enjoyed the book and many commented that whilst reading it they had both laughed out loud and cried at points.  In general the chapter around abortion made a lot of the group cry and Vicki said that reading the book for the second time the chapter about child birth affected her the most.  It was agreed that it was a very accessible book about feminism and that by comparison a lot of the feminist books available are much more highbrow and harder to engage with such as "Delusions of Gender" that Shelli mentioned she had read previously.  Claire felt that she perhaps was irritated by elements of the book and in particular the discussion around whether to have children or not and that it was almost a feeling of Moran giving permission for women to not have to have children in one chapter.  

We had general debates around the topics covered in the book including the influence of fashion magazines, marriage and whether to change your name afterwards, burlesque vs lap dancing, waxing, menstruation, Katie Price and Lady Gaga.  Siobhan couldn't make the meeting, but was there in spirit and we discussed some of her comments on the book that she'd posted on the Facebook page including "The title gets my goat a bit ' how to be a woman' as that seems to be yet another kind of diktat about how a woman should look/behave and frankly we get enough of that in the mainstream media as it is. I get that you need a snappy title but really it should be 'How To Be Me Caitlin Moran'. Plus it's only how to be a straight childbearing woman though I did like her bit on not having children too."

It was a really friendly, but passionate debate across lots of different feminist issues and also the issue of feminism itself and it was great to have input from people with really diverse backgrounds and experiences in a really positive discussion environment.

The next book on our list is Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James, however some of the book club members felt quite strongly that this wasn't something that they wanted to read so we decided to have a double discussion at the next meeting and discuss first of all "Lolita" by Vladimir Navokov from 2pm - 3pm and then "Fifty Shades of Grey" from 3pm onwards. We will be meeting on Sunday 9th September at the Tiled Hall Cafe at 2pm. We hope that you will be able to join us.  

Review by Lucy Rider, Buns & Roses WI Secretary