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Delusional attempts to pass myself off as a Kirstie Allsopp type Domestic Goddess have met with somewhat varied results. Tried with fellow WI chums to make a summer of retro chic but mostly produced soggy messes.

So far, under our collective belt, we have wowed the crowds with Crowns and Cocktails in the company of Gurkhas dancing with knives, made posies with a Pantomime Drag Queen and discovered that some of our number (who will probably not remain nameless!) had accidentally cheated in a baking competition – It turns out that Packet Cake Mix is a substance straight from the devil and all his little pixies. The Grand High WItch of the Central WI federation was extremely clear on this point!

Still undeterred by this rather mixed reception of our collective talents –and in a fit of enthusiasm, our bouncy, tigger-ish Social Secretary decided we should embrace the rural-idyll–thing. So, in a moment of weakness, we agreed to man the WI Cake Stall at the county fair and set about bullying an enormous amount of cake from kind and oppressed friends and family. This having been reasonably successful the Stall was a shared fantasy of bunting, antique china cake stands and flirty aprons: a realistically Country Life trestle table groaning with homemade comestibles. Looking very pleased with ourselves we set about the business of selling.

Things we have learnt –

  1. Take a calculator – we suffered all the indignity of a group of grownups struggling with their mental arithmetic who have had to apply to a small child for help with their times tables.
  2. It is important not to leave the husbands in total charge of the children en masse. The males grouped along age lines – the older ones heading for the beer tent not to be seen for several hours but on collection having been found to have made lifelong friends with each other and a band of Morris dancers. The younger cohort having equipped themselves with weaponry (plastic swords won at the lucky dip) headed off in the opposite direction into an adjacent field where war commenced. The Sons of The WI versus The Village Boys. The strategic planning of our offspring owed much to a combination of Calendar Girls meets Brave Heart. From opposing hill(ocks) they roared insults for a goodly while, then as a single unit dropped trousers and Mooned in a warlike manner – the Village Crew charged with swords (and inflatable hammers) drawn to avenge the insult and full-scale battle was enjoined.
  3. Read the labels on donated foodstuffs – handmade Dog Biscuits slipped under the radar and our mistake was only uncovered by the brutal honesty of a small customer.

All in all we were less a collective of Goddesses and more a band of gibbering loons.