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Chairman's Letter - November 2021

Hello everyone,

We are now entering the season of mellow fruitfulness and I am keeping my eye on the local hedgerows for those too sour to eat sloes. They make smashing sloe gin though, and I am looking forward to my traditional bottle from my daughter. Christmas is just the right period of time for it to mellow and be deliciously drinkable.

Having mentioned the “C” word, I hope you will be encouraged to come out and mingle whilst planning gifts for your families and friends. We most certainly need you to come in person to some of our planned events. I hope there is a good mix and something for everyone. Speakers’ Selection, Windsor Castle decorated for Christmas, competitions for our skilled craft ladies, resolutions both past and present to discuss and act upon, and workshops to attend. An interesting talk on sleep (or lack of it!), plus competitions to enter. If I have left anything out, I apologise in advance to the teams who work hard behind the scenes to arrange and deliver this varied programme. Also, how could you forget our online auction. You can buy or pledge something interesting. We hope many of our WIs will be able to think of something to add to our growing list of goodies. Doesn’t have to be costly, we will be grateful for all contributions. Your Federation needs you and I am confident very many of you will rally round.

We are happy to have managed to repair our non-opening (i.e. stuck solid) window in the Board room at Tackley to enable through flow of air and ventilation. I think some of our attendees will have to start thinking about a blanket for their knees as we encounter colder outside temperatures. After all, if a knee blanket is good enough for Her Majesty … Perhaps a specially crocheted item might form the basis of a future competition … just a thought!

We even managed to set off the alarm on our CO2 monitor and that with only five members attending who looked rather nonplussed. We didn’t know whether to employ fight or flight, but, in the end, just propped the door open and watched the numbers return to normal.

Life at the coalface is certainly different, but we’re still smiling.


Those of you who regularly read my letter, will know I write in a flippant, tongue in cheek manner. This is to, hopefully, help keep everyone’s spirits up in these difficult times. Surprisingly, some of our members have construed my mention of another organisation as an inappropriate jibe. I can only say, you have misunderstood my style of writing. I am a member of the RHS and National Trust - totally irrelevant information? Yes, but then, once again, I was being flippant!

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