It's not unusual for me to come home full of joy after one of our get-togethers. The tippling helps, of course, as does zipping home on the bike. It is, though, the sheer pleasure of meeting and mixing with a range of different women, mostly very local, but some travelling from further afield. I'd be the first to admit that it might not be to everyone's taste - one friend described it as a bit like brownies for grown-ups, another said she found it all a bit too worthy for her. It's probably also true that the personality of the branch, what you want to get out of it, and what you want to give back can change over time. But I would not have guessed a couple of years ago that through EEWI I'd be devising a dance performance with my mates and performing in public; chatting over supper with an elderly lady who'd been a Wren in the Forties; picnicking in the dark for Earth Hour; being counselled by wiser women; selling the joys of sowing and growing; making cakes by the hundred; making my own homeopathy remedies; designing a bee apron; sewing morsbags for England (or so it seemed); working with gifted women who aren't motivated by what's in it for them.
A few of us have been making jam for Imperial War Museum recently (described here and here). One of our group described her pleasure at one of the sessions at sharing something new as well as small chat about life in general, feeling part of a community and the sense of history and wondering whether this was how it used to be when the recipes were first used. Which just about sums it up beautifully for me.
And the singing.