We had Fish and Chips at the ‘TG’ AGM last night, it was quite the scandal.
Townswomen’s Guild (or ‘TG’ if you’re one of the cool kids) is a slightly more urban centric version of the WI. Last night marked the anniversary of my membership and the payment of my 2012/13 subs. I maintain it’s the best £24 I will spend this year.
It all began when my dear Mum, who is not a driver, read that guild meetings were being held at the village hall, and would it be possible to chauffeur her to the next one, seeing as it clashed with Dad’s ‘Emmerdale’. Being the dutiful daughter that I am, I agreed, and even said that I would keep my Mum company for the first evening at her new club. I of course stuck out like a sore thumb, and as we took seats at the back of Victoria Hall, gasps of ‘Ooooh, there’s a young one’ began to resonate…
Indeed, I found TG quite intimidating at first. Older women ‘en masse’ seem to have this effect on me. I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m heavily suspicious of anything that old being able to carry a handbag that large, or that hankies up sleeves have always freaked me out, and where present in vast numbers, I find it quite overwhelming. Still I calmed down once the first meeting had begun, and then to my surprise, I found myself rather in my element.
I have a very warped sense of humour you see, so much of Townswomen’s Guild appeals to me, particularly the serious nature of its proceedings. Pam will open the evening with an incredibly warbley rendition of the minutes of the last meeting, so uncomfortable that all members remain on the edge of their seats until these have concluded, and then have to suppress an applause that poor Pam is still upright. Next is the education report (scrabble) followed by forthcoming dates for ‘book club’, ‘lunch club’, ‘ramblers club’, and ‘social club’ – the latter I believe is a splinter group of ‘lunch club’ that decided to go their own way after a disagreement over quality of quiche at the Fox and Hounds. Or so I hear. Formalities are then wrapped up with a hand count for tea or coffee, which is served strong, gritty and with a ginger biscuit – hobnobs at Christmas.
The next best thing are the speakers. There has been the lady who makes baskets out of cable ties and other household products, the chap who gave us a demonstration (in full) on how to mince beef, the lady from ‘Dogs for the Deaf’ who’s Puppy was sick on the Chairwoman, and the other lady who they thought sang Operetta, but actually performed a variation of ‘beat boxing’ with cutlery, which actually turned out to be rather good. My most favourite speaker to date however, is a gentleman named ‘Alan’ who delighted us with his ‘big picture show’. This comprised a collection of slides Alan that had taken on latest coach trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, set to rousing music, and with engaging commentary. Unfortunately all but 3 of the 52 examples of historic architecture Alan had immortalised, were obscured by a large range of inanimate objects including road signs, transit vans, trees, pillar boxes, washing lines, hair-dos, Alan’s thumb, and on a number of occasions, the actual coach which had made this momentous trip possible.
And so you see why £24 in the grand scheme of things is an absolute bargain, and being in the company of ladies who think eating fish and chips out of a box without metal cutlery is the equivalent in raciness to not wearing knickers to church, is so endearing.
TG is truly where’s it’s at.