Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Coffee Morning.

'D'ya mean people go and, er, drink...coffee?' said theeyechild as we surveyed a typical bit of rural outdoor advertising - an A4 sheet tacked to a telegraph pole inviting one and all to a Coffee Morning at some village hall or other.

'Yep.' I reply 'That's about it.'

For him, a product of the Starbucks generation, it's a bewildering concept. Why on earth would anyone bother to foregather to drink a mediocre brew in a dusty village hall when a superior drink could be supped, slurped or sipped in the comfort of one's home or high street, and with friends of one's own choosing? (And if it's fundraising that's the name of the game, why not simply slip a tenner into an envelope and send it to the charity of your choice.)

Why not indeed?

But old habits die hard - Marton WI deemed a Coffee Morning a Good Idea and a date was arranged. Posters were hastily tacked up, cakes baked, plants potted-on and bric a brac was gathered. By 10.00am - opening time - tables groaned under the weight of produce and early arrivals hurried to take advantage of this shopping opportunity before supping the obligatory coffee and munching one of Lynn's most excellent scones. WI matriarchs Mrs Evans, Mrs Trow and Mrs Thomas presided over The Draw. (There is always a draw.) Stationed close to the door they could 'sting' visitors as they arrived - £1.00 a strip - or get anyone they missed on the way out. On stage Shrewsbury Junior Windband tootled - they were very good!

By mid day a quick count up of the takings showed a healthy profit - and while we like to say it's all about raising the profile of the WI, recruiting new, young members blah, blah - it's always good to raise a few pounds. The ladies are keen to support The Children of Sumatra, a charity which helps children living on that island and suffering from cleft lips and palates. I do hope that is where a substantial amount of the money raised will go.

I guess putting a smile on a child's face will make this curious Coffee Morning business worthwhile.

12 comments:

Elizabethd said...

I love coffee mornings! I'm hosting one myself next month, panic panic. Coffee mornings just dont exist for the French, they think we are very odd stopping in the morning for a coffee, and when I invited a French friend to come for coffee, she said 'Shall I come at 2pm?' that's their coffee time, after lunch!

Milla said...

am greedy for those plants. It does always strike me as vaguely at odds - the amount of work put in, the relatively small sum made, the atrocious warm liquid, but then if it's fun ... and if there's a new geranium in it ...

Exmoorjane said...

I used to shake my head at coffee mornings when I lived in London - it was such an alien concept. But now confess love nothing more than an excuse for a sit-down and a slab of cake and ooooh, even better if something available to buy, be it plant or jam. This one looks fab.

Sally's Chateau said...

ooh can't beat a good coffee morning and a rummage round the plants can you ?

Nikki-ann said...

Sounds like it faired better than the WI Coffee Evening in Kerry a couple of weeks ago!

Diary Farmer said...

Well done one and all Mrs D F was exhausted by the end of the day especially we entertained the two green fingered plant sellers in the evening. Sadly missed the coffee etc. (Herefords requiring attentioned) but have heard good reports of the proceedings today

LittleBrownDog said...

Oooh, I do love a good scone! Love the thought of a coffee morning, even if the coffee's not very good. I understand the WI is re-vamping itself a bit these days - I think they've recently relaunched their magazine.

A most enjoyable read - you really took us there.

HER ON THE HILL said...

It is a marvellously English concept, isn't it? Likewise, I see posters tacked up on telegraph poles round these parts and often think about dropping in. Did a charity lunch the other day (and was the youngest person there by miles!). I always head for the plant stall, slurping my mediocre coffee and nibbling on a custard cream. My father's mother was a matriarch of the WI, so it always makes me feel very nostalgic. She made great marmalade, too...

Frances said...

Something is very "authentic" about what you've written. It is such a pleasure to read about ladies who are taking the time to do something that they will share with others, and maybe even raise a bit of money for a worth cause.

I would guess that the other worthy cause is having a place where these ladies can meet each other, and help to keep a community a little bit stronger.

Well written!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

I love coffee mornings - always a bargain to be picked up - friends to meet and the feeling that you are helping support a good cause . . . haven't been to one for a while. . . Wonder if we cold do a coffee morning on PC . . . need to think about that one.

Woozle1967 said...

That plant stall looks interesting! Enjoy Bodnant - sorry I won't be there but hope to see you again soon.x

Milkmaid said...

I haven't been to CM for a while, I must be missing something as in the end I found them to be chore, as you say a very dubious brew and rather mixed bunch of people. But as you have put the case forward so well may be I should try again