Book Club Report -April 2021

Book Club met over Zoom for their April meeting to discuss their latest read, Forty Autumns by Nina Willner. Jane chose the book and wrote the following report.

 The book recounts the history of three generations of Nina Willner’s family separated by forty years of Soviet rule and reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Shortly after the Second World War, as the Soviets took control of the Eastern part of Germany, Hanna, a teacher’s daughter, escaped with nothing more than a small suitcase and the clothes on her back.  As she built a new life in the West her family (mother, father and eight siblings) remained in the East.  The building of the Berlin Wall severed all hope of any future reunion. Hanna fell in love and moved to America.  She had a daughter Nina who grew up to become the first female US intelligence officer to lead sensitive intelligence collection operations in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War.  At the same time Nina’s cousin Cordula, was training to become a member of the East German Olympic cycling team. Though separated by a only a few miles , Nina and her relatives lead very different lives. Once the Berlin Wall came down and the families were reunited, and Nina discovered the extraordinary story.  In Forty Autumns she vividly brings to life many accounts of courage and survival, set against the backdrop of four decades that divided a nation and the world.

All members enjoyed the book especially how the resilience of the mother and the family were portrayed, plus the history and the way it was written. It was given an average of 9.

April Monthly Meeting

The April Monthly Meeting was held, once again, on Zoom. This meeting brought a talk by Richard Haycock, Waste and Recycling Support Officer for West Cornwall. The talk was full of fascinating facts, figures and diagrams on what goes into rubbish bins and what happens to the various types of rubbish that is produced. For example the average household produces 941 kg of waste and recycling per year and 35% of rubbish in the black bag is food waste! At the moment 41% of rubbish in Cornwall is recycled and Richard showed some interesting slides on what happens to the plastics and the other materials that get recycled and where they are transported. Rubbish which can’t be recycled is now taken to Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre where it is converted to electricity to power 21,000 homes. The resulting ash is used in road construction so nothing is wasted ! The talk finished with future initiatives including  changes that will soon be coming to refuse collections, including separate collection of food waste. It was, all in all, a fascinating talk which it is hoped will lead to a trip to see recycling in action when restrictions allow. For more information click below.

Crafting with Gail

Gail held her first Zoom Craft Demonstrations last week, to make beautiful little Suffolk Puff Flowers. Also known as yo-yos, they are quick and easy to make and require only basic sewing skills and scraps of fabric. This addictive little project can then be used to decorate cards, made into bunting, adorn clothing and accessories…….or a thousand other things!

Instructions: Cut 2 circles of fabric 1 x 5″(13cm) and 1 x 3 1/2″ (8.5cm) . Tack around the edges and pull thread tight and knot. Place the puffs on top of one another, gathered sides up and secure together with a button. 

Walking Group

Shirley has prepared the Calendar of Walks for 2021, all of which are subject to change and to any guidelines or regulations which are in place at the time.

Walks are usually the 3rd Wednesday of the month starting at 10.00. The average distance is 5 miles, a mix of coastal, inland tracks & fields. Some of the coastal paths are steep & strenuous but I will always let you know the terrain once I have completed the recce. We try to car share if possible as often parking is restricted. Any suggestions for future walks are welcome and even better if you would like to lead a walk. Family, partners, friends and dogs are very welcome. For more information or if you need a lift please contact Shirley or the committee.

May 19th 

St Enys. Hopefully the bluebells will still be in bloom. This walk may well be changed to a local easy walk at the request of the group and the covid regulations. 

June 16th 

Circular walk from Trevance Cove to St Agnes. Approx 5.5 miles 

July 21st 

Zennor to the Carricks. 4.5 miles 

August 18th 

Scorrier to Portreath – last leg of the Coast to Coast walk 

Sept 15th 

Sancreed Beacon & Carn Euny. 4 miles 

October 20th 

Camel Trail from Bodmin 

Our New President

At our Annual Meeting this month, Wendie Leo was elected president for the coming year. She has been doing a great job as caretaker president for the past few months and members can look forward to a fantastic year ahead with Wendie at the helm, and a wonderful committee to support her.

Book Club Report

All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville West was the latest Book Club read. Pat A sent us this report. It was very much enjoyed by members of Book Club, and achieved a nine out of ten score.

The novel opens in the aftermath of the death of Lord Slane, a universally admired and respected former Prime Minster and Viceroy of India.

His six grown up children descend upon the London home to dispense advice and organise the funeral, feeling that their mother must be protected at all times.   Lady Slane married in the 1800s when still a teenager,  never had a life other than as a wife to Lord Slane.     Over the years her opinion  was not considered and therefore the children made plans for where she would live and with whom for specific periods during the year.   Her children are not particularly pleasant people.

Lady Slane, however, had different plans – in fact rents a lovely little house she had seen years ago in Hampstead (not a desirable area in those days) from a Mr. Bucktrout (who became a very good friend) and was aided in transforming the property with the help and assistance of a Mr. Gosheron.  Lady Slane and her maid Genoux (who was very French and protective of her Lady) settle into a happy life at the property.  The story unfolds with tales of the enriching friends she encounters – one in particular (a friend of one of her sons).  This friend, whose company she really enjoys, dies suddenly and Lady Slane finds she is the main beneficiary of his will inheriting all his art collection and money.  This she dispenses with to museums and the needy, much to the disgust of her family.  

Peboryon Cakes

Crowlas and Ludgvan W I was treated to a zoom meeting and demonstration by Christine and Phil Jensen of the famous Peboryon Extreme Cake Makers. Peboryon, Cornish for Bakers, makes innovative cake creations which are famous across the globe. It all started when Christine recalled the wonderful memory of her 4th birthday cake and decided to be creative for her own children’s’ birthday cakes. Despite a few errors Christine continued and over the years, gained expertise from cake classes and college courses in patisserie and confectionery. She won professional cake show competitions and international awards. Peboryon became famous and its demand for extreme cakes. As the business grew Phil joined Christine to add his expertise. Levitating cakes, a 6ft replica of Stonehenge, a giant signpost or a baby hippo relaxing on a sun lounger are some of their famous creations. As well as the design, a variety of flavours is also important. As Christine said “Cake is often the last thing eaten at an occasion and we want people to remember the taste”

From their own kitchen Christine and Phil demonstrated to us how to make Italian Meringue Buttercream. A buttercream which tastes delicious, is far less sickly and has far less calories. Throughout the demonstration they explained the method in detail and willingly answered members questions. A fun, informative evening enjoyed by all. You can read more about Peboryon HERE

Foodbank Donations

Many thanks to everyone who donated to the annual Food Bank Appeal. This usually coincides with our Feast Meeting, that we were unfortunately not able to hold due to current restrictions. A whole car boot full of long life produce was delivered to the Penzance Foodbank who thanked members warmly for their support.

Help us raise money with Easyfundraising

Did you know that you can raise money for Crowlas and Ludgvan WI funds when you shop online? With fewer of us visiting shops at the moment, Easyfundraising offers a great way to make a donation just by doing your usual shopping. There are thousands of partners, including Sainsburys, Argos, John Lewis Amazon and eBay, who will make a donation to us every time you shop with them online. It is very straightforward, and only takes a couple of minutes. You can download an app to your phone or tablet, or sign up online. Just click the button below to join and help us raise funds.

Book Club – January

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson was January’s Book Club choice. Members met on Zoom for a lively discussion about the travel writer’s documenting of his adventures whilst undertaking the Appalachian Trail. The scores for the book ranged from six to nine out of ten, with everyone enjoying the witty writing style, the dividing issue being the amount of historical and botanical information that he also included.