Tea, cakes and Jerusalem – but I haven’t signed up for the W.I.

The Richmond Arms
, West Ashling

THE DISH DETECTIVE: The Richmond Arms, West Ashling, near Chichester

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And did those feet in ancient time walk upon England’s mountains green?’

The last time I sang Jerusalem was at Pa’s funeral in 2009.

And there I was last Tuesday singing it with 40 delightful ladies at Forty Acres W.I. in Farlington.

No folks I haven’t joined the Women’s Institute, my culinary skills leave a lot to be desired dear.

I was thrilled to be invited to be their guest speaker, because it meant I’d get home-made cake afterwards.

The charming Anne phoned me to confirm the booking, length of talk, questions afterwards, and then refreshments – tea and biscuits.

‘Biscuits’, I wailed.

‘No no no, I’ve seen Calendar Girls, the W.I. are famous for their home-made cakes.’

I then said jokingly: ‘If there’s no cake , I’m not coming.’

Anne explained that at their W.I. weekly meetings it was only tea and biscuits, and she was very sorry, but no homemade cakes.

Well, Jemima Jalopy ( my car) and me tootled off last Tuesday to the W.I.

I did my talk, and Q&A afterwards, and then popped outside for half a fag ( my new idea to cut down the dreaded weed).

When I came back in, there on the table was a plate of....yummy home-made cakes. Yippee!

How kind of the W.I.

ladies.

My favourite was a delectably scrumptious sponge cake with buttercream and lemon filling made by Pat.

I scoffed one piece there and took another piece home.

See, ask nicely (or threaten not to turn up), and ye shall get.

And finally....

I spoke to five gay men and one gay woman last week.

So, how many gay people did you speak to last week ?

Are there any gay people in your family, at work, in your social life?

All this recent hullabaloo about gay people being allowed to marry, did that affect your life?

I know quite a few gay couples who’ve lived together for 20 to 30 years, some in civil partnerships, some who now can get married.

So I think we should let gay people get on with their lives, and we should just get on with our lives.