Member of the Month - April 2018

Janet S-B

What made you join Cam City WI?

I’ve always loved the idea of the WI, so when I moved to the UK I knew I’d want to get involved. That being said, I was really nervous that I would be a lot younger than the WI members you see in the movies! So, when I saw how exciting, vibrant and dynamic the Cam City WI was, I just had to try it out!

Who inspires you and why?

I’m quite into South African history, so Emily Hobhouse and Olive Schreiner are my two greatest inspirations. They ignored what society told them they should be doing with their lives, what they should say and how they should think in an era when it was very hard for a woman to speak out. Together, they brought light to the atrocities in South Africa in the second Anglo Boer war and for that I am forever grateful.

What's your philosophy in life? 

My philosophy in life is to try not to take things too seriously and to always do my best. I try (but don’t always succeed!) to live by my favourite Martin Luther King quote, “If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”

Secret skills / Guilty Pleasure / what's your poison? 

Secret skills: Not so secret, but I love making pretty much any kind of preserve and haven’t poisoned anyone yet

Guilty pleasure: Cheap second-hand cookbooks, especially ones that you can buy for 1p plus shipping on Amazon! I can never say no, even though my house is absolutely bursting with them!!

Poison: A good South African chenin blanc!

What would you do with/for a million?  

Easy, I’d buy a smallholding and all the fruit trees I could think of! 

Top three bucket list items? 

  1. Write a cookbook with my mum.

  2. See the Northern Lights.

  3. Go WWOOFing with my husband!

What would be the perfect day for you? 

I’d wake up at my grandparents’ house in Yzerfontein, on the West Coast of Cape Town. I’d have a strong coffee, then go for an early morning walk along the beach where I’d forage for mussels with my dad. I’d get home, soak the mussels, and spend the day cooking and crafting with my family. Maybe we would go to Darling (the neighbouring town) for some wine tasting, or maybe we’d just have a nap. Then we’d cook, braai, and drink chenin until the sun went down!

Janet Swart-Bridgeman.JPG