Today I made a snap decision. And I rather like it. It has been ages since I have organised anything. And so, me being me,  went from “why not see if anyone else wants to try bellydancing?”, to setting up a women’s community activity group on Facebook: “Do what you can…” And in the flash of a few keys, by a very tired mama, a new dream is born… Not a bricks and mortar learning centre, but an online network. Very twenty-first century! And also much easier than finding a permanent, dedicated space and worry about making it pay. Why, oh why, didn’t I think of this before? 
We already have a women’s group here, a member’s only group which meets once a month for self-reflection and support. I started it over two years ago and it plays a key part in all nine members’ lives, creating a web of support through good times and bad. (See my Dreaming Aloud column: Welcome to the Circle on the articles page). But many of the women were voicing a need for a social network too. We regularly meet with each other outside of womens’ group meeting and have other friendships outside of the group too. We wanted to have a way of organising bigger things as/ for a group: forest school activities, clothes swaps, drumming and patchwork to name but a few. We have experimented with doing social stuff as part of women’s group, but it doesn’t really work, diluting the “serious” nature of the group’s aim. We also want to reach beyond the necessary confines of our group. We have experimented with making the group larger, which almost led to its destruction. So this is a case of NOT killing two birds with one stone, but having two distinct groups for two distinct purposes.
It is funny how ideas just seem to emerge as obvious, having been elusive, inconceivable for months or even years! 
“I hereby declare the establishment of the East Cork Women’s Social Network for Advanced Learning and Cultural Pursuits! (Intentionally named in a Borat way)(Which will at times welcome men and children.) Current activities: Bellydancing, Steiner Crafts, Clothes Swap and an Avon Evening

Organise an event, a class, a party in the East Cork area and spread the word here. Have you discovered something you want to shout out about? Consider this the electronic bulletin board for the East Cork campus of the University of Life. Let everyone know what’s on, here…

You might want to:
find jogging mates,
squash partners,
yoga mates,
people to swap childcare,
start a book club,
a film club,
diet together,
do an evening class together,
spread the word about a great cafe,
or an interesting sounding concert,
organise a coffee morning,
a clothes swap,
a magazine swap,
learn Irish together,
make a patchwork together…

Make friends, share skills and spread the word. Let’s make East Cork buzz with friendship, fun and creativity.”

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