I know it's unusual for someone my age, but it really isn't all jam and Jerusalem. (Although I'm really hoping to learn how to make jam!)
I pride myself on being open minded, strong, and tolerant with interests in many areas, and being in the W.I. helps me to pursue those interests and values. I am the youngest by a few years, shall we say, but only in body. My W.I. friends are really fun, interesting ladies with really valid and interesting opinions and I don't see why expanding your social circle to include a different (sometimes several different) age group should be a bad thing?
We're always told that age is just a number, so why are people so un-nerved by an organisation like the W.I.? Yes, there are some formalities, and they're certainly not my favourite bits, but you have to put up with some things you're not keen on. You can't have your cake AND eat it.
Yes there are a few "hardcore" W.I. members who would rather keep it in the dark ages, but you're always going to get them everywhere. And they do get a little narky as they get older! But inter-generational conversation is rarely a bad thing, things change, develop and move on, but we still need the skills that our previous generations honed. What better place to learn them than W.I. and have a really good laugh while you're doing it!
My friends are so supportive of everything that I do. It's a genuinely respectful friendship, with benefits like discounts for being part of the organisation. I wouldn't be without my ladies for a minute, and have forged some genuine and unlikely friendships, like my old Home Economics teacher.
And best of all, it gives you some lovely excuses to dress up!