AT summer’s close, chairman Jacky Hutchins of Andover Homemakers’ Club was delighted to welcome members and two visitors back to St Ann’s Hall for their September meeting.

After the National Anthem was sung, the July meeting was reviewed, with Joyce Love’s handkerchief collection having proved fascinating.

The matter of the 2018 outing with a new firm was broached, with the suggestion of Fareham and Portchester Castle on a Wednesday in early June. As Wednesday is not the usual day for Homemakers’ trips, members were left to mull this over before any decisions could be made. The Christmas lunch menu at The Malthouse was circulated and approved, with the treasurer agreeing to a £2 subsidy per person. Buses makes frequent stops outside, so it is hoped as many members as possible will attend. Names and money with menu choices will be taken at the October meeting.

There were several notices: The chairman had a knitting pattern for small woollen pumpkins and several copies were requested.

Details were given of the Macmillan coffee morning at The Lights on 30 September, and of the Test Valley Community Services’ tea dance at Goodworth Clatford in October.

There was also notice of the ‘Library Project’ to train in the use of I-pads.

The club’s annual bring and buy / open meeting takes place in October, with other clubs invited, and the chairman hoped the members would be their usual generous selves. In addition, the speaker would be someone from the Hart Wildlife Trust, which should prove popular.

Doris Barnes was given a birthday card for 14 October prior to October’s meeting then, following the raffle, the chairman introduced Tania Sellwood, a highly qualified naturopath from Romsey.

A table was set out with rows of small bottles of essential oils, and Tania detailed the origin and use of each. She then passed them around for members to wave under their noses, every so often ‘cleansing the palate’, so to speak with, of all things, a sachet of coffee.

Such oils have been used for millennia in treatments of all sorts of illnesses and conditions, and are derived from many woods and plants, with different parts of the plants used — from roots and stems to leaves and flowers.

Some are for general well-being, some for specific treatments. Drops of these essential oils are added to a ‘carrier oil’ such as almond or rapeseed as they are too potent to use undiluted. All can be used as a massage, as an inhalation, as a bath additive or in a vaporisation.

Members sniffed at frankincense, myrrh, sage, cinnamon, sandalwood (very expensive since it comes from the heartwood meaning the whole tree must be felled) and, among many others, neroli, grapefruit, jasmine and rose, with most useful of all, lavender.

They were interested to hear that a pad impregnated with a ‘bouquet’ of eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree and thyme oils to inhale during a flight can counteract the effects of less than fresh cabin air, with its antiseptic, antibacterial and relaxing properties.

The many questions that followed showed the interest in this talk, and Brenda Daykin gave the vote of thanks.

After tea and biscuits, the results of the competition for a scented candle were announced: 1, Jacky Hutchins, 2, Pat Morgan, 3 (tied), Hazel Hutchings and Ann Allen.

The next meeting is on 17 October. New members and visitors are always welcome. Contact Jacky Hutchins on 01264 323520.