Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Relax! The Last Train is approaching the station!

This lady has obviously come to terms with the dismal train services in some parts of the UK and has decided to chill out and wait in a civilised and relaxed manner for her connection.

This is not always the case with some passengers and this week´s topic Last Train encouraged the telling of some salutary tales on rail travel.

Encouraged by the promise of cake to celebrate Jane´s birthday, there was a good turn-out and a majority of members chose the topic as the subject of their piece.

Mary M told the true story of her honeymoon journey to the West Country which nearly led to disaster when the groom was left behind on the platform. She called it The Omen Train and said it was a chilling indication of how the marriage was to progress!

Mary K´s poem told of a broken romance and the dilemma of the girl who was contemplating throwing herself in the path of a train.

Ian´s prose piece told of a father and son in Scotland travelling to visit a relative. It was set in the 19th century and was about the Tay Bridge Disaster of 1879. During a terrible storm, the bridge collapsed and a train on it at the time plunged into the river, leaving no survivors. The story was well-written, making you feel the horror of the impending accident as you listen to the coversation between father and son.

Alan´s piece was much lighter. He told the true story of an incident on a platform somewhere near Reading (?), when a young couple decided to document their feelings for each other by retiring to the photo booth and making love. It led to a Magistrate´s court. As Alan remarked, it was a bit different from the old classic film Brief Encounter!

Christina´s poem took in song titles about trains and journeys by trains - very clever!

The remaining items were not on the topic.

Brian´s was an ingenious piece, full of anachronisms, about Camelot. There was a long conversation between Sir Rutalot and Sir Notalot about King Arthur´s predilection for the Lady of Shalott. Brian felt he could improve the piece given time. It certainly has promise.

Chris, in Limerick mode, wrote a few more for Jane on her Birthday.

Brenda´s was a story she had read earlier and reworked, about a lady who wants to publish her work so badly she considers doing a pact with the Devil.
( I think most of us felt it was rather too close to the truth for comfort!!)

Maureen , too, read a re-worked piece which she felt dissatisfied with. We all felt it was too short and ended rather abruptly, which was exactly what she had thought, too.
Back to the drawing board!

There was a break during which Jane was presented with a lovely bracelet, a card and a plant and the members wished her a Happy Birthday in the time-honoured way with the traditional song. There followed cake.

At some point in the second half, from a suggestion by Maureen, a discussion took place on doing a workshop, led by Nik, perhaps instead of a Hot Pen one week. ( Honestly, the lenghths people will go to, to avoid a Hot Pen!!) Further discussions next week.

As time was up, Glyn, and Douglas didn´t read their work so will begin next week´s session.

Another good week, folks!

Chris J


  1. Sorry I missed a good session (and the cake!)


  2. Methinks the blog writer for 22/04/09 concentrateth not. Camelot was on theme 'The Last Strains of minstrel music ...'quoth the bard Brian

  3. It was good to hear the different "takes" on this week's theme. I think that writing on the topic helps you concentrate. Perhaps those of us who write poetry should try and help Alan achieve his ambition to write a poem.

    Ian C

  4. Excellent overview, Chris. Just a thought, but perhaps the workshop could have a target - say, a competition. As the hot pen and the set themes have proved, there are many variations on a particular theme, so all attendees could go their own way following on from the workshop guidance session...

  5. That's a good idea! Perhaps for discussion at next meeting

    Ian C