We must have been getting on for twenty today. People are gradually turning up after the summer break and more and more chairs are needed. Of course this is great as it means the group is popular, alive and kicking but it means that it´s getting more and more difficult to hear everyone´s piece. Today was no exception and several people had to wait till next week to read out their stuff.
The subject was a choice of Driving Lessons/The Coach Trip/In The Fast Lane.
Only two people who did read had chosen one of these subjects and they both went for Driving Lessons. Ann B wrote about lessons she was obliged to take in order to get a job. It was an interesting look back on what it was like to take lessons and a test in the sixties. It was thought that the euphoria of actually passing the test was lacking but otherwise there were some funny moments.
Chris J wrote about her experience with a panic-stricken Cypriot instructor aptly named Panicos. It was deemed worth working on to submit to a magazine but various suggestions about word choice were made.
The other members´pieces were not on the theme of the day.
Rob had a story set in the 50s called The Library Book. ( He should actually have read it last week but there was no time.) The girl in the story got into a flap thinking she had discovered a letter planning a murder. It was amusing and well-placed in the setting by references to phone boxes, buses and the dialogue, which was very polite and more formal than it is nowadays.
Glyn´s revised chapter of his novel was true to form. Vigorous language (Is that the correct PC euphemism?) and very funny. It´s a while since I heard the original version so it´s hard to say in what way this is an improvement but anyway, it was well received .
Brenda wrote a FWW piece about a young conscript who was about to go over the top. His bitter thoughts about the unfairness of being about to become cannon fodder were very telling. However it was thought that they were too mature for a boy of his education and age and she would do well to make him a few years older.
Ian´s piece was something he started a few years ago and is perhaps intended to be part of a longer piece.It had considerable promise and people were interested in hearing more but Nik judged it to have too much telling and not enough showing. The events could also benefit by a change in the order to capture the reader´s interest sooner. Back to the drawing board Ian!!
Rosemary is hoping to transform what she deemed to be a boring diary account of her struggles in learning Spanish into an informative piece for EFL teachers on how it is to be on the receiving end of a lesson, thus helping them to teach more effectively. I must say, I could have done with one of those when I started out as a teacher!
Pat screwed up her courage and read a description of her own experiences during WW2 as a child evacuated to Wales from London. Her reaction to gas masks was interesting to say the least. She loved the smell of the rubber and still likes the smell today - even loves sniffing wellies, if I understood correctly. Various ribald comments were bandied about the table concerning rubber fetishists but Pat, elegant lady as she is, rose above it. Very interesting piece indeed and we hope she´ll write more. Could well be a demand for this type of account as it is the 70th anniversary this year of the beginning of the war. Get on with it Pat!!!
Finally Heather squeezed in her second-ever poem. It was about that summer delight, mozzies!
So desperate is she at times that she turns to the drink:
You´re desperate for peace from the night´s itching din
You pour over the tonic and knock back the gin.
I must say, it´s a novel way to get shot of the little so-and-sos, to drown them!
Good meeting. See you all next week.