Saturday, 7 November 2009


Some very good stories and poems were read out this week.

Mary Morris continued her story about the little girl whose parents split up. This part was called The Robbery because it reflected the girl taking the red shoes of the lady - Aunt Ciss - who took her daddy away from the family. The feelings of the little girl came over very well. She was encouraged to send the story off to a magazine

Chris read a story entitled Soft option, one of the themes this week, in which she told of the time when she met her husband to be Len in Famagusta. He was going back to Sweden and asked her to go with him, which was the Soft Option. If going to Sweden seemed a soft option it certainly did not prove to be so. So many things were different, doors open outwards, soured milk was mistaken for milk, people making a loud noise is put down to being drunk, punctuality is sacrosanct, shoes are taken off inside the house, the host has to take the first drink at a dinner party etc. etc. Chris said that although moving to Spain has its difficulties it is easy compared to Sweden. As she put it, ‘If your life comes to cross roads and something seems to be a soft option, it may be more than you bargained for.’

Douglas’s story was called ‘Smoke gets in your eyes’ and related to a wealthy lawyer who liked to smoke Cuban cigars. He arranged for insurance cover for the cigars and smoked one each evening until the box was empty. He made a claim the following day saying that the cigars had been lost in a series of small fires. The judge said the case was frivolous but nevertheless he expected the insurers to make due restitution. The insurance firm, Arrogant Insurance, paid out a large sum to the lawyer rather than pay for appeals. The following Monday the police arrested him for arson and the insurers won back the money. Apparently it was in part based on truth. Everyone agreed it was a brilliant story.

Kellee read part of a long story about a relationship breaking up. ‘It was 3 years since we met and you ended our relationship.’ The story involved best friends falling out and saying words that cannot be taken back. The narrator had written a letter in which she reminisced about being in an ugly house in the ugliest village in Spain after the owner had thrown himself under a train. The description of the smell of nicotine and the cloud of spores that came out of a pile of old towels was very evocative. Kellee has a compelling writing style.

Alan, a newcomer to the group who had come along to see if he will fit in, told us a little about himself and had written a piece about his daily life. He talked of getting up early at 10 o’clock!! He didn’t feel he needed to make excuses for doing nothing. Three wives later he is renting here in Spain, after providing each one of them with a house. It sounds as if there will be a few stories for him to tell. He is allowed 2 glasses of red wine a day and a perfect end to a perfect day entailed eating a large pud. He sounds as if he will fit in very well with the group!

Ian’s contribution was a poem on the subject ’the last hidden beauty in the world’ which was yet another of his lovely poems about the Scottish painter Jack Vettriano and hopefully he is going to put it on the blog.

Gerry wrote a yarn about a Confederate soldier Zak going to his aunt’s house in Union territory after the war. He took a shine to Lizzy, the daughter of Clinton Craddock (I wonder if his wife was called Fanny) the local hard man, ‘a mean son of a bitch.’ He comes to the aid of Lizzy and Clinton when Clinton is attacked by a grizzly bear and stays on to care for him. Once he is better Clinton was heard to say ’You let that Reb in here?’ The story ends happily with Zak and Lizzy getting married, ooh bless.
Gerry was advised to check his work with, which will tell him how many repetitions of the same word are in the story.

I told the circle about There are some adverts on the TV about people confessing to eating somebody else’s sandwich. Each month someone will win £250 in Red Letter Day vouchers and there is also a chance that your confession could feature on their packs. You are given a space to put your confession in and you can use a maximum of 150 characters. You can also look at what other people have sent in as examples of confessions.

Next week’s topics are ‘If only I hadn’t drunk so much’ (we can all relate to that) or ‘The crisis.’

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