For the first meeting of the new year 19 members were in attendance.
Nik announced that there was now a healthy balance of 180 euros in the Circle's funds.
Following last week's meeting, discussion took place on what members wanted from the group and various suggestions were made about the use of themes, readings, critiques, competitions etc. During this time, Nik indicated that he had been contemplating for some time that, because of other commitments, he might relinquish the chairmanship of the group and, following further talk, it was agreed that, over the following weeks, the Circle would look to elect a new chairperson with the possibility of members taking on specific duties.
This week's theme was "Going Home".
Mary M told the story of an Irishman returning to his native land following a lengthy time working in the UK. This piece was well liked and received.
Cynthia told the tale about prostitutes and one specifically not going home. It was felt that this had good potential but that more impact could be generated with a different ending.
Gerry's piece was about a prisoner being released from an American prison. There was a lot of detail in this short story.
Chris gave us an item about the murder of a woman by a stalker. This was only a total of 371 words and was a contender for a flash fiction competition.
John Major gave us a reworked version of his "Windscreen" story. As usual, this was highly amusing and entertaining.
Phil read out a piece about a train journey in the middle of winter. This was an evocative item, full of good description.
Ann B's poem on this week's theme of "Going Home" was again about a murder.
Ian's tale was of a young soldier returning home from Afghanistan but only at the end did we realise that he was dead and the body was being repatriated.
Jane read out a very moving piece about a blind man, living in Canada, awaiting his birthday present which turned out to be the the sound of Canada geese returning home.
Anne G's story was a memory of returning home to her home town in Rochdale following a period in the Middle East and of the changes that had taken place.
Jenny gave us a story about an older person having to leave the comfort of a hospital to return home because the hospital needs the bed.
There was good variation on this week's theme with lots of different ideas being expressed.