21 people attended yesterdays meeting. Ian opened by recommending this month's Writers magazine, in particular an article on women's fiction writing. There followed a discussion about arrangements for our Christmas lunch, and by a show of hands we settled on the menu del dia at Mil Palmeras on 21st December.
It was proposed to supplement the cost for members from our funds. Please let Ian know as soon as possible if you intend to attend in order to calculate the numbers.
Guests at TJ's potato party last Friday were in agreement that it was a very good do with lots of praise for the catering.
Alan was first to read with another tale from Spike. He and Kitty had been packed off to kennels while their humans went on a foreign holiday. All seemed very promising until Spike was led to a smelly cage and given rancid food. I liked the part when he said the cage was open sided so that he could talk to his neighbours, a poodle and a boxer. Before long Spike organised a revolution for better conditions by a policy of non cooperation and barking through the night. He really is a loveable mutt with a very intelligent view on life. More please, Alan.
Maureen gave us a revised version of the border crossing into Mongolia which was more detailed and the group generally agreed that it conveyed more atmosphere.
Jenny had a conversation piece about the theme, a road accident. It featured a couple driving their son to his 'posh' school in heavy traffic. The husband who is driving becomes increasingly frustrated and short tempered using very ripe language about other drivers and the fact that he hadn't had the advantage of his son's education opportunities. This all leads to the inevitable crash, with both parents receiving head injuries but their son loses his life. A cautionary tale indeed..
Anne G wrote of an accident she experienced when living in Aden which ended up re-enacting the circumstances using toy cars before an Irish judge and his Arab interpreter.
Mary read a short piece about a sparrow wearing a potato necklace, inspired by TJ's challenge to write a propos his potato party. She followed this with a thought provoking tale about a young boy asking his father "What's a retard?". It transpired that that he had been so called by his classmates.
Chris wrote a poem on the theme about being knocked down by a car and then being offered a lift to work by the driver. She accepted grudgingly and was cheered by the fact that as he left her she saw him crash into a lamp post.
Brenda had re-worked her tale of Lottie, the seamstress at the orphanage in the first person which described her earlier life on a smallholding along with her parents and brothers. Following her father's death the family fall on hard times and she is sent to the orphanage.
John M wrote of being in Windsor and overhearing American tourists requesting french fries. The rapid fire response of the waiter explaining why they were not available was priceless.
Heather's short piece concerned her personal experience of being advised by her daughter's boss that she had been involved in an accident. She wrote of the thoughts racing round in her mind about her daughter's childhood, not knowing how seriously she had been injured. We were relieved to learn that apart from shock, her daughter had only sustained whiplash injuries.
Douglas described market day in a small rural town when the peace is shattered by the sounds of a crash. The methodical Mr.Plod eventually arrives at the scene when he is told the cause of the accident is a Rhode Island Red.
Kathy wrote a moving piece about visiting a Welsh beauty spot, known locally as the blue lagoon,when she spots what she believes is a pile of driftwood on the shore. She is shaken to hear the plaintive cry of a seal, and realises the poor thing is covered in oil. Makes you dispair, don't it?
Alan closed the meeting by reading a conversation piece. Amanda and Alan have been out on a date. Alan refuses Amanda's offer of an alcoholic drink as he has to drive home, but is invited to stay the night. Fantasy Island?
Next week's theme is Neighbours. See you then. Anne Grierson