Minutes of the meeting at La Rosa Hotel on Thursday 1 November 2018.

Present: AdeleJonathan, PipLouise, RoyIan (chair).


Topic: Members’ work-in-progress.


Matters Arising

Adele brought along a report about her visit to the Ted Hughes Literary Festival at Hebden Bridge, Hope Baptist Church, on 19 October, but only had time to say a few words at the end. We hope to publish the report in full in due course.

The meeting welcomed back Roy after an enforced spell of absence.

Members’ Readings

Louise — continued her (untitled) “work memoir” about being a radiologist in a small country hospital. Originally the department had a photographic dark-room, with an near-religious temple-ritual about entering it. Thanks to the head of the department keeping in with the local vets, X-rays of dogs’ paws and horse’s hooves were often to be found among the human images. Then an all-in developing machine arrived, and everything became so much simpler, and far more boring. Gone was the possibility of rescuing an over-faint negative from the developing dish. The animal limbs still occasionally show up, however.

Roy  — Wesson’s Dilemma. It is 1967. The hero, Jack Wesson, a retired policeman turned private investigator, is interviewed by “Mr Brown” from the security services. Jack wants to know why MI5 has been called-in to what, on the face of it, is a straightforward case of blackmail. However Charlton, the person being blackmailed, is the Shadow Foreign Secretary, and matters are tending towards Israel-Egypt orders of battle. But soon the real business concentrates around a sour event in occupied France during WW2 as SOE agents discover they have been betrayed to the Gestapo.

Ian [Anitra’s Petition] — Anitra and Dolpou have boarded the Oberon under duress. Dolpou returns to the stateroom after visiting the Captain to complain about their treatment. Anitra reveals that while Dolpou was away she has been doing some exploring, and has come across Uncle Peter. Dolpou concludes that no other reason need be sought for why they have been hijacked.

Pip [Caicos Moon] — the boys succeed in breaking-in the newly-captured feral horse: Nimrod, by leading him into the water, where he cannot buck so hard. But it has left the heroine’s new mount with a dread of the sea, ruining her hopes of cantering along the sandy shore.

Adele — brought scripts for a play-reading of the last scene (Scene 8) of her 2-Act play of domestic intrigue.  Sybil’s Alzheimers symptoms have got so bad she had had to go into a care home. Carly has been taken to hospital for an emergency back operation to take place the following day. It is doubtful if she will ever walk again. Her friend Sandra visits her in hospital, and praises her for her efforts to bring light into Sybil’s life with her frequent secret visits. Sandra’s father Ray too visits Carly, recognising that she has succeeded with Sybil where he has failed miserably.

Jonathan — read a quotation from Humbert Wolfe, then a poem of his own: I am no longer needed, in which the poet laments the pointlessness of his whole career, now that he is retired and his (government) department appears to be able to get along perfectly well without him. This led to a lively discussion about the parable of the agitating hand in the bucket of water, which on being withdrawn leaves no trace of itself.

The meeting concluded at 1 PM.