Minutes of the meeting at La Rosa Hotel on Thursday 13 December 2018.
Topic: Members’ work-in-progress.
Seasonal greetings and fond memories of past Christmas lunches were received from Julia Organ, a past member who has moved to Weardale, but still retains contact with us via the mailing list. Greetings to members and good wishes for the Lunch were also sent by Graham Durrant.
Pip [Caicos Moon] — Now that her new horse Nimrod has been broken-in, our heroine has been getting out-and-about, walking him to get him used to being a mount. However his recent experiences have left Nimrod with an aversion to water (so no cantering along the beach, alas), as well as male members of the human species, at whom he aims a kick whenever he gets the chance. The only exception is Pip’s father, since releasing Nimrod when he got himself tangled in his halter.
Horse-rides in the country aren’t complete without a faithful dog to run alongside, and Pip has had the good fortune to acquire an Alsatian bitch puppy whom she has named Belladonna (Bella for short).
An eagerly-anticipated party at the LORAN Station has had to be cancelled due to a plague of mosquitos, encouraged by recent rains.
Roy — Wesson’s Dilemma. Charlie Wesson concludes that in spite of his own father being historically involved in the case, he must go through with it. Wesson and “Mr Brown” are shown a copy of the fateful letter somehow intercepted by Charlton’s unknown blackmailer.
Jenny — read two poems inspired by her recent experience of clearing and selling the family home in Cornwall following the death of her elderly mother:
• What Came to Light – concerning the hoard of goods accumulated by her mother,
• Burials – a gazette of the notable pets buried in the garden (including short-lived rabbit/guinea pig hybrids).
The poems achieve a fine balance between whimsical humour and fond recollections of the foibles of departed loved ones.
Adele — read her latest poem: The Onset of Spring. A lively discussion ensued on the mating habits of the common frog, contrasted with toads and newts. It was guillotined by Ian who felt it had exhausted its capacity to improve a already evocative and well-crafted poem.
Ian [Anitra’s Petition] — Dolpou continues taking Anitra to task for concealing the fact that she had already made the acquaintance of Hermes, making a significant impression on him. But it is not Dolpou’s purpose to browbeat the girl: rather to grasp the opportunity to brief her on some essential background to the case. She outlines the opposition she anticipates when presenting Anitra’s petition for human rights in court, explaining exactly how a relationship with the Goubernator’s son could be exploited by their enemies to have the case thrown out of court.
It is impossible to avoid Hermes for the duration of the voyage, but Anitra is exhorted to offer the young man neither encouragement nor rejection, since Dolpou recognises that both are capable of inflaming passions in the gaian species.
Shortly afterwards, Anitra is invited to a party of young Martians, at which Hermes is very much on display. It becomes clear just how different the societies of Earth and Mars are, especially where young adults are concerned, though there are aspects of life which are the same for humans everywhere.
The meeting concluded at 12:50 PM, members being due to reconvene at The White House.
The Christmas Lunch went well, the last of the WWG party leaving the hotel at 5 PM.