Minutes of the meeting at La Rosa Hotel at 11 AM on Thursday 21 February 2019.
Topic: Members’ work-in-progress.
Ian [Anitra’s Petition] — Following the General Assembly on Oberon, Dolpou has given Anitra the lowdown on her Uncle Peter, which the girl takes badly. She abandons the stateroom and moves back into her single cabin, still vacant. There she immerses herself in the training materials for the hugely powerful Intensor field, access to which is built-into her brand-new Martian helmet. So far she has maintained Intensor silence as Dolpou has instructed her, but she breaks her isolation to send one content-free “bit” of information to Hermes, ignorant of the social significance of doing so.
Down in the Speil, Dolpou comes across “Red” Eric and Peter deep in conversation. She rages at Eric over what was said at the General Assembly, but Peter intervenes to draw her ire onto himself, and Eric takes his leave. Dolpou and Peter argue over Anitra’s legal guardianship. Unable to dismiss Peter’s claim, Dolpou resorts to disparaging his suitability in the role, accusing him outright of the Gaiascope Atrocity.
Mike — [Aladdin]. John Rushton, the theatre owner, is mulling over the dearth of block-bookings this year, and wonders if the show will break even. Is Panto coming to an end, he wonders, like Vaudeville?
Less than an hour to curtain-up, Steve the Soap Star is absent. John Rushton faces having to play Abanazer himself, when Steve rushes in with 15 minutes to spare. He protests he was nearly a victim in a motorway pile-up, and is distressed to have these tidings received with indifference.
Back at his lodgings, Steve is planning days (and nights) with Suzie (Princess Jasmine). He contemplates with dread the unopened personally-addressed envelopes piling up at the bottom of his suitcase.
Jenny — read a nostalgic poem: In Town Tonight, another in her series about her interesting relatives. It is 1956 and the poet’s parents are away in London to appear on this once-popular BBC society show. She watches the programme with her grandparents, the first time she has ever watched TV.
The poem released a dam-burst of memories from other members.
Roy [Wesson’s Dilemma] — It is Leeds in 1967. The shebeen in Chapeltown is raided by the police, who seize the (biscuit-tin) till as evidence. While this is going on, Vince Stainton beats up the Colonel’s wayward daughter Muriel for vowing to leave him. Charlie Wesson, standing nearby, knocks him unconscious before he can do the girl any lasting damage, and the police on-hand arrest Stainton for assault. In custody, the prisoner, foreign accent coming to the fore, refuses to reveal his real identity.
Jonathan — read a well-received poem: Monsters, which has since been nominated as Poem of the Week. Whilst the environmental message is unmissable, the actual “monster” being alluded-to wasn’t at all clear except in hindsight to some members, including Ian, who felt that the poem was a good example of that ancient and universal genre: the Enigma or Riddle.
The meeting closed at 1.05 PM.