Minutes of the meeting at La Rosa Hotel on Thursday 25 July 2019.

Present: JonathanPipAdele, Sue Thomason, Jenny, Jenny Burns, Graham, Mike, Ian (chair).

Apologies: Lesley, Louise.

Topic: Members’ work-in-progress.


Matters Arising

Ian reminded the group that this was the last meeting before our August recess. We would reconvene again on Thursday, 5 September 2019, same time, same place.

Ian also briefly recapped the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to take place on 11 September, 2019, for the benefit of members who were absent when it was discussed. He referred all members to the reminder notice for the present meeting with its useful links, including one to the event’s webpage.

Ian called for volunteers for a small organising clique to meet once before the day, and PipAdele and Jenny offered their assistance, subject to their availability (all having competing commitments).

Members’ Readings

Ian — read a poem: Ahmed the Compassionate, about a would-be suicide bomber who chooses to spill roses on the pavement instead of other people’s blood.

Adele — read two poems:
The Nonagenarian’s Tale – marking the 90th anniversary of Tyne Bridge,
The Salamander Sleeps – an elegiac piece for two performers portraying four contrasting characters, written for an event (never held) to mourn the precipitate closure of Redcar Steelworks.

Jonathan — flawlessly recited from memory two poems by Humbert Wolfe – The Grey Squirrel, and Oxford, in which a Wadham College alumnus conjectures the manner in which one day he will return to that great city.

Sue – read a complete (1500 word) sff short story: Complex Embroideries, in an unusual mundane/fantasy genre. The narrator, a hard-bitten NGO investigator, visits a cult surviving in a ravaged land, who spend their lives perfecting the magical craft of sewing. There she meets the leader/guru, a man who disturbs her with his evident lack of a heart.

Jenny — read a charming short poem: Bee. A foraging bee rests for a moment on the poet’s hand.

Jenny Burns — continued reading from the third of her “House” trilogy. It is 1809 and Eliza, a housekeeper, marries the romantic Mr Thornton.

The meeting concluded at 1:45 PM.