Minutes of the meeting at La Rosa Hotel on Thursday 3 March 2022.

Present: Jonathan, AdelePip, Peter, Kaz, Gill, Ian (chair).

Apologies: Michele, Lesley, Harry, Jenny, Fiona, Karen.

Topic: Members’ work-in-progress.


Matters Arising

Ian had replenished his stock of parking scratchcards and offered a sheet to any member finding it difficult to park for free.

Adele had offered to arrange a play-reading of her unpublished play. Ian had proposed we devote a WWG meeting to it sometime in March. The only feasible date now is Thursday 31 March 2022. Adele will get scripts printed for each of the 4 characters. Ian thought Adele should have the freedom to cast her choice of volunteers to the parts, and called for volunteers on that basis. All members present at this meeting volunteered.

Members’ Readings

Peter read a second instalment of his work-in-progress: a novel entitled We gotta get out of this place. (a title inspired by The Animals hit number). Siblings Elizabeth and George are sent away as evacuees to Pickering, Yorkshire. Elizabeth is billetted on the Browns. Mrs Brown (Olga Michailovna) treats her like a cherished daughter. She flourishes as she matures, learning Russian language and culture, and is as happy as she will ever be in her life. George is not so lucky, getting billetted on a butcher (Septimus Luke Smith) from whom he learns the trade like an apprentice (though unpaid). Life is hard and the work unpleasant, at times disgusting, but at least he is getting well-fed.

Jonathan read a piece entitled My Place, which he introduced as “a poem from a dark place”. Members mainly wanted to discuss the sentiments expressed, with only minor comments on the poem’s structure and choice of words. All agreed it was a powerful poem, and invited Jonathan to read it again.

Adele read another instalment of her Covid Diary, which Ian hailed, to unanimous agreement, as an important piece of social history all the more valuable for having been recorded at it happened and not written up retrospectively. The Diary is in fact up-to-date, but Adele’s readings to WWG have fallen behind. This instalment began with Tuesday 25 May 2021. On that day, reported deaths were down to double figures, and soon after dropped to zero. They were to rise again as the “Indian Variant” (soon renamed the Delta Variant) took hold. Adele’s mother caught long covid, which complicated her treatment for cancer. Mother’s holiday had been cancelled by the airline, but it needed Adele to threaten legal action before her mother received the complete refund to which she was entitled.

Gill read two light-hearted poems, which all agreed would make good illustrated children’s books:

  • Flash the Racing Dog, who leads a successful protest against the shameful treatment of dogs who don’t win their races.
  • Steve the Zombie, discovered in a waterlogged graveyard, befriended by the poet and taken home… and even to school. With memorable results.

Kaz read three poems, to unanimous approval:

  • Stuff, about the consumer goods that encumber her life.
  • Coloured, about the varied hues attendant on a black man’s sad life and death.
  • Krampus, the legend of Santa Claus’s evil twin, a Yuletide character recently introduced in Whitby.

Ian — read two poems:

The meeting concluded at 2:12 PM.