Minutes of the meeting at La Rosa Hotel on the above date.

Present:  Gill, Jenny, Peter, LesleyPipIan (chair).

Apologies: Adele, Malcolm, Karen, Michele, Kaz.

Topic: Members’ work-in-progress.

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Matters Arising

Ian drew attention to the current  Whitby Advertiser, which carries a glowing review of Jenny’s latest published novel: The House under the Stars.

Members’ Readings

Gill —  continued reading from her new YA novel. Tommy makes a magical journey to Scotland with a grouchy old witch whom he has helped to escape from his granny’s care home. They are accompanied by an owl called Merlot. Tommy takes part in a witchy moot, described with wit and mischief, which reminded Ian of the Witches’ Sabbath in The Master and Margarita – a satire on Muscovite literary society under Stalin in the 1930s.

Ian — read a “nature poem” (untitled) inspired by Sir David Attenborough’s less-than-popular public appeal for effective measures to control the world’s population.

Jenny — read a further instalment of her novel about Mary Eleanor Bowes, the heiress of a vast fortune from the Durham coalfields. We go below-stairs in Mary’s house, where the servants are having their dinner, to meet Ruby, destined to play a significant part in the story.

Peter — read part of a diary he is keeping, provisionally entitled Sleeping with the Enemy, on the topic of the Russian military adventure in Ukraine. Acknowledging Adele’s Covid Diary as his inspiration, he is recording topical news items as they appear, together with his thoughts at the time, informed by his personal experience of Russian daily life.

Lesley — read an atmospheric ghost story taking place near the Hole of Horcum. A tourist and his wife are driving in the dark to their hotel for the night, when a ghostly highwayman briefly bars their way. A picture at the hotel establishes the highwayman’s identity as Swift Nick. A lively discussion followed on supernatural sightings at acknowledged places of power.

The meeting closed at 1:10 PM.