Ian said there is a collection box for Anne and Pat which will be held over till the end of January. The money donated will go to cancer charity as both Pat and Brian suffered from cancer and had treatment in Spain.
Brenda sent off her manuscript to an agent by email and eventually rang to enquire about it. The MD said he had received her email but as she was in Spain it was a big cost to print off the book and sent it off to 15 publisher, and if she was willing to pay £350 that would help with the costs. Then she rang Nik and he said not to pay a penny because it is the agent who is the risk taker. She felt a little let down. Gerry had been in touch with Penny Legge who said you should put a copy of the synopsis and 3 chapters into a sealed envelope, have it notarised and leave that at a solicitors. If people do copy it they are breaking the law. She also recommended attending the Book Fair in London from 16-18 April 2012.
The open mic starts on 7th February next year when February 29th is the theme (leap year).
Ian‘s poem was about a visit to the UK. A lot of people have gone back to the UK and the weather has not been great. You do a lot of visiting then you are back in the sun.
Gerry wrote about the Basque country. It was the Basques who helped to get British forces back to Lisbon and Gibraltar having been shot down over Germany and France. He had crossed the invisible line from the charnel house of war to this place of tranquility and peace where he was safe. That was then. Now Mother Nature is still as loving as this year he returns as he always does on a pilgrimage of thanksgiving for the good earth. It was written in blank verse and was very lyrical.
Kathy wrote her poem this morning. I am a little fairy on a Christmas tree, I have a lovely dress but I am not full of glee. With wings, wand and my tiara that sparkles and flickers, but I have got this great big spike sticking up my knickers. I won’t want to sound rude, but it is awfully hard not to feel glum when you have to spend 12 days with something up your bum. Ian was glad she had not had to rhyme with sparse.
Geoff‘s poem concerned the difficulties he has with sellotape. His wife is wrapping the gifts while he is helping with the sellotape and spends hours finding out where it starts and ends. When he thinks he has got it right it turns out to be the wrong side up. The problem does not end there because we then get presents ourselves and you need a special kit to get the parcel out of the wrapping. We have all been there!
Ann wrote about celebrating Christmas in Spain. People think Christmas is not right without snow but as long as you eat pud anywhere you spend Christmas is good.
Mary S also had a poem on Christmas. She has just watched Scrooge for the umpteenth time, the message is timeless, her favourite film. Yuletide has changed but we can celebrate with laughter, a merry Christmas to all of us here.
Mary K had written a greeting inside a Christmas card about friends making merry with a drink of sherry. (You are not on the sherry again are you Mary?) A season’s greeting full with cheer, to celebrate the baby’s birth. She then read out a greeting in German but I’m afraid I couldn’t understand a word so I’ll pass on that one. Deutschland uber alles, as my father said to me. That’s all I know in German.
Jane dreamt about her ex husband last night and wrote a poem as a cathartic exercise. She had to explain it was her late ex husband and nothing to do with latex. ‘When did you leave, you didn’t say that you were going, when you got home I was in bed and only half heard what you said. Before you go to work tell me again so that I may understand where you are going. I have had enough of not knowing. Have you arranged for us to come out too, or do these plans concern just you? You are the lowest of the low to emigrate without a care and without your family so fuck off there. ‘Jane felt better after that. I warned you you might be a little shocked!
Ann wrote about a new tomorrow. She wants to give up smoking but it is not easy to lose bad habits. Non smokers rule the roost while smokers huddle in shop doorways. If she was in the UK she would not bother with the weed. (I hope that is not the illegal kind) She got a plastic cigarette but that didn’t work but is still hoping there will be a new tomorrow.
Avril’s poem was about the wind, not the sort she wrote about last week. Loud rang the wind, then died without a trace over the open space. It was a very descriptive poem about the changes in the wind.
Jenny’s Christmas poem was priceless. ‘A very merry Christmas for all my friends who write, and thanks for listening to my work even though it is shite.’ Oh dear the language is deteriorating!
Gerry wrote about his dog. ‘My dog came to me out of the blue, she stopped and chewed my shoe, with ears pricked she watches everything he does. Why can’t I have her zest for life, I think with a sigh. ‘ All this talk of wind, farting, bums and smells makes you think of the Christmas perennial, the sprouts with the Christmas dinner.
Margaret wrote a poem about Agadoo, a song from the eighties by Black Lace, about dancing and romancing, first its left and then it’s right, push pineapples shake the tree. How sad I know all the words and remember the moves. In the end she got off with Kev in the south of France.
Rosemary wrote about murmuration. Starlings assemble, crashing; the rush of wings, suddenly gone, across the sky the dance begins again. Lovely poem about the starlings’ movement across the sky as if in a dance. Rosemary has been marking exams and wrote a letter to the Times, which got printed. It was about too much filling in of paperwork instead of allowing the educational process to flourish. Too right Sheila!
Mary Morris gave us Harriet’s home hints, broadcast in a radio programme. ‘Over to Harriet for her hints. Good morning.’ One of her tips was to iron socks and underwear because in the olden days you had to do this to kill off the fungal spores and the body lice. ‘Next week there will be hints on the use of vinegar, bye for now, back to Jenny.’ It made Ann feel itchy.
Jenny’s hilarious poem was about a dog called Bob, she tried to get him to mate with a bitch called Kate, but he fell asleep on the job. I have similar memories but not about Bob.
John had a story about a man he knew when he was younger, whose nickname was Dickhead. This man thinks he is gorgeous, and has an irritating voice. He developed a mid-Atlantic accent like Kid Jensen, his real name was Richard (hence his nickname of dickhead). He was like Worzel Gummidge on speed. He said to John when he presented his new girlfriend (another one!) ‘Who is this, this, this?’ He kept repeating his words three times and I wish, wish, wish he would stop it. I thought I was developing tinnitus because I kept hearing a triple echo. John’s repetition of the words dickhead and wanker are not for delicate ears, so I won’t repeat them. Oh dear I just have.
Brenda read out more of her story about Ivy. Her 8th birthday drew to a close. Ivy loves to hear Northanger Abbey read to her by Lottie, she was captivated by the heroine who lived in a country house, and she became intoxicated by Gothic novels. One morning she was summonsed to Mrs Gardner’s room who told her that a gentleman (a man of the cloth) and his wife would be paying her a visit about Ivy going to live with them. They had lost an 8 year old child and the wife was grief-stricken. It was Ivy’s one chance to be somebody. She came face to face with her prospective new parents. Mr Davies was a strange looking man with dark menacing eyes; he looked like a hungry bird while his wife resembled his prey. (Lovely analogy) Fear crawled up Ivy’s back. I do hope she doesn’t go t o live with them, they don’t sound nice.
Then we all went for our Christmas lunch.