My Workshop

This week was my workshop, and I’m not sure whether that makes it easier of harder to write about. But here goes. I have recently been collecting some of our rather odd sayings and investigating their origins, and everyone drew one from those below out of a hat. They were then tasked with seeing where their phrase led them, to write a poem, a story, or even a have bash at inventing its derivation.

All Tickety Boo                                                                        

To ask for something ‘point blank’                                           

The back of beyond                                                                  

To bark up the wrong tree                                                        

To have a chip on ones shoulder.                                            

Not my bag                                                                            

No room to swing a cat                                                         

On the nail                                                                           

To pass the acid test.                                                            

To pass the buck                                                                  

Rag, tag and bobtail                                                            

To see red                                                                         

To show a leg                                                                    

Sour Grapes                                                                        

To spill the beans                                                               

Straight from the horses mouth                                       

To take a dekko                                                                

Put a sock in it                                                                  

To blow the gaff      

Needless to say, we were taken to some highly imaginative and wonderfully eccentric places. You would not automatically expect Sour grapes to take you into the realms of black magic and spells, or No room to swing a cat to transport you to a celebrity Strictly Come Dancing, but this is Shorelink and we like the unexpected.

Not a poet myself, A chip on ones shoulder inspired a poem, as did Barking up the wrong tree, both written in 25 minutes and both of which left me reeling with admiration. Take a dekko was transformed in a lovely bit of wordplay to ‘take a Gekko’, and I leave that for you to ponder on. There were 17 pieces in all and the standard so high it is difficult to know which to mention.  The union jack nail painting and the pianist with eight and a half fingers stick in the mind, and who could overlook the cashew nut eating racehorse? And I absolutely have to say something about Rudolph, whose antlers became entangled on the dance floor as he tripped the light fantastic with a  friend – coincidentally another visit to Strictly here, and also hilarious.

We finished the evening by investigating the origins of all the phrases used, inevitably some were more obvious than others, but we were surprised at the number that have been around for literally hundreds of years. And, to backtrack here, we began the evening with a brief discussion on the difference between aphorisms and colloquialisms. We didn’t really get very far on that, so you can Google it yourself if you are interested. Any suggestion that Shorelink is group of intellectuals discussing the finer points of grammar is erroneous, but (and this is straight from the horse’s mouth) as a certain Strictly judge would say, Darling, they are Fab-u-lous writers!

Reading week next on 5th December, and we are at Westfield for that, so starting at 7.30pm. Then Tony M will be doing our Christmas Quiz at Tesco on 12th December. And, finally for 2016, on 19th December our festive supper back at Westfield.  And a chance to admire the Christmas lights in the village there, lit up in aid of St Michael s Hospice every year. Eat your heart out, Las Vegas!



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