Jenny’s Workshop

Jenny’s workshop  provoked an evening of reminiscences. She gave us some prominent events in the last six decades, and used them to prompt us to write about one of those eras. A poem, a short story, a piece of non-fiction – no rules. Possibly unsurprisingly, the vast majority of us wandered down memory lane. And what a variety of memories there were!

We began with a seventies boyhood and memories of being dragooned into helping cultivate an allotment, only to see the intended harvest shrivel in the heat wave of ’76, to a solitary carrot and some marble sized onions. This was followed by a fifties memory of flag waving in the Old Kent Rd while the newly married Elizabeth and Phillip processed by. Then we had some boyhood mischief which involved smoking Grandad’s cigars while tree climbing –with a rather inflammable result (fortunately to the tree, not the boy!).

The stories came thick and fast involving the Tamworth Two (pigs –remember?) , the inadvertent courtship of twins which nearly resulted in an unexpected threesome, and a poem which mourned much of the eighties but ended on a note of hope inspired by the release of Nelson Mandela. There was a quite creepy one about being stalked by an ex-fiancé in the sixties, and a fascinating memory of the Berlin wall and a meeting with the Queen Mother.

I loved the seaside one which reminded of us of how adults, especially the men,  in the seventies, still sunbathed fully clothed, occasionally with trousers daringly rolled up for a paddle and a knotted linen hankie on their heads, and also the reminder that the fifties generation were always told that they must wear clean knickers at all times. This injunction not for reasons of hygiene, but in case they were in a road accident! Strange priorities? And on that theme, a mini-skirted witness who was ejected by the judge from a court for obviously being too frivolous to be trusted. Yes, that was the sixties, alright!

It was a delightful evening, one of those where we all ended up knowing each other just that little bit better.  Thanks, Jenny, great idea.

Next week we are at Westfield. The optional theme is: Thoughts while cooking Sunday dinner. I think that one must have been suggested by a somewhat conscientious cook.

See you there. Sally.


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