Tony began his workshop by assuring us that his idea was as simple as simple can be. He then proceeded to explain that he wanted us to pick five numbers and write about them. There followed a silence in which confusion hung in the air like a thick fog. Happily, he immediately picked up on our puzzlement and expounded further. He explained that he wanted to learn more about our lives and our characters, and, by picking on numbers that had meaning for us he hoped to achieve this. He gave the example of someone’s childhood house number, and the fog began to clear.
We are not easily daunted, so it was heads down and pens scratching for the next twenty minutes. And then, on the read-back, we began our voyage of discovery. And Tony was proved right – there were some fascinating insights. Who would have guessed we had in our midst an ex-Scotland Yard officer who had worked directly under Cressida Dick? Or a member who had travelled and worked around most of the world while still in his teens? Or the quiet poet in our midst who had left school at fifteen to work with horses? Or the ex-Chaplain who had used his influence to work with his MP to promote large social and political changes?
Many of us were more mundane, of course, and picked such unrevealing numbers as their shoe size or the number of the house in which they were born. But, perhaps surprisingly, even those very choices provided some insight into the disposition and personality of the writer.
It was an excellent workshop, Tony, and I would guess largely fulfilled your objectives. Well done and thank you.
No meeting next week as it is another Bank Holiday – they really are coming thick and fast, aren’t they? And the following week, at Tesco on 8th May, is a reading week, the optional theme is Dancing round the Maypole. Sally