Online Shorelink Week 22

Not quite so many submissions this week, as several of our group were away on holiday, possibly just in time as it looks as if more lockdown measures are being introduced. Our theme was Why it matters. However, we also had a another theme, as we managed to meet up in Alexandra Park just ahead of the new regulations, and that was a 500 word challenge on The Bandstand. Some of us who were able to come to the (real) bandstand meeting were unable to do both themes so submitted them here, giving us an even more varied batch of contributions than usual.

I laughed out loud at the delightful skit on the importance of names, set in an American Indian Reservation. Great twist in the tail! And also the hilarious poem about Gordon, the would-be football star, who pursues fitness to escape the crowd’s jibes, only to be tortured by their alternative chant. We were treated to a drier wit with Meticulously, a timely and cynical glance at Covid restrictions. And the frustrated superman – that phone booth was always occupied!–was an eccentric joy.

As always, we had some amazing poetry. How lucky we are to have such poets in our midst. The inherent warmth and optimism of Possibilities charmed me, as did the enchanting wonder through September, a catalogue of memories both heart warming and heart breaking. There was another amusing one from the same poet on recent experiences of getting lost in country lanes – talk about the right road being less travelled! Another two arrived in my inbox, both lyrically outlining the loneliness of lockdown and the fundamental comfort of the sea and the weather changes. And then, today, a quite extraordinarily beautiful poem, outlining the simplicity of the gifts of love and loving. Totally captivating.

Two of the stories concentrated on the importance of respecting what is important to other people, whether family or foreigners, however bizarre that might seem to someone else. And we had a very nice surprise, one of our group who has been ill with the virus, now recovered, sent us a story about a lost wallet and an engagement ring, penned while she was still in hospital.

The Bandstand inspired some great stories, especially a fascinating history (written in the first person!) of the 19th century bandstand in Woodstock, Illinois. Also one to tug the heart strings about a dog and his trumpet playing master. And there was a stirring one of a local prom with audience and band closing the evening with our traditionally patriotic songs. You all know the two songs I mean! Although definitely no longer politically correct (if they ever were) as they are almost the only ones we all know the words to, woe betide anyone who tries to do away with them!

And Ryan is struggling to handle the Stick, his main weapon of defence against the moose. I warned you it was a somewhat eclectic, if quite excellent, mix, even by Shorelink standards.

So onwards we go. The new theme: Two o’clock in the city, is from Alan’s list which has been invaluable. Thanks, Alan, and thank you all for such great writing. Keep them coming! Sally

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