This week’s theme was The Good Old Days and I guess it was inevitable that it led several of the group to lament our continued inability to meet in person. But I continue to hope that things will go back to normal in the not-too-distant future and refuse to be pessimistic, greatly encouraged by the work that comes in every week. It is of such a high standard we should all be confident that our collective writing skills are certainly not suffering.
Where to start with the huge variety of this week’s submissions? Well, we had two pieces of rather hilarious sado-masochistic fiction, which is relatively unusual, and I cannot resist kicking off (excuse the pun) with those, one set in an unrecognisable Conquest hospital, and the other – oh, poor Alice! What will become of her? Our breath remains bated…
Another continuing story has also left us with a sense of menace hanging over a seemingly idyllic Christmas feast, and another imperilled heroine to worry about, while our Moose hunters have a literally rocky landing when they visit the Mine Colony. Death and destruction featured in several stories, the reluctant artist, scarred by both hippy parents and his unfortunate initials, barely pauses before disposing of his long lost, avaricious, trans, sister. Destruction certainly featured again with a group of elderly cave men mourning the climate change which ended their world.
Which leads me neatly to a timely and heartfelt plea for a green revolution, urging us to choose between unnecessary and careless affluence, or a simpler but possibly far more rewarding life style. Another tale, in the form of a diary entry, joyfully describes the wonderfully eccentric behaviour of a wife, freed from a controlling husband by his death. It was a vivid illustration of how seemingly idyllic marriages can often be hiding the unhappiness of one of the partners from the outside world.
We had a page of quotes on the theme; the phrase has obviously inspired some amusing interpretations, and there was a lovely nostalgic trip down memory lane from someone, who, like me, remembers the good old days. Yes, all those freezing houses and boring meals, I also remember it well!
One of the pieces informed us that the saying always preceded a great tale- well, we certainly did received two wonderfully mad stories, Sherlock Holmes solving the case of the trans gender bingo caller, and Tall Tale Teller confusing himself (and us) with his inability to tell fact from fiction. And a long, clever and very entertaining poem on Lord Smaug with vaguely political overtones – I think Tolkein would have been amused!
Which brings me finally to two memorable poems. Migrants is an inspiring and compellingly compassionate take on an ongoing problem, and The Bed, is an extraordinary, moving, quite beautiful and ultimately optimistic work.
So thank you all once again for such inspired work. And so, on to next week. Helen suggested the theme, which is The Bond Films. I will send round a list of all the titles, hoping one will inspire you. I was going to post them on here but didn’t realise there were so many to choose from- they will need a page to themselves. Have fun with them!