Online Shorelink Week 30

So here we are, in lockdown once more. Not quite so many contributions as usual, but between the lockdown and the knife-edge tension of the American election, it has been a distracting week. The strangeness and the frustrations of our present world were beautifully summed up in the poem Blue Sky Thinking, and its final lines: And say this is not what it seemed –tomorrow will be a normal day – I’ll wake up and all will be well. How we all wish…

But no time to be maudlin. The Endorsement Lockdown Officer of the Law in particular was a hilarious sending up of current restrictions, starring a naked nun in pink hobnail boots – well, what’s not to like? The suggested themes this week were Fireworks, and/or A Favourite Teacher, and the first stimulated a lovely nostalgic poem that whisked us back to all those 5th November bonfire parties, you could almost smell the smoke! And another story on this topic had a boy spotting a distress flare at sea and thereby saving a life.

Two of the submissions outlined with warmth and gratitude how much can be owed to an inspirational teacher and I found myself hoping they were both true. And a very thoughtful poem charted the journey the older generation in this country have had to make from Empire to this (sometimes) brave new world. 

Yet another poem drew some sympathetic parallels with the luminosity of a visiting juggler and the drabness of many everyday lives. Our poets were, as so often, in splendid voice, and there was also a resounding call for ecological awareness. But we swerved into quite different territory with How Doreen became a vegan, and Doreen’s solution on how to rid herself of a controlling and unfaithful husband was highly original, and very effective. I see it has To be Continued on it and can only hold my breath for the next episode. The same must be said of Part One of The Misadventures of Vota Torquent, concerning a mystic who has the power to grant wishes. Where next, I wonder?

Our Zombie moose has finally been given his own voice in a pitched and bloody battle, and while it is interesting to see the point of view changed, the Supreme Moose, with his use of the phrase I say and the noun chaps, is now revealed as possibly Moose-Eton educated? Again, the story left us on a cliff hanger, as with all action heroes, Ryan is running for cover once more! And as for Alice, well each week sees this poor girl wetter and weaker, but surely her creator has not killed her off? The omens are not good. As they are not for Billy, I am afraid, not at all.

I have saved the story of Faith, the church cat until last, inspired as it was by the recent story of Doorkins Magniicat, the Cathedral cat.  Faith was one of the stars of the fundraising tour, One Dogs War, that Ro and I did some years ago, assisted by two of our dogs.  Faith, along with many other heroic and clever animals, helped to raise the money to erect the splendid Animals in War memorial in Hyde Park. The conclusion of her story is worth waiting for, I promise.

But not until the week after next. As most of you know, I am taking next week off to catch up on some of the things that have fallen by the wayside recently – none, I hasten to add, as much fun or as rewarding as our Online meetings, but necessary stuff. So forgive me. Though I suspect some of you will be glad of a break – this is our 10th week this term and, as you can see, our 30th overall. No-one can doubt our enthusiasm!

So – thank you all once more. I will email round the suggested theme next Saturday. Sally

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