Online Shorelink Week 34

Sian’s suggested theme of 37 really got the little grey cells humming this week; there has been a positive deluge of inventiveness. And quite a bit of nostalgia, which I guess is sort of inevitable with Christmas looming. But more of that later.

There was a delightful trip into Christmas past from across the pond, a cheerful referencing of many festive family reunions in order to imagine a 2021 when the world returned to normal. We all hope it is an accurate prophecy. Another piece regretted the lack of all our usual Shorelink parties this year, and brought back some bitter-sweet memories with an old photo of our beloved Tony B.  And yet another used the clever device of moving us well into the future to poignantly examine the historical impact of this year.

I should hasten to add that it was not all gloom and doom, though – quite the opposite. A short poem declared that memory was worth more than riches, and then there was a quite charming piece describing a child watching the murmuration of the starlings, inspired by some glorious photos another writer had sent us. And yet another about a Bird Girl Statue, ransacked and removed, but eventually restored to beauty. Uplifting stuff this! As was the story of the chap with the terminal diagnosis, who determines to make other lives better with his final time on earth.

We read some definitely out-of-this- world stories this week, and I don’t just mean the Galactic Ambassador who begins, with good reason, to think perhaps he would rather stay at home. No, there was the elderly lady in the residential (?) home – a great twist in the tail here– and a lively and ingenious tale of ‘Shirley’ Holmes taking us on a trip through Wonderland while he investigates the possible murder of one Humpty Dumpty. Oh, and what about the collector with the fiendish dragon, or the ghoulish vampire story? Creepy or what?.

There was some more down to earth writing, a diary entry outlining the 37 days that led to WW1, and a reminiscence of a Catering Course attended in Devon which transported us back to what felt like a sunny, saner world. I was gripped by a list of TV programmes and events 37 years ago which gracefully morphed into a meditation on aging and the surprises life often holds. And a man still yearning for his lost girl friend 37 years on was really touching.

We are, as always, so lucky with our poets. We were gifted with an extraordinarily beautiful musing on the passing of time, and the shifts in our viewpoints it brings, and another took us with the writer on a bike ride to – well, we knew not where, and nor did he, but that mattered not at all. It managed to be evocative, yearning and invigorating all at the same time, no mean feat.

Our continuing stories are keeping us in thrall – poor Alice, rescued more times than I can count, has once again been left starving and unconscious. Has ever a heroine suffered more?, I hear you cry. But on a more positive note, Ryan has finally found the power to wield the Stick and is hopefully on the way to saving his friends and the Dwarves from the rampaging Moose.

So a truly fascinating week, my thanks to Sian and you all for your amazing imaginations. Now, as you know, this coming week is the last before our Christmas break, and I was wondering how to follow Sian’s idea when this came in from Mandy:

Well, it’s strange how our minds work sometimes. I’ve been thinking about story ideas just like Sian and I had to smile when she came up with 37 and then a unit of time.  My title is, ‘How many Oranges?’
Preferably not 37.  I can think of 3 different stories so I’m hoping that other Shorelinkers can think of a story or poem.

I thought that was a great theme, and somehow very Christmassy -I can’t explain that feeling unless it is something to do with the traditional orange in the toe of the stocking. Either way, thanks, Mandy, and I hope you all like it. Let’s finish this term with a bang! 

Sally

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