Online Shorelink Week 35

Well, Shorelinkers, you really honed in on the suggestion that we finished the term with a bang! Mandy’s theme of How many Oranges really fired up our collective imaginations, and, in spite of just being plunged into Tier 4 and waving goodbye to any idea of a traditional Christmas, you have definitely made  it clear that  we shall all be making the most of whatever seasonal festivities we are allowed to indulge in. The spirit of Christmas certainly shone undimmed through this week’s pieces.

Where to start? Where, two straight-forward Christmas messages, I think. A particularly beautiful one that charged us with using the orange as a tool for meditating on the essence of being human, and another which used a chocolate orange to remind us of how comparatively fortunate most of us are in this unequal world.   

Many of the pieces reminisced – well, that’s a sort of seasonal inevitability, isn’t it? –  adding charm and depth to the mix. Memories of compulsive orange eating while pregnant or being dosed with orange juice in the war conjured up somewhat wry smiles, and another member listed some delightful boyhood orange coloured nostalgia.

We had some wonderful stories, a lovely re-working of Scrooges’ three ghosts and a splendid spoof on Dick ‘Turtle’ whose black horse is getting above himself since having been borrowed for a certain commercial. (And this one contained a deliberate mistake to spot, as well- treat after treat!) . Then there was the injured giant, restored by Christmas magic and seasonal goodwill. Not so very different from the one about the rock group who had made misanthropy their modus vivendi, until converted to all things good – a different and delightful path to the same uplifting conclusion.

There was an amusing 007 satire, complete with nubile girl rising from the waves, and then a wicked –illustrated, of course- send-up of the shades of orange favoured by the out-going American president to illuminate his complexion and /or hair. And I so admired the practicality of the lady who, when mistakenly presented with 350 oranges, proceeded to make marmalade to bestow it as Christmas gifts.

There were a few which bucked the trend and were all the more readable for that. A chilling one reminded of us of the persecution of the Jews in Europe not so very long ago, even more pertinent at this time when our own, taken for granted, expectations can be shattered so quickly. And there was a quite charming eulogy to the apple (and why not?) and the goodness of givers, everywhere.

I confess to saving until last the two that made me laugh the most. The member who, lacking time to write, sent an illustration of a huge orange with the title Only One, and underneath But it is very big – oh, I wish I had thought of that! And last, but by no means least, the Joyce Grenfell-like teacher theoretically teaching an infant’s class about oranges but actually sending up a range of Shorelinkers (by name – yes, we were identified!) and illuminating our foibles- wicked, but SO funny.

So once again, thank you all. What a year it has been – we’ve taken a few breaks, were able to meet briefly out of doors in the summer, but, for the record, I think you have submitted somewhere around 600 pieces of writing during this 35 weeks online, and should all be very, very pleased with yourselves. I am so proud to be your Chair.

We have, of course, no idea when we shall get back to anything like normal. So have a wonderful, restful and possibly inventive holiday – we are planning a Zoom family Christmas which I imagine will be even more chaotic than usual, but thank heavens for Wifi. And then be ready to sharpen up the little grey cells because your Committee and I have agreed that we will kick off again on the weekend of January 10th with the first theme of 2021.

So, see you then. Happy Christmas, and hopefully, a Happy New Year from Ro and me.    

And God Bless Us Everyone!    Sally

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