Two pieces of good news this week, the first being that today is January 31st so we are finally at the end of what surely feels like the longest ever first month of the year. But even as we face lockdown being in place for weeks yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Several of us have had our vaccinations, and with them, a dose of hopefulness.
My week has been both entertained and invigorated once again by receiving and reading all your work. Debbie suggested the theme of A Desert Island, which nearly everyone seized on with enthusiasm, so many thanks, Debbie. Given our enforced isolation at the moment, I think this may have chimed with us in a way we could not have envisaged once upon a time. Certainly the poor lady, marooned on an island and no longer able to get to the mainland, voiced fears that sounded alarmingly contemporary.
For once, almost all of the submissions were prose, but we had two poems, one pleasantly practical one outlining the pros and cons of surviving a shipwreck, with a few requests added into the mix, and the other an ode to the peace and simplicity of dwelling on an isolated island. Both quite delightful, as was the story of the shipwrecked lad ultimately revealed to be playing in his garden, and the hilarious one staring Gracie and George who had wandered into the film set of King Kong.
Twists in the tail were many, literally in the case of the two cats who found themselves on one of Japan’s cat islands. And I certainly did not realise that Merida was marooned in space until it was spelt out to me, and was quite disappointed when a luxurious cruise that belched up celebrity entertainers turned out to be a dream. But there again, was the castaway missing his dog dreaming or glimpsing his future?
And what about the re-imagining of Treasure Island and Ben Gunn et al and the eventual decision that solitude, albeit shared with one other, might be a choice? Though it would perhaps be wise to first peruse the list of inherent island risks posted in another submission, or the ponder the unintended results of trusting the message in the bottle which offered you one wish– a great example of be careful what you wish for!
I am always fascinated by the originality and diversity of your interpretations of the given theme, and a great example of this was the wily and witty depiction of Dave in Author Land which managed to channel both Dickens and Golding, and also the irresistible and quite deliberate misinterpretation which gave us the mouth watering Dessert Island. And I was truly delighted that one of us did her own version of Desert Island Discs, one of the things I would miss most if washed up on a desert island.
There was a colourful and slightly salacious romance which took us from Sidley (truly!) to fending off sharks in the ocean, before introducing a beautiful girl who is about to be sacrificed to the Gods, but fear not, rescue and a happy ending prevail! And another tale, off piste but that is always a choice, took a nostalgic and droll journey back to 2013, involving one of our most missed members, which highlighted one of Hastings most remarkable buildings, St Mary in the Castle.
Thank you all so much, once again, for diverting me, and I hope, each other, so successfully.
Next week’s theme is Lost in Translation, inspired by an email sent to me, which I will send on to you as an attachment. I hope you enjoy both it and the theme.