This week’s theme was Lost in Translation, and, as the snow is busy whitewashing the landscape outside, (beautiful but freezing!) I was grateful that many of your contributions were so uplifting and amusing. The very first one I read starred a talking cat, cleverly not revealed until the very end of the story, and made me laugh out loud. And the next one took me back to the brilliant wit of Gerard Hoffnung and his wonderful Bricklayer sketch, (on YouTube, look it up if you don’t know it), followed by the true story of a delightfully embarrassing faux pas by an English woman in a French vineyard. Not on theme, but also very funny, was the final part of the account of the Misguided Tours of St Mary in the Castle earlier in the millennium.
Then there was the anagram that led to an unexpected bequest, and another that, very unexpectedly, concluded in a veterinary clinic in Mexico – all great stories with gloriously unexpected twists in the tail. Two more of the contributions were set in book shops, one finally clearing up the mystery of how unicorns lost their horns, and the other somewhat eerily channelling Dracula whilst working in some hilarious examples of mistranslations. But a story concerning the search for eternal truth concluded rather depressingly that it was probably lost forever. Let’s hope not.
Two of the pieces, in quite different ways, gave us a glimpse of another culture. We received a charming and humorous, but also informative, look at the Fillipino way of life, which might turn out to be very useful if we are ever allowed to travel again. I was also very moved by the poem which charted the last moments of a dying man, and then concluded with a Buddhist (not Jewish, I think?) Kaddish . I least I thought it was Buddhist, but if I am wrong, I am sure you will all let me know.
I was fascinated by the list of foreign words that have no equivalent in our own tongue and by realising how few of them we have appropriated, and there was also a reflection on the 7 different types of pronouns that are scattered through our own convoluted language.
My heart goes out to the writer of the haunting and beautiful poem about love at first sight, unforgettable indeed. And thanks to the member who decided to write a tribute to Captain Tom, the valiant 100 year old who caught so many imaginations in this dark time.
Well, sitting by the fire and reading your submissions was a great way to spend this cold afternoon so thank you all once again. Next week’s theme is The Dancer and I am already looking forward to seeing what you will do with it. Keep them coming.