Online Shorelink Week 41

The theme this week was The Dancer, and Shorelinkers embraced it with enthusiasm, pirouetting their way into a chorus of charming submissions. Two of you put line dancing centre stage, both were hilarious, one featuring an unintended double entendre, and the other a colourful memory of a village hall class complete with six shooters and chaps in chaps.

One piece flew us to Honolulu, exotic in several ways – oh, I do so want to try a Portuguese Malasadas!  – and then subtly managed to change the mood and engage our sympathies with not only the retired holidaying couple but also an unknown dancer. Clever and compelling. As was the circus performer reliving the past, literally high flying, triumphs as she lay waiting for help, unable to move after falling on ice. I think our present somewhat icy climate influenced a few of the pieces, not least the one centred on Santa’s reindeers.

The Covent Garden dancer at the peak of fame had a surprise encounter, which led to a highly amusing twist in the tale. And the Scottish wedding which had kept the entire village agog, also kept us on tenterhooks before revealing the truth of the participants sexuality. There was also a Dancer (yes, with a capital letter) historically dancing for peace. I was relieved to know his ghost is still out there trying to help us. And I was reassured to hear that Glynis and her Prince lived happily ever after following their wedding in the woods.

Another story was so delightful and so convincing I found myself checking that the lead character was really only a figment of the author’s imagination. The narrative of the watch maker who was commissioned by Queen Victoria to make the first mechanical artefacts and who then went on to present  her with a clockwork dancer on a music box was brilliant, right down to the bitter sweet ending. And a sensual and romantic depiction of a couple meeting and dancing was so persuasive that I was saddened to find that it was just a dream. Not so the one set among the mud larks and guttersnipes of the London of George 1V, which was such a realistically drawn picture it made one grateful for the 21st century, plague and all!

The poems that arrived in my inbox were so collectively outstanding they took my breath away. A beautiful one describing winter coming out of his cottage at the beginning of each verse was irresistible and I indulged myself by reading it out loud several times. Another, accompanied by a picture taken in Hastings this week, rightly described the snow as a possibly welcome diversion from our Covid worries. And who could not be uplifted by the two poems which contrasted dancing in youth with dancing in later life – and applauding the joy that accompanies both? Lovely stuff which resonates with so many of us. (I can still do a nifty dance of the seven towels in the bathroom – but that’s between us!)

The couple who met and danced from the Jenny Lind to Lisbon will stay long in our memories, as well as in the poet’s. And there was an extraordinarily  perceptive poem that took us through the slough of despond until charting a release from deepest depression and finding the gift of music and dance. A highly original one taking us through the beat of the music was inventively sent on a black background, which my moody computer kept refusing to let me read, so I hope I have not misinterpreted it!

A most interesting submission which looked like a harmless reworking of the Pied Piper story proved on examination to have very much deeper, possibly sinister, undertones – as does the original story, of course. And I do have to love the short poem that is a tribute to the timelessness of the sea. I grew up within sight of the sea and I recognised every word – so thank you for that!

And it was great to have another instalment of our Moose adventure after a short break, I have missed Ryan and Zoe et all, and just hope they survive this week’s cliff hanger! Go, Ryan, go!

It may be cold outside, but you have warmed my week with the astonishing variety and standard of the contributions. Thank you ALL! And next week’s theme is The Lover. Well, it is Valentines Day. Have fun with it – but I am sure you will


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