Some classy and fascinating stuff this week, though, of course I could say that with truth about every week. Our theme was A Sporting Chance and I was especially fascinated by a couple of true stories, which not only followed that theme but also reached back to last week’s theme of Dangerous Waters.
A very gripping one described an evening boat trip off the Devon Coast which turned into a desperate struggle for the three people and young child who were sitting in the prow of the vessel, when it unexpectedly hit rough seas. The writer captured perfectly that initial feeling of disbelief that the danger was real and present, and a peaceful trip had turned so rapidly into a nightmare. Then, after the event, came the inevitable soul searching, coupled with a lifelong admiration for the friend who had made the child’s safety her priority. An unforgettable piece.
Another article recalled the loss of the Darlwynne in 1965, a cabin cruiser licensed for twelve people and carrying thirty one, on an unlicensed ‘jolly’– amazingly it reached its initial destination but then decided to make the return trip in spite of extremely dire weather forecasts. Neither the cruiser not the passengers were ever seen again.
Moving on from this dreadful tragedy, I was vastly entertained by a gruesome fairy story, full of trolls and lizards and the like, but with a happy ending. And also one which cleverly concealed the ages of the participants until the very end, though I do hope the four year old finally got the better of her bullying elder brother. There was a creepy story of the man obsessed by women called Caroline, who was trying to outdo Henry V111 both in the number of wives and the methods of dispatching them. Happily, he got his come-uppance in the final paragraph! There was more misogyny in a clever astral-nodding poem which took a satirical bite out of our civilisation.
A very disturbing contribution from across the pond outlined the misadventures of five friends trying to recreate their boyhood with a camping trip. We are not given a description of what happens to the four who venture into forbidden waters, we just watch how it leads to their early deaths. Sinister, or what?
To cheer us up, and it did, came a story about Henny and Penny, the hungry but competitive hens, and a tongue in the cheek tale of murder at the circus. A short piece exhorted us to bow to our better natures and give the underdog a sporting chance, and another illustrated one romanticised the finding of a tree which bore the resemblance to a boar (see what I did there? OK – sorry) And we had another chapter in or Moose story, entitled The Hall of Knowledge, it promises to expand Ryan’s knowledge of this other world.
A beautiful poem paid tribute not only to sporty women but to diversity everywhere and whatever the opposite is to misogyny – this was it. I loved it.
I have left until last a fascinating piece on the gorgeous Topiary Garden in Kent, which reads like a joy for anyone who loves gardens, animals and/or art. As that is probably most of us, I am putting the link on here: www.artgardenthree/weebly.com, and let us hope, as the writer suggests, we might be able to meet up there sometime.
Thank you all, your writing makes lockdown bearable. We are going to take a couple of weeks off now over the Easter period, and will restart on 12th April with a 500 word week and I will post the new theme on Sunday 11th
The hope of an indoor meeting is still on the far horizon, but possibly we might grace the bandstand in the park again soon? Fingers crossed. Happy Easter to you all.