Ro’s workshops are always fun and this one was no exception, simple and effective. It suffered from one major flaw – and that was his memory, not his imagination. He recently discovered a rather beautiful and unusual old bottle, and thought how fascinating it would have been when it was cleaned up, to have discovered a message in it. This thought led to his workshop, which was to describe what kind of a message you would either put, or hope to find, in the bottle. As inspiration he was going to present the bottle, with a flourish, of course. Only – he forgot to bring it!
Unphased by this lapse, the group grabbed pens and papers and set to with a will. We kicked off the read-back some thirty minutes later with a true story about a lady who posted a Happy New Century message off the Isle of Sheppey at midnight on the millennium, and amazingly received a response a few days later. This was followed by a very creepy story of drowning a witch in the 17th century – that dreadful catch 22 situation where you were innocent if you drowned when thrown in and guilty and hanged if you didn’t. The good old days?
We travelled forward in time to encompass a dream concerning the current president of America, followed by one about an alien ambassador come to warn us of an approaching Armageddon – both stories underlining how thin the line between humour and pathos, and fact and fiction, really are. As usual, the narratives that followed were diverse and entertaining, involving a hurricane, a prayer for forgiveness, apolitical skit set on the Thames just outside the Palace of Westminster (loved Michael Gove with a bomb!) and a biblical conundrum.
Other contributions included references to Captain Pugwash, an abortive effort to retrieve the message, and a terrific one about astronauts discovering a message on the moon by the person who really got their first. Another contributor fell over and broke the bottle, sustaining some hilarious and bloody injuries, whilst yet another discarded as junk a hugely valuable artefact from the Titanic. As you can tell, a torrent of imagings, capped by a cheeky poem and a tale which ended on a suspenseful question mark. And I must not forget the host of this feast, and whose own contribution was a description of his latest oeuvre, an Aramaic paperback entitled Miracles for Dummies. I can’t remember what it had to do with bottles, but who cares?
So there it is – a brief romp through a typical Shorelink evening. Thank you, Ro, we had fun and we wrote some inventive stuff. And that is what we are all about, isn’t it?
Next week we are at Westfield and the optional theme is Lost.
See you there. Sally.