Chattering From The Chair – Wednesday 14th June 2017

After having missed the previous couple of meetings as a result of his international jet-setting lifestyle, David Carson returns with his take on the goings on at our last meeting.


Rosie collected a pound from each of the seven of us present (Ray, Fiona, Craig, Roddie, Aileen, David C. and herself).
Apologies were received from David F, Tom and Richard.
Ray took the Chair (as if it were second nature).

There was some business to discuss before considering the pieces that had been circulated.

– We’ve rejoined SAW for another year
– We will have publicity bookmarks printed and a number given to all members, if the price is ok.  David C. is investigating.
– During term time (ie when there are tutored classes) there won’t be any NW meetings.  But we’ll have a business meeting after one of the term-time classes.
– We’ll contact Zoe  with some queries about the possible writing project, and keep all members of NW and of the class in the loop.  David C. to do the emails.

Then it was time to look at the writing.  Three pieces were on the table.

Ray invited Roddie to read his work, entitled Dear Donnie, Dear  Donnie, Ye’re Jist as Daft as Raygun Ronnie.  Which he did, with a lot of expression and feeling.

A first reaction was to say how alive the rap becomes when read as intended.  Lines like-
“In the psychiatrists textbook ye’re the psychological cataclysm
That defines malignant capitalism”-
take on a more vibrant life when heard and not just read.

We commented on some specific lines and phrases (jail bride survivors, bag o’ hammers).  More generally, we agreed with Roddie that this approach to contemporary politics and people, couched in  a Scots vernacular, can be a very effective form of satire, and that Donald T. deserved all the ridicule aimed at him.

Ray then asked us to look at “Just Pretending,” David C.’s contribution.  This had been inspired by watching two of his grandchildren playing outdoors. Rosie’s question was very pertinent – did the pair quarrel when they were outside?  This led on to a fascinating discussion about whether children nowadays have swapped the outdoor for the indoor, the natural for the virtual.  Reference was made to the Oxford Junior Dictionary, and its deletions and additions, which support this contention.

The final piece of writing was Rosie’s revised synopsis for her entry to the SBT competition.  Her story is entitled “Hamish and the Jukebox Time Machine.” We knew that Rosie had devoted a lot of time and imagination to her story, so we were pleased to be able to go over this part thoroughly with her.  A number of suggestions were made which Rosie found helpful, including omitting a number of references to planet earth (!), and some clarification of the time travel implications. We all agreed this had been time well spent, and much in the spirit of NW support.

The next Meeting will be on 28th June in the Dalhousie building.

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