The topics for our September class were:
- I have already set down the details of some of the most notorious things we did.
- There were other victories
- Still, the woman approached
Some great stories this month with class members able to think outside the box. A story about victories covered removal of weeds from the garden, although the battle to remove oxalis was ongoing, with new fronts appearing – interesting use of battle terminology in the fight against the weeds. Another class member placed a comma after “still”, changing the meaning of the phrase. One common theme was around social issues, giving pause for thought. They included loneliness, homelessness and corruption, but the writers added positive aspects to these stories. For example, loneliness was addressed when a new arrival in town met someone who introduced her to U3A and badminton.
Our next class is scheduled for 12 October with a choice between the following topics (contributed by one of the class members):
- He pushed on, his head and shoulders bent against the unforgiving wind.
- She sat in silence waiting for the impending knock at the door.
- The tall figure emerged from the shadows.
We will continue to share our stories and feedback via email. If anyone else would like to write on any of these topics, please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward to the class, and also share the stories from the class with you.
'still, the woman approached'.... Sally Hann
As she sat still, the woman approached. “That’s a nice dog” the woman said conversationally.
Always happy to hear praise of her beloved pet, Jessie smiled. “Thank you” she said. “He is very special”.
“What is his breed?” the woman asked, to which Jessie replied “He is a breed of his own, a bit like the chicken dance you know - a little bit of this and a little bit of that.”
“May I pat him?” to which Jessie replied “Of course” and the woman leaned over and patted Toby on the head to be rewarded with a tentative lick.
“He loves to come to the park and chase sticks” said Jessie. Then she laughed “I get tired of that game long before he does,” she said.
They sat in silence for a while then the woman blurted out “It’s lovely to talk to somebody. I moved here a month ago and find it very lonely.”
“Oh, you poor thing,” said Jessie, “what made you move here”?
“Well John, my husband, died 10 months ago and our daughter suggested I move here to be closer to her. It seemed such a good idea at the time, but she works so I don’t see much of her and my grandchildren are all away at university, so I don’t see them either. I should have just stayed where I was. At least I had friends there,” the woman said.
“Do you have any hobbies? How about joining a group?” asked Jessie.
“I wouldn’t know where to start” the woman replied sadly. “I find it very hard to make friends.”
Jessie wrinkled her nose in thought. “Well,” she said at last, “I belong to U3A which is wonderful. It has all sorts of courses, singing, a collectors’ group, bushwalking, writing, oh heaps of interesting stuff. It’s a great way to meet new people with similar interests to you. Tell you what, why don’t you come to my house, we’ll have a coffee and I can show you the programme.”
The woman’s face lighted up at the kind offer. “Why that would be great, if you wouldn’t mind.”
“Of course not. I wouldn’t have offered if I didn’t mean it. By the way I’m Jessie and this is Toby,” said Jessie bending down to pat the patient dog.
They stood up and started to walk towards the street. “I’m Angela,” offered the woman.
Back at Jessie’s home, whilst the kettle was boiling Jessie hunted up the programme and handed it to Angela. “There are lots of things to do on Wednesday but sadly that is my badminton day and I couldn’t miss that,” said Jessie.
“Badminton!” exclaimed Angela, “I used to play that too.”
“Well why don’t you come along,” said Jessie, “we are always looking for new players and it’s lots of fun, we don’t play for sheep stations or anything like that, just hit and giggle. We have a coffee and chat afterwards and when one of our group has a birthday, we go out for lunch to celebrate.”
“Wow,” said Angela, “I’m so glad I plucked up the courage to talk to you. There is light at the end of the tunnel after all.”