El President Anne kicked off last nights meeting like a seasoned pro with confessions, pledges and plaudits (for outgoing incumbent Grahame), the transfer went swimmingly well without a single spinning plate crashing down. Just saying, it can be done.

The evening though belonged to our in-house raconteur and polymath David McKelvie who enthralled us all with his mesmerising talk about his autobiography – which could easily have gone on for another hour, had time permitted. In part a how to guide, an exhortation and an illustrated example of an autobiography, David’s talk is also available as a 3 page handout for us all to peruse at our leisure. For those who have not kept a daily diary or journal of some kind, David is full of tips about how to get started. Memory is a bit like a drawer, once opened, it will surprise you how many things will come to light.

From his dramatic start ‘Herman Goering had it in for me,’ to taking on board his wife’s comment ‘I’m hardly ever in this,’ David was full of advise on style, preparation, editing and processing feedback while reminding us, like in all writing, that there are no hard and fast rules. Everyone’s life is a story to be told, full of surprising revelations. For instance many of us knew of David’s background in the printing industry but who knew about the delinquent Dave of the Denholm Street Gang who terrorised the local stamp collectors with his toilet roll bazooka!

The second half of the evening was a writing exercise set by David on a memory or event from one’s past. Tales abounded of a bygone world, pre-health and safety. From Grahame’s ‘penny for the guy’ to buy bangers to Colette’s cautionary tale of swings and dental mishaps and Tony’s mangling by a malicious dodgem driver. But it was also a world full of opportunities and adventure for a young holiday rep and a world, that seems an age away now, where the national anthem was played at the end of the evening.

Ho Hum, onwards and upwards.

Next meeting is the 2nd Dec – Poetry Adjudication Xmas Quiz and Seasonal Flash Fiction.