Poetry & Plonk
Despite the rain and ice Asby WI’s December meeting was well attended, including by two guests: newcomers to the village. During the formal business Susan Renshaw reported on two events she had attended recently. Together with the secretary, Jackie Smart, she had been to a promotional afternoon at Dalemain. where she had been surprised that WI members had come from as far as Cheshire, Lancashire and Dumfries to see round.
Mrs Renshaw had also attended a moving talk about so-called ‘Railway Children’ given by David Maidment where she learned that the worst area in the UK for the problem of children living on and around the railways was in the Manchester-Liverpool-Wigan triangle. A problem we would have expected abroad but not in the UK.
The evening’s meeting had been programmed as a members’ evening entitled ‘Poetry and Plonk’. Members had been invited to bring along a favourite piece of poetry or prose to share with everybody over a glass of wine or fruit juice. The order of events was governed by names drawn out of a (real!) hat and proved amazingly serendipitous. Both the first and last contributions were humorous pieces of prose with an assortment of amusing and more thoughtful items shared out in between. Authors chosen included A.A. Milne, Walter de la Mare, Charles Causley, Gervase Phinn and a member’s mother-in-law.
For the evening’s competition members had been invited to write a Christmas haiku. More than half the members present had attempted this Japanese non-rhyming poem with a set pattern of its 3-5-3 syllable lines. Judging was done by all present who indicated their choice with a coin. The winner was Louise Reeve with ‘Mince pies made, cake baked/Christmas countdown starting now/Let the fun begin’. Jackie Smart’s contribution was voted second. The coins used for voting were put in the ‘Pennies for Friendship’ tin.
Hostesses Valerie Cooper and Pat Bevan provided mince pies and fruit cake with the usual tea and coffee. The raffle winner was Louise Reeve.