Ah! Technology – much maligned – accused of distancing people from one another – depersonalising – impersonalising – and yet, last night, it brought us all together, safely.
No drives in the dark. No two metre rule.
Nicole had suggested Family Lore - and then couldn’t be there, because of the handing-over of house-keys! But a lot of us were: Dan, with Jess, and Ian and Maddie and Raph, without a camera, so we have no idea what he was getting up to, and Jill [without a microphone to start with] and Mike, and, as listeners, Karen, and very briefly Renée, who seemed a little bemused, as though she was in the wrong meeting, and left quite rapidly.
We started early, to make sure we all knew what was going on, and to let people dribble in, and the telling began at 7.30 with “family reminiscences”. Ian told us Tales of the Anderson Shelter [two], Maddie told us two tales of Portsmouth Harbour, one sad and shocking, one basically funny, with flour-bombs, Mike told us about his father and grandfather on bicycles, exploiting licensing-hour differentials in the snowy Pennines. Then we all went out to clap for the NHS at 8pm and came back in to hear Raph telling a Chinese Cinderella [at his father’s request].
It was a rich evening: in no particular order we heard Ian tell Cap o’ Rushes [as an English Cinderella]; Dan tell The Cruel Mother [pieced together from 19 Child ballads]; Jill told The Caravan Holiday with Gladioli, and, by special request, The Teeth; Raph told The Last Log, from Norfolk [for reasons of relief, it must have been from Cromer, even if Raph reckoned it was to do with dwergar, the spirits brought over from Scandinavia by the Danes who settled there]; to link with Norfolk, Maddie told a family reminiscence, The Cycling Holiday; Mike told us a little more about his father’s shiftless side, and also The Tale of God, the Devil and the Nettle; Raph, to back up the Scandinavian element, sang The Ikea Song; and Maddie closed the evening with Lemminkäinen’s visit to Tuonela, and the timely message that Mother Knows Best.
Next Thursday, April 2nd, will be the first Zoom meeting of Southampton Story Club. No driving needed! Room open at 7, telling starts at 7.30, why not come along?
Click on the link, and Robert est ton oncle!