Today I am not going to mention any achievement. Am blogging to say what a lovely lunch I’ve had. To be honest, I think enjoying how you’ve spent your time is one of life’s most worthwhile achievements.
What have I done? I’ve met a wonderful group of people. Just the journey was an adventure. Finding your way in the New Forest with instructions like “ignore the little white house on your left; a bit further on go through the opened gate with a big ‘Private’ sign. Follow this cart track a long way down, and you’ll find us in the last house on the right.”
This house had no name sign on gate or door, but it was the right one. The occasion? The six-monthly regional meeting of the SWWJ (Society of Women Writers and Journalists) I’d joined this organisation back in the spring and today was the first time I’d attended any of their functions. Everyone was friendly and welcoming and the good turn-out was a mix of ages. I first sat next to a young woman called Alli who wrote romantic comedy and had two novels published. The organiser was a lady in her eighties who apparently lived in a studio flat in Mudeford, very convenient when she was globe trotting and writing her travel books. The hostess and her husband were a couple of my own age. I loved seeing their framed snapshots on one of the many bookcases. A very proud dad with his seventies hairstyle cuddling his young children. Ah, those were the days …………..
A fantastic buffet lunch was provided. Oh, yum, yum. I ate far too much. Then it was impolite not to partake of some of the many puddings.
A talk followed. In fact, two talks. The Women’s Editor from the Bournemouth Echo (Nicki Findlay, I believe) brought along a colleague. She talked about her career path. In 1996 she thought she’d stay in Bournemouth for a short time then hit the big time in London. It never happened, a husband - then children came along, and she’s very pleased to be where she is. Ruth Oliver told us she came to be the Religious Affairs editor at the Bournemouth Echo and how she now does some freelance radio features for Woman’s Hour on Radio 4. We were impressed at her anecdote at how she went to a press conference at a WI Convention were Bob Geldof was the Important Guest, speaking on Fathers’ Rights. He was about to leave when she plucked up courage and walked up to the front, put her itsy-bitsy microphone towards him and asked “How is it emotionally, when you gain access to your children?” She played us the beginning of her recording: Geldof in his lilting Irish rhythm describing walking up the drive of the house which used to be his home, knocking on the door, and waiting, waiting, for his own children to open it.” He spoke to her for half an hour.
As I said, a thoroughly enjoyable and stimulating afternoon out. Sue, the hostess, insisted we take cake home with us. And now, I’m off out again. Really embarrassing, as a friend insisted on cooking for me tonight. Wednesday is the only night we can do, and we haven’t had a good old gas for ages. Trouble is, I’m still full up ….