At bloomin’ last I saw a laptop being used by a writer at a writing workshop. First time ever. People still use A5 feint lined paper in pads or A5 notebooks…. with gel pens indeed!
During the inevitable predictable ice-breaker I confided in my partner at the table in the round and asked her not to repeat what I’d said. Oh trust! She opened her gob and told the other wannabes that as soon as I entered the room I had wanted to leave. Mouthy. But it was okay because I was amongst stoics, creative in their own bubbles who had little experience of relating to people who don’t look like them. Yikes. Ready to run. I’d travelled with Up Your Street seniors who’d never smelt the inside of a writing workshop so had to stay to wink at them across the table at least.
We were at Canada Water Culture Space. To many people that means “library”. The Canada Water library is like a market-place. Today Anansi stories were being drummed out to toddlers and those engrossed kiddies were sitting whitely on the floor carpet by the front door. There’s a café, some chess areas complete with noisy players, lifts going up and down, stinking toilets and seen from the actual culture space room, a river.
The workshop was promoted as being all about the Mixed-Race identity but you didn’t have to be Mixed-Race to join in. You had to bring an object that reminded you of home. Four of us did as we were told. The rest is history.
I’d lugged in a cheap vase so I was actually bothered to read out my paragraphs and SHARE.
‘Today was different as though the wolves had been set free. My father returned fuming with the story about his brother-in-law standing arms and legs akimbo preventing his entrance. The story was shocking. Finally after the Burton van was loaded, my father and brother were allowed inside. My grandmother’s mink coat had been left in a wardrobe. There had been a box loaded and inside was the white vase with its lid, some coat-hangers, Vim and yellow dusters and a whole box of fish knives and forks. As for the furniture my brother said the wood wasn’t worth the taking.
My mother sat down and retrieved her knitting needles and the pink matinee coat in the making.
“Any sign of the blue glass set? See, Rita bought that for their fiftieth. That’ll be gone then.”
My brother told me to put the kettle on.’