Min Biker, climber, snowboarder, traveller, daredevil Photos can rarely capture landscape, but you can. You show people places most will never be brave enough to see for themselves. You remind us we should never take for granted the ability or inclination to write.
Roger You were a man, you told me, who liked to be told what to do. Then I asked you to drain the broccoli (that’s B.r.o.c.k.l.e.y, Judith) and you glared at me… .. then smiled sheepishly and remembered … you were a man who liked to be told what to do. Thank you for your generosity in conversation and wine, your wise interjections on history and life. Raconteur extraordinaire, your honours, I give you: m’ learned friend Roger.
Louise Your fingers are like violin bows, especially the fourth ones along. When you talk they play. When you play, they talk. You said if I was in your writer’s group I would be in your top 5. Maybe even top 3. You made my day.
Simi The rest of the world is another country, they do things differently there. You reminded us that keeping our inner strangers’ eye wide open can be our most powerful tool. This was the first time you had been to England. Green and wooded; cold and wet. And as you put it: “Could I have found a more motley crew?”
Nick You made us feel special - like we were the first writing group you’d ever taught. You made us feel fresh and invigorated, and let us mine you for references and suggestions. You were my therapist and told me I had a curious lack of self-confidence for writing of such confidence. What a confidence boost.
Margaret Epworth Yours was often the quietest voice, yet that which held the greatest wisdom. Good luck with those 40,000 words. Remember, every journey starts with a single step...
Tamsin You told me about Lumb Bank 10 years ago and I imagined a place of stone and stories in a hidden cleft in the Yorkshire hills. It did not disappoint. You articulated the voices of people never normally heard. You are my cousin by marriage. Now, you are my friend.
Sue You are a ‘70s firebrand who changed the world. A ‘humourless harridan who banned beauty contests’. You asked is it possible to be open AND have strongly-held beliefs? Is it possible to lead the Good Life? Aren’t we proof? You believe women need to go into battle once more... Can I be your new recruit?
Claire You write like a curious angel. Yet you were happy not to just walk among us mere mortals, but laugh and learn alongside us. Map maker, reality shaker, thank you.
Zoe Your words conjure up goblins and witches and dark damp nooks containing unspeakable horrors more effectively than anything I have ever read. I think you might be onto something special. Keep sharpening those spells.
Pam You came here from Adelaide with your shy smile and quiet ways. I could see how women like you carved a home from the red rock of Australia. Tell me more about those days. They are written in your face.
Pete Your blue whale bread bin with a white seal, not seal ‘arf arf’, will stay with me until I die. What greater success can a writer have?
Judith You are a fizz of passion and energy. Your ruthlessness for accuracy is not possible to dismiss, much as it makes life just that little bit harder.. Flowers do not blossom, late ambassadors cannot send invitations, Hawthorn does not come out until May. Good luck Ofgem... Remember Judith - guard your Wednesdays with your life.
Suzie Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the loveliest of all? Mirror mirror on the wall who has the whizziest brain of all? Mirror mirror on the wall, who hid in the laundry cupboard? Keep making mischief with our minds.
Alan Whenever I came downstairs it always seemed to be you sat quietly on the bench, with a generous smile and warm words of encouragement. And usually a joke I didn’t get until I was on my way back upstairs. You were the shoulder to all of us. Plus, I laek the wae ye write in the Scots, many folk wid’nae carry it aaf it but ye dae it aa-flee well. Keep gannin’ on.
Mike You said this, a brilliant motivational insight which might just have changed my life. “I operate solely on intuition. “I start with an image, usually a place. “I write masses of words - 200 to a thousand - then bring them together and shift them about a bit. “I might write a bit of connecting material to fill in the gaps. And filling in the gaps can sometimes show you where the story is meant to go. “I slot the pieces into a giant invisible grid and the trick is to keep the entire grid in my head WHILE I AM STILL DEFINING IT. For me it is a process of assembly.”
Margaret Brighton Thank you for so sharing much of you. Can we bottle your spirit and take you out on days when we are cold and feeling sorry for ourselves? Your life is an inspiration. This week has been an inspiration. As you put it: “It has been wonderful to be appreciated by people who are not dickheads.”
Thank you all.
As for me, I have been stuck in a burrow for the last few years. You have brought me out into the light. So, Thank You again.