Wednesday, 5 March 2008

A literary day

Monday a somewhat literary day, with Reading Group and a discussion on Philip Pullman's northern Lights, which the group found interesting, intriguing, a good original idea, quite hard-hitting considering its intended audience. Most of us would continue with the series and read the other two titles in it. Some of the group ( there are several teachers or ex-teachers found it praiseworthy and enjoyed it a second time. Followed swiftly by an evening of readings by local writers at the Nuffield Studio. The writers were a mixed collection of poets, playwrights, fiction and non-fiction writers, so it made for quite an interesting session. Some have been published already, but not necessarily for the format in which they presented their work at the event. At last Southampton is getting a literary life of its own. One read a delightful memoir of his grandfather and the Isle of Wight railway in the days of steam, which brought back memories of going to Sandown Grammar School from Ryde on those very same steam trains, along with two-hundred-odd other school children, boys at one end of the train, girls at the other - we weren't supposed to share carriages. The carriages had no compartments or corridors, either. A occasional cow on the line meant about a third of the school would be late, so we didn't have to make individual excuses.

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