Blame it on Rose … and Jack!

Well we had a gallimaufry of weird and strange creatures on the 16th of March, but then that’s just the (un)usual turnout for a LWG meeting.

Professor Burdock Cragg’s lovely assistant Rose asked for details of any fantastic beasts we were familiar with. These included a fart-propelled squirrel; a shapeshifting bloodcurdling screaming eater of goblins; a flat-footed alcoholic litter bug; a vibrating parasite that occupies orifices of the human body; an illogical creature that walks in circles and can appear nowhere at any given moment; a horse who’ll turn you into stone (a.k.a. Writer’s Block); a rattling multi-coloured bird; a glugging orangey purple creature; an obnoxious creature that spits noxious spray at its prey; a slimeball groundworm that claps to communicate; a ball-headed humanoid of the genus Theatricallia; a species whose males wave their manhood at the female of the species – hence their rapidly declining numbers; and a multi-limbed wailing droning creature with the Latin name Bagicus-Pipeius.

Joint First Prize went to Ann and Ross for the Cubblechanter. Ann described it as a multi-coloured bird with a tendency to drill holes in anything and everything, giving rise to ASBOities (Latin name, Black-n-Deckerus). While Ross described it as having black plumage with a white collar, a quarrelsome nature and a wont to drone at great lengths. Latin name Freechurchus Ministerius.

After the break we had favourite books, the likes of Biggles Flies Undone, by Capt. W. E. Johns, about an aviation hero who never gets it wrong. Fatal Passage by Ken McGoogan telling of the unsung Orkney explorer John Rae who discovered the American Northwest Passage and the truth behind the lost Franklin expedition.

Personally, I Blame My Fairy Godmother by Claudia Carroll is a Cinderella story with a twist, set in Dublin. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton tells of Nella Oortmans unromantic forced marriage in Amsterdam. Rights of Man and The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine are both life-changing philosophical reading. The Loop by Nicholas Evans relates Helen Ross’s struggles to protect wolves while having a love affair with her most powerful opponent’s son. In Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks we meet Stephen Wraysford at different stages of his life, before and during WWI.

In A Glasgow Bible by Jamie Stuart passages of the Bible are lovingly captured in lively and colourful Glasgow vernacular. From ‘no mean city’ has come no mean achievement and a triumph of imagination and graphic writing which will be welcome far beyond Glasgow. I’ll be surprised if it does not whet your appetite to go back to reading the Bible.

Master of the Classic Yacht, by Franco Pace is a collection of his photographs of the vintage yachts of William Fife; and 50 Norman Rockwell Favourites is a book of his paintings, both proving that ‘a picture is worth 1,000 words’.

Finally, Angus came up with Resetting Your Password, not a book – more a rant about a poor soul’s journey through the 9 circles of hell.

All in all we had a great morning’s entertainment.

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