Toastmasters is a meeting of friends, so we were delighted to see Renata Marhevka return with a couple of guests - potential new members - Vita and her husband Arnie. All three were later persuaded to front up for Table Topics, though Renata, speaking as a medical specialist, seemed a bit hesitant about confirming the percentage of Neanderthal genes in Donald Trump's DNA.
New member,Terelle Hegarty, was our first speaker. She explained the origin of her name, which derives from a village near Rome. She interwove some interesting personal details about her family, her PhD studies, and how husband Peter's tight levi jeans convinced her not to become a nun. A great start, and I'm sure we can look forward to more fascinating disclosures from Terelle in the future.
Carolyn Skerret's speech "Jon" was a warm tribute to her sister-in-law's well-known partner, Jon Gadsby - humorist, writer, hunter, fisherman - who died recently. Carolyn gave us some insight into the private man and shared family holidays in the great outdoors with Jon as camp cook and glass in hand.
Trump's DNA was but one of several Table Topics where participants were invited to explore acronyms. David Clarkson gave vent to some fearsome opinions about TPPA; Bob Gordon - well versed in "computerspeak" - had no issues with VGA and HDMI but was outraged by the latest configuration of USB ports. By contrast, Lisa Todd was unsurprised and quietly modest explaining how she was awarded her OBE.
In the absence of Helen Peate I take it upon myself to point out that there is a difference between an anecdote and an antidote. Anecdotes can, and should, feature strongly in Toastmaster presentations. Antidotes are best reserved for those who need them.