Meeting report

17 July 2017

John Hicks

The ten of us (including one guest) who braved last night’s wet winter evening were amply rewarded. This report is written (as usual) in a spirit of verisimilitude. (Yes, I, too, had to check the dictionary – but where is the point of trotting out the same old stuff if you don’t challenge yourself?) So … I do not strive for complete accuracy. 

Nicola Powell’s well-structured speech, “Snowmageddon”, was inspired by her first experience of snow – last week’s snow storm. Far from dreading the prospect of life in the snow, she eagerly anticipated it, and from this point her talk veered into a hedonistic fantasy about wine and chocolate. Later, her enthusiastic evaluator, Buck Buchanan (Bachanalian?), memorably demonstrated the gestures he felt would be appropriate for such indulgence.

Michael Shand’s speech, “Delay”, also featured inclement weather. It forced him and a friend to hole up for a couple of nights in a tin hut somewhere near the Main Divide. Michael used his expressive body language and vocal variety to great effect to describe the torrential rain hammering on the tin walls and the rocks rumbling down a nearby stream in full spate … and then the silence of snow punctuated only by the scuttling mice and his companion’s heavy snoring.

Adrienne Malis extended us with her table topics based on the theme “Would you rather…?). Simon Mortimer convinced us that he would rather holiday in Newark, New Jersey (“the armpit of America” according to Adrienne) on an unlimited budget, than holiday in Italy on $20 a day. While I was fumbling with timing lights my fellow toastmasters acquitted themselves capably with even more unlikely scenarios: Nicola would rather be able to fly than be invisible; Chris, our guest, eschewed ten million dollars for true love; Buck was “Trumped” by his question because he revealed that he would continue to drive his car until he became totally convinced (he isn’t) that it was contributing to climate change. Strange to relate, but Buck was the only person who came to our meeting using public transport!

I can't do justice to all the contributors, but thank you Toastmaster Stephen, my fellow toastmasters and including those of you who aren't Ladies or Gentlemen (refer London Transport Authority).