I had dinner with my writing group last night. It only took 300 emails, 175 phone calls, 78 WhatsApps and 6 restaurant reservations to sort out the evening.
It was a celebration. A birthday celebration and a celebration that in our 4 years together, there’ve been 3 books published, a film, a play, 1000 blogs, a couple of bad poems and some really good short stories.
We started meeting maybe four years ago and I remember that first night clearly. We met in an Indian restaurant, were all a little shy, ate butter chicken and spoke about what we wanted to do. GOD WE WERE EASY.
That meeting took 5 emails to organise.
There are 5 of us in the group and we all just said yes.
Last night was more complicated. What date, what time, where, change the date, the time, the place, the oops sorry gonna be late, on my way, don’t start without me, coming now, remember I don’t eat gluten, I’m not drinking, OMG is it tonight, help…
But we got there.
We didn’t have our notebooks or our pens or our Macbooks. This was about food and having fun. Plus, The Social Kitchen is in a bookshop and we were surrounded by 1000s of delicious books.
It was good to celebrate and catch up.
Salad but tomatoes on the side. Hold the dressing. Are you sure we like arancini? Is the squid ethically fished and holy fuck I’m not paying that much for a bottle of Prosecco.
God we were difficult.
But we were real.
And that’s what the last few years have been about. We’ve gotten to know each other. We’ve kind of bared our souls with our writing. We’ve supported and encouraged one another, been honest and vulnerable, and you know –
We’re no longer shy.
We still write some terrible poems, but hey –
It’s okay if we don’t eat tomatoes.
Or gluten, for gods sake.
We’re going to finish those short stories.
Be super efficient with our arrangements.
And drink a whole lot more Prosecco.
So, next group. 23 May, 24, can’t do that, okay try the 25th, my house, your house, I’ll bring salad, not into carrots, no problem, oops I forgot to write, forgot to bring my writing, a drink, sure, thanks…
And Congratulations. Us!