Once a year we ask all our participants whether you’d like to make a donation to the Reading Circle. Donations are voluntary and you can give whatever you feel able to.
We use these donations to help meet the costs of running the group, including sending printed pages to our postal members once a month.
This is important as it helps people who don’t have access to the Internet to take part. This means that people who find it difficult to get out, or who struggle to participate in a traditional reading group (for lots of reasons) get to share the experience. We hope you’ll feel able to help.
How to make your donation
Would you like to make a donation to the Reading Circle? Our suggested annual donation is £12, but you can donate any sum that you like.
Please make cheques payable to: The Reading Circle
Please post your donation to:
The Reading Circle, c/o Jean Sims, 32 Hart Street, Newsome, Huddersfield HD4 6LS.
Lured by an intriguing title and a colourful picture of a 1950s liner, I chose this book as this month’s subject. Obviously the author has a good reputation as he is a Booker Prize Winner and also wrote The English Patient, which was filmed. However, I must admit it proved a rather difficult read.
Michael’s mother left him in Colombo when she went to England when he was only five years old, and this story is of his travel to England to join her again when he is eleven years old. There are many snippets of information as the story unfolds, the traverse of the Suez Canal stays in my mind.
The Cat’s Table of the title is the opposite of the Captain’s Table where all the posh people are invited to eat with the Captain of the ship. On this ship it draws together a strange assortment of adults and children.
The adults perform and the children watch them. The difficult part for me was the way he keeps bringing in future happenings which make the continuity difficult.
I am the song that soars
I am the love that billows
and the desert wind
I am the eye that maps the wilderness
and the shifting sand
I am eternal Ozymandias
and the silts of history
I am the moon of clearest night
and the sun gone down
Ah’d sided t’breakfast pots an Albert ‘ad done wi t’racin’ results. “Is ther owt i’ t’ paper?” ah asses ‘im.
“Nowt,” ‘e sez. “Ther’s mooer celebrities ner wot ther is fowks ter bother abaht ‘em.” ‘E folded t’paper up an’ then ‘e sez, “It’s as cowd as ivver but ah can’t see ner snow. ‘Ev wi ter risk a ride aht or else wi’st nivver ‘a beean aht o’ Cleck’eaton afoor t’next Kermas comes rahnd, i-waitin fer a wahm day?”
“Reight, lad,” ah sez. “Wi c’d ‘appen catch t’ 268, ‘ev a drink o’ tea i’ t’ bus station caff an’ then cum back ‘ooam baht trailin’ rahnd ahtside.”
Well, wi’d wrapped up wahm an’ enjoyed t’ cup o’ tea an’ t’ change o’ fooer walls an’ then Albert looked up at t’ digital timetable an’ sez, “Nay, it’s nobbut 11.53 Hrs an’ t’ sun’s comin’ aht. ‘Ow abaht gerrin’ on t’ next bus wherivver it’s bahn?”
Ah think it wor t’ 254 an’ off it went up in ter t’ Pennines windin’ through places ah’d nivver ‘eeard on. “Wheerivver are wi, lad?” Ah aksed Albert. “Ther’s three foot o’ snow at t’ sides o’ t’ rooads an’ not a hanimal ter be seen nobbut yon fooer ponies ‘uddled tergether i’ t’ corner on a field.”
“Ah’d nooan be capped if wi wor i’ Lancashire if wi get much farther up i’ theeas ‘ills”, sez Albert. “It’s a reight mystery trip is this.”
Onny road, wi finally gait ter t’ Uddersfield Bus Station an’ ‘ed another cup o’ tea.
“That wor a fair grand trip aht,” sez Albert when we’d getten back ‘ooam an’ ta’en us coits off. “If ther’d ter stop t’ free passes termorrer at least wi’ve ‘ed us moneysworth terday, so ter speak.”
“Aye,” ah sez, “switch t’ news on, lad. Ah wor nobbut thinkin’ if Cleck’eaton’ed ‘av ‘ed snow lahk yon up theer, t’ Spen Beck ‘d ‘a beean up t’ chimler pots.”
“Nah tha knaws ‘ow t’ other awf o’ Kirklees lives,” sez Albert. “Wheer’s mi slippers?”
Illness makes you realise
All that matters in your eyes
The stress and strains of a busy life
Only add to the strife
When you’re ill these get put by
As your fight the illness, try
Possessions and goals don’t mean a lot
When you’re struggling with the rot
That ill health does bring
You soon find the best in every little thing
What matters most is people who care
This you learn when you have a health scare
Plus nature’s wonders all around you
Means much more than they used to do
As you struggled in the rat race
You didn’t see the love or beauty staring in your face
But now we have chance so to do
As from illness we pull through
Julie Sweeney (Mrs)
He had intended to make a grand entrance
Alas! His gift for transmogrification
Had temporarily deserted him
And instead of rising majestically from the rivers bank
He flew blindly through the reeds
And crashed headlong into a tree
The fisherman who found him, broken and bleeding
Knew that it was bad luck to kill a swan
But surely this was no ordinary bird?
For one thing, his golden beak denoted royalty
And for another, this swan could speak
The young man thought about it for a while
Then decided to play safe and hedge his bets
In later years he would still feel
That desperate, hissed command
Resonating through his very being
And wonder how different things might have been
Had he chosen otherwise
He hears it still
In dreams and in fragments of his ancient memory
Etched into his very soul
Take me to your Leda!
adown a downly frowning
nearing ever nearing and the feeling
what say i or who
and who comes this way by the pricking
by the way adown a frowning
what say you for you it is
i know for long i’ve waited
as for breath of night on moor
moon risen over the old house
there i’ve waited ever till you came
and down through scented heather
now you’ve come a frowning downly
how else would i know
by night a silver silent shadow
fallen over the old way
never falling by the wayside
coming on always on
as for sure you must and long
long ago and long to come
be not too longing for this coming
the downy silent shadow will befall
over ever onward ever ever
to befall you just as i