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A Christmas Lunch

Some of us are slowly ending our isolation and creeping out of rooms. We are leaving our PCs and laptops behind to meet face to face again.

It was strange being out and about. As writers, we are used to working from home or at least on our own. Many of us have used the past year to lock ourselves away more often and develop our works.

Despite the worrying trend of the latest virus strain, however, we writers had a Christmas lunch. No pre-lunch drinks were on offer more a pre-lateral flow lunch test. All these writers in one room what would happen? Like many social media sites would we only share our successes and leave the ones that we have struggled with over the year behind or would we collectively support each other?

Writers are not one big homogenous organisation. We do not have a ‘collective’ goal but more an individual one. We compete with each other to have our works read and sold to as many organisations and people as possible.

Would we talk of plots, chapters, publishers, and events or would we just laugh, joke, and enjoy each other’s company? After all in the end we are just ordinary people who tend to live more in our imaginations than some.

I’m happy to say we spent our time wisely and enjoyed a taste of Christmas and each other’s company. We swapped books as you can’t get away from the fact we all write. And let’s face it where would Christmas be without at least one new book to digest.

So along with my lunch, I will consume my new lucky dip book. I love it when you get a new book you may not have chosen for yourself. Maybe even in a genre, you wouldn’t necessarily pick.

Christmas lights and colours were all around the town. I even surpassed myself and managed one shop. I can finally boast I have bought some Christmas presents. Unfortunately for my planning, these gifts were bought for someone else to give out. I still have some time left.

Inverness was reminiscent of years gone by in that it was not crowded or in any way manic. Although given it was so close to Christmas I suppose for retailers and others that was not a good thing. Even before the virus, Inverness had turned into a busy place to go especially at weekends. It has lost that country town feeling and now shrouds itself very much in city mode.

I should have taken some pictures. The river was running high and the lights reflected on it. But then I should have also taken some photographs of all the writers who came along as well but didn’t.

What does that tell me? Well for starters, if the younger generation had been about they would have been an abundance of photos to choose from to put up on social media. No one was on their phones at all. No one took anything to say we had even met up.

Secondly, that tells me we were so busy enjoying ourselves that the thought of photographs didn’t even enter anyone’s mind. The only time I heard mention of it was as the last four writers left the hotel.

Lastly, I am grateful that everyone who attended enjoyed themselves so much that the chance of taking photos slipped us all by. Although it now means I have had to come up with a mock-up book tree just so I have something for this post. Thankfully most of my Grumpa books and my other Gaelic books have greens cover so I have been able to use them.

I don’t know when we will have our next in-person writer’s social event but already some are asking about a summer lunch. It might be just what we will need if winter hangs around for too long.

Right now though I am going to allow myself to savour the enjoyable atmosphere that celebrating the festive season with a few writers over a nice lunch has left. Thank you to all who managed to come along and hopefully by summer more of us will be able to attend another little get-together.

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