The Sad Tale of a Brussel Sprout

This is the December 2017 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

Our December meeting saw Leicestershire Speakers following tradition. After the formalities of our business meeting, it was time for some light-heartedness, one ought to say, serious fun.

The titles for the impromptu speeches were associated with Christmas. The result was hilarious.

John Baron, who can hardly be described as being green, was a Brussel Sprout. Planted out in May, nurtured to grow quite tall, being alarmed when little bumps grew along his slender stem. Clearly, John was very cruelly treated:  bumps plucked from (without anaesthesia), being stripped of his outer leaves, sliced across the bottom and being boiled alive before being put on the plate. The irony is, that after his ordeal he didn’t get eaten! The person upon whose plate he was placed hated sprouts!!

Hiten was a snowman and had quite a story to tell. Nostalgia crept in as Heather described being a carol singer. Ann Dixon was a superb Santa Claus as she related to Santa’s effort to ensure all the children were happy. Anne Jones was a much abused fully electric kitchen whose oven door exploded as it was banged. We had a very fruity Christmas pudding from Bev. Val told of the mystery of a missing Christmas Fairy who returned in the hope of being placed on the top of a blue spruce pine. Should you have an aversion to glitter in your home it may be wise to miss Rosie of the invite, because she was a Christmas outfit who shed glitter wherever she went.

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information, ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk.  We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

 

 

The Speakers Academy of Art

This is the November 2017 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

Our Topics Section this month drew out (pun not intended) the hidden artistic talents of our speakers. This part of our programme was devised by Wyn Glen, who had placed a number of picture cards on a table and members were invited to select a card.

The speaker was given licence to imagine they were the producer of the depicted picture and talk about the inspiration or the commission for their piece of art.  There being no boundaries, the results were magnificent. Technique and use of medium was discussed leaving the listener with no doubt they were being addressed by true artisans. One speaker believed he was a student of Vincent Van Gogh, another speaker collaborated with the Embroiderers Guild and had her art exhibited at the Royal Academy. The stories behind the pieces of art were wonderful. One picture of a steam train brought back memories of a chance meeting of an ex-partner from years earlier at St Pancras Stataion.  A pen and ink picture of Leicester Cathedral caused Passion for Richard III to be demonstrated.  Pictures of flowers and modern art were also amongst the subjects. It was an extremely interesting and thought provoking topics session.

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information, ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

 

Keep Pedalling!

This is the October 2017 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

We were enthralled by Anne French’s reading of a memoire by a World War II, pilot who reluctantly left a bevy of beauties beside a swimming pool one warm August evening to fly a mission across France into Germany. The description of how the planes were buffeted, twisted and turned in the slip streams of the planes ahead was so real.  Flying low over a chateau where a tea party was taking place was soothing to hear and illustrated that even in times of war and adversity life still went on!

Inspired by Ian Botham’s magnificent work with fund raising, Bob McCord decided to follow suit and made the decision to cycle from John O’Groats to Lands’ End.  Not only did he achieve this; he decided to pedal back straight back to his starting point!  Go Fly your Kite was the title of Val Christie’s speech a piece of nostalgia about the late 1940s when kids amused themselves making kites with simple materials. Mark Snow talked about Malcolm Gladman’s book “Outliers” A Story of Success. This book examined factors that contribute to high level of success, one example being most professional ice hockey and football players are more likely to have been born in January, February and March.

An account of how things go wrong was given to us by Margaret Barrett. During one Faraday Lectures technical difficulties caused the microphone to malfunction and the poor lecturer was left with an excruciating silence thinking, they will never ask me again. After the lecture he was congratulated on his composure. The lecturer concerned was Margaret’s brother.

The topics for this month where the brain child of John Baron. The subject inanimate objects. The imagination was wonderful as participants spoke of a jam sandwich, high heels, a fountain pen, a teapot and garden spade, the list was expansive and space restricts from mentioning all of them.

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information, ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

 

 

Childhood Memories

This is the September 2017 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

The dominant theme of our August meeting centred mainly around memories of childhood. Sue Coleman read two poems she had written, the first paid homage to a much loved aunt and the second to the splendour of Egypt.

There were two maiden speeches during the evening. Rick Middleton told us of a Christmas holiday spent in Mousehole, Cornwall with his family and his longing for a particular toy. Rick conveyed the feeling of anticipation for Christmas morning, and the excitement of his wish being fulfilled. A maiden speech entitled “The First Sixteen Years” had the audience engrossed and delighted as Shobana Patel shared anecdotes and memories of her beloved Grannie.

Regional dialects and how they evolved was Mark Snow’s chosen subject, and this speech was delivered with subtle humour much appreciated by his audience.

After the interval it was on with the Topics. Penny Wright, as topics chairman, devised a session requiring the speaker to enthusiastically encourage visitors to an imaginary feature or project. This resulted in much hilarity. We were offered adventure by descending into a sink hole caused by a redundant coal mine; development of an aerodrome based at a local golf course where the aircraft were stored in huts not hangars!

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information, ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

 

Fairy Umbrella

This is the August 2017 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

The drop-centre was alive with laughter when we held our August meeting. Following the formalities and the reading of Louis MacNeice’s poem ‘Bagpipe Music’, we turned to the fun part of the evening.

Impromptu speeches were the order of the day, centred around the ‘Use of Gestures’. Once all had selected a subject from the hat an entertaining and amusing evening ensued.

Gardening appeared to be a popular theme, we listened as miniature gardens were described; advice given about visiting garden centres and the politics of roses in one member’s garden – she refuses to have red roses because of her allegiance to Richard III. The word ‘rhubarb’ led us all down the garden path to a member’s rhubarb patch and learned a stalk of rhubarb with leaf attached is a fairy’s umbrella!

Then on to human behaviour, an entertaining speech with an historical slant about the ‘handshake’ was delivered by one member. During the course of the evening we were introduced to a long lost friend, a visit to India as a baby and a very wet trip to Skegness!

Wonderful word pictures and gestures by one of our number transported us to the Palais in the 1960’s. We could feel the excitement and atmosphere of the place as this speech was delivered. It was brilliant! Moving on a decade we found ourselves sitting in front of the television enthralled by the Magic Roundabout – oh for the age of innocence!

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information, ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

 

 

The Power of the Humble Potato!

This is the July 2017 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club It was a lovely summer evening when Leicestershire Speakers warmly welcomed John Baron as their President for 2017/18. Once the official business was concluded the programme started with John reading a poem, ‘I Want a Viking Funeral’. After newly arriving, did he want to…

An Endangered Species? – The Wild Scottish Haggis

This is the June 2017 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

It was beautiful evening when we held our June meeting and the atmosphere was light -hearted.

Anne French read a humourous, thought provoking poem which urged  listeners not to put off until tomorrow what they want to do today because life is too short!

Is the Wild Scottish Haggis a creature with four legs, the two on the left being shorter than those on the right an endangered species? Rob McCord’s impassioned speech had us nearly convinced this was fact. It is possible the haggis in the delicatessen of Waitrose will be the subject of scrutiny by some! His delivery and dry Scottish humour had us ‘rolling in the aisles’. He was deservedly awarded ‘star of the month’.

We discovered Allan Woods’ passion for playing cricket, as he shared with us his experience of playing cricket tour on in Sri Lanka during the Tamil Tigers rebellion. This had been an exciting and eye opening experience for him.

Mark Snow intrigued us telling of his love of Stargazing and gave advice on the use of telescopes. He explained that stars appear as a white bright light when viewed by the naked eye but they are a myriad of colour when seen through a telescope.

The perfect gift was the subject of Val Christie’s speech, she concluded that perhaps the perfect gift was peace and quiet!

Bev Capewell devised a delightful topics session; this involved a person being given a picture depicting a scene or theme and having to describe it with word pictures.

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public.  Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident, speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information, ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

On the Wild Side!

This is the April 2017 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

It is quite amazing how things work out! Our speakers have autonomy to choose their subject. It was as though people partaking in our April programme had been directed to their subject. Thus we were treated to a superb evening’s entertainment centred around natural history.

John Baron read an article from a RSPB magazine which told of a week spent in Scotland and the birds and wildlife encountered there. In particular, we were all intrigued by the description of a herd of roe deer gathering together to thwart a golden eagle acquiring his dinner.

Next it was off to the Somerset Levels and the murmuration of the starlings. Penny Wright was able to illustrate this phenomenon describing it as a ballet in the sky and draw the listeners in to almost imagine they were watching with her.

Listening, either proactively or passively was Wyn Glen’s subject. For emphasis different species of birds were featured in during her speech.

Then on to mechanical birds of the sky! We were engrossed by Jane Lindsey’s stories of her eventful journeys to and from Brussels by air, sea and rail.

Thanks to John Baron the topics session this month was like the game of ‘consequences’.  Each speaker describing an instalment of the adventures of a fictitious Brenda and Albert and his pet ferret. This caused great hilarity.

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident, speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre.  For more information, ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk.  We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

 

From Ancient China to Malta and the Black Forest!

This is the February 2017 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

Morag Wilkes opened our meeting with a reading, this was something of a ‘swan song’ as Morag and her husband prepare to move to live in France. We will miss them both.

A maiden speech by Barbara Mackness related her wonderful experience of swimming with dolphins in Malta. Her love of these mammals was obvious as she spoke of their beauty and grace which surely imbued some with a wish to swim with them.

Acupuncture was the subject of Karen Vickery’s speech. She discussed the virtues of the ancient Chinese practise of acupuncture.

Anne French spoke of the tradition of the last meal for the condemned prisoner. We heard of unusual requests and of one who asked for an enormous meal and at the eleventh hour, hadn’t the stomach for it!!

A satirical take on the Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ read by Wyn Glen demonstrated the art of reading aloud by modulating the voice. She explained that reading aloud is a performance of words and their delivery is the key to success. The need to know your audience was emphasised

The Post Office List of Prohibited Items was the subject of topics this month directed by Anne Jones. The speaker was given a slip of paper annotated with an illicit item and then invited to speak. Amusing speeches ensued but, strike a light!  Penny Wright spoke about ‘matches’ and was awarded Star of the Month.

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public.  Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident, speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information, ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

‘Pearls of Wisdom’ and Electricity

This is the January 2017 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

January, our first meeting of the, year and in keeping with tradition, we had an evening of impromptu speeches.

After the business meeting the programme for the evening commenced with Anne Jones reading some amusing and also profound anecdotes from a book she received at Christmas.

The subject of each speech was pulled from a hat.  Star of the Month was awarded to Shovanna for her brilliant maiden speech entitled “Cards” (she had ten minutes to prepare).  It was amazing that the innocuous word ‘cards’ could be developed into a very interesting and amusing speech.

The titles were an eclectic mix.  Wyn Glen had the subject “Leicester” it was wonderful speech, she gave a potted history of Leicester through the ages – it held the attention of all present.  “Electricity” was Heather Mawby’s selection and she spoke about not having electricity in her childhood home making one pause and think how much we take electricity for granted.  One title selected by John Baron was “The problem with youth today”.  Looking around the room as John spoke people were smiling or nodding their heads obviously empathising with him and perhaps remembering similar sentiments voiced by their parents!

Space doesn’t allow me to write about all the speeches but rest assured we had an informative, interesting and very amusing evening.

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public.  Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident, speakers.  We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre.  For more information, ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk.  We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.