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Blog: It's Nithe In Neath

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On Sunday morning The Wheels On My Wheelie Suitcase DIVERGED and I, her heading home and me to NEATH where I was due to attend The Sandalle Five 'n' Ten Writing Competition. This was an afternoon featuring the winning entries for a monologue and duologues competition, and I was IN it!

Also in it was Ms N Racklin, fellow Lost City Writers' Group CHUM. We met up in the foyer of The Gwynn Hall in Neath for a RIGHT fun afternoon which started off with one of the organisers ORDERING us to go upstairs for CAKE where we met some of the other organisers, actors and writers before sneaking back downstairs again. The cake was nice, but downstairs there was BEER!

The show itself was really good - lots of different stuff and I was EXTREMELY pleased with how nicely mine was done. It was a monologue called "Marjories Meets Gareth, Gareth Meets Marjorie" about a pensioner who gets a call from a phone scammer and very gently changes things around. I loved the way that people CHUCKLED during the first half as they got what was happening, then did so again in the second as they realised how it was turning round. I was very pleased!

We had to do an Audience Vote at the end which was slightly odd as we did it by a show of hands, which meant that you knew EXACTLY how many people, and who, had voted for you! It was all part of the general FUN of the afternoon though, which was done very PERSONALLY by the organisers, not slickly but in its own unique way. At the end the JUDGES came on, talked about which ones they'd enjoyed and then announced that there were TWO winners, one serious (and very good) piece called "Etta's Letter"... and MINE!

"That's mine!" I whispered to Nikki, sat next to me, who did actually KNOW that! I had to go to the front and shake the judges' hands, it was like being on telly although, MERCIFULLY, there were no speeches. Afterwards I went and reported to the chief organiser while she wrote me a BIG FAT CHEQUE for 250 i.e. more money than I have made out of writing - by a LONG way - in the past entire year! "Would you like the congratulations card?" she asked. "It's no trouble" and then went out to her car to fetch it, gave it to me to unwrap from its cellophane, and then wrote it. Like I say, the day had it's own unique way about it!

FLUSHED with success Nikki and I went in search of somewhere to have a VICTORY meal. "It doesn't have to be Weatherspoons" I said but, inevitably, the only place open in town WAS a Weatherspoons. Nikki had never been in one before (at least not to eat) and they pulled out ALL the stops - drunk people asleep outside, plenty of lonely men at tables, uncleaned tables and some screaming kids. It ALSO, to be fair, had quite nice food AND cheap beer, also Excellent Conversation so all was well!

Soon it was time to leave the delights of 'SPOONS and head home, something which took FLIPPING AGES. It was already nearly a four hour journey and it became MORE so with delays - it was like Olden Times, in fact, when trains were ALWAYS late without any announcements. Well, I say there weren't any announcements, one EVENTUALLY came after, as far as i could hear, one of the other staff giving the train manager a RIGHT bollocking about the lack of information. "Manage the bloody train!" he shouted -it was ACE! I could hear all this going on because we were travelling in STYLE in First Class - as it was such a long trip I thought we might as well upgrade, but the ticket inspector never came. HA! Take THAT, The Man - in the words of Keith Top Of The Pops, we Could Not Stop Winning!

posted 30/9/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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