It's a good job there were extra chairs in the Café Lento on Wednesday evening: if anybody else had turned up, they would have had to swing from the chandeliers, which would have been challenging, because there aren't any. It was St Patrick's night, and groups of revellers were walking past the big window during the short story readings wearing those high and hideous I-am-a-little-leprechaun hats with Guinness badges on them, proving that the wearers were not of Irish heritage. They might have been Polish. They like revelling. The first story was set in Ireland. It was by Roddy Doyle, had a Polish protagonist named Halina who was in charge of a pram containing babies, and was read by the man with the coffee machine - Richard Lindley. One item in it was a pretty horrific story with a supernatural tinge, which set the tone for the evening.
Because by coincidence, all the stories that followed had a supernatural tinge - Moira Garland's included a lady from Victorian times, Doug Sandle's was about strange goings on during his childhood on the Isle of Man, mine was entitled I Invented a Ghost and Peter Spafford's was about the otherworldly laughter his mother used to hear.
The audience, according to what was said afterwards, loved everything. They asked us for more soon. Perhaps we'll convene again in the summer.