Monday 13 December 2010

The Annual Round Robin

Readers of this blog who were around this time last year will know my feelings about the newsletters that drop out of Christmas cards.

A couple of lines written in a card mean a million times more to me than a whole stack of neatly printed newsletters.

This year I have only had one. It went straight into the shredder unread (I did offer it round, but they put up their hands and shook their heads as if I were offering them mud pies made with real mud). Why? Because I have neither the time nor the will to waste reading through a load of boring drivel about people I hardly know and care even less about.

I’ve had one so far this year, but I am reliably informed that another may be winging its way to me. Shudder. It is from someone I would not know if they walked past me in the street – and they would not know me either. I could count on the fingers of one hand how many times I’ve met this person in the last 20 years or so and still have enough fingers left over for a rude gesture or two (ah that makes me feel slightly better).

Enough of my annual moan. I’ll shut up about it now. Until next year anyway.

Mince pie anyone?


  1. Your comments do make me smile, Teresa.

    I feel exactly the same way about round robins. Thankfully, I haven't received any yet this year, but one of last year's boring rambles inspired me to write a story which I have recently sold to Fiction Feast so these round robins can't be all bad, can they?

    It's amazing what can inspire you though, isn't it?

  2. Ditto entirely, Teresa.
    If people can't be bothered to send me a personal note then I can't be bothered to read about Timmy's piano concert success.

    Have a very merry Christmas and a happy and succesful 2011!

  3. A personal note wins the day every time. Only half a dozen cards left to write now... Yes please to the mince pie, and a strong cup of tea (no sugar) - thanks!

  4. I'm almost tempted to send you one just to see the smoke come out of your ears. I gave myself 5 out of 10 when I was trying to achieve lurid for a tabloid mag. I wonder how many out of ten I could manage for boring. Could be fun.

  5. Yes indeed, Susan. And it's the really annoying ones I often find most inspiring - sweet revenge!

    Too true, Bernadette. What really really gets my back up is the fact they don't even add a little scribble on the bottom - even a "Hope you're all well" would be something! Thank you - a very merry Christmas and successful new year to you!

    Mince pie and tea coming up, Joanne!

    I think you would find boring difficult, Lynne - not that I doubt your abilities as a fiction writer, but boring - no I can't see it!

  6. Hee hee. This made me laugh. I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels like this.

  7. Hate them! But they are a very inspiring source for short stories - wrote one myself about two or three years which sold to WW.

    I didn't write this, but can you imagine :- "Josh is doing well in rehab..."

  8. Glad it made you laugh, Keith.

    Geri - Oh dear... poor Josh!

  9. Am I too late for the mince pie? I soooo agree with you about round robins. We save all ours, and award a (private) prize for the worst. My brother did them for years, and I tried to explain that people who have low-achieving children don't want to know, and neither do those who have no children at all. Those who really do need to know about all those straight A results have already been told. But it fell on deaf ears. BTW have you read a brilliant book called "the Hamster who Could Open the Fridge" (I think)? It's a collection of round robin gems. You'd love it.

    Happy Christmas!

  10. Oh yes, definitely a few mince pies left, help yourself, Frances and a very Happy Christmas to you.

    I do find those things rather sad at the same time – I always think there is an element of “We are happy, really we are, just see how happy we are,” spoken in a desperate, high pitched and rather tearful voice! Well that’s how they always “sound” to me. And as you say, those who need to know already do!

    I hadn’t heard of that book. Well I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone did one! I find other people’s round robins hilarious so I’ll look out for it.

  11. I just had to add that we've received a RR from people we barely know who lives a few doors away. They have seven children and scores of grandchildren, and we don't know any of them, have no idea who's who (and care even less). Definitely the winner so far. But I'm waiting for the one a very religious cousin by marriage, who only has to pray for, say, a yacht, and lo! one appears. Quite impressive, actually, but unattractive. That one usually makes the short list. Oh, and the one that always has about 500 exclamation marks. Does no-one learn about exclamation marks (ie to use them very, very sparingly) any more?

    Perhaps I should follow your example and shred them.

    Delicious mince pies, by the way. Did you make them yourself?

  12. Bizarre isn't it, Frances. We used to get one littered with spelling mistakes which used to be a hoot until they started using a spellchecker.

    I'm afraid it wasn't me - it was Mr Kipling.