Granddads, Golf and Not Giving In

A wise old owl sat in an oak, The more he heard the less he spoke, The less he spoke the more he heard, Why aren’t we like the wise old bird?

The meeting last Thursday got off to a good start under the direction of Kirsten McKenzie, the TME.  Kirsten asked, ‘If you could fire anyone, who would you fire?’  The list of people in the firing line included ‘my boss’, Sepp Blatter, Alan Sugar and the head of the IMF.  The person most people wanted to fire, however, was David Cameron.

David Dick kept a running account of our um’s and ah’s, Tom Lennie kept the meeting on track and within the prescribed time limits, and Pauline Dix  noted our use of good and bad grammar as well as giving us the word sybaritic (pleasure loving) as the word of the day.  Graeme Buck, the Jokemaster, told a shaggy dog story about a vet and a budgie, which made us laugh.

Jacqui Thomson, a relatively new member, delivered her Icebreaker, My Little Sunshine, in which she told us a touching story of growing up, guided and supported by her loving grandfather.  Duncan Thompson initiated us into his passion – golf, with speech 3 from the CC manual entitled Friendly Fire.  I delivered a speech from the Storytelling manual, Breaking Point, the story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 in the USA.

After 3 very insightful, helpful evaluations from Eileen Scott, Brian Duffy and Kevin Miller, we had a break for 15 minutes before tackling Table Topics.  The TTM, Graeme Buck, turned a few of us into instant authors – the only drawback was not knowing the title of yyour book until  Graeme told you.  The best TT ribbon was won by a Toastmaster guest – John, from Didbsury Speakers in Manchester, who tried to sell us his book – My Life As A Woman.  Every speaker rose to the occasion, but I don’t think we will be seeing the books in Waterstones anytime soon.  

The General Evaluator, Penny Haywood Calder, delivered the final verdict on the evening – a resounding success. 

If you haven’t already booked your place for Waverley Communicators Annual Dinner and Tall Tales Contest, do it now.  It’s on Saturday 18th June at 7.30pm at the Royal Scots Club, Abercromby Place, Edinburgh.  The cost per person is £28 for:

  • A 3 course meal + wine
  • A Tall Tales Contest where the Tall tales are short and the audience are the judges, and the prize for the winner is an Amazon gift voucher (worth £30)
  • The presentation of the Toastmaster of the Year Award
  • The presentation of the Waverley Communication Achievement Award for the most improved communicator
  • I will deliver my 40th speech and be presented with the ACG (Advanced Communicator Gold) and DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) awards

Waverley Communicators has gained a reputation throughout the District for hosting successful, well run, fun events and with our usual mixture of good humour, great speeches and excellent food and wine, and this will be no exception.  To book, please contact me at, 0131 467 1424, or 07818 638 831.  I hope to see you there.

The next club meeting is on Thursday 16th June 7-9pm at the Central Lending Library.  For more information about the club, visit

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