Another Pomegranate Noir Story

June begins the summer exodus.  People fly to other continents to escape the summer heat.  The school year over, military and expatriate families bid farewell as they move onto their next work assignment.  May is the month for good-bye parties.

It started with my friend author Melissa van Maasdyk.  She and her husband Glenn are off to Canada for a new life adventure.

Uncertain what exactly they will be doing, at their good-bye dinner we toasted to “future travels,” “a new beginning in Canada, Uruguay or Panama” and “until we meet again.”  To the very end, Melissa lingered with me and her friend Reem, standing in the parking lot, saying good-bye until Glenn gently reminded her they had to catch their plane.

Another blow was the sad news that after successfully launching the Bahrain Writer’s Circle and editing My Beautiful Bahrain, Robin Barratt’s wife got a new job outside of Bahrain.  Soon he will leave to start fresh somewhere else.

His Navy father’s three year stint complete, our baseball team’s star pitcher’s family is moving to some new secret location.

One of the baseball coaches, a teacher and our martial arts trainer, is taking his family back to Washington state to teach at a new school there.

By June 9th my yoga training will be complete.  My teacher, her philosophic husband and a fellow yogini are headed back to their respective countries.

As Bahrain’s future remains uncertain, two ladies from my sculpting class are headed back to Europe.  Several fathers of the children’s school mates and one of sculpture class buddies have been transferred to Dubai where the grass is definitely greener.

And after eight years in the Junior school, Ace and Mark are graduating and following their sister to the Senior school.  No more chauffeuring for me, they will take a bus to school.

Another tearful, hopeful time.


The Bouncer Guarding the Writer’s Circle

When Robin Barratt says WRITE he means it

Author Robin Barratt Security Expert

Usually one wouldn’t expect a group of writers to need a bouncer.  That’s not the case for the Bahrain Writer’s Circle.  If it wasn’t for bouncer Robin Barratt the meeting would not have even gotten started.

Last year Robin Barratt arrived in Bahrain.   After checking out JJ’s, the Coral Beach Club and Wrangler, he decided those clubs did not have the vibe he wanted.  He posted a notice that all writers on the island, whether they could dance or not, were invited to his inaugural party.

Admittedly I have a low opinion of bouncers.  My girlfriend met her husband when he was the bouncer at a club and the rest of the story is pretty grim, or amusing depending on who is doing the telling.

And that’s the key point – who is doing the telling.

Robin Barratt has written 6 books about his life as a bouncer.  Each cover features a large man with a tough English street bully attitude.  Frankly, Robin’s huge guns (biceps on normal people) prominently displayed on his covers frightened me.  But if Doing the Doors was the must-have book for clubbers around the world then Robin certainly told a good story.   I gathered two of my writing buddies and carrying our pashminas we trotted off to the Elite Hotel.

“Hello I’m Robin” were the first words out of his mouth.   Like his world wide fans, his warm smile and genuine enthusiasm immediately won me over.   Before my eyes he transformed from a tough thug into a charismatic leader.

And he has led.

Within months the BWC has grown from zero to 70 members, acquired a few corporate sponsors, created a website, gathered a FACEBOOK following, held creative writing workshops and spun off a poetry group, the Second Circle.  Currently Robin’s big project is creating an anthology called My Beautiful Bahrain, writings that reflect life in Bahrain.  He intends to publish it in January 2012.

At the last BWC meeting, he told the 30 odd writers assembled, “I always do what I say I am going to do.”

I don’t doubt it.

Any writer, published or not, who lives in Bahrain or has lived in Bahrain can contribute a piece to the anthology.  The one criterion about content is the work must stay out of politics and negative commentary.  Other than that it is a blank page and an opportunity to be creative.

If you don’t believe it is possible, come meet Robin for yourself at the next meeting.


Tales by Chapter

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