When I was working as a reporter on the UK’s Yorkshire Post I wrote several stories about a community play in my home city, Hull.

It was researched and written by a local theatre company which spent countless hours recording the reminiscences of scores of people, so it became a very personal account of the city’s history.

To cut a long story short, it was then presented as a play — with a bit of a difference.

It took over a 2,000-seat venue, the seats were cleared out and the audience stood as different scenes were played out on the six or seven stages around them. I am not doing it justice. It was an amazing spectacle which prompted me to write an awful lot more.

It truly was a community play.

It was about and performed by the community, starring hundreds of Hull people, none of whom had had previous acting experience. It also had a knock-on effect of recording the personal thoughts of an awful lot of people — an invaluable local record.

I have been out and about much more over the last six or seven months and I have heard so many stories from a big cross-section of people that are in danger of being lost.

It would be a fascinating project to record the experiences and memories of ordinary members of the public — for posterity as well as a play.

I wonder what it would be like. Would it work here? And … who will do it? Venue? Dockyard.

Pet hates

Last week I wrote about my pet hates. It solicited the following response, which I think put my peeves in the shade!

“I hope this e-mail finds you well & you don’t mind me writing you! I am an avid reader of the Bermuda Sun & thoroughly enjoy reading your columns. Very thought-provoking. I enjoyed & had a good laugh at your piece last Friday (the 25th) regarding pet peeves, & I hope you don’t mind me throwing in my few cents, as I’m not one usually to complain but there are plenty of things that just irk me....

“I was quite pleased to see you listed your displeasure of the word ‘awesome’; no one over the age of 20 should use it! 

“Then again, being British, it is not a common word used in our native speak, so, that could be part of my disdain for it. 

“I also can’t stand when (Bermudians in particular) people use ‘ya’ in place of ‘you’ & ‘your’, just as much as I loathe ‘um-um’ & too much shorthand in commentary & text (k, lol, tmw, hatin’ ....once in great while fine, but people sound like uneducated idiots when it’s consistent.

“Similar to what you’ve mentioned of not looking back to hold the door open; I don’t like those that can’t utter a simple please or thank you for when we do, esp when they’re on their phones. I’m sometimes tempted to try & trip them on purpose....

“Those with no manners in general. Using phones when you’re out with someone. Also, I think as a Bermudian, I’m inclined to be polite all the time, so when someone is off-putting with an attitude or can’t smile or say a simple ‘good morning/afternoon/evening’, it drives me nuts. Especially an adult....

“I cannot stand ‘small talk’; I can’t even hide my disdain for it! I do understand it’s used as an icebreaker of sorts & necessary in getting to know someone. But, only for so long. It’s draining & superficial; I’m the type that much prefers deep, intelligent & thought-provoking conversation. I’m more of an introverted type, & this is one of our qualities, so that could explain it!”