1 Tamar Karet remembers the smoke, the noise and the crowd at her first WiP meeting


I think I went to the second WiP meeting and it was held at a pub, and always at the pubs we would be downstairs in the public rooms and we would be trying to figure out who was there for the WiP meeting and who was something else.

We would have rented the meeting place upstairs, but initially everybody would be down there trying to get drinks and find each other. And some people knew each other and some didn’t. So we’d all be milling around in great confusion. The room would be utterly packed because we always chose pubs that were near the centre where people would be working. It would be just after hours and they’d be incredibly smoky and noisy.

Eventually people would drift upstairs and we’d be looking around ‘Oh, she’s come. Oh, who is that? I recognise her.’ So there’d be a lot of that kind of chit chat going on. But eventually somebody with a big voice would have called for quiet. And there would be a general confusion of what to talk about. Eventually someone said, ‘Look, why we just go round and you all say what you’re here for, or say who you are’ – I don’t remember how we did it, but it would be very much ad hoc like that. And then of course nobody knew quite where to start.

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