Multi published author and mentor to aspiring writers, Anita Burgh is a stalwart of the Ox Lunch.

It’s early days in the life of this blog, and in a way I’m still introducing myself.

In my first blog, in which I linked to three posts I’d written before, I introduced me, the author. In last week’s blog, which focused on the presentation of the RoNAs, I introduced me, the RNA member. This week, I’m zeroing in on the aspect of my RNA life for which I’m most visible on our group website; namely, as the organiser of the Ox Lunch.

The Ox Lunch is the Oxford Chapter’s monthly lunch, which is held on the first Tuesday of every month in The Victoria Arms, Old Marston, from 12.30. The Vicky Arms is on the bank of the River Cherwell.


In addition to being the chosen haunt of the Ox Lunchers, The Vicky Arms also welcomed Inspector Morse and Lewis on numerous occasions when they stopped by for a drink – a drink usually paid for by Lewis!

The Oxford Chapter's venue for their monthly lunch

'Our' room in The Vicky Arms, with the tables moved together to accommodate us.



The view from within the pub on a rain-hazed day

The staff at The Victoria Arms always sets aside an area for us, and we push the tables together into a square so that we can all see, and talk to, each other, and move around quite easily.

We rarely have formal meetings or a set topic for discussion. What we do is eat, drink and have a thoroughly good time, laughing and talking with other writers.  Conversation invariably ranges over many topics, but always permeating them is the warmth and support that authors give to each other.

Carol McGrath; Lizzy Edmondson; Catherine Jones; Jane Gordon-Cumming

Nikki Fine; Jean Harker; Carol McGrath;

Mary Nuttall; Sarah Watkinson; me; Heather Rosser


Writing is a solitary activity, and one that is taking place in an increasingly difficult world for published and unpublished alike.  The value of a strong, friendly support group cannot be over estimated – and that is exactly what the Ox Lunch is.

One of last year's Ox lunches. Jeev Mantotta with baby Indy; me; Gilli Allan; Annie Burgh; Jane Holland; Katie Fforde; Rebecca Leith; Jane Gordon-Cumming; Carol McGrath; Jean Harker; Heather Rosser. (Back row) Katie Carr; Catherine Jones; Jude Roust; Jules Wake. Plus sundry coats and bags that I should have thought of moving aside

And at the end of the lunch, all that is left is …

… along with some very happy memories.

Next week, I’m going to ask you for some advice about an aspect of writing a novel set in the past. But for the moment, it’s goodbye!