Summer is a coming in……………….

Winter is on her way back to the Northern lands, escorted by the Ice Dragons. The Swallows swoop in, bringing Summer on their wings.

Telling tales around the hearth fire to keep out the winter cold is turning into telling tales in open spaces and in marquees and tents across the land!

Daniel Morden braved icy mountains at the end of January, to come to Cleobury Mortimer library to tell his tales for one of two events celebrating National Storytelling Week.

Daniel Morden being amazing at Cleobury Library.

Daniel Morden being amazing at Cleobury Library.

He held the audience in the palm of his hand, at one point making them jump out of their skins, such was his hold!

Daniel is one of my favourite storytellers, so I am very grateful to Friends of Cleobury Mortimer Library for running with my ideas, and of course thanks to Daniel for taking us into his stories.

Dragon tales at Cleobury

Thanks to Russell Drysdale for this photo!

For the second National Storytelling Week event, I went to the library as Dragon Teller with Pratchett, my travelling story dragon by my side, and told my first Dragon Tales of the year. I thoroughly enjoyed telling them, as always, and thankfully the audience enjoyed listening to them too!

There have been other ideas, over the Winter, some will happen, some may not. Being a storyteller with no audience is no fun at all.  The story wants to come out, but there is no one to tell it to. I feel that the story itself, shuffles off with its head down, a sad expression on its face.

Sometimes when you have ideas, you get all excited about them, and want to share, the only trouble is, that sometimes, no one else seems to share the excitement.  The sparkle fades, and you wonder why you do it. The Inspiration lies dormant, and you worry about it fading away. This can be disheartening. But just when the sparkle is just a speck of glitter in the dust, someone comes along and blows away the dust and makes it shine again.  This week, two people pulled the glitter from the dark. One lady who recognised me from a story corner at a local farm attraction, 2 years ago and remembered the story, saying that her children loved it. The second, a teenager who asked if I was the one who came into school in 2008 and told the story of the Clee Hill Serpent, telling me that is was one of the moments they remembered from their childhood.

When moments like this happen, you remember why you do it. It’s to let the story live, to pass it on, to bring the sparkle of story to other people, not to make yourself shine.

Here’s to the brilliance of Summer in all her glory, to the stories and to their telling!

Have a wonderful summer of storytelling everyone!

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Apples and Foxes

 

 

Welcome Autumn

autumn

Time of silly hats and colourful scarves, and not necessarily matching gloves!

Time of flames flickering in the hearth as the Rayburn is lit.

Time of turning leaves, ploughed earth and hedge trimming.

Time of sunny days and star filled nights.

Time of foggy mornings and frosted spider webs.

Time of Apples and Foxes.

 

Yes, the traditional Apple Day! This year I am privileged to be storytelling at two! Tenbury Applefest, and Calke Abbey Apple Day. The days of the year when I eat more apples, and drink more apple juice than I consume the rest of the year! I try the different varieties, fill my nostrils with the gorgeous smell of ripe apples, and generally have a fabulous time!

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As for foxes, I went for a stroll down the lane last night, to see what things had changed, the ripening berries, the still flowering Meadowsweet, when across the stubbly field, there was a fox. Such a beautiful creature, bane of chicken keepers and instinctual delight to the hunter. They are a little like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. This fox, picked its way around the field, looking for whatever he was looking for. There were some rabbits in the field too, both Fox and Rabbit seeming oblivious to the company of each other. Words started to come to mind.

 

“Black tips on your orange ears, white flash at the end of your tail. Tell me oh Fox of your honest tale. When you were revered and not hunted. One that tells of you as clever, not sly. Of how your wit and cunning was rewarded, not punished”

 

This got me thinking of the other creatures of this land, so slandered in folklore as the new religion swept across the land. Ravens, hares, owls, dragonflies even, all associated with devilment and witchcraft in European folklore. Yet in other cultures, these creatures are revered, honoured, and respected.  Tell me your tales, ancient ones, of the times when you were truly magical and to catch sight of you was a blessing, not a curse. My ears are listening.