Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Over the rainbow

June 25th, 2022

My Dearest Mary died, not so very long after last week’s posting.

Thank you so much for the wonderful words and stories and memories some of you have been sending already. It is lovely to know how much she touched so many hearts.

We’ll be celebrating Mary on Tuesday 12th July at 2.30 pm at West Norwood Crematorium, Norwood, London SE27 9JU and afterwards at home.

It would be very fine if you were able to attend, but be assured that we shall be streaming that celebration. I’ll post the link next week.

Mary always said she wanted her ashes spread from the Pembrokeshire Coastal path – so that’s what we’ll do in a while.

Please hold her in your hearts and we shall lift her to the light in song and story.






Towards the Rainbow

June 18th, 2022

Scilla, Emma, Paul, Mary, Georgia, Hannah

It’s been a wonderful goddaughters day, the three London based ones Emma Grove, Scilla Monck, Hannah Haynes along with Georgia Millad video connecting from West Australia uniquely combining for one of those ‘memories for ever’ times. Aided and abetted by Richard Mapp whose ten days stay specially over from New Zealand has been another joy for ever.

Yesterday Sarah Williams visited from Pembrokeshire saying she hadn’t been in Winterwell Road for 44 years (doesn’t say much for us as London hosts, but we do see her in Mathri). And there was a wonderful video link with her twin brother Simon Youmg (usually in Perth WA but in Wyoming just now).

Earlier in the week sister Ann and bro-in-law John were here from Leeds and so were Mark (our dear former foster son) and Katie his wife. Both the above brought wonderful cake. And if it wasn’t obvious already it may have dawned by now with cake refs that, yes, it’s Paul writing the blog again.

The last couple of days have been marked by the exceptional activities and fine services provided by palliative care teams in this part of Lambeth – we count ourselves very well helped in difficult times.

Lots more to say about moving towards the rainbow. But that’s maybe best for next week.

My dear family and friends keep on calling

June 11th, 2022

Well, it’s been another lovely week of visits and calls and flowers and cake.  I’m sorry to have to say that I’m getting quite restricted in movement, which is why the first picture today is the view from my bed.

Those gorgeous sunflowers were brought by my first cousin once removed Luke Walker (see second picture) who had met my lovely first cousin Ruth (his mother) travelling from Mansfield with her grandson Reuben (who is Paul’s and my godson and Luke’s nephew) who had asked specially if he could come to see us. (and that’s him with Ruth in the third picture)

Hope you’re keeping up at the back there.

On Wednesday very dear friend Richard Mapp arrived from New Zealand and has been cooking and gardening and getting Paul singing.

And tomorrow we’re hosting one of our Works In Progress sessions – though kindly fellow members have taken over all catering and arranging and all we have to do is provide plates, glasses, cutlery.

We’ve had lots of phone calls too and some video chats and people are being so kind and supportive in this very difficult time.

Apologies once again for a rather late posting.

Much loved and appreciated visitations

June 4th, 2022

Hello again Dear Mary’s Blog Readers, it’s Paul in amanuensis mode. Sorry to say that Mary is feeling quite increasingly poorly but has gone over things she wants recorded in this week’s blog.

She says something along these lines: First and foremost, it’s been a wonderful week of visits across the generations. Entirely lovely god-daughter Emma Grove brought two of her three children, Elfie and James. Our dear friends from Paul’s work of twenty years Arno Schmickler and his wife Nina Kreyer (we know them as NinArno) called by on the same day; and the next dear Sophie McConnell (47 year friend) swanned in from New York.  Paul Whitehouse, whom we’ve known since Cambridge days and his wife Liz (Paul was Best Man at their wedding) visited on Monday. And Book Pair Margaret Jull Costa was here on Tuesday from Leicester for a really engrossing memory time along with Becky Sharp. We all met at the fabled Hen House some thirty or more years ago, where I was running a Storytelling course and they were both attending a poetry course.

The rallying of the god-daughters continued with a lovely visit from Hannah Haynes (now Motion) And our first cousin once removed,  the very up-and=coming fashion designer Luke Walker  called by on Wednesday. On Thursday it was particularly good to learn that David Poole, founding member of the WiPs (Works in Progress) group we belong to, had a florist for a father as that meant he, David, offered to set to work arranging all the wonderful flowers we have been receiving. Our morning visitor yesterday was Jo Cameron whom we first met when our foster sons Ricky and Mark were admitted to King’s Acre the then very fine Junior and Infants school just a few minutes’ walk away. The family friendships built over those forty years since have been precious. And yesterday afternoon brought Deborah Curle who lodged with us way back then and was a very great  help to us. So very many friends and memories. 

Of course yesterday was the second day of the Platinum Jubilations, brought close by the amazingly loud reggae and rap sound systems blasting throughout our bit of Brixton. But fair play, they were finished by 10pm.

And tomorrow is a very emotionally complex day as Wales play Ukraine for a place in the Football World Cup. We’ll say no more.

PS: Top picture is one of our Mary roses. The bottom picture needs no introduction.

Better late…..

May 28th, 2022


…than never this Saturday dear blog friends.

Today it’s simply a picture of one of the abundance of roses in our Brixton garden just now.

It’s called a Paul’s Scarlet. Neat, don’t you think?

Keeping going

May 21st, 2022

Hello Dear Mary’s Blog Readers, Paul here.

As you can see from this morning’s portrait Mary’s keeping going but – to use a favourite nonsense  phrase of ours – she’s feeling somewhat feak and weeble. So she’s asked me to put this 577th blog together on her behalf.

First she wants us to enter a little apology for last week’s ‘Not quite the Tour de France’ as in the several hours after she posted it literally hundreds of cyclists ploughed, beetled and pounded up that very steep Mathri hill past our house. Yes, a few walked and pushed their bikes and two or three groups we saw made clearly pre-ordained pauses for refreshment at the Farmers Arms. But fair play, as we say in Wales, it certainly was a proper Tour.

As always it was hard leaving Mathri and our lovely friends. But back in Brixton our garden was looking pretty nice with masses of roses and osteospermum and ragwort and alium (ok,  names consequential on looking up). And, of course, visits from dear London friends and much cake.


Our godchildren in Australia Josh and Georgia have surprised us with home delivered freezer food (how did they do that?) . We’re much looking forward to seeing dear friend Sophie from New York next week and then dearest Richard from New Zealand the week after.

So much to look forward to.

Not quite the Tour de France

May 14th, 2022

It just occurs to me that I haven’t even considered what to do about my blog if, one day, I feel not well enough to write it.  Or I could find on the Saturday morning that I’d completely lost interest and had nothing at all to write about. Ah well! So far I’ve survived that awful fate. Nothing to write about is a nightmare for any kind of writer. So far I’m quite good at turning up some kind of little theme and deciding it will do quite nicely?

For instance, Paul has just come into the bedroom in Mathri where I’m sitting in bed in lordly or ladylikely style and, looking out of the window, he’s observed that Henry, that’s the cat who lives opposite, is curling himself around Barrie’s legs, Barrie our good neighbour, being the owner of Henry to the extent that anyone who has a cat can consider himself or herself to be the owner of it. Staff is probably the better description.

In days of yore we used to feel rather proud that our cat Minky would manage the journey from and to London with great aplomb. This no longer happens due to the fact that we no longer have dear Minky. Not having a cat to travel certainly makes the travelling easier for us and  it removes the worry that, here in Mathri where our house is right on the road, the cat may put itself in jeopardy without realising it. Henry across the road has been hurt twice. Read the rest of this entry »


May 7th, 2022

One of the wonderful things about being in Pembrokeshire (which is where we still are) is receiving visits from friends whom you feel as if you’ve known forever. This morning it was Liz and Eddie. Both are full of fun and Eddie is full of stories. He grew up round here and his eyes shine as he tells his tales. Naughty boys and what they used to get up to. Adult misadventures to do with crabs (for crabs can crawl out of the containers where you’ve put them while you go to fetch the van). All kinds of stuff – and it’s an enormous pleasure talking with someone with such a lively sense of humour.

It has been bright sunny weather until today. There’s a wonderful Welsh word, slabog, which means the kind of weather that is grey and damp and misty. Today is not quite slabog. But there’s no life in the sky. It’s just grey with no sign of cheering up. However, Pembrokeshire is Pembrokeshire and the weather is forever changing. Sometimes it feels like you’ve had five days in the course of one. So we’ll see what transpires. It’s mid-day as I write. There’s plenty of day left.

Another of the Pembrokeshire pleasures is the coast-line. During Liz and Eddie’s visit, we were talking about Pwllderi which we went to visit on his birthday on Wednesday. It’s a steep-sided cove with stunning views down along the coastline. It’s also the subject of a very well-known Welsh poem by a poet of the past called Dewi Emrys which recalls the local people he knew as a boy. It returns the old times to life and brings back the kinds of things that people used to do. I don’t know if the children of today get up to the same kinds of adventures as did children in the past.  I do know that when I was a child we had a wonderful sense of freedom, going off for the whole day with sandwiches and pieces of cake, swim-suits and spades.

Of course, today the phones that all children possess are in themselves quite a distraction. I think I feel very grateful that there wasn’t such a distraction when I was growing up. There was so much that was fun to do. Only this morning I was recalling the moment down in the sea at Goodwick beach when I realised I could swim. Feet off the ground. A couple of strokes. Still afloat. Hurray. And at that age, coldness of sea was never an issue. Off you’d go after school, bathing costume and towel in bag, and however chilly it was actually getting into the sea, it didn’t seem to matter. You’d soon acclimatise.

Ah well. Nowadays I’m not nearly so brave or so hardy. But I still love being down at the sea. And I still love thinking about it when I’m not. Maybe it gives a feeling of expansiveness that can last inside you even when you’re not near it.

PS: Top picture is the view down the coast at Pwyllderi and, yes, that’s Paul and me on his 76th birthday!

Pembrokeshire again

April 30th, 2022

One of the luckiest things in my life is that I am able to come to Pembrokeshire and have a house to live in when I get here. Another is that I have a husband able and prepared to drive us here and a car to bring us on the journey. Without the car I’d have to be much more careful about what I brought with me, especially in regard to books and papers. Without the husband, it would feel so much less of an enjoyable venture.

But Pembrokeshire was where I was born and grew up. While my mother and father were both still alive, it’s the place I came back to huge numbers of times and not only to see them but because I love it so much. This continued after my mother had died and while my father was still alive. He too loved the place and had many, many stories about it. After he died, my visits did not stop.

So here I am again. I have noted that the little garden at the back of the house is in need of a great deal of weeding. But that can get done gradually while Paul and I are here. Meantime, there are friends to spend time with. And I think it’s only the best of friends who would always have left something delicious she’d cooked on our kitchen table for us to eat when we got here. This time it was a lovely quiche.

Paul and I arrived quite late last night. Today I feel utterly shattered. But that won’t put me off going to walk across Whitesands beach or visiting the little bay of Abercastle or, if I’m still just too tired to get out to see them, thinking about them while I have an afternoon sleep. Meantime, I am already appreciating being back in the county of my birth and my growing up and knowing how much I still love it. How lucky is that!

PS: The pictures today are of two of my favourite Pembrokeshire places. One is from our bedroom window in Mathri. The other is of the great expanse of Whitesands beach when the tide is out.

Storytelling Starters ~ Visitors

April 23rd, 2022

Marmalade and I get on very well. I love the edible kind: my mother would make great batches of it and it was a staple of breakfast time. But now there’s another Marmalade in our lives. It’s a cat, a very lithe and light little cat who comes across the back garden wall. I’ve no idea if she’ll continue to visit. If she doesn’t, I’ll miss her a bit. If she does, she’ll be very welcome. The other day, sitting at the kitchen table doing our current jigsaw (jigsaws is something that began with lockdown), suddenly, there she was on my lap. No warning. At least she didn’t climb onto the table and start pawing the jigsaw pieces onto the floor.

Of course Marmalade makes me think of all the other famous cats there have been in our lives. Biggles and Minky and Fanta and Cosimo and Whiskers and Hannah-Jane all much-loved, known to all friends and mourned by many when they passed on to cat-heaven.

So now that we don’t have a cat in our lives on a regular live-in basis,  I have begun wondering (again) why on earth not. Time for action. The possible impediments – running out of cat-food and having to make unplanned visits to the shops, plus mewing from the back seat of the car on our journeys to Wales and provision of litter tray on the floor of the car – have not proved impossible in the past.  Read the rest of this entry »