Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

On the Memory Estuary

When you write a regular blog – and this one’s been going for over 5 years now – you get used to the idea of tags. Tags refer to the particular themes mentioned in the blog that you’ve written. However, I frequently find that a process very like tagging starts to happen in my mind before the writing even begins. It does so in response to the inevitable question: what shall I write about this time?

This week I was thinking I might write about WiPs (that’s the Works in Progress group to which I belong – eleven of us who, when we meet, each give a short presentation of something we do, namely write stuff or sing or sculpt or play the piano, clarinet or violin). Our next WiPs is due this Sunday and I’m planning to sing a Welsh folk song about the Carmarthenshire village of Llansteffan.

Or, I thought, I could write about coincidences (and how I love coincidences). For instance, having already decided to sing that folk-song about Llansteffan tomorrow, I got an email a few days ago from a childhood friend called Cherry who is very the reason I know Llansteffan. Cherry lived at the end of my street in Fishguard when we were growing up. We were in the same gang of children who used to play together in Victoria Avenue next to her father’s chemist’s shop. Years later as Director of English for Carmarthenshire, Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire schools, she commissioned me to do a good deal of storytelling work.

Hence my fondness for Llansteffan. During each working week, Cherry lived there in a lovely beachside house and one time she invited me to stay there while carrying out a big storytelling project for her. The house had the most delightful view of the estuary – and as it happens, when Paul and I walked past it only a couple of weeks ago when on a day out with some old friends from Cardiff, I sang them that old Llansteffan folk-song which I’d already decided to  sing at the next WIPs group meeting in London.

So what do you know? Coincidence or what? The next WiPs is this Sunday, i.e. tomorrow. And who did I hear from during this last week? Cherry of course. As I’ve already said, it’s been quite a while since we were last in touch. Now here she was, sending an email to order some copies of my new book, The Uses of ‘a’. She says she’ll pick them up from me when Paul and I are next in Pembrokeshire.

How life comes round, how things link up! I love it. And I especially love how, in the course of all that linking up, stories somehow create themselves. If you’re noticing, that is.

PS: My photo this week is of course of lovely Llansteffan.

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