Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Enough

The jobbing gardener in our Pembrokeshire village hasn’t been round as we’d hoped to attend to our small patch of garden or to clear away his plastic sacks which have been lying idle outside since we were last here. But, hey, that’s par for the course. We hadn’t really expected anything different. He doesn’t depend on us for work and according to friends down the road, gardeners and other local workers have been saying yes to jobs that people want done – but not till after Christmas!

Ah! Lockdown! It has left lots of things in its wake, good and bad. Meantime, the birdsong here in Mathri, where we arrived on Wednesday, has been so beautiful I just have to stop quite frequently and make time to listen. Not that time is under pressure in this quiet place. That’s one of the things I love about it. I feel I have time to think, time to do a jigsaw and time to rest (much needed).

Of course there are many other pleasures too. One of the unexpected ones was finding our fridge packed with good things to eat when we arrived. That’s my friend Beryl for you! Quiche, cake: it’s all there waiting, and all Beryl-made, of course.

Beryl wasn’t in the same form as me in our school, Ysgol Dewi Sant, all those long years ago when we were both there together. But we both came away with many joint friends and we both adored and were much influenced by our challenging new English master, Mr Earnshaw (who stayed in the school just one year). We both got a lot from that one year. Besides, so many years later, we can both still talk about other pupils of our time, many of whom still live around here. And we both know what we mean when we talk about the manners and the mores of our school life.

That’s the extraordinary thing about this small and most beautiful rural area of North Pembrokeshire. Key things about it stay the same while, around and about, much changes. Yesterday morning, there was a fine black and white cat (it looked as if it had put on exactly the desired sort of mask for this time) on the roof of the shed at the back of our house here. Studying the ground beneath it with enormous concentration, it looked like it was waiting to pounce. But then, in the time it takes for a whisker to waggle, something else must have drawn its attention and off it went to find other pleasures.

Another fine thing about being here in Mathri is that, being here as it were on holiday, Paul and I can organise ourselves according to the weather. Planning a trip to Whitesands Bay? Or a walk through Mathri to the Pink House? We don’t have to decide in advance when to do it. As the spirit (and the weather) takes us, we can go when we like.

Meantime, there are lots of papers up in the attic. Papers from my father. Papers from my Aunty Mali. Papers from my own earlier life. I am fully aware of them. I do tell myself that they need sorting and I do assure myself that the sorting will be interesting. But do I get myself up to the attic and start on the work? Of course not. I could always bring down a box or two for sorting downstairs if that were more convenient. But the very question answers itself. Do I get on with it? No. There are too many other distractions like sitting in the conservatory doing our jigsaw and listening to the birdsong.

Ah well!

PS: The top photo speaks for itself. Me doing a jigsaw. The bottom one is what we call the Pink House where we must always decide whether to go right or left for our walk.

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2 Responses to “Storytelling Starters ~ Enough”

  1. Felice Tombs Says:

    Ah Mary, I have such fond memories of Mathri, of walking up to the pink house and looking around at the beautiful view and taking lots of photos of rock walks and enticing doorways and gorgeous old houses, which are totally rare here in NZ. I send my love to you and Paul and Mathri. Arohanui Felice.

  2. Felice Tombs Says:

    Oops.Rock walls.☺️

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