Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Going home

You visit your friends next door or go to your local shops. You go to the cinema or to collect the children from school. And then what do you do? You go home. It’s easy, it’s familiar, it’s something you do all the time.

Going home:

Then again, some activities you do on a regular basis can also feel like going home – activities such as visiting your local library, sitting down at your piano or sewing machine or updating the diary you keep. Regular activities give such a feeling of comfort and purpose. They too feel like going home.

But going home may not always be easy. It can entail something demanding such as driving to the other side of the country. Or getting on a boat or plane and travelling to another part of the world. For going home can also mean returning to the place where you grew up and that place may no longer be near or comfortable.

And lots of us need to do it, namely go back on a regular or irregular basis to the place of our origin. In busy, multicultural London, I often wonder what diverse and far-flung countries were the starting-points, the homes, of people I see round me in the streets. I wonder about their feelings and experience when they do return home, what scents they smell, what landscapes they see, what foods they eat.

Alas, it’s not necessarily an available option. A recent issue of Golwg, the Welsh weekly magazine I take, contained a moving portrayal of a young refugee who now lives in Wales (and is learning both Welsh and English). In it, he talked about how he cannot go home. He is Syrian. His home is no longer a safe place to be.

Back home for me:  

This week I’m back in Pembrokeshire. Places around me here have been known to me for so very long, the lilts of people’s voices are familiar, there are old friends here. It all feels very much like home. But so, I realise, does sitting down to write this blog. As I discovered on checking back just now, writing it has been my weekly activity since 2011. Looking down the lists of subjects and tags, I am reminded of so much – and also realise how much I’ve forgotten.

For instance, for your delectation, here’s a very small story I included in an early blog. Or should I call it a joke rather more than a story? In either case, it’s one I was told here in South Wales and whenever I remember it, I hear it in a South Wales accent.

The joke:

A road workman was turning into his house at the end of the day when he stopped and scrunched a snail on his path under his boot.

The man living opposite called out in disgust. ‘Hey man,  what are you doing? It’s only a snail!’

The workman replied: ‘I don’t care, it’s been following me round all day!’

PS: Whoever it was that set the stones in the top photo, I like the way they put them so as to point to the sea. In the bottom photo, it’s sunrise seen from outside our house with the sun coming up over North Pembrokeshire’s Preseli hills.

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