Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ What next?

Pinch, punch, first of the month – and no return!

It’s what we used to say when kids, the first two words accompanied by the corresponding actions of pinching and punching (but not too hard!). The final words, ‘and no return’, were the warning to the person you were speaking to. They had to be taken seriously: your friend mustn’t do the rhyme back. At their peril!

Oh, the things we said as children. ‘Daresie’ was another – except how on earth do you write that word down?

Daresie, daresy? It was the challenge. Dare you to jump in that pond (where there might be monsters lurking in the depths waiting to come up and bite you). Dare you to jump off the quay (even though the tide is too low and you might find yourself bashing the bottom). Dare you to go and tell teacher what that naughty boy just said. Dare you to give him a kiss.

Dare you to swim across to Lampit across the other side of the harbour. The rocks there are black. The sun never reaches. Have you got the courage? Could you do it? Might a sea snake not come up from the depths and bite you while you’re on your way over? But are there such things as sea snakes? Do you get them in Welsh waters?

Daresy, daresie? What are the challenges now? Can I manage to get to the hospital without my left leg giving up on me?  Take a taxi? Surely no need. It’s not far to the bus-stop. But why not a taxi? No, I’d rather do it myself.

You calculate the risks. What’s the worst that could happen? Loss of pride? Exhaustion? You carry on calculating. Surely someone would help you if you fell in a heap on the floor? But it’s really not likely that you’ll fall, is it? Surely that’s just you worrying.

So the internal dialogues continue. And not necessarily about difficult situations. Sometimes, more often, they’re  about how best to spend the next available piece of time. Making that phone call to a friend? Cleaning a bit of the house? Going to the shop to get food for supper? Or what’s appropriate to be wearing or saying at some upcoming event?

Or, in my case, how the story I’m writing in my head might end?

And that’s where I’ll end for today. The world is full of possibilities. May February provide us all with some good ones. For instance, it occurs to me now that since we’re planning to be in Wales in time for March 1st, there’ll be plenty of chances of walking along beside the sea on a Pembrokeshire beach and finding one or two odd or interesting things on the sand.

PS: The lovely colour of a rusting chain, the gorgeously ugly face provided by a crab and the delicate colour of the inside of a clamshell: these are treasured finds from Pembrokeshire beaches.


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