Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Castell Henllys’

Storytelling Starters ~ Red

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

P1070651A note to readers is where I should begin this week.  Here it is. If any of you is in North Pembrokeshire on Friday 9th October, please come along to Castell Henllys where I’ll be doing what is described as an Author Tea – and hopefully selling some of my books.

Will there be red leaves and red berries in the lovely Castell Henllys glade, I wonder? I ask because red has been on my mind all week. Perhaps that’s because of all  the red, red leaves on the pavements round us in London. Or perhaps it was the red, red moon on the night of the eclipse? Or could it be the red jerseys of the Welsh Rugby team when they played and won against England? 

I can’t be sure. But what I do know is that just thinking about red has led to me remembering the red ears of the gleaming white hounds that accompany the Lord of the Underworld in the first branch of  the Mabin0gion, that most ancient and strange cycle of stories.  The red hounds appear there in a forest which could not have been far from Castell Henllys.

But red on my mind has also led to me remembering some very different things, for instance The Red Wheelbarrow, that extraordinary William Carlos Williams poem.  I wonder if you know it? (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ What’s new? What’s true?

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

P1070490Last week I asked this question: What did Iron-Age people have? Karen’s response was: ‘They’d have had each other.’ The elements were what  had been in my mind – earth, air, fire, water. With characteristic insight, Karen thought about the people. Her response has been helping me think through one of the issues that arose from my training day at Castell Henllys on Monday. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Encapsulating honeysuckle

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

P1070435I wish I could encapsulate the honeysuckle growing in the next street from me and somehow include it in this blog so you could smell it as you read. Maybe some day that’ll become possible. Meantime Iron-Age forts have been on my mind.

Why Iron-Age forts? Because next Monday I’m doing some storytelling training for guides at Castell Henllys, the Iron-Age fort in North Pembrokeshire. It’s the only such place which today has roundhouses on the exact site of the ones that were there back then.

The length of time:

What strikes me, thinking about that long-ago time is the very length of the time from then to now. And how can you possibly get that across? Almost as hard as electronically encapsulating the honeysuckle, the challenge reminds me of how I once had to try to make a class of 10-year old Stevenage children conscious of Ancient Egypt at the same time as taking into account their other current project – Ourselves Now.

Miraculously – for the results were fantastic – I got the idea of giving the children some sense of the passage of time by coming up with memories from each year of their lives and then creating hieroglyphs to represent them like the hieroglyphs from Ancient Egypt they’d already been learning about. This led on to them making memory charts and this then led to them telling their personal stories and deciding (this was entirely their own idea!) to punctuate each of the 10 years for which they had stories with the sound of a gong.

What the Iron-Age had: (more…)