Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Mathri’

Pembrokeshire again

Saturday, April 30th, 2022

One of the luckiest things in my life is that I am able to come to Pembrokeshire and have a house to live in when I get here. Another is that I have a husband able and prepared to drive us here and a car to bring us on the journey. Without the car I’d have to be much more careful about what I brought with me, especially in regard to books and papers. Without the husband, it would feel so much less of an enjoyable venture.

But Pembrokeshire was where I was born and grew up. While my mother and father were both still alive, it’s the place I came back to huge numbers of times and not only to see them but because I love it so much. This continued after my mother had died and while my father was still alive. He too loved the place and had many, many stories about it. After he died, my visits did not stop.

So here I am again. I have noted that the little garden at the back of the house is in need of a great deal of weeding. But that can get done gradually while Paul and I are here. Meantime, there are friends to spend time with. And I think it’s only the best of friends who would always have left something delicious she’d cooked on our kitchen table for us to eat when we got here. This time it was a lovely quiche.

Paul and I arrived quite late last night. Today I feel utterly shattered. But that won’t put me off going to walk across Whitesands beach or visiting the little bay of Abercastle or, if I’m still just too tired to get out to see them, thinking about them while I have an afternoon sleep. Meantime, I am already appreciating being back in the county of my birth and my growing up and knowing how much I still love it. How lucky is that!

PS: The pictures today are of two of my favourite Pembrokeshire places. One is from our bedroom window in Mathri. The other is of the great expanse of Whitesands beach when the tide is out.

Storytelling Starters ~ Enough

Saturday, September 25th, 2021

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. (more…)

Storytelling Starters – Back and fore

Saturday, May 15th, 2021

Maybe it always happens when you go away from home. Even as you reach the place where you were headed, you’re paying attention to new things, features of your new environment that are different from what you experience at home.

One thing I’ve been much aware of this Spring in Mathri, the village where we have our Welsh home, is the multitude of cowslips in the verges and hedges of roads leading into and out of the village. OK, cowslips will never cease to be among my favourite countryside flowers. But each time I see them en masse at this time of the year, I feel excited and privileged all over again. I’m tempted to describe them as very modest creatures, they seem to blend themselves in to the hedgerows and fields. I feel grateful to be here at the right time to see them. The bluebells and garlic have a fine show too in the woodland ways close to the sea.

Another thing I’ve been much aware of since arriving here in Mathri this Spring is the birdsong. There’s what I want to describe as a flight of very tall trees in the churchyard at the top of the village. Walking past them in the early evening a day or two ago, there issued from them such a chorus of sound that it felt like the birds had decided to give the village a special concert. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Wales and Whales

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

It was a storytelling project in Outer London. The theme was local legends. A girl in one of the groups put up her hand and asked if we knew about the elephants under the line of local hills.

Suggestive shapes:

Often it’s the shape of hills that gives rise to legends about them. Above a small place called Wolfscastle in the middle of Pembrokeshire are two high rocks that, as children, we knew as The Lion and the Lamb. By today, these rocks have eroded so that I wouldn’t be able to say which looks more like a wolf, which more like a lamb. Even as a child I wasn’t sure. But I could imagine very clearly that one was attacking the other. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ And all the while…

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Trees near TrefelynThose little stories that make a particular point can sometimes prove tricky. The last few days, the weather has been lovely in London – cold but sunny enough to bring a smile to our faces and quite a change from incessant grey skies and rain. On one of my walks, remembering the great winds that blew over Christmas, I thought about that famed competition between Sun and Wind.

Sun and Wind fight it out:

Just as children sometimes do, and sometimes even grown-ups too, Sun and Wind were having an argument about which of them is stronger. Sun proclaimed:  ‘It’s definitely me.’ Wind thought differently, ‘No, it’s me.’

Sun and Wind decided to test out their claims.

‘See that young man walking down that street,’ said Sun. ‘I guarantee I can get his jacket off him quicker than you.’

‘It’s a deal,’ said Wind. ‘But I’m going to win.’

Without wasting a moment, Wind began blowing. Before he could even start roaring, the young man walking down the street pulled up the zip on his jacket. Then as Wind began roaring, he put his arms round himself, drawing his jacket even closer. (more…)