Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘St David’s’

Storytelling Starters ~ Fruit jelly for tea

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

Last week in Wales, I made my usual visit to my friend Ella, now in her 101st year. After tea (which included jelly with fruit in it because she knows I love it), our reminiscences turned to the subject of evacuees, children who’d arrived in the area when evacuated out of London for safety during the Second World War.

What stories came out! Ella remembers so much I sometimes catch myself thinking there’s nothing she’s forgotten. Her mind is like a deep map of the area – and it’s a map that not only has historical depth. It includes what’s going on now.

Evacuees now:

Thinking back over tales Ella remembered, it occurs to me that the theme of evacuation is just as important today. Families of Rohingya Muslims flooding out of Myanmar, people fleeing for their lives from war in Syria, children and adults risking their lives in flimsy boats sailing from African shores to the hoped-for better life in Europe: in so many parts of the world, people are daily being displaced from their homes, sometimes to try and save their lives, sometimes because they choose to go when they feel they have no other choice. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Laughter and tears

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Many bluebells“The world is very beautiful and it’s very sad I will have to die.” So said the grandmother of José Saramago whose house on Lanzarote we recently went to see. The grandmother was very old when she said that to him and he was still a child. I feel I know what she meant for this week, down in Wales, the hedgerows, the sky, the bird-song, the bluebells – all have been so beautiful, I can’t bear the thought of ever leaving them.

Tears

Tears are close to laughter and they’ve both been present several times in recent days. Tears were there after the Memorial Service to our friend Simon Hoggart in which the whole gathered throng were kept constantly laughing by the many tributes to him, all in some way or other recalling his sense of humour.

Tears have been there too on hearing about the illness of a number of friends. Yet, as I said, tears and laughter often come close together. Two people have remarked on this to me in the last few days. One was speaking in general about storytelling when he said, “If you can get them laughing at the beginning, you can get them crying at the end.” Then a member of the Welsh class in St David’s which had invited me to go and talk to them about storytelling this last Wednesday made a similar point with a vivid personal recollection. In Botswana back in the mid-60s, he said, people in the place where he was living would gather every Friday evening beneath a very big tree (same tree each week) and they’d listen to the storyteller (same storyteller each week, a man who wore a jacket with many medals on it). At first, they’d be uproariously laughing. By the end, they’d often be weeping. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ We’ve all got them!

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Last week, I was so chilled out – or rather, so warm and relaxed – on holiday on the island of Lanzarote, that I felt I had nothing to say. By today, I’m positively burning to go on about the value of personal links. After all, we’ve all got them in one form or another.

Good days, personal links:

MJ as child cropOne of our best days on Lanzarote involved a visit to an astonishing Cactus Garden. Another was a pilgrimage to the house of José Saramago, the Portuguese writer and Nobel Prize Winner who spent the last 18 years of his life on the island. Both days arose because of personal links, the first because, back here in London, my husband has an amazing collection of cactuses, the second because a very good friend of mine was Saramago’s English translator and, because of her, we have read his books.

Personal links create that extra degree of interest which can make you bother to take journeys, actual and symbolic. I became doubly aware of the truth of that this week when my main task and pleasure has lain in preparing the talk I’m to give next Monday to the Historical Society in St David’s. The society was founded by my father and the link with him is one reason for my sense of anticipation.

Shemi the storyteller (more…)