Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Whitesands Beach’

Storytelling Starters ~ A Kind of Liberation

Saturday, January 8th, 2022

When I came downstairs this morning (and we’re still in Wales), I found that Paul was already seated in front of our current jigsaw puzzle. Of course this represented a dilemma for me. Breakfast or jigsaw? I love doing jigsaw puzzles (as does Paul!) and whatever the jigsaw that’s being done at the moment proves a real draw when we’re on holiday. It can even distract attention from a bright sunny day (today is actually damp and drizzly) or, on this occasion, from the prospect of breakfast.

This morning, I womanfully resisted the call of the jigsaw (it happens to be a picture of small children at the seaside) long enough to eat my porridge. By this time, Paul had moved on to other things. So I managed to have a nice long uninterrupted time alone at the jigsaw table while, meantime, suppressing the thought that actually I needed to be coming upstairs to my computer to write this blog.

Well, here I am at my computer and quite happy too. For now I can report on the pleasure of beaches. This week in particular it was Whitesands – Traethmawr – which triumphed. The tide was a long way out, the beach was emptier of people than I’d thought it would be and walking across it felt enormously liberating. At some point on the walk I thought about how much I’ve been a lover of Whitesands since childhood. My family started coming here when I was quite small. My father would get me to help dig out a boat in the sand which, of course, would have to be defended from the incoming tide. My mother would sit beside a rock quietly drawing and painting. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Memory of place

Saturday, December 19th, 2020

A week today it will be Boxing Day. Because I don’t like boxing as a sport, I always used to feel a bit disconcerted about what Boxing Day was all about. Then I began to realise that it had nothing to do with the smashing of fists, person against person. What it meant – am I right? – was giving people bits of money in what might be called their begging box.

This year on Boxing Day I’ll be feeling deprived. Normally I’d be in Pembrokeshire and, unless the weather was absolutely ghastly, I’d surely be walking on Whitesands Beach at some point during the day. But this year, Covid restrictions have got in the way, preventing us from driving down to West Wales and staying there a week or two as we usually do. So until the restrictions relax, I’m missing my beach and the little headland where my father used to tell me how the raging monster, the Twrch Trwyth,   came rampaging onto land after its journey across the sea from Ireland. Or where, in contrast, he would also tell me how it was the place of peace from which St Patrick set out on his journey across the sea to convert the Irish people to Christianity.

Especially when the tide is out, Whitesands is a huge expanse of sand. It’s one of the places where I used regularly to go to swim when I was a teenager. In younger years, my family had stayed there for caravan holidays. Even now, it’s the place to which I return in my mind when I need to be calm. Yet, although in that sense it is essentially, for me, a place of solace and peace, it is also now in practical fact abuzz with visitors on most days at most times of the year. Surfers in wet-suits abound. Likewise people of all ages consuming ice-cream cones. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Pointers

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Ever noticed how a particular theme can crop up as if from nowhere and make itself felt over a period of your life? How does that theme begin? Where does it come from? What makes it continue? Is there something in our individual minds that is seeking out the kind of meaning the theme can make? Perhaps these are good questions for storytellers to consider.

New friends:

Over the last ten days, Paul and I have been visited by two very lovely, very different young women that we feel we’ve somehow inherited from their parents. One is one of the twin daughters of two Kenyan friends I made when I was 18 years old and in Kenya to do Voluntary Service Overseas. By now, both of the parents have died. But somehow – and it feels quite wonderful that this is so – the friendship is being renewed and continued by the children of those two friends, and not only on visits that one or other of them has needed to make to the UK but also by email and Facebook. Sadness and regret at the loss of the parents is thus transformed into something new. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Health and Hope

Saturday, December 24th, 2016


Dear friends, this is to wish you a Happy Christmas and a healthy and hopeful New Year. The photo above was taken this week on Whitesands Beach in North Pembrokeshire. The two children in it are standing on a rock which I’ve been seeing since my own childhood. Last year, a storm had scoured out so much sand from the beach that we saw how huge the rock is when you can see all of it.  We saw the very bottom of it. By now, it is just that smallish hump of stone again. I like to think that Dewi Sant, the Patron Saint of Wales, must have seen this rock too. When I think about him, I like to remember that, at the end of his life, he told his friends to remember to do the little things. What he meant, I think, was to remember the kindnesses we can all do. This feels like an important message to us all amid the upheavals and horrors of our world today. I pass it on with my best wishes and love. (more…)