Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Lovely Day

Saturday, January 15th, 2022

Late with my blog today. But for a very good reason. A lovely wedding.

The wedding was between David Pepper and Allison Daniel. David is the son of Myles Pepper at whose arts venue and café in Fishguard Paul and I have performed on quite a few occasions either separately or together. I’ve done storytelling there and Paul has sung there with David as  accompanist.

Paul and I have known both young people over several years and it was a very great pleasure to be invited to their wedding and to be able to attend. The wedding itself was at St. Mary’s in Fishguard and the reception at Gelli Fawr in the Gwaun Valley. Paul and I drove down yesterday, arriving quite late yesterday evening.

Over the course of the day today, both at noon  when the wedding took place and the afternoon  and early evening when the wedding guests were treated to lovely eats and drinks, I’ve thought how lucky and lovely it has been to have this relationship with the Pepper family. In one respect, the relationship began a long time ago. (more…)

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 ~ Better late than never!

Saturday, January 1st, 2022

So there I was, sitting in the kitchen of our Welsh house eating my delicious bread and cheese lunch (Welsh cheeses) when it suddenly popped into my mind. ‘Oh my goodness, it’s a Saturday. My blog!!!’ Had I forgotten all about it and getting it written? Completely.

So, lunch quickly swallowed, here I am now, wondering where on earth my mind had gone. Some of the answers I know. It had been a very full and lovely morning with a visit from my old friends Colin and Beryl who live not far down the road from Mathri plus their delightful daughter Lowri, who long ago asked me if I would be her aunty, together with her equally lovely husband James and their three-year-old and most adorable son Miles. No wonder I forgot about my blog. Plenty to talk about, for a start. Delightful company of little boy in addition. Plus I’m on holiday and it’s Saturday.

At least I’m here at my computer now, several hours late but full of the joys of holiday with no more worries about going to bed several hours later than normal last night watching the New Year in. (more…)

Greetings!

Friday, December 24th, 2021

Dear readers and friends,

May I wish you the best possible Christmas at the end of this so troubling year.

Let’s hope that 2022 proves altogether better.

With Love,

Mary

 

Storytelling Starters ~ Another sad loss

Saturday, December 18th, 2021

The husbands of close friends are often good friends, sometimes slightly at one remove. John Cameron felt like a friend on his own behalf. Perhaps it was that he recognised my Welshness. It formed a real link between us because of his own early Welsh connections and with regular family holidays in a remote Welsh cottage. Yes, he’d tease me about it but always with a recognition of how much it meant to me and what roots meant to him too. He was personal in that way. So it felt like friendship between us meant something to him on its own behalf and not simply because he was the husband of a very good friend.

I will miss him. I’ll miss his kindly temper, always greeting me, and no doubt others too, with a real sense of recognition and warmth.  This may have been connected with the fact that he also developed a close friendship with Paul, my husband. If felt like he knew us both in a real way.

There are many aspects of John that I appreciated about him. How he was in his own home, his evident love for his wife and children and evident appreciation of his friendships made me feel  as if he was comfortable with his life. This is often so far from the case with people you know and love. But John’s sense of ease and comfort were notable.  Like most of us, he had his problems. But he also had a way of sharing an acceptance of life and what it brings that itself brought a sense of ease even through the recent years of declining health. (more…)

Storytelling Starters: Friends

Saturday, December 11th, 2021

We never entertained each other in our houses. We never went out to any event together. But we spent lots of time talking with each other on the street. And now he has died at far too young an age. He knew it was coming – very bad cancer. And in the most remarkable way, he prepared for it, letting people know what was going to happen and ordering his life. For his mother and sister, it must be horrendous. For friends like us, it’s a very sad loss. He always knew what was going on on the street and we had lots and lots of chats over the years.

His name was Bruno Romano. He lived straight across the street. I remember his father, who died many years ago, and how smartly dressed he always was. Our friendship with Bruno will be remembered too and I want this blog to help to celebrate him. He was one of the people who made our street such a good place to live.

Strange, isn’t it? Friendships don’t have to be close in the sense of intimate to be very important. In the case of the street where we live, they often bring the day alive, catching us up on what’s going on with people around us and enabling us to feel therefore that the street is not impersonal, it’s alive. (more…)

Storytelling Starters : Taking a walk

Saturday, December 4th, 2021

Beginning of December and the mind turns to Christmas. Christmas plans, Christmas cards, Christmas presents, Christmas candles,  it’s potentially a lot to think about. And this year, for some reason or other, I just don’t want to get to do it.

Ah, but what do I want to do instead? Open the back door and walk out into the garden? That’s one thing. All kinds of things are hiding there including plants just beginning to come back to evident life, perhaps in celebration of the colder weather.

Another thing I want to do is snug up and read. I’ve recently got into the mood for it, now I want to do it lots. Already I’ve got a good way with Desperate Remedies, a Thomas Hardy novel I’ve not read before. In fact, it was his first published novel. Now I’m reading it – and enjoying it – as the current choice of my book group. So, there’s an opportunity for me. Not bothering about Christmas presents and what to give to whom. Just snugging up and reading without reference to time or jobs to be done in the house or what to cook for supper.

Or just going for a walk: that’s another available choice. My walking is certainly improving after that horrid fall a few weeks ago. I need to celebrate its return. For not walking is debilitating for someone that normally loves doing it and who does it a lot. Not walking, there are so many things you miss. Fresh air. Changes to the places you pass. Holes in the road. People leaning against pillars chatting. Trees. The feeling of exercising yourself. Noticing things that you pass. And so on and on and on …

Brockwell Park is one of my frequent walks. Hello, Brockwell Park, how are you doing? I do miss you. Maybe I can pay you a short visit this very day. The sky is blue, the weather is good. It would be brilliant to see you again. Mind you, I’ll have to wait for Paul to return from his choir practice prior to the concert they’re giving this evening. For even though it’s not very far, I certainly couldn’t walk all the way over to Brockwell Park just now in order to get started on my walk in the park.  And even as I think about this, I feel a new level of sympathy for people who are housebound for one reason or another, people who are not, as it were, under their own steam.

At least I love to read. And I realise that, when unable to walk very much, reading a good book is another form of walking. It alerts you to the world around you and to people. It takes you on a journey. Hurrah for walking, hurrah for reading. I’m lucky I enjoy both.

PS: One photo – of candles – is my one picture offering for today. It sends you the wish that your candles keep burning  bright!

Post #550 and it’s our 44th Anniversary

Saturday, November 27th, 2021

Yesterday marked what Paul and I noted as our 44th wedding anniversary. Neither of us are devoted celebrators of anniversaries, but when Paul remembered it, we both thought that this was one worth noticing. 44 sounds even-handed (which I think we are) and also rather a lot (which it obviously is).

So there we are. In an old fogey sort of way, we were thinking of going for a bit of a walk together in the afternoon. (Walking has long been one of our favourite joint activities.) But then it started raining. So we gave up on that idea. Never mind, sometime over the weekend will do.

If I had to give some reasons why I think our marriage has worked over so long (and it took us ages before we actually got married), I think I’d specify the following. A shared love of walking. A shared love of Wales. A shared love of singing and a shared enjoyment of eating nice things. Also, very importantly, a shared love of friends, especially old ones but also new ones. We’re both quite sentimental but are prepared to laugh at ourselves. We both like books and reading (not necessarily the same thing) and I think we both enjoy sitting by the fire on a wintry evening and probably watching television.

Well, we can also disagree and get over it – and I think this is also very important. When we first met, it was at Cambridge and Paul was an invited guest at a birthday tea-party given by my friend Valerie (then Smith) Grove. Paul said ‘Come out for dinner.’ As I recall I responded, ‘No sorry, I’m doing something else.’ Obviously we got over that one. But I can’t think that either of us thought we’d keep on meeting afterwards and stay together for so long. But, hey presto, we did. Perhaps lack of particular expectations has helped, also discovering how many things we enjoyed in common. Certainly life has been full of ups and downs. But we’ve enjoyed so much together that I can’t now imagine what life would have been like without each other’s company. By now, we’ve a world of experiences in common and many, many shared friends. Besides, Paul seems to like the cakes I make and I certainly love it when he brings me a cup of tea.

PS: So to the pictures. First the Group shot in the garden of the Worple Court Hotel, St David’s. Next down me and Paul with my brother Richard and Paul’s brother Andrew. Next, Paul and me with Aunty Mali; and finally with my sister Ann and her husband John.

Do your blog, Girl!!

Saturday, November 20th, 2021

Perhaps most of us have found ourselves there at some time or other. ‘There’ is where you begin to feel utterly stuck. You can’t get out of it. You can’t move on from it. It’s just where you were when you woke up and where you still find yourself hours later though you probably didn’t have any original attention of languishing in your bed until 11.30 a.m.  Now you just have to determine to somehow find a way to escape your bed or you’ll just wither away.

So this is me hoping to feel I’m moving on after a good part of a Saturday morning lying flat on my back listening to the radio and hoping Paul will bring me a cup of coffee soon. One decision did at least get made at 11.30– ‘DO YOUR BLOG, GIRL!  (Girl is what my mother would call me when she was really irritated with me.) Then when I said that, it did at least manage to get Paul to bring me my computer here in bed where I’m still sitting or lying. Lazy girl! Or is it wilful girl? I know the signs –  complete lassitude, total lack of interest in being upright – and I’ve already spent a couple of hours allowing them to inhabit me. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Bliss

Saturday, November 13th, 2021

The house in Corfu was owned by the daughter of Mama Katerina. The daughter lived and worked in Athens and Mama Katerina looked after the house on her behalf. She’d come wandering along with Vasilio her husband; they’d try out the figs growing on the trees in the garden. But if a particular fruit was not up to scratch in Mama Katerina’s opinion, she’d chuck it into the sea without a moment’s hesitation. Then offer us some she approved of.

Needless to say, the place was bliss, near enough to the little town of Benitses for us to be able easily to get there on our rented scooter to purchase food, far enough away to make us feel like we were lucky castaways.

The sea gurgled away at the bottom of the garden. There was a small stretch of sand where we could sunbathe listening to the soft movements of what you could hardly call waves. Altogether it really was bliss.

Bliss was increased by the visitations of a handsome dog who appeared to be a stray and whom we took under our wing insofar as he didn’t take us under his. We called him Filoskoulos and when we went into town on our rented scooter, we’d ask the butcher for some good bones for him. (more…)