Sunday 20 October 2013

Through the gap in the hedge - Newfoundland stories in Edinburgh

Today was a full day of storytelling for me here in Edinburgh. I performed at three very different events, starting with the Natural Journeys event at the Royal Botanic Garden.

The official programme invited visitors to the Garden to "journey between key locations in the beautiful Botanic Gardens and gather where stories will be shared in harmony with the elements." We as storytellers were given a start time and location, and then were encouraged to wander through the Garden, telling stories. Fellow storyteller Kathy Jessup and I got to the start location a bit early, and wandered around, looking for a good spot for stories.

When we started our search for storytelling locations, one of the festival worker encouraged us to look around, with the best set of directions I've heard in ages: "go through the gap in the hedge, and look for the Queen Mother's Garden."

Off we went. The hedge was easy to spot, a massive beech hedge, and sure enough, a gap.

Through the gap, and there, at the end of the garden, was a wee stone pavilion, with the interior walls covered in seashells and pinecones, located in the Queen Mother's Memorial Garden. I collected my audience, mostly kids and young couples, and we packed into the pavilion and I shared stories. It was definitely one of the cutest spots I've ever told in.

Later, it was back to the Scottish Storytelling Centre where I did an afternoon set of Newfoundland folktales, then a shared concert where I told Newfoundland stories with the charming Jess Smith as host, Botswana's Kelone Khudu-Petersen who shared two fabulous stories, and Claire McNicol who sang lovely ballads.

After that, and no surprise to anyone reading my blog, more food: a fantastic Nepalese meal with storytellers from Botswana, Italy, Canada, India and the UK. It's been an adventure, and there is much yet to come. Stay tuned!

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