Did you know that Saturday 29 January to Saturday 5 February is National Storytelling Week? I didn’t! I’d never heard of National Storytelling Week until now. Apparently this is the 11th year of Annual National Storytelling. I learned about this eventful week through my local newspaper, which often tells tales about local shenanigans and goings on. Like most newspapers for the past few weeks there’s been a lot of gloom and doom stories, hard stories and stories which made me question whether or not I should continue buying the local paper! Some weeks it makes for a depressing read. In fact I found myself scanning the paper for good news stories, inspiring and uplifting tales but there weren’t many this week, except for news of this – National Storytelling Week. Now there’s a thing, I thought. I do love a good story and proceeded to check out what is on offer in and around my area.
As a child I loved stories and still do as an adult (the grown up child with me!) My lovely Dad was one of the best story tellers in my time. Sadly he is no longer with us but I can still recall many of the tales he told, those of mystery and intrigue, those where everyone got a mention in the story by name and those well told ‘shaggy dog tales’ where even today I wonder if they were really true! His storytelling had the power to quieten and still the boisterous and lively child. He could entrance us as children with the goings on of his school days and later the harmless and playful pranks on mates when he worked in the building trade in his early days. His love and enjoyment of stories continued in his grandfather years and often as adults we would listen to him recounting the same tales to his grandchildren and despite invariably knowing the ending of the tale, we sat on engaged and listening anyway.
I wonder now if it was the story, his dulcet tones, the musicality of his words or quite simply the child within us wanting to be entertained that held us there hanging on his every word. Whatever it was, we loved it, young and old alike. For a few minutes he could transport us to a different time and place through the magic of storytelling.
So I’m off to check out some storytelling this week. What about you? Let me know if you come across any good tales in your travels. You may consider starting with the Society for Storytelling and their website is http://www.sfs.org.uk/nsw