Friday, November 28, 2014

Parent Child Mother Goose Program

I've just emerged back into the light after spending two days in an amazing workshop. A good percentage of my storytelling work is with the very young and their carers and I have been wanting to do the Parent Child Mother Goose training for years but the planets have never aligned. Now I have my certificate and I can report that the workshop was immaculately structured, the facilitators (Jacquie and Marilyn) are both extraordinary holders of rhymes, chants and folk tale; I was in the company of two brilliant folk anthologists who use, teach, collect and develop diamonds. The principals behind Mother Goose will inform a chunk of my practice and give depth to the part of my program that was in need of rethinking. And the participants! What a joy to spend time with these energised, thoughful and motivated people. I'm happy!

The Mother Goose 'style' avoids props - the stories and rhymes are all held in the air. As I move from place to place, I don't have the chance to develop relationships and routine like the MG program and I find some props useful, but much of what I have learned during the workshop will deepen and enrich my program - especially the work with 0 - 1 year olds. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Mighty Conqueror: Phar Lap the wonder horse 2014

Its been a sad racing season with two horses dying after the running of the Melbourne Cup. Many Australians can trace their attachment to horses and to racing through the generations. Every small country town it seems, once boasted a track. The story of Phar Lap has a hold over many in a way that is difficult for those out side to grasp. Something to do with the Irish in us, the period of time between WW1 and WW2, a depression and a flu epidemic... Into this despair came a beautiful animal with an exceptional nature, a strapper, a jockey and a trainer -  all of enormous talent.

I was in the Melbourne Museum yesterday and visited the evocative and melancholy space where Phar Lap's hide is exhibited along with some artefacts and a film that tells it all.

Top to bottom: Harry Telford (trainer), Jim Pike (jockey), (Tommy Woodcock (strapper and trainer), Phar Lap (or 'Bob' as Tommy called him).

And if you didn't know already, I've written  a book about Phar Lap. You can hear me reading it HERE.

I too am saddened by our continued exploitation of animals. The past is a strange place and its hard for people to let go of the racing legacy when there is so much money involved. One day we'll grow up ...?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Storytelling workshop: Adolescents to Adults 4 December 2014

Folks are always asking me about storytelling workshops. This one will be excellent and its FREE as part of the Words on the Winds project at The Library at the Dock. Click on the poster to enlarge and read the details. You can read more about Storytelling Australia Victoria HERE subscribe to their Facebook and follow their Blog.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Storytelling spaces

I'm starting a collection of photos of interesting storytelling spaces. 

On Monday as the sun went down, the fire was lit and I told stories to children who sat around the flames on rubber tyres arranged in tiers. Lots of 'joining in' stories: Abi Yo Yo, Phar Lap, Ned Kelly, Little Rooster. A mix of classic Australian, American and Turkish tales. One day I will work out how to publish my Australian Tellable Tales so other storytellers can include them in their repertoire, an ebook project perhaps? I need help!  No pics of the kids, so you will just have to take my words for it. This space is in Anglesea at a place called Burnside.

And this space is in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical  Gardens in Pete's Patch. It will be a few years before it reaches maturity but the structure is beautiful: espaliered apples and pears will soften the wall, and look at the magnificent wooden bench. Maybe one day I will be invited to tell stories here - in spring!

Photos from Clunes Booktown for Kids 2014

What a wonderful festival this is. Working alongside an awesome team of authors and illustrators not to mention the Clunes Booktown committee, volunteers and towns people that work above and beyond the call of duty to make it happen. My thanks to them all.

The weather was a challenge but we coped. Friday was melting hot and on Saturday the temperature plummeted. One fashion crisis after another!

The little town of Clunes sits snug along Creswick Creek, its gold mining past palpable;  mullock heaps,  poppet heads and copses of elms and poplars tell the tale of the environmental disaster that came with the gold rush. The town  was neglected for many years and perhaps that's why so much of the architecture is still in tact.

Evocative, poignant, and enigmatic are words I would use to describe Clunes.
pics north to south: The sign arriving from Melbourne, the Town Hall with festive bunting, ready for book signing!


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