Sunday, 29 May 2011

Grafting and Growing Stories on your Patch

A lot of work I do is based out at West Town Farm. The stories I use and tell are collected and gathered from all over. Their themes and images link to the farm. How far does the story itself become from this farm? So the apple tree that Isabella slumbers under is this tree here in the orchard and the hill that Hugh climbs to find the silver cattle is that hill across the valley. The branches of the story become grafted onto the root stock of the land.

Now this takes on another strand when the body of stories is added to with the events of the farm. The tale of Steve meeting the badger thief stealing the straw, the story of Tom painting the cow murals, the grubbing up and re planting of orchards are all part of the oral history of the farm. Our patch is growing tales, linked to place linked to time, drawn from tradition and history. These can be told either around the fire or in the barn or even better along the tracks and pathways. Story walks!

brief pause whilst I tell some stories

This is getting interesting. A whole set of stories around the fire in the Henge at West Town. Some grafted and some farm history but all beginning to connect.


As I write and edit this I am reminded of Wright and Sites Mis-Guides where a guide "... is no ordinary guide book. It is guided by the practice of mytho-geography, which places the fictional, fanciful, fragile and personal on equal terms with 'factual', municipal history."

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