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Let me tell you a story…

by on January 24, 2018

It’s been a long time – not just since Rock N Roll, as the song goes, but since I wrote a proper blog post here.



Well, not entirely sorry, as I’ve been busy. Trying to sell my house so that I can move has taken a lot of energy. I’ve almost come to the conclusion that, since Marx argued: ‘All property is theft’, anyone trying to buy a house should be locked up at once.  Certainly, a number of the people we’ve had round as prospective purchasers should be behind bars – some for their own safety as I would happily wring their necks in my darker moments, others as they clearly need to be Sectioned under The Mental Health Act and committed to a safe and secure environment where their fantasies cannot harm anyone and won’t cost me a fortune in wasted legal fees.


Sorry again.


Anyway, besides being besieged by lunatics masquerading as house buyers, I’ve also been working hard on material. I don’t think I’ve said so on my blog, but during this last year I’ve been working hard (stop laughing at the back. Yes, you. I have, honest!) on some new material and also on an artform that has been a revelation to me. I’ve been trying to become an oral storyteller. Now, as I know that most of you are bookish people, you are familiar with the concept of storytelling as it applies to a novel or short story: this is oral story telling in the grand old tradition that leads back through the Bards to Homer and beyond. I hadn’t realised until a year or so ago that the tradition of gathering to hear someone tell stories in the old way still happened – yet it does, all the time, all over the UK and indeed the rest of the world.

If you get a chance, seek out the nearest storytelling group to you and go and listen. You will be in for a surprise and a treat, I promise. Old tales, folk tales, new tales, you will hear all of them. Not repeated in the sort of monotonous drone you will recognise from many audio books, but brought to life as a piece of performance art.

I have to tell you as well –  telling stories is sublime, it is great fun for both the audience and the story teller.  The other night I was telling a longish tale from The Mabinogion, that great repository of wonderous Celtic stories and I looked up to see an entire roomful of people still, silent, and absorbed entirely in the ancient story. That was fantastic! Especially as it is quite rare for anything I say to receive such rapt attention. It doesn’t happen at home if Coronation Street or Eastenders is on, I know that.

I’ve a reasonable list of different stories that I can do, almost at the drop of a hat (as Flanders & Swann would say) so I wondered what I could do with this repertoire. And with the help of some friends came up with the answer. So I’ve had time in a professional recording studios, and laid down eleven audio tracks for a full audiobook, with CD and accompanying paperback of eight traditional Welsh Tales and three of my own short stories. That was a fascinating experience and having heard the first rough mixes, I’m looking forward to the finished result. Look out for The Tinker’s Tales in the spring.

Ashgrove 1


What else is coming this year?


There’s the long promised next instalment of The Banned Underground, as the collection of bad jokes is now tall enough to teeter alarmingly on the edge of my desk. Sci-fi too is in the final stages of preparation, and hopefully the conclusion of The Mister Jones Mysteries as well. 2018 promises to be an exciting year! And if I ever get to move, a rather busy one too.



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  1. I think this is why some realtors don’t want the owners around when showing houses.

  2. Sounds brilliant, although not the moving bit. Are they making a feature of the rumbly tummy backing or have they managed to edit it out? Buying and selling houses is always shite. Our buyer tried to pull out on moving day with what Prince Charles would call a ‘pantechnicon’ standing outside, the first of two, already half packed. Best of British with all of it. Or Best of Welsh if you’d prefer.



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