Plant folklore, plant folk tales

What is a ‘folk tale?’ When does modern become traditional, and anecdote become received wisdom? For my book Botanical Tales, I’ve been researching the traditional folk tales recorded from many different parts of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, looking for stories where wild plants and trees play a central role, and relating these stories back to the folklore of plants and…Continue reading Plant folklore, plant folk tales

Fairy confessions

British folk tales are a big part of life for me right now. Any spare moment I have, I’m working on my book ‘Botanical Tales.’ There’s a lot of stories now, and yet new ones keep on appearing. Listening is as important as writing: to go with the inspirations that regularly turn up as part of the research, to follow those stories…Continue reading Fairy confessions

Direction of travel

It’s the Spring Equinox, the time of equal day and night, that will tip over into the summer months and warmer times. It’s meant to be a time of balance, equilibrium, and calm. Allegedly. Looking around me, I see very few people in a state of balance. Over the last few weeks, I have been drawn to the fact that most…Continue reading Direction of travel

A river of hope?

Stories will find you, stories that fit the energy of the time. Or is it the other way around? As part of South Devon Storytellers we have been working through the Norse myths, transforming the self-consciously sparkly Totnes into a world of ice, gods, giants and mountains. On Monday I told stories of Loki: the Father of Lies, the Shape Shifter,…Continue reading A river of hope?

Attention to detail

I started the Devon coast to coast (Two Moors Way) walk today, as a little project to tackle through the year. We started on Wembury beach, and made our way through the muddy countryside of south Devon, and the occasional snow shower, towards the southern edge of Dartmoor. Some way to go on that yet… It’s easy, in February, to…Continue reading Attention to detail