TELLING TALES !

Our lives are made up of stories from the seemingly trivial and every day,  to the most dramatic and sometimes life changing.

Through books, films, plays and songs we can ‘live’  moments of  humor, danger, intrigue and love.

We can travel back in time, be transported to other worlds and dimensions or live in the moments of the here and now.

They say every picture tells a story and that is very true.

Photos of the London blitz when people were strong together and supported one another with  both practical and emotional help.  The scenes in the underground stations where people sheltered from the bombing. Vera Lynn singing to the troops who were far away from their loved ones. Flanagan and Allen performing in theatres  with songs including Underneath the Arches.

Most of us have photographs which are snapshots of our lives from the typical baby shots of us or family members, to walking barefoot on a beach hand in hand.

Stories from those moments are brought to the fore of our memories, often with the smells of baby talc or the salt sea smell of the tide.

I love telling stories ! When I was a teacher, I really looked forward to reading stories or telling stories to the class. Then the cries of ” Oh no, don’t stop there !” when I came to the end of a chapter or the cliff edge which left them looking forward to “What happened next”.

There were many favourite books but near the top were ‘The Silver Sword’ by Ian Serraillier and ‘The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe’ by C.S. Lewis.

In 1979 Ian Serraillier spent a morning with my class at Kingsham Primary School , telling us how he came up with the idea and how the story weaved its way with Jimpy the cockerell and the paper knife which was – the silver sword.

My latest venture which is story telling and making with adult audiences I’m calling ‘Tales Upon A Time’. Bringing stories to life and providing opportunities for participants to bring pictures or objects in from home which have a story to tell.

Have a look around your homes and see if there are any items which have interesting, funny or remarkable stories behind them.

Think about stories going back in the generations of your families which are fascinating and of course part of our histories too.

The Tales Upon A Time.

Thank you !    Chris.

 

 

 

 

MUSIC IS ALL AROUND US !

Amongst many other things, I’ve been  privileged to have trained at the University of Chichester in an approach to music called ‘Lifemusic’. The tutor and Director of ‘Lifemusic’ is Doctor Rod Paton who is inspirational ! What a great thing to be able to say about someone !      The principles of ‘Lifemusic’ are :

* we are all musicians,

* there are no wrong notes,

* every sound has a meaning.

I work with all ages and have around 80 instruments ranging from  djembe drums and synthesisers to a ‘Soundbeam’ and including the instruments you see in the photo.

The music begins wherever we want it to begin. Someone playing a rhythm on a djembe, or notes on a finger piano. Participants join in where and when they want to, or drop out when they want to. We then either ‘play around’ with sound perhaps mirroring each other with different instruments or building up a crescendo of sound around the circle. Often we create a ‘sound picture’ by working to a theme chosen by the group. Children often choose the jungle or a  wood, outer space or the North Pole. We use our voices which as you can imagine, if we’re in the jungle includes monkeys and elephants and of course – lions !

Adults have  chosen themes like The National Anthem, or by the sea.

On some occasions I also use fabrics and tissue paper for participants to create their own jungles or seascapes complete with rivers and streams and insects and flowers.

One of the first things that Rod said to us as students of ‘Lifemusic’ was “Music is all around us. Just listen. ”

I went to Worthing beach the next day and listened. The sound of a dog as it crunch crunched along the pebbles. A seagull screeching overhead. A rook in a tree. People laughing.

Yes, music is all around us whether we’re outdoors or indoors; in the open space of nature or in a store.

Just listen.

It’s part of rhythm of life !

Thank you,  Chris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY IS NEW AND SO ARE WE !

“Today is new and so are we ! ” is a very good way to begin our day. Not always easy depending on what we’re going through at that moment but  a gentle reminder that after a night’s sleep, we wake to a new day and a new beginning.

My life’s journey has been a varied and interesting one. One filled with amazing experiences, opportunities and events as well as the pain of losses, bereavements and difficult change.

I had a ‘chance’ meeting on Wednesday and having said a little about my latest venture to Sue – writing a Journal with my thoughts, reflections, poetry, artwork and poetry – she said ” You should write a blog”. I said I’d think about it but having thought about it, here I am !

Lexie pointed me in the direction of WordPress ( thank you ! ) and so far so good.

I hope my Blog will provide for visitors something of interest, something of me and a little about what ‘makes me tick’.

So here goes !  A poem which I call ‘The Millstream’.

Life is ever changing , it is never standing still,

Like the water in the millstream as it flows out through the Mill,

The churning and the turning grinds the corn for valued things-

The food on someone’s table and the sustenance it brings.

Life is ever changing, it is never standing still,

Like the water in the millstream as it flows out through the Mill,

The power and the glory the snowstorms and the rain,

Without these opposites in life the loss alongside gain

We’d never ever truly live or develop, change and grow,

Our lives would be like husks of corn our true selves never show.

I’ll leave that with you as my first Blog ! More to follow !

NEW BEGINNINGS !

It’s Monday May 22nd 2018 and this is my second posting.

My blog will mainly be thoughts and ideas which occur to me; things ‘on my mind’ and things I’ve written or created.

With the Wedding on Saturday and for me (but paling into insignificance in comparison with that event!)  a new venture in creating my own Blog. I’m thinking about ‘new beginnings’ which links with my first blog of course, ‘Today is new and so are we!’

New beginnings can be exciting, scary, full of opportunities or those stomach churning moments when we think ” Why did I start this !”

I’m learning as I go along with my blogging. I’d love to add photographs but haven’t yet worked out how but with help, I will.

I’ve been a searcher all my life (well not until I was 18 I suppose!) and I’ve read many great thinkers and philosophers – some well known others more remote.

One I remember is Orage. He worked as a journalist but explored many things including Buddhism and self understanding.

One of his quotes which I remember from fifty years ago is “Life is a gymnasium, try yourself out on it!”

What a great quote !

One of Helen Keller’s famous sayings is ” Face the fear and do it anyway!”

However, for both these sayings we have to bear in mind ‘where we’re at’ at that moment in time.

If I’m going through trauma or difficulty, the last thing I want to hear is “face the fear and do it anyway !”

I also need to be ‘gentle’ with myself and as it says on a card on my bookcase ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself’.

New beginnings are also about change – CHANGE   HGCNAN        GNEHCA,   sometimes ‘the pain of change’.

Jay Asher said ” You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret…..is to press play”.

More the next time with – maybe –  some photographs ! Perhaps my next Blog will be about some of the changes in my life.

Thank you,   Chris.