Monday, 25 February 2013

Mountain tales

Mountain tales
a day of storytelling and storymaking in the Cairngorms, 
Sunday April 14th 2013

last year, this little character entertained us

an environment full of starting points
 As part of a weekend of activities on the Wilderness Guide Training Programme, I will be leading a story day at Glenmore Lodge

My day will include chance to:
  • experiment with ways of making up stories with groups,   
  • using the world around us - the world your wilderness walk has taken you through - to shape new stories         
  • draw instant poems from weather, landscape and moment       
  • techniques for learning and telling traditional stories

Make the most of those round-the-fire evenings…..

This weekend also includes workshops on natural navigation, astronomy and Scottish geology and landforms by some very exciting workshop leaders. (Watching the rings of Saturn through a  telescope on a cold Cairngorm night was one of my highpoints of last year!)

Each workshop lasts a whole day and you can book in for one day or two - or if you are inspired, perhaps you will do the whole training programme

For booking details and prices contact:
the wider horizon, 2012

Friday, 22 February 2013

Strange recipes and secret places

ready for action

These have been eventful days of workshops all over the place

At St Thomas the Martyr Primary School in Upholland, we've beee looking at "our school" catching the secret life of the school its special places and the unexpected adventures of some of the animals that live around the school. These ideas resolved into pop-up cards and small, secret scenes in boxes...

Then at Coppull Primary School in a whirlwind day of storytelling and storymaking, I encountered a selection of superheroes including Football Boy (he tends to break things) and Skipping Girl (she skips up storms). There were tales of explorers in far flung corners of the globe finding shells, treasures and giant eggs. There were event some rather dubious Year 2's brewing terrible mixtures for our selection of "exciting pots that might be part of a story". I am not sure that we should invite you to sample them, but do try speaking them out loud wiht a certain sense of glee and enjoy the sound and rhythm of our recipes!

1. The King's Cup
to make the Queen happy

Chocolate, cheese and chicken,
Popcorn, pears and potatoes,
Sugar, champagne and shampoo.
Medals, mustard and mayonnaise.
Stir with a ladle for 16 days.
Put in front of the queen and
She'll think its wine.
Dark red like blood.
Green like bogeys

2. The Royal Gravy Pot
 a) Nasty gravy
Bogeys and biscuits,
Earwigs and eggs,
Pooh and pencils,
Ink and ice,
Spit, sparks and spiders,
Stir it up
Heat it gently,
Pour it quickly
Over their dinner
And watch them turn
Into boring books

b) Nice gravy
Pumpkin seeds and pears
Cherries and berries
Golden syrup and grapes
Honey and hot chocolate
Mix it well,
Boil for an hour
and pour it over a pancake

and finally....a beautiful secret scene from St Thomas'

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Perfect Park Pizzas

a pizza of sliced flowers for butterflies
In the ongoing delightful craziness that is my work with Whitefield Infant School, the Reception classes had been working on senses and cookery. So when it came time to work with me and visit the lcoal park, we explored Victoria Park as chefs, designing pizzas for the animals (real, hoped for or monstrous) that live there

My brief is to encourage classes to use the local environment and to help inspire language....The poems are the children's own words and images. My job is to shuffle them into an order....I love the language

In the Park
Snow is slowly drifting down.
Falling in the water,
Snow pirates sailing on the river
In the cold, cold, freezing cold

Magic flowers are growing,
There are suns made of snow
And stars
And rainbows of snow and ice,
In the cold, cold, freezing cold

Snow butterflies,
And snow trees,
Snow spiders and
Snow birds
In the cold, cold, freezing cold

Icicles grow everywhere
On fingers and noses
And ears and eyes
And faces and eyebrows and chins,
In the cold, cold, freezing cold

Ducks with cold toes are swimming
Racing us round the pond
Hoping for bread
But our pockets are empty,
In the cold, cold, freezing cold

But polar bears are waiting to roar
And penguins are sitting in the penguin houses,
Dinosaurs have snowball fights
And the troll sits in the tunnel waiting for spring
In the cold, cold, freezing cold

And then we got onto the pizzas themselves
a pizza in the park, divided into sections for sharing!
would you like to choose a pizza?


Our pizza smells, of strong green leaves,
muddy brown leaves, red cherries
and blue jellies

Our pizza
Sounds like the wind in the trees, shouting children,
Feet trip trapping through the
Castle tunnel where the monster lives

Our pizza
Has tomato and cheese, mud and mushrooms.
Cheese and chicken and chips, pine cones and pepsi,
Cups and kites, leaves and lentils,
Ducks, pineapples and glass

Our pizza party has
Ladybirds and lions, elephants and owls,
Squirrels, dogs and gingerbread men

Our pizza will
Taste beautiful and wonderful and we
Will need a map to get past the troll

a pizza with fried egg, and handy glue-spreader to help in the eating of it!