Sunday, 17 July 2016

Rainy days and dragon mornings

Rainy day stories and 

dragon mornings

we began in the wet

Festival season in Buxton and both the main Festival and the Fringe are in full swing and I was telling stories in the Magical Storytelling Yurt for High Peak Community Arts. I’ve been doing this day for several years now: unpredictable days – always enthusiastic audiences but our numbers are very subject to the whims of the weather. Not much has ever rivalled the year we just started at about 11 and told stories almost non-stop for 5 hours as audiences came and went in waves like an over-eager tidal surge….

Yesterday it rained. Not torrential downpours but persistent Buxton drizzle that soaked the grass and squelched it, that slipped down necks and up sleeves and into socks. But we still have visitors, we still have people cheerfully soggying in and laughing, creaking like doors, roaring as tigers, watching for sun, rain and rainbows. We had a cheerful day in the Magical Rather Damp Yurt

sunshine on a peacock tree
So this morning’s dawn was greeted with a degree of trepidation. Stone and Water have been doing Tiny! Days in the Festival Fringe for years. There have been Tiny! Lantern processions, Tiny! Pirates (several times), Tiny! Faeries, Goblins and Trolls; Tiny! Monsters, and today Tiny! Dragons, Wyrms and Serpents (to which we added butterflies, bumblesbees, a tree, a flower, an eagle, several other birds and a peacock)

The Tiny! Days ask people to work within the theme and to make nothing bigger (give or take!) than their hand. They are cheerful, slightly frivolous family events: free, no booking, no charge, easy to find, open to everyone sessions within the Fringe: just turn up, pass-by and drop-in, whizz across the grass on your scooter. 

When asked “why?” (especially when there is no money, no tickets, no background grants, just us being cheerful) our answer has always been that “we live here, this is our home, this is one of the things that we do just ‘cause it’s fun to do and is a summer gift to the people we live among”. And on busy summer days with people playing in the river, picnicking on the lawns, being harassed by the ducks, playing in the playgrounds, watching model boats on the upper pool, falling over, spilling ice cream down their T-shirts,  crying ‘cause the miniature railway is broken down and not running, we offer a still space. Our creativity is contained, personal and quiet. Our laughter is soft, the delight gentle, the satisfaction great.
fire from a dragon cave
Thank you, dragon-makers, peacock artists, bumblebee girls and dinosaur boys.

And the next Creeping Toad summer events can be found here

The very next event is another Dragon Day: a more structured workshop:

Tuesday 9th: Dragon Days
More dragons! Join me  on a journey to discover the last dragons of Derbyshire with stories and puppet-making. Make your own dragon as big as your hand with its own nest or cave and collection of treasure.
When: 11am – 1pm (if we fill up the morning slot, we might be able to run a scaly overspill in the afternoon)
Please book a place: 01298 937375
Fee: £6.00
Where: Green Man Gallery, Hardwick Hall,  Hardwick Square S, Buxton SK17 6PY
Part of the Buxton Family Festival, download a programme for the whole festival here:
dragon mountain, approaching sunshine

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