Sunday, 21 April 2013

Spring stories

Stories for the beginning of summer
the lodge at Beacon Hill

Over Beltane weekend, I'm doing two sets of storytelling to welcome the changing season

These will have a distinctly magical feel and might include tales of old Ireland and from the mountains and glens of Scotland. Then again, they might not.  There will, however, almost certainly be boggarts and beasties and probably some gurt hairy lumps and certainly a few flowers and quite possibly a tale out of the deep midwinters of long ago - just so we don't forget the snow that has been and that will roll around again!

6.45pm: food available and  drinks, etc
7.30 - 10: stories start (with a break) through to 10pm

Tickets cost £7 from Greenway Cafe, Snitterton Road, Matlock or call 01629 580023

Storytelling Cafe is in the Imperial Rooms, Matlock, DE4 3NL

Sunday 5th May: Beacon Hill Country Park, Leicestershire
Join myself and the Beacon Hill team for a lively Beltane day. The event is free (car parkingcharges apply)   and will include stories in the big lodge (it's beautiful - come along just for the tipi if nothing else!), music and games. Usually there is a delightfully wild Morris side and often maypole dancing (and often that is improvised, too!). Bring a picnic and make a day of it - and when you can't take the merriment any more, walk up to the top of the Beacon Hill  - the second highest point in Leicestershire and made up of some of the oldest rocks in England

morris with lots of shouting!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Hoorah for the small and wriggly!

When the tide runs out: life in ancient rockpools

a finger-crinoid rests on our Ancient Landscape

We've just had a lovely day at Castleton Visitor Centre in the Hope Valley in Derbyshire. After snow a couple of weeks ago closed the centre, and the roads, and dramatic Winnatt's Pass, and froze our first "ancient rockpools" day out, today really counted as the start of public workshops for our Ancient Landscapes project
a sample rockpool was used to get people started
86 people joined us during the day to look at fossils and models of ancient
dangerous fish!
animals, and to stroke, prod, squeeze and generally explore our Ancient Landscape installation. Then most people made for themselves either a fossil fingerpuppet or an ancient rockpool from these far-off Carboniferous days (or both). Given what we were finding in our imagined rockpools, it's probably just as well we humans weren't around then!

We did make some practical discoveries, however, including "the easy way to draw a trilobite" - details will follow in another blog. And we met Toby with his lovely fossil blog - why not take a look? Fossilfriends

hoorah for the small and wriggly!
This project's activities always raises that question of " exact should we be" very nicely: just how much do we push "this is what it looked like"? On the whole, we share ideas, samples and models with people and let them our orthocone nautiloids end up looking suspiciously like belemnites, and the few trilobites that were still around in Carboniferous days were almost certainly not a spectacular as our ones. And Hoorah for the soft wriggly and unexpected things that have never, ever been fossilised! But it si good to embrace a world without dinosaurs and to find people are quite happy working with small wriggly, squirmy, swimmy creatures and to ponder the shapes of ancient seaweeds....

But mostly, we made things....

Next event is Saturday 6th April -Miller's Dale