Posted by: storypilgrim | March 17, 2010

Romantic Tales Feb. 23, 2010

23.02.2010 Romantic Tales Reflection

I am again late at getting around to writing about out last Blether club, it is now mid-march and here I sit, so we will see how good is my recollection. Hopefully when I get into the habit of this reflection writing every month I will get down to it when the evening is still fresh in my mind, but for now you will have to rely on my memory, good luck! To all those who told stories on the night please let me know if the details are skewed and I will give my memory a good talking to, perhaps that will straighten it out. Anyway on with the night…

Our evening of Romantic tales was to be held in the basement half of Drouthy Neebors pub in Dundee. I had been looking forward to the night as we have used Drouthy’s as a venue before and I felt it was an excellent environment for storytelling and it may become a more regular venue if everything goes well. I have a fondness for Drouthy’s, for when I first moved (unknowingly more permanent than anticipated) to Dundee, and Scotland, I was placed in a flat just a couple of hundred metres from Drouthy’s, so there have been many nights in the basement bearing witness to all sorts of performances, but that is another story…

I arrived at Drouthy’s ahead of everyone else as I took the train in from Perth, my usual liftshare buddies Lindsey and Debbie were not going to make it this evening, also it gave me a chance to arrange things, chairs mostly. The basement has one end with an open fire, that I had never noticed before this night, and space to create a circle of chairs. While I waited I read over my story for the evening, a Celtic tale about Bride, Beira (the cailleach) and Angus Og. I did not feel prepared to tell the story just yet and was not sure if I would attempt, it felt like I needed to work on it a bit and connect with the story a bit more. Sometimes though I need to tell the story before I know if I connect with it.

Senga and Sylvia arrived and we sat together wondering if anyone else was going to show, we already knew a few folk weren’t going make it. Time ticked away and no one was showing, then suddenly someone must have opened the gates for in they came and the seats quickly filled, in fact we had to drag a few more chairs into our growing circle. In all I believe 13 people showed up, a lucky number! Don’t believe the hype about it being unlucky, they just want to keep it for themselves.

My hat was removed to be used as a pocket for the names, we usually have all those who want to tell a story write their names on a piece of paper and then they are drawn at random from the hat. I decided not to put my name in, just yet, so I could listen and perhaps the story I was learning would settle into place, digest a little bit.

The first name drawn from the hat was David. A regular at our club David always brings an interesting story and he did not disappoint this time. He told us a tale from Orkney about the Finfolk, a race of supernatural people who live in part beneath the sea. It was an atmospheric tale about a mortal man who loses his wife to the Finmen but in the end gains an island from them, an island that may be visited to this day.

Now I may begin to get the order of who went next a bit muddled, but this will be my version of history afterall. I believe we had the name Sylvia appear from the hat. She told us a tale of a princess who would not be wed until she was forsaken by her father and given into the arms of a vagabond, forced to live with him and actually do work for herself. There was an uncertainty about where the story was going but being a princess story we did eventually get to the ever after… Senga took us to auld Dundee and a foray with the bogles of the howff, bogles who were shooed away with a bit of love, and some housework. Rachel took us to America and the unlikely relationship of a boy who’s true love is actually a tornado.

I was enjoying the atmosphere of Drouthy’s and getting wrapped up in the images of the stories, some wonderful images were being conjured and there were more to come. A young lady had appeared at the club this night and we learned her name was Fe, she was holding a sketchpad and we learned that she was getting ideas for drawing stories. Fe would not be short of pictures on this evening.

The running order here will have to go completely out the window, I have notes with arrows drawn all over it which I am unable to decipher, so again I will rewrite history and say that the next name out of the hat was Geroen (perhaps I have spelled his name incorrectly?) and he told us a tale from Russia that had a huntsman with a very annoying wife but through the gift bestowed on him by a snake he rescued he was able to understand the speech of animals and this helped him to put his wife in her place. Perhaps not a story considered to be the most pc in this day and age but a damn good yarn nonetheless…

We were, perhaps, then taken away to a tale of lovers told by Sheila about a man who finds his true love but is not allowed to see her at night until his curiousity gets the better of him and he discovers that half her body is a skeleton and because of this discovery she leaves and is gone forever. It transpires that she was actually a girl who had died many years ago. Out of the hat came Paul who took us away with the soothing song of a wedding day, a welcome break from the flow of stories and very well fitting with the theme.

A debate with a friend about the greatest warrior who ever lived sparked Morgan to tell us about a knight who was more nimble in his armour than out of it, as proven by his prowess in the bedroom when glued into said armour. It was a tale of love, deceit and murder; all the ingredients for a good romantic tale of chivalry.

Now I do remember who was the last teller of the night, because it was me myself. When the names were emptied from the hat a few gazes wandered in my direction and I felt like I could attempt the tale. The story is about the coming of spring heralded by Angus Og and Bride as they meet and drive out the hag of winter, the cailleach Beira. I told half the tale, which was long enough and summed up the romantic element of the story. I did connect with the story and will be developing it further, hopefully to tell the rest at a future club night.

Overall the night was a success and everyone seemed enthusiastic to have the next club there in March, our night of Sugar N’ Spice, Blether’s 3rd birthday celebration. So we are booked in for the night and they say we will have the fire lit, it shall be an atmosphere well suited to the flow of stories.

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