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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

An evening of stories.......

Saturday was a busy day.  After Santa had departed it was time for me to get ready for some guests who were arriving on the 4pm boat for an evening of storytelling.  Tom Muir, Orcadian storyteller and Fran Flett Holinrake, also a weaver of stories, were out on Graemsay to tell some tales.  Both are instrumental in the Orkney Storytelling Festival which as been running for the last three years. Folk on Graemsay aren't able to get to the events because of ferry schedules so they brought a bit of the festival to us!

All those on the island that were fit and able came along to listen.  The Christmas elves had decorated the hall earlier in the day (we have some tall elves on the island!) so all was looking festive. Folk brought along something for the supper, while I stood in the kitchen over a cauldron of mulled wine!

Tom treated us to some of the old Orkney stories, including Assie Pattle and the Stoor worm. All the children, young and very old, were held in his spell. There were more tales to tell, including scary ones about trows and true stories that took your emotions for a ride.

Fran gave us stories about her Orkney "ancestors" and a wonderful dramatic tale on how the cat and mouse got to be enemies. That had a few of us jumping out of our chairs!

Everyone had a great time and were pleased when Tom & Fran said they'd like to come back again. That would be great!  I love hearing stories. I'm a fan of "audio books" - there is just something about hearing a voice telling a story. Tom and Fran, together with others in Orkney are doing much to keep the story-telling tradition alive.  If you want to hear Tom telling a story click on this link HERE and scroll the the bottom of the page and click on the audio version. (I couldn't get the video link to work and it might take up a lot of bandwidth).  Make a cup of tea or coffee and spend a few minutes hearing Tom tell a Selkie (seal) story in his lovely rich Orcadian accent.

Also in the visiting party was Andrew Hollinrake, an archeologist with a particular interest in WWII "stuff". He was keen to visit the Hoy Low WWII gun battery remains. I'll post some more about that in the next post....


  1. So the Orkney Islands were created from the teeth of a nasty, fetid dying monster... ;-)

  2. Brilliant, Sian. I'm a great fan of audio books too and would have loved that. I'll wait til all the neighbouring children are in bed and the internet is quiet to listen to the story.