Our first meeting after the summer break was on September 14th, 2017 when Fiona Birchall planned to tell stories relating to ‘The Seven Ages of Women’. It was good to see so many members and guests attending. After the business part of the meeting and the coffee, tea and biscuits break, Carolyn introduced Fiona. Fiona began by informing us that her stories were not to do with the seven ages of women. She had picked the title at random with reference to Shakespeare’s ‘Seven Ages of Man’. Instead, she was concentrating on three ages of women - the child, the mother and the grandmother – with some connection to the pagan belief of three in one or as Fiona put it, the maiden, the mother and the ‘old crone’. They were traditional stories of which two were fictional, passed on by word of mouth to many generations of people through the ages and the third was a local story based on facts.
Fiona is a marvellous storyteller and she had everybody spellbound, hanging on her every word. As she said, storytelling is the oldest form of entertainment and as long as there are people there are stories. The first story was a Cornish tale called ‘The Lost Land of the Lyonesse’ – the legendary city at the bottom of the sea. The second was a tale of the Selkies of Scotland. The third story was about Henry Brydges, 2nd Duke of Chandos, who met a woman outside The Pelican Inn, Newbury, who was to become his second wife. Fiona kindly gave us a fourth story about a fairytale princess.
Fiona said that the sole purpose of storytelling is to entertain, but it is also used to comfort people in times of bereavement and to assist patients as a form of therapy. An interesting fact about Fiona is that she does not tell stories to children. She has no grandchildren. She just loves telling stories to adults and she has a wonderful ability which we all appreciated.
October 12th, 2017 – Caroline Tilly will speak about the wonderful work of the RNLI. This will be a great insight as to how many rescues are carried out each year. This is an OPEN meeting for women and men. Please come and join us for the talk. You will be most welcome.
November 9th, 2017 – Sarah Talents will tell us about a retirement home for polo ponies – a charity helping blind people to ride.
December 14th, 2017 – John Pitman will talk about his role as Dame in pantomime for 33 years. This promises to be a very good evening and may include audience participation. Should be fun!
Why not come along as a guest, a potential new member, or as someone who is interested in listening to a particular speaker? We are a cheerful group of ladies and we do have fun! If anyone would like to come along or would like more details please contact Carolyn Brown.