As Bluebird, aka Janet Goring, I have always delighted in the Once Up on a Time….. A child in the 60’s I well remembers the delight of “Listen with Mother “every day on the Radio. I always imagined all stories were set around my childhood home by the River Itchen in Winchester.
Blessed with a good imagination and a quick keen sense of humour and fun, I often find I connect with people through retelling a tale of my own life events or incidences. Through my past work in Occupational Therapy, I was in a position to listen to true life stories, and having to pick out the relevant facts to resolve a situation or help to maintain a patient’s independence. A skill I feel puts me in a good mind set for the art of Oral Story Telling.
As an active member of the Girl Guide association for 51 years, I have always enjoyed the time around the camp fire at the end of the day, a safe, heart-warming and thrilling place to be. Many a fellow Guider will pay testimony to my skills of weaving any of the day’s events into a story. A few of these have become legends, within Bedhampton District. Activities on a theme for Guide Events being a speciality of mine, ranging from unit meetings for 12 girls up to day events for 600.
When my two daughters were young, I loved to play and teach through imaginative play and this is now continues with my five grandchildren. I love the joy of painting a picture with them with words and transporting them to another place in their imaginations. I rarely read to my Grandchildren but we spend hours telling stories, often my voice will give up before their thirst for “just one more story Nanny.”
In 2012, I was surprised to find the International School of Storytelling, (Insert link ) at Emerson College in Forest Row, and with some gentle persuasion from her husband …“I have booked it, so you are going” I attended a Begin it Now course .I absolutely loved it and many elements of Storytelling and my life to that point seemed to blend into one very happy feeling. I returned to Emerson in the summer of 2013 to continue my learning, and understanding of how Oral Story Telling, can enchant, enthral, heal and teach, all ages in so many ways. How there are stories from Fables to Legends that will speak to people a variety of different ways. I learnt how the same story, without the restriction of reading from a book, can be told a thousand different ways, and these stories have been handed down through the ancient art of Oral Storytelling.
During this time I also became a regular teller at Winchesters Wykeham Tales (insert link) Storyround, a forty five minute drive from my home in Portsmouth, but well worth it. I was welcomed with open arms by Steph Newell-Smith and Suzanne Houston and through their mentorship found the courage to return to The International School for Storytelling in September 2014. There under the expertise of tutors, Roi Gal-Or and Stella Kassimati I became a graduate of the schools flagship course The Heart and Craft of Storytelling. An experience that has helped shape not only my story telling but myself, me and I.
Now, I, Janet aka Bluebird have taken flight to spread the tradition of oral storytelling to keep it alive, but mostly to enthral and enchant…. anyone who will take the time to listen.
Where does the name Bluebird come from……well that’s another story!