Monthly Archives: February 2013

Happy endings, and the weaving of reality

My seven-year old and I sat down yesterday and watched one of my favourite films, Princess Mononoke.  In case you don’t know, it’s a Japanese animation from Hayao Miyazaki, creator of Spirited Away (amongst others), and it’s, very roughly, about a boy, a girl, an iron foundry and some forest spirits.  The owner of the iron foundry wants to kill the forest spirits, or more specifically, THE Forest Spirit, so she can get on with ‘turning this wilderness into the richest land around’. The boy, the girl, and the spirits kinda disagree with her on this.

This is what "disagreeing" looks like

This is what “disagreeing” looks like

Towards the end (if you don’t want spoilers, turn away now – but I’ll keep it minimal, and it’s such a beautiful film that knowing the storyline doesn’t actually spoil it at all), when boy and girl watch the destruction caused by the murder of the Forest Spirit (yeah, this isn’t Disney, but more on that later), my son turned to me in some distress and said “I thought films like this were supposed to have a happy ending?”.

Wow. That made me think. Are they? Why? Says who? Happy for who?  And does Princess Mononoke even have an ending, or is it more Continue reading


“Thank you for letting me join in” – How I’ve done a really rubbish job of explaining The Telling

stagheadAs you may or may not know (possibly not, given how lax I’ve been at blogging lately), since, ooh, sometime last year, I’ve been involved in the most awesome, inspiring, wonderful and fun project, called the Telling. Or possibly, For The Telling. Whatever. Whenever people have asked me “So, what’s The Telling then?” I’ve been completely at a loss to explain. I’d say, Well, it’s a kind of post-apocalyptic storytelling event, and we’ve got some music too, and some other stuff. What do you mean? Well, er, some people wanted to get involved, so we’ve got some poetry, some other stuff – it’ll be in the old arts college! What, inside? Well, no, in the courtyard actually. It’s derelict, so we painted it, or rather, Phlegm did, that’s not his real name, and we’re having dancing foxes and making it all firelit. So who’s funding this? Um, no-one, we’re doing it for free. It’s kind of linked to the Dark Mountain project. What’s Dark Mountain? Um… And so on.

I’ve explained The Telling to people as an event, as a mini-festival, as a way of sharing stories (that one really confused people), as a way of Continue reading


Free Glove, baby!

Glovebombing The Telling. Rise and Root rune by Rima Staines

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