Many many years ago I heard a story about a prehistoric woman who had been found preserved in a peat bog. Her skin was intact and she was tattooed. They thought she may have been a traveling storyteller who used her tattoos to illustrate her tales. This, in itself a story, struck me. How important it was to be a story teller and how important it was to tell stories to make sense of the world as we experience it.

Storytelling is significant. Within the shape of stories can be found moral codes, messages of hope, messages of warning. We may forget facts, figures and the finer details, but stories remain. Let us remember that words are metaphors, and so stories contain meta-narratives, trojan mice that allow the transmission of  lessons. They help us find our place within the world, through the world and to understand the world.

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Each year at the Marston Vale Forest Centre they hold the Woodworks festival a local group of wordsmiths, fibs and fables, tell stories. My only contribution is to provide the tent, a tiny contribution I know, but one which belies a deeply held belief that the tradition of storytelling, in all its forms, should be encouraged and enabled. One day I hope to be brave enough to doing some telling, so that I can earn the right to my tattoos…

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