“Every so often, mostly in the winter, I have storytelling nights. And I have mulled wine and a nice fire and candles, and select about 12 people – our friends. And we have a theme. And you have to sit on a stool. It’s a storytelling stool. We announce our story with a title. The last theme was, ‘I saw the light’.
There used to be storytelling in Christchurch at the Exchange cafe. And I’ve got a friend who loves stories. She’s got a lot of Māori connections so the whole idea of storytelling as an indigenous way of passing on knowledge; I think it grew from there. We all have our own stories and they’re fascinating.
We’ve been going for a couple of years now, a couple of times a year in the winter time. And we have amazing, rich connections. It might be you bring along something from your past and talk about that? Or there’s a theme like, ‘on the road’, quirky stuff like that. Because they end up telling stories about when they were 26, hitchhiking around Europe; how they got picked up by some Italian guy! And so it goes on. Wonderful.
Sometimes people turn up, they’re friends of friends. We don’t know them. And they say ‘we’re not going to tell a story’, but then they do. And some of them are tragic, personal stories from way back. Yes, so a very special time. Very rich deep conversations. “