Storytelling Sunday #3: the summer of 1987

Hello Storytellers,
For those who would be interested, yesterday, our dear Sian had a blog post here. If you want to read it, you can find it here. Again, thank you Sian for the blog post and for hosting such a cool monthly feature on your blog. Here is my contribution for this month:

The Summer of 1987

I remember putting my right foot into an anthill and the stinging pain I felt. I also remember the buzzes from the mosquitoes and craneflies at night that kept me awake and led me to sleep in my grandparents’ bedroom sometimes. I remember my first swimming lessons, the giggles as we took a stroll in a barouche in old paved streets, the old farmer’s market with living poultry...
 These sensory memories remind me of my vacation near Toulouse in the summer of 1987. I was 7. My grandparents had rented a house next to a farm and we spent a month there, exploring the region, visiting castles, museums, and religious buildings, and learning more about the French painter, Toulouse-Lautrec. I was too young to understand half of it. But all I can remember, overall, is the special light in that region. A special orangey light that colored everything. The landscape, the façades of buildings, the sky...
Evening walks meant special conversations with my grandparents. Though my grandparents had to drag me to come along, I remember those walks by the light of the sunset. What could we talk about then? I wish I could rewind the movie to find that out.
 Everyday, I would bring peelings to the sheep and stare at the cows and horses for long moments. I had never been close to animals, so I felt privileged to share a small portion of their life on a daily basis. Our landlords were a very old couple with their 50-year-old daughter, Eva (the lady on the left in the picture). They had a shepherd dog named whisky, a favorite beverage of the father as our daily “apéritif” showed us. I had found a nickname for the landlady, I called her Mamie Nova (like the dessert brand) as she looked like a sweet Granny. They didn’t have any grandchildren, so they made sure I spent the best stay at the farm. And I did.
These vacations are deeply rooted in my memory because they were the only positive experience that happened in 1987. It felt like a much-welcomed breathing moment. I will never find the right words to thank my grandparents for taking me away that summer. It breathed some life to my bones. They took me away from a then unhappy home, a school full of bullies, and a year of successive injuries, to wrap me in a comfy blanket of love and expose me to the many wonders of the world. Again, thank you from the bottom of my soul for bringing so much color and love into my life.    

Happy Sunday!

Sabrina S.


Weekend Inspiration #3: Sian Fair


I'm back today with a guest post by one of my favorite British scrapbookers/storytellers: Sian Fair, whose blog, From High in the Sky, is full of stories, scrapbooking layouts, sewing and knitting. It's one of the blogs I visit regularly and there's always something special for me there. I "met" her in one of Shimelle's classes and every month, I try to participate to her Storytelling Sunday challenge. If you're not yet familiar with it, every first Sunday of the month, we all gather on her blog to share one of our stories. We're extra lucky as Sian shared 2 of her scrapbooking layouts with us AND you have a cool writing challenge waiting for you, if your heart feels so inclined. I prepared my story for tomorrow, so I hope you'll join us there! 

Right up to my teenage years, I believed everyone thought the way I did. That writing was like breathing, that life without a notebook was no life at all. I wrote letters to my friends, I published family newspapers. I entered poetry competitions and I took my turn editing the school magazine. I thought about journalism; but that got lost somewhere along the way as I pursued my second love of History. It took a hobby to bring me back.

I discovered scrapbooking. The simple act of gathering up photos and putting them on a page with some decoration and a few words. I started small and then I realised that I wanted to dig deeper, to record my life and tell my story. Now I’m passionate: everyone has a story and I want to hear it!

That’s the idea behind Storytelling Sunday, which runs on my blog on the first Sunday of every month. Sometimes I’ll get an email and it will say something like – I’d love to join in, but I don’t think I can write.
Do you know what I say? I say: if you can talk, you can write. Really. I deal in memories; in stories about ordinary lives, made extraordinary by the way we remember them. And you don’t have to go back far to make a start. We all know how to talk about what we did yesterday: we do it all the time! Write it like that. It doesn’t have to be fancy to have meaning. That’s what I say.

There are beautiful words out there waiting, to be sure, lyrical words, outrageous words; but you don’t always need them to tell a good story. I’ve always believed that if you want to start, but you don’t know how, you just need to start anyway. Simply, quietly, with a notebook and pencil if it suits; and a story about something you do every day. That’s how I work. I can’t write on a computer, so I don’t; and I can’t pull a story right out of my imagination, so I write about what I know. And that’s fine with me, for I have one other piece of advice I like to offer anyone who asks. Remember: whatever you write? It’s right.
..and whatever you write, I’d love to see you at Storytelling Sunday tomorrow. The rest of the community would like to meet you too. You won’t find a friendlier bunch anywhere on the internet. Guaranteed.

Sian Fair lives in the UK with her husband and two teenage children. She makes stuff, she blogs on From High in the Sky, and she is currently writing for the UK scrapbooking magazine Scrap365.

Thank you a million times, Sian, for writing this post and for sharing 2 of your layouts. As for you, readers, don't hesitate to visit Sian's blog tomorrow to read some good stories or sharing one!
Have a good weekend,

Sabrina S.