Around Suffolk In 40 Stories

When we were in lockdown (I’m sure many sentences start that way!), some research was done to try and find out why so many people were reporting a fairly significant loss of memory. The research found that random conversations that we have while out and about, are vital in keeping a part of the brain alive that also stimulates memory. I’m sure there is a much fancier pants way of detailing the research but that is the bottom line, we need to hear people’s stories for our brain to function. People’s stories are not a luxury, some fancy indulgence to pass the time of day with a pint in the pub or round the fire, stories are the very essence of who we are.

I was lucky enough to be approached by Suffolk Libraries to come up with an idea for storytelling. Now, I am passionate about people’s stories, they are the very thing that are going to stop this ship of humanity from sinking, they are the stuff of life, they are what connects us all around this fabulous planet. So, I came up with the idea that we go around Suffolk In 40 Stories with each person nominating the next person to have a chat with, in that way it would have its own legs rather than being construed or hand picked. It started with Melissa Matthews who is the creative genius resident at Suffolk Libraries and it was really down to her about which direction it was all going to sail in. Thankfully, she chose Tonia who was person number two and a complete inspiration and she chose Antonio and he chose Pierre and so it went on. I basically sat on my sofa meeting loads of really cool people who were very generous with their time and with their stories. It is an enormous privilege to be able to be on the receiving end of people’s stories as I think most of us would feel somewhat vulnerable and filled with trepidation if we were asked to just talk. About what?? ‘I haven’t got anything to say’, is a common refrain (and they are often the most interesting people of all just as a heads up). People often say that they can’t remember any stories and I always think that it’s not that we don’t tell stories because we can’t remember them but that we can’t remember them because we don’t tell stories. Does that make sense? Anyway, I am in awe of these people who have shared their stories and the most generous thing that people can do is to give their time and I will be forever grateful to these beautiful people for having done that.

Each conversation was pretty long, which was probably my fault as I love chatting. I wanted to edit the podcast interviews down to ten minutes each, a palatable length to listen to, a ‘chatting over the garden fence’ length of time if you will. It was not easy! I really hope that I have been able to do these people credit. All the while, when getting to meet all these new people, I could feel my brain firing up, neuron pathways galloping to new destinations, memories rising to the surface singing and dancing as they thought they had been forever consigned to oblivion. It was completely and utterly life and soul restoring.

Here is the link to listen to the stories – Around Suffolk In 40 Stories

Listen on Anchor:

Listen on Breaker:

Listen on Google Podcasts:

Listen on PocketCasts:

Please enjoy the stories and please let it be an inspiration to get out there and have random conversations. By just turning round and chatting to the person next to you in the queue you are restoring humanity to the planet and that’s a pretty big deal. Do let me know what you think of the stories. The quality of the recording is not great on some of them, but they were over zoom and I am an amateur so we’re not looking at perfection in the polished sense but absolute perfection in a story sense.