APRIL - Isle of Man Cycle Fest.
Updated: Apr 25, 2019
Last month I was lucky to be invited to the Museum of London to present a storytelling CPD workshop at The Early Years Tool Kit Launch, and I had a TEAriffic time on a jam packed World Book Week Tour, but April brought the chance to take a trip to The Isle of Man to tell tales at Cycle Fest.
Collin collected us from the airport and we took a 'picture book perfect' ride to Ramsey’s Milntown Estate. We hadn't been in the car ten minutes before Collin prompted us 'we aught to say hello to the fairies at the next bridge' and it hit me. I had found my spirit home.
We were hosted by The Baie Moare Guest House which was such a treat ! Their traditional Manx Breakfast was the only thing enabling me to do the 17 roly-polies needed, to exit the magnificently humongous bed. Cue shameless picture of the biggest room in the world...Yes I did cartwheels. No this is not 'the norm.'
Sharing a teepee with me was Laura Ellen Anderson and Sarah McIntyre. I LOVE their work and was delighted to discover they are as lovely, witty and silly as their books. Here we are squeezed into a loo, complete with Egmont Publishing's own Unicorn-Publicist Siobhan McDermott.
The Milntown Estate is spectacular. The house could be mistaken for a wedding cake and the grounds are a storyteller paradise, even the weather put on a show ! BUT they do have a small problem with wild bears on the loose... Heroically, small folk joined me on a Bear Hunt Bonanza and made over 100 brilliantly bizarre binoculars with their own bear hands. Sarah kindly lent her talents, illustrating the bear hunt from the audience !
I also lead Silly Wizard - Wand Yoga, which is the silliest thing you will ever do! We exercised and stretched our imaginations and bodies and discovered a teepee filled with enchanted tree's. Grand Master Wizard explained he had accidentally sneezed out an evil spell. Luckily we foraged and crafted fantastical magic wands from twigs and a dash of craft box magic to steer the story (and I'm pleased to report) free the tree's.
I also had the pleasure of Emceeing the kids teepee which meant I also got to see Sarah and Laura in action. Sarah shared a snippet of her shiny new book created along side Phillip Reeve, Pugs of The Frozen North noted on one bill as 'Frozen Pugs of the North' which had Sarah laughing hysterically into a sandpit. So shiny and new is this book, that I had the pleasure of witnessing her SEE the book for the FIRST TIME, courtesy of lovely Harry and Angela of Bridge Book shop.
Laura Ellen Anderson left a teepee of Amelia Fang Fan's entranced with a tour of all things Nocturnia and together they conjured up spectacularly revolting recipes. Some Amelia Fang fans even came dressed up as Amelia Fang and were overjoyed to see that Laura had too ! I can't be sure, but there may or may not have been a surprise unicorn appearance from a certain magical publicist.
Thank you to all who graced our jolly little teepee and to Peter Jones and all the team behind Cycle Fest. Mr B was even invited to accompany me, meaning after many years he can now explain what I do for a living, sort of. We took the opportunity to explore the island after the festival and explore we did! I was in awe and set about finding my favourite Manx tales and practicing 'being more Manx.' If you are visiting The Isle of Man be sure not to miss The Milntown Estate and it's secret fairy tale paradise. Shhh just look !
I'll try to be more Manx and I'LL be back . . .