Just a quickie to let you know that I will, apparently, be appearing on Belinda Artingstoll’s programme on Radio Cumbria on Sunday morning to talk about the stuff on here. I have no idea what to say, and me knees are a-knockin’, so if anyone’s got any ideas, now’s the time to shout up!

32 thoughts on “*gulp*

  1. The radio spot is well-deserved recognition of the great site you’ve created here, Diane. No need to feel nervous. Your wide knowledge on Cumbrian topics will carry you through. I’m sure it will be a piece of cake, but good luck anyway.

  2. I’m glad you’re sure, Tim – !

    I hear she’s a good interviewer, so I’m just hoping that’ll stop me collapsing into drivel. I’m happy to promote Cumbria’s character to Cumbrians – too many people live here having no idea what wonderful things have happened, and been believed, here.

  3. I will try to listen in on the web, Diane. You won’t collapse into drivel as the presenter will put you at your ease – bet you find you have too much to say and the readers will love your stories. (this from the woman who had to take Bach’s Rescue Remedy and a huge glass of wine before appearing on the Richard Bacon show – I still quake if I have to go on the radio.)

  4. Hi Phillipa! I hope you’re right! I’ve never done radio before. I made the mistake once of telling a print journalist how they get rid of the insects in herbal tea (they basically explode them, and you drink the sanitised remains). She saw the funny side but I remained forever grateful that she printed it in the catering press (who know how these things go!) not the consumer press.

    Now, Rescue Remedy… there’s an idea! Thanks for coming over – I appreciate your support πŸ™‚

    • Exciting and bloomin’ terrifying. I write better than I talk, unless excited when I emit a stream of soundbites which are never *quite* what I mean. I’m really hoping I wake up tomorrow feeling sensible!

  5. Diane, I’ve been on the radio a few times. What helps me is to think, beforehand, of three things yo’d like to get across during your interview (factoids, stories, approaches, whatever length/size you think appropriate for the programme). Then figure out a sentence for each point that encapsulates the whole story–think of it as a headline, but a whole sentence. Then write those three sentences down. The rest will flow easily.

    Oh, and drink plenty of water. And talk more slowly than you think you should. And have a blast! You’ll be splendid.

  6. Thanks, Nicola, that’s really useful. I have been thinking about why I do all this, and why I think other people should, too. But it probably would help my coherence if I wrote it down for my benefit!

    I shall be hiring you lot out as media-cheerer-on-ers πŸ™‚

  7. Dunnit!

    I was pre-recorded this morning in their Carlisle studio. Belinda was as nice and unfussy as people say she is, which was a relief! The interview will be played tomorrow at 11.40am, or else it will be on BBC Cumbria’s I-player for a week.

  8. Just listened – you were great and very interesting. Funnily enough, I do a monthly slot on Kven Fernihough’s show as “Cumbrian Folklore Correspondent”, so especially interested to hear about research and learn about thos blogsite. Looking forward to reading through it.

  9. Hi. I dont have anything on Folklore published as yet, as it is a relatively recent offshoot of my main passion, creative writing. I used to do a creative writing slot on Radio Lancashire and, for one appearence, I looked into how modern writers draw on folklore for ideas. For example, Tolkein lived in Lancashire for a while and it is thought he based the Misty Mountains on Pendle Hill and that Gollum was inspired by local legends about Boggarts. I also explored how local folklore is often influenced by the psyche of the physical landscape. Not surprising that Cornwall has a lot of mermaid legends, considering the county is three quaters surrounded by water.
    When Fern invited me to be a regular on his show, I decided to reinvent myself a different role from the one I had at Radio Lancs and, as I had collected quite a few lakeland legends, suggested I should come on as a folklorist. And, of course, Fern came up with the quirky title of Cumbrian Folklore Correspondent. I was last on last Wednsday, about 28 mins in if you want to go on Listen again. I am provisionally booked to go back on for Halloween, only this time reading one of my ghost stories. Got one about to be published on line and another is still up there on http://www.staticmovement.com/wasted.htm
    I will give your best to Kven (doo-dy doo-dy)

    • Ah! Excellent. I like to see this stuff spread about.

      Of course, with my background in history, when anyone mentions Tolkien I remember that he was a professor of Anglo-Saxon Lit. at Oxford – in the English department, but of course all the source material is used by early medieval history academics, too. So many of his ideas including things like the elves ‘going into the West’ are drawn from mythology of this era and before.

      Lots of juicy stuff for Halloween. If I can fit the time in, I’ll be trying to get a few tales on here myself.

      I’ll will go and have a listen and a read!

      • Hi, well get this. My English teacher at school was a student of Tolkein when she read English at Oxford. She had a signed copy of Lord of the Rings which she promised to my mother (they were great friends). Unforunately, she went in a home following an accident (and is sadly no longer with us) and a distant relative turned up on the scene to take care of things. The book was one of the first things to walk Grrrrr!

        Do you know the tale about the Souter Fell Ghost Riders?

        • I’m not surprised, Barry. I just hope that it went to someone who would enjoy it rather than flogging it to any ol’ soul on ebay!

          Yes, the Souther Fell story’s right here

          One of the few genuinely very odd ghost stories in Cumbria – very well attested, and recently enough for us to be sure of the sources. The ‘fata morgana’ theory doesn’t stand up, because the Souther Fell lot were seen in years that there were no Jacobite troop movements. But if they were ghosts, ghosts of *what* given that no one will ever have driven a carriage over the fell? I find it interesting to link this story to faery procession traditions, albeit I’m not sure there’s a good candidate for a faery hill/prehistoric barrow hereabouts. Mulling over an OS map could be rewarding.

          • I did this story on Radio Cumbria and jokingly suggested that perhaps they were an early example of a re enactment society LOL. From what you were saying about the similarity to other legends, it does point to the examples of the same myths occurring in different cultures in “redressed” form. I think your idea of linking it to the faery procession traditions is intriguing and worth pursuing. I remember going to a talk on the traditional ghost stories of Yorkshire which were recorded by medievel monks and it interesting that the ghosts took the form of animals or shapeshifters (M. R. James researched these tales). Have since been intrigued by the idea of ghostly manifestations being an externalisation of something other than the appearence they take. So, a faery procession disguises itself from humans by appearing to them as a group of soldiers? .. well, food for thought.

          • Well, we’re onto black dogs, boggles and barguests with shapeshifting supernatural presences. There are *lots* of them across the north and in Cumbria in particular.

            I think the faery fans who visit this blog would say that faery soldiers are faery soldiers, and *definitely* not pretending to be humans. I guess you know that the Tinkerbell-type fairy (note spelling) is nothing like a faery in folklore; they are human sized and if you mention wings, those fans would bash you over the head πŸ˜‰

          • Yes, faeries aren’t my speciality, but I know the folklore faeries are not the Disney type. I, of course, know the famous story of the man who witnessed a faery funeral and saw his own face on the body. My Irish Great Grandfather had a farm in Co. Mayo near Castlebar and told tales of Banshees and the Little People. He used to leave a big bowl of milk out at night for the Little People and the fact it was empty the next day was his proof that they existed. That farm had some very well fed cats.

  10. Excellent! πŸ™‚

    The Irish developed faery lore rather more than the Cumbric people, I think. I don’t really know why – I shall have to ask Alan Cleaver or the lovely Faery Folklorist.

  11. Okay – last comment! You know, the surprising thing about this episode is how lovely it has been when friends from around the world have got in touch to say they heard it on the i-player – including peeps as far apart as Australia and Skye. Makes the world seem a smaller, and friendlier, place πŸ™‚

  12. I think there’s so much Irish faery folklore due to their religious beliefs and mythology, eg the Tuatha de Danann. In my opinion the Irish seem to have embraced their mythology a lot more openly and proudly than most places in England, where believing in mythology and folk stories seems to have been a fancy of the ‘common people’ and villagers and looked down on by the upper classes as being superstitious and silly.

    Definitely think Faery soldiers are usually seen as an army in themselves rather than copying human soldiers, though in some stories like Tam Lin, humans seem to be used as soldiers in faery processions!

    ooh forgot to mention… if you’re on facebook Esmeralda, feel free to come and join the ‘Faery Folklore of the UK’ group! Lots of random fun faery chatter, sure they’d all love your blog! πŸ˜€


    • Aha, the very faery fan I had in mind!

      I wonder if the crux of thing with the Irish is that they never forgot the Tuatha de Danann, whereas the British largely lost touch with their equivalent. As a result our faeries are a bit hard to pin down in image and character, which is why Disney gets away with disneyfying them and history has adapted them to every whim, including the sickly Victorian version.

      I shall go hunt out your FB page, oh faery consultant πŸ™‚

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