Tales of Britain

By Jem Roberts

The finest, funniest stories of England, Scotland & Wales, refreshed for the 21st century. By Brother Bernard, as told to Jem Roberts.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Thank You – For Auld Lang's Syne

MERRY YULE, Folklore Funsters!

We know there's officially no Folklore Thursday this week, but as autumn ends and a new decade begins, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped make this launch year for us, after 15 years of hard work building up our database of stories, be it everyone at Unbound who worked on the book, everyone who supported – and continues to support – our cause, from Neil Gaiman to Brian Blessed and back, everyone who allowed us to perform at their venues throughout the year, from Edinburgh to Ludlow to Canterbury, and radio gods like Cerys Matthews, who helped us get the word out back in the spring. 

Bernard and Cerys – shame we never made it to The Good Life this year!

But of course, the most thanks must go to everyone who has bought a copy of the book, and enjoyed the 77 folktales contained therein. Whether you've supported us all along (like the wonderful Godchecker) or just found a copy of the book in your local indie, sharing these stories with you, and maybe even inspiring you to share them with others, children or grown-ups, has been the culmination of a dream which has powered us for so many years now. Very special thanks go to our long-serving Sister Sal, Kate Harbour, and long-suffering fiancé Nessie Hoelandt, for shepherding Brother Bernard around the country so uncomplainingly...!

Yelling to the good and awful folk of Edinburgh during the festival.

Anyway, sad-ish news – having launched at the Glastonbury festival back in the summer of 2017, it looks like this should probably be our last regular weekly Folklore Thursday blog, certainly on the Unbound website, though you can continue to follow our doings on TalesofBritain.com and on JemRoberts.com. Our Unbound editor has moved on from the company, and we have plans to launch a deluxe fully illustrated edition with extra tales in a few years, when legalities allow. The book will continue to be out there in the meantime, 77 stories proudly retold, and we remain a merry part of the Folklore Thursday community, but with the many painful calls of reality to attend to now the book is out (and my next book launches in the spring – @FABFOOLS!), that annoying necessity of earning money, basic survival in this fractured country, it's become harder and harder to write fresh specific blogs every single week – especially (without wishing to sound piddly) for just a few likes on Twitter which don't help us spread the word about the book at all. We've loved it, and had some gloriously fun weeks, but it can be crushing to work so hard, for so little feedback, and eventually you have to focus on the things that keep you alive.

London launch with Sister Sal, Kate Harbour – the star of new Aardman film FARMAGEDDON!

Be absolutely assured, Tales Of Britain is here to stay, Brother Bernard will always be here to retell and share our great legends and myths! We will always be keen to hear from anyone who fancies a TOB show in their neighbourhood, and indeed we still have pledge shows outstanding, in Cheltenham to name just one! We also still hope to somehow find the time and right deal to launch an audio version of the book in some form or another! Any ideas? As in, ones which don't cost money...?

Summer mode at Carterhaugh, not far from Tam Lin's well...

But for 2020, although we'll continue to share any new tale retellings with you which we happen to find time to write, and we'll be here to respond online to all your thoughts and queries, the many other more mundane calls on our time mean we've finally been forced to shift down a gear or three, until the time comes again to get out there and do all we can to make British folktales FUN again! When that happens, we hope you'll still be there, ready to enjoy a story with us.

Until then, a very very Merry Xmas/Yule/Solstice/Mithras/Etc to all of you, and to all of you, a FAREWELL!

Brother Bernard xxx

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