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The Peacock's Tale

The Peacock's Tales

When working with vintage materials I often wonder about the people who originally owned them; daydreaming whilst embroidering is the best way to spend a couple of hours!  I'm fascinated by our folk heritage; ancient traditions, customs, songs and tales reflecting a way of life that has all but disappeared, even from our collective memory.  In The Peacock’s Tales I'd like to celebrate those connections to our past and revel in the seasonality they often reflect.  Do share your stories too; it would be wonderful to hear from you.

New Beginnings And The Turning Of The Year

By Vivien Massery, Oct 15 2015 11:34PM

Today the fledgling 'The Peacock’s Tale' is released into the big wide world; a very exciting adventure, it’s been a while in the making and is the realisation of a long held dream. I hope you enjoy looking at our website as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together.


The year is turning and once again we’re moving towards winter, very soon we’ll be gearing up for Christmas and its celebrations but just now it's time to pause for a moment or two. I love all of the seasons but there is something infinitely satisfying about the quiet, slow, wind down towards the end of the year. While the wind whistles down the chimney and the rain lashes against the windowpane there is nothing nicer than to be safely indoors sewing cushions, sachets and other treats to give as gifts or to keep us comfortable and cosy in the months ahead; preparations for winter that form the rhythm of the seasons, a feeling that is very heartening and at the same time instinctively primitive. It’s the perfect time of year to launch The Peacock’s Tale, as all the planning for the website and our first stall at the Worcester Guildhall Christmas Fair fell very neatly into these annual preparations, just on a larger scale.


Whistling winds and dark nights are also the perfect setting for a spot of storytelling, especially the ghostly variety and even more especially during All Hallows Eve on 31st October. I’ll be carving the annual pumpkin, which will go into the window to welcome Trick or Treaters, a fairly new custom here yet apparently in some areas of Scotland there was, and maybe is, a tradition that on Halloween children would go from door to door ‘guising’, dressed in costume and asking for nuts and sweets, not so different really from today, although I suspect it involved less E numbers and aspartame…


I wonder if the idea of disguise, trickery and mischief at Halloween has connections to fairy lore; allegedly fairies and elves are at their most active on Halloween and are notoriously mischievous. Lewis Spence in 'The Fairy Tradition in Britain' wrote that in Ireland Halloween was the “season par excellence in which the fairy haunts were open and the elves swarmed everywhere”, he also goes on to quote W.B. Yeats, “the offering to the Sidhe is generously made at Hallowe’en, the old beginning of winter.” So not only should we keep our eyes open for ghosts and Trick or Treaters but also elves, goblins and fairies!


Whether you’re out making mischief or sitting cosily by the fire telling ghost stories I wish you a magical and wonderful start to the winter season.


Wee folk, good folk trooping all together; green jacket, red cap and white owls feather

The Fairies – William Allingham



10 comments
Oct 16 2015 01:24PM by Kate Read

Vivien! This is all just so lovely! What a wonderful website to visit and I can tell you have put so much love and attention into it. I am so going to enjoy stopping by to visit and to hear more of your wonderful tales. You are an excellent story-teller...I could listen to all this for hours! Your handiwork is amazing....well I already knew that because I have been admiring it from over here for a while now! Again, many congratulations; I just know you are going to be successful!
I would love to order a few things....shall I just email?

Kate xx

Oct 16 2015 02:26PM by Vivien Massery

Hello Kate,
Thank you so much for stopping by and for your lovely comments, I'm so chuffed that you like it all. Yes please stop by and please leave stories too, coming from a Master Storyteller that's a huge compliment! And yes, please email me if you'd like to order anythiing. I'm hoping to get an email attached to the site but until then it's the gmail one.
Vivien xx

Oct 16 2015 08:07PM by Darrell Stone

Congratulations! This is surely a place where magical wonder begins! Your many gifts now have a place to thrive as one, as well as be shared with us all. I look forward to telling others all about it, and in reaping the reward of experiencing its quiet, crafted beauty. It's a special moment when one's talents integrate with the calling of our soul - past and present. This webpage is surely a celebration of layer upon layer of storytelling. SO happy for you! Great job, Cheers! Much love, Darrell xx

Oct 17 2015 10:34AM by Vivien Massery

Thank you Darrell, I must admit I'm lost for words after reading yours. I love that both you and Kate, two great storytellers are the first to comment,and in such a way. Does my heart good! Thank you very much. With love Vivien xx

Oct 17 2015 11:03AM by Richard

Way to go, honey. Looks great!

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"The time has come the Walrus said to talk of many things; of shoes - of ships - of sealing wax-  

of cabbages and kings."

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll