The Tree House is not yet open, but it’s getting there! It’s going to take another couple of weeks to get things ready – and as I am away for a week in mid-July (a long-standing teaching commitment in Oxford), it seems a bit daft to open it and promptly close for a week, so the proposed opening date is sometime in the week beginning 22 July. The shop will be open Tuesday to Saturday to begin with, closed Sunday and Monday. One day we might be open seven days a week, but let’s see how things go!
But whatever date we open, the Tree House diary does already have one firm entry – Friday 26th July, when we will be hosting an evening of storytelling and music to celebrate our opening.
Storyteller Stephe Harrop will enchant us with tales of the forest…if you haven’t heard an adult storyteller (ie telling stories for adults rather than children’s stories), come and experience how magical it can be. The act she is doing for us is called Imagine a Forest…, and she weaves stories around some traditional European folktales. The forest is a potent image in folklore and fairytales, and very much reflects the background to the Tree House – one of the reasons I was determined to get trees into the shop name!
She will be followed by a reduced version of the incredible Spicy Jazz, a group of top professional jazz musicians. There are usually six of them, but because of the size of our venue they will probably be a trio – trombone/vocals, double bass, sax – though the line-up may change a little. They will be fantastic, and after the quiet magic of Stephe’s performance, they will get us in a more outgoing, celebratory mood.
Two of them are also authors of non-fiction, so there is a bookish connection! They are both in fact academics and will talk about their books as well as play fabulous music.
This combination sums up the Tree House for me – the magic of books and stories, the community-enhancing power of music and the arts generally.
So put the date in your diaries – there will be no tickets, but donations on the night towards the costs and the Tree House start-up funds will be very welcome! I will put together some publicity soon, but for now, here is a bit of Spicy Jazz from their recent concert at St Nicholas Church to whet your appetites.