I met an inspiration for a new character in the production today: The Shell Collector. In one of the little gift shops on the High Street in New Quay, 2 women roughly my age were working together in the shop. We started chatting, the 3 of us. Turns out that one of the women has a son who is in The Archers. I was telling her about Fusion Inspire and my Mermaid Scales (see earlier blog) and she told me that she collects shells from all over the world. She became so animated when she talked about them, her eyes shone like the rock pools bathing in the sunlight, as she described all the amazing places she has been to collect shells. She told me about the little yellow shells on the beaches here that she like to find, so tiny you would not see them unless you knew to look.
It was quite moving to see someone as animated about nature’s gifts as I am. Although she revealed a dark side to her passion. She was in Japan after the tsunami and she said there was dead coral everywhere, discarded huge lumps of different coloured evidence from Mother Nature that she is still the Boss. She then told us about all the shells and corals around the world in different countries that you must not collect as they are living, and that collecting shells is not about killing but in admiring that which is discarded by the living creature ... I liked that, a real collector, one who cares about the creatures who inhabit these wonderous shells.
I like the fact that I am collecting my mermaid scales as I feel like I am recycling them ... or up-scaling them from broken bits of waste to special treasure, impregnated with the story for YOU to take home from the production with you.
So ... The Shell Collector will be someone that our main character Dafydd meets on his quest, someone to offer him sound advice about living creatures, just before he meets Cadfael, The Warrior Prince of the Dolphins .... And what's more ... I met The Shell Collector just before I myself, met Cadfael in the flesh!