For ages I've been hoping that Owen (a family friend who is a storyteller) would do an audio CD with some of his stories on it. Then, last month, I got this e-mail:
"I have good news,
Just got off the phone and am pleased to announce that my first Audio CD has just gone to press and will be available in just a matter of days. The cd features all the tales from my 2010 Edinburgh fringe show and a bonus story as well. Its called "Tales from the New Inn -stories from the dark heart of the Valley".
This is a real dream come true time for me, all the stories are based out of the New Inn in the Swansea valley as chronicled by the Landlady Rhian harris between 1810-1812 . its a lovely introduction to Welsh folklore and features almost a full hour of Tale telling.
The Cd packaging has been designed by the wonderful Eleanor flaherty (www.eleanorflaherty.co.uk) and the audio was recorded and mixed by Dic Uplands from Swansea so this truly is a fantastic local product.
Although this will not be officially released until the 9th of February 2012 , I have a limited amount available to you NOW."
Naturally I had to get one, and - as it happened - there was one present Kelly had yet to get me. So, we ordered a copy right away. OK, so it meant I knew one of my Yule gifts, but I didn't care; I was going to have a CD of Owen's stories!
Owen managed to get the CD to us just in time; it was to be my fourth present from Kelly, and it arrived the day before I would have been opening it. A couple of days later the three of us - Kelly, Kero and I - listened to it together.
It was a wonderful CD; almost as good as having Owen right there in the room with us telling his stories. Of course, nothing beats the real thing, but it was the next best thing, and - as I said - almost as good as the real thing!
To get your hands on a copy, please go to http://www.owenstaton.com/tales-from-the-new-inn/.
Note: The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own; they are neither influenced by others' opinions, nor by the fact that Owen is a friend.