Story Time at Seed. Are You Sitting Comfortably?

I don’t know about you, but story time when I was little was one of my favourite things. Reading new books, meeting new characters, being taken on journeys, immersing yourself in another world. There’s nothing quite like it.

And then one day, it just kind of stops. Mum doesn’t tuck you in with a story, you start to read to yourself; turning what once was a shared experience into a very solitary one. Story time simply becomes ‘reading.’ Which although is a very enjoyable pastime, is not the same.

However, Story Time, run by Mrs Story Time herself, a local mum who has a vision to connect women through these monthly events, has resurrected that very feeling of being enchanted by the musings and creations of other people’s minds, and added cocktails. Now do I have your attention?

Story Time is a monthly event, normally on a Thursday at Seed in Hastings Old Town, where people volunteer to read, sing, and speak about topics close to their heart. It’s a safe space to share your creations in whatever way you feel. A supportive group mainly comprised of women (although it is an open event to all) who will cheer you on for having the courage to compose and share.

I went along on the 1st of August to settle down for an evening of shared stories. The first up to the stage was Leigh Malaiholo, who read a beautifully written piece about ghosts in Paris. Sporting a red beret and nautical jumpsuit, she transported us to the streets of Paris where she experienced déjà vu, communicated with evil spirits, and lived in a haunted school with no escape from the stirring floral scents and violent sounds of pens being thrown across a room. Her eloquent prose and imaginative descriptions had everyone transfixed. Immersed in a world where phantom souls wandered amongst us and meandered into our own existence.

Next up was Henrietta Lovell, AKA The Rare Tea Lady who read from her book, ‘Infused’

Telling stories of making hangover cures and tea-infused cocktails for fellow hotel guests in California, as well as her trip to South Africa where she saw the Rooibos plant in all its glory. She spoke passionately about why loose leaf over bagged tea was infinitely better, and described in stunning detail a storm that saved the Rooibos crop one year.

“Good tea is like a puppy in a park. It draws people to you” - Henrietta Lovell

Also on offer at Seed during the event, were Henriettas signature jasmine tea infused cocktails. (I mean it would have been rude not to have tried one,) which was a really lovely touch to the event. The floral taste of jasmine and the gin complemented each other perfectly, and went straight to the head. Winner!

Next up was Siddy Bennett, who is currently writing a book based on her life, which you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be pre-ordering when it’s available! Siddy previously read part of her work in progress at Story Time before, so I was eager to hear more. This time was about a girl crush that knocked her for six in the US. A highlight was a hilarious story about how she, as a Brit in The States, told said girl-crush that she’d help her “wash up” after a hungover brunch one morning, not clocking that the lingual nuances of US and UK English. What she had actually suggested was that she would help her shower, and not politely do the dishes. You can’t help but totally fall in love with Siddy’s intoxicating personality, courage to be brutally honest, spot-on observations, and comical insight.

Lastly, was a set from Elisha Edwards who also recently performed at Sofar Sounds (which you can read more about in our previous blog post, here). As always her performance was an utter delight. Her voice so smooth and soulful, belting out stunning original ballads from the heart, and then getting everyone dancing and singing to Jamelia’s ‘Superstar’ and Beyonce’s ‘Crazy in Love.’

It was the perfect end to a night of supporting supremely talented women, drinking delicious cocktails, and experiencing that positively nostalgic feeling of story time.

Stay up to date with all of the Story Time news by following @mrs.story.time on Instagram for another evening of voyage to wherever the next writer chooses.

If you have an event that you would like to have featured on The Honeycomb then contact us and someone from the team will be in touch.