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The first in our series of member interviews with Community and Events Manager, Abbie. Here's what Debbie had to say about Mirthy...


When did you discover Mirthy?

I must have been on the computer and maybe I was on Facebook or something. And I know the very first talk I saw was ‘Afternoon Tea with Grandma’. I was sitting outside with the umbrella up watching it, and I kept calling my husband to say “look at this”! It brought back such memories. And from there I must have found other talks. But I’m sure it’s the first one I did because it stuck so much in my mind. And it was from there I just got hooked with your stuff. I just think it’s an amazing site. And the festival was fabulous! I so enjoyed that festival and I do hope you’re going to do some more!

What did you particularly enjoy about the Festival of Belonging in June?

With the festival, I did some things I never would have done. I’m not someone who’s done loads of reading out loud but I actually really enjoyed [the playreading]! And singing on Zoom is hilarious because you can sing along, and obviously, you can’t all be heard, but I loved it! And when you all sang happy birthday...I mean that was really emotional! I was sitting there with tears running down my face. At the time, I was limited with what I could do so it was really nice to go to a festival without leaving home. I think I did most of the festival sitting on my bed! And I definitely saw people that I’ve seen before- it was nice because you did get to meet people.

Do you have a favourite event?

I just think your range of talks is amazing! They almost all become my favourite when I listen to them. I’ve learnt a lot from them. I quite often take notes- quite a few of my quiz questions have come from them. Things you wouldn’t necessarily learn about. They are really informative.

Have you tried any events other than the talks?

I love the talks but I love the workshops! To make your brain work a bit, and interact- like reading some of the Shakespeare and some of the poetry- you can’t really read Shakespeare on your own!

How do you describe Mirthy when you’re recommending it to a friend?

Well with one friend, we were talking about family history. And I just suggested she could go along to Mirthy. And then next time I saw her, she said she’d done a few and I said “well did you enjoy them?” and she said there were plenty she wanted to do!

What keeps you coming back for more?

The newsletter certainly helps! Knowing what you’ve got coming up. I just so enjoy them. And it helps that they come into my emails, they help remind me. And I like the Facebook page. And I like knowing a bit about the people.

What three words would you use to describe Mirthy?

Fun, Educational, Relaxing. And also Ongoing.

Debbie works at Montpessen House, National Trust property and is also a member of the Workers Educational Association. She has been an avid Mirthy fan since April 2020 and is particularly interested in the history of words and sayings.