My Yorkshire Weekend - Sita Brand
17:49 21 September 2012
My work, friends and family mean that I travel a lot so my favourite weekend activities revolve around relaxing and being at home in and around the beautiful village of Giggleswick, near Settle.
My father is from South India and my mother is English and I was born and brought up in Bombay. We moved to Scotland when I was a teenager then on to London where I stayed until moving to Yorkshire five years ago.
Ive also lived in Leicestershire and Singapore and various other places in between. Ive always kept moving, although I really feel at home now.
I love Settle and Im passionate about the Yorkshire landscape its the best in the world. At the weekend, I like nothing better than a long walk in the countryside. I find the landscape beautiful, invigorating and stimulating; it makes me realise how lucky I am to live here.
There are lots of top-class restaurants in Settle too, so after a walk I usually make a beeline for Poppies or The Lion at Settle to indulge in some local cuisine.
Ive always been passionate about stories reading stories and telling them so when I left university, being a professional storyteller was the only thing I wanted to do. Ive now told stories for 27 years (ghost stories are my speciality) and Ive got hundreds stored up in my head.
Ive told stories all over the world. Ive written produced and toured my one woman show, Memories Of An Indian Childhood In London, Singapore and Malaysia. And Ive also worked in prisons, teaching meditation and using storytelling as a teaching tool to help inmates learn and transform their behaviour.
When Im not at home, my weekends are often spent travelling the country, telling stories at festivals and other events and working with families and children to help them get better at telling stories.
At the moment my weekends are spent organising and promoting Settle Storytelling Festival, an annual event I set up in 2010 which now attracts hundreds of visitors each year. It brings together many of the worlds top storytellers and offers something for the whole family. Im proud to say that the festival is now one of the leading storytelling events in the country and this year will be bigger and better than ever.
With so much going on, I find meditation a great way to make the stresses and strains of the week disappear. I was taught by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, the worlds foremost teacher of meditation and mindfulness. So, after a hard weeks work, you can normally find me deep in meditation at the weekend, gazing out to the beautiful hills above Settle.
Sita Brand is director of Settle Storytelling Festival, which takes place from October 11th to 14th. To find out more, visit settlestories.org