Drunk In Uniform: A Tale From The Quilt

Writer, Painter, Poet and master story teller.
Writer, Painter, Poet and prolific Story Teller.

Quilt Tales is about sharing narratives, of times past and making new ones in the present. These narratives take many forms; sound recordings, image making, textural works, photographs to name but a few.

I would like to share a story dictated to me by Leo, a keen water colourist and writer who lost his sight completely last year but refuses to let this get in the way of his creativity.

Drunk In Uniform – by Leo

I stood on top of the mountain, with my team, dressed in new uniform with my two stripes on my arm.

 I was very pleased with the situation, having been newly promoted.

 My team was first to reach the top, and it was a mildly -warm Summer’s day. My team answered all the questions given to them by the group leader.

 He then told us it was teatime, so I opened my knapsack, took out the sandwiches and a bottle of Bulmer’s Cider apple, which I had bought from a corner shop.

The sandwiches were my favourite; strawberry jam.

 When I’d finished the tea and drunk the bottle, the group leader told us we’d have fifteen minutes left before we went down the mountain.

 I lay down on the grass, and closed my eyes.

 The next thing I knew I was rolling down the mountain being chased after by my team.When we got to the bottom of the mountain I was covered in mud and ready to go home.

 The group leader told us to be at church parade the next day and we’d have a meeting following.

At the meeting the group leader presented my team with a prize for being the best team the day before.

 I expected to be demoted, but nothing happened because…

I was only eight  and a new Sixer in the 5th Pontypridd; St Marys, Glyntaff Cub Pack.

The Quilt Tales Project aims to gather the life stories of our makers and patchwork them together to create a collective narrative about a shared time and experience. It also serves as a creative outlet for those for whom creative expression has become increasingly difficult due to sensory impairment acquired in later life. Quilt Tales(One), along with it’s sister quilts, Tactile Histories and Material Memories are artworks aimed to create discussion and debate as to what is perceived to be possible for elderly makers with sensory impairment.


Author: Alex McEwan

Alex is an artist who specialises in inclusive and accessible community arts projects, such as Sense's TEXTtile and Quilt Tales.

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