Margie Bruvel is a 5th generation Australian, probably of mostly Irish heritage so there were always a few people around who could tell a good yarn. As a teenager she felt the hankering of her younger siblings to hear their own stories and she responded willingly.
When her own children came along she felt their stories oozing out of the bush where they lived and no matter how tired and story-less she felt after a long day of hard work, to her wonderment one of the children would drag out a story she did not know she had. She began to feel that perhaps she was just carrying around their bag of stories.
Years later when visiting family who had moved to France,
Margie was beset by the demands of her young granddaughter’s insatiable appetite for stories from the homeland. And even when it seemed the story bag was empty, young Isabella would manage to scrape out yet another.
This remarkable demand led to the accumulation of dozens of tales which over the ensuing years were sorted into themes — Lost Pets, Feathered Friends, Two Little Pigs etc. etc. and LO - TITCH’S TALES was born.
Yes it was Titch, the house elf, who inhabited the collective imagination of the many children who had come into Margie’s life. It was he who collected their tales. And it was actually Titch’s bag of tales (now stored in the Treat Pot) she was able to access.
At this point Margie’s very active life was curtailed by severe knee problems. Fortunately this lack of outer mobility provided the opportunity for her pen to become active.
Off and on for several years she retreated to a hut in the bush and worked to prepare the drafts of about 50 tales and 300 drawings. The work continued during her recovery process from knee surgery.
At a loss on how to proceed further in this unknown territory, especially with the drawings, providence sent Ariel to help. With her considerable artistic skills Ariel was able to transform the original compositions into the beautifully coloured living pictures you see in all of Titch’s Tales.
Margie was a primary school teacher with the NSW Dept. Education. It was in the days when you got a letter in the mail a week or so before school returned, advising of your posting - quite possibly to a place you’d never heard of anywhere in NSW. This in itself was quite an adventure and reeking with stories.
One of her early postings was to Broken Hill, the Silver City in the far west, the year television arrived. Quite a shattering impression was made on the young teacher as she witnessed the drying up of her pupils’ own lively imaginative capacities to an unimaginative rendering of what they saw on telly the previous night. In what she sees in hindsight as an attempt to preserve their oral traditions she allowed them to talk between lessons, but definitely not about the telly!
Margie was married to her French husband, John, for 45 years. In the 80's and 90's they bought up their four children on an organic hobby farm, surrounded by the Australian bush.
Good food, in the style of Provence, and lots of fresh baked goods and fresh dairy were always on the menu - along with the occasional servings of John’s riveting bedtime tales, about the adventures he had as a young man - on land and on sea…
As the years went by the property became a haven for the young cousins, friends and grandchildren.
Having passed her three score and ten, Margie can now look back on the thread of her life and see that it was always about collecting and sharing stories.