Friday, 31 July 2009

Glowering Grump

I am feeling a little grumpy and frumpy.

F has had a week of evenings and nights. He has been returning home just as I am leaving for work. If I have caught him at all... Today is night turned into a day and yesterday he didn't make it home in time. The worst week of his rolling shift pattern, without a doubt.

So obviously he has taken account of the fact I have been going early to bed and feeling icky all week and settled on a nice quiet evening in with me.

Wrong, we are off over to a friends for tea and TV watching. Chances are I shall leave him there when i don't wish to fight to keep my eyes open any more and they shall play Xbox to some hour I don't wish to contemplate.

I get home expecting him to be home, which he isn't, so I call to offer him a lift. No answer. He calls me back sometime later to say he agreed to work a couple of extra hours but it will run over because of traffic. Thanks for the text, love.

So no time together and then straight out. Not best pleased with him. Mostly because I just don't feel up to all this tonight. I want to snuggle on the sofa....

This isn't a 'relationship problem', this is a 'my life isn't quite as I would have planned it tonight'. So I shall go out and pretend I am not cross or put out and slink home fairly early to go to bed alone. Again.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Souls Fly Free

OK, I decided now was a good time to follow the sea gulls to see where they took me. They took me to a sad place and now I have to go do something else....

***
Sally paused and ran her fingers down her apron, turning the fabric white and dusty with flour. She looked out of the window at the grey sky. White smudges wheeled against a canvas of clouds. Dramatic and bright, they swooped and turned.

She didn't want to look out towards the sea. She didn't want to not see a red hull tumbling over the waves. She didn't want to think about storms battling fragile wood. She didn't want to imagine hands of water winkling the prize from a pretty shell.

The gulls wheeled above the house, sometimes in view, sometimes not, but always calling. Loud and coarse they were but they spoke of freedom and loneliness. Calling forever, away from here, calling her home.

Home? Here was home. The place she hoped to raise a family in years to come. Beside her man, united in the love of her children to be. How could her home be away from here? If she left, how would he find her?

Absentmindedly she had shaped the bread into near oblongs but with a broadening towards one end. She felt a growing sense of disquiet and the need to run from the stifling heat of the house. Up onto the cliffs she went. Drawn into the air by the freesom of the gulls flying around her.

They said that sea gulls were the soul of fishermen lost at sea. They were drawn to land to see their families but the call of the sea drew them out with the boats at the turn of the tide to hunt for fish. Because a fisherman can never be truly happy on land, no matter how much love they have.

The sea gulls wheeled and danced, quiet now. They almost seemed to create a vortex around her and she could feel the world slip. As quickly as the feeling began it left as one caught her eye. Snared by the intelligence in it's gaze and some connection, she gasped and turned away.

Something in the waves caught her gaze. A flash of red. Too small. Too close. The gull showed her the way home as she stepped forward to find her wings.

TAW and Changes

I have noticed a change in myself this last couple of weeks...

I don't know what the cause is exactly...

It could be TAW and the morning pages (which I don't always manage to complete)

It could be my lovely charm bag and smokey quartz necklace

It could be the ginseng I have started taking each day

It could be the antibiotics I am taking to be rid of my lump that are also having the effect of clearing up my skin condition

It could be the lovely reiki energy a friend offered to send me

I don't know, it doesn't matter.

So what is this change?

I don't know if ever I have said before but sometimes I have the most amazing dreams. The sort where the most amazing and fantastic things happen. Where all is good and great and happy and life is just one fantastic adventure of joy. Except then I wake up and I can't remember the dream. Then I remember my life and the feeling dies, snuffed out and gone.

I am feeling an echo of that happiness inside myself.

My body is without a doubt happier and I know I have more energy. I know it successfully fought off a nasty cold without laying me low and making me take time off to fight it. I think that is a separate change....

Last night I wrote the two letters and I just wasn't happy with the second one. It was stale and dull. I posted them and I just knew I had to go back. And a story flowed out of my fingers. And when the story was done, I liked it. It said what I wanted it to say. I think more importantly it did what it said it did. Something has been unblocked somewhere along the line. Having stories back in my soul gives me back that feeling that life can be magical and beautiful. It doesn't matter if it is dull and mundane if you can feel the magic and it flows from your fingers.

I have no idea what I shall write next but I know that this writing malarky is good for me. I think back to where I was when I first started this blog. I like craft but there is something about a good story...

I know there is more to come in my artist pages. So far they are relatively dull but every so often there is a small gem of an idea as something steps in and carries me somewhere for a moment....

... mostly to fly with the seagulls who carry their souls between their wings...

... are seagulls the free souls of fishermen lost at sea?

I feel a story brewing, I just have to work out how to get it out and how to make it all fit... I hope I can...

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Letters (reposted)

Some TAW things... They may not make great reading *laugh*

***

Dear Mr C

I wanted to thank you. I know I was probably just another kid that you taught but one day you took the time to lend me one of your own possessions. One you thought I might enjoy. It was just another book. Except it wasn't.

It was a fantastic book. An intelligent book, not one you perhaps think 'young teenage girl'. It was a book written by a woman who might be described by some as feminist and eco-warrior but really she is just a smart woman who believes in equality.

It wasn't a book my school would much have liked and they would never have had it in their library. But yet you leant it to me and trusted me not to spread it around, to take care of it and to respond to being introduced to something like this. You showed believe in me as a person, as an adult.

I may not have been enthusiastic about the book when I returned it, I can't remember. I went on to read many books by this author and she is still one of my favourites. She has helped shape my thinking.

Thank you for showing you believed in me, you didn't just lend me a book, you opened a door.

p.s. I loved the purple smoke

***

Despicable Miss W

You stole my stories. You took them from me. My ideas chained in grammar. Lost under the weight of spelling. Did you know you stole them? Did you mourn their loss? Did you see my writing lose it's flame? Did you see me lose my fire? Did you know that with my stories, the light in my eyes died in the wind?

My stories were the most huge adventures, the most awesome tales. Did you take the time to find out what they were? Did you listen with your soul? Had your sense of awe and wonder died to? Did someone take your ability to enjoy a good yarn? Did you kill mine through spite or lack of understanding or were you just doing your job?

Your judgement of me left me thinking I was thick for years. I wasn't. You didn't have all the facts. I was young. I was too young. I caught up but I never caught my confidence and self belief again. Not in school anyway.

You stole from me, but I take it back, it is mine and you can not keep it from me, it is who I am. I want my stories back....

***

That's not right.... *sigh*

***

Once upon a time there was a beautiful little girl who could tell stories. Her stories took her to beautiful lands where there were amazing adventures to be had. Dragons and unicorns lived alongside animals never seen before in any story before or since. Her stories flowed from the secret place of magic within her.

One day an evil old woman asked her to tell a story and so the little girl did. It was a story of amazing beauty and wonder and the old woman listened intently. Or at least she did for a while and then she said

'You need to pause and take a breath occasionally. Try breaking your words down into proper sentences and then you won't end up getting short of breath.'

The little girl thought about this and thought it sounded very proper. She went to start her story again but she couldn't remember where she was. The story was gone, but that didn't matter, there was another, waiting eagerly to be born.

And so she began another story, a tall story of moon and mist and all the things inbetween.

The evil old lady scowled and after a very short while she interupted again.

'Oh i don't think that sounded right at all, you need to remember never to begin a sentende with but or and.'

The little girl's lower lip began to tremble a little. The story was gone but another grew and there it was a fable of foxes and forests.

'oh don't say the fox and me, say the fox and I'

The fable died but another grew of waves and mermaids and songs of beauty from beneath the waves.

'That was the wrong form of the verb it is you are, not you is'

The mermaids wrung their hair in sorrow and a tale of bear and eagle on a mountain of ice began

'Which form of the word are you using? B-E-A-R or B-A-R-E?'

Moles in pink winged glasses burrowing for hidden treasures....

'Your story needs a beginning, a middle and the end. You can't start at the end.'

Blue haired...

'Blue hair isn't sensible!'

Pink

'no'

Princess

'NO'

Moon

'No. this just won't do! Capital letters and full stops. Sentences have to make sense all by themselves. Use the right form of the verb. Spell all the words right. Never, ever make up words, use the dictionary....'

On and on it went. Each comment from the evil old woman stole a story from the Little girl. Each spell made it harder for her to hear what the stories were trying to tell her from deep within. Until she couldn't hear any more. They were gone and she sat there numb and practiced the form of the verb to be with the evil old woman before learning how to correctly join the letters a and e neatly together.

The little girl was so grateful that she was learning how to make her stories better that she didn't notice. One day she tried to tell a story and all that came out were words that sounded like the evil old woman

'i before e, except after c. No! That isn't a story!'

She sobbed.

She wailed, but the stories had gone and she cried for their loss. She couldn't remember the story of how to get them back. She was lost and she couldn't hear and she was alone and lost without them.

She went to the house of the evil old woman and she took out her fountain pen and stabbed the evil old woman with it. Everytime her pen swopped down, a story was freed....

A bunny rabbit with a tail of silver...

And again her pen flew.

A walk across the surface of the sun...

And down into the evil old woman it fell.

The evil old woman lay at her feet, quite dead. Covered in blood and ink.

The little girl looked on in horror but then a story grew inside her head.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful queen who was put under a spell that could only be broken with blood and ink and the words of a storyteller true....

Mines of Memory

Some years ago I needed to explore a mine. I had the permission of the landowner, in fact their head honcho wanted to take the opportunity to come with us. I had access to a selection of experienced geologists and I asked one who was into mine rescue and a Masters level student if they fancied it.

Off we went.

Some things about that little trip are fuzzy and others seem so clear. I found a load of photos from that trip today. They were taken in the days before I had a digital camera so there are only a few from in the mine and to be honest they arn't that great. I look at most of them and they just don't really fit with my memories....

Near the entrance to the mine there was a huge cavern carved into the cliff, supported by pillars and full of beautiful green water. You got the feeling that if you could explore, a tunnel would lead from the back of the cavern.

An adit lead away from above the cavern. An adit is a horizontal (ish) tunnel which drains water from all the levels above it. Cornwall is full of them. The biggest is the longest man made water carrying tunnel known as the Great County Adit and from 38 miles of tunnel it drained 40 mines of 13 million gallons of water every day. And this was built in the 1700s. In 1876 it suffered due to a bad winter an neglect, water burst through carrying debris with it and this caused silting up of the Carnon River and as a result Devoran fell beyond the navigable reaches of the river and it's quays died.

This adit is no Great County Adit, it lead mostly straight and true into the cliff. I remember every so often you would come across what looked like a puddle with a plank across it. Walking carefully across the plank it would become obvious you were walking across a shaft. The light from my helmet showed me the view as I looked down. And what a view. The water was crystal clear and it just went down and down and down.

You couldn't stay and look because the realization kind of hits that you are stood wearing a huge amount of heavy kit above a deep shaft full of very cold water and the plank you are on has been there a very, very long time.... But that image looking down has stayed with me and it is also tinged with a few nerves.

We didn't explore much of the mine. We were being safe and cautious rather than brave and fool hardy. The main adit ended in a rock fall and although we could have squeezed through.... A narrow tunnel went off to the right and led into a chamber and I can't remember why but we didn't follow the tunnel out to far either.

The one photo I have of the pool of water above the shaft doesn't do it justice an doesn't match my memory either. Maybe there was more than one shaft. The one I remember didn't have the huge gaping opening of the one in the picture. It had a square opening and it just went down. I think I like my memory better. I almost wish I hadn't found the pictures....
I am grateful for these memories... There are tourist mines in Cornwall in various places. Some are twee, for instance one where you ride a train through a tiny bit of tunnel.... Others are better. The best I went on was rather different. It was a safety check. Not your normal check, but on to make sure we wern't claustrophobic or scared of the dark and we would be safe to let loose in a mine.

I have no photos from that trip. At one point we went into a chamber, the whole group, and we all switched our head lamps off. The dark was incredible. I have never experienced dark like that. There was no glimmer of light or reflection. There was no adjustment of the eyes. It was just black....

To get out of the mine we had to go out the emergency exit and this was the claustrophobia test. Now some of the group were very fit and went off on ahead of me. One person was terrified and was going to be talked up by someone else. I wasn't scared, but I was unfit so I went inbetween the two groups.

The exit was a shaft with several ladders. At the top of each ladder you stepped onto a ledge and moved around the bottom of the next ladder and began climbing again. I can't remember how many ladders there were but there was a few. The thing was the ledges were tiny. The shaft was a tight fit, My legs were too long to climb the ladder properly. I had to have my knees to the side of the ladder to fit.

Now what I had no idea of was the fact I had managed to pick a defective battery pack and lamp. I soon found the fit people had long gone and the scared person was far below. And it went out. I hit it a few times and it flickered a little but it wasn't having it. I climbed most of the emergency exit alone and in the dark.... And that was fine.

Not all mines are like that, even in Cornwall. One I went down was all on a level. You walked in and the tunnels were broad and didn't scrape the top of your head. You could almost drive a car through. A mini definitely would have fit. In some places huge caverns had been excavated.

Cornwall is full of mines but so many are capped off or locked. I guess what I liked best was the feeling that I got to go places most people didn't.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Healing Sleep

Nothing to say tonight and yes there is something wrong. I am currently using my hayfever meds, I think, to mask a cold. I am pretty sure it is just a cold and not the dreaded swine flu because someone I have a fair bit of contact with has a cold too. I decided it was a cold when my hayfever meds didn't entirely work even though there is hardly any pollen because of the rain and also because my sinuses feel very blocked and my head hurts. I felt rough as rats all day and came home and had a nice hot bath and now I am going to bed - early. Really I am! XXX

(and I really am not particularly ill, I just need a good nights sleep)

XXX

Monday, 27 July 2009

Undercurrents

Do you ever get that feeling that lots and lots of things are going on? That you only know some of it? That there is much more lying under the surface? Do you ever have times when you had no idea that anything was going on and suddenly you discover lots is going on and you had no idea?

I had one of those moments today. What it was doesn't matter. I have even been party to some of the events that were sparked off but they meant little to me, beyond their standalone worth, because I lacked the piece of knowledge ready to pin it all together. And then you get that little piece of knowledge and you cringe, just a little, because you had no idea and you almost feel like you should have guessed something was up and dug a little deeper...

Work is like that to. There is so much going on. I have no idea if I have any idea of how it all fits together. It is all so complex sometimes, that I have no idea if I already hold that crucial bit of information. The Lady of Lies has spun a web around her life, others know far more than me, but I actually find I don't want to dig and learn and uncover because that would mean becoming 'involved' and that is not what I want. I know enough to know that she is a sad young lady that I can not help and that trying to is just a band aid stopping her from really having to face herself. I might be wrong, I reserve the right to change my mind.

The politics at work are stepping up. It is suspected by some that there may be redundancies before Xmas. This is a feeling and may be completely wrong, who knows, yet. We can all feel it in the air and some of us feel safer than others, some of us care more than others. I have been used to temp work and the thought of not working and having a permanent job doesn't scare me so much. I can imagine that some who have never had temp work, or been out of work, or had many jobs at all, or been there a long time might find it a little different to me.

There are also some there who are on slightly inflated wages and if they can not find exactly the same job they will be taking a huge pay cut and have to work harder. National agreements can be lovely things.

Thing is nobody knows for sure right now. Plans change in the wind. Those who do know can't say. Already you can sense the weaker ones who might be cut from the herd. The temps for one...

The work situations I am aware of and I am aware that I do not hold all the pieces. Slowly the jigsaw is fitting together. I don't like the other sorts of jigsaws so much, when you don't know they are there till the last couple of pieces fall in. I like change more than I like surprise I think.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

I Want To Be....

If I had five other lives I would be...

An explorer

A gardener

A seamstress

A museum curator

A librarian

Hmmm... Maybe I thought too much who knows..... This list seems kind of exactly what I would expect from me, nothing earth shattering really.


I would love to travel but not in a guided tour sort of a way. I like maps and finding places on them to go to. I like taking roads to see where they go. I would love to explore further afield, up jungle rivers, desert canyons and palm fringed lagoons. But I am quite happy finding nature reserves on the map and going to them. Driving down to find isolated little coves.

I would love to garden and the sad thing is I have a garden but don't garden.... Why? I need to get on this...

I like the idea of sewing, making soft furnishings for my home, making clothes for me and mine and maybe the odd cuddly toy. I have a sewing machine but have never worked up the courage to have a go. I havn't used a machine since school. i need to get on this as well...

I think the museum curator is the desire to have interesting things bought to me from all over the world. Seeing the whole collection, not just the select few items on display. I like things and I like learning. I don't necessarily want to own them.....

Librarian is no surprise at all. I like books. They feel like friends to me. There is something beautiful about a wall of books. Books are the best....

So I need to keep doing what I am doing but sew and garden as well....

The Artist's Way: Review of Week One

So far there has been nine days since I started but I am very firmly still on week one. I don't feel ready to move on. I completed the morning pages 7 out of nine mornings, once I didn't because I had to take F to work and he hadn't warned me before and today I didn't because i was depserate to finish my book...

I have had two artist's dates, or at least what I am going to count as such.... I coated myself in mud and played with the mud and had a mud bath. I took some cheap hen party accessories and altered them up to make them fantastically pink and tacky.

Even so, I can barely remember what I read in the first chapter and need to re-read it before i move on to chapter two.

I struggled with the affirmations and blurts. I didn't do them the first day and then completely forgot them. Although I did do some of the exercises, there is more I want to do. What I did was limited. I have a bad memory, I can't remember individual words just the gist of things so I can't remember any compliments, except backhanded ones.

This doesn't entirely surprise me. I find it easily to deal with the negative and I am very comfortable living in a middle of the road sort of a place, but living fully in the positive? Hmmmm, I need to work on this more this week. I need to move into the positive and not onto week two, not yet...

Leader / Manager

As I have said before, F doesn't have a problem with living with a logical / mathematical / sciencey type of a woman. He may not be those things but in many ways, what he is, is far more useful. In Gardeners' multiple intelligences he would definitely come up as gifted in interpersonal intelligence. He has an easy way with him that charms people and sets them at ease.

I love it because when we are together it rubs off on me a little and people are 'easier' with me. I take time to get to know people and it can take a while before I really relax with people and with some, I never do. With him however I find myself giggling at the check outs with the shop assistants. I really value his intelligence.

What surprises me sometimes is that he values mine and knows how to make use of it. He doesn't resent it, but he knows what I enjoy, what I am good at and how to use that to help us both. He is the leader but I am the manager in this relationship. He supplies direction and interesting tangents and I organise stuff. The role of overall boss switches between us depending on what we need.

We live in a badly organised house that needs a fair bit of work. We need changes in furntiure in many rooms because a lot of it is what we inherited and doesn't work for us at all. One example is our bedroom. I inherited a beautiful matching set, bed, bedside cabinets, dressing table and stool, his and hers wardrobes - all giant and dark. We desperately want it all gone, as well as the third giant dark wardrobe in our bedroom. We want a bed, a fitted wardrobe along one wall and my old trunk in the window.... The giant double spare bed needs to go and be replaced with a sofa bed so we have room, but still have the ability to have people over, and move all my bookcases upstairs.

Now he is earning more than me, we have the ability to slowly start changing things but there is so much to do. So much junk to get rid of or sell at the car boot. So much furniture to get rid of and replace. I don't always feel like doing stuff. When F does stuff he often doesn't prioritise quite as i would like or leaves things undone that make things more tricky... but he does do stuff (unlike me, mostly). When I do something I really get it sorted but it is a slightly exhausting process....

A while back f told me to sort out how it should all be done, what order. I didn't actually think he meant it and I didn't do it. Yesterday F made it clear that he was a little narked by this, that he really did want me to write lists and prioritise and organise... The house is a delicate jigsaw and we need to make space in such and such a place before we can move that. I still havn't done it, but then he won't be home till tomorrow and I am going to go do it now....

If i tell him what needs doing, it might just get itself done.... but only because he told me to go manage...

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Gifted

I have nothing much I want to say here tonight, mostly because it has been a creative day and I have posted loads and loads on my other blog...

I do want to share one little piece of loveliness here though... In response to previous comments about energy, the lovely Miss*R suggested I use smokey quartz. She had also bought a beautiful pendant about a month before, despite knowing that it wasn't for her... The pendant is truly beautiful and this sad little picture really does it no justice what so ever.
The bottom stone is smokey quartz and is a lovely double point with some beautiful little side crystals as well. The top stone is black and I would guess it is obsidian. Up the necklace there are round smokey quartz beads. It has been strung on black cord and has the most amazing knotwork. The knots form serpentines inbetween the round beads with cord passing down the sides of the beads. The larger stones have not been drilled, instead they are sat in nets made of cord. Truly made by a master craftsperson....

As a maker of jewellery myself this piece is so far outside of my particular set of skills...

So now my smokey quartz sits around my neck with my charm bag. And in the winter they will both be there everyday.

One day I might even be less self conscious of my witchy-ness and be far more open about it all but that time isn't now...

Friday, 24 July 2009

Enervate

It's another night when I have nothing to say but feel there has to be something in my head that wants to come out. Except there isn't and I want to go to sleep.

I just finished monstorous pink necklace demanded by the f m-i-l for some friend. Yay! Now I don't have to make any jewellery again for some time. Except I promised a pair of fairly intricate earrings to someone and sometime soon I should start on the little rash of presents I have to have prepared for the Xmas run. Problem is, in my extended family four of the women have birthdays around Xmas and another is a little earlier. It turns into a bit of a military campaign of making. Can I really face that much jewellery this year? Not sure.... Maybe silk scarves of simple design.... Stand back and throw paint? Would that do?

My new antibiotics have made me susceptible to wind. It seems to have made me very sensitive to sugar. Maybe this is a good thing. I actually turned down a doughnut this afternoon. This is un-heard of...

It's a good job I REALLY LIKe some of the people I work with because some of the others are really odd. Not obviously odd but the more you get to know them, the more obvious it becomes. There is the Lady of Lies and of course the Little Princess. You already know far too much about the Little Princess but the Lady of Lies.... Have you ever come across someone who is forever a victim, forever taking of help, forever requiring of help but slowly things come together and it is obvious that there is a web of misdirection. I feel sorry I really do, she is a damaged person, but men seem to end up a lot poorer for knowing her but yet she never seems to have enough money.... My jury is out, I have no proof of anything and she hasn't involved me of anything but the more things that happen around her, the less it feels like accident.

I had to spend some time with her this week without anyone else around. It meant leaving behind my nice protective charm bag (If I wear jeans it goes in my pocket, if I have high necked top then it goes round my neck but that day I had neither so it was in my bag). It didn't take long for the subtle dragging down of energy to begin. I had to sneak back to the office for my bag...

I am slowly realising the energy dynamics of my office... The Lady of Lies gently sucks energy, continuously and effectively, Little Princess knocks my energy off kilter and sometimes when she is really off colour she really packs a punch if she gets too close and the Boss sometimes gets very stressed and then everything gets lit up with little lightning bolts of static. The odd thing is that the men of the group mostly have little to do with the energy dynamic. Is it that women are more susceptible to womens energy?

It all makes me wonder what my energy does to the group. How do I affect the dynamic and now I have my little bag of tricks how has that altered it? Working with these people has really taught me about energy. I have had to learn how to guard myself, how to recognise the effects of others energy but I still have a long way to go, I am not very practiced at all but I have begun.

I read about centering, grounding and sorting out chakras a long time ago but the neccessity of such things has really hit home here. I have gotten very good at emergency grounding and cord cutting and barricading myself away but my charm bag really helps. I don't have to be quite so on the ball to spot when I have to do it. Sometimes I would realise too late and getting back your energy and protecting yourself are very hard after the fact...

Do other peopl out there notice energy like this?

I guess I found something to talk about. Sometimes I find some odd things come out. Sometimes I think I would be better keeping my mouth shut when I should be asleep...

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Revenge of the Pigs

I quite like pigs and it often seems to me that of all farm animals they are the ones with the biggest sense of humour. I remember pigs nibbling my feet in my wellies at local farms. I am very fond of pigs. I don't think it is their fault that their flu and our flu have mingled.

Cornwall is an out of the way sort of a place and I guess we were insulated for a while from Swine Flu. No cases for ages but then one and then another. A few schools affected here and there. As it starts to pick up across the country in a big way, the cases start to trickle in around the county.

I returned to work after my holiday to the slightly disturbing news that swine flu has now reached my world here. Two people at work have it and another hasn't got it yet but someone they are close does. So all of a sudden, three little infected people I could have come into contact with while they were infectious.

One of them even tried to return to work, still sick and sniveling. Why would you do that? Oh did I forget to say? My company doesn't pay full wage if you are sick and I won't get any sick pay till I have been there somewhat longer. So no wonder they tried to come back and no wonder the other person who may be infectious is in work.

Nice company eh?

My company has just decided to get hand wipes and things in to try and make people feel that they are nice and proactive. This might convince some people but it doesn't really convince me. People are infectious before symptoms show and it is very easy to spread this sort of flu. From those three potential germ carriers at work, a lot of others could already have contracted it.

Over the next few weeks the workforce there could be decimated and trying to slow rates of internal infection was their only way of stopping that really, but they acted too late and now it is the hands of chance. And the air conditioning...

Does this bother me? Of course I don't like any of this. I would rather not have swine flu if I can possibly help it but if I am going to get it, I would rather get it earlier than in the middle of winter. Also now the virus is relatively mild, it could mutate and gain killing force and this has happened before with previous swine flu epidemics. Getting it now will give some immunity if it does turn nastier.

In Britain they keep saying that a vaccine is close and we will have it by winter but I have my doubts as do articles I have read on the net. It seems only the Brits are claiming this and there appears to be no back up evidence. Please prove me wrong if you can....

My potential getting sick is now in the hands of my immune system, currently decimated by nice lump killing antibiotics, and chance / fate. I am not going to panic. I am not going to suddenly start dosing myself with everything under the sun. I have tissues on my desk and I shall freely hand them out to any less organised snivelly snotty person who comes my way. I am not going to try and get this bug but if I do, the world won't end.

And people are being snotty. All of a sudden everyone seems to have sore throats and bunged up noses. People look worried when someone sneezes. People are scared. I have faith, not in my immune system but in something else... no matter what, things will work out...

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Lunar La-La

The moon plays with all of us but women especially....

The combined hormones at work pulled me out of my routine so that my moontime came with the full moon but this month the moon pulled me back and here I am dead on the New Moon and my moon time is here. I have heard it said that all women should have their moontime linked to the full moon but I am really unsure why this is so and how do we know?

You see I really do think the New Moon is my time. I find something very interesting about the new moon. The full is beautiful, of course, it shine bold and bright but it is the new that sings to my soul. The New Moon is poised at the moment when all will increase. It's darkness is mysterious and deep. She encourages us to look within ourselves more. She let's the stars shine brighter. She is still there but she doesn't reflect the brightness of the sun at us, although sometimes you can see her reflect back our shine, earthshine.

So my time off was perfect. I was able to chill and go with the flow as my hormones brewed and somehow, this feels as if it has led to less stormy emotions and bodily reactions than normal. I could feel the renewal in my energy this morning, instead of feeling drained from fighting the tides in my body.

Right now, all things are good and the New Moon shows me the way to go.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Listmania

I like lists. I love ticking things off. Sometimes I even list things I have already done, just so I can tick them off. Not surprising that I liked the idea of 101 Things in 1001 Days.

I guess I still do, but...

I have some problems with it to.

1) I was dragging stuff from all over the place to fill up my list. Some of the things on my list were really scrapping the bottom of the barrel. They shouldn't be on there...

2) Some of the things on my list are way too over ambitious. 3 beautiful places a week? What about if I am ill, or F walks Little Dog, or it rains every day? What about the winter when it is dark before and after work, should I go to the beach in the dark with the dog? All that fruit? Small steps people, not giant, almost impossible tasks... Daunting in their size.

3) What about things that happen and crop up? Like mud baths and all the other things on my new list I have where I put all my new ideas? Cool things that is seems I have to wait another 2 and 1/2 years before I might have time to prioritise them.... Photographing all the lighthouses in Cornwall. Setting a flying lantern free. Making a mah-jong set.... Then there is Wreck This Journal and The Artist's Way...

4) So many of the things on my list are things to make or learn. How much time do I have? I don't have individual gifts on my list. Nor Christmas presents or Birthday Presents or requests. How much time do I have? Not enough.

5) Some things become redundant. Sending a postcross card each month is becoming of less interest to me for instance.

Trying to squeeze everything into life is wearing me out. I need a little more balance. A little more rest time. I don't want to spend my weekends desperately trying to keep up with the demands I have placed on myself. Yesterday I did nothing and achieved very little. I bathed in mud and I listened to old favourites on youtube and seriously, that was the whole day. It was lovely. I wasn't thinking or doing or striving. I can't keep filling my life up, I need space too. otherwise I get tired... Very, very tired.

So I am removing the deadlines and I am going to add, remove and amend things on my list as I feel fit, whenever I feel fit. I don't want to give it up because it is challenging me. I am loving the films, the excuse to buy Charles de Lint and things....

Monday, 20 July 2009

Mud, Glorious Mud

WARNING THIS POST IS FOR WOMEN ONLY!!!

If You are a bloke reading this I don't ever want to know. There are to be no smirks, no little references nothing... I am sure there will be a few things that would make a smutty little schoolboy laugh... Don't read this if you are prudish either!

As some of you may know I recently was inspired to buy some dead sea mud to slaver on my body to have some nice fun time with my inner child. Today was the day and earlier was the hour.

I took my sachets of mud to the bathroom and opened the first one to discover it had settled a little in the packet and I was loosing water. No matter. Down the legs it went.... It took two packets to cover all of me, except my head and the bits of my back I couldn't get to.

It smelt anoxic, think that dark black mud you find underneath that is always wet and never gets any air, marsh mud. It has a different set of chemical reactions because of the lack of air that give it a very distinctive smell. Probably good I have hardly any sense of smell, it really doesn't bother me at all.

So gooey clay, everywhere, and yes I do mean everywhere. Once I put it on, I played with it for a while, enjoying the sensation of it on my skin, running through my fingers, drawing spirals on my breasts. Touching my sin and caressing myself. Now I know some of you might be having a titter some time about now, thinking oh aye, but, you see, it just wasn't like that, not one bit. Why does touch have to be about sex? Why does pleasure have to be sexual? I was playing and stroking my skin and enjoying it, why does that have to sound smutty?

My masseuse often says that ouch is so important and we don't touch ourselves enough. We don't spend time looking after the skin we are in. I don't mean slathering it in potions and lotions, but spending time on it. Look at monkeys, they sit there and groom, most of the time they are not even dirty, it has a social meaning to it as well as personal welfare.

I am fat and I try not to spend too much time looking at my body. I try not to notice it a lot of the time, if I can possibly help it and I certainly do not want to look at the clothes I wear which a lot of the time are not things I would ever choose to wear if I had all the choice in the world. How much time do I spend letting my body know I love it and I appreciate the skin I am in, not much.

I lay in the bath and massages myself. I particularly enjoyed massaging my feet, it felt lovely squidging the mud between my toes. I filled it up with water after a while and I sat in my little muddy pool of water. I played with the mud as it dried, peeling it off, turning into that lovely liquid mud that oozes between the fingers. Letting it dry again. Turning my belly button into a mud hole.

It was glorious, innocent play and right now my skin knows that I love it and loving being in it. It also feels very, very soft.....

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Angels and Demons

This post is a bit of a work in progress but I figure if I start writing more will come out as well. It is for my The Artist's Way book (TAW) which I am doing with a group called On The Wing. The book asks you to think back to discover who some of your monsters and heroes were. Those who encouraged your artistic endeavours and those who didn't, who damaged instead.

***

Miss W was the first teacher I had when I changed school at seven. She was in charge of a tiny class which I was part of and the year above which was larger. We were all in the same room together and I spent two years there. When I joined the school, I was the youngest in the whole school. I loved to write. It was agreed I had a fantastic imagination but somehow that didn't feel like an entirely positive thing, or at least not positive enough to outweigh the problems with my writing.

***

When TAW talks about the censer I see an old woman with grey hair in a bun and glasses in a 70s styley with slight wings to the side and a glasses chain round her neck. She is looking over the top of them a little. She looks bored and boring, self righteous, fuddy duddy.... She is sat at a desk stacked high with papers and she has a pen, and old fashioned one and a jar of ink. She is scrutinising each and every paper and destroying it slowly under the weight of her own marks...

You see my brain had the story and my pen struggled to keep up. My handwriting was awful. There was no grammar or punctuation. My sentences went on and on and there was just no stopping them. And as for my spelling....

They looked at my work and tested me for dyslexia. I wasn't dyslexic. They put me in the 'special' classes at lunch times to make sure I caught up. Everything I did wasn't good enough because I was behind. At the school I had come from I had spent the year with a lovely teacher. It was all play based but I remember more lessons from that classroom than I do the ones before or immediately after. Somehow all that play and fun became bad because now I was behind and that just wouldn't do.

It took me years to figure out but I eventually did... In my old school which was state run, I had been one of the oldest children. My birthday fell very close to the cut off point for that year and I just missed out on being in the year above. My new school didn't worry about dates and cut off points for the year. I got put up a year by accident and no one realised. Maybe my spelling and grammar and punctuation and sentence structure were not as bad as all that.... Maybe they didn't have to destroy my stories to make my writing perfect, but they did....

***

After I spent my two years in that class, I moved to a new one with a new teacher Miss E. Miss E was a spinster nearing retirement but she had an energy to her. There was no lack of discipline in her class and sometimes she was hard and strict but she was always consistent and fair. Both my sister and I liked being in her class. I don't so much remember her lessons as things that happened and some of the rules. If you were stuck you couldn't queue at her desk if there were more than three there. If you were there you had to listen to what she was saying to others in case it helped you.

She was very Christian and one girl had a copy of the Demon Headmaster. It was taken away. One time I picked up an out of date factual book and she saw it and took it from me and ripped it up because it was out of date. I remember wanting to take it out of the bin and make it better...

I remember that she always said I would write a book one day. She said it more than once and she said it to my Mum as well, who repeated it to me. I remember that belief in me. I remember that rules and discipline are not counter to care and love. You can be strict and loving at the same time, if you do it right....

***

Later on when we had different teachers for different subjects there was Mrs D. She mis-prounounced my name for years but I never told her, it wasn't important. She was an English teacher and she taught us to dissect questions for reading comprehension. She had us take different parts in Shakespeare and read aloud, which helped us all understand it, Shakespeare has to be spoken....

She knew I had book club money even though it was mostly younger ones that used it lots. There was always something there choosen for me, something she thought I might like. She encouraged.

Mrs D is both a hero and a monster. She is a monster because she had to mark and to her red pen, my writing was never perfect, no matter how much soul I put in it. I don't think marking is always a good thing. If a clever and able child who can write well can't get full marks then who can? What good does that do anyone?

She is a hero because she gave us interesting things to write about and encouraged us to love books and writing. Because when I found myself writing a pagan creation myth that came from nowhere she didn't treat it as anything other than a good piece of writing. In such a Christian school she could very easily have made a lot of trouble with that piece of writing. Instead it was entered as a piece of coursework for my GCSE. This was however a mixed blessing as none of us ever got any of our coursework back....

***

And now for an art teacher or two... Both I think monsters.

We had a task to create a picture using white, black and newspaper. I created a fish jumping out of a river. It was a simple enough picture and din't take too long but the fish was exactly as I wanted it. The river was exactly as I wanted it. The clouds were exactly as I wanted them. I had managed to reproduce the picture in my head perfectly. I liked it. He didn't. It didn't tick some nice little box that he had I guess.

I remember one time we had to pick two letters and find a font and use those two letters to mask out areas across a page and colour the gaps inbetween. I liked what I produced. So did the art teacher. I remember him staring at it intently and then saying that he thought I would make a good little artist, probably even better than my sister.

Now I have issues with my sister, she has long time been built up and me knocked down in order to try and make us more equal. What started as a compliment turned into trouble as soon as he said I might be better than her. I wasn't allowed to be better than her. Not really....

In the art room there was a long row of cupboards down one side and on top was a huge number of fantastic items for people to draw. Things that had been collected over years and years from all over the world. They drew us like moths to a flame but we couldn't touch and God forbid we try and draw them. They were too hard and they were for the real artists who did A-level or maybe towards the end of GCSE. I never, ever got anywhere near them. I am sure I could have had a damn good go if someone had given me some nice pastels to play with....

***

My last hero is an unlikely one, a gay chemistry teacher. He had a class full of girls who were not necessarily overly interested in the finer intricacies of chemistry. He did all the fun stuff, maybe not teaching exactly what he should but making sure we had some fun in there too... He made purple smoke one day in the fume cupboard. He showed us interesting reactions and had us play with fun substances. He blew things up and burned them. We didn't like the proper chemistry and all those titrations but we liked the other bits.

He leant me a book one day. Out of the blue I think. The Enigma Score by Sheri S. Tepper. I havn't read it in years but Sheri S. Tepper is one of my favourite authors to this day and one day I shall re-read that old book just to see if it is in much the same style as her later books. You see her current stuff is high fantasy with a woman's rights and environmental twist. She doesn't preach but she makes you cry in sympathy at the injustice and that raises you up as she takes it all somewhere ehere beauty wins out... He did me a good favour that day. I often wonder why me and why that book. Did he see something in my soul that he was trying to help fly free? He planted a seed... One I chose to grow.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

The Problem With Mud

Sometime ago Jamie asked on her wishcasting wednesday, what do you wish to play with? The first thing that sprang into my head was that I wanted to play with mud. I was a little bemused by this but wrote about it anyway.

From my own thoughts and the kind comments of others I realised there was several ways of doing this. Playing with clay, having a beautifying clay mask (thanks Holly!) or actually going and playing with mud outdoors somewhere....

I have air dry clay but it's feel isn't the same as the clay I remember from school. It feels as if there is tiny pieces of paper in amongst the clay particles. If you tear it, it doesn't have the same sort of tear as clay does. I can understand why they would do this, I expect it really helps it dry and gives it a strength clay wouldn't have without being fired in a kiln. I smothered my wish jar in the stuff and got nice and messy...

I also remembered something from my childhood. Someone visited the Dead Sea and bought back some mud and salt for my Mum. She let me use some and it was lovely. I looked on line and found a company and ordered three pouches so I could go to town. That was three weeks a go.

They used a courier to send it to me. The courier wouldn't post it without a signature. There was no one home. The next day I went to work and asked if I could have it redirected to work. Permission given I rang the courier. The parcel was already on the van, not surprisingly, but could only be redirected by the sender. I emailed the company later and had to pay some more money for postage so it could be sent again.

A week later and no mud. I emailed again and discovered the courier had apparently messed up. All to be sorted. Another week and not a lot seemed to be happening. Another email and I got the response that he thought it had been sent again already but would check the next day. It didn't arrive the next day but it must have been resent then as it surprisingly arrive the day after. *sigh*

I know the company was not at fault but I do resent how they dealt with after that. Although I asked for a tracking number in both week 2 and 3, they failed to give me one, probably because they didn't want me to track it. The parcel I received was the same one as was originally sent so the courier can't have done anything to dreadful. I do wonder if I hadn't repeatedly emailed them, if they would ever have re-sent it to me.

Would I use them again? Don't know. It all depends on whether I like the mud and want to use it again and whether I find it somewhere else or not if I do want it...

So is it any good? No idea... I only got it yesterday and I refuse to use it while F is about.... If I use a facepack with him in the house he always has to come and make me laugh. I hate the sensation of it once it cracks and I am not taking any chances that I would have the same thing with this mud, but over all of my body...

Updates to follow!

Spinning Through the Week

It seems to have been quite a full on week and I have so many little things to say as well as a few things I want to talk about all by themselves.... I have plans and posts burbling up inside. Anyone would think I hadn't written for a month, not one night...

Well Harry Potter was of course excellent. I won't say too much about the film as I am sure many of you will see it one day, if you havn't already. Having read the book, I knew the plot outline for the film. There was one part when I knew something was going to happen but when it did it still made me jumpa mile high. I was holding onto F who, because of me ended up grabbing his friend on the other side, who was also being held onto by a girlfriend who jumped... *laugh*

The cinema we go to is an old fashioned one that is still sometimes used as a theatre. It is lovely to live somewhere where they didn't rip it down. So the cinema we were in was huge, 600 seats and you don't end up sat right next to someone, hemmed in on all sides. This film even had an intermission which was great. They sold ice cream and we swapped around, we started with girls together and finished with men together.

The only problem was other people watching the film. The noisy teens at the back somewhere. The bunch of young unsupervised girls who kept running in and out and banging their seats. And my friend sat three rows back who decided to throw sweets at me. Now I know they are not happy at the moment and when they are unhappy they always regresses a little but it was kind of annoying. Our friends were annoyed. I was annoyed. I am sure the people sat behind me to either side must have been annoyed. I know the people with my friend were embarassed. I am not lastingly annoyed but it just seemed so... thoughtless and rude. *sigh* At least it was only during the intermission...

I have signed up to another book group. I knew about it a while back when the lovely Sam started it. Mel decided to pitch in to and once she got the book she let me know in no uncertain terms that she felt I would love it, and knowing that if she was telling me that, she was probably right, I gave in. Amazon and a little extra on postage instead of waiting for it to come for free, it arrived yesterday, but I had no time to read it! I still havn't read week one. I have cheated so far and looked at the exercises and very briefly at how to do morning pages as they are important exercise.

So this morning I woke up and got a pad and wrote. I wrote in a messy scrawl to keep up with my inner voice and well, it was interesting. I was very focused on what I could hear, or feel. Vision was less important as I was looking at my hand and the paper. I found a lot of what I wrote was banal but every so often there was a little something that made me think oooh... for oh so many different reasons. We are not supposed to re-read our pages for the first few weeks we do them, so I won't but the last thing I wrote is one I want to re-read and savour... Something about seagulls flying with their souls in their wings and wanting to fly with them.

Looking at the book in such a brief way has already started my brain working and remembering. I love self-analysis. I discovered when I had my nervous breakdown all those years ago, that a self-help book is a very useful tool for me and my astrology chart has kind of explained why and put it into words...

'... I am capable pf achieving personal harmony as there are a lot of steadying influences. I am capable of benficially resolving my inner conflicts, in fact I am eager to follow the trail of self-discovery. I have a need to explore my personality and analyse my motives. This is a consious and objective assessment of my true shortcomings. This gives me a depth of character. I must allow time for thought....'

It seems this is an important aspect of my persona. To be fair, it saved me after my breakdown. My logical nature, fostered in a Christian upbringing failed catastrophically under the world's demonstration that this is not how it works and I had to build a framework that worked for me, very quickly so I could function again. It took four months to repair the worst of the damage and go back to work....

I think I am going to love this book....

What else...

Much else is for my creative blog I think. Except my foot. I ignore my feet really. So it came as a little surprise, when I decided to examine my foot when it started hurting, how much of a mess they are. I don't think wearing steel toe cap boots so many hours a day even in hot and steamy weather, has agreed with them. I have a nasty flair up of athlete's foot and it hurts and I hope the cream works nice and quick...

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Tonight I met with the girls which was good. I like meeting with them, we are all so different but yet we mesh as a group. Even all our blokes get on well.... It isn't even as if we are all the same age, or even anywhere near.

Tomorrow we are off to see the new Harry Potter which should be nice too.... and then round to the mate's we are going with for food.

Saturday, F is out. I could go but I don't want to. He will have more fun without me and I will have more fun at home. The evening is about him, not me and friendships of which I am not so much a part.

Sunday he shall be hungover.

Monday he goes to work, but I don't! Yay! The first of two days off! I so need them. I have found that I am getting a bit exhausted some evenings recently and I just need a slightly longer weekend to catch up. To chill a little and I can have it, so I am...

Tuesday F is off so I get to have a nice day with him as well....

So what am I going to do? I have done no wrecking this last week. I have The Artist's Way about to land on my doorstep. I have a whole pile of books to read. I have a Little Dog to take nice places. I have a wish jar which is dry enough to seal and paint and things. I have silk to paint. Material to sew. Threads to braid. Astrology charts to complete. Postcards to send. Letters to write. And it goes on...

And I want to do it all! I love it. I wish I never had to go back to a paying job. I would love to be a part time volunteer, part time arty type, part time student and just generally anything else I fancy doing... Not that I hate my job, I don't not really. But I don't work for myself or do what I want at work....

But the important thing is I have a few more hours at work tomorrow and then I am free for four whole days! And that is all I have to say, Yay! And maybe a few more yays and some hurrahs!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Little Indiscretions

What to talk about tonight. There is so much I would love to write about, but I can't. There are situations I have no problem writing about but that I do have a problem with putting out there, in public, where in theory anyone could see them. Things go onto the net and they may always be out there, out of your control. One blog friend has actually discovered that another site is picking up her posts and reproducing them completely. You just never know.

Many of the things I would love to talk about are other people's business or work things. Some of the situations concerning other people are just too... I don't keep secrets - I tell F. but beyond that I do. I don't like spreading stuff around (although I do love to hear the gossip). I wouldn't want to be the one responsible for putting it all out there as it were. They are not my stories to tell, I am but a bystander...

As to work things. I am governed by confidentiality agreements and I will not break that, not even here where I am unlikely to be found. Also by putting out details like the ones I would love to, I am making it more likely that I can be identified. It would only take one comment here and the wrong person and, quite possibly, it would be good bye job. That is not something to be played around with.

Sad thing is though, not everyone thinks and feels as I do. In fact some people are willing to play around with others ability to keep their job. Their discretion is so lacking. Combine this with a very egocentric, naive, spoiled view point and they become truly dangerous. Particularly when irritated with someone. Nothing so dangerous as a woman scorned I do believe.....

It is painful to watch in some ways. The target is no innocent and may deserve what they may get, who knows... The problem is though, that they really are no innocent and messing with that and all that comes with it is a dangerous thing. A lack of discretion can sometimes be a very, very bad thing. What gets me is that someone can be sooooo secure and focused on themselves that they can't see the possible repercussions....

So discretion. It is an important thing. Everyday, we all ignore hundreds of little things that annoy us in order to grease the wheels and keep things working and running along happily. Not saying things is how we work.

We see this in progress in programmes like Big Brother, not that I watch it, but I have previously. All the little bits of behind the scenes wheel greasing and emotion venting required for people to get on are suddenly out there in the open. People appear two faced when in fact it's just getting on and making things work.... But being discretely two faced is the important thing...

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Let Me Eat Cake

I have always been intellectually able. Maybe gifted - who knows? Certainly above average intelligence. Thing is, I think it is far easier for men to have an enjoyable time being bright than it is women. I also feel a little as if chasing around after intellectual things, like degrees, that my intellect hasn't taken me anywhere useful, anywhere I really valued.

I love learning though, so the process has always been fun in and of itself but it just hasn't seemed to go anywhere. In fact sometimes I think it makes it harder. In my flitting through jobs as a temp, I have had a lot of bosses that havn't overly liked having someone work for them that they feel is cleverer. I just can't help that I pick things up quickly (taking notes always helps as well). Or that I figure things out either...

So I think it would be fair to say that I have a love / hate relationship with my intellect. I don't set the same value to intellect as others do, not any more.

I guess it was no surprise that my astrological chart was heavily focused on the side of intellect, I guess I should be chuffed that creativity and intuition were mentioned at all. You see I would so much rather have the brain of an intuitive arty type who is a little off the wall than that of an accountant. Do you see what I mean? I guess I have always had a streak of geek and that means dull right? I don't want to be dull.....

Then some friends decided to do personality tests and they got to be cool visionary types. I wasn't surprised by mine really but perhaps a little disappointed... I got to be a Strategist. OK so maybe they arn't to common in the population and they are more likely to be men than women, but hey, are they exciting? Probably not....

So I want to be other than I am. Not uncommon. Would I give up being clever to be intuitive and arty and bohemian? No. I couldn't because that would make me a different person and I can't imagine that. So what do i want? I want to have my cake and eat it, I want to be as I am but also be really, really creative and have a huge psychic gift. I want those things to be as easy to me as thinking logically.

I know I make things that look creative sometimes but I know how my brain works. I know all of these things have more to do with logic in their design than that creative fire. I have the head of an engineer rather than the head of artist but at least it doesn't stop me creating. Does it matter how my brain worked in order to get things created? Am I to hard on myself? How do I value and make use of my gifts? Do i need to? Am I still hunting for a vocation / career when maybe I have a job and a lovely life outside of it.... Why do we always want it all? *sigh* Do you want it all as well?

Monday, 13 July 2009

Profundly Nothing

First things first... I have a huge thank you for my soul sister. I received a little piece of beauty through the post today, full of light and healing. A beautiful charm bag and that is all I shall say for the things inside it are personal to me. You know who you are....

When I spoke to the lovely F last night and told him what I had been doing all day, he was rather intrigued. Seems he had been having a conversation with someone at work about moon signs and he had no idea what his was. He is going to try and find out when exactly he was born...

It occurred to me that I could offer this to my Pay it Forward people. So far one has accepted. It will take a while to draw up charts and collate the results but I need the practice really... Still it will take some time.

What else do I have to say... Oh I made risotto for the first time tonight. With onions and mushrooms steeped in stock with rosemary, thyme, pepper, fennel and black onion seed. I discovered black onion seed in my herbal explorations and it will be a nice constant in my kitchen for tonight. Tamarind wasn't suitable for tonight - not the taste I was after. If you can fry or boil or stew or bake then you can cook but to make beautiful food you need herbs and spices. Cooking need never be complicated if you can just throw a few tasty things in the pot....

Time to get back to my chart I think, nothing profound here today.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Written in the Stars?

Recently there has been mention of astrology in Blogville. Or maybe just one mention. Not sure. i think it was Mel but I think she might have been jogged by somewhere else.... I can't find Mel's post with it in now (if indeed it was ever there...).

A long time ago I bought a really good astrology book, before I moved to Cornwall even. I was always hampered in my study of astrology by a couple of things...

1) I lacked the tools. Computers make it so much easier! I couldn't copy the chart and I didn't have a word processor on which to type out all the comments and then collate them into topics. Making a chart involved pages and pages of notes and then writing them all out again after! Ugh...

2) A lack of birthdays and birth places to work on. I didn't see any appeal in making up details just to practice.

I did a chart for a chap I knew and he was somewhat surprised when he got it, uncomfortable even. I started one for myself but I just got bogged down in it....

So the comments made me think of my book and today I went and dragged it out of hiding. I discovered pages of notes but I hadn't written names on the notes and they were more than a little random. I decided to start again.

I copied the chart and plotted my planets on to it with it's lovely precise divisions and perfect circles. I calculated and calculated and when I had finished calculating I started working through the book, typing comments about different planets in this star sign or that house. There are so many things to work through and the more you delve into a chart the more there seems to be that you can do...

I want to talk about the revelations my chart has given me in the small area of health, diet and fitness....

I like rich, sweet food but I would benefit from a lighter, more balanced diet that is high in fibre and wholefoods. I have a tendency towards excess and binges, which I must avoid. I like to eat good food out in congenial surroundings.

I need regular exercise but I have a tendency to dismiss regular exercise and I lack the willpower to commit to regular exercise. I am not inclined towards the use of physical energy and don't really enjoy exercise. Inaction however leads to weight gain and subsequent difficulty in losing weight.

I have a slow metabolism and it is very easy for me to overdo things. For me, steady exercise is better than energetic exercise and I am more likely to enjoy exercise with lyrical movement or a social factor. Badminton, Tennis and Squash are all good sports for getting my metabolism going.

I have a tendency to bottle things up and suffer from nervous tension. If I don't release this energy I am likely to suffer from stomach issues, bowel issues or headaches. It may also affect my liver, although my liver is also prone to psychosomatic related illness. headaches may also be caused by fluctuations in my kidney function. I benefit far more from holistic and homeopathic treatments than I do conventional medicinal treatment. I can also be a bit of a hypochondriac...

I actually have good physical energy levels which I should use for demanding sports to release this nervous tension positively. I need action and plenty of it, in order to function well. I must spend lots of time outdoors, preferably in the country as this will revive my spirits and replenish my energy levels as well. Yoga and meditation are also good forms of release for me.

I need to understand that my energy levels fluctuate and sometimes I just don't feel like it. At these times I need gentler forms of exercise but I must still exercise. When I have more energy or have nervous tension, I need to exercise steadily but in a demanding way. I am not competitive but if i do take part in competitive sports, I need to be on the winning team.

oh and I need to make sure I treat my back well and sit properly at my desk...

The thing is, this all fits me perfectly and kind of explains a few things I needed to know. For instance my dislike of exercise has prevented me from gaining this degree of insight into my exercise needs but this all fits and makes sense. It explains why I have always liked Badminton and why Tai Chi did good things for me.

The nervous energy thing is enlightening as well. I am aware, and the chart confirmed in other sections, that I have a high level of emotional energy but it operates at deep levels in my psyche and I tend to repress it. My intellectual approac to things means that I rationalise a lot of emotion away before I am even really aware that I feel it. How I sleep and the state of my stomach are often the first clues I have to the fact I am stressed....

Thins is with this part of the chart is that it makes it clear I don't need to be fat and exactly what I need to do in order not to be fat. I need to design my life around these exercise requirements and then maybe I might actually be able to stick to it. Maybe, just maybe my chart offers me a way out....

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Kali

Today it shall mostly rain. And then rain some more. But that is fine. I didn't want to go out.

I got up for a couple of hours and then went back to bed and slept some more.

When F got back with S we watched a film on Sky called The Spirit. A nice little dark cartoon that we all enjoyed.

I don't really have much to say. I started making a wish jar and I have talked about that a little on my other blog but I just have nothing earth shattering. I have thoughts and beginnings of things swirling in my head.

Synchronicity. Fate. Death. Metamorphosis. Nothing big, you know. Nothing formed enough to write about. Except Kali. Isn't she just everywhere right now in blogland? Those four words seem to go with her to. I thought at first she was a message for others and maybe she is but she might be here to remind me of a few things to.

The RNLI has been a little favoured by synchronicity as well and I feel I need to recognise that and do something for them at some point.

The power of the sea is undisputed. Sometimes she might play nice but in the end she is a wild mistress and she takes her due. She has a lot in common with Kali really. I guess if you accept that we are not in control of everything, it sets us free to really live.....

Friday, 10 July 2009

Recession

There is a recession going on. I am sure everyone has noticed by now, except maybe some of the bankers - they seem to have forgotten all about it already.... I am not sure how much it had affected me but these last few days, things seem to have changed at work.

I wrote loads about work. But then I realised that I can not publish it.

My job is fine for now. It may be fine for some time.

It is odd. I finally realised why I have to stay in this job. I have run away from so many other awkward situations in other jobs. It is what I always do it seems. It has been an easy thing to do working as a temp as well. This time I have to stay, I have to prove I can. If I get made redundant due to the recession then I would know that I have been released. I know this sounds odd, but....

What will be, will be...

I wrote a load more about work and realised that I couldn't publish that either *sigh*

One day I would like to be free of contracts!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Gift of Books

I found a book called Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen a while back and the cover kind of suggested I might like it and I did. Full of magic it was a lovely, lovely story with a bit of romance and happily ever after thrown in for good measure.

So when I saw The Sugar Queen I had to get it. It has been in my book pile for a while awaiting it's turn and that came today and will be a fairly short one I think because I can't put it down...

One of the characters in the book has a magical blessing - she is blessed with books. It started as a child when bored and a book of card games appeared - and followed her around till she understood it was hers. If she had a need a book would appear. Having just dumped her man because he admitted to being unfaithful, she has a book called Finding Forgiveness following her around. And then it gets joined by a second book called Old Love, New Directions. She is busily trying to ignore both of them but they crop up in odd places, except the bathroom because apparently books are like cats and hate water.... (wonder if wreck this journal ever found her?)

Anyway, this is a minor bit of a lovely book and this character isn't even the main character so I hope I have tempted you.... I love the idea of the gift of books... Imagine always knowing which book would help you right now, this second, no matter your need. Be it bored and looking for adventure, creative inspiration, self-help or any of a million other needs. Imagine that book always arriving the second you need it... What a lovely gift to have.

Books are a gift anyway. If there is one thing I would love to pass on to my kids, it would be a love of books. When I first visited F's house, I was quite pleased to see a well thumbed book on his coffee table. What I didn't know was that it had been in his possession for over a decade and he still hadn't finished it... Since being with me however I have slowly trapped him in a web of books and he isn't complaining!

I often leave books in the bathroom (currently Alice Through the Looking Glass) and I have found him reading all sorts of unlikely things. I have had him reading Maeve Binchy and poetry by Benjamin Zephaniah (a very modern black poet).

I already know that on my next list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, other authors will receive the treatment that Charles de Lint is currently receiving. Sheri S. Tepper writes modern feminist fantasy and although I have all her more recent books, I don't have all her earlier ones even though I could pick them up cheaply second hand from amazon. Another is Sharon Shinn with her interesting romances set on a fantasy world where a grand social science experiment has been undertaken....

What books would you give as a gift to others? What books would you give me?

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Mood of The Day

The young man who decided to go swimming with three friends last night will never go back home again. He and two others were jumping off the rocks, two made it to shore while he was dragged away. By the time F and I reached Godrevy his body would have already have lost it's driving force and who knows where his soul might have been. I hope he has or will manage to pass over soon to wherever spirits go.

I started the day sad and tired but my mood has improved throughout the day. It was fantastically improved by a lovely little package from Canada. Mel sent me the wrecked remains of my get a friend to destroy this page, page which has been magically transformed into a woven coaster! Oh I laughed so much when I saw it! There was also a lovely pressed flower, for my pressed page (no idea what sort). Savannah had also included some lovelies, several beautiful drawings and some paper dolls! I also received a page of Mel's journal to wreck *evil grin*

I have been experimenting with Tamarind and as soon as I opened my jar I recognised the smell. I know I have eaten this many times and it seems to be the 'missing' ingredient from many chinese dishes I have thrown together. I did some chinese ribs and a stir fry tonight both using tamarind paste and they were lovely... I also used honey, soy, chinese five spice, black and red pepper and ginger....

I also found a block of tamarind so I think I can have a go at Gemel's lovely suggestion now too... Sam also has offered Tamarind suggestions, which I shall gladly try.... My favourite so far by quite a bit!

Bits of creative things are proceeding slowly in the background... and I do mean slowly! I feel behind on things at the moment. I was going to do an earth healing last night but events got in the way and tonight catching up and cooking has held sway. I know I am putting it off. I know my lack of success with ceremonies and my feelings of inadequacy in all things magical are getting in the way. I know I just need to get on with it... Because when it comes down to it, I want to do it and I believe in it.....

Today is wishcasting wednesday but I am not sure what the wish is for today except that I wish for the young man who passed away to be at peace and I wish for the world and it's healing. For myself I wish a piece of this green land for my own to nurture and love....

Update and the RNLI

It seems a group of local men went swimming and one didn't make it back to shore. They tried to find him but couldn't. The search was called off at dark and they planned to resume it today. The theory is that he may be trapped in a cave, unaccessible when the tide is high as it was last night.

I found a tweet last night saying that 3 men got into trouble and two were rescued and one remained missing. When I went to bed, this was all I knew and I started thinking about the tides and where they were looking. The tide was coming in and near high. The winds were onshore. Anything lost would be bought back into the bay and bought over to the headland where people were watching. The bay had been thoroughly searched. I don't think anyone on those cliffs was expecting to find someone alive, I think they were waiting for a body to be washed ashore. I had quite a bit of trouble sleeping last night.

I guess it brings home the importance of the RNLI here in Cornwall. We depend on their services to rescue those who fall into trouble off our coast, be it people who take ill on boats or swimmers who get into trouble. I guess a lot of the time, the people who use the service most are those passing through, who might not think of contributing to this charity. The RNLI is never far from peoples thoughts here.

In pubs you often find RNLI lifeboat collection tins on the bar, particularly where the pub is near a harbour and used by locals that include fishermen. When I went to Porthgwarra the other morning, I discovered a private slip way with boats on it. At the top of the slipway was a pillar for collecting money for the RNLI. I am glad I contributed. I think the RNLI will feature in my monthly charity efforts at some point.

Here are some pictures of these fine folk in action...
.
Two boats between the rocks and the island and lifeguards scouring the rocks.


Cliff watchers


The two boats in the path of the sun.


Oh for those of you not in the UK, the RNLI is the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.

Oh and these photos arn't mine - F wouldn't let me anywhere near the new camera...

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Lost at Sea

F and I often go to Godrevy with chips and the dog to to enjoy the scenery and a meander on the headland. The view across the bay to St Ives is fantastic. Surfers play in the waves and dolphins are often seen in the bay.

Many is the time that I have been there and wished I had some binoculars or a decent camera with a telescopic lens to take nice piccies of the lighthouse. Last week F found a pair of binoculars for me at a carboot and won a bid on ebay for a lovely new camera. So tonight seemed the perfect night to try them both out and eat some chips as well.

We got there and saw the helicopter over head as we turned in, not uncommon. As we got to the first car park we found a National Trust staff member stopping people from driving up to the car park on the headland because a rescue was in progress. We obviously hopped it was a practice and ate our chips in the first car park.

While eating two RNLI personnel in boiler suits walked past us and then a surf rescue van went past heading up the headland. We began to realise that it probably wasn't a practice. Then we saw a second helicopter, and later the first one (maybe) again.

We headed along the coast path onto the headland and with our new found distance viewing capabilities it was easy to see that a huge operation was in progress. Personnel were stationed along the cliffs. Loads of lifeguards were on the rocks towards the lighthouse. A large lifeboat and a smaller one were moving around, searching.

By this time cars were being allowed to the second car park, not a particularly good sign as lifeguards were continuing to arrive. F moved the car to the second car park.

I kept looking out to sea, keenly aware that someone was missing. Scanning the waves with my binoculars. And then I saw something. A bobbing object near a marker flag, strangely upright in the water. I approached a policeman and found it again. He used my binoculars to search for it, saying if it was anything, chances are he would be able to tell. As he spotted it, a van with three lifeguards came by and he stopped them and they looked as well.

No one was sure so they sent the lifeboat over. It turned out to be an unusually large lot of fishing gear. The policeman made sure to say that he was glad we had spotted it and said something, because it could have been something. It was just a shame that it wasn't.

I felt somewhat upset and down and we left shortly after because there was no reason to stay and Little Dog did need a run...

I am none the wiser as to what was actually going on. Nothing online, yet. Nothing on the local news, yet. I expect they don't want people flooding up there. The currents are fierce around that headland. Rip tides sweep out to sea from the sands of the bay. I shall find out through the grapevine. Both F and I know lifeguards and the call obviously went out to them.

I never expected to be using my new present for something like that.... Time for chamomile tea and winding down....

Monday, 6 July 2009

Wasson!

I am sure I had some great idea of what to write about while at work today... Maybe not... Anyway it has vanished now...

This month's herb / spice is to be tamarind paste and as yet I have no idea what to do with it. Asfotedia wasn't my most favourite and is alright used in small quantities with other flavourings. I love Black onion seed and it often finds it way into dishes. Fenugreek is fine, if you want things to taste like curry powder. So any ideas about tamarind would be gratefully received...

I failed to do anything for charity last month so I have a month to make up. Pirate FM, a Cornish radio station, is currently supporting the Precious Lives Appeal. In Cornwall we often suffer in terms of facilities. Specialist things often tend to be placed in Devon and this can mean a very long journey. One example of this is children's hospices and the Precious Lives Appeal is raising money for a hospice in Cornwall, especially for those children who can't travel so far.

The radio station has selected three contestants who are having a mad fund raising time in order to try and win a holiday and do the best they can for the charity. One person is having an appeal for pants (knickers or whatever you might call them) which will be hung on a giant washing line across the Tamar Bridge (big bridge between Cornwall and Devon). I might buy a cheap pair and decorate them and send them with my donation - maybe £10 because I know I am never, ever going to do the fruit thing on my list...

I might also do another parcel for a service person, maybe in Iraq this time. I enjoyed doing this last time and it will help me catch up!

Yesterday in my wanderings I missed out on a visit to a holy well (St Levan) and a hillfort (Maen Castle). Maybe I should take my map with me so that I can tell where things are when I end up in places.

I started drawing spirals yesterday. I did a single and a double spiral and they are both pretty simple once you know how. I need to start having a go at constructing more complicated spirals now in order to develop them into beautiful full on celtic lovelinesses.

I also discovered that using silk painting techniques on cotton isn't so good. I used gutta on one side but it doesn't soak through the fabric enough to make a barrier. I am going to try putting gutta on both sides of the cotton to see if that works.

I have also accepted that some of my ideas for blog candy are just not practical. I can draw abstract and geometrical things but trying to draw a tree spirit with willow leaves for hair is beyond my current skills. I can see what I want in my head but i can't get it onto paper.... So I am going to stick with what I can do, for now....

I have already started thinking of things for my next list of 101 things. I have a little word file and as I think of things they go on the list. So hopefully next time there will be no dramatic scrabbling for ideas... I like this whole list thing but I did give myself a lot of big projects and things to learn....

F has returned from his work weekend away, yay! So nice to have him back, it just doesn't seem natural not seeing him. I don't much like being on my own really. Just as well I have Little Dog for company....

I guess my only problem with my 101 things list, is my own ambitiousness. I am not getting to tick many things off. Lots of things won't be ticked off until near the end.... This is frustrating....

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Porthgwarra


Down the steep slipway to the sandy cove. You can see the sun still isn't very high...
Carved tunnel. The tunnel to the rocky cove is in the rocks on the right...


Rocky cove


Explorer hound in rocky coveThe caves at the top

Land's End

The soul-less tourist attraction that is...


A new day is dawning from Land's End looking north to Cape Cornwall


Sunrise...


The sun has risen!


Where the Land's End signpost should be...


Offshore rocks - you can just see Longships lighthouse on the rocks to the right.
Old lichen covered menhir with deserted stone circle.


The tourist stones complete with model houses... *sigh*


The soul of those stones is still there though, if you catch them from the right angle...