Monday, 31 August 2009

Being Me

So this is my first evening of no TV and no reading.... This is quite tricky and I have found myself being caught out a couple of times already!

F and I cooked a nice meal and then watched the end of a film on my laptop while eating. He then went of to do his thing, leaving me TV and book less. What to do?

I am in the process of a necklace at the moment for my niece but I can't carry on with it right now. I need some more glue, a special glue which can be precisely applied and is flexible once dry. I have some but the nozzle has come off making it hard to apply precisely, not that there is much left. The necklace is a celtic knotwork cross from a new book I have on ornamental knots for jewellery making (actually I have a series of three books and they are lovely). The knots are shown using braid rather than a string of beads. I have discovered the hard way that tigtehing these knots when tied with a string of seed beads is tricky... After several restarts I am going to try making and tigthening the knot in stags which will be far more complicated but at least I can glue and knot and then hide the knots.... So I am stuck on that.

Other current projects either involve going into my craft hole which is not a nice thought because it needs tidying or exercising skills I am not sure I have right now. I need to seal the edge of some cotton using embroidery thread to do something like they do for button holing. Not done it before though but must get on it....

So not feeling crafty and too stuffed and tired to do any thing strenuous...

I end up finding tunes on youtube and then I realise I have fallen into the reading trap as i am sat there reading about Kurt Cobain. Eek! What else to do.... I ended up making my first ever youtube playlist. So now I am sat here listening to it and enjoying it muchly!

I have found since I started doing TAW that I have realised I still have many of the same passions and tastes I did when i was younger.... This playlist is all grunge and alt rock mostly from about the time I did my A-levels (late teens). At that time I was a little goth chick with slight hippy and rock tendencies. So was my Sister.

When my family was down recently, I discovered my very young teen niece wants to go Goth. Having conversations about this with my Sis was amusing because my Sis doesn't want her to have black nail varnish... I don't see the harm but I am not in charge.

I decided to look up goth style and see if things had changed. They havn't really. There are new bands and things but it is still as I fondly rememebr it all. There is a newer cyber goth look which has apparently emerged from the crossover between goth and trance. It kind of hits me that i was there when that was happening, when it was all emerging. I was part of that. And I still love it all.....

i no longer have the desire to go clubbing in quite such exhibitionist clothing but I like the goth look and I still love that whole scene and a bit of grunge thrown in as well. I shan't be encouraging my niece to follow my wilder clothing ideas, for those she will have to wait till she has left home I expect, I know I did. But I can encourage her in other ways, I can help her express herself and her idea of style. I can look out my old goth posters including my lovely, lovely orginal poster from 'The Crow' and see if she wants them. I can look out some of my old accessories such as long gloves and black scarves and things and see if there is anything she fancies. This years pressies can have a black theme....

But what about me? How do I get where I want to be? Looking at the things I think would be fun (extreme and outdoor sports) as oppose to those i think are relaxing (crafts) I guess I really do need to lose weight. I can't start dressing like an 20 year old goth again, but I do need to find away to wear clothes I like rather than those the world seems to think plus size women should like. I can listen to the music I like more. Maybe if the TV isn't on then music can be. I so loved music, the first thing I would do when I woke up at that age was put some music on, closely followed by lighting up (I don not want that habit back!).

So I am going to clear out my wardrobe one night this week. I have it on my list of things to do anyway but it is a TAW exercise for this week. I have a wardrobe full of things I wore once I moved down to Cornwall and started to dessert my rock chick ways. They need to go. Even if I could fit into them, i don't want to wear them. My old tasseled tops and tie died shirts and long flouncy skirts are all long gone from years of wear. They have been replaced with casual office wear (ick) and jeans and t-shirts of no particular style...

I want me back.

Even better, F doesn't have any issues with the rumblings I am making. He seems quite happy to let me make cosmetic changes....

TAW Week Four

Buried Dreams

Five hobbies
rock climbing
kite surfing

Five Classes
Clay sculpting
Sea kayaking
Salsa dancing
Tai chi

Five fun things I would never do
Performance art
Tightrope walking

Five fun skills
Scuba diving
Guitar playing

Five Things I used to Enjoy
Horse riding
Tai chi
Writing poetry

Five silly things I would like to try once
Sky Diving
Bungee jumping
Latex body painting (*laugh*)
Henna tattooing
Hot air ballooning

This is the week of reading deprivation and having had a weekend of book indulgence, well maybe it is a good time... Except that our old big TV recently died and got taken to the tip. We have been using our old portable. Last it blew up and made a nasty smell. So no reading our TV? eek! Can't help but feel fate is forcing my hand a little here.... To make it worse, F is doing lots of evenings this week...

My Ideal Environment
I love country and green and open spaces. I like techy things but not too obvious and in your face. I like well designed homes. I like windows that open both ways and heat exchange units which ensure you have constant fresh air without loosing heat. I like sustainable things such as walls using renewable materials like rendered straw. I like the handmade touch with sumptious fabrics, bright colours and interesting textures. I like a bit of funky stuff in there to, kitsch. Plants and views and open air but snug places too tucked away with a fire. I want lots of light. I want to be warm. I don't want other people, not part of my clan living on top of me. I like water and I find it soothing.

My Favourite Season
It is hard to choose between Spring and Autumn but I think I shall go with Autumn. Autumn is still fairly warm. I do not like extremes of temperature much. I love brisk walks on windy days on the beach. I love woods as they change colour. I love jumping in piles of leaves. I love it when Summer clings on a little and autumn is warm. I would rather have a wet Summer and a warm Autumn anytime... I love the harvest time. The inbetween time.

At 80
A trim, energetic lady who is often moving but still has an aura of peace and stillness. A Grandmother many times. A craftswoman. Someone with a wide range of interests and skills but who always has time to smell the roses and sit and watch the sky from her rocking chair on the deck. A person who nurtures and encourages those around her. Someone who always has something fun for the kids to do. Someone who always has several craft projects on the go, who has a house full of beautiful things made and collected. Someone who lived her life according to her values.

and the letter....

Dear Rose

Loose weight and have children. Not having more children sooner was always my biggest regret. I loved being a Mum and I love being a Grandmother to. Something frees you when you have others around and are the head of a clan. You spend too much time alone avoiding doing. Go do. Don't leave it too late so that you make your health bad. Go be an adrenalin junkie, you know you want! Stop making everything for others and make more for yourself too, you have a right to enjoy the fruits of your labours as well. Stop thinking about things all the time, just do, dance and listen to music more.... Know that you are loved, really, really know it and believe it.

At 8
I was into everything. Full of questions and life and spirit. I was the best tree climber. I spent a lot of time outdoors in my breaks at school, not always with others. Quite often not with others. I also liked books, even then and had begun reading voraciously. I knew no fear. I would have a go at anything. Pain didn't worry me. Fall off a horse? No problem.... I was helpful and keen, nothing was a problem. I drew horses a lot. I played patience. I watched old films with my sister because she didn't like to be alone. I never wanted a dull office job. I didn't want to work indoors. I laughed at the idea of having an office job.


What are you doing? get up early and go climg some trees, or some rocks or something and watch the sun rise. Go do a few things that could hurt but probably won't. Remember how it felt to push your body, to have a body you could use.... Quit that job and stop taking jobs in offices and get outdoors more. Where is your horse?

It seems that more of these tasks are about doing this week than just thinking and writing, so a few less nuggets for here. I consider my previous post to be one of these exercises in hindsight - that is definitely a situation I should have changed but havn't and I look at the payoffs as well....

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Being Fat

I wanted to write a little about being fat. I want to articulate and put out there all the reasons why I don't want to be fat any more and maybe it will help with me changing that... F and I are going to join a slimming group. Not next week because he will be working but hopefully the week after that....

My Nan, my Mum's Mum, is a fit lady who has never been particularly overweight. An avid gardener, she has an amazing veg patch. Her diet has always been pretty good but despite this, in her twilight years she has developed diabetes. It doesn't cause much difficulty for her, she has to avoid doughnuts a little but she hasn't had to alter too much.

My Mum turned 60 and seemed to suddenly develop a list of health complications. She has been overweight ever since she had us kiddies. Now she has high blood pressure, underactive thyroid and diabetes. She hasn't, despite her best efforts, been able to control her diabetes without medication. Given the changes she has made to her life, I find this pretty sad. She is a nurse and she knows exactly where her diabetes could take her.

My sister has never been as big as me but she had a little excess. My Mum's health has spurred her into losing weight and she looks really good. My Mum had had a conversation with her and pointed out that she was at risk if she didn't do something, and so she did.... My family no longer have the conversations with me about my weight, they know I know and they know it is just too hard....

So how fat am I? Very fat. I am tall and broad so I get away with it a little in some ways. I can carry a little extra and people wouldn't really notice.

So what affects does it have on me? The one I hate most is that my ankles swell up. Most days by the time I get home and take my boots off my ankles are the size of balloons with ring indentations made by the tops of my socks. They hurt. It is a sign that my heart is having problems pumping and fluid is collecting in my extremities because my heart can't shift it.

My heart isn't working so well really either. I know my resting heart rate is phenomenal. It wouldn't take much exercise to push my heart rate through the roof. Sometimes i feel like it misses a beat, sometimes I have other strange sensations.

Breathing is obviously affected. If I exert myself I breath very, very heavily. Walking at a normal pace up one flight of stairs or a shallow incline is enough to do it.

I feel tired a lot of the time. I have no stamina.

My hormones are all over the place and sometimes they get very mucked up and my moontimes go all funny. I want children once we marry but would probably struggle to get pregnant as I am now.

I have a skin condition called Hydradenitus Surritiva (roughly - I know I can't spell it!) which cause my skin to break out in certain areas. I have had it thin or fat since I was seven. I know it improves when I am thinner, although it never actually goes. I am sort of used to the pain and discomfort but it would be nic enot to have it...

Getting comfortable can be tricky. Turning over at night requires a lot fo effort. I don't always fit in chairs very well. In the cinema I need my chair and both arm rests. My bum is huge so in straight back chairs I feel like I am reclining.

Then there is the issue of clothes. I hate clothes shopping. Most shops don't sell big enough sizes and the ones that do tend to have a bit of an old woman feel sometimes. I find it hard to get boots and things that fit. Buying pretty things that are comfortable as well is not always easy. Looking nice takes a real effort.

Reaching my feet to put on my shoes is tricky and requires a lot of effort....

Being fat restricts my life. I don't do a lot of things because I am fat.

So even though I have yet to develop any serious complications it still affects my life, a lot. And I will develop complications and I will develop them younger than my Mum because I am much, much fatter than her.

Why am I fat? I comfort eat. I like the sensation of a full stomach. I use sugary foods to boost my energy levels. I also think being fat is in itself a protective thing. I don't want men to fancy me. I don't want the hassle that comes with it. I don't get sexual innuendo or inapropriate behaviour or men behaving oddly because they want to go out with me. Other women i work with do. I see it. I don't want men touching me uninvited. I am precious about my personal space.

But I can't let my fear ruin my health and my life. It has to be time....

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Soul Sister

This is a new award.

A special award.

It is not one that gets passed from person to person to person in a long chain.

It goes to a person and then stops there.

Some other time someone else decides they want to award it to someone and they can come and borrow it and gift it to their Soul Sister.

There is a rule to this.

You must write about the person that you are awarding it to....

So how am i gifting with this award?

Anyone who knows my blog well can probably guess....


I started writing this blog some time ago now and I had no connection to any other bloggers to begin with. I found some big blogs but didn't form a personal link of friendship with the writers. I pressed the next blog button a lot and found many blogs I couldn't read and many that were not of huge amounts of interest to me.

Then I found Mel.

On the surface, at this time, her blogs were not quite as they are now. There was no witchiness evident. Nothing obvious to keep me there, except that we spoke the same language... But there was something. I have no children and I had never heard of unschooling. I was still drawn. I remember there being one picture, which I can not now find, where a little Bast figurine could be seen. A hint...

So I left some comment love and i got some back.

We became firm friends and she remains my best blog friend. There is much in our lives that seems to mirror. Sometimes the mirror isn't perfect, she has strengths where I have weaknesses. Our paths seem to run roughly parrallel and the things we work on often help the other, often unexpectedly.

From the beginning I have felt at home with her and at ease.

She is always there for me. She always fills my life with light and love. She is my Soul Sister.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Root of Woman

This post has accumulated slowly and simmered a little inside my head....


At work I am in a mostly male environment, however there is a little cluster of ladies of which I am a part. Not surprisingly there is sometimes a little banter. One term which has come up a few times over the last few months is witch. The connotation is always female, sometimes ugly, or old as well. Sometimes the witches are found in groups. They tend to be of some irritation to the men folk around... They don't know I am a witch.


As part of my aim to watch half of the best 250 films, I recorded and watched Rosemary's Baby. I knew nothing about the film before I watched it and so was a little surprised by what I found.

Obviously I was a little incensed by the way they confuse and muddle satanism and witches. The people in the film are obviously satanists. I have never met a satanist and I am not sure I would be overly fond of them if I did. but they are very different from witches, very, very.

As I watched the film it was increasing obvious that this was a film about the evils of separating a woman from her womanhood. Defiling a woman. Separating her from family and friends. Not allowing her contact with other women. Separating her from the world and her womanhood, taking away all her power.

So much insight and it just didn't sit right that a film that got so much right about what is (has / could) be done to women could be so wrong about witches. I think this 'mistake' was a sign of the times. A sign of what was acceptable.

The film may appear to be a horror about satanists but it is more than that - it is actually about the wrongs done to women.... At least I think so, what do you think?

I can't quite fathom the film, were they trying to highlight what is done to women or were they trying to cut women off from finding their sisters in witchiness?


It seems to me that the cultural associations of a witch are so much about putting women down. About not understanding her connection to her sisters, about making her conform, about making her a tool for the satisfaction of men, about taking her power, about making her a slave be it as wife or mother.

Men have taken this thing that is so much about feminine power and sisterhood and polluted it to stop women claiming it. I have claimed it but I don't publicly make that claim. I think my colleagues would be embarassed if they knew. I suspect it would also offend their feelings of male control and power.


And they do have feelings of male superiority, they just disguise them most of the time. Current situations at work have exposed, slightly, to me anyway, one colleagues difficulty in accepting women above him. He has a lady boss right now but now has the opportunity to stay in his job with a new boss, parallel to his old team or to become the boss of that parallel team, equal to his old lady boss.

He knows I was capable of applying for the boss job and that I didn't. I might even have stood a better chance of getting it than he does, who knows. I certainly am more academic and have way more qualifications. His attitude to me has subtly changed since this job was advertised. It has definitely changed towards our boss. i don't like it. I also don't entirely like what this reveals about this otherwise lovely chap....

Women are not equal. men still put us down. We have claimed equality on their terms. We need to claim equality of our own. The right to be women. The right to connect with our power. is this the next revolution in feminism?

Monday, 24 August 2009

Witch Award

Despite me being a witch that wanders around her path a little rather than always walking it... Mel has gifted me with this lovely, lovely little award...

So some other bountiful witches....

  • Sam is a witch who I love to chat with. She always helps me see things in a different way.
  • Miss*R is another bountiful witch from the opposite side of the world but with roots dug deep here, in my adopted land...

And that is as far as I am going to pass this lovely one i think...


I have received his lovely award with some very kind words from my Soul Sista Mel...

So seven things and seven blogs...

  • I have scar that runs over heart and no one can remember how on earth I got it... It wasn't there at birth and nothing traumatic ever seems to have registered with my folks that might have caused it. My Mum's best guess is a cat scratch. Writing this has just made me realise that a certain young man I know has a scar he believes is an old cat scratch that really, really isn't.
  • I always wanted a tattoo but could never decided what to get. Somewhere out there in the world is a chap a couple of years older than me who probably doesn't tell the women that came after me that the dragon around his left forearm was for his first love...
  • I once saw Nelson Mandela in the flesh! I wasn't quite close enough to hear his words, even though it was soooo quiet, everyone wanted to hear him. He came to open a statue comemerating someone who campaigned for his release. They became friends and so when he died Nelson Mandela was there....
  • I was never one for dolls or cuddly toys. I just didn't get attached much. As a kid my only cuddly toy was a lovely lion called Aslan. Now I have some dragons called Domestos, Harpic and Big Blue. A lovely purple lobster. A seahorse. A crab and a mouse puppet. Oh and a three eyed fish.... *grin*
  • I failed my first recorder exam becuase the examiner terrified me, looking over his glasses. I later went all the way to grade five. He was probably a sweet old man...
  • I love water. I love the feel of it cool and clear in my throat. It is without a doubt, my favourite drink....
  • In my younger days I was a bit of a goth chick. I loved the Pixies and the Sisters of Mercy. As I get older though, I realise that my music loves are a little frozed at a certain point in time. I love grunge. I am going to start expanding my colelction in that direction. Nirvan were amazing but so were so many others....

and seven blogs of wonderfulness.... I am not devoting much time to reading blogs right now so these are a few of my most favourite..... Some I have been reading a long time now. There will no doubt be some duplication here.... No apologies for that either!

  • Barry is a wonderful chap. Full of grace. A fantastic attitude to life. Someone you would love to have in your family. Lovely stories full of gentle humour. It was his stories that drew me in (Lindasy helped) and once there I was hooked by this lovely man. His blog has changed with his life but it is always inspiring. This is a man who values his life and knows how to really live. May he do so for many, many years...
  • Fiona is a lady who writes about her life. From her job as a painter and decorator to her gardening exploits. From lovely recipes to her hens and dogs. From money saving tips to the flowers of the month from her garden. I love it all... Actually this was the first blog I ever read.
  • Lovely Leone. Now this is a lady who has transformed her life in so many ways. I love her gentle writings and her beautiful creations. I wish she could see it all through my eyes.
  • Suzie hasn't been around for a while due to bad internet things but I miss her voice and look forward to the day she is able to return. She is a wonderfully talented calligrapher.
  • Misty is a lovely lady who I enjoy chatting with. She creates the most fantastic dragons that are so perfectly rendered. Sometimes they look so alive! She also makes all sorts of other lovely things like pendants and lighter cases. I also love the fairies.... Oh and did I mention the unicorn? *sigh* but she paints as well and one day i too will have some stained glass....
  • Ms Yogini is also lovely and Mel has already said most of it! (and in far better fashion than I could! I love hearing about guerilla yoga. I love that she is out there doing so many things that I feel I should be...
  • Miss*R is someone I admire greatly but it is her strength in telling her story that has completely floored me. Never before have I heard of anyone else being this brutally honest about the time they spent living with cancer. I hope this retelling has helped.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Time Turns

Today is a quiet day (thankfully). It has all been good and fun and lovely but I am so tired now.

Today is a day off. Peace and quiet and catching up with myself.

Today is a mere breather because tomorrow I have committed to going to the races....

This week has made me realise that I use my blog sometimes to avoid doing things. Starting this blog has both opened my life up and closed it down. I spend too much time reading blogs. It isn't sustainable. It is an avoidance of doing.

I do think that sometimes I go a bit mad on crafting and wear myself out on it. The nice thing about beading is that it is a slow steady sort of a craft. Not likely to wear you out. I have started a bracelet for my Mum on my loom as we were talking about what she would like last weekend. It is in silver and grey and I am enjoying doing it.

This last ten days has been full. Over time at work. Flying around the country. Going to a wedding. Going shopping / browsing in an upmarket town with my parents. Intensive house cleansing. Walks with family to local places. A trip to St Ives by train to sit on the beach and wander round shops. A shopping trip with my sister. An outdoor production of Tartuffe (fantastically funny).

It was lovely but manic.

I also received a few early birthday pressies which I assisted in choosing... In my window is a lovely set of stained glass hearts in pink, red and purple strung downwards. I have a lovely blue glass with gold foil marble which sits on top of a bottle stopper. I have a set of brightly coloured silicon kitchen utensils. I have a lovely set of nesting kitchen things in all the colours of the rainbow including a bowl, colunder, sieve, measuring jug and measuring cups.

I think I may start posting a little less. Reading a few less blogs. Doing a little more. Time for a slightly different balance. Some things have been very much neglected. I want to spend more time on The Artists's Way. I want to finish Wreck This Journal. I am soon to start the Joy Diet. I want to make my house beautiful with objects I have made and altered. I want to finish my list of crafting obligations. I want to get started on my manic list for Christmas and the surrounding birthdays....

I will still be here but it has all been building and building and now it is time for those blossoms to bloom fully. Harvest is here. No doubt winter will see me brooding and returning more to this....

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

A Pause

I am sat here alone... waiting...

I have no idea how long for....

My sister should be here with my niece and nephew...

F should be here with S...

They are all coming, or at least I assume they are on their way...

But I am here, making the most of the last few moments of peace...

Oh Little Dog is going to go mad with joy!

Monday, 17 August 2009

The Fonder Heart

I am back and I had a lovely, lovely time.

I have so much I could say but I am running out of time again. Catching up is hard to do.... Nearly a hundred emails! Thank you everyone for the kind comments, which I havn't had a chance to reply to... I managed to catch up with a few blogs earlier but not many. So much to do!

But I won't get a chance. A little overtime tonight and maybe a little tomorrow and then I have three days with my sister and her kids. S and F will be available for gallivanting as well so much fn shall be had by all but little time for blogging....

Seeing my family was a shock. It made me realise how little time I have made for family beyond my very immediate family of the last while. On of them has been very ill, cancer, and is on the mend and it is the first time I have seen them in sooo long. Seeing them still frail made me realise that I am wasting my ability to spend time with these prescious people. Others have changed from children to strapping adults I wouldn't know on the street....

Having discovered the airplane, I think I might have to use it a little more. Not to often but next time there is a family do, I vow not to put it off and do the easy thing. I vow to desert F if necessary and hop on the giant metal bird. Some of my relatives are getting on in years. If I leave it another ten to see them again, I might have left it too late.

So yes, I had a wonderful time, and I want more like it... I even mentioned the word wedding once or twice... Have to get around to organizing it... But not this week!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

TAW Week Three Things

Time for some more TAW stuff....

Five childhood accomplishments:
  • Won the Junior Reading Cup
  • Won the Egg and Spoon Race at Primary School in Year 2! I was soooo proud!
  • Won progress in gymnastics cup (mostly because I was so dire to begin with!)
  • I was a Young Farmer (a country based youth organisation) and I won best junior at the county Rally
  • I was the best tree climber
Five childhood favourite foods:
  • Banana flavoured milupa (a brand of baby food). I so loved this and ate it long into my childhood.
  • Turkey burgers
  • Chocolate toothpaste (a chocolate tart we used to get at school)
  • Flat yorkshires (drop scones my Mum makes and our nickname for them cos they were like flat yorkshire puddings) with melted butter.
  • Chocolate spread on white crusty bread
Five things I liked about myself as a kid:
  • I had soooo much energy! I slept as much as my Dad and he needed the least sleep of us all. I was awake with the first signs of the sun.
  • I was so confident, I approached strangers and just took it for granted that they would want to talk to me.
  • I had a lucky streak - my Dad would always get me to choose the raffle tickets and most raffles I would win something.
  • I had an amazing imagination which came out in my stories, none of which I now remember but everybody says I had a good imagination and I loved writing.
  • I had very little fear and I wasn't scared of being hurt. I rode a lot and didn't care about falling off...
Three obvious rotten habits:
  • Overeating
  • Sleeping too much
  • Not exercising enough
Three subtle foes:
  • Blogging! blogging is good but do you ever find yourself keep clicking on refresh to see if you have a new post to read or a comment or something! How to waste a lot of time pretending that you are doind something useful...
  • Being logical - sometimes you just have to feel.
  • Lack of money - I use this as an excuse a lot. I want to do some classes in september - Tai Chi and calligraphy but...
Five people I admire:
  • My Boss - they never ever back away from a fight and are very, very good at standing up for others. Very assertive, they defend us all...
  • My Mum - she is always there and always cares.
  • Nicola Tustain - I once did an exercise to find a hero and I found this lady a paralympian dressage rider who is paralysed down one side of her body. What a woman...
  • Dr House - OK so he isn't real but I love his genius, arsey, grumpiness
  • My Nan - she has amazing green fingers. I want them!
Five people I secretly admire:
  • Mel - *blush* she always has something cool to say and is always so 'there'
  • Jordan - I can't bare her but I do secretly admire the way she just hangs it all out in public and just doesn't care.
  • My cousin - he is so young but he is out there traveling the world
  • The Little Princess - for being so determined about going her own way in the face of the combined advice of a lot of people and the combined disapproval of a whole bunch of them as well....
  • Carla Calamity - the new £50,000 witch at Cheddar Gorge - she really is hanging her faith out there for all to see and she is already promoting all things witchy in a very positive way (so far!)
OK, so i need to be more arsey and assertive! I need to speak my mind and not care about what people think. I want green fingers and I want to travel.

Five dead people I would like to hang out with ( I did this once before on my blog but here are some different ones ):
  • Einstein - I like science and this guy was just brilliant... His mind worked in a very unusual way...
  • Da Vinci - what's not to admire here! art, science... I would love to spend some time ploughing through his ideas....
  • Freddy Mercury - an amazing character, wouldn't he have some truly crazy stories to tell?
  • Boo - she was a family friend who died of cancer when I was 16. She was a lovely warm person and was always one of my favourites. I would love to hang out with her.
  • Cecil Williamson - an early witch who was friends with Crowley and Gardner, he pursued the folk side of it further and was much more interested in the more common and practical side of it all...
I like interesting people with fascinating minds or personalities. People who shine in some way from inside. I admire people who are tough and assertive but the people I like, I don't like for their assertiveness. I think assertiveness is something I feel I lack which is why I admire it in others.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Culture Shock!

A very quick post before bed.... Tomorrow I fly up to London for the wedding of a relative, leaving F behind due to timing and money and work. I fly up one day and back the next. I am so looking forward to it! To seeing all my family - even the ones I don't see every visit back up country, some of whom I havn't seen in a loooong time.

It also happens to be my Dad's birthday tomorrow, his 65th so being able to be there tomorrow is quite a special thing.

I guess I wanted to say a little more about my post from yesterday - I view it as a sort of culture shock. I know tomorrow I will suffer from it. Everything about Cornwall and London is different. The speed with which things happen, the danger from crime, the social conventions, sooo many things about society and community. Things are so fast and busy and full of people up there!

When F and I drive up, we have time to adjust but by flying up and going straight into one of the busiest parts I know it will hit me tomorrow. Last night was a sort of culture shock. I have nothing against tourists, they are a good thing, but I struggle with have people everywhere. I am used to emptiness and space...

Wish me luck on my travels tomorrow!

The Ants That Crawl

This is a very quick post!

My home is currently being ravaged by tourists. Last night it was hot and we wanted to take Little Dog to the beach. Most of our beaches are no go places for dogs between Easter and the end of September though. One lovely beach that is open to dogs is Perranporth and at low tide there is a gorgeous expanse of sand but at high tide the water comes right up the mouth in the cliffs towards the town and cuts off the town from the bay but even in the bay, the waves lap at the edge of the land.

Last night, high tide was at 10ish but I knew by the time we got there the beach would be shrinking, cramming all the tourists into an ever smaller area. All the dog walkers would be there, trapped. It would be horrid.... If you happen to own a very quick and inquisitive Little Dog. Too many people...

We went up onto the cliffs to eat fish and chips and there were people parked up with motor homes, setting out tables and deckchairs - in for the night. Every five minutes an intrepid band of walkers would appear, or another car. And this is one of many little car parks along a line of cliffs with no (safe and easy) access to the beaches below, no facilities, nothing, just a view. In the winter, you will find only locals here, catching a bit of air, and not to many of them....

So we went up big hill and even there, away from the coast where the tourists don't think to go, there were more cars than normal. Probably all the locals driven from the coast in search of some space. There was more than enough room up there for all of us though and it was beautiful and we had just a good a view of the sunset, if not better.

I know complaining about tourists might seem mean and selfish as they bring so much down here but the fact is this huge county is mostly empty when the tourists arn't here. Only 527,000 human souls live here but in the summer holidays, for a few short weeks our population soars. Other times of the year, there are tourists but not so many. To be honest, my problem is more one of claustrophobia - we just arn't used to it....

Give it a few short weeks and the land will start emptying out again though as they go back home to start school and college, assuming the best of the weather is over, but let's hope there is a nice bit so we can go enjoy the beach with Little Dog without blocking someone's sun or falling over their wind break.

I am so glad they don't think to leave the coast behind mostly. Imagine if there was nowhere to go that was serene? Maybe you city folk could handle that but I know I couldn't....

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Dark Desire

I wrote this on Monday but it shall be my post for Tuesday.... Not surprisingly I have had a lot of mixed feelings about actually posting it but writing it was pretty cathartic. The sensation of relief involved in all this is strong.....

I am currently undertaking The Artist's Way and one very simple but difficult aspect of this is the morning pages. This is just to write three pages of stream of consciousness stuff each morning. Any time of day or amount of writing is good but first thing is best...

Last week I suddenly found I didn't want to do them any more. They had been positive and good until this point. I found myself waking up as normal, way before my alarm, looking at the time and turning over to go back to sleep rather than get up and do my pages. I avoided them every which way I could.

Half way through last week I found a dark mood descending and it has stayed with me, pretty constantly since. A few morning pages and then more avoidance. The ones I did were whiny and whingy and not so nice. In an effort to keep going, tonight I did some and I don't like what came out. In fact I find it very, very upsetting. I am on week three and this includes shame and this definitely fits this category.

I am a very logical person. Analytical and incisive, I find my emotions the hardest thing to understand. Most of the time, I don't even get to feel my feelings, so good is my logical mind. Sometimes this causes problems. Sometimes I find myself not sleeping and I have to think, oh something is going on, what is it? what am I feeling? I can be very out of touch with my emotions.

I didn't fit as a child and kind of separated myself off a bit. I later suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of a rape and have had repeated and severe bouts of glandular fever. I am no stranger to depression, that mild miasmic all pervasive sort that doesn't respond to drugs (thankfully and no doctor would bother suggesting I tried them again, such was thei r impact). When it comes down to it, my head handles it, sort of.

So tonight I was surprised and upset by what appeared on my pages. I have always been proud that, although things had gotten pretty bad for me in the past, i had never, ever thought about killing myself. I have always considered myself to be the sort of person that if I did think about it and decide to do it, I would and I would succeed.

So imagine how I felt to discover that I was wrong. I had wanted to die, desperately many times in my life. I think there might even be some small part of me that still does, that just doesn't understand why I am here, that feels like a useless waste of space. My mind discounted suicide before even realising that emotionally it was what I wanted. Talk about shame.

It is probably twenty years since I first began feeling like this and over ten years ago that it reached it's height. I think by shamefully refusing to notice this feeling, I have kept it, rather than letting it go. By not seeing it, it has always been there, even when I have dealt with all the root causes (maybe, who knows with the way my head works), I kept the feeling.

Now it has popped out, so unexpectedly, does that mean it gets to leave? I really, really don't like this one, is it good for me? I have no idea, only time will tell....

It is the ghost of an old feeling that has been there causing pain because I couldn't focus on it, to work out what it was. Don't be reading this and fretting because the feeling belonged to a very young and naive girl who spent too much time being ill and then found out the world didn't work how she thought and that it could be a very nasty scary place. It doesn't belong to an intelligent woman who enjoys a strong faith, many creative outlets and a wonderfully varied life in a beautiful part of the world with a wonderful man.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Bottom of the Heap

This week and the next, there is a high possibility that I shall not be posting each day. Do Not Panic! Chances are I shall not have time to stack up posts to schedule either so there will be gaps.

To be honest, it actually feels kind of nice setting up some non-blog time. And next week will be my no reading week for TAW and I suspect this might not be such a huge problem next week either...

It is all a little unfortunate really. Both my work and family are making big demands but family has won and I am not sure that work entirely likes that! Work soooo likes to be boss doesn't it! At what point did work start to own my life?

So I thought I would look at working week times and discovered these do not include work at home, just paid work. Europe bought in a working time directive limits the working week to 48 hours maximum. France went one step further and made it a 35 hour week. The UK didn't bring in the directive, they opted out so that people can work more than 44 hours but can not be forced to do so. My contract states that by signing it, I agree to opt out of the working time directive.

If I wasn't away this weekend and was working all the overtime hours my Boss would like I would be way over the working time directive. I know some people cope fine with long work hours but I am not sure I do. Ideally I would like to work part time. When I have kids I would like to be a stay at home Mum.

I guess another thing is, some people want to maximise overtime pay. I don't, I want to do what I have to and get out of there, as quickly as possible. I don't want to have to do one extra minute I don't have to. I believe that while I am in work, I owe it to my employer to work. I do chat, a bit, but I also work very hard. I am efficient and good at planning my work, I achieve a fair bit.

Some people seem to have the goal of doing as little work as possible while at work. I can't imagine anything worse that sitting staring at a screen doing nothing. Surely pretending to be busy is just as energy consuming as working?

Thing is, all that lovely work I do benefits someone else. I get paid but what real benefits do I see? I work as hard as the managers and directors, while I am working but they get paid an awful lot more. I am just as clever as they are. I work in a dark dingy place while they have light airy offices and sea views. It is my work that supports them, they don't contribute directly to productivity, I do.

I don't like this model of work. It feels wrong. Something has to give at some point. There has to be another way for me.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Home of the Heart

There is a series on TV at the mo - Kirstie's Homemade Home. It is a show about one person, who happens to be a well known TV house hunter and interiors and her process of making her new house into a unique home.

She has a go at crafts, restores things, buys from scrap yards, markets and auctions, pulls things out of skips and visits inspirational homes. I love it and hate it all at the same time. It isn't about making do it is about having the best. For instance last week she happened to have an ornate thingummy jig that cost her £200 at an auction. I love some of the craft ideas and seeing her have a go and I like the ethos, I just don't like the fact that even with this ethos, she is playing outside my league financially.

I also don't entirely like her style. It sometimes feels as she is recreating that slightly eccentric, we've lived here for generations, upper class rich Brit style. I think whoever came up with the show must have been trawling blog land though because what she is doing seems to be an articulation of what so many bloggers out there are trying to do. We all seem to believe in the same things, we all want homes not designer pads - or at least the bloggers I associate with do! I am sure there is blog tribe out there celebrating minimalism and monotone living.

Thing is, know how is so important! Not just with the skills themselves but with where to buy what things you need. For instance, I know I can use wire and beads to create lampshades, but where do you buy frames from? What fittings do I need to make it safe? What wiring? Where do you start?

You see, I have a problem! I want to know everything, I want to do everything but I just don't have the time... or the money or the know how. And I do mean I want to know everything! I put a few things on my to do list - tai chi, calligraphy, binging, bird call identification, constellation identification but there are so many more and I am adding them all the time! Geomancy, knitting, stained glass and wrought iron work just this weekend! *laugh*

I think sometimes I undervalue what I already know so lets have a list of a few...

  • I can braid
  • I can use a bead loom
  • I can do bead and wire work
  • I can do bead weaving
  • I can do papier mache
  • I can do a little wiring
  • I can do some hand sewing
  • I can do some paper crafting
  • I can mould a bit of clay
  • I can paint
  • I can take photographs
  • I can do a bit of computer wizardry
But I guess my real talents are...
  • I have a really good background in all the sciences because my degree in Environmental Science was multi-disciplinary
  • I can research and I love books
  • I can follow instructions
So mixing chemicals to make soap, that's chemistry..... Flower arranging is practical biology.... Piling pebbles together is geology.... Making a mobile is physics....

OK so I have convinced myself I can do anything, where do I get the time and money from?

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Childhood Room

I had a lovely big room as a child with lots of light.

My parents have a long thin house with two staircases and two rooms upstairs are connected. My room was one of those so it had two ways in. It also had the door to the airing cupboard so when I was reading in my room I would often have my Mum come in to hang washing up and have a chat.

It had windows on two opposite sides. A lovely big high up dormer window on one side flooded it with light while a tiny old fashioned under the eaves window had less obvious delights. It was the little window that the clematis grew in through. It was the little window that allowed reflections of flowers and grass and people on the path below to appear blurrily on my sloping ceiling when there was bright sunshine.

The ceiling sloped on both sides and so did my floor more subtly. The old wooden skeleton of the house was exposed and black while the brick inbetween was white. Everything was uneven. I had a basin with a mirror with a horse silhouette sticker and a glass shelf above. In the winter my pipes would freeze. There was a black shelf in the other corner by the airing cupboard which was home to a china schoolroom which was a light as well as one of the speakers of my hi-fi.

Inbetween the airing cupboard and one of the other doors was my bed, an oversize single that had been my dad's as he had grown up. One wall had a fitted wardrobe with a window seat under the little window. I hated it, ugly varnished pine slats with big round door knobs.

I had three bookcases, a tall skinny by my bed, a lovely glass doored one that had been my Gran's until she moved and an old church one that sat on the big wooden desk. In order to make things tidy everything would get pushed under my bed. Sometimes things ended up there that I never remembered taking to my bedroom and had no interest in.

the house would creak and make a whole host of noises as it moved and each and evry noise was familiar and comforting. I never had nightmares as a child, although my older sister would sometimes drift through my room to my parent's like some pale ghost.

I had a painted paper fish mobile which sat in my dormer window and a small collection of beswick horses. The posters changed many times.....

When I go home I don't get to sleep in it very often now because F and I don't fit in a single bed. Sometimes if I go home alone I do and I love it. Being in that room.

I guess the thing I loved most was the airy spacy light feeling even thouh I had plenty of clutter. I loved the light so much, I always had plenty and a beautiful view of the sky. I miss that. I have big windows in my house but they face the wrong way mostly to get good light, I don't have views of the sky either...

TAW End of Week Two Review

I am not sure i liked week two much. It might have been this week itself rather than TAW that did it but I have really struggled....

The morning pages havn't been done most days. I started again yesterday and all that is coming out right now is self-indulgent, grasping, selfish stuff. It feels icky right now and I am not enjoying them. I am not sure they are useful. Maybe I just have to get through it. Maybe it was the eclipse.

I managed two pages.

They just smacked of unhappiness and discontent.

I consider last night's escapades to be this week's artist date. If last night wasn't time spent alone feeding my soul then nothing will ever be.... It felt deep and meaningful. Very spiritual. Very important (to me anyway!).


Not sure if I have mentioned, but I am really, really messy. F is a hoarder and I like clutter. We are both bad at housework. We both put things off. Our house is a tip.

Add into this that my house is still a doer uper after nearly a decade. It has had so many big things done to it and there are still more to come. Still with F's new job may be we will be able to afford to get on it again a little.

Today I started gathering up rubbish in the lounge and in the spare room where I do my craft bits. I made a lot of progress and realised that we need to do a car boot. F and I have been talking about this but we really have to do it. I need to get better at emptying bins and putting things in them in the first place. I really don't have to keep everything. Letting go is a good thing...

We also have bad furniture. It doesn't match what we need or how we live. In fact this house doesn't match us either but then that is another story. I do love this house but I am not a townie. We don't need three beds, there are two of us and a dog and we tend to share the same bed although Little Dog doesn't manage to persuade us all the time and sometimes she has to resort to sneaking on once we are asleep. We need a sofa bed maybe in one room to put up the very occasional guest.

We need wardrobes but we need ones that fit along one wall with no awkward gaps, not three towering things. We need to sort out the damp. We need to seal the walls and paper them and then put all the bookcases up against them and fill them with the books that crowd the house.

The hamster cage, the clothes that don't fit, the microwave, countless ornaments they all MUST GO! I am sure we could make some money...

The old car batteries, the spare wheels, the dead TV, the old dead computers, the decrepit old computer desk they all MUST GO! to the dump for they are no use to anyone... except maybe the spare wheels...

I have no idea why I hang onto clothes. I have slowly gained weight and kept everything, just in case but would I really wear this stuff if I lost weight anyway now? Do I ever want to wear a suit again? Do I ever intend to go to a ball? Do I have to keep my bridemaids dress as mys ister has been divorced for years? Do I have to keep the things I used to wear out clubbing, long before I met F? Maybe I am protecting myself from seeing how few clothes I truly have that fit and look nice....

I have so many ideas for nice tweaks and personalised things. Things I have seen in some places and plan on borrowing. Things I have come up with by myself.

So my bedroom... (oops the family bedroom) It currently contains three wardrobes, bed, two bedside tables, a chest, a dressing table and stool and a chair. I want it all gone, except the chest, it went to India with an ancestor and a bit of metal wool and some paint and it will look lovely in our sash window which stretches almost from floor to ceiling.

I want a fitted wardrobe all along one wall, which fits everything in it and has nice storage on top as well. I want a bed with room for storage underneath and also an area for Little Dog's bed because she is always happiest going to sleep in an enclosed space. If there is thunder or fireworks or the slightest possibility of them she goes and sleeps in the wardrobe.

I want to sort our floorboards out so they are nice and flat and then I want to get newspaper and lots of paste and create a floor, all nicely sealed up. Then I want to coat it in tinted gloss. F thinks I am a little crazy with this one... What do you think? *laugh*

I have seen branches full of charms hung above beds and washing line with things pegged on and I love the idea of something like this above our bed.

I want a room which has adequate storage and space and a comfy bed, where you don't have to cling onto your pillow to stop it disappearing under the headboard and I so need a new mattress...

I want a house free of clutter.... I want a house I can truly live in... A house I can invite others to without feeling shame. I want it to look alright when my sister comes to visit. I guess in the time all I can hope for is that it looks presentable...


I have often said that I am bad with ceremony. I just have no idea how to get it. As such I tend to neglect it and neglect celebrating the moons and festivals.

I found myself celebrating Lammas despite myself. Drinking blackberry mead with a sacrificial king.

I think I celebrated the full moon last night despite myself again. I think I am being firmly told that there are other ways, without ceremony. Not necessarily easier ways either.

Sitting following a ceremony for me feels empty. I don't do it because I do not feel able to connect with the energy. I don't find it hard to follow and do, I just find it hard to connect with.

Last night in comparison, there were times when I was pretty scared, to say the least. Anyone can go out walking by themselves in the dark but for most people, I guess this is not how they connect. I discovered last night that it is how I connect.

There was one other odd thing. When I returned home I was tip tapping away on my laptop and Little Dog went in the other room and started growling, after a short while she came back and went back to sleep. When I went to bed she stayed downstairs. I was just going off to sleep when she started growling and barking again. I shut doors and bought her upstairs with me.

This morning when we came back down, Little Dog was very intrigued to go in the Lounge as if to check whether something was still there or not.

I have read that dogs can see ghosts.

I don't understand all of what last night means but I know there are layers of meaning in it. I know I started grumpy, tired and sad but by the end I was feeling enervated, happy and free. I know I touched deeper things but I don't have the knowledge and understanding to unpick them. I guess there are mysteries out there....

Animal Guides

I saw more wildlife than I had any reason to expect last night. Seeing a fox would normally be a highlight but it was well and truly trumped by seeing a badger...

I have a book called the Beasts of Albion that looks at the properties of some of the British Animal Guides. It doesn't include the birds I saw at the beginning. The closest it gets is Raven but this isn't right so my animal guide journey begins with...

The Butterfly is all about transformation of the spirit and the Celts also saw it as a sign of rebirth and renewal. It represents freedom to move on the winds of change and beauty and purity.

It may not have been a mouse, it could have been a vole or a shrew but I suspect there would be similarities... The Mouse is about strength and growth and seeking the path. Mice are manifestations of the human soul and can travel between the world of men and the underworld. They symbolise hidden solutions, wealth and abundance as well as a tnedency to worry.

The wise and empowering holder of tradition. It is a stead fast, courageous animal that is a home loving animal and very sociable with it's own. The Badger is a guide which offers the support of the ancestors int he growth of awarenss and wisdom.

The Bat is a guide through the darkness towards awakening and wisdom through fear. It is a traditional sign of witchcraft and devil, which suits me fine, I have always liked bats. I even picked one up once. (I spent a lot of time in churches as a child as my folks were bell ringers. One time I picked up a piece of mould left in a vase in the corner of a church. It shook itself and sat and looked at me before flying off a little earlier than planned into the twilight.) So a guide through the dark, direction, inner strength, psychich powers... I would say the hidden side of woman...

The Swan is a sign of purity and inspiration and love. An association with Brigid and Apollo as well as with shape changing. This bird is all about true love and the abandonment of self to it as well as inspiration and transformation.

The Fox is a strong and intelligent mirror of the mind. Again the fox was a shape changing form favoured by witches. It is clever and adaptable and knows how to take advantage of the world without taking itself too seriously. It often laughs at itself.

Quite an interesting journey here I think although I am not sure how to put it all together in my head.

Walking the Ley

There was something odd about last night, in more than one way. It occurred to me that the points I visited last night were all in a rough line. From the lake in Pendarves Wood and Carwynnen Quoit to Treslothan Church with it's well to the place I sat and looked out to Carn Brea (big hill). OK it is a rough line with a bit of a hook but it is still a line.

I wondered if it might be a ley line and I tried to look it up. It seems to me that studying ley lines is very, very subjective. Looking at pictures of them it seems unlikely, to me, that they would travel in such straight lines. I guess it is the easiest way of drawing them between their 'major' points but I just don't believe that being of the land as they are, that they would be so straight. In between the major points I would expect them to branch and twist and turn. They are the energy lines of the land, the blood and our veins and arteries twist and turn, so why wouldn't the earths?

I tried to find out if any of the main points I visited last night were considered to be linked. I did find a hint. A talk about Carwynnen Quoit and Carn Brea by the Ley Hunters Group which is part of the Cornwall Earth Mysteries Group. This suggests that a ley line is considered to exist between the two points.

As I sat at my first point I noticed that the birds were flying from or towards the sea. Looking at the map the contour line links where I was to my second point Treslothan. The land contours swirl hereabouts so I see no reason why the lake, quoit and church wouldn't be linked by the energies as they reach the bottom of the valley.

And then I found this link. There is too much in it for me, I don't have the background to get to grips with it, there is just too much and I have no experience in this area. Telluric energy? Unhealthy ley lines? Healthy ley lines?

I got enough of it to understand that yes, these points are connected but maybe not as I imagined. Maybe the lake is connected to the quoit by the river which flows along the bottom of the valley and eventually joins the Red River. Apparently energy tends to follow water. Either side of this river there are ancient settlements as it makes it way to the sea. I think I have walked by this river near where it joins the Red River. I am finding my map a little insufficient! Just not enough detail! And to many other details as well...

Anyway, I believe I followed the energy last night as far as the quoit and then I followed the energy of the water. I was happy and peaceful on the hill, at the church by the quoit and on top of the Carn but in the wood, I felt very uneasy.

I may make my own map of the area showing the features and post it and then some of you lovely people could maybe offer any ideas you have?

Friday, 7 August 2009

What I Wanted to Post Last Night

I wanted to post this last night but my internet connection was playing up a little.


I had a bad day today. By the time I left work I was grumpy, even though I got the rare treat of leaving early. I think my boss knew I was pissed off and as everyone else had had a late start or early finish or long lunch at some point in the week, it was my turn, whether I wanted it or not.

I do believe the moon's mad dance this week has had an effect on me but also I am missing F. It is one of those weeks where, most days, if I am lucky, i get to see him for five minutes as he gets in just before I go to work. I hate it. I miss him. And having had five minutes this morning, I wasn't expecting to see him until first thinf Sunday morning.

I did however get an unexpected treat and I did see him and it was lovely. I found myself somewhere that strictly speaking, I shouldn't have been but it was beautiful.

Cornwall is long and thin with a backbone of granite. Near me the granite forms a long ridge parallel to the coast. I found myself on a shoulder of this ridge at one end of it which had fantastic views down into and across the valley to the distant hills. A beautiful spot with a view but not exposed rough granite or wind torn like many places with a view here.

The sun was still up and I could see birds using the air flow of the valley for their travels - a road in the sky. I watched magpies in the fields, foraging in pairs. I watched crows and seagulls and pigeons.

It felt like a special spot in some way...

I had to leave, even though I didn't want to, but I didn't want to go home. I drove aimlessly and found myself at Treslothan Church. This church was built by the Pendarves family with a model village around it. Little remains of the grand estates of this family and their mansion is long gone but the church and village remain.

The church has two entrances by road and I pulled in one and parked by the war memorial. I wandered around the graveyard soaking up the ambience and sense of peace. These places are mine. I think the graveyards are more mine than the buildings themselves for it is the land I am connected to and view as sacred.

Some one had placed a hydranges bloom on the grave of a child who died over a hundred years ago. A huge mausoleum stood to the Pendarves. An area with more recent memorial stones, a bird bath, compost bin and bench stood in a lovely secluded area. Another path lead round the back where a set of stone steps could be seen leading down to a door below ground level.

I felt better and left. I turned back onto the 'main' road (this is so far off the beaten track main road is a bit of a joke)and took the next right. I realised my error as soon as I had as I was in the other entrance to the church. I wish I had continued down instead of turning as I might have realised that there was a well there... but nevermind...

I continued wandering aimlessly and found myself passing alongside Treslothan Wood towards Pendarves Wood. I suddenly noticed a field entrance and felt compelled to turn in as some small rodent jumped across and away. Getting out of the car I realised that this field was the one between the two woods within which Carwynnen Quoit stands...

A Quoit is an old burial chamber where several stones support a stone on top to make a chamber. The outer covering tends to have gone, just leaving the stones behind. I have looked for it before, in fact the first time I came here and discovered the two woods was on the occasion I first tried to find it. And there it was across the field, a jumbled pile of rocks. The land has been bought by a trust that intends to restore the fallen quoit to it's previous position...

I would love to have gone and had a look but leaving a car blocking a gate isn't the best thing to do....

So on I went but I still didn't want to go home.

The sky was painted orange, rust and terracota by this time but I decided to go to Pendarves Wood. What possessed me I have no idea. I don't find walking alone, in the dark, in the woods a comfortable idea. There were points when I was very nervous and remembering that the woods are haunted by one of the Pendarves family on horseback was not the best thing. The woods are full of streams and in places the noises they make sounds a little like hoof beats...

In places the path was muddy and in others dark. In some places it gre narrow and overgrown. The wood is long and thin with one main path. In the middle is a lake that you pass by and the other side of this the path is rougher and it branches so you can do a loop. I decided to only go as far as the lake, which isn't that far bit it sure felt a long and scary way tonight.

I had a beautiful encounter on the way there. A rustling and I stopped as a beast crossed the path slowly a few yards ahead of me, flashing white and grey fur. It realised I was there but continued, it didn't care. It was going to walk exactly where it had intended so after crossing it turned right and walked parrallel to the path and right by me, as nonchalant as can be. I have seen badgers while driving and also in captivity but I have never ever seen one in the flesh like this. Awestruck is not the word....

At the lake I saw bats swooping and a swan feeding. Small black birds landed on the water, running across it in flurries. They could have been moorhens or coots. The last light tinged the water silver. I paused a short while, as long as my nerve held anyway...

The lake is drained by a waterfall into a stream and the light hit the top. I can't really describe it. Stood on the bridge admiring the light I had a very strong urge to get down and scoop water and put it on my forehead. I did....

I walked back and got in my car and locked my doors before driving off.

It was dark but I couldn't see the moon which was a disappointment as everyone has been raving about this full moon and how beautiful it is, including my lovely F. I caught the odd glimpse that let me know it was hiding low in the sky. I didn't want to go home but I couldn't drive by and not go see her... I didn't feel too guilty about going to Pendarves Wood because I would never have seen the badger with her and also it is a nature reserve where dogs are not welcome.

I decided to get her and go to the top of big hill and admire the moon. She was overjoyed. On the way up the hill in the car we saw a fox. She cavorted on top of the hill in joy. I could see the lights of five towns. The air was beautiful and clear. The lights of the closest towns didn't shimmer from pollution. I could see lights on the horizon, distant ships at sea. I could see lights flickering above the horizon and eventually came to the conclusion they were flying lanterns sent out to see....

I sat on the granite as she snuffled in the gorse and after a while we left and came home.

It was a beautiful evening and I think I shall have more to

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Courage of a Different Dog

I know this might seem a bit of an odd post - a little delayed maybe, but... Here it is...

I was talking to a friend about her dog, about how he was 17 and despite spinal damage which means he can not use his hind legs, there is absolutely nothing wrong with him. After a little spate of ill health, he recovered fantastically with still, nothing wrong. Everyone was astounded. My friend was worried that she was being selfish keeping him alive but the vet was adamant, he doesn't have the look in his eyes that says he wants to go. This dog wants to live and is happy.

I guess every long time pet owner knows that look. I myself have seen it before. Let me go, the world is nasty, it hurts, it isn't going to get better, it is my time, please.... One of my beloved Amber's pups gave me that look after a short and vicious illness that would have killed him in a short space of time anyway but with a lot of pain....

This all made me think, with horror, my beautiful Big Dog didn't have that look. He was a dog that still wanted to live, that still loved me so much that I was the most important thing, whose pain was not so great as to deter him from the truly important things....


getting up the stairs to be with me with a broken leg.

like howling and caterwauling to summon me to him when I returned home and grinning like mad...

like trying to dart into the kitchen for food as I forced him out the door to the go to the Vet's...

like trying so hard not to go through the door of the Vet's that I had to bodily force him through...

like cuddling me on the floor as I waited for the sedative to knock him over...

I know on one hand I should be pleased, there was no choice given by the Vet really, his prognosis was awful and his pain considerable. But the realisation that he wasn't ready is horrible. Realising all this makes me realise that if the tumour had been in a better place and amputation was an option, it would have been a good one to take, even if it had only been a few days before he got that look.

I guess the other thing is that it makes me realise is the huge spirit and personality of this dog and the absolutely ginormous love he had for me. He had been hideously abused before I had him and was covered in scars with several old breaks and a brand mark made with cigarettes of an M on his side. He was terrified when I got him. He grew to love and to trust others again. He loved life and he absolutely adored me. I was the best thing since sliced bread and possibly before it to - but maybe equal to steak....

An illness and level of pain that would have most dogs knocking at that door and howling to be let out and he was there, full of personality and fight and love. He may have in many ways been a slightly challenging dog (he had a pathological hate of most other dogs....) but my word he was one helluva character.

So I guess I know I did the right thing but would Big Dog have said the same if he could talk. I think his thoughts would have been that whatever I wanted was just fine by him. And that thought makes me cry.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Pain and Pleasure

I had a goal that this week I would book a massage and play a board game with F. I have failed to do both. F doesn't want to play any board games and right now I don't feel like making him. You see, on the way home (he had picked me up because he wanted my car for the day) he surprised me by informing me I had a massage that evening - and he paid for it!

Thing is, it has been a while and it has knocked me for six. Very tired now. I didn't feel hungry tonight either. She told me off for leaving it too long and to be fair, she is more than right.... So I have no need to book one!

I have had Circle of Stones by Judith Duerk arrive today and I have Widdershins by Charles de Lint and Martha Beck's Joy Diet on the way. I like books and thanks to everyones lovely suggestions, it just keeps growing and growing....

I am very intrigued by the whole Tara thing, it feels significant and I intend to explore this all much more - but not tonight... My bed calls!


Last night the restless sleep continued, as did the bizarre dreams.

I was at a market and there was one sall not getting much attention. It was full of beautiful, healthy looking organic veg but nobody was much interested because it had come all the way from India. A white family had emigrated and spent half the year growing and would then come back and sell their bounty.

After talking to them a while they said they had other things under their main stall including a tray of jewellery. The tray was intricate and sparkly jewellery, mostly made of metal. I could see a tiny bit of unshiny metal and I grabbed that one knowing it was the one I wanted. It turned out to be part of an old shield that they had based all the other jewellery on. It turned out to be far bigger piece than I had first thought and was intricate and beautiful with aged metal. It was part of a T and apparently the shield had belonged to some lady called Tara.

So I look her up this morning and she turns out to be pretty big in that part of the world and she comes in several different colours. I don't have much time before work to research her but there is something interesting here. Any ideas which Tara would have a shield?

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


I find myself slowing again and feeling grumpy and I wonder if maybe my lack of morning pages is beginning to show. I think their benefit is clear... I shall start again I will. I think though they set challenges in that they uncover things and bring them out into the open....

I am tired and sleeping oddly with many and varied dreams. One saw a huge Lime tree that grows in my parents garden, supporting many sunflowers in it's upper brances - an odd sight to be sure! No idea what that means! Or where it came from...

I must get on with them for they definitely have their rewards. My head is quieter. I am more even tempered. I am more creative as long as I get them done. Strange how such a simple thing can do so much. Strange how something so simple can be so hard.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Tribal Happiness

I have been thinking about things today. This is quite a common thing I know but a few things have come together...

Last week some colleagues bought some music in for us to listen to instead of the radio. It was good but not quite what I wanted to listen to so today I took my turn. I liked my music but it was pretty obvious that no one else was feeling it. My enjoyment of my music went down hill very quickly and i ended up putting the radio on. I think this relieved one or two of my colleagues. I kind of hope we don't do the music thing again but I suspect we will.

We listen to a local radio station and I don't think a single one of us really enjoy it. We have a few old rockers, a young dancey thing or two, some older easy listening types. I kind of like it all but not as much as my own music. I was kind of edgy in my music tastes when I was younger and I guess not everyone loves my tastes even now, even when I pick things I thing they will like. I liked things in that kind of area around grunge, goth, trance and punk. very much a child of the precise time I was in my late teens, a frozen snap shot of what the coolest alternative scene was at the time.

We have to listen to this station though, or one like it because it is more important that none of us really hate it, than none of really love it. I like some of the songs, occasionally there is one I love and I reckon all of us would say that but probably not about the same songs.

In school and college we divide up into tribes often due to tastes and interests. At work we are forced together with people that we perhaps wouldn't choose to be with, that we might have nothing at all in common with. We end up behaving in particular ways to get on with this mass group we may or may not actually want to spend time with. Not many of us really enjoy work, and even if we do, I doubt we enjoy it all the time.

I mostly like the people I work with and we have a real laugh but we are not at all alike. We can't sort ourselves out into tribes so well at work. We can a little by our choice of job but it isn't perfect and other factors apart from interest are in play.

I had been thinking about writing this and then I got home and read barry's post today about the effect on us of happy people around us. A happy next door neighbour is likely to make us more happy. So is a happy friend or sibling living close by and a happy spouse definitely makes us happier. Even a friend of a friend who is happy has a knock on effect. Apparently it is probably a proximity thing.

The only people this doesn't work with are colleagues. A happy colleague doesn't make us happier. is this some side effect of the artificial tribe thing? Maybe if we chose our own colleagues they would affect us more.

Some how this just makes me feel that the rat race is so phony. Even the society it creates doesn't somehow work right. I am not saying this is so everywhere, some workplaces might have a genuine bonding into a tribe.... Not sure mine does... Not really...

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Footsteps in Ink

It probably is no surprise that I have started a new blog. This one is for stories and a new installment of my sea gull story awaits any who wish to read it....

You can see my efforts of so far there...

More Imaginary Lives


Dog walker

Clothes designer



I have no idea where scriptwriter came form. I am not sure I like writing dialogue....

I have a dog to walk and I do like walking her but it would be nice to get paid for doing it....

I guess I would love to have clothes that fit me properly. There could be nice things to make me look good but finding them can be tricky. I would love to be able to make my own clothes, for me, that fit perfectly...

I always enjoyed going into the garden and cutting flowers and arranging them. I must admit I prefer these garden blooms to the over perfect florist flowers. I wish my garden had more flowers in it. That I could wander around and pick...

I like paint. I like colour.....

20 Things I Enjoy

I enjoy...

1) spending time with F (1/8/09)

2) bathing (29/7/09) (normally with a book...)

3) having a massage (June I think)

4) horse riding (2006 I think)

5) walking somewhere beautiful (last weekend)

6) eating chocolate (1/8/09)

7) going out for a meal (1/8/09)

8) going to the cinema (a couple of weeks back)

9) going to the theatre (last summer)

10) creating things (yesterday)

11) learning how to do new things (using oracle deck)

12) making jewellery (two weeks ago)

13) playing badminton (last year)

14) swimming (no idea)

15) dancing (er...)

16) playing board games (no idea)

17) writing (last week)

18) reading (1/8/09)

19) cooking a nice meal (last week)

20) meeting the girls (July)

I found this really time consuming! Surprisingly hard to think of so many individual things!

My two goals for this week are....

1) to book a massage

2) make f play some board games with me....

Saturday, 1 August 2009

The King is Dead! Long Live the King!

I find it a little bizarre the way life has worked out for me this Lammas.

I am off to a work colleagues stag do. None of them are pagan, or at least, if they are they are keeping it just as quiet as I am. I doubt any of them knew the significance of this day when they chose this date.

Because we wanted to give him a good send off from work, this do is un-traditional. Respectable ladies never used to go to stag parties. There certainly would be no couples.

We will dress him up with pink horns (with a veil), an L-plate and a wand. I added things to them and posted them on my other blog. It was Mel that pointed out that they were very, very pagan being horns and a belled wand.

So I am off out to eat, drink and be merry to celebrate losing a man to marriage who will be dressed in horns and have a belled wand. On Lammas. Oh and we shall drink mead as well, and I like elderberry and blackberry best. How pagan is all of this? What synchronicity...

Fantastic stuff surely? There is just a slight odd feeling for me. The sacrificial king sits there in the back of my head for surely this is what we are crowning him? A slight feeling of unease.

I would love some thoughts on this from you folk out there...

Of course I shall celebrate and feast but something has to come after the feast. May it only be more joy!