Friday, 27 November 2009


The other day, the lovely Leone mentioned a few things that correspond with ear problems. The one that resonates with me is anger as I know I have long had an issue with it.

When i was seven i changed schools. I hadn't been happy in the previous one but I was even less happy in the new one. I started to have problems with my temper. Something would happen and I would see red and completely lose all control. My arms would windmill and I would hit anything in my path. Immediately afterwards I would be devastated and cry a lot.

This went for I don't know how long. Some of my classmates were amused by my temper and would deliberately try and make me lose it. I hated it. Eventually I got it under control. So completely that I just stopped getting angry. In fact I took it further than this.

I was desperately unhappy and decided that hard decisions were best made using logic rather than emotion. That life should be lived by doing whatever caused the least hurt. An ethical and moral thing I guess but one that tried to let me distance my feelings from my life. A little odd I guess for the average teenager.

I am not sure I was overly successful at this. Hard to say really. Certainly it didn't last as I was firmly emotional by the time I was doing my A-levels. Some of this philosophy has remained with me I guess and by thinking about these things, it helped me realise that giving people what they want is not always what is best for them, balance is the key.

Later on I began to realise that anger was strangely absent in me. I began looking at myself quite seriously because of other things that happened. I had counselling. At the end of one session, I was soooo angry, for no apparent reason. I went home and my man assisted. We took broken things outside for me to trash. Much fun. It wasn't enough though. So we had a a shouting and insulting row. It was so vile sounding that one of our housemates came from the ground floor extension up to our attic room to make sure we were OK....

A friend did an exercise with me where different seats in the room were different aspects of me and my anger so that I could in effect have a conversation with my anger by changing seats. This was a very powerful exercise and it really worked.

I remember that my anger was sad and it had been trying to protect me. It had been the anger of a young girl and it didn't understand that it was causing me more pain. I think I welcomed it back and tried to make peace with this part of myself.

It still isn't something I do very well.. I do grumping very well. I do frustrated very well. I do sad very well. I do happy pretty well too. But anger isn't something I do well, even now. I am not the most assertive. I can grumble behind peoples backs but actually getting proper angry with them, to their face.

Yes right now i am angry and frustrated with my Boss, but do I actually want to act on this? Not really. What is the adult way of allowing your anger to breath? Not sure really. If I am still repressed, then I am not as repressed as I used to be.... Maybe it isn't repression but control?

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Signs of Hope

I know I have probably said this before but, as much as I hate my job right now, I still don't quite think the time has come to jump. I have had a habit of jumping ship rather easily in the past. Sometimes of necessity as a habitual temp, jobs do end and new ones begin, but I have also prematurely left a lot of positions....

In my younger days I had a habit of leaving jobs after 4 months cos I started to get bored. My longest length of time in a single position is a year. There are one or two places where I have been for longer periods but in different roles at different times. Places I have gone back to.

Sometimes my jumping ship has in effect cut off my nose to spite my face. Looking back I wonder why I did that, why I left there before I had drained it dry of benefit, before I had a real peach of a job to go on to. When I graduated I had a job, one of the places I kept going back to but my Boss left as they finally had enough of their Boss and had a very nice job offer. Without my buffer and friend I was the direct target of the Over-Boss and after my first tongue lashing I decided that I was not going to stick around. I think leaving that job and not pursuing the links I made signed a death warrant on any hopes of a career in Environmental Science I might have had, at least so far it has...

I feel as if I have something to prove by staying put, by enduring, by demonstrating that i can put down roots, that I can.... That it is needful somehow, although the whys and wherefores have not been made clear to me. I might be completely insane in this but I feel as if I will know when it is time to go, that something will happen, there will be some sign.

All the signs right now are suggesting hope and future happiness while saying now is not quite the time.....

I left the house to find a pair of magpies eating on the pavement opposite. I got to the shop to find a beautiful and vivid rainbow in the sky. Marc Coen's song Walking in Memphis came on and this always speaks to me of hope and tells me I am in the right place. Then at lunch, two more magpies, in a bush nestled together. I got to and from my car inbetween hale showers, yay for not getting wet! And afterwards there was another rainbow in the sky.

Hope springs eternal and maybe soon my dreams with be able to blossom..... Maybe it is nearly time. Maybe....

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The History of Ears

When I was a little girl I often used to get ear infections. Every cold bought one. I have been told I missed a lot of school. I was also told that i was lucky to live in an age of antibiotics because otherwise i would very lucky have ended with impaired hearing.

One day I was told I was going to have my adenoids out and i would have to go into hospital. I was not a normal little girl and I was very, very excited to be going into hospital. So excited that when i felt some strange bumps in my hair on that all important morning, I didn't tell my Mum.

Once I was at the hospital and settled in, the bumps started to become noticeable and spread all over me. My Mum being a nurse, knew what they were as soon as she saw them. Chickenpox. The daft thing was they wouldn't let me go home before I had seen a doctor, so my infectious body remained in the ward full of pre-op children for some hours. My Mum felt very, very awkward about this....

The next time, I was not nearly so enthusiastic as my op was scheduled for the time in which my school was going to the East of England Show. I had never been and I was going to miss it. I was a bit cross. That is about all I remember of it to be honest. Not half as memorable as my first attempt....

The ear aches and colds and sessions with the nurses syringe became less frequent but didn't vanish. I remember some nasty ear aches. Falling asleep with my ear on Oswald, the crocodile hot water bottle. I remember being a young student in a flat in the city, doped up to my eyeballs on painkillers being woken by drunk flatmates who had brought some young chaps home. That was when i discovered that any painkillers with the word co in their description tend to zonk me out.

The next big thing was when i first moved to Cornwall. I decided to satisfy a life long ambition and learn to scuba dive. We had completed weeks of training in a swimming pool and it was the day of our first open water dive. We had not been down very long and we were not particularly deep when it happened.

My head went boom and then I felt the inrush of water. Everything went very, very strange. I couldn't tell up from down. I focused really, really hard on something, a rock I think, trying to ignore everything else around. Without closing my eyes or looking away, the rock would suddenly be somewhere else. Everything must have settled pretty quick because i was still with the others and no one had noticed a thing.

I signalled to one of the leaders that I wanted to go up. Once there, i couldn't tell them what was wrong so reluctantly I went back down. We rejoined the group and completed the dive. Once up, i explained what had happened and then my mate and I went to buy a woolie hat to keep my ears warm.

I was lucky that I was not sick. I was lucky I did not loose my respirator. I was in shock.

I went to watch a rugby match that afternoon and then when i was back in my room I found my ear was starting to bleed. I found a sober student who had a car and off we went. I guess the diagnosis shouldn't have been a shock but it was. A burst ear drum.

The next week was very fuzzy. Noise hurt. I slept. My ear produced some interesting things. I later learnt that the hall cleaners had been keeping a close eye on me. Not sure any of the other students were mature enough to really understand what was going on. I had four lots of antibiotics in total, each with a longer and nastier list of possible side affects than the one before.

It took nearly a year for the ear drum to repair and for the hole to be gone. A year of no swimming and care with water. I did go to places with loud music so I probably did damage my hearing a little....

So here I am again and this time, it is not so bad, six weeks to mend apparently. so only a little hole. Noise doesn't hurt and there was no catastrophic event affecting my balance. In fact I have no idea when it happened exactly. Not too bad really....

I have a long time to get used to the fact that i will probably have some hearing difficulties later in life.... I have them right now though too.... One ear has an ear plug and the other has a large dose of ear wax. All just temporary....

Tuesday, 24 November 2009


Fear holds us back and makes us miss opportunities. Then we get cross because we are missing out....

Some friends took an opportunity to join a larger group. I held back because I had some not so good experiences in a similar group. In fact some of the people I like from the old group are in this new group. So I held back and my two buddies jumped on in and now I feel a little left out. There they are having experiences and coversations and fun that I am not.

Of course, any time I want I can go for it and join to.... But I don't really want to, I just want my mates back, all to myself. Greedy.... Selfish.... I don't want to share them. I don't want to open myself up to all that. I also don't want to get that involved. I am dabbling a toe. Trying to be half involved.

I am not sure this is an old theme for me either. I worked on a few projects while at Uni. One of these was a contract that bought me in contact with potential employers. I had to finish graduating but I had a couple of people in different organisations interested in employing me. When I graduated there were a coupld of lecturers who suggested sending CV's to a couple of places. Did I do any of these things? No.

I worked some dead end jobs instead.... Some opportunities do evaporate if you let them, but friendship, if it is true, never should.....

Monday, 23 November 2009

Chain Reaction

So many little things......

Some good, some bad.

A beautiful tea, Marks and Spencers Enchiladas. Lovely. I am completely stuffed and happy right now. Sated.

I had to go to the pharmacy late and the only one open was on a retail park, With a Marks and Spencers next door.

I went to the Doctor and he looked at both my ears and said the reason I am not hearing so well when I put my ear plug in the ear with the burst drum is that the other one is full of wax for which I can use drops.

Work insisted last week that I go back to my Doctor to make sure I had the correct information regarding my ear and noise.

When I booked the appointment, i booked it for out of work hours as I try to do with all my appointments.

Later on i had a dentists appointment which was in work time. I was two hours late but my boss knew the time and place of my appointment so should not have been surprised.

Later, my co-worker got sent home an hour early to enjoy an early start to the weekend while I got a telling off for being so late and was informed I had to make up the hours.

As I was going to the Doctor, I stayed late at work and did the first half of my time making up.

At the Doctor's I explained that work was insisting I came back for further guidance, i explained what I was doing, all of which he agreed with and he wrote a letter to my work to, in his words, 'shut them up'.

When my Boss returns there will be a note booking annual leave for my next dentist appointment. Once bitten twice shy. The rules change and I am not going to play that game.


Writing this, what do I see? Bad has to have a source, it constantly renews itself from something. Bad needs effort and work. Good on the otherhand reproduces if you let it, from a little starting event you get a lovely enchilada tea, but only if you are open to it.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Love is....

Writing about love last night made me think about a book I was shown once. It was a book of wedding photographs taken in a American registry office following the legalisation of same sex marriage. I believe, from what I remember, that people queued to get married as soon as possible.

People in their twilight years who had lived together all their lives were there. People dressed up. Men. Women. Young and old and everything inbetween. The one thing these photos show is that love really has nothing to do with looks or age or anything else. Oh and another thing, all of these people were happy. Some of them had never expected to be able to marry. It is a book of what love looks like. It looks like people.

Love comes in so many forms. We only have one word for it in English but I remember from my Latin lessons in school that they had more, it might have been three, because I can remember three. Eros, or passionate love, Phileo which if spelt right, is friendly love and agape, which is sort of a love for everything a more spiritual sort of a love. Except when I look it up these are actually Greek, not Roman, and there is another one, Storge which is the love a parent has for a child.

I think all of us would recognise these different types of love, so why don't we have more words for them? Why do we lump them all together? What sort of love do I have? Eros, sometimes but it is not the dominant form. Phileo, definitely. Not sure if this describes how I feel, but hey...

So why did the Greeks have such a desire to define different types of love and we don't? Well they had a love of philosophy and thinking but I guess I don't know enough about their society to know more than that... Why don't we distinguish so much? I think as a society we can be a little confused about love.

It seems to me that I spent a large part of my teens and twenties thinking that mere eros was something other.... Is it any wonder though with the lack of distinction we make and the portrayal of love in the media? Love in families also seems warped at times. Parents spoil children and children grow up thinking they are the centre of the universe and the rules bend around them.

I am not saying children should live without love or praise or anything positive but I also think they shouldn't be just given everything. I think a bit of work and effort helps them to value what they have. I think children should be allowed to climb trees and scrape their knees. So what if they fall and break an arm? The chances of it happening are slim and we have the technology to deal with it efficeintly.

But family love seems to be all about smothering in so many instances these days. About children ruling the roost and not about balance at all.... I am thinking of my niece and nephew here a bit and I know it is a common thing...

I like love though. I think everyone does.

Saturday, 21 November 2009


I am not sure what to write tonight, except that I feel sad.

I miss F, who has been at work since early this morning and won't return till tomorrow morning. These strange shifts he does, sometimes I miss him more than others and right now I miss him a lot.

We always watched Strictly Come Dancing together and loved it but this year, so many times our viewing comments have had to be communicated by text as he sits at work (if he is lucky) and watches and I sit at home with Little Dog. The texting is fun and amusing but not as nice as having him here.

I have spoken with him three times by phone (and no that is not be being a clingy woman that was him calling me *laugh*). And we always talk at bedtime. But right now I want a hug.

Life feels tough right now. It was never going to be easy going back to work, not after being ill like that. It was always going to leave me drained and low, and it has. Things just feel so tricky right now though....

I have no idea where I am on a few things. One day i think one thing and the next it is all different. I think i currently have a difficult Boss / Friend thing going on. I think they have some feelings towards me right now concerning my having been off for so long. I think also that they feel they have to be a certain way but they keep over stepping the mark. They did so again on Friday and I wasn't overly surprised to receive a text about how fantastic I am with lots of good wishes.....

Tuesday I received a half hour phone call.

To be honest it is a bit unsettling. I like to know what the rules are and play by them but right now I don't feel as even I know. It seems they keep changing and different rules apply to different people. This is hard when the friend is also your Boss.

I am so glad I have F. We have a solid sort of a relationship. I am not saying the rules never change but we meet as equals so any rule changing can be talked about. Things do not flip all over the place. He is my rock and I love him. He is the only one I need. All my other friends are luxuries and all of them added together could never replace him in my life.

I am not sure if I have said much about how we got together or anything like that but I am a firm believer in love at first sight these days. I didn't used to me. To be honest it is a slightly scary thing, or it was for me, who had allowed myself a number of relationships with less than pleasant men. You have to trust and see where it takes you and hope.

Can everyone fall in love at first sight? No idea. I think you have to be open to it. Someone has to have faith and follow it up. I have to say, it wasn't me that did that, it was F, and I was busy running off in the other direction...

Just watched a program called Misfits. A bunch of teens do community service for deeds against the law but get hit by a storm which gives them and others strange abilities. One of them meets a volunteer and has a wild night with her. Only it turns out she is actually an old lady, made young by the storm, but part way through she becomes old again. Being a callow youth he turns away and the lady, now old, dies alone. He gave her one last experience of not being alone before her final end and the experience taught him not to be so tough on his Mum and her new partner. How many people out there missed their match? They walked away at the last minute or neither plucked up the courage to go and talk to each other?

I used to be bemused by those 80 somethings talking about having met one night at a dance and having known from that time. Does that really happen? Yes. But love has no schedule and we don't have to see it when it does come. It is a beautiful thing to never be alone even when no one is with you.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Letting Off Steam

Things are still very mixed and when F picked me up from work, he found a stressed and unhappy me.

As we drove home, I said 'Take me to Godrevy'

'no, I don't want to eat chips'

'nooooo, I need to get out'

So off we went to the headland known as Godrevy. As it so happened he had put Little Dog in the back to come assist with the collecting of me, so she was overjoyed at the diversion.

The very last of the light was still in the sky, along with the tiniest sliver of moon. Just enough light to cast the huge waves in silver and navy. Huge sprays were sent up by the rocks as a glimmer of white in the gloom.

The sky was clear except for a band of cloud on the horizon above St Ives over the other side of the bay. So from silver and navy sea to the darkest mauve of the clouds, lit with the jewel lights of the towns, then above to the last light, nearly gone in a sky turning darker with each minute.

It was lovely. It will be cold later, as it is so clear. But then, with little wind, after the recent gales, it felt relatively mild. Most people didn't want to go out on such a night, so only one or two cars were up there and no other walkers. We were all by ourselves with no need to worry that we couldn't see what Little Dog was up to in the dark.

Nature is always there when I need breathing space. She is always there when things feel too much. When I am sad, or angry. She is also there when I am happy too. She always makes me feel better. I love her for that. So why, on such a wonderful evening, with so much beauty, were we alone?

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Horses for Courses

Dogs have been breed for a very, very long time so that we have different breeds for different purposes. They are all still dogs and can inter-breed but their strengths and weaknesses are more obvious....

Collies and German Shepherds herd sheep.
Sight hounds hunt, from deer (deerhounds), wolves (wolfhounds), greyhounds (rabbits and hares) and so on
Jack russells and other terriers are used for ratting and going down burrows
Some dogs were bred looks, others to keep people warm and others as guard dogs.

Humans have a habit of doing this. We did it with horses, cows, sheep and anything else we domesticated.... No one would dream of asking a Jack Russell to take on a wolf, although it would probably have a go.... No one would expect a shire horse, such as a Suffolk Punch, to win the Grand National.

We humans did this but yet we still expect other people to be equal and have the same strengths. I am a brain rather than a brawn sort of a person. I got my current job on the basis of my ability to sit behind a computer and do all that stuff with efficiency and accuracy. I did not get this job on the basis of my physical fitness and stamina, and anybody who employs me for my physical fitness in my current state is frankly barmy.

Why does everyone have to be equal? Can't I just sit behind my computer and do that well? Why is the fact that right now, I don't feel like running around, which isn't really part of my job, an issue for some people? I am fit to be at work doing my job. I am not fit to be doing the things that no one would give me a job that focused on them anyway....

I am not saying I am being given a hard time but when people are stressed their private views become a little more obvious. if I had a broken leg or some such, no one would expect me to run around, although I might be able to with adjustments such as crutches. Being fat is a disability, most of the time I heft and buzz around with the rest of them but right now my disability is affecting me more strongly.

Let me. Let me be a brain right now who works a computer real good.... It is after all what you actually need me to do...

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Sleeping Beauty

last night I had the perfect nights sleep.

The two nights previous I had been without F and I was cold in the night and didn't sleep so well. Little Dog did her best to keep me warm but well, there just isn't enough of her....

Last night I learnt and i got out my pink velour M & S pajamas. Bliss. I went to bed before F, which is fine. I get to sleep quicker without him. If he is there, I have to wait for him to be asleep and making his sleeping breathing sounds before I can sleep. Of course we don't always resist the temptation to chat either and right now maximising sleep is the name of the game.

So the night was warm and snug. And when i woke I had F to snuggle up to before we had to venture out of bed to the world of work....

Before Big Dog died, we only had the dogs up for cuddles, not to sleep but that all changed when Big Dog went to the big garden in the sky, the one that contains sofas and lots of warm snug places to sleep. At first Little Dog came up for that last snuggly quarter of an hour before we got up. Then sometimes, at the weekend we wouldn't get up at that time and she would come up anyway.

Over time she just got up onto the bed earlier and earlier until we could no longer pretend she wasn't sleeping with us. What put the nail in the coffin though was that she just couldn't understand the difference between the nights when F was working and those he wasn't.

At first it was awkward in some ways. You would wake up part way through the night and find dog where you needed to move your legs to, because you had cramp and just had to move. She has learnt though, exactly where to sleep in order not to get kicked or moved and all is rosy in and on our bed.

So tonight, I have to put up with the lack of F, but Little Dog will appear at some point after I have gone to sleep, probably as soon as I have gone to sleep. And i shall be snug and warm in pink velour. But last night was the perfect nights sleep.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

About Face

I am not sure what to believe or which way to turn right now.

Work is downright bizarre. One second I don't feel valued, the next I feel like employee of the month (maybe slight exageration but you get the picture). I think there is just so much going on that what I see is the tip of the iceberg. I think it is going to take a while for me to really catch up with everything that has gone on. Possibly months... *laugh* I think the word confusing could be used and I am goignt o try and stop thinking and let it just be for now.

I am tired and there are changes and lots of work round the corner. There is possible overtime and possible redundancy. Such is the joy of working for a company with multiple divisions. In good times you all benefit and in bad times you all suffer - even if you have more work than you can manage and are turning a profit....

But yes, I am tired. my social life is trying to take off but I am stubbornly digging my heals in because I know I can't take it right now.... Not this weekend. Not yet. I also can't face reading blogs right now and am planning a catch up at the weekend. I want to curl up somewhere warm and practice being rather than doing. Little Dog is providing an extremely good example of this right now and I think I shall go join her.....

Monday, 16 November 2009

Friend or Foe?

Today... The things I expected to be bad were not and some of the things that were hard took me by surprise.

The H & S back to work thingy was fine and I have all the ear protection I could possibly wish for.

People's reaction to my return varied, quite a lot. One bad tempered chap from outside my department saw me and all the words shared were hello, but he looked sympathetic. One person from inside my department didn't hear me the first two times I said hello and when I said louder he responded but didn't look at me.

The people in my department who I thought were my friends, apart from one, proved themselves to be so. They didn't say a lot but they looked pleased to see me which to be honest, was all I needed them to do, big long conversations are not really my thing right now.

My best friend at work has always been my Boss and she is the one I feel has let me down. I can ignore some of the grumpy things she said to me while I was off. I can ignore the fact that there was way more text messaging than there needed to be, if she just paid attention to what I told her the first time. (no I can not tell you anything right now because, as I already told you, my appointment is for much later today and I already said i will call yoy as soon as it is over....)

The thing that really got my goat though wasn't even direct. It was very much indirect. Someone else is off right now with a chest infection but they have a named serious chest infection. They have not been off long as yet but there was my Boss arranging for someone to go pick up their sick notes and arranging for a whip round for a get well card and boys mag to cheer them up.

It hurt. I pride myself on being honest. I wouldn't expect a Boss to necessarily see and respect that but I do expect a friend to. So I guess the end result of this is that perhaps they really arn't much of a friend. The grumpy comments I could forget as there has been a lot of stress in their life but the lack of trust and faith in me, i can't.

The company I can forgive to, their procedures are not bad but the way my Boss sometimes implements them on a personal level is not so great.

So i am sat here feeling pretty tired and yucky and a bit down. I shall go in tomorrow and slowly people will forget I was off sick and things will return to normal. I am not sure I will forget that my Boss may pretend to my friend but that when it comes down to it, they are not.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Small Mercies

So tomorrow is back to work. No symptoms left now except for tiredness and gurgly ear, so I know it is time. Going back will be tough but will help me get my strength back now. I have barely been out of the house in four weeks. I have done nothing physical beyond the every occasional bit of washing up. So work is going to hit me hard. This week will consist of work, eat and sleep and not much else. I may not be on here much.

So there is that and then there is the fact that I get the impression my Boss thinks I should have worked through it and I suspect this will be a common attitude. Then there is my meeting first thing. Add on to this the fact that there will be a considerable back log. My colleagues have been doing overtime all weekend and there will still be much to do. They will be tired, grumpy, stressed and will see me as not really having been much help at all.

I know I will go back and probably not feel much a part of the team for a bit. But then, to be honest, I just want to drift into the background right now anyway. Not sure I will have the energy for much else.

I have often thought that if I ever did win the lottery (yes I really do spend a lot of time working on this dream *laugh*) that I would dish out some to colleagues. This month has persuaded me that no, I perhaps wouldn't want to. I don't actually have an out of work relationship with them and now there is a little distance, I suspect, very strongly, that if I left there are not any friendships strong enough there for me to carry forward. If I did get lucky, I might give them a treat but I wouldn't make them fellow millionaires.

I am not really dwelling on going back however. It is at the point where there is nothing I can do, I don't know what will happen, it is just too darn scary to think about and I have to do it anyway. Instead today I had some WoW time with F and our old friend. It was good working together to solve puzzles and have a little fun.

This is a team we have found ourselves. A team that has stood the test of time and been a real source of strength. Of all the people we have met and befriended while playing WoW, this friend is the one who has become a real part of our lives.

We were pushing it today. We could have minced around obliterating everything in our path but we decided to have a go at something a little beyond us, to be honest. We didn't suceed but having a go taught us so much about these new characters we have made. We looked at their abilities and how to use them, we specialised our characters to allow them to work better together. We took different roles. We made plans, tried them and then changed them. Each death was a learning opportunity. Each mistake an opportunity to laugh or learn or both. No one was the leader but we all led. All equals. Friends.

Being given jobs, getting stuck in roles... When people worked in communities, did they chose their preferred teams? Was their choice? Did people naturally gravitate towards what worked best and most happily? I suspect they did. Why would they not? Roles would change with efficiency, so as people aged and become less energetic, they would find themselves as advisers or deposed by challenges if they held on too tight.

I work in a dysfunctional team... An overly emotional Boss who can be quite confrontational. The Lady of Lies who is very capable but also pretty lazy. The Little Princess who is not so hot, except for very brief spurts if someone stands over her with a whip. An older person who is in a position of responsibility but the precision required is slowly slipping away. I personally feel that I carry more than my fair share of responsibility within the team and do more than my share of the work, for lower pay than most as well. I bet my being absent has made things tough.

So no, going back won't be fun. I won't have an easy ride as I catch up on my work. I shan't enjoy team spirit, as least for a while. I shan't enjoy feeling well for a little while either. But I shall enjoy friendship and I shall enjoy love and have fun, just maybe not in work straight away. But then maybe I won't have to be there to long. Even if I don't get to change jobs there is our plan - the one where in the not to distant future, I get to be a stay at home Mum.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Creative Update

Another night when I am not sure what to say. I am not sure I have much in me right now. The last few weeks have been draining and the things on my mind are things I have already written about. I am tired. Work next week is going to be horrendous. Work, eat and sleep will be the name of the game next week.... Assuming all works out that is.

I have not done anything much creative. Luckily the grand Xmas making was well in progress. The nasty necklace I was stuck on for the future m-i-l is a non-starter, with her preferred length and it being a slow grower and all but I have decided to just make her the one necklace this year. This just leaves one for my Aunt and one for my Mum.

My Aunt's is in progress. It is a series of beaded beads that will be strung onto a piece of satin cord. While ill I have made about 6 beads and I shall stop when I get bored or run out of time.

My Mum's remaining necklace doesn't need to be finished until the end of January and will be a silver loom lariat to match her bracelet.

My Great Aunt and my Gran are getting silk scarves this year. One is done but the other is in progress. I have done the base colour and now I need to trace the design on using clear gesso before finishing to add colour. Nothing to complicated really....

I was going to do other things for Xmas but money is now going to be somewhat tighter than anticipated and I still have the men to buy for. I also now have a lot less time and energy for all the crafting. I have more silk scarves I was planning on painting but I think I need to go gently now.

The rest of this year is going to be about taking it slowly, gently and very, very easily. Then in the new year I am going to hopefully be fitter to attack life again a bit. My house certainly needs attacking...

I still have blog candy and pass it forwards to finish. I am determined to finish these but I am not going to take on anything else like this for some time. It occurs to me that most of my crafting is for others and my house could really use some craftiness. Very, very badly. And some decluttering. A lot of that really....

I still want to learn to crochet and felting looks like great fun and then there are rag rugs, curtain making and other bits of sewing... I could use some matching curtains, table runner and mats for the dining room for instance. I want a beautiful home....

Friday, 13 November 2009


A while back, some years ago in fact. F was talking at work with someone and that lovely person recommended a computer game called World of Warcraft. This game is a curse and a blessing as far as I am concerned. I made some fantastic friends and the best times were great, really great. It takes over your life though and sometimes you find yourself at odds with groups of people and things go awry.

in WoW there are loads of servers and you pick one to play on. They are like parallel worlds, each populated by different gamers. F started on the server of his mate but I felt that it was a boys group and wasn't sure of my welcome so joined a new role play server.

I found myself in a golden age of RP on that server. There were two rival guilds and the plot line between the two allowed for some fantastic game play. It felt as if most players on the server knew the plot and were bit characters. I remember one night when our political cause took a down turn and I, along with the other members of my guild, found ourselves hunted through the streets of Stormwind by a raging mob. Fantastic times...

The political purpose of the two guilds slowly spent itself and a small group of friends formed a new guild, a very small guild. We were quite well respected though. Some of our members played with some of the major guilds of the time and we all have roleplay friends doted around. Our guild may have been small but it was well respected and we were all very good friends within. F had seen how much fun I was having and came and joined in as well....

Good things can not last though. Life got in the way and different people disappeared for various reasons and our tiny guild was too small to sustain loss like that. What is the point of being in a guild if you are always alone? It disintegrated and some of us spun off into the biggest RP guild on the server. Others remained independent and others vanished from the game.

The new guild wasn't home. Too big, too many politics, too ambitious. Now for a boring bit. My main character is a warrior, a tank. This is an important role in any group and I wasn't bad at it. The problem is that the tank tends to be the one who leads the group. I just didn't have an ego big enough for that job and I didn't want it. I found myself brow beaten and unhappy. A lot of good people refuse to play tanks because of the pressure...

Unhappy, F and I flitted off to the initial server and joined up with his mates. This was fine but different. One of our good friends joined us and to be honest their wasn't many of us left by that time. i got bored of the game and got a life. F and friend carried on, changed games for a while and then went back.

I havn't played in about two years.

All of a sudden F and friend have been looking at the RP server again and our old friends. Some of them have returned! And F and friend are going back and I am going to join in too.... i will not become an addict again, I will not! I will not lose my honnies and blogging and all, but... I want to go reminiesce a bit. I want to do some play acting. I want to chat with old friends.... Time for a bit of a change to tide me through the dark winter months....

Feels Like Trouble

I was feeling pretty happy. I am feeling better. OK, so I am going to tire easy for a bit and sometimes my ear gurgles and itches. But basically I am going to be fine to go back on Monday as far as I can see.

Each visit to the Doctor's I have updated them. I had agreed to speak to my Boss on Sunday to confirm that I could definitely return to work. Since telling them about my burst ear drum on Tuesday I have been thinking about the fact that a lot of the building I work in is pretty noisy. So much so that if you spend more than fifteen minutes in some areas you need to use ear protection. The company also regularly conducts hearing tests on people working in those areas.

I don't work there. I work in a quieter area, there is some occasional noise but I basically spend 90% of my time sat behind a computer. Given there is two of us doing the same role, it wouldn't take much to adjust things so I was behind a computer 100% of the time for the next few weeks. OK so maybe I would need to walk outside to go to the facilities, maybe they might need to buy me some big posh ear defenders, like headphones.

It is doable. Having told my boss about my ear, they should have been thinking about things. Thing is my Boss is a physical type who doesn't shy away from a fight, who speaks before thinking, wears their heart on their sleeve and feels emotions very strongly, negative and positive. So when I spoke to them and pointed out about my ear and noise and asked them to talk to the H & S person, they weren't best pleased.

They did and they called me back, so now when I go in on Monday, before I even get to head to the place I work, I get to meet with my Boss's Boss and the H & S person. My good mood has evaporated. I think my Boss would quite happily see me gone right now. Four weeks off sick is more than they can really deal with and not being fully able to do everything I did before doesn't sit well either.

Thing is, they lack a certain amount of education. They are a get it done person rather than the sort of manager who knows all the rules and regs. Sometimes they react and then discover that legislation ties their hands. I do wonder if this is a bit like that. I also wonder, given my company is announcing redundancies, whether I will find myself faced with constructive dismissal or just paid my notice and gone. So now I am pissed off and stressed and all the good feeling I had from watching Bride and Prejudice has evaporated. So my Boss may have expressed emotion that the company would deem inappropriate but it has still been expressed.

The way I feel towards them right now, I am actually hoping that they do get rid of me and I can sue their butts. I do think I need to get armed with some data about what noise levels I can and can't be exposed to right now.... I actually was sat here thinking up nice happy, non-whiny posts for today too... *snarl*

Thursday, 12 November 2009


After four weeks of barely leaving the house, i find I have little to say. I have rediscovered the pleasure of midday naps and this has led to the discovery that I like watching the clouds from my bed. My house has huge sash windows and is perched on the side of a hill so that the opposite house sits a foot or two lower than mine. I can watch the clouds, or the sky change colour, or the seagulls soar. I particularly like the seagulls.

The way they fly is soooo, full of grace. Their huge wings change shape very slightly and they harness the wind. They soar, using the wind with pure instinct. At one ment.

It reminds me of a programme I saw on Leonardo da Vinci once. He made so many incredible drawings of machines that were never made. It was decided to gather a team and try and make some of his inventions. The one I remember particularly was the hang glider, except it wasn't a glider. It flew but was so dangerous, even in the hands of the most experienced pilot.

The machine worked like the wings of the seagulls, subtle changes in shape in reaction to changes in the wind. What made it dangerous was that the pilot could not straight away have those instincts of how to use the winds. In addition, birds can feel the wind under their wings, pilots can not, so there was no feedback. I can only imagine such a machine being successfully piloted by a computer with a battery of sensors and lightning quick reactions.

Each and every animal out there has a precise function, purpose and home. They are at one with their environment. They are part of it. Their complex inter-relationships are vital to the whole system. The salmon in the river need the trees to maintain their habitat but so to do the trees need the salmon for it is the salmon that bring nutrients back up the catchment.

Why did we leave our niche? What did nature design us for? What is it that brings us into at one ment? What was our niche? Until we discovered how to manipulate our environment and make tools, I don't think we were the most successful of creatures. Few others survive on our evolutionary branch with the closest being monkeys, gorillas, chimps et al. So not the most successful design of nature then, not really.

So I know these questions have been asked so many times before... How did we jump from being animals to what we are? and what exaclty are we? Because I refuse to believe that we are a mistake of nature, a virus, planet killer. There is something more to us.

I believe.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Bits and Pieces

Not much springs to mind to write tonight. Just little snippets...

No reply as yet from my Grandfathers friend.

I saw that Saving Grace was on tonight. This made my heart leap as this is the name of the film in which my dream house stars. I went to look at it but it is a series and not the film at all....

I came over feeling tired earlier and had to retreat to bed for a nap but other than feeling weak and tired, I am feeling OK.

I spent some time talking to my Boss last night and things are not so bad. I will be walking back into a stressful place but the stress isn't directed at me. Redundancies have been announced now though but across the group, no breakdowns released as yet.

I ordered some arm warmers and leg warmers from Etsy. They have been custom made for me and are a, um, slightly larger size than normal so they were not cheap. With postage as well... I have been awaiting their arrival for a while as first they were made and then shipped, with all the postal strikes going on here as well. Today I received a Royal Mail note saying they can not be delivered until I have paid a customs fee. Personally i think it is a wee bit exorbitant at £21 but hey, i want them so I guess I have to go pay.... I hope they are comfy after all this....

I also today received a lovely little envelope from overseas that more than made up for my lack of wooly items... It came from a special young lady of blog candy fame and contained some beautifully crafted drawings! Thank you oh sweet Savannah! XXX

Now I am sat here with a dog draped across me. Greyhounds are very flexible. If you ever watch one run then you can see how strong and flexible their bodies are. My old Big Dog was also terribly bony and things like sitting on his behind were uncomfortable for him. Little Dog, although thin, isn't so bony, but she is still very flexible. I have never known a dog to adopt such a wide range of bizarre positions. She makes a lovely lap warmer...

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


Not back to work this week but should be back Monday. I just really, really hope I am all better and up to it then. Going back is going to be hard - i think my Boss is running out of understanding and my pocket is going to be hard hit at the end of the month....

Seems my viral infection thingy has been attacking my whole respiratory system including my ears. The gurgle I thought might be a bit of extra wax is actually a burst ear drum. so cotton wool in the ear for a while when I wash my hair.

I previously burst my ear drum while diving, some years ago. I had an ear infection I knew nothing about and that infection was nasty. I took two courses of oral antibiotics and two lots of antibiotic ear drops and they had the longest list of side affects of any drug I have ever taken. My ear bled to start with and then well, the less said the better, but green featured quite strongly. And the pain... It took the best part of a year for my ear drum to fully grow back. For the first few weeks, sound hurt.

So to be honest I am a little surprised at what I have done and very, very relieved that it isn't painful, merely a little irritating and occasionally uncomfortable.

Any one fancy giving odds over my job? Let's say I last a week back there, still there at Xmas, my contract gets renewed and still there in a years time? *laugh*


My Grandfather's story is very much a story of the unexpected and the unclear. I guess I shouldn't expect it to change now, just because I have tried to find out a few things.

My Mum always talks of him with great love and it is clear from what is said that he was well liked and respected by many. He stands tall in my families memories even though as you begin to look, there is a lack of concrete facts.

His father was a cabinet maker and I believe he died when my Grandfather and his brother were pretty young. The family was plunged into poverty and the boys spent time in an orphanage because there just wasn't the money to feed them. This is where the first hint of possible (as oppose to definite) tragedy comes in as there is the vaguest hint of possible abuse suffered in the orphanage.

The brothers grew up and my Grandfather went to war in India. He didn't talk about the war much but my Mum remembers that he said he helped build a road. The allies had pretty much finished their road building by the time the war started it seems. The Japanese however used Prisoners of War to build roads in the jungle and many, many died. The Japanese just couldn't understand that the West thought differently, it was duty to survive to fight another day whereas the Japanese committed suicide rather than be captured. The POWs were without honour as far as they were concerned and this tragedy of misunderstanding resulted in horrific treatment of the POWs.

My Grandfather met my Gran and my Gran tells a story about how she had to marry him because they went on a day trip with friends but left it too late to leave. She found herself in a position where she had to share a room with him and honour required she marry him. I don't think this was at all what she wanted. I don't think she loved him.

Two children later and my Grandfather moved to another town with work. My Mum always believed that they were to follow but the family never did. Instead a divorce came along and eventually a Stepfather who they did not enjoy living with. He was a man who liked to be alone and was best off in his garden. When we went and stayed he would manage for a day or two and then retreat to the garden. He had a brilliant smile and was not a bad chap but I can not imagine he ever wanted to live with someone else's children.

My step grandfather did something silly which caused my Uncle to spend a lot of time in hospital. Because of this my Uncle missed out on the last few years of his Father's life. For my Grandfather became ill. The added tragedy of this is he was to be married to a widower whose first husband died of exactly the same, not so common, illness. They didn't marry because he wanted to ensure my Gran carried on receiving his pension.

On a visit to see my Gran, she told my Mum and I a story. Knowing my Nan and given the way she told us, I have no idea if the story is true or not. My Grandfather was caught doing something that was still illegal at that time. It apparently resulted him losing his job and having to move and also resulted in the end of his marriage. The planned move had been a lie, told to ease the ending. It is possible from what was said that my Grandfather was gay or bisexual.

My Great Uncle didn't step in and help the family at all. In fact he was a headmaster at my Mum and Uncles school. My Mum was not academic but she had a dream to be a nurse. In his position of Headmaster, you would expect him to support them, no matter how he felt about things. He told my Mum to give up her dreams as she was not good enough and he put it in writing in her school report. Luckily she didn't listen.

So a life full of suspected tragedy, abused child, Japanese POW and society outcast... but yet he walks tall and all of these half guessed things might not be so.

There isn't many people to ask about him. My Gran is vague and not necessarily inclined to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Asking difficult questions of the lady he nearly married seems a way of just causing hurt and upset. He did however have two good friends that my Mum remembers. One I have no idea how to track down but the other is pretty well known, a celebrity.

So after not doing it for a looong time, I finallys ent him an email. I didn't say much, just who I was and why I was writing. Today I received a very nice and polite reply. Not the one I expected at all. It seems in those circles that there was another gent of the same name. The email apologised for not being of much assistance but said that he didn't really know him and suggested I look in a different circle.

I sent back a brief and equally polite email explaining that this man was not my Grandfather. I gave my Grandfathers profession and nickname as well as explaining that the eminent celebrity had in fact crafted a celebration of my Grandfather following his death but that all the information I have is second hand.

And now I wait.

It was 50 years ago after all. Could he really be forgotten? This man who walks so tall? Whose genial shadow comes down through time... My Uncle moved to the last town my Grandfather lived in and went to a pub one day. A man at the bar went into shock as he looked the spit of his father. All those years later, surely the celebrity can not have forgotten?

Expect the unexpected.... *sigh*

Monday, 9 November 2009

Moon Whispers

What can I say?

I am not really ill any more. Not really well yet. Very soon I visit the Doctor and I am sure he will give me the all clear and then I shall be back. Chances are it will be pretty miserable. The days will be too long and will leave me drained. The weekends will be just enough to patch me together to go back for another long week.

And for what?

I don't do an important or worth while job. I don't help anyone and neither does my company. I don't do anything real, I just alter fictional numbers. I work pretty hard for a pretty low wage. This money mostly just goes to pay for me to live and to sort out finances. It doesn't get me anything I really want because what I really want feels so far beyond my reach.

My life is all about things that keep me from living, as are most peoples.

Things are not all bad though. We have a plan. Next Summer, thereabouts things will start to get better. Instead of sorting out old things, we might finally be able to start moving forward. It just all feels so far off. Seems to be taking so many years. Sometimes hope wears low. Particularly when you are put back by illness and don't want to go back to work. Would just much rather quit and never have to go back.

I really don't need my hormones leaching away at me right now. I guess at least I know that in a day or two balance will resume. How much our little feminine hormonal imbalances affect us! I guess the only question I have is when do we see clearest? The rest of the month or when the moon draws us close and whispers in our ear. Sweet lunacy?

Sunday, 8 November 2009


It shamed me today when I watched the proceedings at the Cenotaph that i couldn't remember what my family had done during the war. So I made some phone calls. Some things I had known but forgotten while other things I had never known. My family was lucky, it escaped the war relatively unscathed

My Dad's Dad was born in 1903 so he was not old enough to fight in the First World War. Although he was in his late thirties when the Second World War broke out, he didn't escape. He was too old for the frontline thankfully. He was a driver for the RAF based in London and he drove things everywhere and drove everything. Hampstead Heath was full of anti aircraft guns and a lorry compound. He escaped being posted abroad to North Africa due to a severely broken ankle.

His wife gave birth to my Father towards the end of the war and my Dad grew up with rationing and reminders everywhere. A family friend had an elbow that wouldn't bend because he had been shot at Dunkirk. They lived in London all through the war and survived the Blitz.

My Mum's Mum was one of those ladies who was suddenly allowed a much more independent life than otherwise she might have expected to have lived. She associated with officers and when she talks of the war, you can see it is bittersweet. Parties and fun times with friends who let go as if they might not come back and of course the memories of the ones that did not come back. My Nana was a very beautiful lady and she was based in London. The spirit of the Londoners at this time was a bright and shining thing in the face of adversity and she was one of them.

My Mum's Dad didn't like to talk about the war much at all. He was in the army posted in India. He at some point rode a horse and he also helped build a road. From this we suspect he was a Prisoner of War but we are not sure. As he and my Gran later divorced, finding out about him has always been tricky.

Family history is a valuable thing and I need to make a concerted effort to write more down... Least it be forgotten

Saturday, 7 November 2009

A Quick Note on Mazes and Labyrinths

I have been having a little look at penance labyrinths online. It seems that there is a great deal of controversy about the uses of these mazes and their origins. Some claim them as central to pagan fertility rites and that the patterns have been preserved in the dances performed around May Poles each spring. Others claim mazes and labyrinths as the province of catholicism.

With Christianities habit of adopting existing traditions and the existence of labyrinths before Jesus - think Perseus and the Minotaur - it is likely that both are true. It is likely that an ancient labyrinth in Cornwall was pagan, then Celtic Christian before being forgotten and excluded from religious practice.

It is an area of much conflict. I found one site advising people to only visit mazes and labyrinths that they knew for certainty to be both ancient and Christian. To not encourage this pagan belief in them connecting us to the earth.

Why do things have to be one thing? Why does one thing have to be correct? Like a diamond with many facets, all views can be true, the more we see, the more we understand the true nature of something. No one side is more valuable or important.

It seems to be a labyrinth to celebrate fertility would be a perfect tool to make people go round on their knees in penance....

My Dream Home

In my dreams I have been long torn by the prospect of an old house, full of history and time, and the joy of a new eco house, custom built for me. Last night I became decided once and for all what I want because I found it. I lost my heart completely. I couldn't sleep last night for thinking of my new love. I read all I could on the internet as well....

It is a little on the expensive side at 2.75 million and it is rumoured that celebrities have been to view it. I feel quite strongly that it shouldn't go to such a person. I have a strong feeling that this house shouldn't belong to a Trust or be open to the public. It should be looked after by a follower of the Goddess.

It should have children and life and not be frozen as a museum or primped into a flash showpiece. I should be first and foremost a home - both for a family and for the spirit that inhabits this place. Maybe it could be used as a retreat. It needs to be safeguarded as a sacred place, not have it's power leached away by a parade of families with unhappy children held behind a rope and not allowed to touch. Stonehenge has not lost it's power but the rules in place there make it a shadow of what it could be...

I personally think the current owner feels this too. This is an excerpt from an article you can read in full here.

It's an incredibly feminine house," says Richard. "It has a good feeling. You could sleep on the floor, all on your own, and you'd be perfectly happy."

Those who have watched the film will recall the sweeping lawn between the front of the house and the lake, and the sloping beech woodland behind. "All the wildlife gets condensed in the valley. Every day we see deer, badgers and owls and at night, there is total darkness, just stars. We never experienced that in Sussex," says Richard.

He will miss the woodland the most: "The trees are enormous up there. But you're only ever a custodian of a house like this – you have to pass it on to someone else."

Nevertheless, he is determined to be choosy about who buys it – no property developers, for example. But there is a chance it could sell to a celebrity, given that several "high profile" people have viewed it already, according to Jonathan Cunliffe of Savills, who is handling the sale. "It doesn't surprise us. Every other house like this is owned by the National Trust," he says.

The site has been inhabited at least since Saxon times and it is believed that the current house is built on the site of an older house with part of an older building possibly being the kitchen. In 1564 a lady called Alice Reskymer left the hosue to the church and it became a rectory. A succession of religous folk from London bought architectural ideas to the house. In the early 1900s a retiring rector built a new rectory rather than leave his beloved home.

In recent years the history of the hous has been troubled. In 2002 the owners went bankrupt and the house was in disrepair. Things had become rather unpleasant all round as shown in this article. The new owners pumped in money and the external rennovations have been completed and inside is a blank slate, requiring more money and time.

The house is huge, far, far bigger than I would ever, ever really need.... Downstairs there is a drawing room, reception room, sitting room, dining room, family room, kitchen, boiler room and an octagonal music room. There is a courtyard and then a coach house with three bedrooms. Oak panelling abounds and the ceilings are impressive shapes. Upstairs there are eight bedrooms with the master suite including a bathroom, dressing room and morning room. The attic hasn't been included as bedrooms and includes a further five rooms.... Then there are outbuildings....

But it isn't the house itself that draws the most, despite it being an undisputed beauty, featured in the film Saving Grace where the lady of the manor fights to save it from the bank by growing cannabis. (very funny) Just outside the house there is a hexagonal walled garden and at the centre of it there is a well. It is hinted that the well might have had a previous religious importance but I would say that that is pretty undoubtable. To add to this there is an ancient turf labyrinth in the mature woods around which wrongdoers would crawl on their hands and knees in penance.

Go have a look at the house here. Once the house is off the market, this link will vanish....

The house is private and situated within mature woodlands. It has a front and rear drive, 38 acres including a five acre field. It has a mill pond and the river appears to run through from the map.

Maybe I can win the lottery tonight... A seven million jackpot would possibly enable me to buy it and restore it but I suspect I wouldn't be left with millions afterwards but I could do it, if I won... Short of me winning, pray that this place falls into the right hands, for Wetherham is a gem, unique.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Spark of Memory

I have been thinking about memories a bit recently. Some memories are like a bright spark, a moment that is so distinct and strong while others are like a flickering candle light seen at a distance, longer but fuzzier to, the emotions that preserve them are less intense.

For me, emotion seems to be at the centre of memory.

One of those little sparks is an isolated thing but the thing that defines it was the realisation that at that precise moment in time, I was happy. I can not remember why I was happy or how old I was. Just the emotion and where I was. It was an Autumn day and I was in the grounds of my school, on the way to music. The dew was heavy on the grass and so were the craneflies, as I walked through the dewy grass I left footprints in the silver coated grass and shook up storms of daddy long legs all around.

People say that smell brings things back for them, or a place or something else. For me it is emotions I think that anchor. Smells are linked to things but less specifically... fresh mown grass or creosote or hot ink and paper, linked to tasks and non-specific memories. I think for me these smells are linked more with emotions than of specific memories.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


I like this reminiscing thing so we are going to have some more tonight. We are going to go back to when I was 18. I had moved out of home for a gap year placement. There were other teens on the same scheme. It is a strange time for people our age to be away from home. Everyone has gone off to Uni and suddenly everything is different...

I became friends with a chap on the scheme who was local. We often used to go to the cinema because he was a fairly silent sort of a chap and my constant chatter used to get a bit much for him sometimes. He was a bit of a hippy sort and had an escort van with a mattress in the back, little cupboards built in either side of the wheel hubs and multi coloured scarves all over the sides and as curtains between the seats and the bank and over the windows.

Back then neither one of us had ties or responsibilities, if we wanted to go off and do something we could and somehow money was not an issue, even though we were not paid a great deal. We had a lovely ground spread across the region and we met on training courses. We would travel to picnic and play frisbee in the sun in one city, go to a house party with vodka jelly somewhere else, get the train into London and go shopping in Camden, whatever we fancied.

My friend wasn't single, she lived off near the coast and sometimes we would go off for a house party at hers. I remember setting off on a trek to try and watch the sun rise over the sea, wrapped in a sleeping bag. Unfortunatley the sea view wasn't to the west and it was a slightly dreary morning. We got a few sniggers on the way back, wrapped up and bleary eyed... i got on with his lass anyway so there was never a problem with me going out with her chap.

One Friday night he called me and set he wanted to get away from here, did I fancy going off? I did and so with a couple of sleeping bags and probably a bit of food too, off we went. He took me too Avebury. We parked up in the dark in a layby near Silbury Hill. It was dark as the moon either hadn't risen or was new but clear. We climbed Silbury Hill.

Afterwards he lit his parafin lamp and we played crib. Unfortunatley the lamp was pumping out some nice fumes. We realised after a little while and spent some time outside....

The following morning, nice and early we went up to the barrow. We discovered a new age type who had slept in the barrow overnight. He had very minimal gear. We got talking and gave him a lift into Avebury. He had a ratty deck of cards, all dirty and creased with no pictures. He had the names of animals on them and he got us to draw a card for our totems. I was an otter and my friend was a deer. My friend was a little cynical about such things...

We then wandered around he stones before returning home.

It is over a decade ago and the memories are thin, as if I have not taken them out often enough and refreshed them. I wish I had had a blog back then because then i could go back and see. This blog is my rememberance of the things I do. I wonder how much I have forgotten... This night though still shines in my memory... But Silbury Hill in the dark shines the brightest...

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The Crow

It is strange somehow how many little things take you back to another time, another place.

My niece wants to become a goth and I have offered to look out a few bits for her. One thing I know I have is a special poster, that I loved (and still do) so much.

I have been thinking of this film recently, remembering how I loved it but have only seen it once.... I am sure there was another reason I was thinking of it but I can't remember now, obviously I wasn't supposed to share it....

Then today, I found an ex of mine who is a film buff with an incredible brain and pretty much perfect recall and often puts quotes as his status update on facebook, put these few words 'it can't rain all the time'. Most of his quotes pass over my head but that one didn't.

And it takes me back in time. I had a beautiful boyfriend, my first love. Almost exactly the same height as me, he was lithe and trim and moved with cat like grace. The moves of someone who must have done some martial arts, a fighter, not to be underestimated. He was a biker type in his jeans and leather jacket and black silk shirt. Arms full of arty tattoos - apart from the spider...

I was a voluptuous goth girl, with long black hair, all fledgling woman with a body built for badness. In my maroon skirt with black tie dyed bits that was more than a full circle if you laid it out, my black cross over top, boots and leather jacket.

That night we had been to see the crow and it was fantastic. The only thing was i didn't want to leave. I had seen a group of people arrive just as it started who I didn't want to see. i hadn't really done anything wrong but it wouldn't matter how much I thought and felt that, it would not convince them.

Two of the girls were best friends and i was friends with one of them. The two girls had done something or another, stayed out with some boys they barely knew or something and a nasty piece of gossip was being put around it. The one I was friends with told me what had happened so I knew it wasn't true and thought nothing more of it.

A while later she comes in really upset having just heard the gossip. I admitted I had known and that was it. I had fallen foul of some rule of friendship no one had ever thought to tell me. Apparently I should have gone and told them the second i had heard it, not merely discounted it as false and put it to bed in my own mind. I don't think it helped that I wouldn't say who told me. It was actually the other girlss ex who she was good friends with.... *laugh* he offered to go put the record straight but I said no, there was no point, it wouldn't mend things.

That was that.

So back to the Crow. My first love got fed up of waiting and persuaded me to leave. It was one of the best things he could have done. The group were stood outside chatting and without saying a word or sparing them a glance, we walked on by. We looked so good, so in control, so capable. They couldn't touch us and they knew it. Together we were more than we were apart and they knew. They stopped talking and all eyes followed us. I felt a million dollars.

I must watch the crow again.

to say we looked good together was an understatement. At least that is the way I remember it.

The Crow is a dark film in the way it appears, the story, the music and of course the legend... Brandon Lee was killed during filming. Very appropriate in so many ways for right now. The two main characters are murdered the night before their wedding and the man comes back to avenge their deaths and to say good bye to the girl they took care of. Brandon died from a faulty blank in a gun used in the film which shattered his spine. He was soon to have been married shortly after. His father also died during filming and believed he had been given this knowledge in a premonition and that there was a curse.

Despite all this, the film is uplifting. The evil that caused their untimely death is beaten back and those that remain get to live as they deserve.

So in one fell swoop we have spoken of my first two loves and my most serious relationships before the lovely F. They both sit with fond rememberance in my heart. I guess that is another theme of right now, rememberance of the dead, both on samhain and on the 11th November for rememberance day when we remember those lost in war.

I think I need to watch this film again...


We westerners have a talent for taking words and concepts from other cultures and using them for our own ends.

Not surprisingly I am reading about Shamanism right now. I have just come across this website all about Tengerism. This is a website written to promote and preserve Mongolian and Siberian Shamanism. Except it isn't. Tengerism is the religion and Shamans are the priests of this religion.

When anthropologists traveled to the new world they found similar beliefs amongst some of the tribes and so they lumped them all together under the term shaman. The different tribes do not apparently share the same beliefs.

Steps have been taken in some countries to ensure that Shamans are registered so that people can not claim to be what they are not. You can not become a Shaman in a weekend and apparently, according to Tengerism, you are chosen by the spirits at birth and this is made clear later in life. Another Shaman should recognise the potential and seek to train the new Shaman who then progresses through nine degrees, although few reach the ninth.

I can see how if a term that refers to your holy people is hijacked and now refers to people of many nations and beliefs. I can see how different tribes would become offended by being lumped together. How it would be offensive when people assume that because they have read a book about shamans that they therefore know what the believes are of someone who belongs to a specific tribe somewhere else. Ignorance is no excuse.

But what do you do when that word has come to be an umbrella term for a bunch of tribal believes that share certain things?

We all love a label don't we?

I guess the problem is that we carelessly lost our own tribal faiths that would have fallen under the shamanic umbrella. Except it wasn't careless. Just as empire making has spread the word shaman, so it was empire building which took our original pagan beliefs and turned them into something else. They were swallowed up somewhere within Catholocism, wewll parts of them were....

So maybe we need a new word. A new classification. So that we can talk about what we believe without giving offence to those that we seek to learn from. Using our own words, from our own languages. Any ideas or suggestions?

The words we do have Witch, Wicca, Druid and Bard all have meanings of their own...

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Aim of the Game

It started with a little whisper of an idea and my fingers were able to spin it out into a story. Nearly 10,000 words on my first day of NaNoWriMo. All spun out by my muse.

Yesterday I wrote nothing and lay under a mantle of icky feelings. Today I have turned back to it and it is a different ball game altogether. I made the mistake of allowing my eyes to linger on what had previously been written and someone how it doesn't seem to shine so bright. The effect of the morning after. We lose the moment.

I also have the problem that that tiny idea has taken me far further than I had expected. My main character has, within those 10,000 words, changed the world completely and utterly and also by accident. Now she has to figure out to live in it. I don't have much idea where she is going or how she is going to get there and the words no longer feel alive as i write them.

What do you do when you lose the plot? You keep going, one word at a time because even the plot just doesn't matter, all that matters is writing those 50,000 words. One word at a time... How slow it will be if they don't start to flow again...

I guess it is kind of appropriate that my main character is a lost soul too.

Monday, 2 November 2009

How Long?

Time for another whinge about being ill....

I had my nasty chest infection and the doctor continued to sign me off but didn't renew my antibiotics because he felt it was viral and wanted to give them a chance to work. I was starting to feel a little better when F comes down with a bug.

Suddenly I have snotty man with a temperature lurking about. Of course my immune system is shot. Not just from my own bugs and chest infection but also from the antibiotics. I am not sure if the antibiotics were damping down my own bugs or if F's bug have now come to visit.

Yesterday I had to visit the shop to get some food for Little Dog and I felt dire when i got back. A twenty minute excursion was all it was. Today my chest has bloomed and is sore etc. Work call because they want to know if they need to get some cover in or not and to try and get me to get an appointment as soon as possible.

Feeling a bit harassed I tell F, who is a little stern with me about money and so forth. Then I call the Doctor and find that they are snowed under and obviously have sickness too. So I am off to the Doctor next week and not even to see my own. Apparently the Doctor will be backdating my certificate.

I feel miserable now. I feel as if I have been backed into a corner of being off all week, whether I need to or not. I feel as if F is losing sympathy a little (I suppose at least one of us a constitution made of sterner stuff but I guess it makes it hard for him to appreciate where I am at). I now know that whether I need drugs or not, I can not get any.

I think the term for my position is snookered.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Things that go BANG in the night

I am sat here as per normal with Little Dog lolling on my legs having a nice cuddle. What is different tonight though is that she has a little shake on. Apart from the shake she seem is fine. She will do this most nights now until after Guy Fawkes is over and done with.

To be honest I havn't heard or seen any fireworks yet. But she has far better ears than I do and the merest hint of that explosion boom and she knows it is that time of year again. Teenagers probably letting them off somewhere.

I remember as a kid that Haloween and Guy Fawkes were separate. Guy Fawkes was the biggy and everyone went to their local display. We went up to the village and ate sausages and burgers in buns with hot onions and tomato ketchup. No pinky hot dogs back then. We had to wear hats, gloves and scarf as it was cold. Before and after the display you socialised with the other village folk and of course you knew plenty of them. Everybody was there.

When you were cold you took a spot near the bonfire and a rope held up by pegs kept everyone at the proper distance. On top of the bonfire would go the guy. I seem to rememebr competitions to see who could design the best Guy with prizes and all. They all went up in flames though.

Now it seems as if everyone has a display, although so far this year seems far far quieter than any recent year, thankfully. I remember when I first got Big Dog they started as soon as it got dark and just went on and on. Walking him on my return from work was a fraught affair. How did mothers with babies ever get them to sleep either.

There is another side to fireworks of course. Pollution. Dust and smoke containing heavy metals are released into the air. Of course people claim that this pollution is small compared to other sources like fossil fuels, but surely fireworks are an easy extravagance to be rid of? Can't we go back to each town having it's one display? Then there is the light pollution, what effect does that have on nocturnal insects and animals?

I am not saying ban them, just all things in moderation. A time and a place for all things. the 5th of November should be it, in nice professional displays to ensure safety and that everyone knows when and where to be.

While writing this Little Dog has gone back to sleep and now the only movement is the flick of paws and ears as she dreams.