Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Dame of Shape

I have come to realise why I enjoyed paintings based on shape the least. It is because I love shape the most. I love architecture and sculptures. I love celtic knotwork. I love geometry, with this being my favourite area of maths. I enjoyed AutoCAD to and worked as a draughtsperson for a time. But if you love something, you want it to be right. And that for me is when things get tricky and my gremlin whispers...

Shape is best in 3D and if there was ever a lady who understood form, I reckon Dame Barbara Hepworth would be a contender... She also had a pagan leaning which appeals to me. The painting above is called the Green Man and the one below is Winter Solstice.

As much as I love her work, I don't want mine to look like this. This is not my voice. Mine is a little less precise... messier.... I am sure I will find it....

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Cry Me a River

Today i feel sad. Really, really sad. I painted a BIG picture. Pastel pink, lilac and blue smeared together and overlain with grey. The large tears in slightly darker blue, pink and lilac, then a big eye, grey, white and black with hints of the other colours in there to.

With every stroke I could feel myself well up. I am welling up again now. I wrote in my journal and cried. Not that I wrote anything particularly profound.

I know I am unhappy with my life. I love F very much but everything else could do with some degree of change. I don't want to work full time. I want to live elsewhere - somewhere in the country, fewer people, bigger windows to bring the outside in, land on which to play.... I want to have more time for me, more time to get fitter and stronger so I need less sleep, so I can avoif the health problems coming. I want something else, not what I have.

I don't want to sit behind a computer in a cold draughty warehouse, doing mind numbingly dull work with no natural light every day, watching my back for the actions of my Boss.....

Reading what others write about the synchronicity of BIG already, makes me sad for myself. What if nothing happens for me? What if so much happens it turns my life upside down and I can not cope? What if I have to do the changing and I can not step up to the bar?

Is it time for me? I felt like I was starting to get somewhere and then I got ill and it is as if this last year has been a non-year, just dealing with work and my Boss. Now all of a sudden, everything has started again but where am I going? Where do i want to go? How am Igoing to get there?

Recent signs suggest change is coming.... that dream I had with the path going up the hill, when it had been a bit lost on the rocks. The footholds appeared one by one in front of me as I climbed up. Jamie also said she saw things in my dreamboard suggesting thing were going to change for me soon.....

I feel so lost and sad. I could cry me a river to float away on....


In Cornwall we have a lovely tourist attraction called the Eden Project. It is an educational charitable trust but the attraction for the masses is the two biomes, one mediterranean the other rainforest. It is a fascinating place and made even more so with the additional focus on the arts. So all the educational things there tend to be a real interesting mix....

They have found various ways of increasing the use of the site. In the Summer they have concerts and in the Winter, Ice Skating. And this Halloween they had a Skate and Scream.

We were kind of running a little late so we missed the beginning of our skating session. This was not a problem however. The skates are the solid moulded sort and not designed for those of chunky legs. I had to go up a size just to be able to do them up. I was so very, very uncomfortable, I managed one circuit, holding on to the side and gave up. My ankles still hurt today.

S managed a few more before giving up and F was the most enthusiastic.

The rink was a disappointment as well. It was not decorated for Halloween as advertised... It was beautiful but not what I was hoping for...

So on to the Scream...

This was fantastic. A walk through the rainforest biome in the pitch dark (nearly). In small groups forming a conga line we wended our way through, guided by tiny little orange flame lights. This was after we had been scared by actors as we queued. Oh and then someone puched a panic button inside and we had to wait with the actors for a while. Unfortunately we started and then got turned back to wait a little longer.....

Once in, people grabbed our ankles. A witch sat in a hut. A satyr talked to us in a clearing before we got doused in water. We were shut in a hut and then there was bangs and flashes. Dry ice bubbled in the pools of water. A head sat in a cube full of moths. And a man with a chainsaw chased us....

It was very good. S was soooo terrified! He could not get any closer to F if he tried.... And then on to the other biome where we had a drink, wandered through the plants in the half light before sitting and hearing the story of Les Lavandieres, the washers at the ford....

It was a good evening. I love the way paganism is woven into such events. I guess the Religuous Right might have something to say about such events but they are mercifully a quiet minority in the UK. Most people wouldn't even notice the pagan slant or see anything unusual there. Such things feed my soul.

There was an altar set up for Dia de los Muertos with pieces of text describing the different elements as well.... All good....


So this weeks's Happy Book post is all about Comfort. What brings me comfort...

It boils down to having all my needs met at one time. So being warm, well fed, comfortable, emotionally content.... So what makes me feel this?

Snuggling my man and my dog in bed
Hugging my Mum
Eating chocolate
Watching a fire
A quilt made by my Mum
A hot bath with a good book and a bar of chocolate
Feeling well fed and sleepy and warm....
That feeling as you wake after a good dream in a nice warm bed
Sitting on the sofa, doing whatever, TV watching, surfing the net on my laptop, making jewellery, but with the all important dog snuggled up.

So there you go, comfort is a simple thing.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Time Out

I am tired....

I am so glad there is only two days in this working week for me....

I have been painting like mad as well. BIG is so inspiring! I think everyone should try it.

But tonight is a night off. I got a book and went and had a bath, with some bad food.

Then I caught up on the BIG tribe and pretty soon, I am going to bed!

Sometimes you have to stop. but only for a little while...

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Grey Inspiration

How do I feel today? Tired. Grumpy. Tired.

It could be the events of yesterday. It could be the weather.

but no, it is my neighbour! Doing DIY and banging away after 11 last night. I go to bed pretty religously at 10 each night. I was proud of myself though. I put some clothes on and my slippers and knocked and had a wee chat with them. And then I went home and slept.

A couple of years ago I wouldn't have done that for sure! F was proud of me, and said so to....

So today I went back to work when all I wanted was a duvet. Everyone else did too. Seems those nasty bugs are starting to attack....

One more day and I have two days off though. Yay!

It was been stormy and rainy and windy today. Sometimes days can be very wild down here. Like living in a cloud too. Very grey. One thing I really love though, is watching seagulls flying in a windy grey sky. They wheel about so gracefully but also, there is something about the monotone of it, the way their wings and bodies fade in and out as they cross the shades of grey. Sometimes you just see white, so vivid against the grey, so white. Sometimes they match and all you can see is moving wingtips and the body, a dot of black...

I always get the feeling that they rather enjoy a windy day. They never look like they work so hard at flying when the wind is up. No hard slog of flapping across the sky, they ride those gusts and swirl in elegant pirouettes.

So I came home and painted some and I quite like it, but it is such a veeeeeery simple piece. The only thing I don't like is that it is wet so the flash shines off it. So, grey can be cool, if you look in the right way and at the right time.
Another photo may follow when it is dry....

Monday, 25 October 2010

Sad Loss

Today was the funeral. Not a comfortable or happy day.

I have not seen S's other family in years. So seeing his Mum, F's ex, was odd. Letting me know I could go, suggests a burying of the hatchet and it felt that way today. At first she couldn't look me in the face but that quickly passed and we even spoke a little. I guess any fears of me taking her place as S's Mum have long since passed. He already has a Mum and I could never be her, I am his Rose, just another person in the group of family surrounding him, I add, not take away. It isn't a competition. The two of us are so very different, I find it hard to imagine F with her. Nice to know as well, that at future big days in S's life, I may get to be there and have things be fine.

F was not her only Ex there, there was one more and her current partner too. So that was interesting. And I got to see S's wider family, some of whom I have heard a lot about over the years.

I got to spend the day with F's parents as well. I adore his Dad but I struggle with his Mum at times but to be honest, it was fine. But it was not a comfortable day for me.

So why did I go? She was nice to me, so very nice, the one time we met. S's Mum was being so difficult at the time and she came out and introduced herself as I sat waiting in the car. She was lovely and with a jokey comment, let me know that she knew her daughter was being a little hard on me and that she didn't entirely agree, without being in any way unpleasant towards anyone. A woman of rare kindness and warmth. Being in S's life, I have seen the effects of her on him so often. Poor S. He has shown his stuff these last few weeks and he suddenly grew up. I think we are all so proud of him right now.

So yes, this loss made me very sad, although I did not know her so well. I found it reverberating uncomfortably in my art this morning.

Still for now it is time to move on and help S as best we can. Skating and screaming our way through Halloween should help....

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Fear Demon

BIG started today and I have been really enjoying it. This week we have four exercises, explained in a pdf and then fully demonstrated and explained in videos as well. And Connie's videos are fun as well!

I worked on the first two exercises today and all was going well until I started my sixth painting. I painted some sinuous green lines and then I painted a dotted line on each side but then I got stuck. Well and truly!

I had no idea where to go from here. I couldn't face painting around all the dots and thin lines. I didn't want to spend hours filling the sheet with more dots and lines - the original ones would get lost for starters. I didn't want to use all the colours on my palete either so I was feeling limited. I had the idea of doing a wash but had no idea if it would blur everything and cause it all to run.

The lovely Connie suggested I take a break, and I did. The first thing I did after was use up some of the paints on my palete that I no longer wanted - black, flourescent red and gold. I figured if I painted the fear demon, badly, as he deserves, I could giggle at him whenever he gets uppity.

And here he is....

I then bit the bullet and did the washes on my picture as well as two further line / dot sections. The washes are subtle and don't show too well but they are blue, green and pink. And I am glad I finished it off.

Go visit BIG!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Blood Moon

My first ever full moon dreamboard a la Jamie Ridler. I guess this is me searching my path, spiritual and otherwise. No idea about the fox... The lightning reminds me of the Tower card - bolt from the blue, change but yet I also want peace - tai chi people....

Happy Catch Up

Time for some creative Happy Book pages!

This weeks page was the star page. The quote is a Shakespeare one I came across pretty randomly. The big pink stars are from a carrier bag, the little ones are punched from some pearly paper.

A sticker happy page
A finger painting happy page. Ripping corners off larger pieces of work was interesting. I had to leave the pieces alone for quite a while before I could do it.
My troublesome happy colour page. It was hideous as I just shoved purple scribbles on it and then I saw a chocolate wrapper. Then I found the star carrier bag and loved that. I had the sticky frames already so i set to with knife and glue....

Sibling Unrivalry

I often find myself writing blog posts in my head and this morning as I woke, I found a subject running around in there, writing itself....

So I guess I need to write it....

I am the youngest of two girls.

My sister is a normal average sort of a person. Quite pretty. She was good with men when she was younger, always getting nice expensive presents from men who loved her to distraction. Not so much like that these days, being a divorcee with two amazing but challenging children, I think she has gotten a little sick of men.

She did fine at school but didn't excel. She was relatively shy and pretty moody so her social circle was smallish. But she always had that charm that she could pull out, somewhat flirtatious. Family friends, and their children always liked her, whereas I made some of them uncomfortable. I was too eager to make friends and well, being the different one is never good as a kid. I learnt to hide my differentness, it was somehow necessary to get on with people in the way I wanted. My sister though, well she bore the brunt of me. I have no idea if it would have been better if I was the older or younger.

You see, the problem between the pair of us was this, in this current age of labeling, I would probably have been put into the gifted and talented category.

I was accidentally put a year when I changed schools. I had lessons with the less able for a while, during breaks but I caught up and overtook most of my peers. Within four years, I was right up at the top, although I never really realised this, I still thought I was a thicko.

No fuss was ever really made of my achievements because of my Sister. My folks wanted to treat us equally, but how can you treat chalk and cheese the same? My achievements never erased my thicko status in my head. I remember getting my GCSE results and asking a class mate what they got. They didn't want to tell me. And honestly, this was the first time it dawned on me that not everyone would get the results I would....

So kind of an odd situation really. I was the kid whose homework got copied, but not the one they wanted to hang out with. My sister was the girl who had a gifted younger sister and the hot boyfriend.

But this was only part of the story. We joined a youth group. Well I did and she followed along. There, away from school and family, I flourished. The group was for 10 -26 year olds and was a country based organisation. I had always done well in the company of those older. I enjoyed adults more than I did kids, even at an early age.

I flourished even more when I went to college to do my A-levels. An all girls Christian school had been wrong for me. No boys. I had way more in common with boys than I did girls when I was younger. In a group of like minded people, I suddenly found I was popular and that boys really liked me. It was heady stuff.

The more I flourished, the harder it was for my family I think. My folks were proud but they couldn't show it too much., not without denting my more fragile sister. She was much better at expressing negative emotions than me, people just assumed I was alright. Slowly I was shriveling though. I got glandular fever at 14 and there was an element of depression within that.

So this kinda sets the scene for a couple of stories.

I studied environmental science and this included an element of biology. Biology was my sisters subject at degree level, not that she did too well really. My Mum called me one time and asked me to play down how well I was doing, particularly with regards to my Biology to give my sister a bit of a boost. I did. It was horrid.... I was finding Biology harder than anything else as I had no Biology background. My sister asked me if I was in danger of failing! I was no where near failing anything.... I walked out with a first class honours degree and was no where near failing any of it.

I also remember when I started art GCSE, something that I was soon forced to drop due to the glandular fever. It was seen as an extra and less important than religious education. I disagree with that decision still and regret it. I was finishing a piece of work and an art teacher was looking at it, one who had not really taught me before, but had taught my sister. He looked at the piece hard and then said that he thought I would be even better than my sister. That sort of comment made me very uncomfortable. I may not have been consciously aware of all the undercurrents within my family regarding my success, but unconsciously, I was very very aware.

They still affect me to this day. I work in a warehouse. My Boss can be difficult and is not a well educated person. I have learnt to dumb down what I know even more working with her. The other day she learnt that South Africa was a country in it's own right.

Is it right that I have to act less clever than I am? Is it right that I have been taught to not value my achievements? Is it right I have learnt to be less than I am?

And I know what sparked this... The art teachers comment. I used to draw a lot, horses. I wasn't bad. I was just starting to get better with things as well. I could have been respectably good at art (not great for all my academic ability, I am a Jack of All Trades, I have yet to find my specific talent, the thing I can do and should be doing). That one comment took art from being an enjoyable activity to something to be good at, better than others, better than my sister.

Being a scientist left no time for art either, so here I am, nearly two decades later, trying to reclaim that other half of myself and all the things that come with it....

Art is linked to passion, passion to anger and this whole side of myself has been lost or taken from me in one form or another. So that is how art was taken from me. I might talk about anger and passion some other time. I had to do a lot of work on anger.

I don't think I am a person entirely at ease with myself. I want to be.

Friday, 22 October 2010

I am sooo tired. 12 days of work with no break. Some very long days. Some bad nights sleep.

And here I am, at the weekend and I have so many things I want to do. I have not switched my Wii on in days and I have cheap shops to scour for paint and brushes. I did find some today three with the largest being 1" and I have plenty of small brushes but..... if I find some more cheap ones.... a nice big one maybe....

And paints... more colours of ready mix maybe...

I found a nice book for my BIG journaling with butterflies on the cover and the pages.

I want to set up some paper, tape up my plastic, I want to splash some paint and see what comes out.

I also want to finish my Happy Book stars page. I have to do some thank you letters, which would tidy up an old Happy task I failed to do. There is one or two of them lurking around, unfinished things.

But right now, I am just so tired and I can not wait for a lie in

Thursday, 21 October 2010

BIG Start


Let's step back a day or two.... The lovely Mel posted all about how she was about to start an online course called BIG. It sounded great and fun and my first thought was I hope she posts a lot of her work from it and that it wasn't for me, wasn't where I am right now etc....

But BIG festered in my brain. Those little questions started popping up and answering themselves.

I can't paint... so it isn't exactly about painting, at least not perfect painting, professional painting. This is fearless painting and I can be fearless right?

I am not feeling creative right now.... but I so want to...

It costs money... I just worked all weekend piling up overtime to satisfy the man (not F but the man that is the corporate overlord). If I don't deserve to treat myself with my hard gotten bonus earnings....

I am lost and in a rut... so time to get out of it!

It requires lots of materials... I have bottles of poster paint and access to lots and lots of paper. I now have some waste paper in the form of a single sheet wound around and around to a thickness of an inch or two. I can get another piece or two if I run out....

Maybe I was wrong, maybe this is what I need right now, to get me kick started again.

So I did it and now I am nervous. There are some proper artists in the group, but then I am not here to make art, I am here to be BIG and FEARLESS! Art might happen as a byproduct....

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


A strange day.

Nothing much happened. I couldn't work. Waiting for the go ahead is always dull.

Then we watched a slightly odd film - No Country for Old Men. While watching it, kids decided to knock on our window and run off.... Twice. It was not the best thing to happen during such a film! Then F and I had a conversation that went a little different to how I expected it to.

Not much of anything. I hope I can do some work tomorrow and that we watch non-strange TV....

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The Key

I left work feeling tired and annoyed. Having done very little all afternoon, my Boss returned from a meeting with lots of queries for me to sort out. We made a start but it got to home time and there was no way I wanted to stay. I was offered overtime but made my excuses and left.

But I was cross. I was cross because I felt bad about not staying, because I felt put upon, because I would much rather I had just not been asked.

It got me thinking on the way home. About emotions and the morals we gain from religions etc. I have this wierd little triangle of thoughts. Contradictory thoughts. It goes like this.

It is good to be good. Negative emotions are bad. What we think and dream is a reflection of us. We must think good and nice things and dream good and nice things. This leads to repression. Repression is bad and has a negative effect on us.

Where does all this desire for goodliness come from. It comes from school and the Christianity that was taught there. But I don't believe all that. I believe in balance. but where does negative things being bad fit in to balance? Then throw in a few things about enlightenment, and you end up with a whole confusing mess about 'negative' emotions?

What exactly is the right thing to do with them? Are we really allowed to let them all out? How does society view us when we do? Not that well exactly... Particularly in women. We let it out during our moon time and we all know what words have come from the relationship of moons and sanity.

I have real issues with where I fit within all these conflicting viewpoints. Is making a voodoo doll a good or a bad way of dealing with anger? It lets the emotions out but it isn't exactly nice is it? or good? not an enlightened sort of a way to behave!

So what am I supposed to with them? What set or morals do I actually believe in? Scientifically and psychologically and acceptable by society?

(and possibly slightly insane *sigh* night)

Monday, 18 October 2010

The Dark Side

Sometimes life is surprising.

I have had the whole Mother / Step Mother thing for the last seven years. It was awful for the first two and slowly the conflict dropped off until there was a lack of anything, particularly contact. Tonight I received a second hand invitation. I was expecting F to go by himself, had not even considered I might be able to go.

Why does the first time I have been allowed to step in to an event in S's larger family life, does it have to be a funeral? All those nativity plays for instance and other school events. I am glad I get to go. The person in question deserves respect, they were kind to me when they had no need to be. A few words, delivered at the right time, can speak and share volumes.

So now I need to get some time off work.

On a happier note, we have been given permission to have S for a special excursion to the Eden Project's Skate and Scream. Skating on their seasonal halloween skating rink and a trip through their fear experience. They are setting up their rainforest biome to be scary..... I hope I can still get tickets.

I also played with my Happy Book. I did my purple and pink colour page. I started collecting stars for my star page which now sports two pink stars from a plastic bag. I also tore some pieces of some finger painting I did. I couldn't do this when I first did them - I was too attached to the whole - but tearing them was actually quite therapeutic and the pieces look better than the originals I think.

Work was tough today. The early starts and excessive hours of the weekend take their toll and I still need to do a lot at work to get through and back to normal. And now I need to ask for more time off too.... eek!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Song of the Soul?

I have picked up the strings of my past blog life but it no longer seems to quite fit. Some of the blogs I followed before seem to be largely inactive now and others have altered in some way, or I have, and they no longer sing to me. I also feel as if I got off the train and I lost some ground, the ladies I love the most in Bloglandia have grown and grown and grown. By doing things that sing to their soul and working on that, they have.... done so much and all of it sings of them, beautiful, beautiful things, be they words or paint.

I want that too.

But you can not have what another has. For me too copy them would not create things of such soul and they would not sing of the me inside. I must find my own ways of singing and I must do the things that call to me. I have to learn to listen. I also have to get used to not letting my fear stop my creativity before I even start again.

So what sings at the moment?

I want to create a cuddly monster as per the Happy Book, I like the 3D sculptural parts of this, I like textiles and wool. I have the idea of a fishy sort of a thing with streaming wool for hair on tp and a tail. The poor dear has bad skin, with those little metal hole things and little ripped bits flesh showing deeper layers. Maybe an alien from another planet where things are kinder on it's unique felty skin?

I look in the mirror at my naked body sometimes. I look at my fat and I dislike it, a lot. I look at the lines of my body and I find that some of them I like, not for what they mean in terms of my health, but just for the lines themselves. I like the idea of taking a very small section of my body and taking the lines I see and turning them into an abstract of colourful shading. No one would know it was even a body, or a naked body or my naked body. Just pure beautiful lines and colour.

I have things in process for the happy book as well. There is one page that calls for your favourite colour. I like purple, so I started colouring the page with all the diferent purples I had. I hated it. It was messy. I didn't like all the shades and they did not match. I figured that as it felt wrong it was wrong and if it didn't make me happy it had no part in my Happy Book. Some time later I spotted a chocolate wrapper - the inner foil was a beautiful purple, all shiny and nice. I now have two. Then I was given some supplies at work in a carrier bag. A pink one, which also happens to have star on it (for this weeks challenge page). I like the pink and the purple and I think I shall get them to work together. I also have some stickies - frames for cards I think - in purple and pink glitter....

I have wasted entire days in avoidance of these things. I am scared. If I turn them in to tasks, will I still enjoy them? Will they still sing of my soul?

Friday, 15 October 2010


Not much to say today. I am feeling sad. I didn't sleep too well and I have a real nasty early start tomorrow... and Sunday too. Then a full week at work, possibly with a little more overtime thrown in for good measure.

I have nothing to say except hugs are good and very welcome. They soothe my inner grump.

Not much Happy Book going on right now....

Thursday, 14 October 2010


The things that you know are coming can sometimes take a long time to come, but they come all the same, whether you want them to or not. Slow or fast, the coming is inexorable. Like a boot, held against your head, you know it is going to come down and that when it does it will hurt.

For nearly two months we have been expecting this call. S has lost a loved one this evening. He just called F and asked if he could come stay for a bit. I am about to go to bed. The weekend has 12 hour days and early starts but it really does not matter. I am proud of S, proud of the way he has organised his life recently to deal with such difficulty with the utmost love and care.

So here he is, coming to stay. He has chosen to be here. F has called his work and won't be going in tomorrow and he was home this weekend anyway. I think it is a good thing I am working, they will have space and time to be just father and son. Shooting things on the Xbox no doubt.

I feel very sad. Of everyone S could lose, I think this is the worst person. They were nice to me once, when they had no reason to be, in fact they went against their own kin to be nice. A good person has gone and S's life will never be the same again.

I can not help but wonder what this will mean for the shifting sands of S's care and how his choices will vary from here. Life is changing for all of us.

Fire in the House

It has all gone cold and gray. It feels close to freezing but the thermometer claims it is 11 degrees. The sudden change is a bit of a shock and so it feels colder than it actually is. It all feels... wintery...

I am not the only one feeling it. The heating has gone on at work.

I feel tired and my house does not feel cozy. It needs a fire.... We could turn the heating up more but.... A fire would be much much better.

There is something about fire isn't there. It dances with such mesmerising and dangerous beauty. It warms in such a lovely cozy way. It crackles and spits and that to, to me, has connotations of home.

In the TV room at home, the home of my childhood, there was a big old fire place. A big brick alcove topped by a solid old black oak beam that sit at about eye level. There was two brick shelves, one on each side of the alcove, set entirely within it. In front of the fire there was an animal skin, goat or something I think, it eventualy went as it was rather full of burns....

My Dad harvests wood from the garden, kindling into lengths and boxed, logs of all sorts of sizes either boxed or against the wall depending on size. A shed full of it. The door doesn't shut quite properly and it will never get fixed because a robin nests in there now. My Dad's saws live on the wall and the old chair with no back that he uses for sawing on live in there to. And lots and lots of wood.

I grew up knowing how to lay a fire.

Some years back, the two brick shelves were stripped out and a new hearthstone of brick was laid (in reclaimed bricks that matched the house) and a wood stove put in place. I love it. And hate it. So much heat and so economical and environmental but it keeps the fire caged. No smell or sound.

I so want a fire and for me it has to be a stove, but I will miss the immediacy of fire.

Oddly Amused Grace's Goddess of the Week was Vesta today. Fire.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The weather has been lovely the last three days. A frosty start, due to the clear blue skies, the days slowly warm. As I drive away from work, the car windows are down and the sunglasses are on. The day starts with a scarf and gloves.

The sky doesn't get that deep blue of Summer but is a softer blue with a selection of pastel shades near the horizon. Beautiful, barmy and soft.

The wind has a bite. The shadows are cold. Night brings glassy crystals to glitter in the sun of the following morning.

True Autumn days.

We are heading gently towards Halloween.

A lot seems to be going on right now. Not to me, but to those surrounding me. I find myself remarkably at peace and happy. Soft light and a soft life.

Bloglandia echose today with the sounds of people expressing happiness with their life choices although they maybe different to those others would expect or to what they feel is expected of them. Somehow all these things tie together, but I have no idea how, nor the slightest inclination to force an answer from thin air or the depths of my mind.....

I hope you are enjoying your weather.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Joy of Solidarity

I have only a little time as I have tried to pack too much in to this evening.

Today there was another event with my Boss. She gave me a good telling off. I had not done something, something pretty insignificant. I had not been asked to do it by her or her deputy and I had no reason to adjust my priorities. She was not happy about it. Tough. I was not happy with her and I suspect she overheard some comment I made.

So she started on me. What was my problem with her. I responded by saying I actually felt she had a huge problem with me. I named a few situations where I had felt either that I had gained her negative feelings or gone to her with a problem and then felt it had gained her negative feelings. She denied these and suggested I be a little less sensitive, but we both knew that I was right, she had done things to give that distinct impression.

She said I needed to get off my backside more and helpout. I pointed out that normally I do but the last month has been a strange one because of the large amount of leave the person I share a job has had. Our main task is a desk based one, so in an effort to cover her, of course I have been very much desk based. I pointed out that at times of the month when this task has been un-neccessary, I have not been desk-based...

Then it turned out that her deputy was stressed and had felt unable to ask for assistance. i knew damn well that they were fine and would have asked if they needed it. She has been subtly undermining them for a while. Hinting at them being unable to deal with stress etc... The biggest stress is generally the Boss...

She stopped being so antagonisitc when she realised I was going to hold firm and stick to my guns without being rude. She was trying to batter me down. She failed. We ended this confidence with her informing me I was more senior than the person who shares my job and telling me I should give them a kick when they are slacking. (In the past if I had tried this, they would have gone to the Boss and then I would be the worst because we are equals - we are so wise to this game now). She then said she wanted me to step up towards the same level as the Deputy!

What a divisive conversation. When the telling off wouldn't stick she tried to set me above or equal to two other colleagues. Both of whom are friends. No change in my contract or pay and no telling the other team members or making it official in any way! Yeah right! And do I actually want to be in charge of anyone? Nope.

After lunch the group of us were alone without the Boss. Now we know each other and our situation well enough that we can talk about such things....

The Deputy described their chat with her and my colleague described how she had been grilled and during that conversation a comment had been made that made it clear my Boss did not like that the Deputy and I get on. We had a laugh and a joke about it all and got with the day and had a few more laughs too.

My Boss may congratulate herself on running her team so well. Truth is, we are all very capable and don't particularly need her most of the time. We get everything done with less stress when she isn't there. We make her look good because we believe in doing our jobs well, not because of anything she does.

For me, today was a triumph. I didn't win that argument, there was no way I could, but I held firm and I certainly did not lose. I feel happy. This is a real big thing for me. I hate confrontation and am often lacking confidence and assertiveness. I did not resort to being nasty. The decisions I had made were not made through laziness so I actually had logic to back me up. I expect for all the hug and shake of hands, my Boss probably hates me even more now. Do I care? Not one bit! *grin*

Monday, 11 October 2010

Wait and See

I left the house to blue skies and a sprinkling of frost. A happy day.

I have come to the conclusion that my dream was a happy dream, underneath all the strangeness. I have been on a dull path and then I got lost on the rocks but soon I am going to find my path again. This path is just for me, each foothold will appear as I need it and I will reach the top and that will be a place worth being. Maybe it will be a hill, or a hill that is a foothill to bigger hills and mountains or a nice level cliff....

I think it was a warning that the fallow, dull and more lately, just plain difficult times I have had of late are about to change. This may be scary but those footholds will be there and I will find them, they are perfectly placed for me.

So, I just have to wait and see, how exactly this change in my path manifests.

The dream made it clear to me that although some people do not like some landscapes, there is merit in them all and beauty too. Even the most treacherous. In fact often the most treacherous of paths lead to the most beautiful of places. As long as we keep walking. This fallow time, walking the causeway through the tidal marsh and mire which appears bleak but isn't....

Tidal areas such as the one I saw support so many birds and have an important role in filtering and storing pollution. Mudflats may look lifeless but they are far from it. They also protect inland areas from the might of the sea.

So where will life take me next?

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Magpie Dreams

I had a particularly interesting and vivid dream this morning so I am going to write it here before I forget - and if you have any ideas.....

It has three parts and I know the first part was first but not the order of the last two.


I was at work, studying and I was thinking how I had not expected to have to do a dissertation again. I started work on a new section which was all about the tail feathers of magpies. I don't think the work was just about magpies though.

Then my Boss comes in and starts showing me a section in the newspaper about a Chinese restaurant I used to work at and how they were holding a big charity event. They had included individual pictures of the people who would be working that night. B was there, a lovely older man, who was much older than he looked and a real live wire - he has been retired some time. There some guys I believe used to be washer-uppers and they turned out to have very posh surnames and to be the sons of a banker.


I was in a lowland tidal area, walking through a mudflat / salt flat / marsh sort of a place along a causeway. Lots of others were walking through as well and some were driving (not that they moved any quicker). One man started to explain how valuable this landscape was, and how the pollution added to the variety that now lived there. A lady got cross at that and said she didn't see why it had to be so ugly and why couldn't we clean it up.

I didn't say anything, but this is what I thought... Pollution can create, over time, unique habitats, things will live there that live nowhere else. Polluted sites also become a refuge for things that used to live elsewhere but have been driven out by changing uses. I wondered how she wanted to clean it up? Bring in tonnes and tonnes of topsoil, barricade the sea out and grow trees? I love those landscapes and never find them desolate, boggy, marshy, mires....

We reached a headland and I started to go round but realised that was not the path and came back. At first I could not see the path but then Little Dog ran up and I realised there was a series of toe steps dug into the grassed over rock. Not full on steps, just big enough for a foot, or hand. Somehow the vehicles were going up as well. Little Dog cavorted around on the path and the slope. I didn't get to see what was at the top, or where we were headed.


I was in my parents garden (which is quite large, full of trees including many old fruit trees and bushes). I was up by the blackcurrant bushes, creeping through the grass towards some magpies to get a better look. They saw me and flew up into the nearest tree. (which happened to be an oak whose story I shall tell after) They sat there, two adults and three scruffy young adults, with mismatched feathers.

The mother politely told her offspring to be polite an say hello. The first two chicks said hello as they flew over, third and fourth magpies said nothing and the fifth said hello. I concluded that not all of them could speak and set off in the direction they had gone.

They were mucking around in the big old lime trees on the other side of the house. I went inside but from the windows I could see them. The sun was catching their feathers and sparking the irridescence so that the black looked purple (you do get purple although blue and green irridescence is the sort I see more often) They sat there puffing themselves up so they lost the sleekness and looked chubby like wood pigeons and somehow, they started to look like wood pigeons, all grey and purple and white....

I then realised that my family were trying to get in the house and I had locked them out and that I had a lot of work to do on my dissertation on my laptop. Then I woke up.


So that was the dream. Every so often I have a dream that strikes me somehow, that is important. The last one I had like that, in hindsight was a very clear warning I was going to lose one of my beloved dogs. I have no idea what this one is but there are some strong themes and things I should add....

Last night F and I had Chinese.

Magpies are important to me and have been a long time. I watch them from my car at lunch and many times this week I have seen five or seven magpies during a lunch break or car journey. I spend so much time observing them that I can recognise their silhouettes, their flight style and their sqawks.

I was in my car the other day when there was a real loud magpie sqawk so close it made me jump. I looked out the window but could not see one. After a few minutes one appeared walking along the curb in front of my car and I realised the magpie had been curb crawling and that this had to have been the closest I have ever been to a magpie - probably about a foot away as it passed my door!

A guy at work has been doing an NVQ with lots of writing and evidence gathering and stuff.

The oak tree - well when my folks moved to the family home on my first birthday, they dreamed of a vegetable patch. They are not real gardeners though, although my Dad spends a lot of time gardening it is mowing, tree surgery (the old fruit trees are often in danger of splitting through the weight of their branches) and chopping wood. The vegetable garden fell in to disuse and because it was not being mowed, nature had it's way.

There is a whole cluster of thorn trees now and one of the cherry plum trees the garden is full of. When I was at around the age I was nearing my moontimes or recently started them, we found a sapling growing in the tall grass. (I have never ever realised before that that tree did start around then and never linked it to that before). It was an oak tree.

We helped it to thrive, although my Dad did not cut down enough thorn trees behind it so most of the branches are on one side. Soon though it will be tall enough though to grow over them. It produces acorns now too. We have no oaks in our garden and I don't know of any particularly close to our garden either.

When I was due to move to Cornwall I wrote a spell - one to help me be happy and to encourage the sending of my soulmate my way. I curled it up and bound it with a handmade braid. I buried it in the roots of that tree and it came true. I always go give it a hug when I go home.

So - suggestions on a postcard?


I just reread my old magpie lore post on my old blog. Aparently if a magpie looks you in the eye it is a sign of respect and you do not have to worry about bad luck. I have long since stopped worrying about bad luck from magpies - it just does not seem to apply to me. But I guess one sqawking my me from so close and five giving a hello flight over me with three of them actually managing to speak kinda says it all....

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Happy in the Now

This is a little Time Machine for the future so I can look back on my Happy in the Now, that was then...

So, it's the 9th October 2010 and the weather is odd. Supposedly we are having a mini heat wave but I think it is hitting further up (from what one colleague said yesterday, possibly only a few miles further up). It is windy. A bit dull. We have had early cold weather and our first ground frost but it is still pretty mild....

I am wearing a pair of black leggings and a black vest - slobbing aorund the house clothes...

Most played iPod songs - hmmmm. Well Linkin Park's a Thousand Suns has been getting a lot of play. And I am still loving the Twilight Eclipse soundtrack. My latest purchase is Frank Black's Frank Black which I am getting into but can not listen to when I am tired, just tooo hectic!

Movies.... I watched 27 Dresses the other night, a nice gentle cheery frolic. What did I love recently? I have no idea! but I love House and Strictly Come Dancing. Anne Widdicombe just danced a fantastic Salsa and House and Cuddy got together....

I am in love with F and I don't expect that to change anytime soon. I also love my girly college friends, my folks, my sister, my niece and nephew, S and last but not least, the lovely fluffy Little Dog.

I wish I owned the winning lottery ticket! (Maybe I should check my numbers sometime?)

Holiday destination? No idea? Maybe a honeymoon?

I am worried about... My friend in an unhappy relationship, My parent's dog with cancer, my dripping tap, how well I will sleep tonight as the Chinese I just ate sparked my allergies, the overtime I have to do over the next week.....

Most recent best moment - watching Anne Widdicombe do the salsa *grin* I love her!

The upcoming year - to get married, to have plenty and to get thinner.....

Friday, 8 October 2010


I need to leave for work but before I do, here is a small riddle...

What do you only see in your home, but you only ever catch a glimpse of where it was, a little black shadow gone before you can see it properly, scrap that, at all. It carries no ill will that you can feel and makes no sound and leaves no mark. What am I?

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Radio Ga Ga

I have not posted in a couple of days. Drained by the radio incident and then I went and bought Animal Crossing. Now I find myself feeling exhausted and somewhat under the weather. I need a good nights sleep tongiht for sure.

The radio wa snot in the bin the following day. Or the skip. It turned up in a draw belonging to a colleague who started late in the day. We left it there and found a small radio that we played very quietly so as few people would ntice as possible.

Boss returned the next day and we pretended we had not found either radio....

Today I took biscuits as a peace offering and the radio appeared during the early morning....

But I felt ickier and ickier as the day went on and the pain pills came out. An odd feeling, no symptoms except ickiness and a heavy head. I hope it goes quickly without developing. I also have nothing much to say as I have no desire to think!

Have a Happy Friday!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Song of the Bad Witch

I am not sure how I feel right now. Tired, frustrated, sad, angry? Pissed off because work shouldn't come home in my emotions with me. Relieved my Boss is on leave tomorrow... Debating whether I should go see her Boss tomorrow....

Today she decided to move our radio - to piss off a colleague in another department and to please another one in that same department. I was not happy and I told her so and why. She didn't like that much. The person she was trying to piss off, predictably, got pissed off. Words were had and the radio went in the bin with comments aimed at me for having complained....

She moved the radio so that it was more noise than music, more distraction than distracting. She moved it from the side with my undamaged ear to the side with my bad ear. Every noise drowned out the music, I could hear everyone talking outside. It was worse than having no music.

I wasn't rude, I wasn't unpleasant. She was.

So now I get to do my job with no music. Painful silence. The sound of people not talking to each other. If she wanted to carry on annoying the other person she would have put it back on, in it's original position. Instead she put it in the bin, to annoy me.

Sooooo glad that she is not in tomorrow. I am getting tired of this. This cycle of hate and disguise. I have been debating whether I would leave if I won the lottery and right now the answer is yes and I would not give her a penny either....

I did do one little thing. I am not sure whether I am proud of myself for doing something or whether I think it is an abuse.... My spells are simple little things, rhymes spoken inside my head mostly. Few and far between. A little rhyme, a simple little thing, a witchly sort of a thing. Sending skin problems.... on the face.... To someone who can not bear to be seen without an inch of make up....

Right now I can not feel guilty. And sitting here, I realise I am completely calm about work again right now at least. And do I feel guilt about that little spell? No. It will either work or it won't and I take responsibility for it. The threefold paying back of the karma from it is a small thing in the grand scheme of it all. And maybe the bad she has done me will completely cancel it all out? I donate my next boil or abscess to the karma cause....

So am I a bad witch?

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Flight of the Books

So I finished my three day non working fest much as it started.... A whole load of slobbing around. I finished my first Wallander book and quite enjoyed it once I got past the initial darkness. I lounged in the bath reading so S could use the TV for the xbox.

F was happily lying in this morning when he received a call from S. Where are you? Obviously not where he should be because no one told him or answered his texts.... S is getting to grow up quick.

And I get to slob with a book. I like books. Escapism, pure and simple. They have endings and are neatly packaged. They come with emotions, whatever emotions you want to feel. Happy, sad, excitement, a walk on the dark side... I think I always loved books for this reason but I think they can be an excuse for not doing things too....

A lot of my life seems to be about escapism. Books, games, day dreams while at work. But there is a lot of my life I don't want to escape from, namely F. I wish F found it a little easier to escape from his computer though! My life has too much empty space in it sometimes and the rutt is too big and comfy.

I want money and a lot of it. I could sort out the damp in my house - silicon inject the walls, re-point and coat the granite at the front to make it waterproof and re-render the side and back. Re-do the roof, with under eave ventilation, board it out and put in a loft ladder. Re do the floors and the ceilings and the walls. New kitchen, bathroom and furniture for the rest of the house too. Maybe some heat recovery ventilation for radon and damp as well. Oh and a lined chimney with a stove.

Nothing in my house works properly! But it is warm and comfy, even if it does stink of damp. It is home and it is mine. But is it any wonder I want to escape sometimes?

On another note, I got my birthday pressies from F's family this evening. I got some new slippers. I like slippers, I believe in warm feet. I even like pink slippers. I look at those fluffy booties that older people wear when they want to really adore their feet and think they look comfy but I never went and bought any. Now I have a pair. Not a traditional looking pair however, mine are a crazy patchwork of pastel colours with pink trim including a pink ribbon bow. Just to top it off there are two pastel crazy patchwork pom poms danging from each one too. F gave them 10/10 for amusement value, but my feet do feel nice even if I never ever want anyone to see me wearing them.... I wonder where such a pair of booties can take me, where will I escape to in them?

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Brain Exercise

I always find, when I have nothing planned to write, that the most unusual things sometimes pop out. I have not done much to talk about either yesterday or today, which I had off. I played with my pastels a little yesterday and played with a fair bit of Wii and watched a lot of TV...

You know what? I am pretty bored with my life. I have a messy home that needs lots of work. There is a lot of things I could do. I have many projects I could tackle but I only ever have so much courage to go round. I think energy levels are a big problem for me.

I have more brain energy than I do body energy but maybe I am not using enough of that brain energy in my life. My job doesn't use it on a day to day basis, it requires brain stamina but only when there is a problem do I have really think hard. Maybe if I used my brain more, then I would be less bored?

I am sure I read somewhere that boredom can be a cause of depression. Am I depressed? Possibly. Lethargy infiltrates my life and it has for so long in so many ways. I am not unhappy most of the time. And I do feel happiness.... but....

I need to do more with my brain. Craft and art are for my soul, not my brain. The Wii is for my body. Walks feed so much of me, my body, my soul.... But my brain, where does that truly get it's workout? How do you work out your brain?

I just went away and did a little reading - it seems the brain is designed to work best in a body that receives physical exercise. It seems our brains need quiet and they need music but irregular noise is less beneficial.... Slow consistent learning is more likely to be retained that rush learning. Variety helps the brain to remain flexible so it can still learn. And imagining is really important too, even imagining exercise helps develop muscles... (go here)

So.... I spend time imagining, I am starting to exercise more, I am listening to more music... I could use more variety and a bit more of a brain workout. With the introduction of things like brain training there is all sorts of stuff you can buy on the net. So puzzles and maths are the things that spring to my mind. not so much things like sudoku or logic problems - once you have learnt the method.... I used to do them but I found they get dull after a while - that whole variety thing!

Now I used to do a fair bit of Maths and I have forgotten a lot of it. I could probably pass a GCSE, not sure about A-level and definitely not degree level Maths any more. Maybe it is about time I gave it a go again. See how much I remember. Now the best ever Maths textbook is Stroud.

Once upon a time I was an undergrad Physics student (*giggle*). I had just taken a year out and my Maths was rusty. I bought every book recommended pretty much, except Stroud's Engineering Maths and it is the one I should have bought first. I bought the follow up, Further Engineering Maths though.... So I am going to get that book and have a play, see how my brain likes it. The third edition was the current one back then and now costs 1p plus postage and packaging.... I don't think I need the more expensive fourth or fifth edition, Maths has not changed at that level too much....

So if you know anyone about to embark on further studies in Engineering, Sciences or anything else involving Maths, including Maths, get them that book.... And no, I didn't finish the Physics degree, I got ill dropped out and went back and did Environmental Science a few years later. I liked it more.

I might buy a puzzle magazine as well.....

Friday, 1 October 2010

A Happy Future

One thing I really noticed about writing about the future was that my dreams seem to be a lot of looking back. They are things I have always dreamed of, things I have done in the past that I want to do again. My dreams were pretty predictable, pretty much like a lot of other peoples....

I want a nice life. A nice house. Money. To be fit and healthy. Family and friends.... Is that really surprising? How I want to get there though, that's the happy bit...

So here we go....!

Rose is a talented craftsperson, beloved wife and bad mother of three lives her ethos of 'behaving well is no fun, life should never be boring!' to the full. Her hair changes colour with the moon and she is curvy and athletic wearing funky but practical clothing. She loves a wide variety of things including arts and crafts, the natural world, sustainable and practical living and music.

Her life is full of activity, walking with her beloved dogs and children, tai chi, kayaking and horse riding feature heavily. Her home on the banks of one of the flooded river valleys of Cornwall is perfectly placed giving her access to the wooded creeks to ride and explore, with the sea only a short paddle away.

Her house and home are full of plants, her cupboards are stacked with the fruits of her kitchen and garden. Dinner is often cooked for friends and their children, including old college friends and ex-workmates, from the days she had to work. F is there in all aspects of her life, enjoying her crazy uniqueness!

The influence of science and the world around her is clear within all aspects of her life. Her family are at the centre of all she does.

OK - so where woud I find the time to do all that with three children under the age of five?