Saturday, 31 December 2011

Castle Connections

There is a hill near here. A big long ridge with three high points with the St Michael leyline running all along it. One high point has been topped with a memorial and another with a folly castle that is now a restaurant. F asked me to marry him on a cold, claer, bright winters morning sat on a granite stack near the monument and we celebrated our wedding years later in that castle.

Ever since I first came here that hill top has fascinated me. I found an obscure track along it's side to a vantage point on it's side my first week down here, house hunting. When I moved here, I was taken my the more normal road to it's top within days. I sat in lectures gazing out at it. It watches me as I live and work.

My Dad told me at my wedding that he thought he had been there before but not inside. I promptly forgot this!

So I was very suprised when looking at old family photos belonging to my Grandmother, to see a familiar building... In fact I found two photos.

This first photo shows my Father with my Grandmother and Grandfather sat in front of the castle on some of the granite stacks. This photo is probably around fifty years old. And so, despite the two photos not looking at all the same, I left it at that. (oh how silly - and prehaps a little ego in there? *laugh*)

This second photo is clearly older and the men on the castle walls are wearing bowler hats. It also says on the back Dad at ****, in my Grandmother's writing. It was nagging at my Dad and he came back to it and figure it out.... This photo is of my Great Grandfather, also at the castle! He died in 1914 so this photo is at least 100 years old and shows I have some sort of connection this palce going back through four generations over a hundred years, even though there is no obvious reason why my non-Cornish family should have been drawn here....

Now since my wedding people have delighted in telling me things about the place... One friend told me they had heard the owner had been given large amounts of money by people from a now defunct base so they could hold completely private parties there overnight. My conspiracy friend has delighted in telling me that the St Mary line and St Michael line spiral around each other across the land and that the St Michael line is polluted and bad and favoured by Satanists. I do not agree, the line is not bad, it may have been put to selfish uses, but that is human, not the line itself...


One night as I was on my way home I was casting out thoughts that I wanted to learn things, to know. A Voice answered and said 'we can show you everything'. Of course I was interested! I told me to go to ****. So later that evening, Little Dog and i went there. It was pitch dark as it was the New Moon. I made it to the top and sat on granite admiring the view.

Nothing happened. Well, not till I closed my eyes anyway... At once there was a circle of shadowy figures around me. And having seen them, I knew who these entities were who offered me knowledge, and power too. They were of Crowley's ilk. Crowley was intimately connected with Cornwall and while he may not have been one of these spirits, they were of his line. Not the sort I wish to have anything to do with. Not my path. not anything I wish to have in my life. So I politely declined and walked away.

And since then my path and learning has done nothing but speed up, but it a gentler, kinder direction, one full of heart and soul, that seeks to work with spirit, for it. Not to understand it and control it. But it does all make me wonder at the exact nature of my families connection with this place.... Why have we all been drawn here? and how strange that four generations of my family have all loved this place, hundreds of miles from where we lived....

For my part it is all about love and a connection to the land and to my ancestors. What drew them there I shall never know.

Home of my Heart

I grew up in an enchanted house. The house began as two one up, one down cottages for farm labourers. Over time the house grew and the two became one. Over 400 years old, with no foundations, it was a house intimately connected the environment around it. A huge old willow has grown so big that it's roots rest under the house, cradling it. As the tree moves and the seasons change and the earth moves, so does the house. In most places the walls are one brick thick and cracks appear and disappear, as does the chance to see light....

I grew up knowing the creak of every piece of wood. The house itself would sing to me as it settled and warmed up. I could tell where people were by the sounds the house made. From my bed I could 'see' people on the path to the front door by their reflections on my ceiling. Clematis grew in my window, water bubbled up through the stone floor after rain, and wind sang through the branches of the trees outside. Fire warmed the house and the kitchen was the heart.

I grew up climbing trees, walking barefoot and squelching clay mud through my toes, sitting under one of the huge lime trees in hot summers, or in the cool long grass of the orchard. I would lie on my back on the grass watching clouds or the bats dancing in the twilight. At night owls would sing me to sleep, hunting mice in the orchard. My parents for years have put large amounts of bird food out and watching Woodpeckers while washing up is a regular occurance.

Nothing could really hurt us there. Not that things were perfect but the bad stuff could not get in. Not really.

At College I had my things stolen one time, including a house key and my address. I told my parents and they changed the locks. A few weeks later they went on holiday leaving me in the house (I was 17 and my Mum had secretly, at least from my Dad anyway, arranged for my boyfriend to stay). When they returned my Dad found that the strand of barbed wire on the fence had been cut and pealed back. While I had been alone, the robbers had visited my home and found their keys did not fit. They obviously decided that it was not worth robbing as well....

Another time, I had a black thing following me for a time, which is an entire other story. When I went home I could feel it watching from the gate but it could not cross over. I understood intuitively from that time that that land was protected.

I also had my spiritual awakening on that land. A moment of such beauty as the rising rays of light shone through the empty grass seed heads in the field behind making the field glow with light. It was so very, very beautiful.....

My parents moved us in on my first birthday and now we have all moved on and they are alone there. They are in poor health and wish to move on as the responsibility of the house and gardens is becoming hard for them. I had not been home in a couple of years. Last year we went on holiday with them and this year they came here for the wedding. The thought of not getting to see the house one last time was unbearable.

Luckily for me it has not sold as yet and I was able to have one last Christmas there with my family and I am so very grateful for that.

In the garden there is a patch of ground that was the vegetable patch. it became neglected and was not mowed so that trees were able to start growing on it. I remember the first time we saw the twig above the grasses with a handful of distintive leaves. I watched that oak tree grow and it is a special friend to me. When I moved to Cornwall, I wrote my wishes down and buried them int he roots of that tree and they have come true, I found my soulmate. I also use that tree as the starting point for my journeying.

So last time I went drumming, for our second journey, we were asked to go to our special place and conenct with the spirits of that place. I was alarmed as i knew this would be hard for me and emotional, because of the house selling and lose of my heart home. This is what happened....

I wandered through the gardens away from the oak tree, unable to find someone. Eventually I found an old lady sat under one of the huge lime trees, knitting. To begin with I just cried in her lap and she stroked my hair. An utter outpouring of my grief at losing this place that has been so important and loved within my life.

In time we talked. She told me that it was time to let go and in time she sends all her children out into the world. That we no longer needed this place and it was time for someone else to benefit. That it was time F and I grew our own heart home and started work on building a place that would grow through the generations such as this one had. She said I could visit in spirit and she told me something would be waiting under the tree for me and explained that I should leave a toe nail and a finger nail, bound with my hair and touched by a drop of my blood there too.

Because I had already said Good Bye and dealt with much of the emotion, I was able to go home and enjoy the stay and do what needed to be done without it spoiling my visit. For this I am very grateful. My grief would have been a burden to my parents as this move is very hard for them too....

I went to the tree and could see nothing so I went away and came back a couple of days later. i was more determined to find something the second time. I could not see anything. Then I saw an old weathered snail shell but it was so fragile, i could not have taken it with me. So I stood. And then I saw it. How I could have missed it I have no idea.... It would have been there the first time too. A large black raggedy feather. Probably a Crow's feather as it has no white and no irridescence.

Now this made me smile.... Sometime ago, i discovered I have Crow ancestors, my Great Great Grandmother was called Crow. So when I had to setup a new password at work, Grandma Crow popped in to my head. except I found myself talking to Grandma Crow once or twice and she sounded like the spirit of my home. Grandma Crone is one of her names too and she is very much the Crone and of the land. I met her husband too. A man who speaks with his eyes not words, who says just as much with a glance and a nod of his head between the fall sof his hammer as he works on hot metal....

One evening I was sat with my family and my Mum started talking about a couple who are their best friends. They recently moved and the wife was finding it very hard to let go of the house so she had a shaman come to the house to work with the spirits there. It sold soon after. (don't you just love messages from spirit?). My Dad was dismissive but I told my Mum I had been sending out anti-selling vibes as I was desperate to visit once more but now I would be sending out selling vibes.

I made my little bundle, although I had trouble with the blood. I don't bleed easily and I couldn't cut myself. So I cheated and got my Mum to do it! I got her to test my blood sugar (she is diabetic) and even with her special device, she had to have more than one go to get a tiny drop of blood... There was enough to smear on the little bundle I held hidden under the finger of my other hand.

I found each parent in turn and hugged them and had a brief conversation about letting go of the house and they both replied that they were ready to go. (Although by Dad sounded more grudging!). i took the bundle outside to the tree and left it there asking the spirits to relinquish my families guardianship of the land there and thanking them. I asked them to help my family to find it's new home quickly and that their new guardians would be called to the land there soon and be good guardians.

As I walked the garden one last time I spoke with Grandma Crow and this is what she said.

I taught you to walk on my earth
You grew breathing my air and I sang you to sleep
I bade you drink of my soul and strength
You sat by my fire and I warmed your heart

I feel blessed that this will never be Good Bye for me but I am unsure what role I have taken on with regards to that land. But that comes into another one of the posts I have to write today or over the next few days..... And Grandma Crow is my friend and is always there for a chat. Sometimes I hear the clack of her knitting needles as I feed the Crows at work and they peck up the bird seed....

Friday, 30 December 2011

Closing A Chapter

My time at my family home is very nearly over. F has been back in Cornwall and tonight I shall sleep with him and Little Dog again. It has been beautiful. My sense of peace and contentedness has done nothing but grow. The chapters of my story twisting around me have found their finishing words here, as I knew they would. And such lovely words too. I have so much too write about, all the things I have been saving, waiting... and for some things I have not saved too....

But those few of you that visit here will have to wait just a little longer as my time on my folks pc is short and I need to go and pack.

A chapter of my life is drawing to a close, the final words written even if they have not quite finished echoing. I leave here and I step into my future.

And the future is bright.

The future is full of Magpies.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

I decided to delete the post I wrote yesterday. I needed to write it, to vent, but I am not comfortable leaving such negativity out there. I am not sure if I should be comfortable or not... I want to be at peace with my shadow not in love with it.... I was also having a dose of hormones it seems, which I was not expecting.

The thing is, although I have my irritation towards this person, they are a good, kind and caring person. Their only fault is that they are a little insensitive to those small cues others give so that you either live with things or you have to be very definite, stubborn and almost, rude. Not something I find easy.

They are retired and live alone with no Mother now and a Father who is nearing the end of his days and will be glad to rejoin the love of his life. Siblings all have kids and grandkids. I am not sure why she has no family of her own, why things did not work out that way exactly. I don't think it was what she wanted and I don't think there was enough flexibility there. But how can I say? Maybe the right person didn't turn up in this life? Maybe the right person turned out to be the wrong person. I look at pictures of the young woman with my Uncle and I look at her now and it is hard to believe they are the same. Did he change her like that? Or did she allow too much bitterness to remain in her heart? Or maybe if she had managed to be more flexible back then, maybe they would still be together....

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Snippets of Meaning

OK, so I believe in the power of dreams, I believe in synchronicity, in magic, in journeying within your own mind. So recently, I have been carrying along on this path and i thought I would write down some of the things waiting to be fully connected.... So this is me digging through these experiences and trying to put things together....


A recent journey saw me merging into the tree that is my journeying anchor. I sunk down and out of it's roots, tunneled through the soil as a mole before popping up above ground as a human again. I then ended up covering myself in clay, then sticking leaves on to the clay, before i went and merged again with a tree. Time started traveling very quickly, or rather, i slowed right down so everything else appeared to speed up. i found myself dormant underground several times before sprouting up again as another tre. Sometimes i was a human climbing in my trees branches. There were lots of magpies living in my branches.

Now the focus of the day was connecting with the earth, which I sure did. I am not sure what I learned exactly.... But I found this article on the shamanic connection with trees and i also found a section of Wapeyit's blog post on Intimacy very relevant.

It seems that the shaman is very connected to their tree and the world tree is fundamental to shamanic culture. The tree grows between the realms and is an important gateway. The tree can represent the world, a community or an individual shaman. I did feel that in merging with my tree, that it was mine, not a community tree. This tree often has inhabitants and these are spirits in their own right. Trees sometimes nurture the soul of shaman and the animals that appear in the tree are important, which confirms Magpies importance to me because there was quite a lot of them! I also climed to the very top of my tree.

Now the one thing that really surprised me in all of this was how sensual this journey was. The feel of the clay on my body, the feel of the rough bark of the tree as we came together to merge. It really took me aback. Wapeyit talks about intimacy with nature and how.....No point me explaining it all, go read it! but it made sense and explained what was going on in my journey as well.

So getting to meet my tree and becoming part of it and finding my magpies in my branches and being intimate with Mother Earth.... all good. It was a nice journey for sure!


Wapeyit, as a result of a dream I had, suggested I should be trying to dream at a higher level and reaching out to my Magpie within my dream. I did this and well, that is a story in itself, but not for now. She then suggested I follow the synchronicity for a few days after. And this is the story of those happenings....

On the way to work the following day I saw a flock of birds. i can't remember the last time I saw one. They fly so tight together and wheel around as if they are one, in an ever changing shape.... I could watch flocks like this for ever.... The following morning on the way to work, Flockhart jumped off the side of a van at me. The words Flock and Heart led me to this video....

In this video, six people materialise, one of whom is wearing an animals head. They help an egg of energy come out of the ground and then take it to a hall. They lie around it and then it cracks open to reveal lots of people in heart costumes dancing around with people holding rainbows and ladies carrying rabbits....

On the first day I also had quite a gathering of birds at lunchtime, including a few too many gulls and some crows invading my normal crows territory (they got seen off pretty quick!). A tiny little Pied Wagtail wandered right in to the middle of all this and managed to get some bread. I always think of these little birds as being little pieces of happiness... The way their tails wag and their colouring - like little mini-magpies....

So... I don't find the thinking easy behind working out what things mean - it takes time, and effort, and a certain .... flexibility that is not what my brain with it's scientific training finds easy. There is no manual of interpretation. I am so at the beginning of this, but I do want to learn....

So I guess the heart of a flock should be happy and full of love. Except the heart is everywhere because the entire flock is as one. This makes me wonder what flock exactly am I moving in perfect synch with?


The other thing that really stuck out was a drop of water falling from above into my open hands (the mobile phone in them is immaterial). The drop was not real though, which is fine - I find I am getting more flexible and able to cope with real and non-real stuff side by side. One part of my brain knows it was light reflecting in the drops of water on my windscreen, caught out of the corner of my eye, the other part of brain does not care.

Outstretched hands receiving water is an image we have all seen, but I am not sure I really have any idea at all what it means.... So this is my e-hunt...

I found these beautiful images... Who knew there was so much beauty and variety within a drop of water?

Two hands with a drop of water with the Earth inside it is a symbol of environmental protection.

and a verse from a song... Little drops of water, little grains of sand, make the mighty ocean and the beauteous land.

Water has so many meanings and uses... cleansing, relieveing thirst, the water of life....

and this book....

So what does a gift of a drop of water mean? I think easier to ask what it couldn't mean.....

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Flock Heart

I don't know where to begin at the moment. Things are happening in my life, event chains have begun but nothing is near completion or explanation at all. Do you ever have that nebulous stage when you are learning things? before they are ready for sharing?

My journeys of a couple of weeks a go are still maturing in my head, and will be until after Christmas and my next visit home. Lisa has been gently guiding me and I have a few things to work on there. Some done, some undone. Some gently unfolding.

I did a meditation exercise to connect with my totem and call them in to my dreams. This did not work as expected but resulted in some instruction on not takng on others emotions and energy - a long term issue. Apparently I am 97% there, I just have a little further to go.

I now have to follow the chain of synchronicity and see what happens. These things are hard for me to interpret and take time to unfold and piece together. Flocks of birds, Flock Heart, flock of hearts.

I am learning and moving

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Strike One

Many thousands of people went on strike in the UK yesterday and there was a lot of public support for it. F was at one march and sw no negativity and a lot of appreciation for what people are doing. Somehow this is not what the news is saying though. These public sector workers are being given a hard time for being greedy in seeking to protect their gold plated pensions and disruptive and selfish in failing to do their jobs and provide vital services.

Well this would be what we hear generally because most of our media supports our government. they try and give an appearance of being balanced but the bias is clear.

These pensions are not gold plated. the strikers are striking so that they do not have to pay work, work longer and get less when they do retire. They are striking not just for themselves but for every other worker in this country who does not what to have to retire later, because the private sector will be next.

Who wants a 68 year old trying to carry them out of their first floor flat when they are unwell? Who would expect a 68 year old nurse to work the night shift and lift people in and out of bed? Who would expect a 68 year old PE teacher to run around with teenagers? And so many other professions..... thing what it would really mean to people, to you, if you had to work to that age doing what you do, doing what they do.

I work in a fairly physical sort of an environment and one of the guys is nearing retirement. he goes at things just as hard as a younger bloke, but he shouldn't. He gets ill, he has injuries. Some days he looks old and tired. He does not get paid if he is sick. Well he gets statutory sick pay but that does not count for much....

My parents - my Dad retired early but he had a bad leg infection and was in Intensive Care and came close to losing his leg. Now he is on permanent antibiotics and has pain and swelling. he can't stand or walk for long. i can't imagine how on earth he would cope if he had not been able to retire...

My Mum is diabetic, has underactive thyroid and high blood pressure. She is due to retire soon as she has reached that age and I can not imagine how she would cope working much longer either.

How many people are really, so very healthy, that at 68 they can still work as well as a 30 year old or 50 year old? It is hard enough for many people at the current retirement age!

And people think it is just about money!

One colleague started spouting today not realising that F had been on strike. It also seems he had no idea about the retirement age changing and when I explained he was like, no, that just isn't practical. I agreed and stated that was why many people were striking. he couldn't quite believe that this important fact was being left out. he couldn't quite believe that the BBC was not completely impartial.....

The unions have been telling the strikers that there is a lot of ignorance about all this and also not to believe what they hear on the media about the range of support. You only have to look onfacebook to realise that there is a lot of support out there.....

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Dream / Reality

I have had several posts in mind over the last few days but somehow they have all evaporated. There seems to be a lot going on in my head right now, and a lot in the world too....

I went journeying at the weekend and had an emotional time of it. My parents are selling my childhood home and I went and met the spirits of that wonderful place, and got to say good bye from them and hear their guidance. I ended up crying a lot which is something I hate in public! I also was a tree in another journey and that was an unexpectedly sensual journey.

After going journeying I always think about instruments (and our lack of). last week I saw some decorative gourds in Tesco so the other night I went to hunt for them so I could make some rattles. I failed and I was quite cross with myself for not having bought them when I saw them...

That night I dreamt. F and I were driving along and saw a roadside stall with some nice gourds but nowhere to stop. Then there was a second stall and F agreed to turn round and go back to it. But then we had stopped and F was no longer there. There was magpie feathers on the ground and I was collecting them. I picked up one item and then realised it was a magpie head. I dropped it in shock (and a very Westernised sort of horror). I then realised that I should have taken it and went to pick it up again but it was dark and I was now stood on sand and I could not find it....

In a facebook group I belong to there has been recent talk about dreaming with different items - bones, crystals etc. I have experimented with Amethyst and Calcite a little (don't use Amethyst for dreaming unless you want a good nights rest and dull dreams!). A magpie skull would be quite something for me to dream with. At my journeying group I had a conversation with a lady which involved comments about how much you should take. I kinda believe that it is not an invasion to take everything - that to use everything is to prevent waste, however we are pretty squeamish about such things.....

So this was an odd dream given the gourds and conversations going on....

But the world is strange..... There is so much going on beyond the news they want us to listen to. The average person in the Western world is pretty unsettled right now.... F was on strike today and went on a march. Apparently there was a lot of support from passersby etc. Governments have gotten it wrong. The world is changing.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Who Am I?

I look at myself and often thing - this person I see here is a disguise. This is not who I am. People who know me, know this, but this person in the mirror is not me, just how I have let myself become...

I am working on making my outside match my inside. I now have shorter purple hair, cut in a style that looks the better the messier it is.

I have finally discovered online clothes shopping so i finally have clothing that fits and it took a while, but I have found brands I really like, that suit me. I <3 Joe Browns. Not all of the stuff mind you, some is too cutsey but a lot of it is exactly what I want to be wearing....

I bit the bullet this morning and ordered a coat. In the last ten years I have had two new coats. The first no longer fits and the second was a really, really cheap stop gap because I needed a coat desperately. It is now falling apart. Today I finally received my new work coat in a rather fetching shade of yellow. But the new coat is a work of art.... Black, half military, half whimsy with lots of assymetry going on....

Another thing about today is that it really brought home the biggest reason I am not how I look. I am fat and unfit and this makes it look as if I want to play it safe, that I don't like action, that I would rather be sat down, somewhere safe and out of the way....

but no..... not really. As a child I scoffed at the idea of ever having an office job, ever ever ever. I was the best tree climber in my year and my Mum had all my hair chopped off because I would not look after it at all.

I am finding that slowly, my job is pushing me in new directions. Now I can drive a forklift, and with practice I am getting better at it. and quicker. I move a bit faster than a snail now....

So tonight I find myself outside, riding the goblin, throwing pallets around with the wind raging all around. I relinquished the Goblin after a while due to staffing / equipment / licencsing issues. So as they worked on the far side of the lorry, the driver was trying to pull the curtain back across. The wind was whisking through the lorry, turning it into a giant sail. So I sat myself in the middle of the curtain and pulled down and eventually, the driver was able to fasten it shut.

But there was something about being out there in the wind, the elements.... I love it, I really do. I like being able to go back inside and pit my brain against the computer too.... But that is not all I am.

I am so many things, but I did get a little lost for a while.....

Monday, 21 November 2011

Magical Propaganda

I believe in magic. I believe magic is a term that covers a wide range of phenomenon that many others might not call magic, including prayer.

I am currently considering conspiracy theories and the whole propaganda through the TV thing. Because I can. I think a lot of this conspiracy stuff is becoming mainstream, slowly. As I look at it, I realise that so much of it, no longer seems as extreme to me as it once did....

So magic and conspiracy... It occurred to me that if all these hthings that can be termed as magic really are real, what sort of propaganda would they use to discredit it?

And it occurred to me that so many of the TV programmes I watch are designed, in a way, to be misleading about magic. There are lots and lots of hidden messages about the supernatural in general....

1) To have power you have to be born to it. You need to be a hereditary witch or some such
2) You need to nearly die or be injured in some sort of initiatory fashion, such as a vampire or werewolf's bite.
3) You need to study for your entire life and will only gain true powere when you are old and dusty
4) Spirits are only good if they are dead loved ones come to visit - the rest are bad and should be feared
5) All supernatural phenomenon are bad and come from the negative side of religion, unless you happen to be one of the choosen few who fight the bad. You do not get to choose yourself.
6) Messing with the supernatural opens you up to demonic and other bad influences
7) Messed up, emotional people attract bad supernatural influences

And these are just ones that come to me when I am tired and am sat here at the end of the day writing.....

I do not believe these things to be true, although, like most good lies, there is a grain of truth in some. So in the teen witch programme - I get to see that they fight bad, did not choose themselves, attract bad supernatural phenomenon, are out of control but because they are born to it, they are fine.... In the vampire programme - well they get initiated and attract bad etc etc

This is not how I see magic at all.... I am sure magic can be a stronger presence than it is in my life but I am unsure how that would manifest exactly. For me, it is a ray of light shining through a cloud, the moon peeking through clouds as the wind pulls them past. It is hearing the right song at the right time, it is the friend who calls when you need them. It is so many wonderful little things that you could overlook if you expected them to be something else, something with fanfares of trumpets to announce it's presence maybe..... I think the subtle, ever present, is more powerful and more real, and I believe and it is there in my life everyday, should I but just take the time to open my eyes.

i enjoy a good story, but we should always be aware of what messages we take from the stories we listen to.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

It isn't that I am at a loss for words exactly. I have many words and many thoughts but some of them are a bit odd right now. There is a conspiracy theory person at work and I have had a few interesting chats with them. The thing is, in many ways our views are not so disimilar, theirs are just more extreme on the matter of world politics etc, and more aggressive.

There is a respect there which is nice.

So I have watched a few programmes on some of this stuff and well, I don't disagree exactly, it just is not my focus. Do I think there is a hugs conspiracy, not sure. Do I think governments etc act without our best interests at heart and plays games with us - for sure!

I know some people who are about to enter into strike action in the UK and hearing what they have to say, i can see games being played.

The government is sqeezing their pensions. Something like making them work longer to receive less when the pension fund is absolutely fine but the government just wants to take more money from it....

These people don't want to strike and are angry with the government, not their direct employers. They have tried to reach agreements with their employers that would allow them to get their message across without closing down vital services. Their employers have made it clear there are too choices - strike or not to strike for a whole days work. There will be no hour long strike, no being at work to deal with emergencies but dealing with nothing else. To do anything other than strike or not strike is to be in violation of their contracts and to be open to prosecution etc.

But this is a PR game. The fact they tried so hard to find other options will not be publicised. They will strike but public opinion will be against them and chances are, they will either not change a thing or will change so infinitesimally that by and large it will be the same....

Because no one in a caring, service profession really has the heart to bring the country to it's knees....

And the employers? Well.... I am sure the bosses of the bosses have been very well looked after, they always are. Here have a bonus for dealing with this as requested or some such. Bosses get rewarded for selling out their employees. I see this in my work on a smaller scale too...

This country and indeed the world, does not work how I think it should, it works on money and we no longer have the power over our own lives that we should.

Events like this make you go against the community but in effect that is wrong, going against the law is not always going against the community. Smaller shut downs would be better for the community. The law of the community is NOT the community itself. We must remember this.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Making a Fairy!

I find at the moment that I have little to write and what I do have feels lacking in fluidity. I am generally slightly hibernating at the moment and havebeen ever since the wedding really. But there are signs that tide is turning. Last weekend I spent all Sunday making a wand, tiara and a heart. And I enjoyed it too - although I wish I had not left it to the last moment so it was knackering....

Two of the techniques I learnt on 21 Secrets came in useful - Debra Cooper's Playing with Pattern and Alma Stoller's Child's Play. I needed to paint up some paper to act as a pretty background for a photo montage a friend is doing. So I made a heart shaped stamp using a cookie cutter as a template on some hard foam I had from work. I stamped hearts in a pattern that sort of looks a bit like four leaf clovers. Over the top I stamped with bubble wrap using irridescent medium and finally I used a butterfly gift tag which had holes cut in it as a stencil with white paint.

The friend who is doing the photo montage is also making fairy wings for the costume and we had choosen some fine material with a slight silver shimmer. I took some of my piece and repeated the pattern I had made on the paper onto the material. I drew round the heart cookie cutter again and scanned it and changed the size to make three different sizes....

I took some modeling wire and bent it into the shape of the middle heart, with the two wires joining at the bottom of the heart and then being twisted down to make the wand handle. I took beading wire, small plastic pearls and silver faceted beads and made little wire and bead 'trees' all around the outside of the heart. Inside the heart, I took the smallest template and cut two card shapes and glued material to one side of each and then stuck them together, with wire going through inbetween to support the fabric heart in the centre of the wand wire heart. The handle of the wand was covered by a tube of the fabric my friend had made, initially as a ribbon but they turned out too stiff. The tube was much longer than the wand so it rouched all the way up. I fixed it in a couple of places by wrapping lots of wire round and also wrapped a few strands of wire round the handle area. Then finally added some strips of the fabric near the top to hang down and also a few little bells....

The heart was also fabric card covered with the words Bride at last added and my friend will hang this off the wire frame I made for the wings. The tiara is very simple and basically is just a silver tiara band with some more of the wire and bead 'trees'.

I am really pleased with the overall effect and am hopeful that our friend will look like a classy hen on her hen night as we are going to a fun but classy event. She isn't someone I could image decking up in more normal hen attire. She is reserved and has a natural elegance and I would so not want to embarass her!

I am also hoping that one of my gaggle of old college mates will understand that I am a crafter now. When we were arranging things I felt like she was dismissive of the skills I was claiming to have. I guess I have not shared my crafting with them to any degree and only one of the group has really seen anything I have made at all, and then not much, but enough to pipe up that she knew I could do it.....

We shall see! (and have fun!)

Saturday, 12 November 2011


I feel that bearing witness is an important thing. The stories of the lives of those who went before us should be told. I have started to learn many of them and find them endlessly fascinating. Here are a few. Some direct ancestors, some a side step away....

JRD was a career soldier who left Scotland to join the 72nd Highlanders and thoroughly left his past behind him. He served in Ireland and was sent from there to the Crimean where he survived Sebastopol. He progressed to the level of Sergeant and continued to serve, heading off to India where he survived the Siege of Kotar and the Battle of Burnass. He led a full life and inspired his sons in to a wide range of careers, including one who became a Drillmaster.

TC was very poor, an agricultural labourer at the time of the Industrial Revolution. He lived with his brother and sister and all three had trouble with the law. His older brother was without work for 17 weeks one time and survived three days on one penny's worth of bread. He was so hungry he stole a loaf and served one month. TC himself stole and assaulted a Police Officer. TC joined the local militia, formed to cover duties left vacant by those serving in the Crimean, probably because he was desperate for the money offered. He later tried to desert and was caught and sentenced to a month. A book on this militia said that some had been illegaly signed up and managed to get them released. I am not sure if he was released or went with the unit to Ireland.

TGC served in the First World War. He joined the Reserve at the age of 17 in 1912. He became a driver and served in France, Salonika and Egypt. He was obviously good at what he did and enjoyed it as he stayed in the forces after the war .

TGC's younger brother was too young to fight in the First World War but did join up for the Second. He had a badly broken leg and was not fit for overseas duty and was probably a little too old for it as well. He also served as a driver, based in London.

POJ served in the Second World War and was posted to India. Apparently he wa sin the Pay Corp and also helped build roads.

OEJ served in the First World War but I have no idea what he did as the image qulity s poor and I can not make out a thing!

EVJ Served in France during the First World War. He survived a cun shot wound to the back and returned home soon after. He was serving as an instructor and was one of three people at his camp trained to make bombs, the others being a Fitter and a Captain. Unfortunately the fitter one day forgot to drill a fuse hole before putting together a bomb. He put the bomb down to get the drill but the bomb rolled off the table and exploded. The Fitter and the Captain survived. EVJ took two days to die.

I am sure there are more tales I could add to this list but all of these people should be remembered and I am rememering them as few of them would have anyone who rememebrs them alive left living.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Crow Magic

So, as is always the way not a lot happens, but so much happens.

Little pieces of magic flow in and out of my life and sometimes I have to sit with them a while before I share them. Sometimes, even this mostly anonymous blog feels too exposed. The magic requires too much detail to explain to just leave it sat here for anyone to read. It feels like an invasion of others privacy so I always feel the desire to be careful.... And Cornwall is such a smal place! Everyone knows everyone else - somehow! And often there are multiple connections....

So sharing magic that impacts on others is hard....

And so often magic can be a little intangible.

How do share a strange dream state, known as hypnagogia, which is a sort of cross over point between waking and sleeping. For me, a bit like trying to tune an old fashioned telly in and picking up many channels in quick succession. I experienced this three times with a short space of time and on the third time a message came through. A message so harsh for the person it involves that I can not share it here, dare not even repeat it more than neccessary in case that makes it come true. I am reduced to watching and waiting for any signs of a crack forming.

But this makes it sound like I am anxious about it. Some part of me is but it is a separate part, as if I am full of many streams that intermingle at will but often lie side by side. I am all of them, but the every day me, is not always the same as the magic me.

Then there was a funeral where my hands turned hot and tingly but not in a pins and needles way. Now I need to explore this sign of healing and see if I can find out what is required.

But as I say, nothing on the surface has changed, but the waters within me are running deeper than ever. My confidence is growing as is my belief.

Crow continues to stalk me, and yesterday sea gull got in on the act as well. I remember one day I was driving, and a crow, magpie and gull flew over head, perfectly placed so that their flightpaths made an equilateral triangle. They were all flying at the same speed and were the same distance from each other. I guess I know I need to accept Crow and Seagull, I know they have some significance to me, but Magpie is the one that I like best.

But on my Samhain spread, Crow was my future. And I can see this, i can see how it is developing. I have a tribe now of two magpies and three crows. They watch for me. I know food is a great motivator, but if they did not trust me, they would not come so close.

Today I drove in to work and there was a dead rabbit on the verge. A crow was sat on it, having itself some breakfast. I don't think the eating of carrion is anyone's favourite thing about the Corbae.... Luckily I am not squeamish. I already felt like this was a sign, but this was confirmed when a colleague later asked me if I had seen it and proceeded to tell me that sea gulls had fed too.

Rabbit is / was one of my totems. Rabbit is the fear caller and I do not feel so fearful any more. Rabbit has taught me well and I am grateful for everything it has given me, and that I hope it continues to give to me. I do want to have some fledglings of my own sometime soon.... but anyway there was Crow, eating my fear.

Crow has taken note of me, and tucked me under it's wing. I think it respects my love of it's cousin Magpie. I don't think it matters if I don't feel quite the same way about Crow. Maybe Crow is just doing Magpie a favour.... *laugh* So I think that Crow is riding the wind of magic that feels as if it is flowing more strongly in to my life than ever before.

And what of Sea Gull? No idea. Not gotten that far yet, but I reckon Sea Gull is not going to go away, even if it has not called me yet.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Give and Take

I was woken earlier than I had intended by the postman with books. As I took my books from him, I looked across at nearby houses. Magpies were bickering by a chimney pot.

I logged on to discover a pretty horrific accident had taken place on the M5. The M5 is the first motorway you hit after leaving Cornwall and a big part of our journey to anywhere else in the UK really. What can you say about accidents like this? They make me so sad.

Watching the footage I can see a lorry belonging to a company we do business with. I am not sure if they picked up from us last night, I would have still been in work if they had. I could even have ended up loading that lorry... I may have met the driver of that truck at some time.

So I moved on, although the accident is haunting my day.

I dragged F to the gym (yay for me!) and watched more footage of the accident from the treadmill, which at least distracted me from the pain in my calves and from how much I wanted to stop.

But onto more positive things.... As we left the house, I spotted a neighbour had left a king size mattress on the pavement with a free to good home note attached. F and I quickly swiped it. We have a standard mattress on our standard bed but we had promised ourselves we would put together the pallet bed this weekend. The pallets are each one metre square so they will easily take the king size mattress.

As we drove away a squirrel decided to run infront of the car. I braked but was unsure whether or not it had gotten away, it was that close. I had to turn around and see and the squirrel appears to have escaped by the skin of it's teeth, thankfully. Sqirrels are a message about the universe providing, about letting go and about preparing for the future. Very apt confirmation that taking the mattress from the pavement was the right thing to do! And the timing as well, with us planning to sort the bed this weekend.....

All is good really but the day has an edge to it....

Calendar Girl

Sooo overtime is sucking the life from my life and my healthy eating and exercise has stalled but we are back on it today for sure.... There is just so much I have not done, have to do, want to do... and it seems as if there is just not enough energy and impetus to do it!

I still have not done my thank yous from the wedding.....!! but a friend gave me a great idea yesterday - calendars. You can design your own calendars online and get them printed and sent to you... So my plan looks like this now....

Personal calendars for immediate family as bonus Xmas pressies.
Family calendars to my older relatives and close friends as their Xmas presents with their thank you letters and Xmas cards.
Desk calendars with thank yous and Xmas cards for family and friends

I think if things are a bit late but look thoughtful and genuine, then people are more likely to let me off! I can make all the calendars focus on the family and friends in question too as I could not face sending someone a calendar of hundreds of photos of me!

I received two new books today - another two dummies guides to.... I like these books because you know they are broad introductions to a subject. Sometimes you buy a book on a subject and it is focused too much on one aspect or on the authors views. This is fine if the subject is one you already know something about but not when you want an introduction. So now I have books on IBS and Meditation to add to my Neuro Linguistic Programming and Tai Chi.... and I have Florence! *does happy dance*

Time to get moving again on my life I think!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Time Comes Loop

I don't know how many months thos painted pallets have been sat in our bedroom waiting to be put together... Must be getting on for six months. They have become features in their own right, festooned with clothes and other accoutrements.

F noticed last weekend that with the change in weather and our bed currently being against an outside wall with no headboard, that our breathing and sweating is causing condensation to form between the bed and the wall. We have promised ourselves that the bed will go up this weekend and we will sort the bedroom out.

I think the tide has turned now Samhain is done with. It needs to have turned because there are things we have been putting off but need to accomplish. Maybe I should right a list... Maybe I should try not to get sucked into family trees and the past.

If I won the lottery I would spend a fair bit of time researching. there are so many records out there. A lot is on the internet these days but if you can go to local records offices you can find out so very much more and I love it..... It brings history alive. It also explains things within my family in some cases. Events that happened generations past do rumble on down through the generations, whether we see it or not.

My Great Great Great Grandfather was a little on the dodgy side, he served time for breakig hedges, stealing wood and stealing hurdles. He had three children. The oldest, J also served time and for more serious things than his Father too. Assaults, maliciously attacking doors and then heartbreakingly, in 1851 he was sentenced to one month for stealing a loaf of bread. Much information is available on this, including his short defence. He was hungry, he had had no work for 17 weeks and had survived the last three days on 1 penny's worth of bread. Viva the Industrial Revolution.....

J lived with his sister and brother and they obviously did their best to look after each other, but even so. S was the next oldest and she had an illegitimate child. I am not sure if it was the baby's father or someone else but she set fire to this man's house, with him and several other people in it....

The younger brother, my great great grandfather was a rat catcher and not surprisingly was also in trouble with the law. He even has his photo attached to his records.... He took the money offered to join the local militia. The militias were being raised to cover the duties at home that the regular forces could not complete as they were fighting in the Crimean. He deserted and was sentenced. However, there is a book that says some were recruited illegaly and had to be released. Some of these however later took a second financial bribe and signed back up again. I would loe to know where he fit in in all of this and one day I shall find the appropriate records.... See where he did go and what he did do. i bet he only signed up through hunger as well...

My Great Great Grandfather's children all put him down as various professions on their marriage certificates - the most amusing being gamekeeper! The though of a gamekeeper keeping rats tickles my sense of humour! They all left and bettered themselves and my Great Great gained a trade, a wife and a whole bunch of kids. He obviously knew he was ill before he died - his eldest son requested discharge from the Army six months before he died. He also obviously extracted promises from my Grandfather. Look after your sisters, it is your duty to do right by them, let them follow their hearts and marry as they will and when they will.... They did. My Grandfather was not free himself to follow his own desires for many a year and did not marry until he was in his forties.

My Grandfather died himself when my Father was only just old enough to take on the business and would have known he was dying. I bet he asked my Dad to look after his Mother and my Dad did, although thankfully she didn't live with us! And my Dad to this day looks after all of us. He works hard and does his best to provide.

My family has for generations looked after everyone as best it can, brothers and sisters, down through the generations, even those too poor to even really look after themselves.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Hip Halloween

My contribution to happy Halloween-iness!

All is better here today, the energy of that last week is subsiding.... I have a good book and all is right in the world (for tonight at least!)

Friday, 28 October 2011

Blue Moon

OK so... Not the worlds best day!

I had a driving test today - a work related one and while I passed, I did not pass well, not at all. In fact, I don't think I should have passed. I don't feel good about it. While I know I am not dangerous at all, I am lacking in confidence and a bit on the nervous side, and very much on the slow side. Like I said, I don't feel good, not at all.....

And the moon has hit me hard this month! It was always going to too, stress of wedding organisation didn't allow my body to unwind and when it did after the wedding, it only did it partially. I knew this one would be a biggy but it is probably the the worse I have had in 15 years.

I also have a funeral to attend next week.

Apart from that, everything is good amd there is still plenty of good stuff kicking around in my life. Drumming tomorrow. My Neuro Linguistic Programming book. My lovely man and my horrid dog! And mostly - it's Friday! yaayyyyyyy!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Family Feud

I guess every family has one, or two, or maybe even more, if you go back far enough. This one concerns a Great Grandfather (D) and his two sons, E the Elder and Y the Younger. D had a trade and he worked in that trade for most of his life but at some point he bought the business he worked for. He had two sons and many daughters. Instead of leaving it to the eldest son, he left it to the younger son with the expectation that his son would support the remaining daughters and look after them.

This should be the end of the story, but of course it isn't. E was bitter about this and I think one or more of the older sisters may have supported him, sisters who had left home and made their own way in life and stood to gain nothing, and lose nothing. Not surprsingly the different branches of the family went their own ways until I was a teenager, when we got back in contact and arranged to meet.

I remember this meeting through a fog of time. There was odd undercurrents and the bitterness was still apparent, having been passed down the generations. Odd how people see things, the business was as much a burden as a blessing at times. It was nursed through recessions and required long, long hours. Often to see my Dad, we had to go to work. He is retired now, but all that hard graft has taken it's toll and he has never really had the health to fully enjoy his retirement.

Tracing my family tree has explained a few things though. I can kind of understand why E was so bitter. You see E was in the Army. In 1911 he was an Errand Boy at the tender age of 17 probably working for the same company as his fatherand living at home. In 1912 however he was called to join the reserves and was now in a different trade, probably not anything to do with the company his father worked for.

Later on he was called up and became a soldier, a driver and in 1916 he married and was no longer living at his family home. In fact he must have moved out some time between 1912 and 1916 because the lady he married lived on the same street as he now lived on. So he was no longer living at home and probably no longer contributing to his parents and sisters support.

he fought the good fight around the world and actually went career. He was obviously good at what he did because his army records clearly show him being transferred from unit to unit as they were disbanded at the end of the war. He must have enjoyed it too.

In 1919 however he left the army, with a free discharge at his own request. Later that year his Father died. He had probably received word of his Fathers ill health and returned home. He probably expected to inherit the family business as the eldest son. His Father did differently though. He left it to Y who was only 17.

Y had been too young to go to war and stayed home, probably worked with his Father and been steady and hard working. He knew the business and lived at home with no wife. I can image D extracted some promises from Y about taking care of his sisters, having them life at home and not sending them off to work as servants etc and letting them marry in their own time. E would not have been a good bet for such assurances - he had already been managing a second home and had a wife and he had been away from the family for many years and did not know the business as well. I suspect the moving out and working in a different trade would have caused rows too.... A hard choice....

No wonder E was bitter - he had given all for his country and sacrificed his career for his family and now he had been cheated by a little brother....

But the thing is, Y did not marry until he was in his 40s. The younger sisters stayed home and they all married in their own good time. He obviously looked after them. They obviously felt no bitterness about how things worked out - one branch of the family is still good friends to this day and some of the members of this branch were at my tiny wedding. The youngest sister was someone we used to visit when I was little, but I remember very little about her.

But I feel like I understand now, a lot better.... I wonder if E would have done any different if he had had to make that choice?

Friday, 21 October 2011

It feels like so much has happened since I last blogged. It has been a busy week for sure.

Monday and Tuesday I went to the gym like a good little girl. I got a good sweat on with my walk that is in reality little more than a saunter to most folks. F was going at that speed on his warm up. But it felt good.

Then there was another trip to the podiatrist. The corrective stuff is working well and unless things start to hurt again i don't need to go back for some time. I had noticed that the exercises were making one foot stronger than the other. The weak foot was the one I hurt last Christmas so i was not surprised. A little bone somewhere in the middle foot was stiff and it was clear when he showed me.... And now it is sore because he did rather a lot of loosening of it!

We had another fascinating chat about feet and going barefoot. How we should run and walk and why we should all really be barefoot. We talked about what I should be doing and where I should be aiming. Building up my gluts and walking barefoot on the beach... Shame it is cold now!

After going to the gym on Tuesday I came over feeling very, very cold. I have been cold ever since, and yes the weather has taken a sharp turn for the cold here but even so... I am under the weather, almost getting a cold, but not quite. I am hoping I may have dodged it, but it has reduced my energy levels this week. I have not done so much really. I intend to keep it that way this weekend....

My Magpies appear well, however, I don't always get to feed them any more. A big Crow has figured out what I am up to and sometimes he is sat by my car waiting for me now. He has two smaller Crows in attendance and sometimes they fly over when they see him get food. Today I only had one of the smaller Crows. My two Magpies won't take on the big Crow but if there is one smaller Crow, they will hop around and sneak a bit of food, if I scatter it widely enough. I have to say it is quite fun to watch them.

I don't begrudge the Crows, not really, but I do wish they would share with my friends. My heart does not sing for the Crows like it does for the Magpies and Mr and Mrs have become so very familiar to me over this last year.

This morning as I was driving to work the music I was listening to went quiet and then had the sound of a hawk. Just as the hawk screeched (or whatever it is they do), a Magpie hopped onto a roof and looked like it was calling. It made me giggle.... I love my Magpies.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Walk Down Memory Lane

OK so yesterday did not agree with me - one bit..... Today I feel rough as but there is always another day and I sure will not be breaking my diet today! *laugh*

When F finally wakes and vacates the bed, I will be sneaking back in and pulling that duvet up over my head.

Today though, after a little reminder about working on memory on Lisa's blog, I am going to get back on it. The first two techniques combined well to create visual hooks to hang words you wish to remember on to. They combined to give me twenty hooks. I actually find myself using this technique a fair bit. I mentally create my shopping list as I find things I need to buy.

Oh I need rice milk, that's the second thing on my list. Number two is a swan from the shape of the number.... I think my swan is swimming in a lake of rice milk today. So we end up with snakes eating cottage cheese and monkeys spraying under their arms with fry light. One really hard one was Oatibix bites which happened to be number ten which is moon over water. The moon was not a person this time but a wild horse (who had had too many oats) that was trying to bite. I like that image....

The hooks were made in the following way - 1 to 10 were choosen as they relate to the form of the number, so one is a candle, two is a swan, three is a book left open with curling covers etc. 11 - 20 are choosen for rhyming, so fifteen (five) is jive, sixteen (six is sticks), seventeen (seven) is heaven. You choose whatever images work best for you. Seventeen led to one of my favourite images. Halloween pumpkins sitting on clouds with halos.....

So the next technique is to make a memory room and it got put off due to the wedding. I need to sit down and plan out my room and the route that I will take around it and the various objects in it. When you want to remember things you alter the state of things in the room. I will fill it full of things I like that have significance to me. So maybe a drum, a horse, some magpies, definitely a big schoshy sofa and a tree. And some doors. Eventually I might make my memory room in to a memory house with this room set up as the entrance hallway. Until then the doors can be open or shut and show views on to different places.

One really interesting thing though, is that in Katherine Kerr's magnificent set of books set in Deverry, one story has considerable use of this technique. Not only does he manipulate things in the real world by it but it is fluid, so things change in the house without him doing it. He might have a statue of a significant person and depending on what is going on with that person the statue changes by itself. I have no idea if any of that is possible! You can be sure I will look out for any minor changes though!

I have also been continuing reading about the Alexander Technique. It is clear that some lessons would help with understanding this all in relation to my body though. Still I intend to find out if my Podiatrist thinks any particular leg muscles need to be worked in the gym to assist with the exercises he will give me. I know I am using my legs poorly. I have knock knees, flat feet and one leg is longer than the other. Currently we are using support and exercises to correct my flat feet.

In the gym yesterday, sauntering along on the treadmill ( well a saunter for other people, a workout for me), I was opposite a mirror. I could see quite clearly that as I walk, I place my shorter leg's foot straight but my long leg's foot is turned outward. My short leg ankle has been troublesome this past year and the foot has not gained strength as quickly as my other foot. There is a lot more work to be done.

Last time I went to the gym, they had to show you every machine and I ended up with a giant unwieldy routine that was unworkable. The emphasis has changed considerably. I went on three pieces of cardio equipment and that was it, and will be it for a little while. I am hoping that the podiatrist will give me a few machines that would beneficial - and then the gym staff can show me them too. Music is going to be key in my gym experience though....

I am at my fattest ever now, fatter by far than last time I went to the gym, quite a few years ago. The interesting thing is, quite a few people recently have said that they think I have lost quite a bit of weight. I personally think it is about confidence and happiness. This year has been so much better inside my head. This next year is about my health, fitness and weight. Making my body match my mind.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


So today it has all started.

The diet began at breakfast. My organic fruit, meat and veg arrived yesterday. So there was organic sausages with our healthy bacon and poached eggs. The last of our shrooms were cooked up with an organic onion. Then there was a glass of rice milk and a couple of little cheeses for my dairy and some toast for fibre.

I just hope I can keep the momentum up.... these breakfasts will only occur at the weekend so I have to find another way during the week and that is always where I struggle.

Now I have to plan the menu for the next little while so I can freeze the rest of the meat we don't need. And over all this looms the gym and I can feel myself start to get a bit nervous, even though the person doing my induction is a mate and F will be there too....

Life is also prompting me to get a swimming cosi. Well in fact I have no choice. A hen night in arrangements will contain a trip to a spa. I have found these things called swim dresses and I am going to get one, even though they are not overly cheap. I need to feel like the nasty skin at the tops of my legs is not fully on view. Of course losing weight should help my skin condition too. I have deformed sweat glands that get blocked easily so rubbing is enough to cause problems. i can't imagine having legs that don't rub.

Mel has been talking about dangerous thoughts and it was immediately obvious that this is one of mine. I can be thin, fit and healthy. That thought, taken seriously just requires so much. So much pain, so much effort, a good dose of misery too, in the short(ish) term at least. Oh and deprivation.... my poor sweet tooth!

On another note. Saw this video earlier and was just so impressed with the way the words have been used.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Soul Music

So I like music - I always have. F and I have way too many CDs. In fact I have too much music to fit on to my ipod - all 120G! More than I can ever really listen to...

I played instruments at school. I played the recorder. From soprano to bass. I reached grade five on the descant and three on the treble and I can't remember what grade in theory. I dabbled with the guitar. I could find my way around a piano. I picked up the flute and clarinet and put both down again very quickly. I love to sing too.

I lost music for many years. I know that may sound strange, but I truly did. A lack of working stereo. No working tape or CD player in my car. A lack of music that made my heart sing and a lack of money to correct that. So many reasons, but truly I lost myself for so many years.

F alsways laughs at me when I sing because i forget the words. I make them up. But I always remember the tune. Don't get me wrong, I love words, but mostly for what they can do, the stories they can tell, what they can communicate, not for the words themselves so much. I am coming to realise that I have been trained to think in words but my strengths lie elsewhere. i think words themselves have been blocking me somewhat.

I talk myself through journeying. I talk myself through thinking - I barely listen to the non-verbalised thoughts in my brain any more. I have almost forgotten that I have thoughts accessible by my conscious self that are not verbalised. Journeying had been a little foggy for me because of this, but drumming really, really really helped. Even then I still verbalised. This makes it very hard for the words of the other to come to me. In meeting with my Magpie, I found it so hard to follow any meaningful conversation. It was meaningful of course, but so much detail was lost....

Although a friend advised me to find a drumming circle. I had already been prompted in this direction sometime previously by a dream. I don't remember much from the dream but very clearly there was Florence and the Machines Drumming Song.

The chatter in my head is much quieter than it used to be, but it is still there and this leaves much more space for other things to come through. My whole being and spirituality is taking me in a different direction now.

Another night I woke with James Ring the Bells in my head. A song I have not heard in so many years. Listening to his music now, again, with a different worldview, I am convinced that his spirituality is similar to mine. The song shouted in joyful tones that I am walking the right path....

So I have been having many chats about dreams recently and in talking about new types of dreams, to me. I commented that I had a recent experience of images flashing quicker than I could register or even properly see them. I was referred to hypnagogia. Which made me realise that I am aware of this falling asleep time and have been for most of my life, but for me hypnagogia is not generally visual as I fall asleep, for me it is musical.

So last night I woke with a song and the realisation that music is where I receive so much guidance and truth. The precious songs that have played at important moments in my life and helped me through, or tell me I am loved, or make me just plain happy.... And last night I was gifted another song.

Fix You by Coldplay.

Reading the words this morning almost made me cry. I know it is probably about some relationship difficulties or some such but the words for me right now have a very different meaning. The offer of help and guidance and reassurance from whatever you wish to call it, that I am doing the right thing, right now, in trying to change my health completely. Now is the time.....

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Well it's all done..... good money spent and I am committed to my temporary misery! Wish me luck! Everything kicks off next weekend really.....

The Never Never

I feel mixed up - ten parts beaten, ten parts tired, ten parts despairing, ten parts fat and ten parts unfit.... there are other things I feel too, but they buoy me up rather than weighing me down. I need to lose weight and now is the time. I have to do what needs to be done.

I played on the Wii on Friday. Watching Biggest Loser, I had realised that Wii Fit was a little tame - i don't even really work up a sweat. I bought a second hand copy of the Biggest Loser game and I bounced around. I found it so hard. It is designed to burn fat and I kinda appear fit enough it seems to get myself into the moderately fit category - but I just don't have the stamina to work out at that pace. I felt light headed and i sat down. And then I despaired.

I then had the nasty thought that maybe I needed to get myself back to the gym. I know people at the gym, I have friends who are qualified gym instructors there. Two of them were at my wedding. I know they would help me. if I went back, I would not have a personal trainer, with me every second, but I would have the next best thing - someone watching over me with a personal interest in helping me.

F also has membership still and would bemore than happy to have a reason to start going again. he loves exercise when he gets in to it. He needs to start getting away from that computer again.

We talked this morning and I told him my thoughts and how I was feeling. So I am going to join the gym again. I have ordered some tracky bottoms. I have the good trainers with the support I require. I am going to facebook my friend and go mep at him. I am going to book my gym intro thing.

But I have always preferred diet as a means of getting thin and we can't neglect this aspect. F has always liked the way I get behind it all and start planning stuff but I need his help with the doing - because i will feel pretty awful after the first few days and my energy levels will suffer for the next few weeks.

We decided against diet clubs. We have been before and with F's shifts it gets complicated. It also takes up a lot of time to hear how other people ar getting on. And while this is supportive and good, it is also expensive for two of us and we on't really enjoy it.... So we have decided to go it alone, but use our old books from when we did go.

What I decided to do, although F was ambivalent, is to go back to the veg boxes. I like them because you get an unpredictable variety which helps (mostly) keep your veg eating out a rut. You also have the challenge of using it all up before the next one comes and working out meals that craftily use it all without having to buy extras from the supermarket.

I also elected to get some fruit and meat. i love the meat boxes. Good quality meat. The price of meat in the supermarkets currently is such that these boxes are more competitive than they used to be. Mostly because they are not full of prime cuts. i went for two smaller boxes - this gives us more variety without huge cuts of meat that encourage us to eat too much meat. I got a winter warmers box full of things for stewing and this will include odd joints I have never, ever had the courage to try cooking with before - like ox tail. This is a good thing. i also went for a quick and easy box with sausages and burgers and the like. Most of the meat will sit in the freezer.....

So I am getting myself well placed to begin this ofensive against ill health and flab. Using everything we have done and learnt over the years in one big combined battle. I know it will feel like I am losing to begin with. I know I will want to give up. but I can't. I need this too much. i want to live my life how I want to live it and for that, i need to be a lot thinner.

I have to start living as if I was thin and doing the things I want to do now, rather than waiting for the never never. It is going to hurt though. i don't like all this really. not at all.

Friday, 7 October 2011

And what do I see on facebook two seconds after writing my last post?

Talk about synchronicity. sent shivers down my spine....

Change A Foot

I always planned to change things up a little after the wedding - to look at my health properly and look at how I can change my life in a way that truly works for me. Time to sort myself out.

So I bought things with my birthday money - Tai Chi DVD's and book, Neuro Linguistic Programming book, Alexander Technique books. Things that have been burbling in the back of my head as being good, gentle places for me to start.

The Alexander Techique is all about good posture to reduce stress on the body. How you stand, how you sit, how you move. of course many of these things start with the feet.... and my feet always hurt. They turn over badly as well. My masseuse (sounds sooo posh! I have regular lymphatic detox massages and i soooo need them) said that my recent exercise had caused put my legs out of alignment because my arches were weak in my feet.

This made me think about feet as relates to walking and posture and body a bit. F went to see a Podiatrist some years ago and I decided to book an appointment and go see what he had to say about how my feet work.

He had a lot to say. he is no longer a Podiatrist who focuses solely on support - he focuses on strengthening so you no longer need support. I have nice new supportive insoles with wedges to correct my feet but I also have a spiky ball and foot exercises to do.

He also advised which trainers to get and I went out and bought them. Just wearing my new trainers with my insoles for half a day and I could feel the difference. My feet did not hurt last night, or this morning when I got up. i can't remember the last time that happened. Being overweight does not help at all of course....

So all is good....


That is not the end of this post. We spoke about other healt related things and he suggested a whole range of other things I barely know anything about. One thing I felt very strongly from our conversation is that science is moving on, it is starting to look at and understand why some spiritual / faith things work.

Like grounding - except they call it earthing. it seems there is a growing body of research that is showing that walking bare foot and connecting to the earth is good for us. That it allows a natural flow of electricity if you like that helps clear up nasties in the bodies, like free radicals and antioxidants and all that stuff..... wow! How cool is that! I have some reading matter to go and investigate now but.... just wow.... Oh and some people have reported feeling better spiritually following grounding *grin*

This conversation surprised me and made me think of some other conversations I have had recently. There is someone I know who is a fanatic. He talks openly about conspiracy theories, UFOs and aliens (although more in the style of Graham Hancock really) and all nature of spiritual stuff. he is such a strong believer that it automatically makes people a little uncomfortable and puts him on the frings of things - which he is strong enough to accept.

I had the impression during one of our talks that he knows change is coming but he doesn't see it coming amongst everyday folk. I disagreed - I mentioned about the internet, how people talk here, share their lives, blog, change, grow. All in small ways mostly but we form a network of people that are gently changing and shifting. More and more people are like us, even scientists and professionals. Change is coming gently seeping through. The more open you are the more people you find - even when you are having your feet checked out.... People are opening up to the possibilities.

If there is a big change coming, it will be us that change it, not the fanatics, but they will help carry us through, they are the pioneers for sure. but it is the likes of us that will change society....

What do you think?Link

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Traveling on the Beat of the Drum

I have been thinking about what I am and am not willing to share... I decided that I was willing to share my journeys and experiences, but only if they did not relate to someone else's questions. As part of our drumming afternoon, we did a solo journey, a group journey on a question posed by one of the people, plus some healing with drums. All very good but I just don't think it right to put my views on happenings personal to others out there...

so here is my journey... Much more vivid than normal! I stil had to talk myself through it a bit but things were happening in that place without me thinking about them. Some of the things that happened really surprised me!

I started by the oak tree in my parents garden. I remember when the oak tree wasn't there. I remember when we first saw it shooting above the grass. It roots hold wishes of mine. I looked up into the tree and saw a magpie. I was dubious of this because magpie, is the obvious totem for me but also because I know totems will appear multiple times....

So I turned away towards the house. Except it had gone! And there were trees, everywhere.... The shape of the land of my home was there but everything else was different. I think I turned into a bird because i was above the trees by now, looking down as I explored the area.

We were supposed to be doing an Underworld journey so I decided to try going down. I flew at the ground and it opened up and swallowed me down in to a tunne, which led to a beautiful cave. There was nothing there for me, so I dived into a pool of water and swam on. It led into a tunnel that popped out into the ocean. There was nothing there for me either. So I swam up towards the sun. There was nothing there for me either. but I could see land, and it was covered with trees.

I fgured that I perhaps should have stayed in the forest in the first place. I didn't even need to swim there, I was just there....

Once in the forest, I felt like dancing, so i did. I danced in and out of the trees and suddenly there was others with me. Maybe people, maybe spirits, maybe part animal. No idea. but we danced in joy and made a serpent dancing through the trees.

The dance reached it's height and I woke under a tree in a ball and I looked up. And there was Magpie again. This time I accepted it and suddenly magpie was dissasociating and flowing down and out of the tree into the shape of a young woman with black and white hair. She took my hand and we walked and found ourselves at a fire in the now twilight. Grandmother Bear was there too, along with other spirits I did not study or identify.

We had tea and then it was dark. We lay back and looked at the sky, where there was so many, many stars. Magpie pointed out the giant Magpie in the sky. Then Grandmother Bear started to speak and she told us about the stars in the sky and how they started off as spirits. (I find conversation and stories really, really hard in journeys. I know I missed much of this).

Magpie then started asking me questions. About who I am and what I wanted to be. I can't remember all the ins and outs of this but the point of it all was that I can be who I want to be, I can do what I want to do. I can shine as bright as I wish, as bright as a star, but only if I choose to. I have long felt like I was supposed to do something, fated. I guess that is not so, not exactly anyway. The lesson was that personal choice is very important, just as luck and fate are too.....

Then it was time to return.

In the group journey we were to go to the upperworld. I started on a hill near where I grew up that is used by gliders and the like because it is so steep, you can just run off the side... and this is what I did! (again to my surprise) and I turned into a bird. No guesses what sort!

It felt good.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Hard Choices

Current dieting wisdom seems to be 80% good 20% bad. I could handle this. Mostly good but still allowed my chocolate and caramel etc etc. Nice. Not so likely to fall off that sot of diet.

But there is a reason I have not ever managed it. IBS. I also think IBS is what has made me fat as well. Just a little diet change like healthy snacks at work has really improved things for me. But also made them much, much worse. Now things I was eating just fine last month cause me immense discomfort. A bit of mayo in my sandwich is now a huge problem. A bar of chocolate makes my feet hurt. And on it goes.

i always forget why my diets fail in between times.

Simply put. If I innoculate my body everyday with bad foods, it deals with them well enough that I am only a little bit ill, but I am little ill everyday. As soon as I start being passibly good, then I am no longer innoculating my body with the bad foods and it forgets how to deal with them, then I am really, really ill.

Being good is very time consuming and I have never gotten it right enough that I could survive on it long term. The new snacking regime is really helping though and is definitely another brick in the wall.

Learning how to exclude dairy products from my diet is another very large brick....

I guess I just have to focus on the good points - my body is better from this small change. My ankles are less swoolen. I have lost a little weight. My digestive system is functioning better (even if it's temper tantrums are much bigger).

Keep going.... I have a brain, surely I can figure this all out?

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Small Changes

I have struggled with diet for a long time. New thinking on diets seems to be that you should eat natural, unprocessed foods and never let yourself get hungry. Easier said than done....

I was a bad snacker. The effort of preparing healthy meals often meant I had run out of steam for snacks as I tried to make everything too fancy. Snacks for me were crisps, chocolate, cake, sweets and biscuits. My fancy efforts were always doomed to failure die to a lack of time anc convenience. When you work, it just isn't possible to do everything!

So my diets were always doomed and I was a yoyo dieter in effect, because I had not found a way to make it work for me.

So when someone suggested I was more than happy to give it a go. And it was good. The foods were healthy but nice. I realised that variety is essential in snacks. Buying a bag of nuts and leaving it in your desk is not going to work. You need different snacks for throughout the day and different snacks for different days.

Not cheap to have that much variety. Not cheap to buy daily snack boxes by post either. In fact much more expensive in the long run.

F also realised that this was something that would be good for him as well, particularly as he has a job now where he can be on the go a lot with unpredictable breaks.

It made sense to invest in tupperware and a selection of stuff for the pair of us and for me to put together a few little boxes of stuff each evening for the following day. It only takes a few minutes. So we have nuts and dried fruit and seeds and crackers and all sorts of nice things and we mix 'em up.

Shortly after starting this, I also started listening to Paul mcKenna's, I Can Make You Thin again and the two have been working well together.

All of a sudden my IBS is a problem again though. As soon as I start being good and everything gets better, I have to start being careful with what I eat again. Mayo is now a problem as is chocolate......

But yesterday I had to do up my belt an extra notch. Never used that notch before. And all this with very little effort. My jeans feel looser around the legs as well. It won't be long before I need to buy a smaller size. And how great is that?

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Beat the Drums

I went to a my first ever drumming and journeying circle and it was really good. It feels 'right' where other pagan gatherings have not been a perfect fit. It was fun as well, with people having a laugh and being genuine and nice. Although there was darker sides to it, that was more about where some of the journeys took us....

F really surprised me when I told him about by saying he would come to. I was really, really surprised. And a little concerned. I didn't think he had very much idea of what he was going to. Reading the odd paragraph here and there in books I leave lying around..... But he was quietly firm.

This morning he told me that a work colleague, suddenly and out of the blue asked him what he knew about shamanism. At this point I took it a quiet little sign that he was definitely supposed to come with me.

He surprised me some more by showing natural skill at identifying peoples illnesses. And surprised me further by wanting to come again.

I like having a partner, who, even after all these years, still has the power to surprise me.....

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

My soul dislikes.....

I wasn't going to air any petty greivances from my wedding, but well, there was only two, my Mum not being very nice to a member of the reception venue and having a piece of glass I liked thrown out because she thought it looked like a jam jar.... That all got sorted and I got it back and my Mum has since upped her diabetes medication. It was all too much for her by the end of the day...

But well, the other one, I have a reason for wanting to drag this one out as you shall see, if you stick with what will enevitably be a fairly long post....

I have an Aunt, sort of. She was married to my Uncle but they divorced before I was old enough to remember them being together. She somehow became a regular part of my family anyway. There was always christmas and birthday presents, even though she was always poor. She had strong ideals of who she would and would not work for and couldn't drive so work options were always limited and we have such a good benefits system in this country....

She would often come to stay and was a good friend to me, once I was an adult, we disliked each other when I was a kid. My Dad always disliked her, called her a scrounger. Anyway, she was good to me. She was there when I had missed periods. She took me away house sitting for friends when she knew I was too poor for a holiday (but she did get free transport out of that). She was there for moral support when I needed someone who understood my family to talk to to.

The last few years though I have drifted away. I had started to feel a little narked if she was staying at my parents house for the entire duration of a visit of mine with them. She probably sees them way more than I do, as she lives so much closer.

She has siblings, who have families of their own. She has increasingly found herself on the outside oh her family. I think families are like onions with their layes and they may have more than one heart in there all wrapped up together. Families grow from the middle. So my onion once had my parents, my sis and me at it's heart, but I got F and S and she got her little darlings and now there are two new hearts within the centre of my family onion. Eventually our offspring will find that our onions are entirely separate.... She calls my family, her other family.

So with the wedding. I knew she would not be able to afford somewhere to stay so I said she could stay here, even though I knew it would be a squeeze and she probably would not get a bed.... Even though she can't stand dogs and her dislike and pushing away and fussing about them is a little trying. She then said that she would come down with my parents, I suggested this might not be a very viable idea as Dad finds the drive particularly tiring these days and they would have a pretty full car. I knew very well that Dad would not want to spend that long trapped in a car with her... So she suggested she might come down with my Sis to which I pointed out that there was more of them and they were staying self-catered so there definitely would be no room. I also pointed out that as all of them would be staying at mine that first night, there really would be no room at all....

She agreed to come down two days before the wedding by train.

But then she wanted to stay until three days after the wedding, I was horrifed and so was F. She went quiet on the phone when I said it would not be a good idea as we would be very tired and everyone else was leaving the day before.... I looked to F for help and he pointed out his job start... My Aunt backed down and agreed on two days after the wedding. But I was more than a little irritated, it isn't our duty to get her to and from and provide her with bed and board, not really, and it was all a little too pushy.... I wanted time with my parents without a ghost tagging along. It is the first time I have seen them in a year.

So she came down, realised that reports on the state of my house were not exaggerated. Decided the sofa looked uncomfortable, the damp was too much, who knows.... She had S's room that night but I refused to turf him out for her, he has had quite a summer and this is the only place he has had room tohimself, I was not about to take it away. She announced before bed that night that she would see if she could stay in a hotel in town for the rest of the stay. Which she did. I was very, very annoyed. Firstly it felt like an insult of my hospitality. Secondly, if she could afford to do so, why had she been so pushy about staying here in the first place? Couldn't she see that as the epicentre of my big day, there was only going to be chaos here - particularly with only one bathroom!

She still came over for every waking moment and all her meals. She was just there, a person to tuck in the car. A person to feed. She would offer to pay for herself, knowing that when one person is paying for a meal say, that for one person to have to pay for themselves is not really done. Every one else would take it in turns to pay or get a round of drinks.... The offer of paying was enough as far as she was concerned...

We said good bye the night before she was due to go and I did not expect to see her the following morning before her train. But there she appeared. Me in my PJs sorting bits of glass having just found out how my Mum's diabetes can affect her mood and very unhappy.... My parents packing their car.... Maybe she expected us to find the time to take her to the station and go to the hotel to pick up her luggage (a short walk from the station). She soon realised that my parents car was too full and we were too not dressed and up.... I don't know if she even realised she had walked in to a tricky situation.... Not sure she cared either.

So I am still cross... And for the first time I can very much see my Dad's point of view on this. I expect my distance with her will continue.

So why have I decided that I have to air all this now? I had a dream last night. I was back in my old school....

So I was in the building, near the school hall and there was a load of us young vital ladies there. I was talking with one who had decided to dye her hair red and green. As we were talking a shadow fell and we realised a bad man was after her, maybe her Dad, maybe not, I have no idea. I decided to help her hide as I knew the building.

We set off at a run and instead of going upstairs by the big, grand public staircase, we took the closer, servants staircase, hidden behind a door. It bought us some time. We rushed through the dorms to get to the one I wanted. One with a secret room. It was used as a dorm as well in my time but it had previously been a priest's hole to hide a priest during the reformation. Although it had reverted back to it's old form, I struggled to find the door and when I did, I only found it by it's keyhole. And it was locked.

My dream jumped forward and I was talking to my Mum. She was excited to tell me some things she had found out. Firstly, all the girls that had vanished had had five year old children. Secondly, the last person to stay in that room had been my Aunt and she had been the one who locked it.

I had this one worked out before I even got out of bed. When I was a kid, my Aunt came to stay and there was not enough room, so I had to go and share with my Sister while my Aunt slept in my bedroom. One morning she woke to find me stood at the end of her bed and I said, when are you going home. She found this hilarious, she stilldoes. She put this down as her interesting fact for the wedding to share with all the guests.... That irritated me very much.

I was quite probably five when this happened. I think the dream has to do with this story and I think it is also to do with the loss of pieces of soul. I reckon you can join the dots from here. Maybe my regaining of that piece of soul is why my relationship with her has changed back to that of my childhood one.... The piece of soul I lost was one that meant I didn't like her too much. Maybe these events were involved with my loss of this soul piece. I think so. I lost many pieces of my soul growing up but I have been working hard to welcome them back and many of them have come back I feel.....

Another knot untugged a little to see what is within