Monday, 28 May 2012

Rolling Down the Road

Sometimes things just don't go to plan.  Nobody's plan at all....

A lovely older couple were going to be celebrating their Ruby Wedding Anniversary this weekend.  We were unable to go up for the whole weekend but arranged to travel up for one day of the festivities.  And we did.

One of the couple has terminal cancer and unfortunately a few hours in, he took ill and went to hospital and has been kept there so far.  I kind of had in my mind that this would be the last time I would see him and I was determined to go anyway.

So we went and left part part way through to visit him in the hospital.  He was only supposed to have guests two at a time but we were lucky and they let us use a sitting room and he came out to us.  Nobody chased us away at the end of visiting time either...  We spent an enjoyable time with him telling us many a story.  It was a lovely time...  He rose to the occasion and I think the visit did his spirits good, particularly as he was missing his party...

But as he took my arm as we walked to the sitting room I could feel that it was not just a guesture of friendliness, he needed my help.  And hidden by his pyjamas, his arms have gotten so very thin.  And if you looked past the animation and personality and spirit, you could see his ill health.  F assures me with the practiced eye of one who sees very poorly people every day that he looks like he has a good while yet, but it was still bittersweet...

And i felt for his wife - running the party and entertaining the guests by herself.  It must have been so very hard, and then at the end, when everyone had left, going home.  But I also think there was some good things for her too.  I think she realised the degree of support she would have from everyone.  She looked so strong.

I would like to think I could have done something else for them, that this path I am on gives me some ability to do something good just by having been there...  If that is so then I shall never know, but in truth, I lack training and understanding to do very much more than have raised his spirits with an unexpected visit.

Those wheels turn how they will and I turn with them.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Tooth of the Lion

Sometimes things just won't go away.  They just stick around, even though you don't know what to do with them.

Dandelion is not going away.

It started with me noticing them a lot as they came in to flower.  Then on holiday, the Dandelions over there were already gone to seed and they had absolutely huge seedheads, far bigger than ours here.

When I returned here I talked of the animals we saw while away and Mel commented about her own encounter with a Rabbit...

'on Thursday morning i stood for ages watching a rabbit eating dandelions (it was like someone slurping spaghetti!) was quite daylight and she would have been easily spotted....but she sat and tucked in nonetheless...'

And then there was a comment that randomly landed in my inbox.  A recent comment on an old blog post of Lisa's here....  This post is the story of a girl coming to terms with her heritage via Dandelions and the comment referred to being drawn to Dandelions too...

And then they appear in  the books I am reading.  I recently read the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.  Two of the main characters first met as children and there was a Dandelion involved as a sign.  The third and final book ends with Dandelions too.....

'What I need is the dandelion in the spring.  The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction.  The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses.  That it can be good again.'

They are there on a walk with F and S and we end up blowing the seeds off them at each other.  And I remember how as a child on a walk with relatives one of them told me that dandelion seeds were fairies and if you caught one on the air you could whisper your wishes to it before letting it go.  he spent most of the rest of the walk trying to catch seeds for me.  I make wishes as F and S chase after each other.

A seed blows into my car one day as I have lunch.

I look at books and not one but two have dandelions on the front with the seeds blowing away.

I have come across various meanings...  courage and tenacity, faith and loyalty, wishes do come true.  I also found a reference to using a sachet of dandelion roots flowers and leaves for psychic dreaming... oooh....

It is certainly everywhere I go at the moment....

Spider Weaving Web

This has been a heavy moon for me.  I often find that the feel of the moon changes when the wind changes and often, one half is harder than the other.  I definately found the first half harder.  The Ex has chilled out a little, S seems happier and has a girlfriend, M-i-L is a bit easier as she is getting a little more of what she wants.  but that realisation that my Wheel is bound to theirs was a hard one.  Karma and past lives and unsorted crap that rumbles on and on.....  and on some more....

It makes me wonder if this will rumble through in to another life or more.  None of it feels resolved and to be honest I can't see it all being resolved in this life.  Maybe even some parts of it have gotten worse?  Who knows...  And I and a few others are bound into this situation as bit part actors, not fully a part of whatever is still wrong at the root but there anyway through bonds of love and family.  And I am the least involved of all of us.  I was not born into either of the two families, I was drawn here in the hunt for my soulmate and unfortunately this is what he comes with.

Not that I don't think I was there in that long ago life, i am sure I was.  The feelings and relationships between myself and the other players are too definate to not speak of past issues.  Maybe we and the other bit part actors are just here in love to support those we love in this life and try and help them untie those knots a little more.

S will get older, he will sort himself out, or not, but he will move further and further into his own life, taking control as he goes.  As this happens, the need to talk to the other side of his family will grow less and less and her ability to affect my life will just get smaller and smaller and smaller.

M-i-L is another story though but she is over 70 now.  i think as people get older they retreat further into the core of themselves and show more of what is at the heart.  A person maybe truly kind and content and this will shine through more and more....  Unhappiness, discontent and fear...  Anything unresolved becomes bigger too.  I can already see how I might go - more forgetful and as I am tired more and more of the time,  would be mroe and more grumpy, more of the time...

but M-i-L is different to me.  I can't imagine she will ever be able to let go of her family, she will always be there, demanding, getting rude when she doesn't get what she wants.  The endless phone calls are only likely to increase.  One day she will no longer be able to drive or do housework or gardening.  What will happen then I have no idea.  She has one child still living with her but how much they will step up is anyone's guess, they are rarely home when ever I am there.  There is only one way my wheel in this life with her will end and that is death

but I knew this and the heaviest burdens are not mine.  I watch from the sidelines.  Everyone scurrying around trying not to upset her or let her completely into their lives without accepting that she is ill and that these are not the best tactics.  I think honesty and firmness and very clear conversations work best.  Hints and half promises don't work, oh I might call you later as an appeasing effort to escape does not work it only causes upset when no phone call comes.  But this is easier for me than for others.

I think what was so hard was that chain between us all being yanked so veyr hard coupled with the realisation that we are bound together and have been bound and will be bound.  A glimpse of the scale of the spiders web....

Saturday, 12 May 2012


This moon is definately a hard one for me.  For whatever reason, life seens me things when it comes to the Moon of Omnipotence.  The thought of it being about power and ability to change things to how you like I have to smile, in that slightly bitter and cynical way.  For me, this Moon is the Moon of Impotence. 

Sometimes no matter how things may impact you, they are about other people, their decisions, their relationships, their lives.  It doesn't matter if they are wrong, you just have to deal and get on with it.  And this Moon has brought me back to being Impotent.

And it all stirs around S. 

I created a calendar on Excel, so I can see what moon was where, when in my life, both the yearly and moonthly moons and looking at that and thinking about S shows a thing or two very clearly about my relationship with him, and his father.

I met both of them in my year of the Blue Moon.  The first couple of years were tough.  F's Ex was very hard on us both, emotionally, mentally and monetarily.  M-i-L was hard to cope with too and all these situations that are now such an integral part of my life walked in, firmly attached to F in my year of the Blue Moon.

But for F, we met at the end of his Year of Value.  His Year of Omnipotence and the Year of Territoriality after that were all about dealing whit the s***storm his deciding to have another relationship unleashed.  Maybe the truth about Omnipotence is getting to make a decision and then living with the consequences!

Which makes me look at my calendar some more and add in F and S's years to compare with my own.  And this is interesting.  Our years don't meet up completely, obvoisuly, because our birthdays are at different times.  But it makes me think our wheels are connected, like there are hints of situations and reactions and our positions within it all.....

So this Wheel of the three of us began in my Year of the Blue Moon, F in Omnipotence and S in Inter-relations.  S adjusted well to gaining me but I think it was hard on him to lose some of the one to one with his Dad.  And then I think of the wider situation and add the Ex, M-i-l and F-i-L and then I start to get sad....

It all starts to tie in, this web of people.  I doubt any of the other people in this web feel Omnipotent either.  In fact I know they don't.  And given how our Wheels are all linked together you can almost see future situations in it too, as the wheel we are on keep on turning, together.  You can see how one situation came out of one previously and they all follow on.

S is not happy right now and is in a bit of a mess, very much in Drama.  F is just moving into Welcome, I guess his new wheel started around about the time we decided we would definately get married and we married inhis year of the Blue Moon.  I guess in this new cycle his relationships are more closely bound to me, a symbolic step away maybe but also a symbolic step of binding me into the wheels of his family further.  I am in Breaking Masks, digging away at things and looking, but so is M-i-L but I think she is manifesting the negative side of this moon - Posession.  And the Ex is in Territoriality for which the flip side is Intrusive.

I have no idea if this is making any sense or how clear it is to other people what I am trying to say.....

From here S is going to move into Value / Protection, F into Affirmation (Submission), me into Reason and the M-i-L into Unreason and the Ex into inter-relations or Isolation.  And while I see things getting better for S maybe in that web, I see him having a hard time with M-i-L and his Mum.

Then at 18 he moves in to Omnipotence and I get the feeling of him making a huge decision, maybe joining the forces, leaving Cornwall or moving out of home....  F moves into Value, M-i-L and I move into Humility and I can imagine in M-i-L's case there could be some broken-ness in that and the Ex moves into Surrender (Resistance) and I can see her fighting and fighting the changes S makes.

Then at 19 S moves on to Territoriality as he starts to really stake out who and what he is and his life. F moves into Omnipotence (ouch), M-i-L and I move into Metamorphosis and she either pulls herself together at losing the S of childhood in preparation for her next cycle or she doesn't.....  The Ex moves into Breaking Masks as she starts to get to grips, hopefully with all that has occurred.

Then at 20 S moves into Inter-relations and maybe starts to build up his relations with everyone on his own terms, rebuilding walls?  F moves into Territoriality.  I and the M-i-L move into our Blue Moon years and hopefully, in this next cycle our wheels will be tied a little less closely and who knows what the focus will be?  The Ex moves into Reason.

But maybe this makes no sense to anyone else - but if one thing is clear, this cycle is all about S.  He is the poor fly caught in the centre of this web, his very existence tying us all together and his decisions tugging us all around just as the decisions each one of us makes tugs everyone else.  And he can't take it any more.

He is cracking.

The question is, how to get everyone to pull together to give him what he needs because at the moment everyone seems to be just pulling even harder...  And the truth is we are all caught in this web.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Panagia Tsambika

Once upon a time there was a Shepherd and he was out with his flock by night and he saw a light, far above, on the mountain.  He was scared.  The next night, the light was there again, so on the third he went up the mountain with some villagers to see what they could find.  They feared wrong doers.

On the mountain they were shocked to find a religious icon of Mother Mary, Kyra with a candle next to it.  They talked of their find and no one was missing an icon, but eventually word reached Cyprus and there was an icon missing there.  Priests came and confirmed the icon was theirs and returned it to it's home.  Except the icon reappeared on top of the mountain on Rhodes.

This time when they took it back, they secretly used soot to mark the back.  It reappeared on Rhodes again and there it has stayed ever since.  A monastery was founded, there on that peak to Kyra. Legend has it that the couple who found it were infertile and following the find had children.

This particular monastery is famed for helping women to conceive.  Those that do, following a visit to the moastery, name their child either Tsambika or Tsambiko, and these are common names on the island.  She is considered a protector of the Island and Tsamba means Spark.

The site may have originally been the location of an altar to Artemis.  The monastery was rebuilt in 1770 but it is not known when it was first built.  There is now a larger monastery down by the road which is still working.  The original 11th Century icon is kept in the main monastery but a copy is kept in the tiny mountain top monastery.

This is a good site with pictures and videos of the area.

So, lying on the beach at our hotel we could see the monastery, just about, perched on the very top, with obvious precipitous drops to most sides.  We could also just about make out the taverna situated at the top of the road by the car park. 

The view from Cape Vagia to Tsambika.  The monastery is situated on the highest peak, middle left in this photo.  The path wended it's way up the gentler slop to the right, the road went as far as the shoulder beneath the peak to the right.

I am large and unfit and although I was depserate to go up, I was nervous too, particularly in the heat.  Just before we left I saw some Ants and they reminded me that you can achieve huge, impossible seeming tasks, if you take it slow and make one baby step at a time.  

The road is very steep and full of hair pin bends and our little hire car only just made it to the car park.  From here the path slopes upwards and very soon the steps begin.  307 of them.  They were not hard steps but there was often sloping ground between them as well.  The path wound it's way up the side of the mountain, through beautiful pine woodland through which you gained tantalising tasters of the view to come.

The path wends it's way through pretty pine woods, snaking up the mountain.

Part way up there was a really good place to admire the view with a bench and rocks had been left by the path.  We each took a rock and added it to the wall.  I of course made use of every bench and a good many rocks on my way up.  I probably stopped about every ten steps!

Trees grow out of rocks

But by going slowly and peacefully we really appreciated the mountain.  It felt very special.  So peaceful and beautiful.  It has to be one of the most amazing places I have ever visited.  The atmosphere was so incredible.

We reached the top and a tiny walled garden is wrapped around the monastery with drops on all sides but where the path came up.  There is a cross and steps up to the gate into the courtyard which is decorated with beautiful pebble mosaics.  One of these is a cup with two Doves sat on it.  Here I lit a candle before moving through into each of the three tiny rooms of the monastery.  No photography is allowed within the monastery itself.

The last few steps up to the Monastery.

The view was incredible with views both ways along the coast as well as inland.  But as amazing as this place is, i can't describe really how it made me feel or what it means to me.  As we drove back to our hotel I saw two white Doves fly above an Olive Orchard.

The Monastery from behind

p.s.  I vow to get my own camera - F has a habit of taking arty shots or photos with me in them.  I am beginning to realise that two people out for the day, each with a camera, would come back with very different photos.... *laugh*


 Moon of Welcome

Lisa asked me to post my dreamboards in the FB group.  I figured as I was actually taking pictures of them, I should post them here too.  Only the Moon of Welcome above has been posted  before...

 Moon of Affirmation

 Moon of Drama

 Moon of Value

Moon of Omnipotence

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Moon of Value / Protection Review

Normally I review the past Moon before I introduce the new one, but this time, I am very glad I did it the other way around, because this Moon really relates to some of the issues I have with the Moon of Omnipotence.  I also can see that this used to be a Broken Moon for me, due to events beyond my control.

When I was 4 I went to a playschool in a different catchement to the school I would later go to.  The children of my age at playschool left to start school earlier than I did so I was the only child of my age at the play school for some time.  People and friendships and community are things I Value and the results of this unfortunate happening echoed down through later Moons in the form of loneliness and a lack of value for myself.

While my Moon of Value was only mildly broken and soon mended really, it caused an even bigger break in the following Moon, the Moon of Omnipotence and it is in that Moon that the biggest, baddest events of my life have taken place.  But it all comes back to the Moon of Value.

What I said in my Moon of Value introduction holds true - I got it very right for this Moon at the beginning.  It has been all about relationships, both my own and the web of relationships around me.  It has been about how I connect to the world and enjoy being open to it and new things and like to see the positive in events around me, how I can laugh at things others might cry over.  The Wife mentioned in the last couple of posts has been key I think to taking the healing of my Moon of Omnipotence back to it's root in the Moon of Value.  Of course, when my Moon of Omnipotence broke, it formed it's own cracks too, not just the big one started in the Moon of Value.  Not sure yet, if I have healed these other cracks yet.

So this Moon has been lovely.  I have enjoyed it and seen much new and beautiful.  I have enjoyed the world around me and I have been open to new people and experiences.

I don't need to say much about my dreamboard I think and as to the rest of it...  I am going to take a short break now to find a story and a picture...  I have spent no time on these at all this month....

I like this picture because all the drops of dew on the web look like Moons.  We all have our own Ego but we are all connected together on the web of life.....  I also like the little reflections on the dew drops - like little landscape pictures, representing our deeper connection to the Earth....

One day the Spider-in-the-Moon realised she was pregnant.  This was a moment of joy followed by despair, for she was a spider in the sky and her web flew around her, her offspring would need to go elsewhere to prosper, she had to send them away for their own benefit.  She was not convinced her offspring would like her decision and felt clueless as to who would resent it's impact more.  She sorrowed.

She cast her eyes around her as to where to send her young as she carefully wrapped them up in silk and attached a parachute.  She noticed that every star and every planet and every moon had a web around it already as the sister and brother spiders spun their webs and looked after all that lived within.  She nodded her head in approval for all was exactly as it should be there.

And then she looked down at the Earth below her and she recoiled in dismay.  Her sister beneath was having a great deal of difficulty and things were certainly going awry.  Millions of little creatures were living on the Earth but they had grown out of touch with ground beneath their feet and they could no longer feel the gentle tugs of her sisters web that would keep them living in connection with all that was.  It was not a pretty sight, her sisters web all tangled and torn, depsite her best efforts.

She called gently to her sister 'Oh Sister dear, I sorrow for your struggles.  I have my plight and you have yours, may I send my Joy to help you and solve both of our difficulties?'

Her sister had no time to answer but merely waggled a leg in a way that could have been a 'go away, can't you see I am busy!' or a 'go ahead, you sure can not make things worse!'  Spider Moon decided not to wait and make sure, she didn't know how but she knew her children could help, so she gathered them up and gently blew them towards the Earth.

They descended on the Earth like a hurricane of Dandelion seeds.  The creatures were oblivious to the Spiders waiting to hatch all around them.  She noticed her sister began to make sure that the eggs were distributed everywhere there was a creature and before long, they began to hatch.

Spider Moon watched in wonder as each tiny spider attached itself to a creature and began to weave a web around it, slowly anchoring them back into the world web, calming their urgent despairing destruction with the feel of silk and a deep peace as they ceased to struggle and felt at home in the great sleep of the Dreaming World once again.

Her sister seemed calmer and her movements slowed as her web began to be repaired.  Her efforts returned to spinning new web and taking the Earth forward rather than dealing with mindless damage to her work of art.  And the creatures dreamed safe and secure as the growing spiders made bigger and bigger and increasingly more beautiful webs around them.

Spider Moon carried on spinning.

I think that is more than enough writing and thinking for one day....  I have lots more to say about Rhodes and a gazillion photos to share....

Moon of Omnipotence Introduction

Looking back at this year, it has often been a year slightly out of step, a year where I have done something different that does not quite fit the flow of the rest of my life somehow.

When I was little I lived in a hamlet, halfway between two villages.  Village A was where we psychologically belonged, our hamlet took it's name from this village and it was where we went to Church and socialised.  But where we lived fell in the catchment for Village B. 

Out of choice my family took me to Play School in village A.  My Mum worked their too and this was a good palce and a happy time.  But then all my friends left.  The school in Village A took them earlier than the school in Village B and I was alone, a big fish in a little pond, which to be honest, i quite enjoyed.

The problem came the following year when I hit 5 and entered both my Year of Omnipotence and my new school.  I didn't fit.  i didn't have pre-existing friendships from Play School.  I was overly clever and preferred the friendship of adults to those of the children around me.  i didn't know how to breach that gulf and I was desperately lonely and unhappy.  This year more so than the ones that follow I think.  but it was certainly the beginning of a hard time for me.

My next Year of this Moon was hard too.  It was my year out.  I moved out of home, left school and started my first job days before my 18th birthday.  In some ways it was a great year, I did very well.  I received a prize for the project I completed.  I did many fun things.  I had a circle of friends who liked and valued me.  But I was really, really lonely, because I could not be with my friends all the time.

I think it was in this year that my dysfunctional attitude towards relationships began to surface, out of loneliness.  Later in the year, I entered a bad relationship with an older man who pursued me at work.  He tried to dominate me and control me and separate me from my friends.  When I left him, he sought to dominate me one last time and raped me. 

I accept it would have looked different from his point of view.  I was in a bad way when I got home that night, severely tired and dehydrated.  I remember very little but I wonder if he gave me strong painkillers.  it is only now in later years that I know anything with Codeine in it makes me feel very out of it and sleepy.

Anyway, a bad way to go and one that that rang down through later years.  It is obvious to me now that this was (is?) a broken moon from my childhood, that loneliness and a desire to belong and a lack of value for myself began there and echoed on through.  I may have repaired the damage from the events the first time round, but I had not repaired the Moon and it blindsided me again the second time through.

So the third time...  This was the year I suddenly decided to go and do a Teacher Training course.  Well no, I decided that in the Year of Value and did it during Omnipotence.  I didn't make a good teacher in the way our school system requries.  It was not for me, but this year had good things too.  it took me back to school, I got to examine the school system again and my place within it and what it does to children.  It seems blatantly obvious now that this was all about healing this Moon.

I realised I loved school for it's learning, I loved learning about all the different subjects.  it reintroduced me to Art and History and helped me understand Religous Education as stories.  I learnt some cool things and valuable skills.  i realised I was very good at telling stories - I love storytime with kids -  I do all the voices and everything....

And this was the year that the Student who reminded me of the Wife in the previous post was in my life....  Kind of curious too that she should appear just as we re-enter Omnipotence, during Value.  Maybe the damage in these moons was due to a slight weakness in my Moon of Value.  Certainly this character has less power to hurt me as I value myself.  And it makes me think I should include my nasty Ex in this character type, which had not occurred to me before because he is male and therefore does not have all the same physical charactersitcs in an obvious way.....

I am not sure how easy it is to get across the realisations I have just had with regards to a personality type, Value and Omnipotence.  Anyway.... no biggie...  I know now.  And last time through, loneliness was definately not an issue.  But this is definately a year that sweeps me away in a different direction, when the tides of fate do their thing.  But I don't think it is Broken any more, but I guess I won't know for sure until I reach 44....

This also explains my Dreamboard.  I did one yesterday.  In the bottom left, is an Erratic ( a boulder dropped by a glacier left out of place) balnced on a smaller rock with a background of stars.  In the top right is a wind chislled column of rock in a desert with stars behind it.  Top left is primitive sacred cave paintings of hands.  Then there is a group of people sat out in the wilds round a camp fire and the way they sit has me in mind of the way the buddhist is sat in prayer in another picture.  Then there is a husky dogs face and words, such as help, healing, home...  But the thing that really adds the edge for me is the picture in the middle, obscured by others so you might not even realise that what it shops is the black wave of a tsunami breaking and sweeping all before it.

I had already figured that the dreamboard concerned fate and destiny.  The things that get left behind after aeons, the things that survive.  And how there is peace in this, but sometimes too, things get swept away and destroyed, that I get swept away.

And looking at how this Moon sweeps into my life it makes sense now....  I make big decisions that sweep me away, and did I ever have much choice anyway?  Were those decisions destined?  Impotence (the negative of this Moon) is as much present as Omnipotence.  And loneliness sings under there too....  Do those rocks sometimes feel lonely by themselves after all around has gone and they still endure?

No wonder the coming of this Moon gives me fears of being swept away by fate of being powerless, a niggle.  I will surrender to the wave that may or may not come, and trust that whatever of me is left standing will be as it should be.

Where the Wheels May Take Me

Now this story I have to be a little careful with.  We met a couple.  F's fault entirely!  He recognised the accent and got talking and when they discovered we lived near them....  Then it turned out they to were celebrating a 40th and a honeymoon.  And they were in the same hotel....  and on the same bus....  and had been upgraded to the room right next to us.

Everything was fine to begin with.

But it quickly became apparent that they were not our sort of people at all.  Not that they were bad people.  But when life throws you together like this with people, you have to pay attention.  I did pay attention but I am still not a 100% sure what the lesson was here....

Within hours of meeting us they would have arranged a lift home, if we had not been staying longer.  They were pushy and matter of fact about things.  They didn't understand social niceties and delicate hints.  The thing is, these things are what society gets by on.  I don't think it ever occurred to them that people on holiday might not want to be social with others all the time.

Now I have to explain all this so as not to sound, snobby.... 

One thing that made us very uncomfortable was their attitude towards sex.  They liked to talk about it.  Over dinner, in public areas.  They liked public areas in more than one way too.  And they liked to share graphic and vulgar details.  Despite having just gotten married, I think they would have been more than happy to include other people to.  One night I went to bed early and F stayed up.  She was joking about F coming and spending the night with them.  F didn't read anything into it, but I knew she was serious and as the holiday played it self out, he knew that she hadn't been joking either. 

She also took a shine to a member of staff.  He didn't mind being charming and flirting.  He didn't mind giving her a kiss on the cheek for her birthday.  He did mind when she grabbed his head and tried to snog him.  After they had gone, it also turned out she had slipped a note into his pocket.  Unfortunately he did not find it, his wife did.  He was very upset when he told us, days after they had left.  I think our outrage on his behalf helped restore some of his faith.  I think he needed to tell us, he seemed happier after he had.

He was a bit of a perv too.  One night we had some dancers performing.  Every routine required a dress cahnge and they were changing just outside the fire exit.  He went for a cigarette and was gone rather a long time.  We all knew he was watching the girls change and he freely admitted it when he returned.

They seemed to think that culture was shopping, and that's fine, they can do as much shopping as they like, but thinking that that is all is a little narrow minded.  His shopping was a little dubious as well, lots of knives and sex related objects.  He would proudly take his purchases out to show us, no matter where we were and who was around.  I doubt others wanted to see them either.

We hung on to the end of the first week and were glad to wave good bye.  If they had been staying longer, we would have to have done things differently.  They knew we wanted to get a hire car and hinted at coming out with us ( we very much like to tour at our pace and go where we wish to.  Going with them would not have been peaceful, non-stop chatter, or given us as much opportunity to learn about our surroundings).  They kept asking us to go out with them and even got a little stroopy that we would not (we did still have colds).  He didn't eat breakfast and she would wait till she heard us go up and then join us and then talk a lot.  We felt we had to call on them for dinner each night after the first few and this became an awkward obligation.

She was moody and liked to be the centre of attention.  She was also a little vicious.  She asked very pointed questions, designed to hurt, about my weight, about our wedding.  Except she just could not understand what made me tick and her questions were not aimed well.  She gave up, but grew moodier.  Particularly when she realised i was well educated and could answer some of the more obscure techy questions in the quizes.  In fact, whenever they felt outclassed, they bit back.  We like to try foreign food and our plates showed that, as soon as they saw them, it was obvious it made them feel uncomfortable and what followed was a long and one sided conversation about all the things they had eaten - of a meat or poultry variety - that we had not.  Their insecurity was tedious.

And they were insecure.  They had a habit of telling everyone their story and showing them their pictures, but different people got different stories.  The husband told one couple he was still in love with his ex-wife and the wife told F that the ex-wife was still in love with the husband.  Not comfortable.  I also think our closeness and obvious love and that of another couple we met began to grate by the end of the holiday.  The wife was perceptive enough on some level to realise that she just did not have that, and that we could see that too.

It is obvious to me that both of them have a number of broken moons on their Wheels.  Maybe not even broken, but pretty much decimated.  The other couple did too, relating to past relationships, but they had healed as much as they could and were waiting for time to resolve situations they could not.  There is a huge difference.

After they had left, we were on a bus one day and there was a group of British girls.  One of which reminded me of someone.  She was overly cheerful and bubbly, but their was something about her that made me think their was a bit of moodiness and bite underneath it, that she could flip.  She liked to be in charge and to know things and show what she knew.  As I puzzled at it, I realised she reminded me of someone i was once on a course with, as well as with the wife, and things started to slot together.  The three of them even had a similar look.  I think if I lined up the three of them, that other people would see it to.

The girl I did the course with had a medical condition, i forget what but she would have to have injections every few weeks.  The closer she got to her injection, the more emotionally out of balance she was.  Her medical condition gave her a reason for extreme moodiness but it also meant she did not have to accept responsibility for the things she said and did. 

We should have been good friends and we started that way, but their is some quality about me that winds people like this up.  Maybe the refusal to play those games, or to let them hurt me.  Maybe it something about how I make them feel, make them aware of some lack within themselves.  i don't know, and to be honest, it doesn't really matter, not to me.  It is very much their problem not mine.  Maybe it is that attitude they can not handle, that I don't pat them on the head and go there there....  Jealousy was definately part of it though.

So the student and I, slowly over time, just got to the stage where we were not friendly friends.  We were still friends within the group, but without the group there was nothing else.  Once the course finished, we went our separate ways.

I know I was meant to meet this couple, I was meant to connect the Wife's personality type to this other person.  I am pretty sure that this circle is over and done with too.  I am more aware of the energy within it now and I hope that if I meet someone with this energy again that I will recognise them and not even begin a wheel with them.   But if I do begin a wheel, then I know that it is not me that will leave it feeling hurt and upset, it will be for the benefit of the other person and I don't have to feel that.

If I am an Initiator, then I am definately an Iniator for them.  My very being sets them off, makes them aware of some lack they have in themselves ( happy relationship, own house, academic ability, whatever...).  But the more I am myself, the less their ability to hurt me as they bite back. 

This time I did not get hurt at all and my indignation was for the hurt they inflicted on others.

All Roads

When we started talking about holidays I mentioned Greece to F but he turned up his nose.  I think he had in mind something grander, a long haul flight to a once in a lifetime location.  When the boundaries of our finances became clearer, I wanted Malta - but Malta is not so cheap.  He started to fret about how little we were getting for the money.

At this point we walked into the Travel Agents and she started to look through bargains.  Tunisia came up but we just could not handle that idea.  Well me really.  I didn't want to stay somewhere where it was hard for us to leave the locality of the hotel and beach, where hiring a car was definately not recommended.  Where more importantly, being white and female was going to be an issue outside of the hotel.

But that luxury appealed to F for our honeymoon.  Another bargain came up, Rhodes, and that was it, sold to the couple on the left.  So early in the season, they wanted to fill their airplane and hotel up and we got a bargain.  A truly beautiful hotel, all inclusive, two weeks, luxury.

I don't always fly well.  My ears tend to get blocked with infections and I have burst one of my ear drums twice now.  If I am bunged up, flying is excruciatingly painful.  So I was not happy that F came down with a cold a few days before we left, and even less happy when the day before our long drive, I got it too.  Packing was a chore and going away tricky - we could quite happily have stayed in bed, but we pushed on.

Little Dog had been more than happy to go on doggy holiday.  She was not nervous about being left - she knew the place and the staff and liked them.  She knew last time we had returned for her and had utmost confidence we would again.  She nearly yanked the lady off her feet when the door opened.

We didn't leave as promptly, it was late in the day by the time we went.  We changed drivers frequently given how we were both feeling and arrived about 11pm.  The hotel was nice but the air con was nosy and it was hot.  We slept badly knowing we had to be up in the middle of the night.  We woke an hour early but it was nice to have the extra time to shower and drink tea.

We ate breakfast in the airport with a plan to do some shopping and mosy on down to the gate.  Except we did not realise that boarding was a half hour before...  F disappeared off for a while and when he returned we discovered boarding was in 6 minutes and we were some way from the gate.  I don't move fast very well and by the time I got to the gate I was miserable...  Except we had a while to wait because they were boarding in seat order and we were at the front *laugh*

We had both dosed ourselves up before the flight - anti-histamines and as many painkillers as we could take, and to be honest the flight was bearable.  It only became excuriating for small periods.  I chewed a lot of gum.  The only other thing about the flight really is that as a large lady, I just don't fit.  Not only am I wide, but I am tall and long legged too.  So my knees are rammed into the chair in front and I get to lean to one side in an effort to fit.  Next time we will pay extra for extra leg room....

We landed and found our bus and rode to the hotel with our first views of the island.  Greener than I had thought, peaks of ragged decayed limestone, wide dry riverbeds and half finished buildings.  I think there is something about buildings that are still being built paying no tax or less tax, so even many of the houses look unfinished, like another floor is going to be added tomorrow.  I think to keep planning permission, buildings get started too.  So some of the towns look odd to a British eye, full of concrete shells of buildings and half finished homes.  I didn't much like this.  I would rather that they only build what they need, but they are the ones making the most of opportunities here, not me.  But surely it has to be a waste of money?  How many of those shells are really needed?  Wouldn't they rather have countryside?

And then we were at the hotel - where we discovered we had a room upgrade.  We were now about 100 metres from the sea with a four poster bed, which we could see and hear from said bed.  The food was amazing too - a buffet that was different every meal time, except breakfast.  We tried all sorts while we were there.  And I drank a lot of Ouzo.

The beach was sand and shale, with a sharp drop off.  It seems the Aegean hardly has any tide and the difference from the tide being in and out was hard to discern.  Consequently, swimming around headlands and the like was not an issue for adventurous swimmers.  The sharp shale and steep drop off were not a problem for us because we knew about them before we went and brought aqua shoes.  The beach was between a large headland sticking some way out to sea, a Cape, and at the other end, mountains.

It was idyllic and beautiful.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Greek Creatures

Around the hotel, there were certain animals we saw a lot of.  Swifts had built their nests in the corners of balcony ceilings and thronged all around the hotel.  When we peered up at the next door balcony we could see two nests and a little Swift would watch us avidly.  It's parents would fly in and out at such speed that it was hard to believe that feeding had occurred.

There were many, many Sparrows too, calling all the time, their song was the backing sound of relaxation.  Whenever food was around, there they would be, waiting for some pastry or bread.  They were so tame, one time F was sat with a bread roll on a plate right by his elbow and a Sparrow came and tried to eat some of it.

I remember lying on a shaded lounger looking up at a small slit of sky and watching Swifts and Sparrows and thinking that they were both so beautiful, I would be happy to claim either.  At that second a Crow floated across the gap.  I smiled.  The Crows there may not have been my Crows, they were much more grey as they were Hooded Crows, which we do get in the UK but not in Cornwall.  They were the only Corvids I saw and they were there to keep me company the whole time.

Going back to animals feeding on scraps....  The people of Rhodes love their cats and there were many at the hotel, slinking around waiting for bits of meat or fish or cheese to accidentally fall.  I must admit I did become somewaht clumsy and a fair bit seemed to fall from my plate...  There was even a cat with kittens and she had had a her litter in an urn turned on it's side by a path and everyone would stop to peek at the kittens as they passed.  Well until a vet took her away somewhere quieter anyway.  The male cats would try and take her food....

At the hotel there was also countless Ants of varying types and some of them were huge!  Well over a centimetre long.  I appreciated their presence although I found their size disconcerting.  They reminded me many times about achieving much with small steps and patience.

Then there was Wasps (my totem of the Moon of Welcoming) who I have decided not to be scared of.  And Mosquitos, unfortunately, and it seems F is somewhat allergic to them....

I saw plenty of Gulls but they seem to be much less common there than here.  there behaviour was different too, they were not the raucous yobs they can be in Cornwall.  On Rhodes they showed their elegant, graceful side, flying along the coast or high in the sky.

In the pine forests, on the cooler slopes of the mountains there was an exotic bird I had not expected to find.  The Peacock!  They are so beautiful and so noisey!  We even saw them up in trees and trying to get down out of trees, not so elegant then.  I am still very conscious of them however, because there is one that lives near us and I can hear it calling.  I think they are a bird I will remain conscious of and that may appear on my wheel somewhere.

Another candidate for my Wheel is the Hoopoe, maybe for my Firekeeper as that was the last wind, if that turns out to be one of my roles.  It first came to my attention before I went away.  I have a friend who is a bird photographer and she had recently taken a photo of Hoopoe and shown it to me, because they are very uncommon in the UK.  She was very proud.  While in Rhodes, twice I caught a glimpse of a beautiful bird taking flight and all I could see was that it had black and white stripey wings and was magpie sort of sized.  To my surprise, a little research turned up this bird I had only just heard of.

We also saw many Lizards.  We took many pictures of Lizards as well....  They seemed to quite like posing on ancient ruins!

Lastly we saw Goats!  Everywhere!  I like Goats....

Oh and a big rat, that ran up and over a branch like a Squirrel....

Greek Fish

Well I am back....  We had two beautiful weeks away on the island of Rhodes.  I have so much to say about the holiday I hardly know where to begin.  And I am tired....  Because of the way things worked out I was straight back to work and my body clock is still alittle skew-whiff.

Holidays are amazing for giving us opportunities to see Wheels turning and synchronicity in action.  We walk free of our existing webs at home for a time and encounter so many new things.

You would think everyone on holiday has stepped free of their webs but this was not what we saw while we were away.  So many people never even left the hotel, didn't take the opportunity to engage with the amazing staff working around them.  It made us realise how much more open we have been becoming.  Not that we got everything right.....  One situation for sure we got wrong.

It was also noticeable that people would come to us to tell us their stories, they were not interested in us as such.  I don't feel that anybody really learn an awful lot about my life while we were away although I learnt a lot about some other peoples.

One time we had misjudged a meal time and were sat contentedly in a nearby sofa waiting.  A lady walked past and stopped to chat.  The conversation quickly got round to the weather at home - the first we heard of torrential rain and flooding.  She soon told us how she was scared because her house had been flooded before as someone had not opened flood defences to let water flow out.  On that occasion she had been home alone and a friend who knew that had waded through chest deep water to get her out.  Being in a bungalow she had not been able to move much higher and the worst thing was losing treasured photographs.  She had managed to save the photo of a child lost many years ago though as that was the most precious one, as it was all they had left.  She convinced herself that her son would have checked on the house as he lived locally.  And then she moved on and we never saw her again.

Lisa has talked about stories and it has made me very much more observant of them when they are gifted to me.  When someone randomly shares such important stories with you, can it really be chance?

Rhodes itself was stunning and the Greeks were so genuine and friendly. The island is steeped in history and you just know there is more there waiting to be found.