Wednesday, 29 April 2009


No Impact Man has posted on his blog today about the companies who have been knowingly lying and deliberately misleading the public about the reality of global warming in an attempt to (presumably) safeguard their profits - at the expense of the entire planet. I am almost speechless with anger that anyone could be so unbelieveably, selfishly irresponsible. Please read the article here:

And spread it around - far and wide! Let the world know about the lies. Show these companies and their decision-makers for the soulless Earth-raping greedy misers they are.


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Lady In Waiting

In the goose shed, on a cosy hollow lined with straw and the softest down from her own breast, Buffy sits waiting, patient. This work requires dedication, stamina, self-sacrifice and a strange, dreamy calm. Day after day, night after night, for a whole moon-and-a-bit, Buffy sits on her precious eggs, leaving them only briefly to snatch a few mouthfuls of food and some water.

Angel stands guard outside the shed, silent and steady, until he spies a potential threat. Then there are shrieks of outrage and alarm as he chases danger away. I am clearly perceived as a threat, and so each morning when I open the goose shed, I place an empty watering can to draw Angel's wrath and protect my own legs from attack. Angel comes flying from the shed and mercilessly slays the watering can, before returning in triumph to Buffy to boast of his victory.

Apart from the ritual slaying of the watering can, I suspect Angel is feeling a little bored and neglected while Buffy is so focussed on her nest. Yet in a few weeks, hopefully there will be goslings to protect and teach and play with. Buffy's vigil will be over. It will be summer and life will be good.

In the meantime, Buffy sits and waits and dreams.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Miracles Do Happen

I love that even after nearly 49 years of marriage, my Mum and Dad still hold hands when they go for a walk.

I am feeling content today. Spring is more than in the air, it has definitely sprung. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and there are flowers everywhere.

And better than all this is the news that my Mum and Dad are finally moving down to Wales. If you're a long time reader of this blog, you may remember that they were originally supposed to be moving down in the autumn of 2007. Unfortunately that was when the economy started to take a nose-dive. The chain of buyers broke and Mum and Dad then suffered a long string of disappointments, before deciding just a month ago that there was no point trying to sell until the housing markets picked up again. They took the house off the market and resigned themselves to staying put in Essex for the time being.

That was when the miracle occurred. One of the couples who had wanted to buy Mum and Dad's house but couldn't find a buyer for their own, rang up out of the blue to say they had managed to find a buyer after all. Like a line of dominoes, everything suddenly fell into place. There are only four links in the chain of buyers, and it is hoped they could be moved by as early as the end of May!

They came down this weekend to see the new house again and get the survey done (it was lovely to see them and spend time together). It all seems to be going full speed ahead. We are all amazed and happy.

Isn't it weird that often when you let go of something you've been trying to make happen it just all falls into place on its own? Miracles do happen sometimes. Thank you, Multiverse!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Joining The Dots

The view from my window at this time of year always reminds me of a pointillist painting - you know, one of those paintings which is made up of many many tiny dots of colour.

From my window just now I can see blackthorn and flowering cherry trees covered with dots of white and pink - flowers. The pussy willows are sprinkled with pollen-laden pale yellow catkins; the hawthorn and willows are studded with bright green leaves emerging from their bud state. Soon the poplar leaves will add soft grey speckles and the hazel leaves green speckles to the developing scene. The gorse bushes have been spattered with bright yellow flowers for months already. In the woodland, a soft haze of blue is beginning to show as the bluebells prepare for Beltane.

And in the meadows around Halfway Up A Hill, daisies, dandelions, lady's smock and celandines are strewn through the lush spring grass.

I wish I could photograph it adequately for you, but it seems to be one of those sights to which no camera can do justice. But the blackthorn blossom alone is pretty impressive, isn't it?

Sunday, 12 April 2009

The Dreaded Holiday Snaps!

While I gradually catch up with reading everyone else's blogs, I thought I'd bore you all with some of my Spanish holiday snaps...

These are from Vera and Mojácar Pueblo, both of which were close to where we were staying in the south-eastern corner of Andalucía.

This symbol, (here carved on a pillar in Mojácar Pueblo, but seen everywhere in the area we were staying) is known as the Indalo (more info here and here). Said to represent a man, God or spirit holding a protective rainbow overhead, it is thought to date back thousands of years and is used as a protective symbol (and also a symbol of the area). As good witchy types, Suzanne and I were fascinated by the Indalo and of course had to bring home some Indalos (sold widely throughout the Almería area!) as souvenirs for ourselves. I love the simplicity of the design, and also that it contains other protective symbols within it - I fancy I can see an 'anti-evil eye' shape in the top half, a Christian cross in the middle and a simple triskele at the bottom. Or perhaps it's just me!

I also have gazillions of photos from the trip to the Alhambra Palace in Granada - I will post some of those soon.

You have been warned!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Quick March!

Photo: Flamenco dancers, Dali Restaurant, Vera Beach Club

Just like the flamenco dancer in this photo, March went past in a blur. Looking back I can't believe I crammed so much in!

The first week was busy, full of optician's appointments, getting the central heating boiler serviced and running errands for friends and neighbours. At the weekend I drove down to my brother Mike's place in Somerset, and then the two of us travelled down to Crawley together to visit old friends who were celebrating the official opening of the new fire pit in their garden!

I have known Viv since we were at school together, but we haven't seen much of each other lately so it was great to catch up with her and her lovely husband John. The fire pit - built by John - was a great success, enabling us to sit out late into the evening chatting, drinking wine, singing songs and toasting marshmallows even though it was still only the beginning of March. We were joined by a group of other friends including my sister Cathy and her husband Julian (who came from Kent - a much shorter journey than from Somerset and Wales!).

Photo: Mike & Viv at breakfast on Sunday morning

Mike and I stayed over and enjoyed the garden again the next morning, sitting out on Viv & John's sun-trap patio for a leisurely breakfast before heading back home.

The next week was marred by having to have Tigger put down unexpectedly on Monday.

More bad news followed when it turned out the venue I was hoping to use for the Dream Workshop I was organising with Anne Hill the following weekend had become unavailable. At such short notice I decided the only option was to hold it at my house instead - which then meant a frantic round of cleaning and tidying and moving furniture to make the place fit for visitors!

The day before the Workshop (14th March), I attended the planning meeting for the Spring Equinox ritual of the Carmarthen Moot. I had expected to be unable to attend the ritual itself as I would be away the following weekend, but it transpired that many members would also be busy that weekend, so it was postponed until Sunday 29th March.

Despite the late change of venue, the Dream Workshop with Anne was well attended and greatly enjoyed by everyone. Anne was wonderful and we all learned a great deal, both about working with dreams, and also about ourselves through insights gained by examining our dreams. There is now great enthusiasm for creating a local dream group! If you get a chance to attend one of Anne's workshops, I thoroughly recommend them - and also her new book, 'What To Do When Dreams Go Bad', a signed copy of which Anne was kind enough to gift me with.

It was a great weekend, but now I was feeling time pressured - I had a busy week ahead and I also had to prepare for travelling to Spain with my friend Suzanne on 21st March, plus the Pagan Federation Regional Conference in Cardiff was looming straight afterwards. I had booked a stall there and was hoping for the opportunity to sell lots of my crafts - and there were a million things to organise before then!

The week leading up to the holiday in Spain was so busy I didn't have time to pack until the Friday, when I was planning to drive up to Suzanne's place in Croydon as we had to catch an early flight out of Gatwick on Saturday morning. Unfortunately there was a power cut overnight meaning my alarm clock didn't go off on Friday morning and I overslept by a disastrous two hours! This made me late leaving and of course I then ran into horrendous traffic by the time I hit the M25. So I arrived pretty frazzled and much later than planned at Suzanne's! She and another friend, Annie (who lives near Suzanne) were waiting patiently for me and we spent a nice evening chatting and munching pizza before a relatively early night as we had to be up by 5am the next morning to get to the airport!

I feel a bit guilty that I have been to Spain twice in the last couple of months, especially as I think I should really be battening down the hatches and being frugal until the divorce is settled! But this trip was planned way back at the end of last summer (the Barcelona trip was a last minute affair, spurred by the feeling that I should see the Rubinoos when the chance offered itself!), and everyone has been assuring me that a break at this stage in the divorce is a Good Idea. Who am I to argue?

Suzanne and I travelled to Almeria and spent a wonderfully restful week at the very lovely Vera Beach Club resort. It was the perfect holiday for the two of us, both feeling stressed out by our respective current circumstances (Suzanne: job, me: divorce) - the resort was quiet, peaceful, beautiful and the local people were kind and friendly. I would thoroughly recommend the area to anyone wanting a relaxing break.

I have plenty more photos to inflict on you - particularly from the day we visited the Alhambra Palace - but I will post those separately!

The week left us beautifully relaxed, but unfortunately the travelling home undid a lot of the good work! We had to be up at just after 6am to get to Almeria airport in time to check in for our flight, then caught a connecting flight in Barcelona which landed at Heathrow. The next leg of the journey was catching a bus back to Suzanne's house so I could pick up my car. The bus was particularly slow due to all the Saturday afternoon traffic, and we didn't get back to Croydon until about 5.30pm. And then I had to drive back to Wales! Luckily there wasn't too much traffic but I was exhausted by the time I got home (at about 10.30pm) and felt in need of a holiday...

Cathy and Julian had been house-sitting for me and doing some decorating while I was gone so the good news was the house looking brilliant! The bad news was that the clocks went forward that night so I lost a much needed hour of sleep.

Cathy and Julian left the next day (I wished they could have stayed longer, but they needed to get home). Once they'd gone I gathered together stuff for the Carmarthen Moot Spring Equinox ritual and headed off in the car to start picking people up. Normally we hold rituals in the centre of Carmarthen, which is easy for people to get to. But our usual venue is now unavailable, so one of the members had kindly offered the use of his garden, which was lovely, but unfortunately not easy to get to by public transport. Somehow I managed to pack myself, four passengers and a whole load of ritual gear into my tiny car and we set off! The ritual went really well - although it was a little chilly - and a good time was had by all. Not having the time constraints imposed by our previous venue meant that we carried on chatting and eating much longer than normal. By the time we finally left and I had dropped everyone at their various destinations I didn't get home until 9.30pm!

It was quite dark by then, and the chickens and geese needed shutting away. Julian had mentioned that a mystery animal had been digging in the compost heap, pulling compost all over the path while I'd been away, so I was quite anxious to check the chickens were OK when I got back. They are in a supposedly predator-proof run with high wire fences and netting over the top of the run, as we have suffered chicken casualties in the past due to both foxes and buzzards. Going down to the run with a torch, I opened the door to do a quick head count and was relieved to see everyone present and correct. But when I turned to leave the run, the beam of the torch lit up a chicken-sized hole in the fence! I suddenly realised that my wily hens had been letting themselves out into the non-predator-safe vegetable patch every day while I'd been away, and they themselves were in fact the mystery compost-diggers! Luckily all had survived the experience and I patched up the hole before letting them out again the next morning - much to their disappointment.

The postscript to my March adventures was the Pagan Fed Conference on 4th April. The week leading up to it was a frantic rush to get everything ready to sell on the stall. I had another 5am start (groan) to get down to Barry Island early enough to set up before the doors opened at 9am (and after packing up at 6.30pm and dropping various people off en route I finally got back home at about 10pm!). It was a very good day of talks and ritual, I saw many friends there and... I sold almost nothing. I didn't, in fact, even cover my costs. Oh well, can't win them all. On the plus side, I now have lots and lots of stuff to put on Etsy - so don't forget to check out my store for lots of new goodies which will be appearing over the next few weeks!

So in summing up all the events and excitement of March I would say that I feel like I need another holiday now!!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Good Morning - And Now For A Quick Commercial Break...

I have been feeling guilty about not posting recently on the blog. This is not for lack of things to post about, but for lack of time. In due course I hope to find time to blog about the Grand Opening of the Fire Pit party, the Dream Workshop with the wonderful Anne Hill, my (second!) trip to Spain, my newly decorated house, recent chicken adventures, the Carmarthen Moot's Spring Equinox ritual, and the hard work getting my craft items ready to sell at the Pagan Federation's regional Spring Conference on Barry Island this coming Saturday (that last bit was the commercial break, by the way - if you're coming to the conference, do come along and introduce yourself at the 'Moonroot Designs' stall!).

But in the meantime, this morning is so beautiful I just had to take a few minutes out to grab my camera, take some shots of the early sunshine sparkling dew on soon-to-be-blossoming buds and say good morning to you. Good morning!