Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Fifth Sacred Thing - The Movie

I have long loved Starhawk's book 'The Fifth Sacred Thing'. And now I am so excited to hear there are plans afoot to make it into a film!

If you also love the book, you can keep up to date with the plans via Starhawk's blog, or on Facebook. And if you haven't read the book yet, I recommend it, especially as we seem to be moving closer to the world she envisions in it...

P.S. You can now make a donation (as big or small as you like) to help fund the film here.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Weird Stuff in Carmarthen

I have written before that Carmarthen (my nearest town) is a quirky little town. When I saw some coracle fishermen on the River Towy yesterday, I thought perhaps it was time to post some photographic evidence of Carmarthen's unique features. So although I wasn't quick enough to photograph the coracles, here are some pictures of some of Carmarthen's quirkier landmarks.

This is 'The Big Hat' a version of which has hung in Carmarthen's Lammas Street since the 19th Century. This is its latest incarnation. The story of The Big Hat may be found here.

Carmarthen obviously has a thing for attaching random large objects to buildings, because there is also a Big Coffee Pot in Guildhall Square...

I find some of the graffitti to be quite creative (if odd)! Unless it's been painted over/scrubbed off, this can be found between Nott Square and Guildhall Square.

Nott Square is home to a statue of its namesake, General William Nott, as well as the entrance to Carmarthen castle.

At the other end of Nott Square, standing outside the 'Nomads' shop you will find George the giraffe, who became a local cause celebre when the local council tried to ban him for Health & Safety reasons. There was such an outcry that George was reinstated to his rightful place and is now safely chained to the front of the shop, in a compromise that satisfies both the over-anxious council and Carmarthen's giraffe lovers.

The King Morgan pharmacy at the top of King Street has been established for many, many years, and still displays antique pharmacy bottles & jars in its windows. The stained glass door, tiled floor and old wooden cabinets inside make you feel like you've stepped back in time. There is now a bridge leading from the railway station, across the River Towy to the town (Blue Street) that is named after the King Morgan family, who served the medical needs of the townspeople for many years.

This is the tower of St Peters church, the subject of a rather odd prophecy that I mentioned in my previous post about Carmarthen...

And here's a statue of Merlin himself, gracing the newly-named Merlin's Walk (formerly Greyfriars). Rather appropriately it's carved from a huge chunk of oak. I like it, though it caused a bit of consternation amongst some that a good Christian placename (Greyfriars) was being replaced with one with Pagan associations! Which just proves you can't please everyone. There's lots of details here about Merlin's long association with Carmarthen. I reckon he preceded the grey friars in their medieval monastery anyway!

There are other sights like the Roman Amphitheatre and Merlin's Hill that I haven't got around to photographing yet - look out for 'Weird Stuff in Carmarthen II' some time in the future!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Falling In Love Again

A favourite cushion with an old vintage mirror that belonged to my Nanna

How quickly time passes. Only three years ago, I was still married - and oblivious to any hint of trouble. Now I have been divorced for over a year and a half, and my life is so different.

I am still at Halfway Up A Hill though, which when T first left, I never expected. I thought we would have to sell up and split the proceeds. Then, when we agreed that I could keep the house as part of the divorce settlement, I fully expected to sell up and move on anyway. Too many memories here.

Funny how things turn out, isn't it? With the collapse of the housing market, I resigned myself to staying put and just redecorating and smartening the place up for a couple of years until the economy picked up and I could sell. But over the past couple of years, I have started to see this familiar house with new eyes. By slowly, but surely putting my own mark on things, I have begun to fall in love with the place again. The painful memories are gradually being erased with each fresh coat of paint.

A handpainted dresser top that was picked up for a few pounds at a car boot sale. Along with some of my china and knick-knacks! Most of the china was passed down by my grandparents.

T's taste was fairly conventional and minimalist. Mine is more hippy-witchy-shabbychic-vintage-bohemian; definitely not minimalist. Now I am free to indulge those preferences without restraint! The interior - and exterior - of the house is beginning to reflect my tastes and personality as it never did before.

The lawn - once so carefully tended by T each weekend - has been declared a wildflower meadow. I prefer the look of all those flowers, and life is too short to spend it mowing! The overgrown flowerbed by the kitchen door has been tidied and planted up with roses, hardy geraniums and fuschia, and is now thronging with happy, busy bees. Pots of flourishing geraniums and herbs surround the back door with colour and fragrance. Suncatchers and windchimes dangle from every window, paintings and vases and lanterns and plants, new cushions and throws decorate the rooms. I have fun creating seasonal altars around the house and garden.

I LOVE my pantry door, which was made to measure by my very talented friend, Harry.

IB loves this house, and I am starting to love it once again. This weekend we have put up some wall cupboards that I have painted with a distressed finish in my favourite colours. In the dining room hearth, a 'new' (secondhand!) woodburning stove is waiting to be installed in readiness for next winter. I am planning to add a porch to the back door, and a forest garden down the hill...

The new woodburning stove, waiting to be 'plumbed in'.
I thought there were too many memories here for me to stay. But would they really have dispersed just by moving location? The memories are a part of me, a part of my story. The trick, I am beginning to learn, is to hold on to the best of the past, and let go of the grief and the anger. And in the meantime, go on, creating new memories as you fall in love with life once again.

Says it all.