Monday, 28 February 2011

Serious planning

So, it's March tomorrow and we are into some serious planning for our future life, but it's all so difficult. Why is something so simple that we want to do so bloody difficult? We are very lucky in that we both own property (well, part-own it with ex-partners and the bank!) and so we have capital we can invest in our plans - except - that we can't actually get at the capital without selling our home out from underneath ourselves without anywhere else to go! If it was just the 2 of us adults, I'd have no hesitation doing this, but there are all our children to consider, plus we need constant access to a workshop so we can be making the things which will form the basis of our future income. And so the whole thing gets more and more complicated, as we research more and more outlandish ways of getting our hands on the cash or of bridging the homeless gap. And all that is without the difficulty of trying to find a suitable plot of land of the right size and composition, in the right place, at a vaguely suitable price, and at the right time.

It would be easy to despair and just carry on with the same old jobs/mortgage/small house in a town grind as everything else just seems so hard, but we won't let go of this. There *must* be a way, we just need to find it. I won't be made to live in a way which feels increasingly alien to me when we could have our own land and live our own way.

We're planning a trip to a local(ish) Sustainability Centre to get some ideas and some practical inspiration in the near future, and in the meantime, the building of our first yurt continues apace. the crown/wheel is now pretty much finished and looking great. We have collected over half the poles we need, we have acquired an old-fashioned, heavy-duty, hand-cranked sewing machine for sewing the canvas, so I suppose we are making slow, small progress. Watch this space.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Up and Down

That is how I am at the moment. Now, I do tend to the volatile at the best of times, and usually February is not the best of times for me, but I have to say I'm rather more violently up and down at the moment than is usual even for me. I guess things have been changing so hugely and I've been clinging to a small wooden raft of sanity riding the heavy, storm-tossed seas of a completely and rapidly changing life. Given that circumstances have been so extraordinary, I have found within myself an emergency measure of optimism and a genuine sense of excitement and anticipation at the thought of our new life which has kept me going over one of the greyest and dullest winters I can remember recently.

But yesterday I felt so utterly down and defeated, and do you know what triggered that feeling? Something so utterly stupid that I was ashamed at myself for letting it get to me so much: the internet broke. It's not the first time this has happened and I'm sure it won't be the last time, but this time it did it half an hour before a friend came to take the children to the home ed group for me so I could have the rest of the day to do some much-needed work. I work online. Do you see where this is going? This was Thursday, the phone helpline assured me that there was nothing they could do to fix the fault right there (we'd already tried all the usual quick fixes) and that an engineer would speedily be with me... on Saturday. I nearly cried. Then I started swearing. Not at the call centre person, I hasten to add.

So I spent the whole day not being able to work, and not being able to do much else useful either due to a broken toe preventing me from walking very far. And do you know what? Five minutes before the children were due back, the bloody, sodding internet magically came back! And how stupid did I feel that I'd let such a trivial thing cast me down so much? Very stupid. And yet, could I manage to pull myself out of the Slough of Despond. No, I bloody well couldn't. So there you have it, a day in the life of my emotions. I have enough distance from them to be able to see how silly I'm being and yet can't seem to use that self-knowledge to fully change my state. Very frustrating. But hell, today is a new day, the internet is working, it's Friday, I still can't walk very far, but the determined optimism is back. Everything *will* work out OK. I hope anyone reading this is also having a better day.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


So, Imbolc is nearly upon us and I finally saw my first snow-drops yesterday. I'm feeling very in tune with the time of year this year. So many things in my life have been in limbo, lying dormant over the the dark time between Samhain and now. But, now I can feel the new growth, new ideas, creativity and new life just waiting to burst out. It's pulsing, sap rising, just below the surface, and the flurry of action and activity is about to burst forth into bud, leaf and flower.

We attended a fine Imbolc ritual at Anderida on Sunday and I feel that Brigit's awen and Bardship were fully called into being and celebrated. It was fiercely cold on that hillside under the watchful gaze of the Long Man, and I had to hobble up the hill and then down again with much help from a staff and other people as I had stupidly and clumsily broken my big toe 3 days before. It was probably a silly idea to even try to do it, but it was just one of those things that I *had* to do. I needed to be with my tribe and celebrate the returning light and inspiration.

This year is not going to be an easy one. There are going to be many challenges, many practical difficulties, many steep learning curves, a lot of changes, and even at the end of all that, we may not get exactly what we want, but I know that we'll give it the absolute best shot we can, and that's what I'm holding on to. Whatever happens, things will be very different by the time we arrive at the next dark time. I'm excited by what lies ahead, and very much looking forward to seeing where we are by Samhain this year.

Blessings of Brigit to you all.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A New Era

As you may have noticed, I haven't been blogging regularly for some months now. As those of you who know me in real life know, this is because of a major upheaval in my life. I met and fell in love with someone new and we have both moved heaven and earth, including splitting up our respective marriages, to be together, which we now are. And here begins the new chapter in our lives. This year is going to see some huge changes in our lifestyle and living and working arrangements. We are hoping to be able to buy some land and start some businesses on it, including sustainability workshops for children, managing the woodland, keeping chickens and bees, growing our own food as much as possible, wood-working, maybe charcoal-burning, meditation workshops. We are hoping to gain permission to live on the land in temporary, low-impact dwellings, preferably yurts, and thereby be mortgage-free and needing much less income. So far we are just in the planning stages and much depends on things that we don't know yet, but I'm aiming to keep a record of what happens here, and also to be able to promote our businesses as each gets up and running - hence yesterday's post about my life coaching and my partner's Etsy shop. I hope some of you will be interested in our journey, as the home education of my children also continues, and my partner's 2 children also join in our adventure as and when they are with us. As Imbolc approaches, I can feel the new season starting and the time for new ventures ripening. Watch this space...

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Etsy shop

Well, it's been a long time since I posted anything on my blog and I'll try to get back into the habit of updating it a bit more. Life has been hectic and included some major and fundamental changes since last September. Slowly, a new life is taking shape but there's plenty more change to come yet, probably including a house move this year.

So, here's what I wanted to say today. This is my partner's Etsy shop - he's a talented wood-worker and wood-turner and he has some lovely stuff on there - handmade rune sets, wands and such-like. He can also do commissions or make stuff to order - so contact him via his Etsy page if there's something you want to discuss.

Also, I have now got my life coaching business, Firefly Life Coaching, up and running. So, if anyone wants life coaching, please contact me! I practise from a spiritual and intuitive perspective, but I'm also fully qualified and insured and can coach by phone wherever you happen to be!

That is all for now!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


The following poem was written by Siegfried Sassoon in 1919, less than a year after the end of WWI. He was already afraid that the horror was being forgotten, that this could happen again, after all their sacrifice. Thinking about this year and the deaths of the last few WWI veterans, the suicide bombers, the wars, the nuclear proliferation, I wonder what he'd think about the world of 2010?


Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same--and War's a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz--
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench--
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, 'Is it all going to happen again?'

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack--
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads--those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Is it just me...

...or does anyone else feel a little bit uncomfortable about *celebrating* VJ (Victory in Japan) Day? I mean, I can understand celebrating the end of the war, and I know that many Japanese POWs were treated horrendously. But just remembering those 2 atomic bombs - Little Boy and Fat Man - that ended the war and their consequences for the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as for the world in general since, I can't help but think that celebrating this in any way is somewhat distasteful. Especially bearing in mind the questions that have since been raised about whether or not they were actually 'necessary' (putting aside general discussions on whether the use of atomic weapons can ever be deemed necessary).

As ever, no answers, just questions, doubts and points to raise.