Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fifth of November Ramblings xxxx

This week I have started the Word + Image eCourse by Lucy Pearce

Temperatures dropping, the crisp cold hits as you leave the house. The smell of bonfire was lingering as I came back from today's dog walk; applewood smoke is THE essence of November - if only I could bottle it.  And still no sign of the elusive first frost. Even watching fireworks was a cardigan affair this year, sat perched on the bumper of the landrover with the night sky exploding overhead. Of course, dutifully Instagramed and shared... click here   I think it was a first, no sign of the usual gloves, waterproof layers or glances through the window from the safety of the warmth.  And yet, if you look, the marked changes are there that the month has well and truly turned. The spidery fingers of the lime trees can be sighted over the neighbours roof tops, the deep red of the Virginia creeper like garlands hang down walls, the bulb like crab apples of red and yellow just about hanging on to the now leafless carcus of the trees. Time has turned.

By the way, it has arrived.

The C related tunage.  A well known coffee shop chain dared to have 'Simply having wonderful C******** time' playing. I love this season, I love Yule but tunes before bonfire night? Even I am not too sure about that one, however I don't mind munching on the Malteaser chocolate reindeer! And ok I may have dug out the Medieval Baebes album... if you can handle it have a listen here

The other half, he calls it consumer terrorism. We are all held to ransom by this one day where we have to buy, eat and buy yet more. I am more than guilty of this, I will buy lots of gifts that really, we could do without.  Like the pre-filled stockings I bought as extras over the last few years.  A wonderful idea at the time. Until the summer holidays, when I unearth them like a highly trained archaeologist, emerging from under the childrens' beds with many items not even opened. So this year, more home made, making and doing rather than bought plastic rubbish from a shelf. 
I remember when I would get a few gifts, and it was more about the tradition.
We would stay at my Nan's, watch the Two Ronnies, The Queen Speech, Christmas dinner, my Nan's homemade sausage rolls and tomoatoe chutney. Boiled gammon a staple in all households for Christmas tea of course.
Even before the day itself, the build up. The wonderful memories of wandering around the village carol singing, traipsing up the unlit lane through potholes and mud to the big house.  Wellies and coats would be piled high outside in the porch, and then we would enter through the huge wooden door into a magical world. Bright glowing yellow windows with music enticing us in from the cold dark, the big just cut tree with sparkling treasure, garlands of fresh holly and ivy,  the piano played by the church organist, warm mince pies and sausage rolls fresh from the oven. Mince pies that I might just add, that were made using shortbread pastry ...  And then we would sing.  The household dogs hoovering up all crumbs helping us to leave no trace as we booted up and wandered back through the dark singing.
The village church was an occasion too, a place where everyone would appear and catch up, often from the last Christmas. The nativity stable would be put together by the font, most of it comprising  of statues that all us children would help place and decorate, the tree decorated to the ceiling and then the readings of which we were all given a part. 
At my other grandparents the small plastic tinsel tree would appear.  The red nylon stockings would be placed methodically, their white wave pattern around the top growing greyer every year! Plastic elves would be strategically placed and rows of received cards covering every surface possible in their flat.  And then there was the annual Tunis cake. 
This is all going back well over thirty years, but fresh in my mind as if yesterday. And  writing this I realise how food does actually dominate the season! I do like my food ha! But they actually hold memories somehow, a bit like music and that smell of applewood bonfire when out on my walk earlier.
But more to the point what traditions and memories are there for my children? What will they look back on and remember?
And this really made me stop in my tracks.Yes we have the Yule twig but what else?
And so, that is where I will start this year for the festive season ahead.
Maybe stir up Sunday will be revived; making the cake, then feeding it. 
Something to ponder for the week ahead amidst all the other to-do items. Maybe Pinterest will be revived too for some seasonal inspiration. Best have some de-icer on standby too. Oh and we have the arrival of Mr. Twiggles the new guinea pig...

Silent Sunday xxxx

Friday, October 27, 2017

Twenty Seventh October Ramblings

It's still sitting there glaring at me, the orange blob. It must be 2 weeks now. Life just seems to get in the way, then half term and all energy has disappeared by 3 p.m. 
It will have to wait ... 

Today's wander, my usual route with the added bonus I was on my own. On my own as in, the only human. Just me, my thoughts, the dog, the buzzards and the noisy crows cawing. The obligatory Insta pic was taken obviously #dailydogwalkmistletoeoak . 

As I stood and looked around I wondered who else had made this journey today. If I stood there all day at the top of the lane how many people would pass me by? Who actually bothers to wander out here as the weather changes, considering few appear at the height of summer! 

How many have noticed the path has been ploughed up and only our welly trodded feet have reclaimed the way? 

I note too that today is the first real shift into the lower range, maybe we will see our first frost soon? Gah, hat and glove season; the mass treasure hunt for said items minutes before the school run. I swear they are somehow linked to the solitary sock phenomenon. 

I look across to the oak tree, still holding on to it's leaves now markedly thinning. 
I spot a half moon peaking out above it, are we already that far through the cycle already? 

The winter crop is greening a carpet as far as I can see, hiding the rough edged plough top that looked messy and uncared for. Inbetween the furrows the blown gold, yellow and red leaves gather.  Field maple, beech, oak and chestnut cluster creating lines as if someone has hand placed them. 

Something moves ahead of me.  The buzzard is sitting next to the badger set again. I wonder why at this time of day it always sits there? 4pm cuppa round Mr Badger's?

Whilst everything else is draining and demising ready for Winter, I feel a renewed connection to my land.  An energy that makes me feel grounded and calm. Content maybe?
A sort of earth magic that over the years I have learnt to recognise in the hedgerows, the birds and the trees. Markers for what has been and what is yet to come perhaps? 

A common mallow is still holding on as I wander back down the lane, its purple head bobbing in the gentle breeze. So too the burdock bombs hang on, note to self, remove these from the dog's ears as no doubt she will be covered being a Spaniel! 

Finally back, the warmth from the rayburn is instant as I pull my wellies off and the orange blob taunts me through the window. 

We will get that bloomin pumpkin carved before Samhain just watch!

The Write Way?

Out there in Internet-land I write, albeit not under my own name, usually.
On occassion I ghost write, I copywrite, I guest write.
Short stories, articles, poems and other treasures.

But here on my blog... nada. 

It feels too risky.
My own words on my own site, how dare I.

But now as the season shifts...
Maybe it is time to put some words on here, rather than fill the copious amounts of journals that I own. The ones that I fill and never share.  Or the blank ones I fear to deface and mess as they are too perfectly pristine for my tarnished scrawls?


The words I write are for me, no audience intended.

A place to gather my ideas.

Work in progress.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Instagram or Etsy???

I would love to hear what other sellers use, and why? I am often asking this and no-one really has an opinion, so please comment below or over on my Instagram! Or, is there another platform out there that is better as when it comes to selling your creations online there are a myriad of options. For many years I have used Etsy and Folksy mainly because I only know of them.
But which is best? Many buyers do not realise that before any sale  or costs in creating an item, listing costs, commissions and paypal fees are charged to the seller.   You then have the issue of your item even being found amidst the 1000s of other items on sale. You have to do your own marketing essentially.  And to be fair, how many times can you share a listing on social media before it becomes boring for hte reader and they just clickaway or unfollow? Also, do you pay to list an item on 2 sites and hope it is not purchased at the same time on both site, or do you just make 2 in case? So many considerations and that is before anyone hopefully buys from you!!!
So, thoughts and feedback on which platform is best please!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Autumn Equinox xxxx


Bright Blessings to all /l\
At this time and season, the day and night are equal.  
All in balance,
From today the nights will draw in darker and the season will change.
The first day of Autumn is here.  
The conkers are falling.
The hedgerows heave with rosehips, haws, sloes and blackberries to name but a few. 
The leaves are turning hues of red, rust and gold. 
The fields are ploughed.
The harvest well and truly gathered. 
Warming bonfires fill the air as gardens are being cleared and tended ready for winter. 

A fresh cycle begins. 

Changes are afoot. 
Even here in my tiny village behind the little boxes we call home and out in the woods and fields, it is all change at every level.  

And so too my blogging.  
I have half inched the use of a laptop that works. Writing on a phone is no fun! The reliance on Instagram for the image and few words, no longer enough. Click here for my Instagram

The earth land connection as I walk outside cannot be ignored anymore as autumn arrives. It makes me want to write. The dew in the morning covering my landrover, a quick pattern scribbled into it before I clear it. It makes me want to draw. A balance must be made.

Too long dormant. 
Time to write and create...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Hedgerow foraging x

Ahem... slow gin update a few years later x

Back in September 2015 I blogged about making sloe  gin See post here

Today I finally decanted it into bottles! Must work harder at remembering things lol

See, it's not just my blog that gets forgotten ;) Must try harder!