rise and root



The Flame Haired Solstice Dreamer

Cold winter brings the Everfrost and jewels every tree
In a forest new as birth and old as old can be
A flame~haired dreamer wanders there and shelters from the wind
And spins her dreams around the trees to break the ties that bind
She takes her thread and spins anew and how the Greenwood smiles
As she spins a spell for freedom and for her spirit Wylde

The dreamer finds an ancient oak and shelters in his lee
In a forest new as birth and old as old can be
Tis summer now and birdsong weaves its magick through her spells
And humming bees drum drowsily in the foxglove's bells
The dreamer sits beneath the oak with yarn upon her knee
And spins and knits and weaves her dreams and sets her spirit free

"When birds fall from the sky and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people...shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. they will be known as the warriors of the Rainbow"

Hopi Prophecy


where does the time go? 

how has it been since my last post all these days~weeks have drifted away?
how easy it is to let the time drift away like leaves in a slowly moving stream and forget...

of course not everything is forgotten...

i sit here, tucked under my covers in bed, up in the roof of my old home overlooking the cobbles, my hand curled around my second mug of tea, Classic FM, as usual, coming from my radio. its just getting light and the sky over the old town quay is dark grey and full of rain.

time passes quickly in my new life. 
i have been here for nearly a year now and my life has its weekly routine of work, shopping, housework, my studies and taking my mum out and about. in the evenings its all about cooking and getting myself settled down with a book and my ever present radio.

my weekends are all about my tramper.
my beautiful, blue eyed, rough voiced, truck driving boy

we have just passed through the most difficult week of our 14 month relationship, when it had reached the stage of perfection i could have only dreamed of a year ago. we spent the most wonderful nine days together over yule and on new years eve in the space of a couple of hours it went from perfection to him nearly ending it and last week we barely spoke.
i wont go into it now, the hurt is still there but slowly fading for both of us and please don't think badly of him for he did not betray me nor i him.
i was distraught although sent him my usual messages so he knew i was still here and committed to him, i ate very little and by Friday was looking dreadful and struggling to hold the tears at bay.
By that evening i was heartbroken and went to bed in tears having convinced myself it was all over~within ten minutes my phone rang and in the next 20 hours it rang another six times and each time we talked and slowly started to laugh again. in the day following we spoke again twice and made arrangements for next weekend. 

so we survived~despite everything we still missed each other and love has won.
while i never doubted i wanted the relationship to survive he needed time to think and i feel joy that he chose to fight for us and not just give up as an easy option.

yes~our relationship had become perfection and see what he bought me for Christmas...

meet Babette

he knew i have had three previously and thought how suited i am to them...we drove all the way to Suffolk for her, a 440 mile round trip.

so we have had our first, serious blip in our relationship and survived


such a small word
such a word to be easily used with no meaning
or misunderstood

in reality a huge, complex beastie that can equally tear the heart apart and bring fathoms of joy all in one day

i love my tramper
i love him unreservedly
i didn't go looking for love
but i found it in him

i imagine some other woman meeting this man would have walked away or caused him to walk away months ago

he is complex, very complex

he has a difficult history, a victim of child abuse, life spent in children's homes, reform school when the authorities didn't know what to do with him, a step father who 'encouraged' the older brothers to take him out and fight him, two failed marriages, one at 19, where both women openly cheated on him.
he knows of the abuse perpetrated on his older siblings but he can only remember violence perpetrated against him, although after nearly a year with this man i have picked up on odd little things that make me wonder if the abuse was more and he has it effectively blocked. 

he admitted that he has been keeping a wall between us but last weekend, after a lovely day spent together I finally asked if the wall was still there

'what do you think?'
'we both want the same things'

this 'Markism' means, no, the wall is coming down
its taking time, its slow, but its coming down, tiny piece by tiny piece.
I have, against my nature, been deliberately keeping this relationship slow, not rushing, not demanding, not pushing.
I need him to know that not all women are the same. That I am different.
I know he trusts me now, it took months for him to trust, but he does.

On a few occasions his guard has dropped and he has said he loves me. When I say a few , I can count the times on one hand but at the same time I know he does by other means or the way he will look at me.

Last night we had FaceTime and at the end of the call he said 'well i better let you go' but instead of ending the call he sat there a if he wanted to say something else, I could almost hear the words forming in his mind, hiding behind his lips, his eyes. Then he smiled and laughed and said goodnight.
I know what words were behind this, I could feel them, hear them whispering to me, almost taste the words he was holding onto.

when I think of his past it breaks my heart.

he has a photo he keeps out of him meeting the boxer Henry Cooper when he was about 14. In order to deal with the beatings he got from his three older brothers he took up martial arts and I think this photo has something to do with it. Looking at the picture of this young Mark, I think of all he had gone though by this time and I could weep.

Early in our relationship he kept telling me that I should be with someone more educated and when he knew he was going to meet my Dad he asked if he would be disappointed that I was not with an educated man. I explained its not the education that makes the man for me and my Dad wants me to be with someone who makes me happy, whether they are educated or not. It took some months but he finally stopped asking these questions~he finally realised that he is the man I want in my life.

Finally, after meeting two brothers and their partners, I knew he was serious when I finally, in the summer, met his youngest daughter and her partner and his adopted daughter...he brought them up as a single parent and loves these two girls so very much and I think he had to be sure of me before meeting them and a few weeks ago he told me that his youngest has told him that she is glad he has met me. 


this damaged man trusts me with everything and you could say that this is his way of saying he loves me

~when two becomes one~

I am back at my little old quay eyrie after two weeks travelling around with my tramper , spending time in Glastonbury, on the Kennet and Avon canal and at our new bolthole in Keyhaven, only a few miles from my home.

i would love to say it was all sunshine and roses but it was far from that~putting two independent people together in a motorhome 24-7 for the first time was hard.
very hard
on a couple of occasions I was close to coming home...yes really!
because of serious issues from his childhood, combined with trust issues from his adult life he has problems with anxiety, change, commitment and a whole host of other things I can only really guess at and so mark found some things difficult. I picked up on this and so gave him space when I was able...setting up my deckchair outside and reading with tea, or walking myself into Glastonbury from the campsite.
He has told me that when he is being moody its because of him, not me or us...just him and I trust him in this. he is the kind of man who, if something isn't working, he will walk. he hasn't walked and we survived an almost difficult two weeks where I did nearly walk. But I refuse to give up on him because of his problems while at the same time I refuse to just lay down and take it.
This is a revelation to me and shows me how much I have grown, how independent I have become...that I can acknowledge my control over my life and to refuse to hang on to something that isn't working.
Luckily it is working and I hope given time the trust he says he has in me will develop and he will feel able to start to break down the barriers he has built around him and that we both know we got through the two weeks without actually walking away from the relationship I think will help strengthen our bond.

Today I am home.
I had the opportunity to go into Fareham today with Mark but chose to come home and get myself settled and will possibly join him later back in Keyhaven...he has fallen in love with this area and has decided that it is where he is going to park up at weekends with Big Bertha.

I have to say its lovely being back home, in my own space, with my belongings around me.
I unpacked, sorted washing and went out to buy the essentials, bought my usual latte from Drifters, here on the cobbles and been listening to my usual classic fm.

I am in autumn/winter nesting mode now, I have brought down some blankets from upstairs to lay over my seats....a red and white wool blanket with Nordic style patterns and a vintage Welsh blanket in greens and blues, I have candles burning in my Victorian cast iron fire place, incense burning and lamps on rather than the main light. Voices are still coming up from the cobbles and rain is starting to fall...we have been told to expect some wild weather tonight and tomorrow as the tail end of the hurricane is coming in.


here I am again
 sitting at my little kitchen table, watching the sun cross the old walls and roofs that scale the hill of the old town quay behind me.

this past year has seen my spiritual path wander and drift, my rituals and garden fires, my oracle and tarot readings, my pathworkings...all slowly died away.
I think mostly because I am becoming used to a new life, a new pace of living, the everyday things such as housework, paying bills, shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing, my studies, fitting in work, my weekends with Mark. 

however deep down things have not changed. I am still feeling the changes in the air, the shift as the great wheel of the year turns, the shift in how the air around me smells.
its subtle, very subtle but I still feel it.

it started back in june, just a hint, a feeling.
this hint slowly grew and I started feeling it distinctly in a change in the air in the early morning. one morning I walked round to my car to load up some things to take to Mark and given it was 6am on a Saturday...the cobbles does not come alive until well after 9am even in the summer...I wore my boxer shorts and a jumper for the two minute walk. the air held that slight chill that always tells me that autumn is around the corner.
now on the last day of august that chill is a tangible thing, I can almost see it, hear it. the chill becomes very obvious in the early hours and I find myself slipping on a jumper or poncho while I boil my kettle for my first tea of the day, the sun is shining but the blue sky isn't really holding the same kind of heat as it has been this summer and the evenings are bringing its own kind of chill.

even the cobbles feel different
its almost like a fading away as the tourists are slowly leaving and the little café two doors away, Drifters, where Mark and I buy our sunday morning latte, is only two months away from closing for the winter
by the end of October the cobbles will once again come under the sole ownership of the cobble dwellers, the seasonal cafes and seafood shacks will close and only locals will pass through this old cobbled lane, while the dwellers will wonder with each storm and high tide if the waters will reach out and cover the cobbles leaving us stranded as it has in the past...

~the other*North Star~

of course I couldn't update my blog without talking about Mark

the man who I call my 

North Star

yes, he is still in my life, more strongly than when I last posted about him being in my life.

my anxiety about our relationship has eased a great deal. When I first met him he told me that being with a tramper is hard...

hang on, some of you may not know what a tramper is...

a tramper is English slang for a long distance lorry driver who will sleep in their truck.

My love has been a tramper for about 25 years, he drives a 44 tonne, six axel, 18 wheeled truck Monday to Friday, driving from port to port delivering shipping containers full of goodness knows what, eating and sleeping in his truck where he has a bed, fridge, microwave.
its a solitary existence, regulated by strict time constraints, although new telephone technology means he is able to talk with his fellow trucker friends during the long journeys. At the end of the day he will either have parked up on an industrial estate or in a lay-by for the night and either fall straight asleep or watch something on his iPad that I will have downloaded for him at the weekend...this week he is onto season two of Game of Throne!

so yes, he told me at the beginning that being with a tramper is hard...and oh my it is.
we rarely speak on the phone during the week, relying on messages on our phones or the odd email, when he forwards me something. So much depends on the frequency of our daily messages...how busy he is, how tired he is at the end of a day, some days its such that he just needs quiet time and I may get nothing more than one or two messages.
Months ago that would have sent my anxiety levels through the roof...as my previous post has shown. These days I know better. we have spoken about it, of his need for quiet time for whatever reason and he reassured me that its nothing to do with me or us...he just needs some time.

But our relationship is thriving and strong

since I last wrote about our life I have met one of his other brothers and his girlfriend, on their canal boat. we have been there twice, sleeping in Big Bertha and spending the day on the canal. More importantly I have met both his daughters, not because I asked to meet them, I didn't want to push him, but because he felt it was time, he wanted us to meet each other. This it is how its been...I let him lead the way when it is comfortable for him. He has many barriers built up around him, has trust issues because of being badly hurt, it takes time for him to trust, this is why I follow his path.

My North Star

one of our favourite times is when we have our tea and toast in bed, either here or in Big Bertha, we sit and talk, joke and hold hands

this rough, gruff, tattooed tramper, with language to make a dockers hair curl, with his long hair and beard, whose beautiful blue eyes and smile gives his true soul away, who has vowed to be faithful and true to me...I love him so very much

~this is my life~

today started as a grey, dull day and this was the view from my bedroom.
now I am sitting at my kitchen window and the sun is breaking through the clouds.

I have not blogged for so long and I have been feeling the pull to write down my thoughts again, become an active part of old school blogging again.


its a few days later but I am still sitting at my kitchen window, looking out at the blue, blue sky and the higgidy-piggidy roof tops 

I love this view so much...

so I hear you ask, what's been happening since my last post?

so much and more

I am loving my home on the cobbles so much, to have become a cobble dweller is the best feeling. being part of the little community of dwellers here on the old town quay is a truly special feeling and it feels like home. I now have my old Paris-dwelling bicycle Evangeline here with me and we journey together around Lymington when I don't need my car...


here I am again, sitting at my little table, again with blue sky outside my window.
we had a big storm cross the Channel that hit us in the early hours of the night before last. I spent the time leaning out of my little bedroom window watching the lightning above the old roof tops, was oh so tired yesterday then had a migraine start. So today I am a little fragile , so taking it slow, not rushing.

so where was I?

yes...this is my life...

I realised the other day that it is nearly a year since I put the wheels in motion to change my life.
a year

my past life seems like 'forever ago'
the person I am, the life I am living bares no resemblance to my previous life.

it has been hard, from the moment I made the decision to end my relationship I knew it was all going to be hard, upsetting, stressful...
and it has been...very, very, very.

But you know what?
I have no regrets.

but it also slowly improved.

and so I have my life, my new life.
and its my life...every day I make my own choices, decisions. 

My home and my life is just that...mine.

I choose how to decorate, where to place my furniture, how to have the books on my bookcase, what to have on the bed, I have no tv, I can listen to Classic FM radio all day, everyday if I wish. I can even buy clothes! I know to some of you that all just sounds crazy...but to buy clothes...when you don't have control of your money, when I have always been told there is no money for anything, to be able to take myself into Southampton, sit in a café with a chai latte and cake, or buy myself lunch and then actually buy a couple of items of clothing...its new and amazing!

on nice evenings I sit in my courtyard

as darkness falls my solar lights come on and I light candles, I watch the last flights of the resident swifts, hear the last calls of the sea gulls and see the bats come alive. I hear the people pass by along the cobbles, their voices drifting up through the narrow, flag-stone alley, with its locked iron gate keeping out curious people. Sometimes I hear live music coming from the wine bar in the Old Customs House opposite or loud voices and laughter drifting down the hill from the Kings Head...a pub I used to visit weekly with my friends 20 years ago.
Every night my neighbours appear on their balconies and we chat or I just listen to their conversations, sometimes being drawn into the chat and laughter. Arthur the cat will appear for a quick chat before his sits on the high wall above me or a will vanish down the alley and disappear down the cobbles. Then as the nights gets darker I will bring myself in, make a cup of tea and take myself up the steep, narrow stairs that are hidden behind a little door, to my bedroom up in the roof...

The Cobbles have become my heart and soul...but there is another

~come visit with me~

I thought it was time to show you where I live

loving my fireplace, I just wish I could use it!

all year fairy lights down the cobbles...the view from my lounge

Diagon Alley?

Isle of Wight across the Solent

Dawn from my third floor bedroom

my courtyard garden

my kitchen window at dusk

my neighbours balcony

did a bit of shopping today to make up for not seeing my tramper as planned today


of course she had to go

solsticedreamer doesn't exist anymore

she belonged to a different life, a different time

she belongs to a world I no longer inhabit

no longer exists to 'friends' who betrayed her


she belongs to a time past, a time where a community was forged and close friendships made.
to almost idyllic times.
the betrayal now makes that seem false and I can see how quickly people will turn on you, will publicly express their opinion that you are having a midlife crisis and that they hoped karma will turn and bite you.

well I don't need that kind of person in my life
and so solsticedreamer had to go

punkwitch was born 
she seems more appropriate to the person I have become...or rather the person I always was but had lost somewhere over 17 years.
okay, so in the depths of my anxiety I don't feel like punkwitch

but this is punkwitch...
over the last months I have been to see echo and the bunnymen in southampton, the damned in Portsmouth and seth lakeman in poole, have a ticket to see the jesus and mary chain in april in bounemouth...all on my own. something I would have never contemplated 8 months ago.
i have a car
I have my own home in a beautiful area
I am finishing my degree
I have a little job that my fibromyalgia is just about letting me do
I have true friends who love and support me
I have my beautiful tramper

~demons #2~

I have had a weekend of two halves
the good and the just plain horrific

Saturday was good, I kept myself busy, went to the market for food, went for a walk and had a cup of tea looking out over the Solent and a slow walk back home. I sat reading and listening to music and mark phoned late afternoon and we spoke for maybe two hours or more and then messaged each other.

during the course of the conversation, I cant even remember what we were talking about, he said that we were not a couple.
he said something similar when we drove home from Scotland, saying he didn't believe in the whole 'boyfriend/girlfriend' thing and that we should enjoy whatever it is we have between us without rushing to give it a label.
since then however I have noticed that when he talks of me to other people he calls me his girlfriend...

I can understand his reasoning, he has a fear of being hurt and of the loss of his independence but to be honest the comment on Saturday  threw me a little and even though throughout the conversation he spoke of our plans for the summer...going camping in his new motorhome, returning to Scotland and of our 'relationship' I went to bed feeling sad.
something in me wanted just a small bit of commitment, just a tiny little label.

I woke up on Sunday with my anxiety levels through the roof and tears threatening to fall. I sent him my usual good morning message and settled in for a morning in bed, drinking tea, reading, listening to classic fm and eating toast.

finally the tears started
the hours rolled on
the tears continued
no message came in from him
the tears continued
I managed to step on and break my favourite vintage plate encouraging more tears to flow
I sent a message to P asking to talk later
P messaged back saying he would phone later
the tears dried up
sadness settled in side by side with my anxiety

P phoned...
P naturally knows about M and we spoke about the situation and his feelings and while he admits to feeling horribly jealous he is actually fine with the situation. we both know we have too much history, too much of a connection for anything to destroy it.

oh my but did he make so much sense.

he made me realise I have absolutely no foundation for thinking M is in anyway trying to back out of the relationship and despite not calling us a couple everything that he does and talks about with me signifies that we are in a serious, committed relationship while at the same time allowing us both to be our own independent selves.
that we do not need to place any kind of label on our relationship.
early on he told his family about me, his brothers and daughters all know about me. I met one brother and sister in law on our first 'date' and even went to their home over boxing day, his work mates know about me and he has enlisted them on several occasions to take photos of him by his truck to send me, he bought me beautiful dm boots, after several nights staying in his motorhome where I took my own crockery and mug he keeps it in his in his motorhome saying 'this might as well be kept here' and after his first visit to my flat left behind his shower gel in my bathroom and pyjamas (so I could wear them!) he messages me to say he is missing me, has told me decorating the interior of his new motorhome is my job and he has said in a very quiet voice on a few occasions that he loves me.
he has even been and had a piercing, 'my ring' to mirror one of my own because he said he wanted some connection between us.

P also said that I still need to find me, that after being in a long relationship where I experienced so much unhappiness I need to continue to find myself and that could take time.
that's exactly what M has said to me too. To suddenly be free after 17 years, the real me won't suddenly appear. I have to work at being me, at being a single person again, to finding my own path through life.

P and I ended our call and when I looked at my phone there were two messages from M waiting for me...apologising for not being in touch, saying he is missing me lots...later during the message conversation he sent me a link to a motorhome he wants to buy and I passed the comment that it had a ladder to the top so we could watch the night sky, something we had discussed previously 

he just said

'I did promise'


Friday 24th February

I am sitting here in my beautiful home typing this via Libre because as yet I am still waiting for my land line and broadband to be installed. My mobile is picking up a sketchy BT wifi but my laptop wont. I had planned on going to the library but have had to sort out some heating issues and so as the time ticks on I am resigned to a day at home seeing if the programme I set into my thermostat is working...as I type I don't think it has because right now my radiators are on when they should be off!

Today I am feeling engulfed with insecurities and doubts. My anxiety issues are hitting a high and I am feeling jittery and tearful. I have always suffered from problems with anxiety and they have waxed and waned as regularly as the moon in the night sky.
I hardly slept last night as my mind is playing tricks with my relationship with Mark. There is no concrete reasons for this, no hints that our relationship is faltering but my mind is whispering otherwise. Its insiduous whisperings are telling me that he is working this weekend because he doesn't want to see me, that he is trying to back out of our relationship. The crazy thing is there is no reason for thinking this way, there has been no reason given for me to think it, I am still getting my messages from him daily...but my evil brain is telling me otherwise.

The feeling of doubt and anxiety is so overwhelming I could cry from the sheer frustration as two parts of my mind battle it out. The awful thing is the evil side is stronger than the rational side-isn't that always the way? So all I can do is try to keep myself busy and think around the evil to the rational, to remind myself constantly that there is no reason to feel this way, that he has given me no reason to doubt his feelings for me, that he is genuinely busy with work.

anxiety really is the pits
All things share the same breath~the beast, the tree, the man, the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.

Chief Seattle

Johney Gaul~1915

Johney Gaul~1915
1890-17 september 1918~France