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

*hive mind*


instagram

don't you love instagram?

πŸ’™i know i am shouting but i just adore it πŸ’™

it was a whole lot better than bf (before facebook) but still better than fb

for my sins i am still on fb because its the only place where i can keep in touch with my friends who are spread across the country and those closest to me are towards swindon.

instagram has my heart the way pinterest once had
until the insidious creep of adverts and suggestions for pictures based on my likes. i cant even remember the last time i went on my pinterest  (saying that i will probably slink over and have a peek after this!)

there is little politics and much love and so many hive minds that it feels like my safe space and a place of utter joy-people sharing snippets of their lives, passing on ideas and support in a myriad of little ways. 

anyway, what i am getting at is how i seem to have touched a nerve with people in my last couple of ig posts about how i have been feeling change-positive change coming over me.

i have been feeling it for a couple of weeks, just a need for personal change-in myself and in my environment. i have spent the last year focusing so hard on the end of my degree and before lock down i was also working part time. my life was nothing but study, work and crashing into bed to fend off my m.e and fibromyalgia. 

i was effectively juggling 

lock down gave me time to think, assess and re-think and from comments on ig it seems it has done the same to many friends...i may not have met you in person, some of you i have known since the earliest days of blogging, and here we still are, communicating our lives over our screens, sharing our snippets...yes you are my tribe...

so we are now, as lock down is easing, making an assessment of our surroundings, our lives and you know what? i think it is going to bring us untold joy.

i started by starting a big de-clutter of my cottage, things i have never un-packed in two house moves in two years will be going. if i haven't missed it by now i don't think i ever will, i am going to keep surfaces clear, under the bed clear and easy to hoover...although i will need to buy cookie a little bed for under the bed as he still likes to sleep under there, old clothes will be gone...just stuff...gone!

i can almost feel the freedom like a weight lifted from my shoulders.

while the clutter is slowly going i have been thinking more about my life in general-
who i once was and who i have become.

long gone is the person tied into a gaslight relationship
its taken me four years to reach the point i am now.

i feel so free

i have my cottage, 
i have my North Star,
 i have my little Cookie 
and now i feel on the cusp of a whole new life. 

i feel that once the clutter is cleared then the door is wide open for the next stage in my life.

last week i bought a new set of oracle cards, ones i have seen being used by friends on ig, then two friends on fb posted about them and it felt like a sign...buy them!




i have to say they are beautiful and something seems right about them

last night my mind was full of what seemed like everything, i wasn't in the right frame of mind to do a proper reading, but still wanted to start working gently with them. so did some mindful breathing and picked one card...
this...


it says it all really doesn't it?!












*recycling myself*


i think this virus has us all in a tail-spin.
can we?
cant we?
should we?

i am lucky, I have been staying at home for the majority of the time and its only in the last few weeks that i have started to go out and get my shopping, was able to get my overdue eye test done last week and even stopped by a book shot to treat myself to a new notebook.
but its still all different-i nearly cried while i was standing outside the opticians-we no longer have the freedom of movement, to walk in and out of shops as we please, we have to become accustomed to queuing to get into shops, to remember not to get too close to people...its a whole new world, but not a brave new world.

***

i have also been restless and feeling very discontent with my cottage. 

No, not my cottage, but by my own listlessness. 

While i was in the last year of my degree my whole time was consumed by putting as much work as possible into my work, to get the grades needed to do my MA. As a result i still have boxes that have not been unpacked from February 2019, stacked up in hidden places and little bits of 'junk' that i tell myself i am keeping for 'sentimental' reasons. These things are just sitting in boxes, not put out on display, but tucked away, hidden...gathering dust.

For the past two weeks i have been thinking about having a good de-clutter and now  am physically registered for my MA  suddenly realised that i have three months to get my home in order-to clear out the clutter. i realise the clutter makes it hard for me to dust and keep the place tidy-i don't want total minimalism, just to have things easy to keep tidy and fresh.

And this then made me realise i need to give my life a good haul over the coals-lock down has made me lazy...not so much lazy as listless, my eating habits have become shocking, weight has been piling on, i feel dreadfully tired and my soul journey has halted. Its as if i am just surviving, no longer living and breathing-i have become a hermit. To the extent i no longer even sit in my garden-using the excuse that Cookie will feel neglected if i go and sit outside.

so yesterday i started to de-clutter.
i made a start in the bedroom, sorting out my old university books, making room for them on one of the bookshelves in my bedroom, cleared off the top of the chest of drawers and re-arranged one corner of the room to make it easier to hoover and clean.

then i hit the kitchen
i have a long kitchen built up into the roof of the original one up-one down groom's cottage laid with long, old oak boards. what i call the non-kitchen end has two small windows, each set with six panes of slightly wavy old glass. this is going to be turned into my study area for the duration of my MA. i have set up my printer on the top of an old chest of drawers and at the weekend will be setting up a bookcase to divide my study area from the kitchen.
i cleared and organised three of my kitchen cupboards, took things down and washed them, re-arranged some things and cleared all my work surfaces (i am dreadful for cluttering)

tomorrow it will be the dreaded cupboard and under the bed in the bedroom
and i will be ruthless.
clothes that have not been worn in the last year will be bagged up for a time when they can go to a charity shop or recycling. i have promised myself not to overthink it either-it all has to go or actually be used by me.

this morning i went to the kitchen to make a mug of tea and found peace as i saw how clear and tidy it was

and it is that feeling i want to experience every moment, throughout my home...








*scorchio*


some of you will be aware of 'the fast show' and have a little laugh at my post title, if you don't please follow the link and have a smile.

well now, beside the sudden rise in temperature again little really has been happening here over the last few weeks.

I have been getting used to my little car-who by the way is named Sybill. In honour of my love for Harry Potter for i always see my alter-ego as being Sybill Trelawney but also because of my love for classical studies


i love my little car and so happy to have such a little eco one, her emissions and engine size are such that my yearly road tax is £30 and insurance was only £200, which is amazing. when i hear what young, new drivers are paying to drive the same car i am glad i have age and experience on my side!


I have also completed my degree!

after all this time its finished and while i know i have passed i am waiting to get my final grade. because of the virus the final examinable essay was cancelled unless we wanted to defer for an unknown period of time. for some people who were relying on this final grade to up their marks enough to get a good final grade i imagine it was a huge disappointment and having to defer would put them back a year maybe. 
I always put my very best into every essay and this one i gave an extra 10% and was awarded an A!
 I was really happy with this especially when my tutor said she rarely gives that kind of grade and with her full support i have now registered to start my MA in classical studies in October...with her as my tutor.
i am so excited by this









*weeks later*


so here i am again

its now june and lock down here in England is easing.

i say that with raised eyebrows because, personally, i think this government has made a right old shambles of the pandemic from the beginning and people seem to think the virus has magically disappeared and life goes on as normal.

i am not even going to go over the whole Cummings debacle

 i dare not get onto the subject of the visitors to the forest and the utter damage and disrespect they are causing-if i do my head may well explode  


so instead i shall update you on my small life...and then talk blogging


well now i have a new housemate :)

say hi to Cookie










Cookie came from a rescue in the midlands.
he is five and his 'owners' moved home and left him behind with a bad eye and two shattered teeth :(
he has been with me now for nearly a month and i have never seen such a scared and timid cat before. its been breaking our hearts because it has become obvious to us that he has been ill treated, he is scared of hands and feet and runs and hides at sudden movement. 
i am glad to say with very gentle treatment, lots of love and the help of Felliway he has settled well. he is still nervous but will come when called and will follow me into the bathroom. he now will tolerate being stroked-only for a few seconds which is better that when he first moved in. he still nips but again, that is getting less and he understand the 'no bite'.


my next news is that i have sent my dear 2CV Babette to a new and loving home and in her place is a fairly new Fiat 500




isn't it splendid?! 
as yet it has no name, but i am sure one will come to me soon.

    

*lock down-week three-morons ahoy*


well today is week three of the national lock down and week three of my 12 (i have diabetes and so running no risks whatsoever) weeks social distancing.

despite the daily toll of lives lost there are still utter morons who continue to treat this time as some kind of extended holiday and going to parks etc to enjoy themselves, sunbathe and not observe the appropriate social distancing.

and as for the lycra clad cyclists...don't get me started. 
While there are restrictions on how far we can actually go to have our one form of exercise a day these idiots seem to treat the forest as their personal Tour De France. 
I had to go and pick up my shopping last week and involved a longish drive through the back roads of the forest and i passed maybe four cars.
cyclists however where ten a penny and given the remoteness of the forest i drive through were nowhere near their homes. 
they seem to think its acceptable to come out and do multiple miles through the forest and one of them, on an open, deserted part of the forest...hearing the one car driving up behind them...steered themselves into the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD and sat there...for the first time in my life i beeped my little horn, urging them out of the way.


i think i can safely say that being stuck in is starting to take its toll on me a little...only a little because as a natural self-isolater i am quite happy not going out. but at the same time...if i wanted to go out its not an option unless i go the the village shop/post office/butcher where only three people are allowed in and in  the few minute walk there the chance of actually passing one person is virtually impossible... 

*connections & lost threads- a new community*


so i have been self isolating for a seven days now

i work as a community support worker with vulnerable adults-until a month ago i was permanent but as i am in the final year of my degree and wanted to gain more control over my days i became a relief worker and signed up to a second job under the same umbrella.

then covid 19 hit the UK and following government guidelines took to self isolation last monday.
which of course means no income
luckily, for now,  i have the money to keep a roof over my head and pay my bills and even luckier to have my North Star tell me daily not to worry, i know there are many out there who do not have these words to give them solace and so i know i am really, really lucky.

talking with my sister, i was made aware of areas in desperate need of staff, working from home and so as soon as she knows whats happening  i will hopefully have a trickle of income coming in-again i give thanks for what the universe may bring me.

this all means i have time, a lot of free time...

i don't spend all day on my university work, i think my brain would explode if i did. 
so i find myself trying to keep to some kind of routine to my day...

i study for 3-4 hours, maybe 5 now i have an assignment to do

i potter in my garden-growing my herbs, wild flowers and vegetables

yesterday i tung oiled one of my Adirondack rockers

i actually read again-while juggling work and study i actually stopped reading. now i find i have time again and find myself adding books to my kindle, or pull books of my shelves

i also just sit-i sit in the garden and watch the birds and think...i let my mind wander where it wishes as i drink cups of tea, a blanket over my knees if the wind gets chilly

and i grieve for my sweet Arthur-i think at the moment i have had maybe three days where i have not cried. but the tears come too easily and i miss him so very much. during the week when we had the cottage to ourselves he would always sleep on the bed at night, taking up much of the room and i feel badly that on his final night in the cottage he slept alone on the sofa as my NS was here...


of course being here alone makes me think of all the others who are alone and it made me think of the blogging community that existed years ago. by years ago i am talking of  13 years ago. 
my first blogger post was 27/06/2007 (which is freaking me out right about now because that was my NS 44th birthday) and blogging really was old school then and it really was a close community. we all sat typing away, opening our lives and hearts, we visited each other, supported each other and i think brought with us all a sense of belonging.
then it slowly changed, people stopped blogging, facebook happened and with the growth in mobile phones and the huge capacity they held things became instant.

now i feel change is in the air, or could be in the air and i feel the pull of grass roots, old school blogging

i think this virus will...no, i feel this virus is going to change things. i just feel that society will change and i hope for the better. we are being made to re-assess our lives, our world, the resources available. of course there are selfish, mean people who walk this world and there always will be but i hope that the lesson this virus will teach us will be one of increasing compassion, community and love. that we can start to take things a little more slowly, open our hearts and minds again and fill spaces of the internet with all the good things blogging can bring.

so are you reading this?
do you feel like un-earthing the past?
do you want to help re-build our old blogging community?

*covid 19-lockdown*


back in the early 80's i was a youth member of CND and marched in london in 1983 in its largest ever march and spent quite a few years before the fall of the Berlin wall absolutely terrified of nuclear war.

now its a new form of terror and one that i thought i would never see in my lifetime
only a month ago, despite knowing of this virus, i was going about my daily life-my little part time job, undergoing the lengthy process of getting a second enhanced disclosure for a second job, doing my university work and enjoying weekends with my North Star.

now i have been in lock down for seven days, the first seven days of what i initially thought was 12 weeks social distancing because i have diabetes, m.e and fibromyalgia but now seeing the news i think this UK lock down will last longer. 

life has suddenly taken on a surreal hue

my North Star being a class 1 HGV driver is considered an key person as he will be driving medical supplies/ food and other essentials around the country and so yesterday found him taking a container of medical supplies into Devon and as i type he is driving back to southampton docks for his next container.


my sister brings me shopping when i need it-driving over from the village to where she and my mum lives five miles away, dropping it in my drive and having a chat at a safe distance.

my life, our lives are now full of fear and uncertainty...

*my dear sweet Arthur*


 i would never realise that my last post that featured my dear sweet Arthur would be my last.



Three weeks ago tomorrow on the 10th March i took Arthur to the vets for a dental to remove most of his teeth as we had used up all of the available antibiotics and anti-inflammatory in trying to cure his poor sore mouth. 
But i received a phone calll from his vet Dr Rory that he had found a nasty tumor under his tongue. So  i had to make the heartbreaking decision to allow Arthur to pass peacefully and with dignity while still asleep. 
The vets had been kind enough to call me half an hour before his sedation so i could go and say goodbye 'just in case' his age, the grand old 20-21, caused him to not survive the anesthetic. So we spent a short quality time together-i think he knew something was not right for when i opened the cage he was in he just jumped into my arms and sat there. being an old street cat he was not one for being held and in our three years together only sat on my lap a few times to sleep.

on that final call the vets were kind enough to keep him happily asleep until i could get back and say good bye and be with him as he took his final peaceful sleep.

i am heartbroken and miss him so much but knew without doubt that letting him pass peacefully while he slept was the best and kindest thing i could do for him. to wake him up to have him suffer more ill health and invasive treatment would not have been right.




good night my sweet Arthur
xxx

~a bedtime post~

Just checking in before i turn on audible...

i love audible, don't you?!

i only joined it last year and have only recently started to listen to it every night. I have so far gone through all of the Tiffany Aching~Wee Free Men books and now onto part two of Wyrd Sisters.

***

today was my day off and even better so is tomorrow~so i have no rush to put myself to sleep early for my 5am alarm. although i have to say even when i don't set my alarm i wake naturally at around 4am...as does Arthur who comes in and starts to talk in his little old man meow~asking to be let out into the dawn, where i think he has a regular morning route around the orchard.

this morning i let him out about 4am and as i was sleepily making my way back through the living room i saw movement across the driveway to the grass by the cattle grid (there to stop all the ponies and cows from getting in)...it was brown...a fox? no too big. i opened the window, as the glass is old and makes the outside seem a little distorted, no, it was a small roe deer, busy grazing alone. i wondered why it was alone, then went for my phone to hopefully get a photo when an early morning car went by, scaring it off. i am hoping this wasn't a random visit and i will see it again soon.

***


tomorrow i have to take my sweet old Arthur to the vets again~i am fighting a constant war with his remaining old teeth and when he starts to dribble i pack him in his travel box and take him the ten minute drive to our lovely vets for an antibiotic injection and a tube of special toothpaste. it means dipping into my savings again but for this sweet old man i will, if it makes him comfortable.
i have the radio on right now~classic fm, the little French windows are open as i think Arthur is out~he popped into the bedroom to sit on the bed with me for a while then vanished. at the moment he has taken to sleeping on my sofa so i don't have him close during the night and i must say i do miss him on my bed, to wake in the night and hear him purring. i am wondering if he maybe in a little pain with his teeth and preferring to be alone.


***

so i am here embracing my aloneness!

***
last evening at dusk i tentatively started my yoga practice again. i say tentatively because on Saturday i had the most dreadful hip pain come out of nowhere, which by sunday had me nearly totally immobile and had me awake through most of the night wondering if i would be able to even drive to work. 
but something inside me prompted to just do a couple of moves to see how i felt and as i moved into them i had bats flitting above me like little scraps of black fabric in the air~and the short practice felt right and comfortable...







~my small life or alone not lonely~


so here i sit

or rather recline

its 10pm and i am snuggled up in my big wooden 'princess and the pea' bed~so high that when i sit on the edge my feet can't reach the floor, Arthur is curled up beside me purring after spending most of the day in the garden or the grounds of the orchard that covers the hill to the front of the cottage.

today was my day off and i find myself embracing the luxury of not settling down to sleep as i am not back to work until next Wednesday~not turning on my 5am alarm feels good and i love having that extended 'weekend' feeling. 
this morning i woke at 5.30, not really realising it was that time, got up to open the little French windows so Arthur can make his early morning rounds, and then...went back to bed...to sleep some more...alone


I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
Henry David Thoreau


this encapsulates my small life

aloneness

my life isn't full of great things

but what is important about my small life is my aloneness and this is my great thing.

i love living alone

but i am not lonely

 what is important to me is living alone
my days and nights where i am only answerable to myself

i love spending my days moving to my own internal music, talking to myself or Arthur, making my own choices in everything.

i relish my mornings~especially on those days where i have nowhere to be~the greatest feeling is to wake up, make my way up to my kitchen and make a mug of tea and either sit in bed drinking it or take it into the garden and sit watching the birds and just...

be...

alone.





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