my head has been a whirling mass of thoughts over the past few days, i have not been able to do anything constructive and i cannot blame my cold as that is all but gone now...in fact bret over at this guy's journey has mentioned feeling stuck~i know exactly what he means.

all i am wanting to do is sit curled up in the warm and read but i have my essay to get finished and start work for two bits of written exam work in january. in fact i am not even sat at my desk today, i have dragged my laptop to the sofa with a mug of lemon tea and here i sit, trying to get myself motivated to do my essay. i have all the major draft work done, all i need to do is start to type it out...can i do that?

i have had the land in my head a lot lately and maybe i need to clear all of this out before i start on anything else.

we drove out through the forest the other day and i could not take my eyes from out of the window at the passing woods and heathland~the colors have been changing slowly over the past month and now the forest is at its most wintry...

the sun, when we see it is lower in the sky and we are less than a month from the time of the shortest day, the winter solstice, the time of the return of the sun...although i don't really celebrate the solstices or equinoxes in the same way as i do the main festivals, something always stirs within me at these times~maybe some ancient memory passed down the many, many years from my ancestors, people who were tied to the cycle of the seasons.

there are hundreds of megalithic sites scattered all around europe which were orientated to the solstices and equinoxes so it is not hard to accept that they were important to those who created them~and although we do not know exactly why they were created there is nothing to stop us searching deep inside ourselves for meaning if we feel the stirrings of something

i guess its the stirrings inside of me that are so distracting~i have been getting my green man trees oracle cards out more lately and reading through 'a tree in your pocket'

i have been having a feeling of self affirmation of who i am and what i believe growing within me~its almost as if my pagan path has taken a slightly new direction, as it has with many of us at some point, and i am secure enough with myself to accept it and go with it. its actually a nice feeling. although i have always followed a solitary path but being the human i am with human doubts, i have had the odd niggle over the years of~when i finally put a name to my beliefs~ 'not doing it right', even though my inner soul told me otherwise.

although i have my little alter here i do not have a wand, i don't create my sacred space in line with the elements as i don't work with the elements, i do not believe in the 'goddess and god' and i don't have the same affinity with the moon as some of my pagan friends have~my beliefs lie in the three realms of sea, land and sky~hence my triple spirals~realms that are always around me

~i find i am being drawn to the old church...or rather the place that existed before the old church existed within the earthworks up on the hill...a connection with the spirit of the place, the land, which considering a huge part of my maternal line has been within 40 miles of my village for at least 600 years sort of makes sense to me.

new grange 2007 solstice

~massed thoughts~

Humankind has not woven the web of life.

We are but one thread within it.

Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.

All things are bound together.

All things connect.

Chief Seattle

this made me think of this....

the tree of life with branches reaching into the sky, roots deep in the earth, living in three worlds-underworld, earth and sky

*more on this tomorrow*


well the cold that has been threatening the last few days has decided to fully make itself known.
i was awake a chunk of last night coughing, sneezing and sniffing and today it has taken me a good few hours to really get to now...unfortunately with m.e and diabetes even slight colds make me few worse than i should be with a mild cold.
luckily i had contacted my tutor last night about an extension for my essay which is due in on friday and i have been given an extra week so if i do feel really bad over the next few days i can afford to have a day or two away from my books.
as i feel okay now i have decided to squeeze in a few hours work this afternoon~ i have two other pieces of work that has to be done by the end of january and i figure making full use of my given extension eats into the time i need for the other work...and given that i will be in new york for a week in january i did really want to get all my work done by then~there is nothing worse than being away and knowing you have an assignment to come back to!
so any sneezing you may hear online today will be me!

~of rosemary~

yesterday we planted out our rosemary, taking it from its temporary pot into the newly dug earth under our kitchen window, close to our front door.

the few little cuttings i took a while ago and placed in water on my 'desk top' alter has put out roots and i think its time to put them in pots too and maybe ask my big plant for some new sprigs...our front garden extends down the full length of our little home so i want to plant out plenty of herbs and flowers.

*rosemary is great for a whole range of things*
but do avoid during pregnancy & not recommended for epileptics

helpful for relieving temporary fatigue and overwork...put some in your bath at the end of the day!
a herbal tea is useful for relieving headaches; either add a few small sprigs to a tea bag, white tea is a good one or mint or just let the sprigs brew in hot water and what you dont drink use as a hair rinse!
a mental and physical booster~when i start to flag in my studies i tend to sit and smell my sprigs
it helps relieve general aches and pains.
improves memory and concentration, and reviving a tried brain...again thats why i have my sprigs right in front of me!
put some in your bath pick-me-up after a stressful, long day.
it stimulates the scalp, improving blood flow encouraging hair growth.

*and the one i love*
burn to purify and protect your space.

well time for me to get on with my work, all the bird feeders are topped up and i have a vanilla latte by my side. outside it is freezing cold, i am sure today is the coldest it has been during the day since we moved here~i am not sure we will do any planting today...

~passed over for a damp chill~

taken on my last walk up the old church~a cheery picture for a grey, damp day!

we seem to be on the cusp of the icy blast here in the new forest.

when i walked home from my mums yesterday it was decidedly chilly and when i checked the weather forecast it seems the dividing line between the rain and snow/sleet sat right over the top of us...well it has.

outside my window there is a steady stream of fine rain falling and the sky is one solid mass of grey...but it is chilly.

cody has just been let out and tracked very muddy paws through the hallway and his fur has soaked up what seems to be a whole river just in the space of five minutes!

still, i have a day of note taking today and hope to get the draft of my next assignment well under way~i did very little yesterday as i went to my mums then sat and watched two rugby union matches, Ireland of course being part irish and then Wales. although i have no welsh blood (not that i have discovered yet anyway!) but, as some of you know, my irish family settled in wales during the time of the famine and their children where given what we see as typically welsh names~possibly to integrate them into society at the time and some of them married into welsh families. so of course i always support wales in the rugby.

so where has the year gone?

it has sped by so quickly and now we are coming slowly closer to yule/the winter solstice.

this will be our first yule in our new roundhouse/hobbit hole and i plan on making it a really special one, i am already burning winter spice candles in the evening.

its special because i am back in the village after ten years away and to see my family on christmas morning will be a beautiful five minute stroll instead of a stressful two hour drive, i will be able to walk into the heart of the village at dusk to see the simple lights strung across the narrow road and the little real tree's above each shop and if the donkeys, cows and ponies are there its even better.

well as i sit here writing the sky is slowly clearing and the temperature is dropping somewhat~time to get my books out and get to work...

~welcome distractions~

*a flutter of wings*

*blue tit*

~will i get any work done today i wonder?~

~canto gregoriano~

tea break time in the 'roundhouse' and today finds me writing up copious notes on pre~roman empire mediterranean~sacrifice at carthage~the two biscuits on my 'coaster' turned into three and i have 3 cd's worth of gregorian chants playing through my laptop.

outside the wind is really starting to gust and the sky is pale and wintery and i am watching the seed feeder we have put just outside the window~i have seen a little activity there so before too long it will be busy and hopefully i will be able to get some interesting photos.

this is one of the photos i took of the sunset the other day~kodak easy share and i have engaged in a truce...

and this is the book that swampy bought me on monday when we popped into lymington. it had been discussed on the stonewylde forum and as i can never have too many books thought i would like some new reading material as i am at present re-reading 'fried green tomatoes at the whistle stop cafe' i have only read a few pages so far but look forward to many hours curled up on the sofa. especially if this 'icy blast' makes its way here~swampy has just shouted in that according to the weather on sky we are due for minus 4 temperatures and snow tomorrow...we shall see...

have you seen this?

i love it, probably because this is what i have turned into over the last few years...

How to find out whether you or someone you know is a Grumpy Old Women

The unmistakable signs
Shop assistants cower in fear when you return shoddy goods
You are the litter police
Young men are afraid to be left alone with you lest you pounce
You like a slip-on shoe – saves all that bending
If you wore a thong you might look like a Sumo wrestler
You start collecting used margarine pots and plastic bags
You start to enjoy pottering

Things That Grumpy Old Women Say
It's a bloody disgrace
I want to talk to the manager
Spending a penny
Is it me or is it hot in here?
I could murder a nice cup of tea
I can remember those flared trousers first time around

taken from the bbc link above

yes, some of those apply to me in some form or another~ i was reminded of it today when i fired off a 'angry from the new forest' e-mail to our local collage about the bad language villagers are forced to listen to, their students speeding in a 30 zone and their general, physical littering ~standing in clusters outside shops so we cannot get into the shops without pushing through them.

oh, i saw the bbc weather forecast and over night it is going to freeze and tomorrow they forecast sleep, snow turning into freezing rain~even as far south as here, which is a scant five miles from the solent, which is pretty much as far south as we can get on the mainland here~in fact click on the 1945 map on the link and our village is there. so maybe i will have some snowy pictures to post!

well thats quite enough of my ramblings today, time to get back to my notes...

*have a good day*

~calm before the freeze?~

its a gorgeous blue bird sky day here in the new forest today and i thought it was high time to post before getting on with my studies as i have been pretty lax over the past week~becoming distracted by trying to get more of our decorataing done before yule/christmas.
i was intending to post some pictures of last nights sunset and my new book however kodak easy share and i are having some disagreements over where it puts my 'blogging photo's' file...for some reason i cant find it via blogger~heigh ho for technology!

as i said it is a blue bird day and it is hard to belive that we are due for an icy, artic blast sweeping in from the north~however its 10.05 and i have not poked my head out the door yet! doesnt that sound dreadful~but i am on day two of a headache so am feeling slow but will have a stroll down the village a bit later to sort out some post, buy some milk and a cake for swampy.

yesterday the two young gardeners who maintain our front garden kindly offered to strim the overgrown flowerbeds that we had not yet had the chance to attack~like the inside of our house the previous tennant did not care for the garden, either front or back and its been like a mill stone around our necks~especially the front as it is so visible. well anyway they strimmed it all and swampy, as a thank you, gave them some bottles of beer to take home. before going out shopping i went over and thanked them only to be told they were going to dig over the beds as well!

so now it looks considerably tidy and ready to take some of the plants we brought over from our dorset garden...today i am putting in my rosemary under the kitchen window and i am debating whether the two lavenders in pots either side of our front door should be planted out...oh decisions, decisions.

i am pleased to say my latest assignment has been returned~re-graded at 75 after a slight hiccup with an unwell tutor and a scary fail at 24! this new grade has now boosted my moral and fired me up to completing my next asignment which is due in next friday.

well, time to get working...hope you all have a good day and i shall be visiting when i stop for my tea breaks throughout the day!

~watching dawn~

i went for one of my walks up the old church on tuesday~the 11th day of the 11th month and as usual went right to the top of the hill to where the ancient yew stands within what was once an area encircled by an earth rampart~an ancient sacred site? i certainly think so.
the night before had been a really wild one here in the forest and there were leaves and small branches everywhere. when i reached the yew i stood there under its huge branches and looked down at my feet~there was one solitary sprig laying on the bare ground beneath it~after the high winds i would have expected plenty to be laying there, but no, just this one, which i thanked the yew for and brought home with me.

~the yew is a tree for protection, a means of connecting to your ancestors, a bringer of dreams and otherworld journeys~
on this day i had gone up to the site (i wont say church as to me it does not feel like one) to think of johney, then in the evening made the discovery that another of my ancestors, john betteridge, who was actually johneys brother-in -law, had died, age 21, just a month later than johney, in a prisoner of war camp and is buried in rouen.
this solved a long puzzle as my nan had always said that johney was buried in rouen, when i discovered he was actually buried near calais we just thought my nan was mistaken. i now think someone told her about her uncle john being buried in rouen and she mistook it to be her dad, john.
*i really think that little sprig of yew was meant for me*

i woke up in the early hours as my joints and muscles were really aching, so after some tossing and turning and a drink of water i gave up trying to find sleep and not wanting to disturb swampy decided to get up and have some hot milk.

in the kitchen i looked at the clock and saw it was only just after four~it is now 7am and i have been wasting time on the internet searching out an alternative heat source for our living room (the central heating bugs me when i am in bed and so we want something for our living room), playing on facebook, checking out new posts from my blogging family and posting on the stonewylde forum.

it is now light enough for me to see the world beyond my window now and it looks as if it is going to be a grey day or rather a mirkwood kind of day, as a fellow stonewylde fan describes it!
*i think its time to go and put the kettle on*

~tattoos & green boots~

well now~last week i went off with spooky to get the twin of my triskele put in place.

the one on the right was the one i had done last year and i have been feeling 'lop-sided' ever since.

so when spooky decided she wanted another i knew it was time to put the lop-sidedness away!

the trouble is with tattoo's are they are addictive, well to me they are anyway and i am now planning my next, which hopefully will be put in place next year and will be a green man...

at 7.30 this morning there was what turned out to be a welcome knock on our door~ the postman bearing me gifts from devon~yes my gorgeous green boots have come back to me complete with a nice chunky black sole (they even sent me a cute little keyring!)

oh my and i am even more in love with them now!

yesterday we had to pop out so i bought myself a couple of pairs of tights 'just in case' i said to swampy 'they come tomorrow'~good thinking on my part as i am now proudly wearing them with a pair of turquoise tights~a very eclectic look!

when i was getting my clothes out this morning i was half-way through pulling jeans from my drawer to put on under my dress when i suddenly realised...no way! show off these boots! so for once i am sans jeans...

i am now waiting for the delivery of a new coat~i dont have a decent winter coat and decided that for once i was going to buy a new one, one that would look good with the boots, so chose a long chocolate colored velvet/silk one that is very gothic looking...picture here when it arrives!

its funny but since samhain, my new year, i feel that things have been moving forward, been feeling very positive. my studies are going well, we are settled in our new home despite a lot still needing to be done~but it feels like home~ and i myself am feeling 'different' a feeling that is hard to put a finger on...this needs exploring i think...