~samhuinn blessings~

we find ourselves at one of the in-between times, a time when all times are one~to those who follow a celtic path the new year dawns.

the end of a cycle and the promise of the begining of another that awaits us at the solstice~giving us time to let pass on those things we no longer need.

we welcome the change, not figting against it, welcoming the dark nights~the big oak is still holding onto some of its leaves, but maybe not for much longer, for the predicted high winds tonight may well persuade it to finally let go of the summer.

this last week i have been unwell, really unwell and i have felt myself drawing inwards, gazing out at the trees that have lost their leaves, watching the oak slowly shed more and more~its outline from my bedroom window vanishing slowly and leaving me with bare branches.

a time to let go of grief and know those who have passed to the summerlands are experiencing new joys with those who made the journey before them...

i am feeling somewhat better today, still feeling unwell but able to make the pumpkin pies i have been promising myself~the smell here is wonderful, i wish you could smell them.

*~*however you spend your day and with whatever celebrations i hope your day is full of joy*~*

~my travels*part 1~

well the day before i left for my cruise was crazy

i had my exam on medieval history, had to finish packing and get an early night ready to be up at 1.30 the following morning!
well i made it and the journey to spain was plain sailing~especailly as the flight itself was just over two hours.
a luxury after all the transatlantic flights i have made over the last 14 years.

despite being so close i have never been to spain before and was excited looking out of the window at the land below me~it seemed so dry and arid after the new forest.

on the ground it was not long before we boarded a coach to take us the 30 minute drive to the port.
we could see the ship long before we arrived~a huge white bulk drawing looks from everyone. you can see how huge it is from my post yesterday. i knew it was going to be big but it didnt really sink in just how big until i was standing feet away from it!

once on board we made our way up the elevator to the ninth deck where our suite was, close to the front of the ship...

needless to say i was out on the balcony like a shot to take photos...

in a few short hours we would be sailing off...

~weak & feeble...~

...well not so much that, but i am going down with a cold and feeling rather miserable as my throat feels as if it is full of barbed wire~i cannot even talk right now (swampy silently cheers...peace and quiet!)

so i shall be recounting my adventures on the high seas when i am feeling somewhat better~for now i will leave you with a picture or two, then i shall get into my pyjamas, make some hot lemon and take myself to bed...

this is my first proper view of the navigator of the seas~as we were boarding and i was and still am amazed at the size of it!

the view of the hills around Malaga, Spain from our balcony

more to follow...

~sea legs~

i always wondered about the term sea legs~well i arrived home on tuesday afternoon and yesterday i was in a shop with everything moving up and down around me!
it is the most peculiar feeling.

yes i am home after a most amazing and somewhat bizarre holiday.
i have never been on a cruise before and so was totally unprepared for the whole experience. its like a huge floating city with everything you might need-well nearly everything-to hand.

oh my and it was so hot!
as you know i am an autumn/winter lover and so found the heat quite difficult.
photos will follow-i have not downloaded them from my camera yet as it is going to take half an hour or more and i only found the strength to unpack my bags yesterday.

i woke this morning at about 5am and as usual could not sleep so decided to get up and make a casserole-our friend sean is coming to stay for a few days to help swampy put the electrics in our new camper and so i wanted dinner ready for when he arrives.
i have stuck it in the oven on 'slow cook' for the day so i can ignore it.

i took my exam on the day before i left for my holiday and had to take my books away with me because i have a very short piece of work to be handed in tomorrow.
so today i shall be busy with my reading of the first book of the odyssey.

a few days before i left we travelled back to dorset to pick up our new camper and i came home to a house full of the things we need to fully convert her to a fully set up camper-the previous owner started the work by putting in some venting, a 2 bike,bike rack and a little elektrikery-doo-hickey thingy that you can plug into an electric hook-up point on a campsite that has such things. our bedroom is piled high with boxes with a little sink and two ring hob, roof vents, table legs, wood, foam and many other bits and pieces...

i have named her *pretty pagan*

yes, i know there is very little of the character that we had with pippin~but give us a few months and she will be a little more individual. we have plans for not only the inside but also a few tweaks on the outside to distinguish her from the normal, everyday camper~as i said before *watch this space*!

remember i ordered those birkenstocks?
well wouldnt you know they arrived the day i left!
swampy actually took a photo on his mobile and sent it to me~oh they are so lovely!
i started to break them in yesterday paired with a nice pair of striped socks in shades of green and brown~even swampy i think is tempted now!
for those of you out there who are birkenstock fans have a look at the birkenstock usa blog with a link to their flicker pool for lots of pictures of people and their birkenstocks~i am thinking of sending in a picture myself...here is a little taster of what awaits you...

isnt that the greatest picture? those socks are just amazing!

well swampy and i both have a busy day today~the alarm i set will be going off in fifteen minutes and i need to decide what to wear with my lovely birkenstocks today~obsessed? me? well maybe!

~myalgic encephalomyelitis~

i thought i would put up this link for you to give those of you who were kind enough to ask about m.e.

from about 1997 to 2000 i had two episodes of flu~the first i had ever had.
the second bout was really bad and even now i cannot remember a whole week of this episode i was so poorly.
i was diagnosed with m.e in early 2005 after a run of colds, ear and sinus infections. i feel i had been 'not right' since my two bouts of flu and i feel these and the following ear/sinus infections all attributed to my m.e

m.e is different for each person, but the general indicators are an extreme tiredness/feeling weary, painful/aching joints and muscles...its an endless list really and it changes from day to day, hour to hour. you can wake up feeling okay but by lunchtime you can find yourself utterly exhausted and can do no more.

these are my particular symptoms~

*painful joints and muscles...often the soles of my feet really hurt and burn, hence my Birkenstocks!
*weariness/tiredness, it is not like just feeling tired, this is all consuming where you think you cannot move a single muscle and even talking is exhausting
*poor short term memory and confusion~this is why i spend so much time on my studies and why it is such an achievement for me. somtimes i give up reading, one day last week it took me over half an hour to read one page! i gave up!
*very poor sleeping patterns-it is impossible to keep a regular sleeping pattern no matter how hard i try and so i have just learnt to live with it. i can have a great nights sleep but wake up totally exhausted~there is no escape!
*increased headaches and migraines
*odd bouts of tummy bugs that come and go with their own will
*general flu like symptoms like sore throats and the sniffles
*being in crowds makes me feel all anxious and confused-i think its probably because of the noise and movement around me
*sensitive to sound and light
*dizzy spells
*i find conversations difficult as i forget words in the middle of sentences-i don't so much forget them but cannot find the right word for what i am trying to say. i know what it is but cannot get it out. poor swampy has had many conversations with me saying '...its round...you know...round...you put food on it...' it sounds quite funny thinking it and writing it out but its quite embarrassing when i meet new people.
*loss of spatial awareness, that is why i no longer drive
*my spelling has become quite odd, its almost as if i have become dyslexic and because of the pains i have i try not to hand write anything~hooray for spell check (maybe i should have written this post without useing spellcheck!)

as i said i am sure the assorted viral infections (plus two bouts of very severe depression) had something to do with my m.e and certainly since my swine flu in august my symptoms have become much worse again.
i find it hard to plan ahead for i never know how i am going to be and every time i go out, even just down into the village, i know i will struggle after a short period.
this is why having a camper van is so important for us~it means i can get out and about to new places and not have to worry too much about being overly active when i am there. i can sit and enjoy the views, enjoy just being away and not worry i should be struggling to do things.
i push myself more than i should~even doing the vaccuming wears me out but i feel i have to do something, to not feel so useless and feeble~but its a vicious circle because it makes me so exhausted!

i try not to drone on about it much on here, i just feel people do not want to hear my every ache and pain and i suppose this is a place for me where i am normal. a place where i can exist without the list above.
the most frustrating this is, is that m.e is quite an invisible illness. only swampy really knows how to monitor how i am feeling, he knows all the little things that say 'okay, enough is enough.stop now'.
to many people i look like a regular healthy person and i have had many people say to me 'oh but you look alright though' or 'oh but it will go away'...i smile sweetly and grit my teeth and think 'spend a day in my body and you wont be saying that!'

so my lovely bloggers, that is my take on m.e and how it is with me~i hope this has helped you know and understand a very peculiar illness!

and now i am going to try to stay up and watch 'the matrix-reloaded' film-its 9pm so its highly unlikely~hoorah for being able to record it!


today i did something i have wanted to do for years~
i took the plunge and bought myself a pair of Birkenstocks...almost like these, a kind of browny leather.
years ago i read a book in which a hippyish character was wearing a pair and they sounded so lovely and comfortable i coveted a pair for my very own.

since having swine flu my m.e has been much worse and even my lovely handmade for me green boots sometimes make my feet ache so badly i wanted something with the reputation for comfort for those days.

i am hoping they arrive before i go away next thursday so i have something comfortable for plodding around in.

tomorrow we return to dorset to collect our new camper.

well i say camper in the lose description of the word-it is partly converted into a camper with some essential, expensive bits already in place, which means we will have some extra money for our own conversion.we are taking a train ride down to weymouth, past all our old stamping grounds~it will be so good to see maiden castle again.
once tomorrow is out of the way i shall be spending the following three days in some intensive revision-if i am anything like i usually am in producing great essays when under pressure of an immediately impending deadline then i think i should retain plenty of information to produce four pieces of written work of a standard to pass my exam.

busy days~i look forwards to them being over...

~oh my word...~

oh my i shall be glad when the next week is over.

i got my days all mixed up and thought the 14th was next friday~i found out today that the 14th is actually next wednesday giving me two less revision days than i was expecting...then i leave for my holiday at 3am on the following day.

i had an ultra-sound appointment at the hospital two days ago and was rather surprised when i was told i have a huge fibroid in my womb~taking up about 2/3 of the space. it does however provide the reason for my moontime illness and assorted problems. i now have to see a gynachologist two weeks after i get back from my holiday~swampy is convinced they will have to operate.
i have to say it has been making me feel a bit weird~it is far from serious but it feels odd to know it has been growing away, unknown, inside for me for i dont know how long...

it is late, well, for me it is late, so i shall say goonight to all my blog friends

~more blog love~

i would like to send huge hugs of thanks to mel and sue ~the purple pixie~ for this great award

for those of you who don't know, it originated with sue and her post...

As honest bloggers we:

* Speak our truth from the heart and tell it like it is.

* Share openly and honestly our true feelings without fear of judgement, Blame or shame.

* We write to share our achievements so others can also share our joy.

* We write about our bad times too, knowing that the love and support of others is around us and perhaps heal another’s pain in the process..

*We are human beings will real feelings and emotions and REFUSE to hide behind a mask.

* We dare to be different

* We are Free Spirits

* We realise that by spilling out, we lighten our load.

* We acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses and don't see them in terms of success or failure.

* We laugh together and cry together

* We are all following our own journey in our own unique way

* Above all else, we may lie on the floor, screaming and kicking, or feel like life is collapsing around us once in a while….but at the end of the day, we drag ourselves up, dust ourselves off and rise to fight another day.

For we are Warrior Women and we write not to please others, stroke our own egos or be judged, we blog because we care!
Our blogs are our therapy, and through sharing SHIfT HAPPENS!

i really love this...i love it a lot.

when i started this blog in june of 2007 i never imagined that two years down the line i would still be blogging and have had so many visitors~let alone all of you regular lovelies that visit me. i never thought my ramblings would cause people to come back for more.

i always thought my blog would be a place to be honest, a place to say what was on my mind and also a place to share my spiritual path and hopefully inspire others to follow their true path in this life~i was never entirely sure i achieved this but now i think i may have...

although this is not like a meme to pass around i would like to pass this award to the bloggers whose writings i love...some of you i am sure will have it from someone else~but accept it with love from me...and if you are not visitors to their worlds, please do so!

sue ~the purple pixie~ who was one of the first bloggers i visited and as well as being a true creative soul has given me some inspiration on my path

mel whose blog, unlike sue, is one of my more recent discoveries and what a wonderful find

the truly wonderful robyn and suzie who have been sharing their journey of up's and down's with amazing honesty

i woke to steady rain this morning and instead of my usual joy at rain i felt a little irked.

i have an ultrasound at our local hospital today, for my ever worrisome moontime, which means i have to drink two pints of water before i go in. pippin is out of commission with his engine in pieces and we were going to take our bicycles on the lymington flyer, cycle to the hospital (it is right on the outskirts of lymington itself so unless you drive yourself or get the bus its not easy to get to), then cycle back to the train station and walk up to the bank.

words that come to mind is 'rain stopped play'

the new state of play is that we are going to leave the bicycles at home, take our huge umbrella and catch the 10am train, hike slowly to the hospital and then hike slowly to the bank-which means i shall be good for nothing by the time i get home and not want to face any revision. so i am taking my anthology of primary sources with me to read in the waiting room while i drink my water.

however once i am home i shall enjoy the rain. the weather has taken a real shift towards autumn and i adore the falling leaves, chilly nights and mornings and the prospect of samhain coming ever closer.

i don't know about you but my celebrations do not cover what i call the prescribed days given us by the world we live in today~i am the same with the moon. it is not in my heart to consult a calender to find the exact day/hour that is given us by exact science.
i think on how our ancestors would have followed the changing seasons and the moon and of course they would have followed what their eyes saw, what their souls felt as the wheel turned.
and so that's how my path is, i feel the turning deep within me and my celebrations cover days, if not several weeks, following the gradual change that is happening around me.and so the gradual turn to samhain has taken hold and the weather today has assured me that autumn is here to stay for a while.
the birds are still singing their songs, my neighbours big oak is slowly dropping its leaves and acorns, my rowan seems to think its still summer, while the silver birches around the corner are already bare branches. our garden is looking barer by the day and it is finally time to release the green man from his black eyed susan. somethings will still give us some green over the coming months and i shall spend the coming months working on my outside alter.

we will also spend the months planning our new camper~it is with sad news i announce that our beloved pippin has been sold~a very enthusiastic 2cv lover from kent has bought him and so we know he will be going to a very good home in two weeks time. its so sad for we have had such adventures, but i have to think of poor swampy and his back.
but we have many plans for our new camper~in fact we think we have found the perfect successor to pippin. a volkswagon that is the right size and right price with some of the important bits already in (venting for gas bottle!)swampy is phoning the chap tonight to have a chat.
so of course we shall work away through the autumn and winter getting 'pretty pagan' ready for the spring. we have even discussed how we would cope with something so 'normal' and have some great ideas for making it (i cannot decide if its male or female so its and 'it' for now)very much our own~so watch this space!

~*well i have a train to catch in less than an hour so i hope you all have a wonderful day/night*~