~a peek into my world~

it was decidedly chilly as i stepped out into our garden this morning, a feeling i love. the honeysuckle and climbing rose we planted earlier this year is evergreen and i hope we will still have a little warmth during the sunny days to give it one last burst of growth before winter sets in...

the birds were singing, and there was that 'smell' in the air~one of falling leaves, wood smoke and damp earth, for during the past week we have had the dawn dew staying on the ground further into the morning. the life we have had florishing in the garden has been slowly going back into the earth and it seems the only thing hanging on is the black eyed susan...

i decided it was time to make my alter part of the centre of our home and so spent some time moving it from its tucked away place in my study/library and it now has pride of place taking up the mantle ove our fire~the centre of the home where it will be seen every day. it not an overlry sacred place, by that i mean it is not laid out in any specific way and the only 'specific' things there are my single antler and two corn dollies~cernunnos and brigid~like my path it is instinctive and there to be touched, changed, moved...

the next stage in my degree officially starts in a few days and so i have been ordering my set books~staggering them i might add as buying them all at once would mean a hefty £80 going out of my bank account! this hefty tome arrived the other day...

...to me this is a dream book, the sort of book to sit on my little coffe table, to be picked up at odd moments, letting it fall open at any page and enjoying what is written there.
my revision continues and i have had to have swampy put one of the extra extensions in my table to take all of my books, papers and files...i think the table is now about 5 foot long...

and now i shall leave you for in ten minutes a lovely soul who we have known for some years and who blogs occaisionally is in todays episode of the hairy bikers

~pannage & a waxing moon~

a week started with making revision notes and having a panic about how much i will remember come exam day!

i have been taking all of your comments about my family problems to heart~thank you so much for them;to have so much support from people who i have never met but feel a connection to is wonderful~so thank you again (solstice spreads round some hugs)

the weather here has been wonderfully autumnal and walking with cody the other morning we met my mum rushing up the road on her way to our house with news~pannage season has arrived and as she walked down the road from her house she passed a pig with about 6 piglets busy eating all the fallen acorns!
of course we had to go and see them, which confused cody as he was expecting to cross the road onto the open forest and have his lead taken off.
we found them five minutes up the road~busy rooting in the leaves, holding up the traffic as they cris-crossed the road with the excitement of all those acorns. although the bt man kneeling down at his work looked a bit worried when the sow decided to investigate him~she was taller than he was crouched on the floor among the leaves.
swampy took some photos on his phone so i have shouted through to him to e-mail them so i can share them with you~so watch this space!

we have the waxing moon to enjoy this week, a time of positive change and good luck, new beginnings...what positive change will you be embracing at this time?

we have a chap coming to see pippin on saturday.

we put up an ad on a classic car website, not expecting that we would have any interest~he phoned two days after it went online and is so keen he sent us a £100 retainer.
i did suggest to swampy that he sent him some more photos, ones he could enlarge so he had a better idea of what he is coming to see...he is coming 120 miles after all. well the photos were sent and he is as keen as ever~so we may have some lingering waxing moon luck...

we have been a bit naughty (and over excitable at the thought of a new project) and been looking at candidates for our new camper already~we have narrowed our choice down to two makes, either a VW or a Mercedes and the absolute 'must have' list includes it must be a long wheel base, have heating (which we dont have right now!), power steering, three front seats and diesel (so we can convert it to run on vegetable oil~yes it can be done!). i have been even naughtier, found some measurments and planned the interior~think rustic log cabin on wheels and you get the picture!

well the clock is ticking, it is getting darker and its nearly time for my dinner.

*~have a wonderful day/evening~*

~blackberry & star ridden skies~

it seems like forever since i last wrote here, but it surprised me when i realised it was only a matter of days~i promise i will catch up with all you lovely bloggers very soon!

its been one of those weeks~it started great and then dissolved into one of upset and bad feelings~family problems of course, what else can produce such feelings?!

i needed some direction with this and so i worked with my tree oracle and blackberry came to hand~an odd one i thought and it took some work to understand it but finally realised that i was being told to take a step back, to step away from the situation in order to protect myself, that i had to let the situation as it was to develop and resolve itself without me.
it certainly makes sense for several times this past week i have said to myself and to others that i just don't have the spare energy to deal with the anger of others. i have too much to deal with myself~with my studies and up and coming hospital appointments~and i need to keep my energy for myself right now.

is that a selfish thing to be doing i wonder?

should i be more supportive?

the trouble is i feel that the situation i have been put in is as piggy in the middle~i hear things form both sides and try to support both sides but now don't want to hear anything for i don't know who or what to believe and i just feel its draining me.
i also don't think its going to be something that will go away without a fight, in fact i don't think it will ever go away, its just too deep.


i was up early this morning~it is my moontime and so by 4am i really needed a hot water bottle for my back and some pain killers and cody had the fidgets. he had been eating grass yesterday and so i thought it would be a good idea to let him into the back garden.
i went out with him and as is my way i turned up to the sky and was given a wonderful clear, star filled sky~a blanket of silver lights draped above my head...
it really did take my breath away and gave me the first real sense of peace this week.
right now it is still dark beyond my window~the sky is just turning a deep blue, but a blackbird is in fine tune in the tree outside.


~oh yes~

...forgot to mention i had my last essay back and my tutor gave me an A!!!

it has really been a good day!


the autumn equinox

Alban Elfed~the light of the water

we face the end of the harvest and the balance of light and darkness where we give thanks for the harvest and the goodness of the goddess.

we face west and reflect on the things we have achieved.

a time to reflect on the coming darkness with the knowledge that the light will return to us.

a time of peaceful reflection and accepance~of what we have as well as that we lack.

the great wheel of the year has nearly completed it turn~the cycle continues as we face the coming of samhain

~a visitor~

i had a really nice surprise today.

i had just sat down to e-mail a friend before settling down to some revision when i heard the very loud thudding of a motorcycle in our little cul de sac. i didn't pay much attention for people are always getting very lost, ending up here, turning and going...the other day we had a very entertaining five minutes when a man with big car and bigger caravan made a wrong turn and found they way here!

the sound got louder and i looked out of the window to see a large motorcycle pull up behind pippin...curiouser and curiouser...they my brain finally started to register...
it was my dad come all the way down from his home in a little village between Tewkesbury and Evesham 125 miles away. he had set out at 7am,taking the scenic route and stopping to see friends on the way.
his partner Adele is in Australia visiting her son and so dad and the cat 'peep' are home alone.
i have to say he looked great too-he still wears very old fashioned motorcycle gear, wonderful, worn knee high boots and a big red, silk paisley scarf wrapped around his neck...although the helmet was a very new, posh Harley one...all in all very dashing!

one of the collection

oh it was such a fantastic surprise-as pippin has been messing us about so much we have not been to visit them for months, the only trouble is now i feel sad.

as many of my older readers know my dad and i are very close with a great deal in common.
when i lived at home and before he left to follow his own path in life i would spend hours with him in his room watching as he painted or made the intricate little models for his business.
the stereo would always be on playing anything from classical and opera to john denver, neil diamond or the carpenters (right now his album of choice is mark knopfler and emmylou harris 'all the road running'-actually i sent it to him for his birthday)

his room would always smell of oil paint and there in the corner would be his easel in the corner with art work in progress, his finished paintings covered the walls~he would exhibit in a gallery in lymington but was never keen on selling! his models would be everywhere also and this was his business, selling to collectors worldwide until he had a heart attack in his early 50's and had to slow down a bit...notice i said 'a bit'?!
out of curiosity i have beed doing some investigating online only to discover his work has become very collectable and when a piece does come up for sale people are paying very high three figure sums...they have even been sold at Bonhams...

it makes me so proud to know he has made things with his own hand that people wish to own and love.

~no sleep~

another night of not sleeping...

i have had about 2 hours, un-restful sleep, lay awake for a while and finally gave up around 2am, made myself a mug of lemon tea and turned on my laptop.

i have a lot happening over the next few weeks...

~i have just submitted my final essay for my present course
~have started my revision for my three hour exam which is on the 14th of october.
~i have a small amount of work to submit for my next course by the 16th of october
~and a second short piece of work on Homer's Odyssey by the 23rd of October.

now i would not usually worry about this, i have my time planned nicely-3 hours a day devoted to revision and 2-3 on the small amount of new work on Homer.
luckily my new course is the excitingly titled 'exploring the classical world' and so the reading etc, for me, will be great fun.
the reading i have done so far has been so interesting it is just like reading a really good book.

no problem there then.

i am a little worried because in reality i have to have all the work done by the 14th because on the 15th i fly with my sister to Malaga in Spain to board this behemoth...

the royal caribbean' navigator of the seas'

we have what is known as a 'junior suite' up on deck nine at the front of the ship...there are 15 decks-told you it was a behemoth...or leviathan is also a suitable description!...whose layout is...

most exciting is we have our own little balcony and so i can imagine many hours spent there with a good book.

from malaga we sail the Mediterranean, through the Strait of Gibraltar (or to give it it's much more interesting name 'the pillars of hercules) which separates europe from africa by a mere 14km, into the atlantic.

over the following four days we will be visiting tenerife on the canary islands which i am looking forwards to as my granddad george spent a lot of time there after retiring from a lifetime in the royal navy. i still have some of the jewellery made from gold and volcanic rock that he bought me as a child and so i shall take that with me to wear. i am hoping to get to the teide national park and take the cable car up mount teide...my sister get travel sick (yes i know...going on a cruise + travel sick!)even in these so i may well take that particular journey alone.

we then sail on, docking in funchal in madeira...its well worth looking at the photo album on this site...i have never really given the place a second thought until now...it looks so beautiful and so cannot wait to get there with my camera.

~it will certainly be an experience~

swampy is now home~and it was so good to have him come through the door late on monday i can tell you!

we now have the pressure of fixing and selling pippin and then finding his replacement-once he is sold it means we have no transport until the replacement is found and bought! that is not a major problem as we can get the 'lymington flyer'-the heritage line train into lymington for shopping.
its just...hassle if you know what i mean.

~not so bad...~

trouble just waiting to happen...

...that is how i see the week that has just passed

swampy had gone up to the malverns and left me and cody to our own devices~and i was dreading it so much, but it was also an experiment. how would my m.e manage doing everything, everyday for a week i wondered to myself.

well it managed, it was hard, but it managed.
around the home i did everything needed to keep it clean and tidy, prepared my meals, cooked, did washing, hung the washing out to dry and bring it in again...you know all the things i mean!

the only thing i had to do was rest between each thing, i couldn't do it all in a big lump and carry on to my next task~each was done slowly with a break in between so usually by 4pm i was shattered and that's when i would give up on everything except cook my dinner and feed cody~the comfort of the sofa and documentaries on the tv was all i did in the evening, my brain wouldn't even function to read.

walking cody twice a day was my hardest task. as he is an english springer spaniel he has vast amounts of energy~and i mean vast! i knew i could not just walk him on his lead. so every day i would take him over to the area of forest the villagers have always known as 'the common'~it is only a five minute walk to get there but with a pulling, tugging springer in a rush and m.e shouting 'i cant go that fast!' it sometimes seemed like forever...especially on the way home again...uphill...with a panting, muddy, wet but still pulling springer! but it gave him a great run off of his lead, allowed him to jump in and out of very muddy stream and eat horrible things. i will spare you this.
usually i had to towel him off when we arrived back home and this i did sitting on our garden path, by now too tired to stand...towel him off, stagger inside and have a rest...until housework tasks or his final walk of the day drew near...

and guess where i am going now my mug of tea is finished?

you guessed it~out with a tugging, pulling springer!

but the good thing is my swampy will be back later today!

~its here~

walking across the forest with cody yesterday i could feel it

summer had finally gone and the great wheel has turned even further and the equinox is on our doorstep.

i could see it in the sky and the trees~leaves are changing color and falling from their branches, the many hawthorns, oaks and hazel were laden with their fruits, the haws bright red providing a splash of color among the greens and browns.

i could feel it in the air around me, almost taste it in the air~it was warm for the sky was a clear blue above me, with the waning moon ahead of me high in the sky, but at the same time i could feel the first, faint hint of a chill. the warm was not the warm of a summer morning but the first chill of the dying year.

i could feel it buzzing through me in a welcoming way, i have always seen autumn and winter as my time of the year and look forwards to the coming months.
there is something so special about the coming months where the wheel slowly turns from the autumn equinox when the darkness starts to take over from the light, through samhain when the vail between the worlds is thin and we are close to our ancestors~to the winter solstice the longest night when darkness is honoured~to imbolc, Brighids day when we feel the earth energy stirring around us and the days of darkness ends with the spring equinox when the days become longer.

*what joy to have this connection to the land*

~home alone~

swampy went off to vanfest today~the first time we have both not been there helping for the build up in a decade. a friend drove down to pick him up and i sent him off with his little tent, airbed, sweets and copy of philip pullmans 'the subtle knife'.

every year it is a great gathering of friends from across europe who join up to help in the week long build up until the public in all their weird and wonderful campers turn up and then work throughout the show until the public all go home again on sunday. we have friends come from as far as germany and holland and this year i will miss seeing them and catching up with news.

and of course i am desperately missing swampy already, cody is very unsettled and keeps walking out to stare at the front door~at the moment he is curled up on the sofa next to me...dreaming dreams that springer spaniels dream...

i have my last essay to work on this week and as it is due in next tuesday i think i will find an empty house useful for keeping my focus. we have also pretty much decided on what our next camper will be and have started to plan our new interior. so i shall be spending some time looking out the things we need and planning the layout.

thank you all of you who have commented with your own tales of your campers and much loved vehicles~its nice to know my crazy feelings are not my own!

~my camper does not make me~

swampy and i have discussed pippin and decided its time to sell him and get ourselves something a bit more modern.

its not only recent events that have prompted this decision~we started half discussing it a few weeks ago when swampy had the diagnosis of osteoarthritis in his lower back which is also causing pain in his hips. he is already having a lot of pain when driving and so we talked about how we would work around that~the main answer to find something with power steering. swampy's health is paramount now.
i also realised that all the mechanical work he has been doing cannot be helping him and with an older vehicle that is something that has to be done.

so when he comes back from vanfest he will take apart the engine, find out exactly which bit needs replacing, replace it and then put our pippin up for sale. then when he has sold we will look for the right replacement~we have something in mind and have been doing a lot of research over the last two days.

the silly thing is i have become so attached to pippin and his quirkiness~he makes people smile and wave when we drive down the road and i almost have the feeling that letting him go will take something of me away.
i am not sure if that means a thing to you reading this~it makes sense to me...its almost as if my camper defines who i am and by having something modern and anonymous will make the essence of me disappear.
of course that is totally ridiculous...but there you go~the mind works in mysterious ways!

however i looked deeper and realised that i am not defined by what vehicle i own and that we can buy the most anonymous thing out there and make it our own, make it individual. the new camper will be much larger than pippin and of course considerably younger and have power steering~a must for swampy, more economical and so cheaper to run~all of this will mean that next year we will be able to get out and about more and travel further afield...

all of those places we have been promising ourselves the past few years will finally be able to become a reality~for years we have talked about going further afield, up to wales, the lake district and even further up to the wilds of scotland and one day ireland.
well with the new and improved camper we will be able to~so really we are opening the way for more adventures~this time in more comfort.

~does bad luck come in three's?~


in the space of two months i have had swine flu, my nan passed away from this world and now pippin has major engine problems...

as you might have guessed we are home!

here's the 'three'...
we made it eight miles into our journey on friday when the camper started to overheat, stopped to cool him down then decided to carry onto to simon and the new radiator, stopping every 8-10 miles.
well it didn't work, we travelled a further 5 miles, swampy noticed a puff of white smoke from the exhaust, so i suggested we pull off the main road and find somewhere safe to park up and then call out the AA.

then we had a decision to make...do we get trailered to simon's then make our way to the harvest moon gathering with our new radiator?

well after swampy spoke with simon on the phone it was decided the white smoke indicated something seriously wrong with the engine~swampy wanted to get trailered to the harvest moon gathering and then trailered home again on sunday~i thought we should get trailered straight home from where we could talk to simon again and allow swampy time to arrange how he was going to get up to vanfest. i could also think of nothing more depressing than getting trailered there and spend the weekend knowing we would have to get trailered home, it would have totally ruined my weekend. in the end it was agreed we would have to go home.

the AA man arrived and spent some time running the engine etc~luckily for me we had stopped in a forestry commission car park and was able to take cody for a walk through the woods~which was wonderful, the smell of the tree's, damp earth and bracken was amazing and it really helped sweep away sad, negative feelings.

well, it was decided we were close enough to home to drive it slowly, rather than wait two hours for a trailer and the AA man said he would follow us 'just in case'! well we made it home with four 'cool down' stop-offs and as he was following us the AA man confirmed what was thought~something indeed was wrong with the engine.

swampy was able to arrange to get up to the malverns on monday~simon (another simon) is sending someone down to pick him up and he will take our three man tent to sleep in. i have opted to stay home, for two reasons really~firstly i really don't want to sleep in a tent and also i have my final essay to cobble together and write up and so being 'home alone' i will have the peace and quite to get it done.

so there you are...home again, home again, jiggity jig...

~camping ahoy!~

a tidy looking camper~soon to show signs of everyday living!

well we have pippin packed with supplies as we are off to a pagan gathering tomorrow...a harvest moon gathering none the less!

in the morning we shall detour to our friend simon who has a 'new' radiator for us which swampy will fit straight away-the consensus of several mechanically minded folk seems to be the radiator is clogged and this is why it is overheating. we found yesterday if we keep our speed at about 40mph pippin does not overheat~so it will be a mighty slow drive to simon, with us at def con one for any signs of overheating (we have two large water containers with us!)

from the harvest moon gathering we will (hopefully) drive up to the malverns where we volunteer at setting up a big show every year.

so ten days of sleeping under the stars~almost, as i will be sleeping in pippin but its still camping out!

i hope the coming days treat you all kindly and will catch up with all your blogs when i come home.