~Beltene is tapping at the door~

*bright fire*

the return of the sun

here in the northern hemisphere the celtic fire festival of Beltene is gently tapping on the door

the land is fertile and summer is now closer than ever

it brings long days

with fire to aid us in this transitional time


next year i will be able to celebrate with a small bonfire, this year however i have to content myself with lots of candles scattered around my garden and hanging lanterns.
i am hoping the predicted rain holds off at least until well into tomorrow~looking out of the window there is very little blue sky showing through the grey clouds~i am not hopeful to be honest.

~of Anzacs, pea shoots & flourishing weeds~

today this ancient forest is covered in a fine blanket of damp cloud, which in the early hours was a rainfall that woke me up, but my routine continues as it usually does.
let flynt, who is flourishing like a little weed, into the garden...

*he has had an extra week to flourish since this was taken and he is growing so quickly*

...and take out all our seedlings~both flowers and vegetables, putting them on the table in the garden well out of reach of exploring puppy teeth, make cups of tea and sit with my laptop at the kitchen table (46 years old and one of my parents wedding gifts~still going strong) alternately typing and gazing out of the window and looking at my pea shoots flourishing at my 'farm'~our kitchen windowsill faces south-west and for a good part of the day has sunshine so is perfect for my herbs, living salad and now pea shoots.

i have grown peas for a good few years now and love picking the ripe peas and eating them right there in the garden.

last year i discovered the joys of pea shoots in a salad, something, for some reason i have never considered. the trouble was they came in small amounts in bags from one of our more expensive and less invasive supermarkets here in england, but one i like to visit when in lymington because they do nice cakes, have an interesting vegetarian section and sell all the different environmentally friendly/non-animal tested/natural products (for those days when a slightly longer walk cannot take me to 'sweet joe pye')

last year i discovered this book...

...but never went back and bought it...shame on me.

then a few weeks ago while feeling unwell and channel hopping on tv i discovered this little gem...

for those of you who have not heard or seen alys fowler on tv there is a nice little article here from the telegraph


sitting with a mug of organic peppermint tea after 'blogging interuppted' by a walk with flynt to the old clay pits, about a five minute walk from home, although i have to say the old clay pits is a name that does not do the area justice...

the dampness has cleared over the last hour and patches of blue are now showing through the grey clouds. i hope it brightens up as today we have the Anzac service up at the old church, that sits on a hill behind us~where as i type the bells are ringing.

the Anzac graves are half way down the hill from the church to one side of a winding little path, behind some older stones~it has the large memorial seen here behind the individual graves and it looks out across the forest towards the salisbury direction and the setting sun

there are 93 New Zealanders, some with wonderful Maori names attatched to specific Maori regiments, 1 Australian and 3 Indians there, a few of the thousands of casualties of the first World War brought from France for care at the wartime Hospital that was here in the village and the service each year is important to the village.

the area is special, it feels special for next to the church grows a yew, dated to over 1,000 years old and this yew sits within what once must have been an earthwork, a great part of it still remaining.
as churches were built upon these sacred sites of the ancestors in an effort to turn the people away from the old ways there certainly is a special aura to the place if you spend time there and distance yourself from what it has become.

~thank you Twiggy~

this was kindly passed on by twiggypeasticks and provided me with something to mull over

~ List the top ten things that make me happy

~ List 5 trivia things about me.

~ Share with 5 people and ask them to do the same.

~ Link the blogs you choose and link the blog of the person who gave it to you.


ten things that make me happy are~

1~ my swampy, we have been together for eleven years

2~ sunny days, this winter has been a long hard one and i am finding this run of sunshine wonderful

3~ reading~i generally have a few books on the go at any one time and have no problem in going back to one even after a few weeks.

4~ music~i have music playing about 90% of the time, these days mostly omnia.

5~ radio 4~i stopped listening to regular radio stations a few years ago when i started to critisize at least 99.9% of the music they play.

6~ camping~like many i started camping in a tent going to festivals in the eighties and nineties, now older and wanting more comfort (comfy bed!) we have 'pretty pagan' a fairly modern vw

7~ swimming; if there is water deep enough for swimming i am there (well, discounting a sewage works or similar of course!). i learnt to swim aged about 6-7 when my primary school here in the village had an outdoor pool built.

8~ festivals, glastonbury in particular. once upon a time, when it cost £60 for the whole weekend and you could buy tickets just by sending off a coupon in the NME...those days are long gone but i spend a lot of time at this time of year thinking whistfully back to my festival days

9~ travel, i love travelling, seeing new things, exploring and in particular mapping sacred sites, hill forts etc. i have been to hong kong, india, america, canada, france, spain, portugal and i will add scotland here despite sharing the same landmass.

10~ bedtime! it may sound silly but with m.e i become so exhausted by the end of the day and ache so much my bed is a welcome haven. i may not be mentally tired so usually turn on my little wind-up radio and listen to radio 4.

five point of trivia about me...

1~ swampy and i met online in march of 1999 and he moved down south to be with me in the may. the day he moved down was the first time we have ever met in person!

2~ flying to hong kong i had an unexpected stop over in karachi, because of fog the plane could not land in india and we spent three hours sitting on the tarmac surrounded by men holding what looked like machine guns. it felt most peculiar.

3~ while in hong kong i frequented a gay bar called the pink parrot where lots of western businessmen fratentised with young men and where,i was informed, the triads used a back room to deal business.

4~ i have OCD but not as bad as it was in my teens and twenties.

5~ writing this i have eaten my way through a half a rather large chocolate bunny!

okay so now to link to five others...actually i have a feeling this may well have reached many of you already as i have been rather lax in actually getting it done so therefore i leave it open for any of you who wish to share something of themselves...

~mother earth~

~thanks to mother earth we have airplane free skies~

~pour moi ? merci !~

this arrived via the lovely twiggypeasticks~thank you!

so to pass it on...if you have already had this then apologies!

here we go~from this ancient forest i pass this onto other beautiful bloggers...

granny sue



anglesea allsorts


we have had a run of wonderful, sunny, warm days here in this ancient forest.

oddly the photos i took of our travels have mysteriously vanished between transfer from camera to my laptop~so you must take my word for it~it has been glorious!

we have been putting our energies into finally finishing the garden~as with everything, it has taken time as money we could have spent on the garden was going into 'pretty pagan' or other things.

the arrival of the nice weather made me take a long hard look at our half finished patio and the pile of items needed to be taken to the tip (they are now called 're-cycling centres, i still call it the 'tip')and decided enough was enough, it had to get finished so we could actually enjoy the garden and do more with it.

so pretty pagan was lined with a large tarpulin and everything loaded up and off it went...then off to buy some slabs~lucky for us they had a sale on so we saved some money to spend on plants instead!

so the last few days have been creative~we didnt need to spend a lot on plants for we have a lot that just spring up every year around the side and front of the house and many of them can be divided. so we moved some yellow loosestrife, assorted geraniums and feverfew into the back...

***the lovely miss.r asked about the nests~we have two, one given us by my mum when we moved in and the t'other from the welsh wizard.
when cleaning the one that was nested in last year by blue tits we discovered two unhatched eggs and one dead baby, checking the welsh wizards we discovered a nest being built, we think, by blue tits or great tits, i shall keep you posted!

~a letter~

i have always loved this letter which i first heard spoken on the ken burns documentary 'the civil war'

'July 14, 1861
Camp Clark, Washington

My very dear Sarah:
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more . . .

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . .

Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me—perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness . . .

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights . . . always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again . . .'

Sullivan Ballou was killed a week later at the first Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861.

i have seen all of the documentaries many times over the years since it was first aired and it always fills me with sadness

~green man tree oracle~

i don't work with my tree oracle on a regular basis~more when i get a 'need' to do so~maybe this is me being told to when i need some direction.

i had that need the other day~i had one of those 'where to go next' feelings in my path,i need some direction and so these were the three that came to me...

at present i use the three worlds spread~it just seems to link nicely with the idea of land, sea and sky~birth, life and death, the upper world, middle world and lower world~the triskele

~the upper world card where we are given, or rather offered, knowledge and insight.

~the middle world with the awareness of the physical world we live in, our real life we move through every day.

~the lower world, the place of ancestral wisdom.


so here are the cards i pulled...

*scots pine~ailm*
the green man wisdom tells me to 'seek an overview', to see things clearly which will pave the way for my next steps.

the green man wisdom tells me that 'destiny moves us to do great things', that our destiny is not laid out before us, unable to be altered but we need to find and follow our own destiny's theads by way of looking back on our experiences, our aims, wishes and gifts. that our greatest moments have woven themselves without our trying, when 'thought, mind and soul were one'.

the green man wisdom tells me that 'defence keeps clear the territory', alder suggests that i need to defend my territory or to clear the path before me.

so now it is time to mull and ponder...

~garden life~

some spring color on my alter

things are pushing their way up through the earth here quickly, despite the seemingly endless rain and still chill air...in our back garden we have...

we put these in last year and cannot for the life of us remember what they are~possible triple headed daffodills.

woad~this travelled with us from dorset where it lived in a large pot and since moving here it has been moved twice, but still it flourishes

the banksia rose~its first spot in the garden didnt agree with it so it was moved, only a few meters, but it has worked wonders

honeysuckle, growing like a weed and looking wonderful

forsythia adding some much needed color


the front garden is looking much better, here is the arch we have put around our front door where we are growing two different types of clematis

blooms on the clematis armandi smell glorious

the two hanging baskets are full of ivy and hearts ease

a tiny purple anemone near the front door

the side of the bungalow looks cheery with a long drift of daffodills

~sun rising~

i am sitting here watching the sun rise behind the huge evergreen tree, possibly a very mature cedar, that grows above the low, lichen covered roof of the house behind us.
a welcome sunbeam has found its way into the room...

that is my view to the back, out the front all i can see is a small part of another lichen covered roof and beyond that clear, blue sky.

i love our little house, its not old, only about 35 years old~in fact when i was tiny i remember this land was nothing but fields with a big barn up the hill from us.

this was taken the day we moved in~some of you may remember my writing about it~the flowerbeds overgrown and uncared for, the interior just as bad and very smelly, you can see the open windows here...the back looked worse...

in fact its not even a house, its officially a bungalow~i love the history of the bungalow, wikipedia tells us that...

'The term is first found in English from 1696, where it was used to describe "bungales or hovells" in India for English sailors of the East India Company, which do not sound very grand lodgings. Later it became used for the spacious homes or official lodgings of officials of the British Raj, and was so known in Britain and later America, where it initially had high status and exotic connotations, and began to be used in the late 19th century for large country or suburban houses built in an Arts and Crafts...style'

we have turned our little, unloved place into a home~we still have not finished decorating and laying new floors or the garden, other things keep occupying our time and money, but we will get there by the end of this year...we have plans to paint all the exterior doors a nice bright red and construct a wildlife pond in the back.


as i have sat here and written this the blue sky and the warmth of the sun through the wiindow has been replaced by a sky of varying shades of grey and a faint chill~today has turned into a day for reading, thinking and journalling...


'Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends.... Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts'

~Henry David Thoreau~

i have been thinking about materialism and consumerism a lot lately, here's what the oxford english dictionary has to say about both...


• noun 1 the protection or promotion of the interests of consumers. 2 the preoccupation of society with the acquisition of goods.


• noun 1 a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values. 2 Philosophy the doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications.

i like to think i am neither of these things, not really.
oh yes there are things i would love to have...

from fairysteps who sell the most wonderful things to make you smile :)

but i think there is a difference; you can love something and have the feeling of it being nice to own, but it remains a feeling~then there is that crazy lifestyle where people buy, buy, buy when its not needed.

why buy just more and more of things you already own and don't really need?

i don't see how someone can reach deep within and find peace when they are so 'consumed'