~a few days~

~we had two half days at the new forest show this year~

*a coppice man's makeshift stove~oddly the man was a wiltshire man with the same name as one of my wiltshire ancestors, Poynting*

*steam driven apple press~the juice tasted fantastic*

*steam driven hay baler*

i took a lot more photos but they seem to be taking forever to upload~we had a great time however but we arrived home exhausted each day.
we brought home some local scrumpy...funny how its local but we only buy it at the show each year.however in october they are having a cider fayre so we have put it down on our calender to go and replenish our stock.


i had a parcel through the post from my good friend, the welsh wizard...

from starchild in glastonbury some lovely tea to bring on sleep~gorgeous with a spoon of honey at bedtime


our garden has been enjoying some rain this week and we have had a new resident pass through and decide to stay


my crochet is coming along nicely and i have two 'practice' blanket projects on the go with wool i have had in my knitting bag for a few years.

this is my first ever attempt at granny squares and i am quite pleased with my work...

this is debbie bliss merino aran i am working with a 4.5 hook.
i don't have too much of this to this project will probably be a small cot blanket.

this is rowanspun 4 ply worked with a 3.0 hook.
again i do not have too much of this, i have found it has been discontinued but maybe able to source some more.
i intend to just keep working until i run out but hopefully i will have enough to make a decent, single size blanket.
i love this a lot, it feels almost slightly felted/tweedy, but is so thin, so its making quite delicate squares.

i love rowan yarn...an awful lot...and now i have become crochet obsessed...yes i said obsessed. yes, i lay abed thinking of projects i can work on as my work improves and get out my hook and yarn instead of my laptop with my first tea of the day...i digress...i love rowan yarn and spend more time than i should at their website drooling, yes, drooling over their yarns and patterns...go have a look and i defy you not to fall in love.


my, it feels as if i have been away for ages, but in reality its been just a few days.

yesterday was my first full day out of bed, although this morning i am not feeling my best~it keeps coming back as if its the first day of my cold rather than the end.
swampy has now come down with it now but of course he has 'man flu'!

i will catch up with your blogging over the next day or two.


this week is the week for the new forest show~today is the first day and the weather has remained nice. we are going tomorrow so i hope the sun stays away.

it has been so hot and humid here for days now~yesterday was awful~i know its terrible to say that but it was~the sky was covered in dark clouds, but no rain fell and the heat was pretty much unbearable.
we had a fan going but the noise of the fan was just as bad as the heat!

it actually feels a little cooler today however although the sun is just starting
to burn through the clouds.

*i hope its cooler where you are today*

~from my sickbed~

another fuzzy photo!

from my sick bed

my word, that's dreadful!

this is my bedside table~a painted (and unintentionally distressed) dining chair housing my wind-up radio, olbas pastilles, olbas oil, strepsils i was using before swampy found the olbas, glasses (taken off as i was getting a headache, little box which houses bits and bobs and a half finished lemon and honey.

as you can guess i am back in bed and the reason for having my laptop here with me is that i just watched my sister graduate :) plus i found a really good youtube video of an american guy doing a granny square.

oh i know i am ill but its been bugging me so much~anyway i think i have it filed away in the old grey matter now!

the camera has been found by the way so there is no excuse for such a dreadful picture.
however,i am refusing to use it until swampy has uploaded a load of photos of steam trains onto his own computer. he always takes loads of garden photos which end up on my computer, accumulates and slows everything down.

well thats it for now!


i am unwell today

last night out of nowhere i came down with a summer cold.

earlier in the day my nose felt a bit sniffy but i paid it no mind~by bed time it was a full blown cold

today i am being supplied with home made honey and lemon drinks and although i stayed in bed for a while my legs started to get restless and needed to move.
i have been on the sofa with another honey and lemon watching the Tour, as its a monumental mountain stage and not to be missed.

i am now fading fast and i expect once swampy is back from walking my sisters dog (they are all at her second graduation today~criminal studies and they are publishing her dissertation!)~ i shall be taking myself back to bed, thank goodness i am recoding the Tour~i dont even have the heart to pick up my crochet.

i had a hiccup with it last night~i decided to try my hand at a granny square and used the pattern form my 'simple crochet' book but instead of the start of it looking like four petals mine looked like a wheel!

i have no idea whats going on there!

~wool joy~

i have spent the last few days alternating between reading Eclipse sorting out my new bank account and practicing my crochet...


its a bit fuzzy as the photo was taken with my 'fuzzyberry'~camera still misplaced here! and it certainly doesn't do the color justice~i have several balls of merino wool bought a good 4-5 years ago (during one of my earlier, but useless, crochet periods)so this is in a most beautiful pale purple~i shall look out the camera!

i have to say that i am being a bit over excited over it it~but with good reason as you know.

i have no idea why i just couldn't 'get it'

now i totally get it and i feel like leaping for joy.

i sat in the garden today while swampy was doing a little tidying in the garden and flynt was chasing a young blackbird out of my blueberries (yes the birds have found all my lovely berries and i have no net) and decided to start on a small basic scarf project~just as a way of helping me remember and retain the basics.

i found it so much easier and relaxing than knitting~i found myself getting into a lovely gentle winding, twisting rhythm that i never had with knitting.

isn't it funny how something simple can bring so much joy?
to have something so long looked for suddenly click and feel so good.

later i shall be searching out a simple, but pretty afghan pattern online and i have decided that i may well treat myself to some nice wool for it~plus my sister has already placed an order for her own afghan!

i hope you are all having a good day too~and i hope you all popped over to Rens place :)

~oh what a night...~

i went to bed at 10.30 last night, which is very late for me~i had stayed up to watch jo brand

this woman rocks!


i have to say i am feeling a tad jumpy today, expecting the government nannies to come a' knocking at my door for i have been an irresponsible drinker~oh yes i have.

last night i went a bit wild and drank two...yes two...bottles of cider.

now this is a very rare occurrence for me indeed, but for some reason i really fancied cider last night, and more than one.

however on close inspection of the label of bottle number two i realised to my horror and shame that i had exceeded the recommended daily unit limit for a 'responsible' female drinker.

oh the utter shame.

i am sorry i am being particularly evil today and of course, as i did my teenage/ early adult growing up in the eighties and early nineties, i have the whole 'little miss angry', anti-government, anacrchic comedy, cnd, peace camps, protest thing forever embedded under my skin.

i utterly loath all the nannying 'aware' small print on drink and food stuff and voice overs that precede some tv programmes we are bombarded with the whole time~even on the news channels for goodness sake.

now to me news should provide us with newsworthy information~famines, war, social injustice etc etc etc~to me a warning about the use of flash photography and accompanying film of some emaciated female...only famous because of a) football player husband/boyfriend b)plastic enhanced body c)fame found via one of those truly awful 'lets find another star for five minutes' talent shows or d) all of the above...is not news.

i digress~i enjoyed my two irresponsible bottles of cider and may well do it again one day.


on a lighter, less little miss angry note i had my knitting bag out yesterday...and not for knitting either.

i have had 'crochet block' for just about ever~my mum has tried to show me, my neighbour has tried to show me, but they both did their own kind of 'freestyle' crochet and it confounded me, frustrated me to the point of tears.

now as some of you know i am a basic knitter, but am so slow~so very slow a knitter and the lack of progress i find frustrating.
i like the idea of just one hook and a single ball of wool to deal with and i was inspired by Ren's recent post over at fairysteps and the photo she posted of a beautiful piece of crochet she is working on~

how beautiful is it?
i adore it!

~i have to put a warning here~there are many beautiful things that Ren makes and sells and our friend roses (who makes my beuatiful silver jewellery~remember?) has a pair of her shoes~i have decided that my 'me treat' next year will be a pair of my own!

of course it will be a while before i am this good so am starting out making a simple granny square afgahn.
i spent ages yesterday working on the basics and i am confident that today i will start out on a small, experimental afgahn~i shall try to remember to take photos to post of my progress.

~change is in the air~

i can feel it~can you?

here in the northern hemisphere the summer solstice has drifted by in a haze of hot summer sun and now lughnasa is tapping on the door~

vincent van gogh

as is usual i unlocked my back door early and this morning, unlike other mornings of this hot summer, there is a slight chill in the air.

the chill that reassures me that the great wheel is turning and we are now on the cusp of ever increasing darkness.

don't get me wrong i have loved this summer, even the too hot days when i could not even go into the garden.

but i love the solitude and withdrawal of the shorter days.
i love sitting all cosy indoors on dark, wet and wild nights.
love going across the forest when the clouds are low and the wind howling~leaving our village invisible from the high heath land~hidden in its hollow like a secret in the mist.

so i felt a tinge of joy this morning when that slight chill greeted me.
i am sure many people up and about early will have not even noticed it, for now it has warmed up out there.
the high winds of the last few days have gone to blast some other land and the sky looks down, a bright blue with some mares tails drifting high above.

~but i know i felt it this morning~

~teeth & rain~

i had an early night last night~i had my bedroom windows and curtains open and lay listening to the wind and rain~it was wonderful!

today i seem to have a day of two halves so far
to my left, facing south east, there are a few rays of sun shining out from among the cloud which is light grey. to my left which is approximately south west the clouds are as dark grey as they could possibly get~according to the weather forecast it will be another breezy, showery day.

we are off to the dentist today~swampy has had bother with a particularly troublesome tooth and he had the option of a root canal if the last work he had done was not successful.
well, he has had a lot of pain and chatted with his dentist over the phone~the tooth is actually cracked and the dentist is not 100% sure the root canal would work long term and so he is opting for an extraction rather than have further trouble.

luckily i have pleny of soup available for the poor old soul later!

~grey day & rain~

what a night!
actually what an afternoon, night and morning!

the rain here has nearly been constant and the winds so high it is like winter.

the rain set in as showers over yesterday, becoming heavy during the night.
the high winds seemed to come from nowhere and have been (according to the weather forecast) 50-60 miles per hour~which i can highly believe.

but we are only five miles from the mouth of the lymington river which opens into the solent.
we get the sea winds off the solent or channel depending on the wind direction and when it blows we certainly know about it~some days on the high moors you can even smell the salt in the air~its glorious!


a lot of our plants have been well and truly battered down, mostly the wild flowers on codys bed~our branches that have been stacked waiting for our summer night fires had blown down and oh so nearly crushed our young oak and my solitary 'experimental' cucumber and by the looks of it severed our evening flower and to top it all one of my best tomato plants blew over and been severed at the base. i shall rescue the tomato's and ripen them inside.
the good news is that my blueberry seemed to be totally impervious and i lost no fruit.


dark summer day 2

dark summer day 3

as i sit here looking out of the window the rain is pouring down again and the sky is a seamless blanket of many shades of grey.

so i sit, thinking of putting the kettle back on for an uncharacteristic second cup of lemon tea and plan my day.

i admit i have been at a bit of a lose end with no studies to occupy me and i have been having trouble getting started on anything right now.

maybe that's what my body is telling me i need though? more rest? less brain activity?

because of my m.e i had to put so much more energy into my studies that i am sure it is taking time to recoup those energies and put me on some kind of even keel.

~i think its a day to drift and be gentle with myself~

~its done~

of course you may well be getting a lot more blog posts from me now and i will be waiting impatiently for your new posts!

it wont actually take effect for 14 days~i think it is there way of hoping you slip up and in a forgotten moment access your account~if you do it cancels out the deletion~tricky eh?

~step one~

do you know i even had direct access to faceache in my 'downloads' section of my 'raspberry'?

well no longer!

i even dug my way deep into the settings to delete the icon which would allow me access through my rb browser...and the annoying myspace one that appeared from the depths of my brb system when i restarted it

step two is to let some folk know my plans


we took flynt out for a walk, well he run, we walked, slowly!

i took a photo of one of the barrows near us...but you need to look closely~it was close to the road and i didn't want flynt to decide to explore further!


*note to self*
start taking my camera with me everywhere as the rb does not take that good a picture!

~falling out of like~

i came across this interesting link over at the british druid order

i admit i am on facebook~or faceache as a good friend calls it~and yes it is a good name for it.

Oddly enough, Facebook has little to do with faces and nothing to do with books~Mike C~via A.F.L.I

i remain on faceache as a way of keeping in touch with friends, but when i think about it, no, i am not keeping in touch with friends, not really.

its just become a list of bits and bobs of a persons life~there are a few people with who i exchange messages, much like e-mail, but there is still a part of me that thinks its a load of utter rubbish.

everyday~why oh why do i do it?~i log in and go down my profile to see who has said what and there is nothing earth shattering there~ever, ever,ever.

once upon a time it was fun (did i really say that?!) finding out what friends were up to, sharing things with them.
because my m.e limits what i can do and i am never going to know how i am from day to day it was a way of getting 'out' so to speak.

oh my, did i really think that?

now~it just makes me tried and cross.

its a time stealer, a time waster~turning the mind to mush when there is so much more to do, to think, to achieve.

my life was fine pre-facebook and it will be fine post-facebook.

i am feeling quite liberated just thinking about it~there are folk (real people i meet in the real world) who i will still be in touch with naturally, and those special few who are further afield and who i contact through e-mail or here in the blogosphere.
i am thinking of all the more interesting things i have on my huge platter right now~online druidry courses, reading 'eclipse', gardening when my body allows me and daydreaming...lots of things

i guess that means i will be deleting my account~unless the facebook powers that be have deleted my account for posting the above link on my profile?!

~a small harvest & home hair~

although i have a vast amount of fruit on my blueberry bush my daily harvest is small~but so much nicer to walk the few steps though my garden to pick and enjoy my small harvest.
the ones that still have a little green on them i harvest before the birds take them and they sit overnight in their enamel dish until the following day


the ripe ones here are now no more!


its been a cloudy day with plenty of rain today but the heat is still with us.
last night was another night with little sleep as there was no cool air coming into the open windows and when i did fall asleep i woke only an hour later with a stiff neck and headache as i had been laying with my neck in a funny position~it made me feel all tense so at about 1am i was laying in bed sipping a Valerian tea.
it was the perfect antidote and i slept well until 7am. but the headache has not gone although i am managing to keep it at bay.


taking inspiration from frugal queen i gave myself a haircut last night!

i have always hated taking myself to any hairdressers~sitting there with no where else to look apart from the mirror~at myself.
and why do they always have to torture us with the final bouffant look?

i know many people enjoy this and see it as pampering~to me it is sheer torture.
so, after reading frugal queens post i spent a while browsing online~the 'how to' sections naturally.
then armed with my sharp scissors i use for my knitting, put my hair into a high pony-tail, brought it forward over my face and cut a straight line across the bottom.


hair trimmed with layers how easy was that?

my hair is still insisting on being fluffy and i took a photo with my blackberry to post but it came out as fuzzy as my hair so i shall leave it for today (plus i cannot find the camera!)

i now need to get some color~the older i get my ginger hair has faded an awful lot and this summer being as hot and sunny as it has been has been bleached out quite a lot.
i have found naturtint and fancy arizona copper or fireland~what do you all think?

~honest blogger passed on again~

this is for nellie at a bit of gardening spirit

the honest blogger award

We areHonest Bloggers!

the Sisterhood of
Shift Happens!

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 realsie 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! This award was created in particular for the following Honest Bloggers for they have opened their hearts in public and gained many friends in return.... You are truly wonderful people!

huge thanks to pixie sue for starting this~i have now passed it on twice to those in need

~domesday book of 1086~

as so many of you are not from this land here is some information of the domesday book~i hope you find it interesting.

the 1086 domesday book is a great land survey that was commissioned by William the Conqueror.

it was a way of assessing the extent of the land and resources in the country...

~records of landholders and tenants
~the amount of land they owned
~how many people occupied the land
~the amount of woodland, meadow, animals, fish and ploughs on the land, if any and other resources
~any buildings such as churches, castles, mills, salthouses etc

of course all of this would give him the the extent of the taxes he could raise!

The information collected was recorded by hand in two huge books~royal commissioners went around england collecting and recording the information from thousands of settlements with the country was split up into 7 regions.

national archives

in London the information was combined with earlier records, from before and after the norman conquest, and was then entered into the final Domesday Book. the final version was handwritten by one unnamed official scribe, and checked by one other.

all of the information, and the final domesday book itself, was written in Latin.


it was not originally called the domeday book however, the name came about in the 12th century.
it was said that under the survey "there was no single hide nor a yard of land, nor indeed one ox nor one cow nor one pig which was left out".
the massive scale of the Domesday survey and the irreversible nature of the information collected had people comparing it to the Last Judgement, or 'Doomsday', described in the Bible.


the new forest had been created, or greatly enlarged, by william the conqueror to be used as his hunting lands and its been suggested that the name of my village derives from comes from a pre-norman conquest version, Brocenhyrst, meaning ‘broken wooded hill'~however in the domesday book it is known as Broceste with '6 smallholders and 4 slaves with 2½ ploughs; and woodland at 20 pigs'

the old church i visit regularly, St. Nicholas, was mentioned in the domesday book and it is the only new forest church recorded there. an earlier Saxon church was located on the same site~Saxon herring-bone work can be seen in the south wall of the old Nave~and not forgetting the ring ditch and 1000 plus year old yew standing there~

i am convinced that it was a sacred site long before the arrival of the saxons, especially given its place on a high hill

~come into the woods~

it was so hot yesterday we waited until it started to cool down before taking flynt on his walk.
one of our regular destinations is an area about a mile from home that covers areas known as horseshoe bottom, longslade view~where there is a bronze age bowl barrow (more of that another day as well as the rare conjoined disc barrows a bit closer to home)~and longslade bottom.

we parked at longslade bottom and followed the path under what was once the single railway track from brockenhurst to hamworthy in dorset~with the lovely name of 'castlemans corkscrew'



flynt enjoyed the cool mud and water in Hincheslea Bog~needless to say it was bath time when we got back home and he lost his beloved tennis ball in the mud~a lot of poking with a stick could not locate it!

we were feeling brave~there are times when our individual health problem mean that we cannot always have a good long walk but some days we just need to stay out as it is so beautiful and despite the hill ahead of us the coolness of the woods were calling

the bracken was head and shoulder height in some places and had that special smell that it gives off in the heat

the darkish green band in the centre is the spread of the bog~the photo does not reflect how high we were~just a little higer and we would be able to see the isle of wight in the distance.

the edge of the woods which hide hincheslea estate, once one of several Saxon manors that once existed in this immediate area and mentioned in the domesday book~Hincelveslei,Brochelie and Broceste.
to this day there is still a big house hidden in the woods


we had to keep an eye on where we put our feet




not many people hike up the hill and deep into the woods and this makes it a special, peaceful place.
there is a stilness there that is hard to find these days

~remembering Cody~

~six months ago today we had to let our beloved Cody pass to the Rainbow Bridge~

~too hot!~

phew its hot here~very hot

for those of you not sure where the new forest is i have put a little yellow pointer on the map~we are way down south here in england and this is an up to date satellite image from the met office.

here is a better picture~

View Larger Map

the green and brown area is the forest and heathland that surrounds me, the river just seen at the top is the river itchen and the sea to the south is the solent and the little chunk of land down in the corner is the isle of wight

the heathland is very dry right now and at risk from fire and yesterday there was little sign of any horses or cows~the horses we did see were congregating in clusters in the shade of tree's the cows must have moved further into the forest for we saw none.

after a dull start yesterday the cloud cleared to leave us with a blisteringly hot day~i couldn't even sit in our garden in comfort because we have full sun all day, except for a thin sliver of shade along our south facing fence.
so it was not until about 3pm could i take my copy of 'New Moon' into the garden.

today we have some cloud drifting over but it is no cooler, although it might mean i can sit in the garden with my book without burning.


and now a big thank you to all your lovely comments on my self-portrait post, you are all so kind and make a girl feel good!
i am now waiting to see who else will post!

~hope you are all having a good day wherever you are~

~glitch anyone?~

okay a slight exaggeration here not everyone needs to panic!

seems there are some blogger glitches today regarding publishing

i have been trying to reject one of the annoying spam emials i get very often threse days and it just stays there but instead it either publishes or rejects one of the other comments!!!

so far i have 'accidently' published one comment while trying to reject the spam and i think one has been deleted the same way...

***i have just opened another window and gone into my dashboard and now a comment has vanished!

so my lovlies if you commented they seem to be vanishing into cyperspace!
***hmmmm now more has vanished, the one i wanted to reject is published and cannot be deleted~blogger has gone crazy and i hope its only temporary!

~sheer terror II & honest blogger alert~

well now, the posts of mel and juliana at shakti mama has got me to thinking.

i never really put myself out here~i put up random shots of myself, usually involving my green boots or birkenstocks but never anything else.

of course it is because i have low self esteem and every photo taken makes me look and therefore feel about a gazillion stone in weight,even smiling makes it even worse in my eyes.

i can feel good about myself and then catch my reflection in a window or mirror and the good feelings crash around me and i withdraw.
i always, well nearly always, compare myself to others~why can i not embrace difference?!

but the good thing is i feel good about myself more than not~just so long as i don't catch the dreaded reflection!
i even remember some nice comments made to me~a chap called alex once told me he thought my eyes were amazing~to me they are just my eyes but it was nice of him.

i suppose like many of us my insecurities grew from thoughtless comments when i was much younger~comments about my name or how pale i was or that i had a weird smile~those comments just seem to travel with us don't they?
i guess the people who made these comments would forever be unaware of how how hurtful they had been.

well out came the camera and, like mel, i took many and slowly worked my way through to find the one or two i was happy with~even now i don't think they reflect the real me~they are posed self-portraits~

now can i tell you why i don't like these photos?
my hair is fuzzy because i washed it yesterday and it always takes a day or two to get back to normal!
i am half frowning at the effort its taken to get a photo and pink because its a mighty warm day today
i am wearing a ratty dull top~yuk and look grumpy~well not grumpy just solemn

now there is a photo i like and i admit i like it...

this is a self portrait atop the Rockefeller center, New York last year and is more 'me' than the other two i have here~the only difference is my hair is longer and the natural red has been bleached by our hot summer sun.

~this is me~

~come inside today~

i thought you might like to have a little tour of our 'roundhouse' today.

we still have not finished decorating since moving in~we need to do the walls of the bedroom and put a new floor down in the living room as well as paint the kitchen after we had new units put in.

i commented to robyn over at villa maria that even now i feel it is not right, it does not feel special yet~it needs more color~we will get there.

i plan to have it finished by either samhain or yule and between now and then buy some bits and pieces to make it feel more homely

bottles and jars in the bathroom

this large painting by my dad has followed me from room to room, house to house for over twenty years now

do you like our 'busy' fridge?

our kitchen is a mish-mash of odd pots, bowls and dishes~i love my huge, but heavy, wooden chopping board which i oil regularly

for jugs of iced tea~i gained a taste for it on my trips to america and canada and it always brings back wonderful memories

we still have not re-decorated after having our new kitchen fitted

beautiful sea glass & a cockeral from madiera

decoration at the back door

rosemary~rowan wand & handfasting invite for joining of two beautiful souls

our resident piskie

one of my piles of books which are scattered around the house

lake tahoe has a special place in my heart and i found this ash tray from one of the old hotels in Tahoe, harveys, not in amaerica but here in england

down there somewhere is harveys!

harveys at ground level~1998