It doesn't get much better than an 1800's haberdashery turned Parisian flat.

All good, but my clumsy butt would need a *railing*!

I love a pink chaise...

Hello, original wood cabinets!

no words...

New York Times

A Room with a View

For all of us Europhiles, here is a delightful view; (and a respite from all things scary or spooky.)

Have a great Sunday!!

(a b&b in florence.  sigh.)

~samhain blessings~

~sending the brightest of samhain blessings to all my readers~

so here we are again, it seems like only yesterday the end of the Celtic year was upon us.


i am feeling a great sense of serenity today as i bid farewell to the light.

i am planning a day of peace a further step in my soul journey~a walk in the woods, quiet time with my oracle cards, time in the garden to let the old drift away in the chill breeze allowing space for the seeds of the new to take hold, journaling~just being me, in peace with the day and the spirits around me


the ancestors are crowding close at this time of the thinning of the boundaries and the wild hunt.

the dark half of the year is upon us so we can turn our thoughts inwards, to think of new beginnings, of rebirth coming from the seeds in the dark earth, to reach inwards and embrace the energy that this time brings with meditation, inner exploration and making connections with the spirits.

it is a time to adjust in the way nature around us has~death has taken the old in order that the new be reborn with the coming of the light.

its a time to nurture our ideas and dreams~what will you nurture at this time?

~earth pathways & mead~

i popped into one of our neighbouring villages burley yesterday with swampy to buy my 2011 copy of the Earth Pathways Diary

of course if i had my wits about me i would have avoided burley like the plague this weekend of all weekends.

for those of you who do not know, burley has a very long history connected to witchcraft and this was where sybil leek lived for a while.

so this 'halloween' weekend the place was running with children and a few adults in fancy dress~sensibly we parked up in the woods a short walk from the centre of the village and so enjoyed a walk among the trees.

The place was heaving and instead of being able to have my usual peaceful browse in a coven of witches i quickly scurried in picked up my diary and a copy of pagan dawn, paid and hurried out again.

then i battled the crowds to make my way to the shop that sells fruit and vegetable wines to buy my samhuinn tipple~a bottle of locally made mead.

the rest of the day passed peacefully, a walk in the woods with flynt~who was a bit of a monkey and would not go back on his lead to come home, and i ended the day in bed, wrapped in prudence looking through my new diary and reading pagan dawn

~dear prudence~

this is one of the cushion's we bought last week~finally we have cushions~one day we will finish our home.
its so nice to be able to lay on the sofa and have something nice and soft to rest my head on.

alongside the cushion is my 'prudence' a smallish blanket that i find useful now i have been suffering my hot flushes
(no moontime since july and hot flushes...hmmmm)
i wear layers, a vest top covered by a lose short sleeve linen top with the top layer being Prudence who i can fling off when the hot flush becomes unbearable and gather back around my shoulders when the post-flush chill hits.

'prudence' comes from Brian Sewell's 'Grand Tour' and he has said of them~

'I commend the Flannel Prudence, the half-acre of cream flannel bound with silk that young men on the Grand Tour in the 18th century threw about their shoulders when the temperature dropped'

...or to put it another way~it is prudent to cover up when the chill hits.


my sister brought some goodies from her trip to the isle of wight last week

i have to say the ginger beer in the very heavy stoneware bottle was the best ginger beer i have ever tasted~very hot and of course the bottle now makes up part of my kitchen decoration.
the mushroom mug is chessell ware from the island~i used to get a piece of boscastle pottery from her yearly but now she has changed destination i have to find other ways and means of adding to my boscastle collection.


i also bought myself a coat~not a new one but recycled from someone else.

its one from gudrun sjoden a swedish designer whose company makes the most beautiful, if somewhat eccentric, clothing~so of course i adore it.

'i like colourful clothes with individuality that tells people something about your lifestyle.
my aim is to spread happiness and make the everyday a little more beautiful'

~never far away~

sometimes i feel i have been neglecting my path~as you have seen from the odd post here~times when i feel i have stepped off of my spiritual path and gone somewhat adrift, taking a winding path that is somewhat parallel to my usual one thorough the forest.

but i realise now that i never actually do step off my path, i never lose sight of it and it never releases its grip on me either.

the small things i do daily, those things which have become part of my everyday is in fact part of my soul journey.

~come for a walk~

it was a lovely morning for a walk today.
i woke up to blue skies and it was chilly but oh so nice to be out

every holly tree is laden with bright red berries~i still say we are in for a hard winter

plenty of rose hips are on the bushes...but i think people were there before me as a lot of them are a bit of a reach!

the green bracken of summer has now become either a golden brown or red~some of the ponies fur matches it exactly

crab apples litter the ground~next year i shall be making crab apple jelly
hey its me!


i started gathering my rose hips this afternoon but my bag caught on a bramble and ripped~which made swampy laugh~so i only had a handful.
tomorrow i will be taking a Tupperware box and on the way home found a long line of untouched bushes near where we walk so hopefully i will be able to gather the two pounds i need.
i noticed some sloes but don't think that at this time of year i will be able to gather enough to make use of.
next year i plan to be much more organised.


now i am home in the warm, with candles lit and 'the darling bids of may' has just come on the tv~so i shall say goodbye for today!

~back in time~

as we walked flynt this morning it seemed we were surrounded by dark clouds and a chill wind had drifted across the forest~not long after we arrived home and made warm drinks it became very dark and poured with rain~

it did not last and now the clear blue sky has returned but the sun no longer really warms


i realised i forgot to tell you about my bag~my bum bag to be exact

here it is being modelled by yours truly before one of our walks across the forest...

generally i use my corduroy/patchwork shoulder bag but for a few weeks now, because of the pain in my neck, shoulders and back i have found that the bag hanging over my shoulder caused more pain.

i was thinking about it one evening (what does that tell you about my life that i sit thinking about bags?) and suddenly remembered my younger festival days, the days when the price of festival tickets were in double figures and sleeping in a tent was fun (sorry i have been spoilt by the luxurious house on wheels that swampy has built me and i love the huge, comfortable bed in 'pretty pagan')

*i am rambling*

back then i had a nice little patterned fabric bum bag that held my essentials and strapped comfortably around my waist, one would be perfect for me now~funnily enough i encountered another bb lover while at vanfest and i think the image must have stayed in my mind for it to pop up in such a random fashion.
leslie and her little dog louis camped near us for the week in her camper she had been living in for some time (and what a cosy little house it was and i have to say she had the most lovely dreadlocks~most envious)

*am i rambling again? i think i am...*

anyway a quick search online i found and ordered the bb and it arrived two days later.
of course it meant i had to move things from my big bag into the bb~this i did earlier today...

*the little blue 'stanley' purse actully holds my migraine tablets, some anadin extra and a solitary diclofenac sodium
*burts bee's lip balm...actually make that three burts bee's (i am a bit of a lip balm addict)~the original with peppermint oil, honey and a 'replenishing' one with pomegranate oil i discovered while in new york and could not pass it by!
*a tin of trillium organics lavender and geranium shea butter~another find from new york
*a pack of cherry honey ricola 'swiss herb drops'
*tisserand 'de-stress'oil~previously seen on my bedside table
*my blackberry

~unseen items are a solitary dog poop bag, my purse in the shape of an owl and a small bottle of majmua attar oil (thank you luna~if you read this!)

i have to say i feel quite liberated on my walks now with my hands free~although i have to say my hands have been in pockets this past few days and i forget my gloves.


i also forgot to show you some tins i bought for the kitchen...

we are finally, almost, finished with getting our little house up together and how we like it. its taken over two years and we have only one floor to lay and two rooms to paint.
i have been trying to introduce some splashes of color and so when i saw these tins i thought they would be perfect for our kitchen~the top one holds my tea lights, the middle one my finn crisp (they are very moreish and perfect for snacking on)the large one will be for the 'naughty' biscuits~such as shortcake and jaffa cakes.

i also put out my samhuinn decorations...

...oh and rose hip syrup is the plan for tomorrow~there are so many where we walk that i am sure the birds will not mind me taking a bagful to make this lovely winter syrup.

hope you are all having a lovely weekend

~a week~

its been a lovely week here in the forest~chilly with lots of blue sky and sunshine and heavy frosts. just perfect for me.

too cold to go out in my pyjamas i took this through the window!

i have been busy in the evenings, working to finish the scarf i am crocheting from the shadow tweed
all being well i shall put the finishing touches to it today.

i have also been slowly putting things out to celebrate samhuinn

these were given to us from my mum who bought them in the village~today i will put out the rest of my collection.

we put up some shelves this week~the box has a twin that sits next to it, they both hold my crochet projects.
the other shelf has evolved into cody's shelf~his kong and bear i brought him from new york and the box that holds his collar and other little items. the fluffy bear was a gift my sister had bought him while in california a few days before we lost him.

our room does not look as bare as the photo hints at.
the shelves sit in a alcove to one side of the fireplace and the wall is a chalky grey while the fireplace wall is a warm sage green.
i have lots of plants and blankets and candles which makes the room feel very cosy~i wish i could convey this in photos...i guess there is a project for me!

to celebrate the ever increasing cold and the long dark nights i have been burning candles that bring the scent of cinnamon, cloves and oranges into the house in green and blue glass holders to they send out lovely jewel like lights...

...and yule came early with the sampling of this swedish festive drink

it tasted of burdock and was very enjoyable~so i shall be buying a few more to put away in my yule cupboard


i have been going for walks twice a day with swampy and flynt.
i am in a bit of a catch 22 situation~my m.e and fibromyalgia gives me constant exhaustion and pain but my diabetes and high cholesterol means i need to have some exercise.
so off i go each day~luckily we live in a truly beautiful place and the forest is on our doorstep.
its easy to ignore aches and pains when there is so much to see and appreciate



the pigs are still out for pannage and we met this lovely one when heading out for one of our walks~busy eating all the acorns under the oak. on our way back he/she had moved on in search of more food or to find its bed for the night among drifts of leaves and bracken.


sorry, fuzzy again as i forgot the camera~i always see exciting things when i forget it~