June 27, 2010

Woolfest 2010

We have just come back from a fabulous weekend at Woolfest. Lots of great company, lots to see and with the added bonus of a full moon.
We took lots of pictures, well over 170, but don't worry you aren't getting them all:)

There were lots of animals, all shapes and sizes from rabbits, via Ouessant sheep to full grown sheep. These are but a few

This character was my favourite, just look at those eyes:)
There was also a large variety of textile sheep, these were auctioned off to raise money for Farm Africa
So many to choose from.

Apart from fleece, yarn and animals there was a great variety of spinning wheels, looms and other such tools.

The colours as always were very inspiring.
I think Mr Natural Dye Studio may have been scouting for Mrs NDS:)
Silk dyes the most fabulous colours.
Knitwitches Eirwen herself:)
This piece commemorates the floods in Cumbria and was very poignant.
This was the Ravelry/bloggers meeting point. A place for us all to congregate and chill out. Sadly we were moved at the last minute from the main area to a marquee. The hot weather made this a little uncomfortable. there was a real coffee stand in here and the very large almost continual queue made it hard for Ravellers to find space to sit. Added to this the route to here passed through an extremely busy cafe, another marquee and narrow doorways full of people. Wheel chairs didn't have an easy journey. I think a lot of people couldn't find us, especially as we had put lots of messages on Rav giving the stall position where we were told we would be. Despite all this quite a few people found us and it was good to meet up with friends old and new. The Wool Clip were kind to give us space to meet, I wonder if they realised the number of ravellers who would attend?

We raised £150 for the Northern Air ambulance from the sale of commemorative limited edition bags and t shirts. Plus magazines donated by a kind Raveller and of course Mr Mog wool winding. Anyone who purchased yarn could have it wound by Mr Mog for a donation to the air ambulance.
Here you see him presenting the money at the end of the show.

We didn't purchase very much at all.
Babylonglegs gave us this lovely fibre, I promise not to fight over who gets to spin it up:)
The 2 packs of fibre from Freyalyn were in exchange for a shawl I knitted. That leaves some gorgeous silk to be made into batts, a ball of Polwarth fibre from Spindlers and a roll of Ashford merino silk from the Yarnyard. Mr Mog chose all the colours except the silk, that man is getting way too keen on spinning.
We stayed with our friends on the Solway coast and were lucky enough to see the full moon rise over the Solway.

I felt very privileged to see it.

June 26, 2010


home tired but had a great time meeting up with lots of friends.
picture post tomorrow

June 23, 2010

Chalice Well what about the pagans?

Summer Solstice 2010 in Glastonbury, the energies very different this time.

Was it the amount of people, the proximity to festival time or what?

Chalice Well has certainly changed and not for the better.
Where has that combination of Pagan and Christian harmony gone to? Why has a bland interfaith correctness come in?
Why was a PAGAN festival celebrated in a Christian Jewish way?
I am all for joyous celebrations of any and every sacred day. For me that would suggest a christian celebration at say Easter or Christmas to name but 2, a pagan celebration of the 8 festivals of the wheel of the year.
That makes perfect sense to me. Sadly it would appear that the christian take over of pagan festivals and sites is still happening and with the full agreement of the Chalice Well trustees.
Chalice Well was always a place to come together for Summer Solstice, Beltaine et al,
to celebrate the Goddess and her consort in all their aspects. I can remember Beltaines past with Green Man and Green Goddess, bonfires and jumping the Bel fire, the latter not for me in actuality sadly but mentally certainly. 4.30 am on a Beltaine morning and seeing all the celebrants streaming into the Well grounds, a magical sight indeed. Not that long ago either.
This Summer Solstice celebration was a travesty. It makes me ashamed to be a Companion of the Well. To have our ancient festivals taken away yet again is unforgivable.. Yes welcome all to embrace the time of longest day and shortest night but with full acknowledgement that midsummer is and always was pagan, NOT christian.
The event started with a silent mediation and talk of connection but degenerated into far less.
A supposed, (famous on the radio) new age poet (as his very loud supporter felt moved to say) rambled on of Palestinians, Jews and Israel, why? He then wanted to take over the event further by chanting of OM.
The facilitator, if that is what you would call her, said that was for the end of the ritual. We did however get the Om prior to the end as he obviously couldn't wait. Neither could his follower, we can only call him that, who then did a Middle Eastern I think? chant. Again, why?
Why wait and honour the pagan spirit of the place, after all it is only a pagan festival midsummer?
Thankfully Matthew Holbrook was "allowed" to balance somewhat with his marvellous poem in honour of midsummer which received a well deserved round of applause. The new age man didn't get that. I wonder why?
Matthew has been absent from the past few events, I don't think by choice from what I heard from various people on the day. Probably the truth if the days event was anything to go by. His words always reflect the pagan and Druidic spirit of this land in a reverent way.
Fortunately, also, the event was ended with an incredible resonating Awen suggested by another attendee. Very powerful and very inspiring.
Wake up Chalice Well management and manage better. We pagans, druids, goddess lovers etc belong at Chalice Well equally with Christians.
Do not push us out.
It is our well also.

For me the change since the previous trustees left has been awful. Not a loving sharing Chalice Well but one losing its heart rapidly. One wonders what religion the present committee and management would put on their census forms? What proportion of pagan to christian.

A very telling aspect of how things seem to be going is shown on a photo further up. The well was undecorated on the next day. We hadn't been near enough to see if it had been decorated for Solstice but if it had then all was cleared away before next morning's opening. Not left as usual.

Rant over and it is of course only my opinion but one I am entitled to.

I leave you with a happier picture:) Taken at Chalice Well as were all the others in this post.
Happy belated Solstice.

June 16, 2010

Once upon a time

Once upon a time

A strange group of words to put together. I wonder why they did?

Why only once upon a time and not twice or thrice?

We all have a story inside us. It started to form when we were born and it unfolds day by day.
The trick is to capture that awareness and write it down.

Does it make it any more or less precious by doing so?

I don't know and I suspect that no one does. But what I do know is that for me writing down threads of it help.
It helps me to make sense of the good and the bad.

It makes me see how they all fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
They are all equally important in my life.

A long time ago a councillor suggested I wrote down everything I could remember of my life from my earliest recollections to the present time. He said it would help me make sense of what I'd done, who I was and why. It wouldn't necessarily give me answers but there would be clues.

It was a very bad period of my life and I think the act of writing kept me sane. It gave me a focus.
I wrote as things came to me, I didn't force it.
There are never any easy answers but I didn't, and don't, expect that.

What it did for me was very valuable. It showed me who I was and some of why.

I'm going back over a quarter of a century, maybe more.
Long before I got into "Morning pages"

It was a way to get the mess out of my head and in to the open, so i didn't carry it around with me.
It didn't solve everything but it gave me strength to cope.

Then I read The Artists Way and heard about morning pages and I started to journal once more.
This time it was a way to empty my head of dross and to allow my inner child artist self to have a voice. A loud voice.

It worked then and still does.

I don't have the urge to write every day but the story waits inside until I'm ready to give it a voice.

My story will keep unfolding until I leave this mortal plain.

What about your story?

Do you listen to it?

Do you write down the words it says?

You might be surprised where the story leads.
After all:-
"Once upon a time"

But remember
"They all lived happily ever after" is only a fairy tale.

June 12, 2010

Gardens and Vixen shawl

Today is not a good day pain wise. In fact it has not been a good week for me and pain, it has definitely been winning the battle.
However, the sun is shining and the garden is looking lovely. I thought you might like to see what is growing.
If you aren't interested in gardens then the shawl pictures are at the end.

We only have a small garden but Mr Mog has worked wonders with the space.

Here you see mange tout growing and flowering alongside some pink fir apple potatoes and a bamboo friends gave us last week.

Heuchera, Acer, lungwort (pulmenaria) in front of the new water feature built by Mr Mog. I love the way the water just ripples.

This is a cheapie plastic greenhouse from Wilkinsons, I think it cost £40 which for a 6ft x 4ft space is good. Came complete with shelving as well. We have several varieties of tomato, peppers and chilli peppers
The loosestrife has just flowered today, we did have the purple one as well but it hasn't made it through the winter sadly.
More varieties of potato and a tub of beetroot.
Another greenhouse,this one holds 3 tomato plants and a tub of basil in front. The middle tomato isn't doing too well it is a plum one. For some reason they never do as well for us.
More herbs
yet more, the flowers on the chives taste as good as the stalks.
Sage flowers

This rose is only 1 year old and we weren't sure if it had come through the winter as it is grown in a tub, I'm glad to say it has and the perfume is wonderful.
The vixen shawl is finished and what I hadn't realised when knitting it is how much the colours remind me of foxes.

A very easy knit, I did a few extra pattern rounds as the hand spun yarn was quite fine and the shawl looked a little too short originally.
I don't often make this style of shawl but I loved it and I've cast another on already in some glittery purple I spun. I'm going to tweak the pattern this time and and add some stocking stitch sections as well.
What do you think?

Poetry for Brigid Imbolc

  The Lake Isle of Innisfree BY  WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay a...