July 13, 2011

Walk on the wild(ish) side

Let us continue our walk through the woods shall we?
 There are many paths we could take, some like this are not as easy if you have restricted mobility but nice to take a peek down.
 Imagine who or what you could meet as you meander down this lane.
 More apples ripening in the sun
More flowers for your viewing pleasure

 the Buddhlea is flourishing here, it loves waste land and will gain a toehold anywhere it can.
 there were hedges of it

 Rowan berries almost ready for collection for making jelly. Excellent with venison or cheese

 the plant below reminds me of one we used to take stalks of and suck, it was very sour like rhubarb and we dipped it in sugar. I don't say this is the one so don't try this at home:)
 Just look at this beauty anyone know what it is?

Comfrey or knitbone an old country remedy and one plant that the bees adore.

EDITED TO ADD the yellow flower is toadflax, thank you Jane:)

Banks of flowers

Today we had a little meander to a newt pond. We haven't been there since  very early this year and it has now been fenced off.Sadly dog owners were letting their dogs loose and they were trashing the pond as they went in and out. All the bank and marginal plants were destroyed.
The good news is that the fencing seems to be helping. while we walked around I took a few pictures. I love this walk as the paths are wide and wheelchair,pram and crutches friendly.
The crab apples are swelling nicely

 It almost looked like an old cornfield
 The Rosa Rugosa hips are massive, I wonder if they are any good for rosehip syrup?
 Lots of varieties of cranesbills
 and other flowers I don't know?
 We saw lots of water snails in the newt pond but couldn't see any newts.
 The colours were stunning and we virtually had the place to ourselves
 The seed heads are just as beautiful as the flowers
 Can you see one of my totems watching from the tree?
maybe here?
 I like this walk because there is such a variety of plants to be seen. It is close to a power station and the company take care of the site.
 Blackberries will soon be ready for collection and I can't wait. My freezer stock is almost gone.
I know convolvulus or bindweed is a pest but pictures like this remind me that there is beauty in everything.
 Isn't it gorgeous?
 Can you see the lizard in the above picture?
 A lushness everywhere I looked
 A man made stone circle
paths to who knows where?
Another post to follow as there are many pictures

July 11, 2011


A most glorious day today with sunshine and warmth. Does my bones good to feel the heat. Mr Mog is out in his shed playing, working on his train layout. I can hear him singing along to Status Quo and it sounds good.
Days like these are to be savoured, to be stored up against the unknown.
Thank you so much for the comments on my posts. As you can probably tell I've started to enjoy writing again. It helps to get the chatter out of my head. It has certainly made me feel much better about things. After all I remember a saying my Nanny had. "/The Goddess never gives us more than we can manage". So if you are listening my Lady please remember this.
This feels like a lull, a suspended moment to recoup energies, to be prepared. A week today we visit the oncologist and see how the tests are doing and if things have progressed any more. That is when we have to make decisions on Mr Mog's care. I say we but to be honest I can't make those decisions, much as I love Mr Mog and would do anything for him. This decision has to be his. It is awful to have to stand back, to remain silent. Obviously we have discussed things but that is all.
Mr Mog has a blood test tomorrow ready for next week, I've just rung the nurse to ask her to look at his body, there appears to be a rash, almost like lots of new moles coming. Now Mr Mog insists he had these already but he didn't. Yes he has a lot of moles but not these. I haven't argued but have asked the nurse to check it out, just in case it is something more.
I feel like a fussy hen worrying over her chicks, if I didn't love him I wouldn't do it.
But I do, so I do.

July 10, 2011

Lavender and bees

The bees and I have an agreement where lavender is concerned. I only take a small amount this time of year and I ask permission to take stems from the various bushes. I'd guess that there is less than 2% of the total lavender crop here. I take some now for drying and more later in the season.
While we cut the stems they buzz around quite cheerfully, even landing on the stems and me. Almost as if they are checking the quality and the ammount of stems we have.
This will hang in Mr Mog's new workshop for a few weeks then most will go in the incence cupboard for mixing with other incense ingredients and for lavender bags for the fibre chests to help keep moths at bay.
The next lot will be dried for cooking and some used fresh.
I love lavender in biscuits, cupcakes,scones, sugar and lemonade to name but a few.
You can also infuse it in oil, make soap with it ,or my favourite, fizz bombs for the bath. The list is endless. Give it a try.
I never take too much at this time of year, or indeed any time. I leave a lot over the autumn as it still receives lots of  visits from the insects around at that time.
The house and workshop smell delightful with this fresh picked harvest.


It is hard to remain positive when you feel your world has been torn apart. You wonder how you will get through the next minute, the next hour.
Your heart is full to bursting with all the emotion.
Some part of you rails at the injustice, why us?
Your heart stops pounding, you take a deep breath and move on. It might be tiny steps, it might have a lot of stops in between but you do move on.
You start looking for the positive side, you explore the options.
Yes there are options.
After all you can sit and feel sorry for yourself every day, no one will stop you. It is your life.
Or, you can look on it as a new beginning. It jerks you out of the day to day and makes you appreciate what you have got. It makes you see the world differently. It gives you hope..
You got through this day and it was fabulous. What has tomorrow in store?
You are with someone you love very much and who feels the same about you. What's not to enjoy in that?
Sometimes I think that this cancer has been a good thing, it made me appreciate things more.
And that can't be bad, can it?

July 09, 2011

Holly spindles

There is something about wood. It has a vibrancy all its own, an energy, an inner spark.
All wood has it but we can pick up on that energy more in some than others.
This new drop spindle that arrived yesterday reminded me of it.
It has been cut, seasoned and shaped into the item you see before you.
It has had characters marked into it. It has been waxed or varnished. I'm not quite sure without checking with its maker.
And yet,

When I opened  the packaging  and lifted it out I felt the energy of this piece of holly.

When I wrapped fibre to make a leader for spinning I could almost feel an eagerness in the spindle to begin.

The first turns of a spindle are always an experiment, when you have purchased without trying.
You don't know if you and the spindle will click.
I am a new spindler, I've only been spinning this way for just over a month.
It is totally different to wheel spinning. In this instance it is as if the spindle and I are joined, one being.
United in a purpose. A very strange feeling but very exhilarating.
The spindle came with 2 samples of fibre cushioning it. I've spun the first offering and it flowed on the spindle beautifully.
It will make a tiny skein when plyed with itself. Not enough for a large project but perfect for something special.
A gift to be cherished and enjoyed.
The spindles first offering. What will it turn out to be?
Holly is a hardwood and tales of its uses within magic abound. It equates with fire energy and its evergreen properties signify continuing life as it survives year round. A good omen ?
It is a witch tree and a joy to behold both with and without berries.
In pagan beliefs the Holly rules over the dark or waning half of the year. Are we seeing synchronicity here? It arrived just past the Summer Solstice i.e. in the waning part of the year. There are no coincidences are there? I thought I chose Holly because I like the tree, I am seeing now that the Goddess had more in mind when the idea came into my head.

Holly stands also for warrior magic and spiritual strength, do you think it is nudging me again? Perhaps we will need that strength in the months to come.
It does however push me towards balance. I think I now may need an oak spindle , what do you think?

Oh and for those interested the spindles come from here.
Not cheap but I got a piece of magic so what price that?

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...