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Lost in Lindsey

The Thoughts and Adventures of a Lincolnshire Polytheist

Just sharing something

If you’re in the UK the Woodland Trust, based in Grantham, Linconshire, but with woodlands all around the the country, are offering free tree seed packs to people.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/seeds/

They hope to increase the tree cover in the UK from the current 13% by planting 64,000,000 trees by 2025. I encourage my readers in the UK to join in if you have the space or could plant tree somewhere unofficial. I have ordered my pack of seeds – they contain rowan, dog rose, alder buckthorn and holly seeds in compost ready to germinate. These trees provide food and shelter to many birds and small animals, and make a reasonable hedge. I plan to document the progress of growth and hopefully planting.

I’m cold: an update

Hi peeps,

I know, I’m not keeping this blog up to date at all. However, I have a legit reason for that. It’s cold, wet and generally manky and I’ve been focusing on studying for my MA, and haven’t been out anywhere. It’s quiet here today, if I ignore the snoring dogs and the whirr of the heating system.

Last Sunday I took a trip with a friend to Alkborough, where, from Julian’s Bower, a turf cut labyrinth one can see the confluence of the rivers Trent, Ouse and Humber. It is a very special place, and I’ve written about it before.

I did take pictures but I can’t find them right now. I’m having problems sending them from my tablet to my laptop. I’ll figure it out eventually.

After visiting Alkborough we went to Water’s Edge in Barton-Upon-Humber for a coffee, picnic and duck feeding. The wild fowl are starting to pair up and get aggressive with each other. It was very interesting and I recommend a visit if you’re in the area. It’s free to go in and the food is yummy. You get a good view of the Humber too.

Last Saturday was Imbolc for those who follow the eight-fold wheel of the year. I don’t. The weather isn’t getting any better, and the bulbs I planted are reluctant to put in an appearance. Some of my flowers have been blooming all year. The only sign that spring is on the way is the lengthening days. I’m waiting until Easter before I celebrate anything.

Better go, the studies call me.

 

Midwinter’s Eve

Tonight is the longest night, dark and cold. I’m wrapped up warm in my pjs and fleece dressing gown with my crochet. I’ve been watching iPlayer while crocheting but my fingers were aching so I stopped. There are quite a few programmes I need to catch up on. I’ve been in bed most of the day.

Image result for Yule

Continue reading “Midwinter’s Eve”

I got the blues

The winter blues.

Mostly caused by lack of money. I always have no money but at this time of year it’s even more pressing. I don’t spend much on Yule gifts, limiting myself to £5 per person and only getting for my very closest family and friends, but I do have to post parcels out to people which costs, amd I have to travel to visit people. Also costs. Tomorrow I’m going to Sheffield to see my friend there. She wants to see ‘Rogue One’ and I don’t not want to see it, so we’re going, and then to the Handmade Burger Co. after for dinner. This is an expensive afternoon, even with my student card.

I have plenty of food in, I did a big shop yesterday. Everyone’s gifts have been bought, the kids all have their £10 notes tucked in among the sweets, all but one parcel has been sent. The train tickets are paid for. I’ve put money away to pay my bills next week.

I’ll be okay.

Except, I’ve been refused PIP again and now I have to go through the hassle of appealing. I don’t think I’m up to it. I got the letter yesterday and I’ve been in a slump ever since. I’ve tried to be normal today and get on with my jobs but my back is hurting too much and I can’t find the motivation to even write the letter requesting a statement of reasons. 

I’m supposed to be going to see a friend this afternoon but I don’t know if I want to get dressed. Spending the day in my pyjamas seems like an awfully good idea right now.
This post is entirely personal and has nothing to do with my beliefs. 

A little walk in the woods

I spent a good hour and a half walking in the woods and fields around the village of Kirmington earlier today, with my friend Nicky. It was only a couple of miles but I managed to find my stick, which I think is going to be my staff for ritual purposes, but mainly it’s a good solid walking stick. It even has a kink at the right place for my hand and fits perfectly.

Anyway, here’s a few of my pictures from today

The arches in the stonework of this church are interesting. I wonder if it was once larger?

Review: ‘Zen for Druids’ by Joanna van der Hoeven

Good evening. I’m spoiling you all aren’t I? Two posts in a week(ish).

I normally reserve reviews for my other blog, rosemariecawkwell.wordpress.com, but I thought I’d write this one here for a change. It seems relevant. I have a standard format for reviews, which, if you’ve ever been to my other blog, you’ll probably be familiar with. Onwards then.

Published by: Moon Books

Publication Date: 25th November 2016

I.S.B.N.: 9781785354427

 

Price: £8.99

Book received free in return for an honest review (My reviews are always 100% honest)

Official blog; Website 

Continue reading “Review: ‘Zen for Druids’ by Joanna van der Hoeven”

I should write more often

But I’m terrible at keeping up a correspondence with anyone.
I’ve been busy with my MA for the last seven weeks and I’ve just handed in my first assessment. I am also broke. That’s normal for me, I suppose, but I wish it wasn’t. Studying is going well amd it’s good to be back in am academic setting even if it is only one day a week. Actually, one day a week suits me, since I end up spending the next day exhausted, sleeping or curled up on the settee crafting. I’m in love with the university library, and it’s great to be able to discuss writing with my peers. I’m hoping to go to a writer’s conference next year. Some of my classmates are going so I should be able to get through it without too much panic, I just have to find the money for the ticket and train fare.

Winter is finally here, we had our first hard frost on Friday. It was great, I love a good frosty morning. Don’t enjoy the cold so much but that’s what layers are for. There’s something clean and cleansing about a hard frost in winter, when the air bites and breath smokes in the clear skies.

I’ve been ill, with a cold. I’m in to week three and I think I’m finally feeling better though I gave people a scare on Wednesday at Lincoln train station. I suddenly lost the ability to breathe, it felt like there was no room in my lungs. Asthma, it’s a sneaky bitch. I have also had my flu jab, because flu is viral hell and I’d rather not get that sick ever again. If you’re in one of the groups recommended to get a ‘flu vaccine and covered by the NHS, I heartily encourage you to get it, not only to protect yourself but to protect those who rely in herd immunity for protection. If you aren’t in the groups recommended to get the vaccine free from the NHS, but can afford to pay for it then I would encourage you to, for the same reasons. We all have a responsibility to look after the vulnerable in our communities and vaccines are a simple yet effective tool in doing so.

We’re in to Blodmonath in the Anglo-Saxon calendar, the blood month or sacrifice month when the herds were thinned to get through winter. It is the final harvest. I suppose it could be considered fitting that Remembrance Day takes place in November, the origin if which should have been the final harvest, the war to end all wars, a day of mourning for the bereaved. Unfortunately, the whole purpose seems to have changed from mourning to militarism. In the early days the parades were made up of grieving families, later, after the Royal British Legion got heavily involved – it is their biggest fundraising event -, as they still are, the parades became heavily militaristic with soldiers taking centre stage. The whole meaning of Remembrance Day has been co-opted in to jingoistic support for war, and the symbolism of the poppy a toy for right wing parties to throw around and bully people with.

The white peace poppy arose in 1933 as a response to what people saw was happening with the red poppy symbol. The Peace Pledge Union has been steadily and steadfastly promoting the symbol ever since. I only heard about the peace poppy a few years ago and I’ve slowly come round to the idea of wearing a white poppy or not wearing any poppy at all. 

I was brought up to always wear a red poppy in November and that not wearing one, not donating, was disrespectful to the dead and to those service men and women still fighting. It makes me uneasy to walk past air or army cadets with their boxes of paper poppies ob a string round their necks and collecting tins in hand; both because they are children wearing soldier’s uniforms and I find that sick, and because I still have the urge to donate due to social pressure. 

Politicians don’t care about soldiers, they use them to score points off each other. If they actually cared as much about soldiers and their surviving families as they do about poppy  symbolism then charities to support them, whether it’s the RBL or Help for Heroes, wouldn’t have to exist.

I’d rather support the cause of peace, and honour the original intention of Remembrance Day: never again. 

For more on the PPU and the peace poppy see here.

I’m going to attempt to sleep now since it is 1.41 a.m.

Bye

I declare, winter is here

I had to put the heating on yesterday morning. 

It’s that in between time when it’s freezing in the morning and the late afternoon but during the day it’s boiling, or at least tolerable. I never know what to wear.

I’ve started my MA at The University of Lincoln. I had my first day of seminars and workshops last week. It’s only one day a week, and one workshop plus one seminar per day, but I’m enjoying it, and it’s exhausting me slightly. It’s all the walking I have to do. It’s only a three mile walk to the train station but once I add in getting from Lincoln station to university and then back home again it adds up. Plus, people all day long, chattering constantly. They don’t seem to understand the concept of silence. The train is bad in the evening, one carriage for all the people leaving work etc. I end up squished, tired, overwhelmed by noise and really grumpy.

Last Saturday I took a trip to Leeds to see the Staffordshire Hoard exhibition at The Royal Armouries. It closed on Sunday so we just managed to see it. The exhibition was called ‘Warrior Treasures’, and ficused on sword furniture found in the Hoard. It was very interesting and there was some basic background information that I needed for my research (my next novel will be set in the late seventh century and the wars between Mercia and Northumbria). Overall though, I think they could have tried for a bit more dept to the exhibition. I did like the structure of the space and the Beowulf quotes, as well as the reconstruction of the damaged artifacts.
A few of my photographs from the visit


In other news, a Lincolnshire Heathens Facebook page has been set up and there is a moot tomorrow. It’s a closed group but easy to join if you send a request. Just search ‘Lincolnshire Heathens’ if you’re in or near Lincolnshire and are interested in heathenry.

The moot details are here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1578163785826197/?ref=4&action_history=null&source=4

I’m not a mod or anything by the way, I just think it’s nice that someone is trying to get a community together. There tends to be a lot of isolation and internet only communication among heathens (which I don’t mind, that’s my preferred form of socialising). Local groups are useful even if it’s just to remind people they are not alone.

Summer’s End; what shall we call it?

Afternoon, faithful but often disappointed by my lack of content, readers.

I’ve just got back from my weekly sewing group and we’ve started on the Christmas crafting. Yep it’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to gluttony and gifts. Before that we have Halloween though and of course in the pagan community it’s ‘Mabon’in a week. 

I do not celebrate Mabon; the name ‘Mabon’ has never been associated with the autumn equinox, it is the name of quite an obscure god appropriated by early members of the witchcraft tradtions as a festival name in the 40’s and 50’s. There is no reference to celebrations for the autumn solistice in any survivng Anglo-Saxon or Continental Iron Age literature, that I kniow of. That being said, September is called ‘Haligmonath’, christianised to ‘Harvestmonath’, by Bede in his Ecclisiastical History. It’s a holy harvest month; the grain harvest is long over, what we’re bringing in now is the fruit – apples and pears, blackberries, rosehips and sloes. The fruit of the orchard and hedgerow. The stuff that stored, pickled, made in to jams and steeped in alcohol provided a source of fruit through the winter. 

Next weekend I’ll be celebrating that harvest, thankful for the fruit that my ancestors survived on and thankful for the free food I find as I take the dogs out for a walk, or go for a stroll myself. I’ll be with a bunch of druids and pagans who have a different religious calender to me; we each will find different meaning in the same celebration, each as valid as the other.

If I don’t call Mabon ‘Mabon’, what do I call the autumn equinox? 

Nothing. Well, the autumn equinox, I suppose. But as a celebration? To me it doesn’t have a name. Haligmonath is the name of the month, a time to celebrate the fruits and last harvests. I might choose to celebrate it all month or I might choose to celebrate on a specific day, or I might do both. Joining other pagans in a festival is a bonus and I’ll take a different meaning from it than my friends who are druids or who are exclectic pagans, or who are Christo-Pagans. 

There’s room enough for us all to find our own meaning’s and to use whatever name fits.

My weekend ‘to do’ list:

  • Forage cooking apples, eating apples, brambles (if there are any left), sloes.
  • Learn how to make use of rosehips; forage rosehips.
  • Collect firewood if the rain stops long enough for them to dry out.

Best be off.

Rose

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