I’ve been away for far too long, but it’s time I made a return and actually made an effort with this blog. Sorry, I’ve been so busy with my book blog and writing novels. I’ve published one novel and in December I’ll be publishing the second novel in the series. I may or may not have mentioned time, but I moved house in late July too and it left me very unsettled, mentally and physically. I think my hips and back have finally recovered and my mental health is fine, so long as I get my medication on time.

I’ve been to a ritual with my local pagan group, for Samhaim (sorry, I’ve probably spelt it wrong – I always get confused). It was quite affecting in the grove when the sunlight shot through the trees after a cloud darkened it. I prayed to my ancestors, mostly my paternal grandfather, William Cawkwell, and unexpectedly dreamt of my maternal great-grandfather, a Cornishman called Frank Sedgeman at Halloween.

We were arguing over whether I’d accept the inheritance of his house or not. I think my argument was I didn’t want to move away from ‘everyone’ – Lincolnshire – to live in Devon or Cornwall, and he wanted me to. I think it might have something to do with remembering that I have two sides to my ancestry – Lindsey and the north, and the South-West – , and I’ve forgotten that. I have to look after his house with all its relics too.

No one in this country is ‘pure’ anything, we are all an amalgam of our history, threads woven together from many sources and forming a vibrant cloth. Sometimes you need to look at the individual threads, and sometimes you need to step back and look at the whole, appreciating what each thread brings to the whole.

The year is turning, as we can all feel. I’m hibernating, it’s dark by half four and cold enough that I decided I had to get a set of fleecy pyjamas. My crafting brain has turned to decorations for Yule. I’m actually hosting the family Christmas Eve buffet this year. As it’s Modrenecht (again, I’ve probably spelt that wrong), Night of the Mothers, so I’m going to try to unobtrusively include some reference to that in my decorations for the event. I’m working on a Yule Nights calendar, like an advent calendar but for the twelve nights, from Midwinter’s Eve to New Year’s Eve.

I’m also panicking about what I’m going to get everyone for Yule. I have no money, and I can’t afford much more crafting materials to make things for people. It’s getting me down; I’ll come up with something but for now it’s a worry. It’s my niece’s birthday next week and I haven’t got the £10 to put in her card because I’ve got £40 to live on for the rest of the month.

Ignore that, I’m whining.

This afternoon I decided to rearrange my family and ancestor alter, and my alter to the gods and landwights. Not much, I moved one bowl from one to the other, so that I could use it as an offering bowl rather than a candle bowl. It now has tea in it. I made a cup of tea for the Matronae Lindisii and had one myself, by candle light. It’s a small ritual, drinking tea with Them and my ancestors, grounds me and helps me connect with them.

It’s that time of year when connecting with family and ancestors of place, land and blood come to the fore, with Samheim (again with the spelling!) and Yule. I think the dark encourages us to turn in on ourselves and contemplate in the darkness. We can hold back the dark with light, or we can embrace it and use the time for thought and rest, recovery from the work of summer.

Plus, it’s bloody cold out and I prefer to be warm.