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.
It’s official. We’ve reached the full moon in April and Easter has begun. Different people celebrate for varying amounts of time. I think I’ll keep my Easter decorations up until May Day.
We had some lovely weather over the weekend, up into double figures. There were the first BBQs of the year (I smelt them from a distance) and I ate in the garden.
Today I’ve had a bit of a tidy up in the back garden, dressed my alter with fresh flowers from the from garden and planted some sunflower seeds in a pot to get them started.
Nothing exciting but it words for me. Going now, out of spoons.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am on holiday for the first time in 16 years. I’m in Paris with two of my closest friends. We got a bit lost but made it eventually. We are now watching the Olympics and drinking tea.
I’ve had some good news and a brilliant peice of feedback on the manuscript for my first novel. I don’t normally write about my writing her but I wanted to share sonme good news for a change.
I applied to study the MA Creative Wrtiting course at the University of Lincoln and they sent me an unconditional offer this afternoon by email. I immediately replied and accepted the offer. I have the last bit of financial paperwork to send off tomorrow after sewing club and then I wait for the enrolment paper work to come. I’m rather excited; it’s part time, one day a week but it’ll help me get out of the house and go for a train ride once a week, plus I’ll get some professional training and help with the writing.
That brings me to my next bit of news. On Saturday I went to a local writers event at Grimsby Library to do some networking and find out what platform people prefer for publishing their books. It was very interesting, I was given four books to review and one of the authors, Joy Wood, asked if I’d like her to read my MS. and she’d give me some feedback. I was flttered obviously; I can’t imagine anyone outside of my family wanting to read my stuff, but I sent it to her Saturday afternoon. She emailed me last nigtht full of praise for my novel.
I’ve finished your book, and all I could say is wow – you certainly have a great talent! Your writing flows beautifully. The story was well thought out, and the writing so good, if felt more like I was watching it rather than reading it.
Joy Wood, Author
Poh-tay-toes, boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew!
Honour to you Ing, Bringer of Peace and Good Seasons, for full bellies and fresh food from the Earth.
I’ve just emptied my potato growing bag for the first earlies I planted in spring. Not a huge harvest but theyll keep me going.
My peas and beans have started to flower so hopefully I’ll be harvesting them in the next few weeks. I’ve been taking salad leaves for the last couple of days. My strawberry plants are flowering and putting out new runners, which I will be carefully cultivating to get more plants. I’m very excited about my pear trees; they seem to be thriving this year and I should have four or five pears to harvest.
Also, meet Hubert, birthday dragon and house/garden guardian.
Cute little begger, ain’t he?