Tuesday, 25 December 2012

To Pagans Everywhere !

A toast from the East

With a glass of Irish Mist I toast Pagans everywhere and send a not so humble blessing

That they keep themselves sharp, lively and be very full of Fun


Long live the Sun !

in the South

Cheers me hearties !

The Great Goddess!
without whom
no ritual
can be done.

Friday, 21 December 2012

No cards or presents sent

This year Mrs H and I decided not to buy any greetings cards or gifts, instead we have made a donation to our favourite charity.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul who do so much good work for those whose need is greater than ours.

Our personal message to you all :-

To those of you who celebrate Christmas 

and to those of you who don't 

we send you 

Peace and Happiness !

Monday, 10 December 2012

WINTER: Food and Cures

A Cornish Pasty

The pasty has to be one of my favourite dishes and especially at this time of the year. This one was made quite recently by Mrs H when I was feeling slightly under the weather and her culinary skills cheered me up no end. It contains cubed swede, parsnips carrots and lean beef steak, plus white pepper and an oxo cube for additional flavour. 
It was absolutely delicious and very filling, so much so that I was unable to consume all of it at one sitting and approximately half of it became a meal on the following day  

A cough remedy

I recently suffered an irritating dry and tickly cough which disturbed me both day and night. After having tried homeopathic drosera which helped, that alone was not sufficient and so I resorted to Manuka honey to which one drop of thyme oil had been added and stirred into; the dosage I took was one teaspoonful twice a day for about four or five days which am delighted to say completely cured me.

Cayenne Pepper

Another one of my home remedies is cayenne pepper which I use fairly frequently throughout the year. It is well known for improving the circulation and has many uses; my best advice is for you to look it up on the internet and make your own decision.
I take it once a day: one teaspoonful in a small glass of cold spring water.

The Cayenne Pepper Drink

The cayenne pepper drink is extremely hot and the way I take it is have one large mouthful and to hold it in the mouth for about three seconds before swallowing down as rapid as is possible, quickly followed by drinking second glass of water to flush away any residue from the gums, of course another way to reduce the burning sensation in the mouth is to have a spoonful of honey.

I try to avoid pharmaceutical medicines and visits to medical practitioners as far as is possible, unless it is absolutely unavoidable. My preference is to eat wholesome foods, exercise regularly, do nothing to excess and maintain my height/weight ratio.
My plan is to grow old disgracefully by being a geriatric hippy !

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Important places

The Spirits that live unseen in our cottage are
most definitely feminine. So to honour them &
the Divine Feminine I brought back from Glastonbury
this figure and in her belly sit my favourite crystals.

This is the most important area of our home, in my mind
I call it the 'engine room' for from this small space is
delivered the sustenance that drives our lives.

Our array of storage pots, you will notice two coffee
jars and that is because we blend two different types
&  sometimes we make a brew from just one of them.
The brandy was there just to remind me that I still
had to make another coffee liqueur for Yule.

I have a deep curiosity of looking at other peoples 
storage cabinets when visiting their homes & so
just to correct the balance, I thought to display ours.

Our collection of jugs, pots and vases sitting safely
on a beech shelf next to the books.

Shelves of curiosities from from a quaint musical box
to willow plates, a smoker's cabinet & the requisite
drinks shelf with a dish of crystals that separate
Wine from Whisky

All of the willow ware shown here was purchased to display in Mrs H's recent series of paintings. 

I hope that you have enjoyed your visit to our home.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Trees Sleep

This is a special day it being November the 1st also the first day of Winter. Now please stand as you read on... 

The very special occasion is that it's Mrs Heron's Birthday, she is now xx years of wisdom and I am too much of a coward to enumerate here exactly how young she is. Er' you may now sit okay.

Ollie playing peek-a-boo while standing on a
carpet of leaves

Above is the largest tree in our back garden - an Ash of which is always
a delight to the eye throughout the year and I am keeping my fingers crossed
that it avoids being damaged by the dreadful fungus as are so many elsewhere.

This pair of horses live in my neighbours' grounds, they seem to spend much of their lives grazing in this field and are only missing during the warm summer months. I took this photo to tie in with the title of the blog and depict the sleeping trees.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Oliver's 2nd Birthday

Today is Ollie's second birthday

The Rufus Family

Oh look he has toes just like mine

Ollie with his friend Leah

'What is this all mine?'

'Sorry Dad but I'm too puffed out after all of that cake, to play footy
with you today'

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Magic at the Door

Our black cat Magic sits in sunshine before the door 
 cleaning up before entering. 

I not being a gardener cannot tell you the name of this shrub;
 all I can say is that when it's green leaves brightly redden 
then winter is on is on it's way

In a southern corner of our garden old roses still bloom
partnered with the luscious red Fuchsia

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Collector of Oddities

I have the habit of a magpie in that occasionally something bright catches my eye and I bring it back to our nest.

The above is a bronze plaque with a silver filigree pattern.
I think the words may be Arabic but am not certain, perhaps
someone can throw light on this ? 

Of all of the oddities this is my favourite.
It is of course a small soda syphon about 5 inches high x 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
 I can imagine it being an essential item for those who like to travel
and imbibe a whisky & soda at regular intervals!

Another plaque carved from wood and overlaid with bronze, 
it's about 4-1/2 inches in diameter. The quadrant design is a Celtic,
 cross in a circle which is as old as the hills however, I have no idea as 
to why the vertical leg is channeled out - any ideas please ?

This object is a very strong magnet, it was found
attached to the bonnet (hood) of our car and neither the 
mechanic nor myself have a clue as to why it was there.
 I look forward in receiving your suggestions!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Autumnal Equinox 22nd Sept 2012

The Equinox Sunrise this morning

Preparations towards a 70th birthday in early January
the eventual Red Plum Brandy & Peach Brandy
for the pleasure my guests !

This my new and very comfortable tub chair
(notice the orbs ?)

Monday, 17 September 2012

Our Friend - Toby

This is our faithful old Toby, whose age we estimate to be about 9 years.He is a cross bred English Sheepdog and Welsh Collie, having the character of a lovable rogue, his hearing is absolutely brilliant and so makes for a great watchdog, especially at night.

Considering his background was not that great he is very well behaved with clean habits. Toby’s first companion treated him viciously, hitting him with a broom handle, punching him, feeding him on dry bread and water. He kept him on a short chain in a concrete yard with no proper shelter all the year round and only let him free to exercise about every six weeks.

Today he stays mainly indoors as he is not fond of rain. During the days of sunshine his favourite hideaway is a shady nook under a tree or shrub from where he keeps a watchful eye on what we are doing or eating, for his vast appetite can never be sated and we are careful not to over feed him. At the first opportunity he raids the cats’ bowls and leaves them without food.

There doesn’t seem to be any food that he doesn’t like. His tastes range from garlic to lettuce leaves and he even chews turf (the burning kind).
He also has a fondness Bailey’s Irish Cream and is especially good at plying his long tongue into a neglected brandy glass and not spilling a drop whilst he licks. On that occasion he did go through the door sideways then lay down and snored for a few hours! At a recent party a young friend placed a slice of gateaux on the coffee table only to find it missing within seconds of doing so... Toby had struck again !

We took him in the back of the car to our nearest beach, 70 miles away, because Jane had an idea that he would run on the beach with her and play in the waves. No such luck ! He was back in the car as fast as his legs would carry him when he realised it was wet, cold and tasted bad.
Toby is our friend, playmate and guardian and we are his. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

No photos, no drivers - thanks to Canon

As many of you are aware I use an iMac desk top and recently installed Apples new operating system Mountain Lion OS 10.8 which is amazingly fast and smooth.

My camera is a Canon Digital IXUS 80 IS which is perfect for me with my limited knowledge of photography.

Nearly all all of the photo’s on this blog were taken with my camera. Today I am unable to display any, in fact I am unable to download any of the photo’s from my camera onto the apple application iPhoto.

The reason for this is that Canon have yet to produce any drivers to work with my camera and OS10.8 operating system. 

Twice I rang Canon to enquire about this problem. The first time after having pressed all the buttons I was cut off, on the second attempt the female techie that I was talking to spoke so quietly that I had a job to hear her and I had to as her to speak louder.
During our conversation she asked me for my email address and said that she found some drivers and would email me that information. 

You know what! I am still waiting! 

I am in a quandary now as to whether to sell the camera and buy another one but most definitely not a Canon.

I await guidance from you my readers.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

A Photo provokes memories

An old home

 My mind is churning up memories from the past and the blame for this can be placed squarely on the head of my cousin Anne T who yesterday forwarded to me a photo of my old home in Burnham-on-Sea. The house is up for sale at the modest price of  £185,000. I have no idea what my father paid for the four bedroomed property in 1947, except that it was considerably less. 

When we lived at Lynton Road the red bricks were, to my mind, a prominent and homely feature of our Victorian home. As we were a small family my mother had an idea of becoming a landlady so number twenty became a guest house. The first year she provided full board i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner but this proved to be too much work for her and subsequently she reduced it to a bed & breakfast establishment with an occasional evening meal on request.

I have a memory of there being a week when there was no hen eggs for sale in any of the shops nor even any packets of dry egg powder. So the boatmen of Burnham made a trip to one of the islands returning with sufficient eggs so that each child in the town was given one. They tasted rather salty so I guess that they were seagulls eggs!

During our time in Burnham my father managed a grocery shop in Bridgwater. My mother & I went to meet him from work and it being a Saturday the custom was that any fresh produce that had not been sold was divided up between himself and his assistant: a heated discussion (almost a fight!) was taking place inside, for there was just one banana left in the box outside of the shop. My mother told me to pick it up and be quick about eating it - which I did. The argument inside of the shop ceased immediately.

It was in B-o-S that I first went to school. Oxford Street was just around the corner and my parents sent me to St. Joseph's Elementary School (1948 - 50) which in those days was staffed by the La Retraite Nuns of the adjoining convent. Being sent there was rather odd considering that my parents were virtually pagan in comparison to our neighbours. Xmas meant presents with two days of feasting and Easter meant chocolate eggs with visits to old pagan sites up in the hills.
I enjoyed my time at the school especially the after lunch naps on raffia mats and the music lessons when I was first given a drum to play, however I was quickly demoted to a triangle and I can't think why ! The nuns stole my tender heart away with their sense of fun and the Mother Superior was like having an extra aunt, as she seemed to have an endless supply of sweets. On my last day she appeared with a large flat box of chocolates that were shared among the class and the box with two chocs left were given to me to take home. Of all of the many educational establishments that I attended, I think that this first school was the happiest.

Food in those days was always upper most in our minds. Everybody was subjected to a Ration Card with rip out tokens that had to be presented to shopkeepers before a purchase could be made. 
My father obtained some fertilised eggs which were put in a straw filled box in the airing cupboard and eventually out popped some yellow chicks, from these we kept three cockerels that were put in a purpose made cage in the back garden. Little did I know how exciting this would be on the day that my mother (she being city raised) decided to let them out for a bit of exercise. Getting them back into their run took the combined efforts of two neighbouring housewives armed with brooms to shoo them in the right direction - I think we ended up giving one bird to each of them as payment for their silence. 

Beach combing was a pastime that was carried out by all who lived handy to the shore. The sandy beach at B-o-S is the southern end of a sandy shore that is 7 miles (11km) long from Brean Down at the northern end via Berrow to Burnham. I spent many a happy hour looking amongst the seaweed for odd bits of firewood and other interesting items that drifted ashore. On the beach at Berrow were the old wrecks of two wooden vessels which greatly enlivened the imaginations of small boys of sailing to foreign places, rum, sword fights and romance with dusky maidens.
In my early boyhood days there was no suntan lotion but sunburn could be prevented by squeezing the juice from the bubbles on green bladderwrack and smearing it on the skin. Cooling calamine lotion was used to soothe sunburn. 

It is amazing the memories and reminiscences that Anne's photo have brought into my mind and for that I really need to say:  Thank you Anne!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Small tour of Cork & Kerry

We took a few days off from the treadmill of life to go sight-seeing around the counties that lie to the West and South of us.

The Shannon ro-ro ferry that plies between Killimer in Co Clare and Tarbert in Co Kerry saving  many miles tedious driving.

Shrone Beg showing the Paps of Anu in the background and in the foreground a spring well that has been venerated continuously for thousands of years; today it is known as Mary's Well, prior to that it was named after three female saints whose names closely resemble ancient pagan deities.

Inch Beach is a 3 miles long by approx. 3/4 mile deep peninsula with sand dunes and provides a natural breakwater to Castlemaine harbour to the east.

The speed limit through the small village of Adrigole on a well dressed tarmac surfaced road is safely signed as 60 km/h (35 mph) So it came as a surprise to me to see that the speed limit on twisty, stony boreen (track) was signed as 80 km/h (50 mph) ! I wonder who in Cork County Council is responsible for this bit of mis-management and whether they were sober at the time of signing the appropriate order ?

We visited Eyeries a small picturesque town where every building is painted a different colour. Eyeries nestles on high ground between the Slieve Miskish and Caha Mountains. It was holding a Family Day in aid of the local school, here amongst the many stalls we found a friend of ours selling her Eco-wares.

I am drawn like a magnet to businesses that sell good food and wine. One such place is Val Manning's Emporium at Ballylickey, a few short miles west of Bantry. Here we managed to find a table for two and in warm sunshine we feasted on Lemon Polenta cake washed down with delicious coffee and enjoyed our talk with Val, who is a legendary conversationalist with a wealth of knowledge on many subjects.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

BIRR - revisited

The Birr Civic Offices & Public Library are housed in a revitalised Gothic building that was formerly owned by the Sisters Of Mercy and designed by A.W.N. Pugin.  The library holds as part of it's treasures an illuminated copy of the Macregol Gospels, the original of which was written in 800 AD in Birr and now sits in the Bodelian Library in Oxford, England. Incidentally 2012 is the bicentenary of the acclaimed architect who works span England & Ireland

The former convent has an internal cloister and the south-eastern cloister has been extended into an internal quadrangle to provide an exhibition & tourist information area. The extension consists of a frameless glazed roof, which is supported by a masonry wall within which six old stained glass windows have been restored and relocated. The overall ambience within this building needs to be experienced to be properly appreciated, for there is so much peace and tranquility present that it as if the former occupants were still in residency.

Dr. John Feehan & Bernie in discussion

Maid, Mother & Crone (Cailleach)

Fred salutes a Lady

A profound conversation perhaps ?

Everywhere it is the paintings that sit as
silent witnesses to conversations

To read the opening speech by Dr John Feehan please visit http://theeverlivingones.blogspot.ie/

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Brú na Bóinne & exhibition extra's

The silent stone that greets visitors.

The ornate entrance gates with a triple spiral design.

From the car park the approach to the visitor
centre is via a sloping pathway covered by a

Along the entrance path the trees and shrubs are named
and the Ogham hieroglyph is shown when appropriate.

The view of the ancient monument from the upper floor of
the visitor centre, in the bottom left corner of photo the river Boyne
can be glimpsed.

Flor who kindly modelled for
the God Manannán

Flor & partner moved by the painting
perhaps ?

The Healing God Dian Cecht witnesses a téte á téte
between lovers !