Manners

I don’t often rant. I prefer trying to get along with people, trying to see things from their side but recently both personally and in the news there seems to be a deplorable lack of manners.

I am not talking about politicians, reality stars, bored teens on the street and the like. These people never seem to be polite and I don’t expect it but the person standing at the bus stop who you say good morning too, the shop assistant who is packaging your new clothes, even the community policeman walking down the street. These types of people, everyday people like you and I. These people I expect to have some basic manners.

When as a society did it become ok to swear at someone for say good morning, when did it become ok to use swear words that even sailors rarely use, why is it now acceptable to not say please and thank you when someone helps you or holds a door open for you.

This lack of manners may seem trivial but it is an outward sign of lack of respect. So many have no respect for other people, other living things, the world we live in and ultimately themselves.

At the heart of Druidry is respect and it is a quality that I love. To ask not take, to say thank you, to be humble and to appreciate others efforts, to respect others point of view and beliefs.

Yes the person who tried to talk to you at the bus stop intruded on your thoughts but it may be the only conversation that person has today and they are lonely. Yes the person who telephoned you at work interrupted you but they have their job to do too and it is no less important to them than yours is to you. Yes you have been asked that question a thousand times but not by this person and to them the answer may be important.

I am always polite, sometimes after taking a deep breath but it really costs me nothing and makes life far more pleasant. Maybe if I am polite then it will rub off on the people I interact with. Maybe I am just naïve but maybe, just maybe, things could get a little better one please or thank you at a time.

Bright Blessings,

Helen

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note – the image above came from Pixabay, a royalty free image website however if the image has been used wrongly, let me know and I will remove it.

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Another blanket!!

So, sometimes you just can’t resist. We are partway through renovating the kitchen, having got a quote, I picked myself up off the floor when I looked at the installation charges (£93 to erect a cupboard) and then decided to do it ourselves. It is a lot of work and a steep learning curve but the internet and You Tube are great resources. Anyway I told myself “no more crafty projects until the kitchen is done”, yes I can hear you laughing too!

Well browsing round the internet one evening after mastering how to level a cupboard I came across a beautiful CAL (crochet along), it is the Seaside Stash Busting Blanket run by Eleonora from Coastal Crochet – http://www.coastalcrochet.com .

I am a bit late to the party but it is so lovely and easy to stitch that I am flying along. I started on the red and blue blanket using aran wool, I had loads left over from a project I was going to start but never quite did. It is a lovely heavy blanket that will be perfect for cold winter days. As I was working on it one of my sons started taking an interest, eventually asking if he could have it when it was finished. Of course he can, I was quite emotional that he liked it that much he wanted it for his room. It means so much more when someone asks for something you have made rather than just politely saying thank you when you gift them something. I am not always sure whether they are just being polite or whether they really like it.

Thing is I also really like the blanket, so what is a girl to do but make another one! So I am now making a second blanket alongside the first one though this one is a much more colourful one as I am using up odds and ends of left over wool. I love this one just as much and I am still loving the pattern. It is one of those easy flowing ones that you can do whilst watching TV, currently watching the re-runs of Game Of Thrones. Well I might have missed something the first 3 times I watched it.

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So, I will keep you updated on the blanket,

Bright Blessings,

Helen

Winter Solstice

I hate being cold, I hate waking up in the dark, I hate that at this time of year when I leave the house to go to work it is dark and when I come home it is dark. I feel like hibernating. However this time of year is good for us. It is a time of rest, a time to gather the energy needed for the year ahead. It is a time of healing, as the Danish would say it is a time for “Hygge”.

I use this time to evaluate the previous year, to look at my success and my fails. I make lists, lots of lists. Lists of things I would like to accomplish in the coming year, lists of plants I would like to grow, lists of things I would like to make. These are not New Year’s Resolutions but plans that I will put into action as we emerge from the dark time of year.

The Winter Solstice or Alban Arthan as Druid’s call it or Yule for most Pagan’s, is not the end of winter, in fact the coldest time of year is yet to come, it is the point when light starts to return to the earth. We pay respects to the spirits at the setting of the sun on the shortest day and welcome the longest night. There are usually bonfires involved and mulled wine. Mistletoe is a must and should not ever touch the ground from the moment it is cut until it is hung in your house. A sacred circle and drumming feature in our rites too.

One of the traditions with my family involves the Yule Log. We get our local tree surgeon to drop off a large piece of wood, either a round or a log about 50cm long. This is then decorated for the Solstice period. You can go mad with ribbons and tea lights. Part of this is burnt in the Yule fire, then at each of the eight festivals of the year another piece of this log is cut off and burnt in the festival fire. The final bit being burnt at the following Yule. This means that you are connecting each celebration, creating a web that goes throughout the year.

I was lucky enough this year to celebrate the Solstice at Stonehenge. It is so peaceful there. You can connect to the earth and the environment at a fundamental level. You come away feeling nurtured and re-energised. If you ever get the chance to visit this ancient landscape then please leap at the opportunity.

I hope you had a peaceful Yule and are looking forward to Imbolc.

Bright Blessings,

Finished Herb Wheel

Well it’s done, the wheel has developed more than I imagined but I am so pleased with it.

I have the 8 compass lines in giving me 8 segments, one for each festival.

Imbolc, the first festival of the year is in the North/North-West segment with the other festivals following round clockwise.

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The herbs in each section so far are:

  • Imbolc – basil, chive.
  • Ostara – curry, coriander, oregano.
  • Beltane – sorrel, spearmint.
  • Litha – thyme, chamomile.
  • Lughnasadh – verbena, fennel.
  • Mabon – parsley, sage.
  • Samhain – chocolate mint.
  • Yule – rosemary, sage, eau de cologne mint.

My middle son kindly made me some plant markers by stamping old spoons, some of the plants are quite small and new so needed some identification. I have also planted some lobelia around the edge of the wheel to give it some pretty colour.

 

However I still felt something was missing. The center was empty and crying out for something special. I thought of planting a bay tree or olive tree there but instead decided to let my creative juices flow and go with and idea I had seen on Pinterest. A sign post!! Well doesn’t every garden need one?

So began a weekend of cutting arrow shapes, sanding them smooth (courtesy of second son again), choosing places from my favourite novels, drawing the names onto the arrows, painting them, varnishing and finally attaching the arrows to a post in the center of the wheel. It is amazing what you can do with some old pallets.

We now have directions to Winterfell, Narnia, Hogwarts, Avonlea, Wonderland, Hundred Acre Wood, Rivendell, Pemberley, Ankh Morpork and Magrathea, I love it. A small bit of whimsy in a restful space.

I am so pleased with how my herb wheel has turned out and fresh herbs just outside the kitchen is pure luxury. I still have a herb wish list but that will have to wait until the spring seed planting I think.

Thank you for stopping by,

Bright Blessings,

Helen.