Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Local Trolls

I live in a very rock-strewn region of Portugal, formerly an area of volcanic and glacial activity. Many of the large boulders nearby have distinct personalities to which I have put a name.
May I introduce you to a couple:
This is Sleeping Lizard ...

and this is Mammoth.

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Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Bear bath day ...

... because Winston is going to a new home tomorrow ...
... I hope they will get along well together.

Monday, 29 March 2010


Altar for Venus in Aries. The scroll is protection for my dog, to be activated at the full moon tonight - it has a binding obligation on me too.
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Sunday, 28 March 2010

Tudo Pode Dar Certo

Had a trip to the cinema today to see the Woody Allen film from last year. I really enjoyed it, although it was more of Woody´s usual fare - exactly what his fans have come to expect.

The great thing about watching films here is they are shown in the local cultural centre, a 300-seat auditorium and, apart from our party of 4, there were only 4 other people in the theatre. On top of having the cinema virtually to ourselves, it only costs €3 a ticket - a bargain.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

I´m Feeling Out of Date

I suddenly feel the urge to get up to date. What is all this Twittering about and do I need to get involved? Do I need recognition all of a sudden?
I got myself a Twitter account - now what do I do?

Friday, 26 March 2010

Oh Pooey!

Well I for one would go back to watching if he had been selected.

Kermode not taking over Film 2010

Goddess 2 of Cups

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Another of my typical, chaotic journal pages. Once the words start to flow, I tend to turn the book around to fill up every available space, rather than turn over the page and risk breaking my line of thought.

Only trouble is, when I look back over entries like this I frequently have problems reading what I´ve written. So for my future self, here is what I wrote:

Pink - romantic love. She´s blushing - a knowing young woman. She knows that he only has eyes for her; while her eyes are looking above the physical plain she sees him fixed on. His hooded, pink cape, a sexual reference. She holds back on the second Venus cup - what he is really after. Yet he has his hand over hers on the raised cup - he dominates her in the physical realm.

The waters of their emotional life flows between them. The bridge of pink stone - like the Bridge of Sighs - shows a loss - something they are giving up on - their individual dreams? The full moon illuminates, suggesting they are at the fulfilment or culmination of something. Her eyes appear to glance at the fireflies in the moonlight, showing that she sees the magickal in this moment.

What should be a poplar tree from a romantic garden, looks in my drawing like angel´s wings on a cherubic young girl - her, all innocence to set against his lust.

Why I think she is blushing, is that she knows that she has what he wants but that she is consciously holding back on it. And why does she old back? Answer: because it doesn´t suit HER needs right now.

The Hierophant (Tradition) as Shadow

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This year, S and I have occasionally drawn one tarot card each. Today we used the Goddess deck to do this. I drew the 2 of Cups and will make a separate post of my productive journal work with this card. S drew the Prince of Staves - I will leave him to draw his own conclusions on this one.

What was most interesting, was that S had left one solitary card face down and I was drawn to uncover it as my "shadow" card for the day. This is based on an interesting tarot book I am using: "Tarot Shadow Work, Using the Dark Symbols to Heal" by Christine Jette.

The card was Goddess Juno as "Tradition", or The Hierophant. One or two of the bullet points in Jette´s book were uncomfortably close to home especially;

  • adopting principles without thinking them through or considering what they really mean in your life.
  • exhibiting hostility toward the established order while lacking an inner guide.

Here are my thoughts on this card;

  • the full moon is shining, as with the 2 of cups.
  • Juno may indeed represent tradition, but this is by no means a traditional dress she is wearing. Reminiscent of water, and therefore echoing the moon, her beautiful blue /green / purple dress emphasises the feminine side of tradition.
  • her silvery crescent headress again echoes the moon.
  • her face is pale with dark circles around her eyes. Too many late, moonlit nights maybe?
  • the peacock is a symbol sacred to Juno and peacock feather "eyes" are sometimes considered unlucky, or at least a token difficult to handle.
  • not sure what the trees are meant to be on either side of the card but, to me, they are like little orange trees. Also, the orb she has cradled in her hands, looks to me like a orange "pomander". The frieze and floor are also orangey coloured. I was thinking of the sacral chakra, which is orange, and had picked out the orange crystal (carnelian) at the same time. This connects the card to energy, power, primal drives. So, Junu´s power derives from the feminine and is rooted in her hara or sacral centre.
  • something about her slightly sideways look makes me think that she is a bit uncertain about something.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Tribute to Charlie Gillett

I´m a bit late in hearing of the death of Charlie Gillett. I will miss his broadcasts. There´s nobody else around broadcasting my kind of world music with a presentation style I enjoy.

BBC Radio 3 rebroadcasted this programme as a tribute to him. I´m not a bit fan of Manu Chao, but this is plenty of interesting music on this show. Well worth a listen.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Butternut Supper Dish

S and I just enjoyed this tasty vegetarian supper dish that he quickly knocked together. It was so simple and so satisfying; reminded me of the old days when I would have enjoyed a Corned Beef Hash.

Problem - one roasted butternut sat unloved in the fridge. Solution - peel it and add to a frying with some leftover soya burger mix. That´s it. It looked so unappetising that I didn´t even think to take a picture. But with lashings of black pepper, it was so tasty. An ideal supper for a chilly spring evening.

Dirty Dog

 The weather has swung back to wet and miserable today. A brief game with his ball outdoors left Billy soaking and completely filthy. No wonder he was pleased to come back in by the fireside.
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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Monday, 22 March 2010

Prayer Flags

 Here is GM (short for Gangamai) on Billy´s kennel. He is very like his mother, Pippy, altough he has a black nose and she has a white one.
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Sunday, 21 March 2010


 Our oldest duck decided today was Spring, and it was time to lay her first egg of the season.
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Saturday, 20 March 2010

Silly Billy

We´ve had a sad history with dogs on this land. Billy, in this photo, has been with us for four years and seems to have broken the bad luck we had with our pets before. However, this week he has started to run off for longer soirées. No doubt there is a bitch in season somewhere but what we know from bitter experience, is there are many dangers for a little dog that strays from home in this vicinity.

I prayed to Diana on Wednesday night when he didn´t come home - and gave thanks when he finally did. Not something I normally do, but I could feel myself slipping into the same mood of despair as the night progressed.

We´ve tried chaining him up at night but he howls continually and we don´t get a wink of sleep. Little darling!
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Friday, 19 March 2010

Spring Yellow

Pippy getting in on the act.

Thanks to this winter´s heavy rain, a landslip on the bank of our pond.

No wonder yellow is the colour of spring!
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Thursday, 18 March 2010

Dairy of a Broken Soul

I love this tarot deck, although I promised myself that I would never become a collector of decks. I appreciate that fact that the artist, Ash Abdullah, has provided gallery images of all the cards and the facility to make a free reading too.

I would love to be able to make my own deck one day, and perhaps I will.
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Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Olive Trees

 Olive trees seem particularly full of character, none more than those that grow on our land. Here are a couple of beautities.
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Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Moon and Saturn

 Just the end of the process that started with the pestle & mortar the other night.
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Sunday, 14 March 2010

Balsamic Moon

 Working on a little powder sachet to balance my emotions with creative drive, using the new moon in pisces.
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Saturday, 13 March 2010

Wild Mouse Ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

It´s nearly 20 years since I last enjoyed this ride. There is something very special about the old style rollercoasters; modern rides don´t come close.

FAQ About Time Travel

 This is my journal from last night. I was watching the film "Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel" and it sparked off a number of thoughts that I wanted to capture. I rather liked the "thinking cap" and it was funny that I drew it with an on/off switch - seeing as I can never turn my thoughts off for more than a few seconds!

I became a bit obsessed with trying to identify the symbol on t-shirt of Mark Wootton´s character, Toby. I think the shape is a dodecahedron, but what is the significance of the numbers? The crossed bones really made me think this was a skull and crossbones design at first glance. Anyhow, I´ve tried researching it and failed so, if anyone else can fill me in on this, I´d be most grateful.
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The "blobs" are from a purple candle I lit, dedicated to Hekate and the waning moon. I thought they looked like violet petals, which were on my mind due to my conversation with JT. My altar was dedicated to her, her mother, JL and all the "crones".

Friday, 12 March 2010

Portuguese View

 I know motorway service stations have to be sited somewhere and thankfully, some are sited with a wonderful view of nature like this one. This was the view from the services at Vila Velha de Ródão yesterday. I was en route to Lisbon, taking S. to the airport for another week in England.

It is refreshing how much wilderness still exists in Portugal. In England we know that any land not in private hands is managed by National Parks, Forestry Commission, National Trust, English Heritage et all. Here, I suppose ultimately someone owns all the land but nobody seems to mind if you wander over it, provided livestock and crops are respected. You don´t have to go very far to find places no person ever visits. Thanks to this winters´ high rainfall, there are many deep river valleys too, like this one.
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Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Star Mountain

 The highest point in Portugal is the Serra da Estrela mountain range, which means Star Mountains.

As you can see, the snow is still holding to the top of the mountain where the little ski resort will be in full flow. It is lovely to see the snow at a distance on a sunny, warm day. However, I am a little disappointed to have missed the heavy (and very rare) snow that fell on our land back in January. Well, I was in India at the time!
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Lemon Pickle part 2

 The following day, cook everything gently for about one and a half hours, until the lemon skins are really tender. Once the sugar is added they will soften no more. add the sugar, stir until dissolved and boil briskly for twenty minutes. Use a wide and solid saucepan. Pot up in jars with vinegar-proof lids and leave for at least a month before sampling. It will keep almost indefinitely.
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Tuesday, 9 March 2010


 These few stones poking up are all that is currently visible of our lovely labyrinth. I have to trust to faith that I will be able to walk it again sometime very soon.
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Opening Up

 It seems odd to have an open view when stood down by the lemon tree. For 6 years this has been a bramble hedge, home to many small birds and other creatures. This year they will have to find other accommodation, as our neighbour has decided that proper fencing was required to secure his goats in the summer.
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