This week in Blighty, we have mostly been experiencing this kind of weather:
We are used to this and treat it much as we would an elderly relative who doesn’t really remember what’s going on any more.
However, it is soon to be Halloween and Bonfire Night – when we want to light huge outdoor fires and play with explosives. Not so much fun in a late autumn downpour. This year, the kids will not be trick or treating because they are holding a ‘Spooktacular’ in the local woods, which is all rather lovely and ever so British. Generally, if you can’t have an event in your home, garden or hired venue, you migrate to the nearest woodland area, it seems to be tradition. Also, it is free. We Brits LOVE free shit.
This is fine if you live, as I do, in a rural area with lots of farmland close to hand, not so great if you live in the Big Smoke. I don’t think Her Madge would be too happy about you setting Guy Fawkes alight on her front lawn.
So, this ‘Spooktacular’ involves the obligatory pyre, pumpkins, mulled wine and cider, games for the little ones, fancy dress etc.
I REALLY hope it doesn’t fucking rain.
One thing you can always count on with British weather, though, is the fact it can change without any notice whatsoever. Today it is rainy and windy, after 1pm today, it may be glorious sunshine and the beach will be crowded with surfer dudes and barbecues. This is how we live – fly by the seat of our pants – with regards to meteorological happenings.
For example: In many countries it is possible to plan a barbecue, outdoor party, al fresco buffet etc at least 2 weeks in advance. You’ve seen the weather forecast and, as today’s weather is good, you know that in a couple of weeks it will be much the same. You don’t need to check BBC online for advance warnings of storm surges.
Not so if you are in the UK.
If the weather is good today, then it is guaranteed to be good for THAT DAY ONLY. Therefore, if you want to have one of these aforementioned soirees you must go to the supermarket and buy EVERYTHING you could possibly need IMMEDIATELY and invite everyone you know over RIGHT AWAY. You will, of course, find some kind of shelter to erect in the garden because, well, you just never know. You rush home, assume battle stations and dust off the barbecue grill – let’s face it, the last time it saw action was over 4 months ago when there was a time frame of 7 hours to get as hammered as possible. People start to arrive too early because they know the window of opportunity closes ridiculously fast. They bring all the remaining food from the previous (probably washed out) dinner. Every available person is put to work to prepare the area and you put on the oven inside, just in case. Alcohol flows freely.
Before long your house is full, your garden is full, the barbecue is smoking but still not hot enough to cook on and you feel a spot of rain.
The garden is quickly rearranged so that the covering is nearer to the grill, trying your best not to smother it completely and smoke everyone in the vicinity. You place it closer to the door of your home too. This is precarious, one inch too close and the house will be full of acrid plumes. Yet still you soldier on. People start laughing and joking – what else can you do when you are British? Some of your guests tut, but nobody outright cusses – we all know the score. Hastily the food is placed on the fire and the smell begins to rise. The delicious, mouthwatering scent of flame grilled, charred sausages and chicken wings.
Smiles appear all round, the atmosphere becomes jolly. Despite the increasing frequency of the raindrops, buns are sliced, onions browned, the mustard and ketchup applied lavishly. Someone is bound to burn themselves with the tongs, that’s a given, but we just don’t care. This feast must be completed no matter the cost.
Then a child starts to sob. And your mother in law chows down on a still bloody drumstick.
Party over, dude.
Well, I guess we’re at the end of Blogging 101 for this time around.
I’ve got behind a little, but I have been ill for pretty much the entire time it’s been running. Oh well. Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to be organising myself a little better.
Hopefully I’m over the worst of whatever health issues have been plaguing me, so I’ve got until the 23rd of this month before the kids are off school for half term. Then the shit really starts as EVERYONE in my house has a birthday between now and Christmas. I think I may just cancel it. Far too much capitalism, not enough love.
Anyway, I’m thinking of developing a feature of regularity. I didn’t mean to type it like that, but my words are all muddled in my head today. The rain is seeping in…..
Will probably be womens’ stuff based, with some jewellery and sparkliness in there too. Will be 2-3 times a week I think.
I’m also going to attempt NaNoWriMo, http://www.nanowrimo.org/
JOIN IN the fun!!!
This is the prompt I have chosen to use for this task.
Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness – Allen Ginsberg
Wolves are some of the most gorgeous creatures on this planet. Truly wild, fierce, incredibly strong, tenacious animals, yet tender, protecting their pack and giving their life for their young. A mother wolf is simultaneously one of the most beautiful and most fearsome mammals on this earth. Oh, to be her.
As a girl, I hid my madness/wolfish-ness. A couple of years ago, I finally decided to let it show. I felt trapped as a child and always believed myself to be an introvert. I now realise that this was the Christian ethos being forced upon me – as a woman, to be demure, mild, ‘safe’. Well, it’s all gone to hell now, and I imagine I might also, if there even is such a thing.
I have been reading ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This book explains that women have largely been stifled as a sex, and that there is a wildness in all of us that desires to be allowed to run free. There are many stories in the book to allow us to understand what that means for us, individually. I really do recommend it!
Anyway, this, amongst other things, has made me see that I was kidding myself for, like, 30 whole years. My life had got progressively shitter, so I just yelled ‘PLOT TWIST’ and changed everything up.
I left my entire life behind. Moved my kids and I to live with my new partner. Changed my name, changed the kids names. Estranged myself from everyone I used to know – including my blood relatives.
Recently I told another of the mums at school that I was Miss Priss when I was younger, never raised my voice, just got on with my work in a corner of the classroom. I was a star pupil. She only knows the me I am now, and declared she couldn’t imagine me being like that. She actually looked a little bit shocked! I had to laugh.
You see, I used to feel like this:
Dead inside, void of all purpose, hunted, slayed, betrayed, crushed by everything and everyone.
Now, I am the goddess, the mumma wolf and I can do this:
To cross me now is very unwise. I walk with my face bloodied.
I have some of these:
And I protect them like this:
At the end of the day, I am able to do this:
Because, finally, I have found peace. Letting the wolf out – my ultimate victory.
Yesterday I looked at this blog. The reason I found it interesting was that I have very little knowledge of any country east of, well, the UK.
My horizons are pretty small. I’ve visited Europe a bunch of times but never anywhere near this exotic. Sicily is the farthest I’ve been from home. And that’s pretty awesome.
I like the fact that this is a journal and a collection of poems at the same time. I like the way Babe writes, not traditional style. Normally I dislike poetry so this is a big PLUS for me!
Check it out 🙂
There’s a bottle of bourbon sat on the side there, it may as well have eyes as I’m fairly sure it is staring at me. There’s a trace of a mouth, too. I shake my head, trying to rid my ears of the whispering voice. I blink hard, perhaps my eyes aren’t working right. I won’t reach for it, not just yet. There is a steady drip drip of wine slipping out of the glass. My wrist weak and limp from overindulgence. Wastrel. But i haven’t really noticed, and now it’s too late.
My hand jerks upward, sloshing more of the red-purple liquid. Not only does it end up on the carpet, it spills onto my dress as well. The bloody stain seeps into the fibres of the most expensive piece of clothing I’ve ever owned. No matter. It’s not like I’m wearing it for anything special, oh no, that would be ridiculous, of course.
I snigger – a horse-pig amalgam sound, right from the back of my nose. My glass is charged – a miracle in itself, so often it’s already been drained – so i raise it in toast and a small fountain of alcoholic droplets creates an arc in front of my face. A few of the drops land on the cat. Until that point asleep, she starts, turns and bares her teeth at me. She hisses with a look of pure contempt, then slinks away looking for another cosy spot where I won’t spill anything on her. I toast again and drink deep, not that there’s really anything left in the glass after I’ve thrown most of it around the room.
My eyes roll.
I’m sat on the floor, wedged into the right angle space of the corner sofa. The animal hide is cold against my skin as I tilt my head back and gaze, unfocussed, at the ceiling. Light from the main bulb temporarily blinds me, I screw my eyes up and raise a hand to shield my dinner plate sized pupils. But the hand holds a glass. In an instant it has left my hand, swiftly sailing across the room. I don’t realise I’ve done this as my fingers close against my weary, haggard face.
Then the explosion as it meets its end, disintegrating into a thousand shards on making contact with the wall to my left.
At least, I assume it’s hit the wall, I’m not actually looking.
A piercing, inhuman noise bursts forth, greeting my ear with sonic agony. I crumple, stunned and frightened, my eyes burst open and I find myself face down, hands clamped firmly over my assaulted ears. I fervently glance one way, then another. I don’t understand – I’m no longer in the living room.
It is dark and the ground is cold beneath my knees, damp. I’m rooted to the spot, completely disoriented. My head is spinning, pounding. I daren’t move. It’s cliche but I can’t help blinking my eyelids a few times, to make sure I’m not dreaming or having some strange, drunken hallucination – the kind you experience after dragging too hard on a heavily laden spliff.
I shake my head some, trying to dislodge the vision I’m sure can’t be real. My fingernails dig into the sodden soil under my palms.
The dress is ruined. The dress I spent so long choosing. My synapses fire, remembering in vivid detail all the times I stood on the dressmaker’s stool, terrified the old witch would stab me with her pins. She might have been an old crone, but she made a fabulous wedding gown. Now, here am I, with what would look to any other person like blood all over it, with moss and soil now thrown in for good measure. I imagine I must look like Miss Havisham, in the Dickens book.
I sigh, temporarily forgetting that I’m outdoors in a silken, flowing, flimsy gown, in the middle of the night and it’s February. I can almost feel the frost forming on my cheeks, my breath puffing in tiny clouds.
I snap back to reality.
The chill breeze licks at my bare arms and I shiver. I slowly rise, knowing I must discover where I am and figure out what is going on. I run my hands over the dress in a futile attempt to remove some of the debris, my head spins and my knees weaken, I almost fall, catching myself on a brick wall behind me. I lean until the dizziness passes, take a deep breath, and scan the surround. The pale light of a half moon lights the scene.
The building I lean against is 3 stories, pale rough bricks scratching at my back. On this wall, at least, there are no windows, and no door. A rough track which I assume passes for a road travels alongside, not tarmacked, as I would expect, but mud and stone. I am on an incline – above me the slope climbs, in front there appears to be a junction about a quarter mile ahead but the moonlight isn’t strong enough for me to see clearly. Left and right there is nothing. There are no other buildings, no vehicles, just a few naked trees and some tough looking grass at the side of the track.
Should I make my way to the crossroads, or see if there is anyone in this house – I say house, I’ve no idea. I haven’t looked at it properly.
Strangely I’m not frightened. My breath comes in short gasps but that is due to the cold, and my eyes flick, trying to find anything that will give a clue as to where I am.
So, yesterday I didn’t write anything. FFS Jo, get a GRIP!!!
However, it was the anniversary of 9/11 so maybe this was meant to be. Remembering all those who perished that day.
Today, a poem:
i dare you.
look upon me
see my soul
once damaged eyes
survey beauty where
adoration of times past
serves all but
a view over our shoulder –
shameful in your shamelessness.
your subjective keyhole
eyes see things
end over end over end –
this spinning must cease.
back and forth,
around and around,
forever undoable, that
for you – shackles.
for me – wings.
those blinded, blinkered, blackened
souls you carry,
still chest deep in
of my joy.
Obviously you can see my blog title. It describes me and my life ethic perfectly.
I am hugely spiritual, always have been. I’m into the Occult big time, although this was denied me as a child. Now I’m grown I embrace it wholeheartedly. Like I said yesterday, I am Pagan and practice as a witch. I celebrate the Wheel of the Year and am in love with the Moon. She is awesome.
So, that’s the spirit part of it.
The steel is for my character. I don’t take any shit. I am super hardened by life’s cruelty. A lot of pretty bad stuff has happened in my life. I’m hesitant to say that these things have happened TO me, as I don’t think this is the right phrase. It denotes a lack of control. Well, I’ve taken control of the things in my life that went crazy-bad and I am far stronger for it.
So, that’s me: Spirits & Steel.
Well, this is me doing a little Zero to Hero intro – for the second time because I ballsed it up the first time
Hi there, my name is Jo. I live in Somerset, UK with my partner and our 2 gorgeous kids. Currently I’m a stay at home mum. I am mental. I have so many fingers in so many pies that I’ve lost count. I’ll give anything a go! I’m into art, music, film, writing, reading (never enough time for this) and practice as a witch – yes I really do. Namaste.
I’ve been trying to write a blog for bloody YEARS now. I’ll make a start and for the first week it’ll be cool – I’ll post every day, then week 2 comes along and it’s maybe every other day. Week 3 is only once, twice if I can be arsed. By week 4 I will have forgotten completely, or something else has come up and I don’t have time.
Well, this time I don’t want that to happen, I’m doing the challenge and hoping to see it through. I’m writing here in addition to my personal journal at home, just to help me get my ideas out and am looking to write an ACTUAL book at some point. I’ve been saying this since I was about 14. I’ve got so many ideas and snippets of story I don’t know what to do with them. So, I’ll pretty much write whatever comes into my head. Would love to get to know some kindred spirits along this journey.
If I make it through the challenge I’m going to sit down and write this damn book!