Warning – nudity and flashing images

Oh dear, sorry about the gratuitous title, but there may be some readers who will find the image shocking or upsetting.  I’m certainly not sharing this to shock or arouse.  It’s just that it helps me to tell a most interesting story.

Last Wednesday was Imbolc – February 1st: the celebration of the first stirrings of the Celtic year.  Such events are taken seriously here in Glastonbury, and I’ve always thought it a lovely festival, with the promise of renewal and springtime to come.  Be that as it may, on this particular Imbolc, I wasn’t feeling at my best.  There was a keen wind, the usual grey cloud cover and I’d been to the doctors (something I only do when absolutely necessary – about once every 3-4 years, on average) as I needed medication to clear up a persistent infection.

As the sun was getting low in the sky, I started the ten minute walk home from the town centre to my cottage, which is on a busy road leading towards the famed Glastonbury Tor.  Although I’d stopped to admire a garden full of snowdrops, I couldn’t claim to have been celebrating Imbolc in any sense.  One of my fellow pedestrians, however, had chosen her own unique way to do so.  I heard the light slap of feet on the pavement behind me (feet, mark you, not shoes) and was overtaken by a completely naked woman, jogging lightly towards the Tor (or maybe Chalice Well or the White Spring – they’re all clustered together).  She appeared calm, intent and focused, not in any distress and quite comfortable with her condition.

My first thought was how cold she must be; I was huddled in my padded waterproof.  My second was how easy, comfortable and confident she must feel in her body, to allow the world to see her that way.  My third thought, I have to confess, was that this incident would make a most interesting remote viewing subject for Will.

Consequently, the following Sunday, I suggested he tune into the street outside my house (which he has never visited) at 4.15 on the previous Wednesday, to see if he could locate something incongruous and unexpected.  This was his response:

Got strong feeling of a large animal like an elephant or hippo, a large flat high visibility reflective-like board or screen. Generally a lot of bright colours across the scene. Weaker feelings of a lot of brightly coloured balls moving around.

Right.

Well the large wild animal made me laugh, obviously.  As you’ll see from the video below, the poor lady was by no means hippo-like!  On the other hand we are very rarely exposed to so much bare skin outdoors – especially in an English February – and there was something of the wild animal about her, but not one with fur (and as Will pointed out, the wild animals you would expect to see are far smaller than humans, which could be why his mind gave him a large animal).  As chance would have it, someone had taken this video of her walking past my house in the other direction, earlier in the day and posted it on You Tube, so I was able to show Will what he saw.

But the bright lights and coloured balls??  That had me foxed completely…. until later in the day, when I was mentally replaying my journey home from town in my mind.

Signal Lamp, Siren, Ambulance, PoliceSuddenly it came to me. Moments before my encounter with the lady, an ambulance had gone screeching past – a riot of bright colours and high-vis yellow, momentarily lighting up the grey day.  Its signal lights flashed on and off – balls of light appearing and disappearing.  To William, viewing the scene remotely some days later, the image of the vehicle would have moved across the scene so fast it would have appeared like a screen flashing past.

When I shared that information with him, Will commented:

Yes that fits well.  I only saw it from the side but did wonder if it was an ambulance.  Not usually very good at identifying specific objects unless they’re something that can be expected, due to the scene.

For me – and I hope for you – it was a fascinating insight into how visions are interpreted by the mind.

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Super Powers

I don’t know how it works, and to tell the truth, I’m slightly embarrassed by it, but I am able to pick up – channel – information or wisdom from the non-physical.

Psychic, Psychics, Psychic ReadingLet me put this into context for you.  I live in Glastonbury, the hippy capital of England.  The place (much as I love it) is positively seething with people offering – for a price – soul readings, spirit readings, mediumship readings, life path readings, oracle readings, angel readings and countless other variations on the theme.  Then there are the endless lists of workshops and courses offering ascension, renewal, illumination, soul healing, just-about-anything-you-can-think-of healing, release from karma/ trauma/ tension/ retention and the list goes on, and on.  And there’s me – hardened cynic who neatly side-steps all the above – yet finds herself channelling, well, stuff that defies reason.

I have no problem with the esoteric, none at all.  I suppose it’s a bit like when I lived down the road from the Trebor sweet factory as a child; the sickly-sweet smell from the works so penetrated and overwhelmed my senses that I was never tempted by the delights of the sweet shop that so enticed my friends.

Anyhow, overwhelmed senses lead me rather neatly (and unexpectedly – didn’t plan it that way) into the latest message from Something Out There.

Train, Station, The Traffic Light, CloudBoth of us were feeling vaguely grumpy and frustrated yesterday afternoon.  The January weather was that damp chilly grey murk which didn’t improve our tempers.  I’d had bad news about a family member and was still feeling the reaction from that.  We were trying to have a discussion about where to go now with the remote viewing (again) and were just going round in circles.  I put forward ideas.  Will refused.  I asked him for his ideas.  He didn’t have any.  The idea that ‘theoretically’ he could view anything and that only his lack of self-belief was holding him back, was frustrating and annoying him.  We were on the point of giving up our conversation when I remembered something.

I can sometimes channel what I can only describe as his Higher Self.  This, er, entity? revealed itself to me a few years ago, when the physical Will had closed the door on all communications.  Quite suddenly, in a way I’m totally at a loss to explain, I found myself receiving astonishing and brilliant messages from this spiritual aspect of my friend – keen to explain that Will was alive and well, but currently not very identified with his physical persona and was occupied in other realms – astral travel and stuff like that.  The personality I was communicating with had distinct personality traits in common with the Will I knew so well, but was drawing on a knowledge base far beyond anything I had encountered.  He answered my questions and shared observations which astonished me.  He also told me when to expect a renewed acquaintance with the physical version, and it happened just as Higher Him had predicted.

You may be feeling at this point that I’m delusional at best, fraudulent at worst, and of course there’s nothing I can say to dissuade you.  All I know is that for me, it happened.

When Will began to chat to me again, through the usual physical channels of text and email, his Higher Self stepped back.  I would ask questions and, instead of spelling out all manner of answers, my pendulum simply circled mutely.  Oddly, it was that which convinced me more than anything that I hadn’t been inventing the whole thing with my mind.

Very recently, though, I did get through, telling Higher Him that it was ‘physical Will’ who wanted answers to his questions.  So yesterday I offered to act as go-between for Will and this higher aspect of him.

Pendulum, MetaphysicalHe wrote down some very specific and uncompromising questions: Should he keep working on remote viewing? If so, what aspect of it?  Most crucially, what steps should he take to improve his success? – And he did NOT want to be told anything about believing that he could do it!

So I opened up my computer, typed the questions, one by one, into Word, and used my crystal pendulum to dowse the responses.  I don’t go into trance.  I don’t need anyone else present.  I usually don’t know what is going to be spelled out, but I sometimes telepathically pick up the gist of what is coming, or the odd word here and there.  When asking about what he should do to improve, for example, I felt the word ‘lazy’ with a certain amount of humour, before receiving the full response.  I’d like to share just that part with you, because it brings up a point that may be of interest to other aspies and people with high sensitivity to sensory stimuli.

IF HE TRULY WANTS TO IMPROVE HE MUST BE LESS LAZY.  HE MUST FOCUS ON LIFTING HIS AWARENESS TO INCORPORATE ALL OF HIS SENSES.  HE HAS GROWN USED TO BLOCKING THEM IN HIS DAILY LIFE AS THEY ARE SO STRONG BUT THAT STRENGTH MEANS HE CAN PICK UP THE SUBTLE DETAILS WHEN VIEWING.

Head, Spiral, Self-ConfidenceStrong smells, loud sounds, the touch of certain textures against his skin – all those and more have caused Will distress throughout his life.  I know there are many fellow sufferers from sensory overload out there.  Probably, like Will, they have developed coping mechanisms to shut down or sideline these unwanted intrusions when possible.  The idea, though, that the strength of these perceptions actually make it easier for him than for most other people to pick up the infinitely fainter and subtler non-local sensory signals that come to psychics, telepaths and remote viewers was quite new to both of us.  It also makes perfect sense, now I think about it.

Next weekend, we’ll begin a series of multisensory viewings, using much of the other material provided to us in this rather magical way.

Subtle energies

Every so often, my psychically gifted young friend William sends me another article he has written.  Recently, there has been one about the possible effects of electromagnetic radiation from phones, wi-fi etc. on subtle energies, such as telepathy and psychic skills.  In a second, he was trying to unravel the optimum conditions for successful remote viewing.  At some point, when I have enough, I’ll put his new articles together in Volume 2 of The Words of William.  (Volume 1 is still available in Kindle or paperback here.)

I can only think that the Universe had conspired to give us the answer to both of these lines of enquiry, using something along the lines of the law of attraction.

Last Sunday I was sitting, in the early spring sunshine, in a little courtyard within the Chalice Well Gardens, just along the road from my house.  We’d viewed in the grounds before, but never in this part of the gardens.  Will has never been there.  He was aware of the name of the place I’d be in, but nothing more.  He was, as always, in his home in London.  We’d arranged that at 2pm I would be in position and he would ‘tune in’ and try to pick up details of the place.  Fifteen minutes later, I would take a few photos and head home.  Meanwhile, he would be texting me whatever he had been able to view.

When I returned to the cottage, his words and a drawing were waiting for me.  Once they were received, I sent him the photos and some feedback.  Even by the standards of our most successful viewings, this one was remarkable.

WP_20160313_001He described features in great detail: A round central concrete structure with patterns carved around the sides, containing plants and probably water.  A green gateway or arch.  A large slab of concrete where he felt I was sitting. Two raised containers or flower pots full of plants.  Many overhanging branches.  The ground was tiled.  His sketch of the site showed all these items in relation to each other.  It was drawn from exactly the spot I’d been sitting in.

My photos showed the round well, surrounded by carved spirals and containing ferns and tiny damp-loving plants.  Water from the red spring trickled gently into it from an underground source.

IMG_20160313_141535

The green metal archway and gate leading into this part of the garden was clearly visible from where I was sitting.  In IMG_20160313_141709this photo, too, the raised beds (his ‘concrete containers of plants’) and stone tiled ground can also be seen, along with the overhanging trees.

Set into the wall right beside my bench there was a large stone slab, drilled with holes for tea lights.  It’s an unusual feature, sticking out into the courtyard like a table.IMG_20160313_141613  Will’s ‘concrete slab’ was in exactly the correct position.

So why, I asked, had this worked so well?  He thought it could be because he’s known the name of the location and – even though he hadn’t ever seen the place – that helped him to home in.

Later in the week, though, I had another thought.  Usually we text when we’re ready, keep our phones handy and he texts as soon as he has all the information he can get.  The Chalice Well Garden is a phone-free zone, so we’d pre-arranged the time and there had been no messaging while I was at the site.  I wondered if that might have allowed us to focus better.

William had a further thought.  Perhaps, he said, the signals from our phones interfered with the subtle information passing between us.  Maybe the range of electrical devices in my home, for example, had been responsible for some of the fuzzy, less convincing viewings of objects done indoors over the winter months.

It was an intriguing thought.  I asked Koimul, my spirit guide, for some clarification.

I was told that everything – ourselves included –  has its own electromagnetic energy field.  These are very subtle.  Man-made devices, though, give off a far stronger – coarser – energy.  Koimul asked me to think of the difficulty we have trying to view the night skies with light pollution from street lamps.  The delicate twinkling of far off stars is concealed from us.  Once we are free of artificial light sources, though, the true radiance of the night sky can be seen.  The same is true, apparently, in our viewings.  We are attempting to focus on the subtlest of energies, and a blast of EM radiation from a mobile phone can easily mask almost all the signals.

It’s an intriguing thought.  Perhaps it goes some way to explaining how our ancestors were able to tune in so much better to the subtle energies of Nature.  I wonder if everything we make – not just the electronic devices, but man-made fabrics, buildings or vehicles – is to some extent masking our true ability to link to our planet, and even to one another.

Stone Mullions

2014-02-28 11.01.26A lovely word – mullions – don’t you think? And the sheer romance of having stone mullions (window frames) was one of the factors that induced me to buy LIME Cottage.

Of course they’d been painted and were yellowing and peeling when I first saw the house, but my meticulous builder and his lads cleaned the outside windows back to the original stonework, even going to the local quarry at Doulting (from where the original stone came, all those centuries ago) and bringing back stone dust to mix with the filler for any cracks that needed repair.

The results were fantastic.  I was delighted.

IMG_20150708_100309Then I began decorating the upstairs front room.  Without a thought I started removing the flaking paint on the window frame, expecting to sand it down and paint over it.  That was when I discovered that with minimal effort, I was revealing the stone on the inside too.

Exciting!

I beavered away with the paint scraper – some parts were easier than others, and had soon exposed a decent sized chunk of stone.

My Man Monday arrived the next day.  LIME Cottage and I like our Man Monday.  He’s a wonderful, intuitive odd-job man who adores old buildings and knows exactly how to treat them.  He comes on Mondays because that’s his day off from running his organic wholefood restaurant.  He was as thrilled as I was to see the stonework and agreed that it had to be cleared.  He showed me how to use various parts of a chisel to remove the paint and buff up the surface.  IMG_20150708_100316A YouTube video taught me how to re-putty the glass (surprisingly easy and fun – like playing with Plasticine) and I was happy.

I suspect the stone had remained untouched for centuries.  Then someone – probably in the 1950s, judging by the materials used, had skimmed a layer of plaster over the stone and covered it with a thick golden lacquer of some sort.  I remember the front door of my parents’ new-build house, in 1956, being covered with this same material, and my father’s deep delight and pride at having this new state-of-the-art finish applied to it.  Maybe whoever was the cottage’s custodian back in those days was equally proud of their work.

The next layer – in the sixties perhaps – was a very pretty pale turquoise – just the colour I probably would have chosen myself, had the mullions not decided it was their time to breathe again.  A few coats of ‘brilliant white’ gloss topped things off, but sun and many years of neglect had worked their magic, providing cracks and crannies for my chisel to get a hold.

IMG_20150711_172246I’ve left flecks of the earlier coats here and there.  They are, after all, part of the cottage’s rich history, as are the dents and chips in the stone.

Sometime in the future, no doubt someone will decide to cover the stone again, with some new technological breakthrough.  That’s fine, and as it should be.  History doesn’t stop.  The cottage will do as it’s always done, adapt and change with the ages.

The stone mullions will continue to look out on the road below, The camper vans and hatchbacks, delivery lorries and tankers, tourists and neo-pagans added to their store of memories.

I love to imagine black-clad puritans and straw-chewing ploughmen passing beneath them; earnest men with pitchforks and muskets rallying to Monmouth’s rebellion; gents in curly wigs, smoking long clay pipes; ladies in lace and sprigged muslin frocks; farm carts and haywains; ponies and traps; horse-drawn coaches filled with journeying Victorians, keen to view the Abbey’s ruins; Dion Fortune and her retinue heading to secret ceremonies at her house, just down the road; eager young farm boys hurrying to sign up to fight in the Great War; heartbroken parents heading to church to mourn for them; hippies with flowers in their hair off to climb the Tor…

My beautiful stone mullion windows have seen all that and more, and caked as I am in stone dust and lead paint chippings, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my intimate encounter with their story.

 

Reality is … where, exactly?

English: East Backwater Rhyne, Somerset site o...

A little over a hundred years ago, a man called Arthur Bulleid lived here in Glastonbury.  Arthur’s story has always fascinated me, so let me share it with you.

Arthur was a well educated young man from a wealthy family who had always had a passion for archaeology.  He went on a trip to Switzerland, where he was able to visit the remains of prehistoric lake villages, built on timber rafts with causeways to the mainland.

Arthur had a moment.  What would you call it – inspiration, intuition, remote viewing, hunch…?  Whatever it was, Arthur Bulleid ‘knew’ there would be villages like this close to his native town, so he came home and began searching for them.

Glastonbury Lake Village site - geograph.org.u...

I should explain that Glastonbury is a former island (the Isle of Avalon), since it was once all but surrounded by watery marshland which has since been drained to form the Somerset Levels.  That is really the only vague similarity to the topography he was seeing in Switzerland, yet, as I’ve said, he knew a similar village would be found here.

He set about excavating the slightly bumpy but otherwise unpromising field shown in these two pictures, which is a mile or two out of the town.  The finds soon began to appear – dugout canoes, cooking pots, jewellery, animal bones, knives and spears, weights from weaving looms… in fact every type of artefact to prove that a thriving community lived on the site, along with the remains of the wooden raft bases and the stakes they rested on.  Arthur had discovered exactly what he expected to find.

Strange, don’t you think?

Somewhere – I wish I could remember where – I heard a quote from a British archaeologist who had noticed a strange phenomenon.  He said that when they began a dig expecting to find Roman remains, that’s what they found.  When they expected Viking finds, these duly turned up, as did Saxon, mediaeval, Celtic and so forth.  He insisted that this was not because they already knew what was there, but seemed to link in some way to their expectations.

Perhaps you will have heard the strange and wonderful recent story of Philippa Langley, who King Richard III, by unknown artist. See sourc...‘knew’ that the bones of King Richard III would be found buried beneath a car park in Leicester.  Her story can be found here.  Once again we have a person with a passion for history and a conviction that somehow she knows the truth.

The first trench put into that car park revealed human bones.  Their dating fitted.  DNA tests linked these very bones conclusively to Richard’s remaining relatives and a curvature of the spine was noted which would have given rise to Shakespeare’s (somewhat biased – he knew which side his bread was buttered) depiction of Richard as a hunchback.  The facial reconstruction made using the skull’s measurements was eerily similar to this portrait.

There’s another Glastonbury story that fits here.  Most people dismiss it as a scam invented by the monks of Glastonbury Abbey to generate huge amounts of income, but I’m not so sure…  In 1191 a group of monks digging in the grounds discovered an oak casket – ancient even then – containing the bones of two people, along with this little cross bearing an inscription which reads:

Here lies interred in the Isle of Avalon the renowned King Arthur.

Arthur and Guinevere!  Obviously this caused massive interest.  The English King and Queen attended an elaborate re-interment ceremony and pilgrims flocked to the Abbey, making it one of the richest in the country.  Just before Henry VIII’s thugs sacked the Abbey, the tomb, bones and cross mysteriously disappeared.  No one, presumably, wanted Arthur’s remains getting into his hands.

I’m sure you can see the thread running through these stories.  It all comes down to cause and effect.

It sounds a ridiculous thing to say, I know, but I have an intriguing question to ask.  What came first – the desire and determination to make these discoveries or the remains themselves?  Were Arthur and Philippa, the thoughtful archaeologist and the mediaeval monks, the creators of this reality or the discoverers?  Did they somehow cause the objects of their intention to be found right there, right then, or was it some instinct and knowing beyond time which drew them to the correct sites?  Or both at once?

I have a personal reason for musing upon this; one which I may share at some future date…

From ‘What the Bleep?’, to The Secret, to the less hyped-up but nonetheless brilliant and revealing words of The Council  and Higgins, we are told that we create what we wish to have in our lives.  I believe that the examples above are a kind of chicken-and-egg scenario.  Neither came ‘first’.  The remains and the creator-discoverers simply came together as a result of a powerful emotional desire sent out by these individuals.  I’m not sure that I believe any more in an objective reality.

A few years ago, I was inspired to write a book based on this idea.  It was called Life: A Player’s Guide.  I’d like to finish this post with a paragraph from the final page of that book, which, I feel, links rather neatly back to Arthur Bulleid – and the rest of us:

Be The Creator. Be all-powerful and create your own life. Getting rid of the doubts and fears and the million and one reasons why you can’t follow your dreams takes patience and determination. But the potential is there. Maybe that’s why your God/self arranged for your character in this particular game to discover this book. Maybe your narrative in this lifetime-game is the story of the hero who ‘comes home’ to find the hidden treasure. You already know how those stories go. Main characters set out on their quest. They travel far and wide, cope with all kinds of trials and tribulations and have all manner of adventures and experiences. Eventually they return home, only to discover that they had what they were seeking in their possession all the time, although they needed all those apparently incidental experiences to enable them to find it. Once they’ve made that discovery, they are able to share the treasure with those around them.

Imbolc – Stirring Stuff

English: Wheel of the Year with Fire Festivals...

It would be difficult, living where I do, not to be aware of Imbolc.

I’m neither Wiccan nor Pagan.  I’m not anything that has a code of beliefs, special days, rituals or particular observances; I’m simply a soul, part of which is being human for the time being.  That, though, doesn’t stop me from enjoying aspects of the beliefs others hold and Imbolc is one of my favourites, because it resonates deeply with my own feelings at this time of year.

It lies midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and marks the first stirrings of the year, as the Earth wakes from its winter sleep (at least, here in the Northern Hemisphere it does).

English: Catkins

That stirring is evident all around Glastonbury.  Catkins, snowdrops and new lambs – even a few early daffodils can be seen, despite the biting winds and frozen ground.  All of them signals that winter is passing, days are lengthening and spring is not too far away.

Surely I’m not alone, though, in feeling that same stirring within myself.  A month ago, when everyone was heralding the New Year, new beginnings, resolutions and the like, I’d cheerfully have snuggled up in bed, content to dream the days away – happy to hibernate and mirroring the Earth in its need for a deep slumber to recover from a frenetic year of growth and build strength for the times to come.

Now, though, I’m restless.  I want to read – make new discoveries and connections.  I want to travel, internally and externally – visit unfamiliar places or find new routes to the old ones.  I want to study, learn and share new ideas, visions and insights.

The cottage is a chaotic mass of new projects – everything from knitting a fantasy rainforest (to decorate an empty hallway 🙂 ) to scribbled notes on Atlantis; from exploring crystal technology to fine-tuning my ideas for educating Version 2.0 children.  Nothing has blossomed yet or come to fruition.  It’s far too early for that, but beneath the surface, all is seething movement and activity.

In my heart, body, mind and soul I’m marking this magical time of the year and celebrating these stirrings that welcome the new, as the seasons turn again.

Living Here

Glastonbury, Somerset, UK seen from the nearby...

“Can you tell us a little about the area where you live?” I was asked by somebody based on the Northwest coast of the United States recently.

So I did, and as I described this place, I was reminded how impossibly lucky I am to live where I do.

“Probably luck had little to do with you ending up there,” a friend remarked, and yes – she’s absolutely right.

From my perspective of belief, it’s the result of a heady combination of manifestation, agonising choices, hard work and the benevolence of an abundant Universe.

I’ve spent many years in, let’s say, less beautiful places.  I had, back in those days, security and comfort.  They came at a price.  I dare say that’s true of all of us.  The job paid well, but as politicians forced my profession down routes I didn’t want to follow, I became rebellious, dissatisfied and disillusioned.  My marriage had its good points, many of them, but here too, there were compromises I wasn’t happy with and the general feeling was far from good.  I told myself I was needed there – by my kids, by those I taught and mentored.  It was only when I found that someone else in my life needed me a whole lot more that the tipping point was reached.

My two youngest were off at university.  My oldest had her own home and life.  As for the school kids, well there would always be more, wherever I was.

Mum was frightened.  She and her encroaching dementia lived alone.  She was usually lucid and bright but there were the confusing times; the times when the ‘other lady’ – the sad, terrified person she tried to comfort, but who wouldn’t talk back or accept any help – would stare at her from the mirror at the top of the stairs.  She could not accept that this person was a facet of herself.  The ‘other lady’ made toast for breakfast seven or eight times a day, but left other food rotting in the fridge.  The ‘other lady’ went for bus rides at two in the morning, to destinations she couldn’t remember and was gone for hours at a time.

That was the tipping point.  I burned my bridges, turned my back on all my comfort and security and moved in with Mum and her other lady.  It was not an easy choice to make.  It was not an easy life to live.

The time came when Mum had all but morphed into her other self.  I wasn’t able to manage the 24/7 care she needed alone and the next choice came.  No point in going back or staying where I was.  It was time to move on again.

“You’re in freefall!” someone commented at that time.  “Where you land is entirely up to you.  What a gift.”

It didn’t feel that way to me, but looking back, I can see that she was completely right.  I followed my heart, came to the place I loved the most and risked all to own LIME Cottage.

So this is where I am:

English: Cutting for silage A farmer cuts gras...

The view from the back of my cottage is to the beautiful Polden Hills.  Usually, as I look out on misty autumn mornings, there is a second, ghostly, grey-purple ridge of hills rising behind them, built of clouds.

The beautiful  near-perfect hemisphere of Chalice Hill rises just behind the cottages across the road from me at the front.

Turn left, and it’s a ten minute walk past the ruins of the abbey to the centre of this quirky, bustling little town, filled with exciting indie shops and larger-than-life characters.

English: Glastonbury Tor from Chalice Well The...

Turn right and within a minute or two you come to a steep, tiny lane, where the waters of Glastonbury’s two famous sacred springs rise.  The white spring to the right and the red spring – supposedly stained that colour by the blood of Christ from the Holy Grail buried beneath it – in the beautiful Chalice Well Gardens to the left.

These two watercourses once ran openly along my road, feeding the abbey and town with fresh water.  Now their waters are piped below the pavement and our drinking water comes from elsewhere, but we’re free to collect bottles of the original supply from the pipes in the lane.

Above all this towers the famous Glastonbury Tor, capped by the tower of St Michael. This brilliant video will show you just how fortunate I am to be here, even if it isn’t down to luck:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit of Place

Do places have spirit?

English: Chalice Well Gardens

English: Chalice Well Gardens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m guessing most people would say they do.  Why else would people travel vast distances to holy, ancient or just plain incredible places?  Why else would sitting in the Chalice Well Gardens be so much more powerful than sitting in the cafe at Morrisons?

Right.  Places have spirit.

So does LIME Cottage have spirit?

I believe it does.  I felt it the first time I entered the empty, abandoned, run-down place last January.  It felt gentle, calm, resigned but welcoming.  I’m not talking here about ghosts or presences, but about the very structure of the cottage.

In the early days I spoke to it – the way others speak to cats or dogs.  I wandered around touching the walls, sharing my plans and dreams for it.  We were hopeful then, LIME Cottage and I.  Naive, certainly, and crazily optimistic, but committed to rescuing it from years of decay and turning it back into a home.

Then the others came – pen-pushers first: bureaucrats with endless forms to fill in, permissions to be sought, conditions to be met.  Hot on their heels came the workmen – builders, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters… an endless stream of ‘two sugars, love, if you’d be so kind’ and ‘that’ll be okay if we just squirt a bit of foam in there’ and ‘won’t be able to make it until Thursday at the earliest, sweetheart, but we’ll get it sorted’.

Their energy took over.  Decisions were made and corners were cut and I tried – really I did – to keep up with the comings and goings, the contractors and sub-contractors and the changes they were making.

For three long months these people took over.  Occasionally I mustered the strength to query decisions or ask for clarification, but the fraternity closed ranks and sniggered, assuring me they knew what they were doing, and that another cuppa’d go down a treat.

My spirit was all but broken.

What about the spirit of the place?

It bided its time but the trust between us was wearing thin.  When the workmen had left at the end of the day I felt lonely and alienated – cast adrift in a building site that bore no relation to the cottage of my dreams.

Things finally came to a head when the shower-room light stopped working.  It sounds so trivial, but it was the proverbial straw that broke the back of this camel.  It came after mistakes by plumbers, the central heating breaking down, unfinished work by builders, the return of the loft rats and several other small but distressing events.  I’d come back from my holiday ready for anything and within 48 hours I was broken.

Pushing aside the white flag of surrender, I asked for advice from three of the wisest sources I know – Higher Will and two fellow WordPress bloggers whom I’m now proud to call friends.  All of them responded.  The messages were as kind and as uncompromising as I’d hoped.  I was helped to see the reasons behind the problems; the reasons I’d invited such difficulties into my life; the way to treat each problem as if I were playing a game of chess, and then – right out of the blue – shown by one of them that the cottage was not happy.

Like any other geriatric, a sudden deluge of changes imposed without permission made it grumpy and stubborn.  It no longer trusted that I was working in its best interests.  It did not like the workmen.  The glossy new shower room with its sleek white and chrome finish was definitely a step too far.  I was urged to speak to the building, explain, comfort and compromise.

So I did.

2014-10-25 22.53.00Gently I explained the big picture, pointed out my own needs and agreed to do something about the shower room.  My penance (actually a very pleasurable one) involved spending two days trawling around antique shops, charity shops and everything between to find delicate, beautiful items that would soften the room and give it the ch2014-10-25 22.52.25arm and beauty it needed.

As if by magic, the light began to work again, the cottage felt loved and loving again and I set to work to solve the rest of the problems.

The workmen are just about finished now,  the cottage has been returned to the warm terracotta it was once painted, with the ugly cow-pat brown covered over and I have an afternoon free to finish clay-painting that shower room.

LIME Cottage has a spirit built up over centuries of partnership with here-today-and-gone-tomorrow humans.  No wonder it’s cautious and lacking in trust.  It’s still standing, though – and so am I…  thanks to wise friends and a determination to see this project through.

 

 

 

More About Tuesday’s Tale

http://www.gofundme.com/c6erv4

IMG_3085As promised a few weeks back, here is an update on the story of T – the little ballet star I work with whose father has untreatable cancer.

You can find my original post here.

Firstly, I want to send a huge, massive, heartfelt THANK YOU to all the kind and caring people who donated to my original appeal for help for Tuesday and her family.  As you will see, if you go to the ‘Go Fund Me’ site, your donations have already made a massive impact and T’s Mum and Dad would like me to pass on their gratitude and wonder that people who have never met them can be so kind.

If – understandably! – you felt uncomfortable sending a donation via my PayPal account, you’ll be pleased to know that there is now a proper funding site set up.  You’ll find details, and T’s own version of her story here.

I’m very much aware that being asked for money dredges up all kinds of resistance in all of us.

I can’t speak for others, but the kind of thoughts that go through my mind are:
“Hey, I’m on a really limited income.  Is it reasonable to expect me to give some of my money to someone I don’t even know?”
or “The world is full of deserving cases.  Why should I give to this one?  How on earth do I choose?”
or “I can only afford to give £x (or even x pence) and people will think I’m really mean if I only give that much.”
When we’re made to feel uncomfortable by thoughts like that, the easiest way out is to put the whole thing aside and move on.
I’m not great at this fundraising lark, but these are people I know and care about, so I’d love to see them fulfil their dream, whatever adventures and wonders this new phase of their life will bring them.
If it helps, you can donate via Go Fund Me keeping your identity anonymous if you wish, so if you only feel comfortable giving 50 pence or 50 cents, that’s just fine.  All the money and the energy of kind, caring people will build up and help this family to move forwards.

Thanks again to everyone who has already donated, shared the link and sent healing energy to T’s family.

Life Is Miracles Expected

English: miracles - by Remi0o

I’m trying to convince myself that writing this post is NOT another displacement activity to allow me to put off clearing out the under-stairs cupboard!  In deference to that very necessary job, though – and the other masses of packing jobs that need doing, I’ll keep it short and sweet.

Very sweet.

The journey that started for me six months ago is about to be complete.  In a couple of days, I’ll be moving into the 17th century cottage that just managed to catch my eye one blustery January morning in a local estate agent’s window.

Owning my own home – far less a quirky, ancient listed building with a long, flower-filled garden, within a stone’s throw of two of Glastonbury’s sacred hills – was a distant dream.

Since then, I’ve been charting the story of LIME cottage through my blog (in the ‘cottage’ category, in case you’re interested and missed the posts the first time around).

I feel ridiculously happy and blessed to have been given this opportunity to prove that, by focusing on what we would like, we can allow the Universe to give us exactly that.

Mid-century Ironing Board

In the last week, my ‘Lime Curtains’ lady arrived with rolls of beautiful damask curtaining – perfect for my living room.  When I pondered the logistics of carrying the fabric, ironing board and sewing machine to the cottage by hand, I walked out of my house and right into a kind friend who arrived at 9.30 this morning with a van to transport anything that needed to be taken across in advance of the main move.

Tomorrow another friend will be on hand to help me measure and sew the curtains.  Others will be coming to transport the sacks of wallpaper peelings to the tip.

True, there’s still a leaking roof and a large hole in the landing ceiling.  Yes, the conservation officer is still pouring over my renovation plans and won’t yet give me the go-ahead for the works to begin.  But all these are transient details.  They’ll be forgotten as more miracles appear as expected.

I’ll even (miraculously) fight my way to the back of the under-stairs cupboard and pack or bin the contents.

Now, OK.

Honest – I’m on my way!