Wednesday, 17 September 2014

For the sake of fashion...

I love clothes (and shoes obviously...) always have done.

At school I loved was the 80s so that involved leg warmers and ra ra skirts (both of which I still secretly like...).

As I have gotten older I have found my 'own' style which is kind of a mix between hippy, goth, witchy and Stevie Nicks (with a bit of Steampunk thrown in on occasion).  It would of course be all of those things all of the time if I had stack loads of money with which to purchase entire wardrobes.

I look at pictures on the net and see images on TV and films of what I would like to wear and look like but somehow when I try to put it together it never seems to completely gel...

I have an idea in my head of a bohemian gypsy look - large brimmed felt hat, white cheescloth pirate shirt, layered gypsy skirt with reams of material and heap loads of broderie anglais petticoat underneath, fitted jacket and lace up boots, dripping with pretty coloured beads and arms loaded with silver bangles and fingers full of silver rings.  In reality, although I love hats they do make your head hot and my attempts at layering all these shirts and full skirts makes me look like a bag lady.  Pretty beads I can do and lots of bangles and rings...but it's not overly comfortable especially if you are trying to type or anything vaguely practical.  As for drapy witchy sleeves?  Totally not practical for anything except maybe sitting reading all day in a castle tower...

We (Tracey and I) did purchase a couple of beautiful gypsy style skirts in Glastonbury earlier this year - yards and yards of recycled sari material, soooo gorgeous and swirly...and so incredibly heavy to wear that you need stablisers on it...

I love pretty hair scarves, absolutely adore pictures of women I see with long ruffled hair all just effortlessly tied up in a beautiful silk scarf.  My attempts either result in said pretty scarf sliding off my head with speed as soon as I stand up or I look like Mrs Mopp wearing a headscarf to cover my hair rollers...

I love a corset, especially the Steampunk ones...and I do have a couple (or three) and they look fabulous...if you are standing up...because seriously who can sit down in those things or eat or breathe?

I love a fitted suit jacket especially teamed with a fitted waistcoat and they do look fabulous but is it just me or are they just so restrictive for moving in?

Maybe as I have gotten older I have just become less tolerant of being uncomfortable for the sake of 'fashion'...

But I will relentlessly continue in my efforts to create the desired outcome...sometimes it may work, others not so much...when it works I probably won't be able to breathe or move...other times I shall stay indoors wearing something much more comfortable...

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Say yes to the experiences...

I don't as a rule watch 'reality TV'...I am not a follower of Jeremy Kyle/Horrible Toddlers/Fake Tan Wannabee kind of general they horrify me.

However during the school holidays coaxed on by my 13 year old daughter we watched Say Yes To The American programme featuring a wedding dress store, Kleinfelds.

The show revolves around the store assistants and the Fashion Director Randy Fenoli finding the prefect dress for each of the brides...and yes it makes me cry (with happiness).  I love Randy Fenoli who is a brilliant host (even if his eyebrows are better than mine) and he genuinely seems to want to help people, there is no rudeness, no bullying and no teasing of anyone - the show just helps people.

I still couldn't wrap my head around why I now seem a bit hooked on this particular show until it dawned on me...

I have had two weddings, the first I was 21 years old and a wore a beautiful brocade dress with a long train and the second time I was 30 years old and wore a lovely draped dress with lots of diamonte - both were made by my mum, who is a very talented seamstress.

The thing is...I never went to a bridal store and tried on dresses on either occasion - I wonder did I miss out on a 'life experience'?

It got  me to thinking about those big events in your life and how much they shape the person that you are and the special memories that they bring with them:

We didn't have proms when I was at school but I would imagine if you don't attend you may later regret it.

My first kiss - at a village disco (his name was Kevin and he wore leg warmers and black eye was the 80s).

The last day of secondary school...we all threw toilet rolls, eggs and flour...although I am not sure why really...

My first driving lesson - in a supermarket car park on a Sunday (when they used to shut for the day) in an old Ford Escort.

The first day at my first office junior for the school medical department of the local council - soooo nervous!

The first date with my husband...a milkshake in MacDonalds on our lunch break.

The day I realised I was a witch and felt like I had 'come home'.

My husband was Christmas morning...I had just cooked a huge fried breakfast...I was then way too excited to eat it!

My wedding day...I did all the catering (for 70 people), we hosted the reception at home and my husband wore jeans (new ones and a smart waistcoat) - it was perfect.

The births of both my was horrendous (emergency C section, awful hospital experience) and one more planned and organised.

All of these and many more memories of important events that we hold onto - I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday or what day it is today but these life events we hold onto and they all have an impact on us even long after they have melted into the past.

So ... SAY YES to the important life events ...don't miss out because you will keep those memories close to you forever...

Friday, 12 September 2014

A tree confession...

I have a tree confession to make...

I know I am a witch and should be totally into the whole forest thing...but *ducks to avoid objects being thrown at me* I prefer wide open fields...there you go...I said it out loud...

Hubby and I went for a stroll in the forest at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park yesterday evening and it was beautiful, lots of pretty beech trees and a few yew trees as well.  Heading to autumn with quite a few leaves on the ground already and lots of fungi at the base of the trees - lovely.

But...I have always had a bit of a thing with forests, ever since I was a child.  There is something very mysterious about forests, they hide pretty much all the old fairy tales something bad happens 'in a forest' (Hansel & Gretal and Red Riding Hood for instance).  So I think I always felt a bit uneasy when standing within a forest surrounded by trees that all seem to have secrets and hide away mysteries...

Now don't get me wrong, I do love trees, I think they are beautiful and wise and I happily tree hug whenever I meet one, I even talk to the trees that line the road on the school run.

But for me I feel more comfortable in wide open fields, grassy plains, valleys or the moors  - all beautiful places.  Maybe I just like the openess of them?

Dartmoor is perfect as is the landscape in Tintagel and I also love the site at Knowlton - all open fields interspered with rocks - my kind of sacred place.

So I will still visit forests and love the trees and the forest spirits but I will feel happier in the middle of a field...

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Get the funk out...

Warning...this blog post has no answers - only questions, rambles innanely and makes absolutely no sense, but sometimes ya just gotta empty your head...

I have to admit..for the last couple of weeks I have been in a complete I know why? Nope not at all and that's the worst part, if I knew why then I could do something about it.

I have absolutely no reason to be in this grumpy diva mood because quite honestly life is pretty good - it makes no sense, which just makes the whole thing even more frustrating.

I am sure I am not alone in this.  Why does it happen?  Added to that of course every little tiny problem that happens feels like a huge event.

Last week was the start of a domestic appliance saga, yep I know it happens, the washing machine died followed only hours later by the demise of the tumble dryer.  Not the end of the world...but it felt like it.  Should have been simple to sort, albeit we had no money...but there were hiccups and that just made the whole situation feel like a major castrophe - I was a total drama queen diva...

I also feel like I have no focus at the moment - which when you are writing a book with a deadline is really not good!  However when I sit and think about it I have been quite productive, the new book is actually coming along nicely, our new Celtic Goddess course rolled out last week and we have been blown away by the response, the Kitchen Witch School is ticking along nicely and we have met some amazing people along the way that we are now honoured to call friends.

Next year is all sort, planned and organised with some really exciting new projects to get our teeth into and after this weekend we pretty much have a quiet few months and perhaps that's just what we need?

As a working mother, wife, witch and author life does get pretty hectic sometimes, especially over the school holidays when the children are home from school ... working from home and school holidays do not make for a productive schedule!

I love working with all the Kitchen Witch projects - long may it continue, but I also need to fill the gap - my inner being needs a bit of bottom kicking.

There is a void of sorts...can't quite put my finger on it, don't know what it is or why I feel like it but it's there.  What to fill it with though?  I don't have an answer for that...and there adds to the frustration.

Perhaps it is the control freak in me that wants answers for it all and everything sorted, organised and done NOW!  I am not good at sitting back and just letting things flow at their own pace. (Yes I am a complete nightmare to live with...).

I suspect as with most things it comes down to balance, finding that balance in life between work and play.

Next month we start a three year training course of the priestess variety which I am looking forward to and hoping that it will help fill the space, I haven't done any study for a long while now and my inner geek spiritual student is crying out for some attention...I have my new lever arch file at the ready...

So I shall keep ploughing forward getting things done and keeping it all together...with only intermittent bouts of eye water for no apparent reason and fighting the urge to run away to a desert island (I wouldn't last long...where would I bake the cakes?), being thankful for those close to me that provide unending support and trust that the universe and the goddess have some sort of plan in action...

Let's face is good, I am truly blessed in all areas of my little world and the problems that I have are miniscule compared to many others in the world - I just need a new pair of sparkly big girl pants.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Inner hair dye battle...

I have had this inner argument with myself for a while now...each time I purchase a new hair dye to colour my grey/white roots.

Choosing to go natural grey or not?  When I say grey, what I really mean is white.  The thing is I have seen some amazing looking women with natural white hair and it does look stunning doesn't just go straight to snowy white - the in between stage is salt and pepper grey and in my mind grey hair has always made me feel old and I know it shouldn't.

I have been dying my hair since I was a teenager and I have had pretty much every colour of the rainbow including khaki green (by mistake).

I stopped using permanent dye a couple of years ago.  My hair grows really quickly and as I was dying my hair dark brown/red I would get 'roots' showing very quickly.  I am not really sure what my natural hair colour has been such a long time but it is somewhere in the 'mousy brown' region.

Using semi permanent dye works for me as I don't get the 're-growth line' and it has allowed more of my natural colour...and the white to show as it gradually washes out.  Then before I know it I have huge chunks of white in my fringe and dash out to purchase another box of dye.

Last time in the hairdressers (just for a cut) he said to me that I should grow out the colour and go natural.

I colour my hair quite a few shades lighter these days, more of a dark blonde and with using the semi permanent dye it would actually be really easy to just let the white shine through...but do I?

Society and the media put so much pressure on looks it's hard to escape from the idea that only 90 year old grannies have grey or white hair.  Maybe it is the idea in my head that the Crone has white hair and I don't feel I am any where near that stage yet, Matriarch maybe but not the Crone (I am 45).

And then there is the whole chemical thing - on my hair, down the sink, into the water systems...not good.  Yes I have dabbled with henna...but it was waaaaay too messy and long winded for my level of patience!

I am due a root colour now...I even have the box of hair dye sitting in the bathroom but something is holding me back.

This article has appeared in my facebook feed a few times this week, maybe it is a sign?