Wednesday, 31 March 2010

And the winner is....

::Drum roll, background music, glitter drop at the ready::

Envelope opening, breath held;

“CrystalRainbow at Sparkle and Shine”, Congratulations on winning the Greenman giveaway.

Thanks to all of you who came over for it and entered, I’m sorry you didn’t win but at the rate of new followers no doubt I’ll be doing another one again soon!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010


I dream of the seas where the warm winds blow,
Neath a dome of pale blue sky;
Where sunbeams play on the silver spray
As cresting waves race by.

Of early morn where a green-blue sea
Is kissed with golden light;
Where the main deck dries in tropical heat
as day succeeds night.
I dream of the swell of freshening seas
Where chasing dolphins leap:
Where flying fish, like raindrops, fall
To shower the ocean deep.

Yet in my dreams on a moonlit sea
I search o'er the luminous foam,
For a distant star to guide me true,
Through my slumbers safe at home.

©PRISM 2010

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Spring Cleaning

Its Spring, I'm Cleaning, yeah I know don't fall over in shock those of you who know my home! Apart from the need to reassert myself I'm not to sure why I'm bothering to do this as in depth as I am, the second round of dust and debris is due to start imminently and I soon won't be able to see the walls or floors for all the work going on.
But not only am I cleaning the home I'm clearing my mind of all the junk stored in there. The little niggles that get to me have gone, vamoosh. I feel better, like a weight has gone from my shoulders. I'm sitting here asking myself is it really important, and if the answer is nope then I'm getting rid of it.
Give it a go, its rather liberating!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

A day for Meditation

When it comes to Meditation do we ever allow ourselves enough time aside for it? Do we only ever turn to it when we have a bad day or do we use it for the search for inner truth? Well in my case its a little of both. I don't do it as often as I should but I do use it for both inner-searching and for calming myself after a mad bad day.

Today is one of those Mad days, the sort where my hands end up slightly smoother than I wanted as I got diluted caustic on them by mistake when unblocking the 2 toilet rolls that Littleun had jammed the system up with. Or the day that dreaded winter gas bill arrives, all £335 worth. Or the day when I get told that yes my Littleun has inherited my eye problems and appears to have an astigmatism (means can't focus correctly, blurred vision and being totally rubbish at those 3d puzzles!) And yes its only 2.30pm but so far all the above has happened today.

Bearing this in mind I went for the calming type, sometimes its a bit of tai chi, sometimes I sit in a candle lit room with lavender incense but today it was the "paradise dream". I sit in a quiet room, put on a bit of gentle music from my last summer holiday, close my eyes and dream of my version of paradise. Normally its picturing the lavender fields with a late summer afternoons warmth rolling over us as Littleun plays and I read, camping by the stream watching the fish sparkle and the birds twittering about, the smell of fresh bread and cheese on the board nearby, knowing that we are safe and happy here. It works every time. I can feel the blood pressure lowering, my temper stops flaring and I start smiling.
Of course if the neighbours start to smell my baking, you'll know I got stressed again, the other great way of working out my hassles is to beat that dough. Hoping you are all having a slightly better day than I am!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The Ceremony of May

The day has arrived and rather like a small child I was skipping through the older part of our town on the way to pick up a treasure that I’ve been eagerly waiting the last month for. And having just played it beginning to end it was worth the wait. What was the treasure? Well it’s the latest CD from the Blakeley family.

A family of musicians and poets they have combined their efforts in order to put the lovely poems and verse written by Rose Blakeley to music arranged and written by Garry Blakeley. Their son not to be left out has added his part with additional instruments. As the album title states it’s all about May and the ceremony surrounding that great day Beltane and the folk customs that have arisen from May Day in particular those in our town.

A mixture of dancing tunes, songs and spoken word & decorated with artwork by Rose the whole album awakens the memories I have of the fun we have for that weekend. Pictures of us welcoming in the Sun, the drum-off’s and music everywhere you turn, the Bogies chasing people to “green” them and the Jack dancing through the streets on His way to the castle. Oh how I do enjoy our Jack celebrations, and this album just is the cherry on the top. A job well done, hats off to you all.

Now for the winner of my giveaway you’ll be able to hear this for yourself as I’ve brought an extra copy to add into the Greenman gifts, but for the rest of you please do go visit the website, have a listen and hopefully you’ll like it (and the book) as much as I do and will get yourselves a copy!

Monday, 22 March 2010

My, what a weekend

Well I had a post all ready to welcome Eostre, wrote it up nicely and explained we’d be away so hope you all had a good one. Unfortunately being a bit on the tired side on Friday I sent it to drafts instead of scheduled! So, belated happy Eostre!

And I’ve got to give a big wave to everyone who has wandered over, I should go away more often, 16 new followers, wow, Merry Meet to you all!

As for what we actually got up to on this lovely Equinox, well Museums, more museums and um just in case you didn’t get it, mus...Legoland! Yep before you say it we are bonkers. We thought (oh ok I thought) it would be nice to take Littleun up town (London) to visit the Science Museum and then the next door Natural History. And it was great. Loads of hands on things for Littleun to try, ranging from games to practical science.

The Natural History had the Dinosaurs but we didn’t join the immense queue to see them, opting rather for the Earth section. Showing the history of our planet and the universe. How it is formed geologically wise and the natural treasures given up in its process.

As for Legoland, well what to say, great fun, tiring but fun. We have been before but normally in September when it’s a bit warmer, also when it’s a bit busier. So it was nice to have the time this end of the year to visit it and not to worry about mad queues that are 1hour long for a ride that lasts 5 mins if you are lucky! Got soaked on the Viking ride, got spun by the Spiders and watched the Pirates steal the treasure.

All in, what with the beautiful weather and lovely company, a great Eostre.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Dancing on Sunshine...

Lovely CrystalRainbow over at Sparkle and Shine has given me my second type of award in less than a week, (whats that saying about busses...) Thankyou so much, it’s really kind of you and reassuring that there are folk out there who enjoy and understand (I hope!) my Ramblings. When I first started this blog many moons ago (oh ok, last October) I wasn’t sure if I’d be using it as an outlet for rants, a diary or a way to communicate with other like-minded folk. I’m still not sure on the first two points but can say wholeheartedly that I’ve chatted with a great number of great folk since.

Here are the rules:
1. Place the award on your blog or within your post.

2. Pass the award on to 12 Sunny Bloggers -- those whose positivity and creativity inspire others!

3. Link to the nominees in your post.

4. Tell the nominees they've received the award by commenting on their blogs.

5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award.

Passing this award onto these sunny bloggers, though not sure I can choose just 12 so I have gone to my blog reading list and attached that! Please browse through them yourself hopefully you’ll like them and if you’re on my list consider yourself “Sunny”...

(Yeah I know, a bit of an easy way of doing it!)

Thursday, 18 March 2010

50 Lovely folk and my first giveaway!

So to celebrate the fact that there are at least 50 of you lovely folk who have decided to read my Ramblings, I am having my first ever giveaway.
Based on the Greenman and with Beltane not far off now, I have some little things that you might like. Firstly, one of our handmade Greenman masks, nice and comfortable to wear or to just glance at every now and then.
Then we have a Coffee Mug and matching fridge magnet and finally a Greenman Himself.

To Enter the Giveaway:

• Anyone who is a follower of this blog can enter by commenting below. You must be a follower to enter (see sidebar).

• Receive 1 extra entry if you have my button on your blog. Please include a link to your blog in your comment entry below

• Receive another extra entry if you post about this giveaway in your blog and link it back to here. Please include a link to your post in your comment entry below.

You can leave all the links in one comment, no need for individual comments. If your blogger profile is set to private, I will be unable to find your blog or email via your profile. If you don't leave an email address in your comments, and your profile is private, the entries do not count.

International followers, please do enter, happy to post/send this anywhere!

Winner will be drawn randomly from the hat, by Littleun, on the 31st March 2010. Good luck...

Blog Award part two

I’m really very honoured, not only has Tiffany at Diary of a Natural Witch thought I was worth giving this too, now so has Wikked Wit. It really is very kind of you both. Rather than do the list again I’m linking you to my previous post and to Wikked Wit’s Blog. Hope you enjoy her blog. Thanks again!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Looking back

The school-bell hangs in silence now,
Its tolls will ring no more,
To herald from the streets and lanes
Young children by the score.
For the school has been converted
Into flats and maisonettes
The halls for recreation, with
The rich in “Private Lets”

They have this snobbish tendency
To think it rather fun,
To live in Mew and warehouses
Where honest work was done
Behind frilled curtained windows
The tenants smartly dressed
Relate the tales of idle hours
That leaves them tired and stressed

And in the playground car park
Now lined and marked in script,
The boys played with their peg tops,
And pretty girls once skipped.
And by the sloping pathway there,
Where winter slides took place,
They've planted shrubs and rosebeds
To give an air of grace.

But do they give a caring thought,
To the aged who may sigh
With open eyes and amazement
To ask the question “Why?”
Who may not see the “Private” signs,
Nor cameras on the masts,
When listening with a tear stained eye
To voices of the past.
© PRISM 2010

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Eostre Chocolate Eggs

It just wouldn’t be the same for Littleun without them would it?! Well that’s my excuse for having some and I’m sticking to it. We thought it would be nice to make our eggs this year to give to our friends. It was very messy and the best bit must have been licking the spoons when we had finished.

To make our eggs we used:

Two large egg moulds
Small egg moulds
Glass bowl
Pan with hot water
Pastry brush
Yummy scrummy (Cadburys in our case) chocolate about 250gm for small eggs, 500gms for larger

Break the chocolate into the bowl and then put the bowl in the pan so the already heated water is gently simmering till the chocolate is melted
Don’t let the water get into the chocolate as this will make it all mucky and no good to use. When melted gently fill the small egg half moulds, level off and pop into fridge to set
With the large halves lightly brush a thin layer on the inside and leave in fridge to set.
Remove after 15ish mins and add another layer, repeating until you have built up a thickness which is stable. Whilst waiting for the bigger halves to set, remove the smaller ones, tip out of mould and tidy any messy edges up. Splodge on a small bit of melted choc and push two halves together. Put back in fridge to reset.

When ours were finished we put them in cellophane bags and decorated with tags and ties. Hope you have fun and actually manage to give them away before eating them yourselves!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Baa Baa Baa....

Today was dull and miserable. So we thought we’d cheer ourselves up and go and visit all the new lambs at the local sheep centre. It’s a good place for Littleuns to learn all about spring, lambing and farms. Based on a working farm the centre has pens which allow mothers and the lambs to be spoilt whilst resting.
For only 30p you can buy a bag of feed for your Littleun to feed the ewes and if you get there at the right times you can watch the lambs, who have either lost their mum or been sadly rejected, bottle feed.
I liked coming here, gave us a sense of new beginnings but also helps Littleun understand that there is a sequence to life and that we can’t take things for granted.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Blog Award yay!!

Tiffany at Diary of a Natural Witch has kindly given me my first ever blog award! So very kind of her to think that I have anything worth reading and then tell others about it. Thanks!

So apparently there are “rules” for the award:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

Seven random things about me:

1. Despite my moaning I actually quite like see Littleun smiling next to me when he’s woken up early.

2. I recently mastered the art of wearing my hair Pin-up style (not as easy as you’d think!)

3. I couldn’t make my mind up between meatball pasta or pizza for supper so had a meatball pizza.

4. I made vouchers today for Mothers Day on Sunday.

5. It has been 6 months since I started my diet.

6. I just finished reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, very funny and clever.

7. I can stand on my head.

Now as for my 15 others, its a bit tricky, quite a few already have this award but here goes:

I’ll add a couple more over the next few days.....

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Gardening joys

We've been busy this week, clearing the garden and getting ready for the time to plant out. The green house still had the old tomatoes and peppers so they needed to go, then we needed to dig over some of the ground. Littleun has his own area this year and has decided to grown green beans. Quite excited he attacked it with enthusiasm till we pointed out you had to go across and not just deeper and deeper!

We also have some visitors to the garden, our friendly robin is still here and it seems that the frogs have been again.

And to show you how our cress caterpillar and beans have done Littleun took a couple more photos...

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

My Beltane Dress

Can't wait till May....

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Eostre and the Easter Bunny

Whilst trawling the Internet to find an Eostre story for Littleun I came upon this different version at Dreamland Magic: Littleun enjoyed it, hope you do too.
Many many years ago, during the time of dragons and castles, there was a beautiful Goddess named Eostre (pronounced Ee-ost-ray). The Goddess had long thick hair the colour of golden wheat, and her eyes were as blue as the sky above. Eostre was the Goddess of Spring, and it was her job to make sure that the Earth awakened from its winter sleep.

During Spring the world came alive. birds would chirp from the trees as they built nests for the little eggs that would soon hatch into baby birds. Butterflies came out of their cocoons wearing wings of gorgeous colours. All the animals of the world gave birth to babies, and beautiful flowers opened their petals. Spring was a time of new beginnings. It was a time to celebrate.

Every year, on the first day of the Spring Equinox, Eostre held a huge Spring Festival in the meadow. Animals and children from all over the world would attend and bring gifts for the Goddess of Spring to show how happy they were with the fresh new season.
One year, on the day before the festival, the hare wanted to give Eostre a gift. But the hare had nothing that would be fit for a Goddess. The hare was very poor and he had a hard enough time feeding himself, never mind giving a gift to someone.

That day while searching through the forest for some food, the hare found a fresh egg in the grass. He was very hungry and sat down to enjoy his found lunch. He was about to crack open the egg when he suddenly stopped.
"This egg would make a nice gift for Eostre," he thought to himself. "An egg symbolizes birth and Spring. Yes, a very nice gift indeed." So the hare hopped home to decorate the egg.

The next day the hare went to the meadow and hopped up to the Goddess. He shyly presented her with his gift. Eostre took one look at the egg and gave the hare a huge smile. It was a beautiful egg. The hare had painted the egg with lovely designs coloured from the dyes of roses, buttercups and other plants. He had then sealed the egg with beeswax so that it would be shiny.
The Goddess was so happy with the gift that she wanted everyone to have one and share her joy. Eostre knew that the hare was very poor and to give her the egg was a very unselfish act. He could have eaten it and had his belly filled. Eostre decided to reward the hare.

That day, the Goddess of Spring told the hare that he could come and live in her castle. He would have only one job, and that would be to deliver a decorated egg to children around the world, for Eostre loved children. Children symbolized birth and innocence. The eggs would be delivered on the eve of the Spring Festival, so that the children would wake up and find them in the morning.
© 2003, Sonia Jensen

Thursday, 4 March 2010

We made Eostre Eggs

I saw in a local shop some lovely little Eostre decorations, Hares, mini eggs etc. Littleun jumped on them with a wicked little smile and asked if we could do the eggs again this year. So if like us you want to make the biggest mess you possibly can, whilst having a laugh you will need the following:

Eggs, blown (or make a small hole then cover with ribbon)
Decorating bits, sequins, mini hares
Blow the eggs to remove the yolk and white (have scrambled egg for breakie)
Choose what paint colours you’d like and paint on first layer, then second
When dry stick on decorations
Thread through the ribbons and hang.

Simple really, though why it means I’ll have to clean up half the front room
of paint I’m not sure, also hand print on newly decorated wall!

Attempting an egg wreath tomorrow....
ps sorry about the awful layout on this post, blogger seems to be having a mind of its own today!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Race for Life

I'm overweight, its undeniable, no matter how many times I turn the mirrors over. But I've been doing something about it. Only now its kind of stagnating slightly and I'm finding it hard to keep it up. So I have signed up for the Race for Life. A Women's only 5k race where all the proceeds raised go to Cancer Research UK, this will be my first competitive race since the sack and egg races of school days!

I'm hoping to raise at least £500 and to loose another 2stone by June when it starts. I know that some of my friends have disliked the fact the money goes to Cancer Research but as that's a topic close to my heart for personal reasons so I'm quite happy to be supporting them. Anyway I'll keep you updated with the training etc, that is if i don't keel over first!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Beautiful Day

Oh, what a beautiful Mornin'
Oh, what a beautiful day.
I've got a beautiful feelin',
So am going out to play.

Have a lovely day.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Eostre; Hot cross Buns

Well February went quickly! Happy St Davids day to the Welsh.

Right onto Hot Cross Buns. Whether the origin of these buns is Christian or Pagan doesn’t change the fact that they are rather scrummy and good fun to make with your Littleuns. The local supermarkets and bakers will have them if you really don’t want to make them but if like us you like a challenge and getting a little mucky then here’s the recipe:


For the ferment starter
1 large free-range egg, beaten

215ml/7½fl oz warm water
15g/½oz fresh yeast1 tsp sugar
55g/2oz strong white flour

For the dough

450g/1lb strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground mixed spice
85g/3oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
85g/3oz sugar
1 lemon, zest only
170g/6oz mixed dried fruit

For the topping

2 tbsp plain flour
vegetable oil, for greasing
1 tbsp golden syrup, gently heated, for glazing

1. For the ferment starter, mix the beaten egg with enough warm water to make up approximately 290ml/½ pint of liquid.

2. Whisk in the yeast, sugar and flour until the mixture is smooth and well combined, then cover and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.

3. For the dough, sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into a large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the sugar and lemon zest to the well and pour in the ferment starter.

4. With your hands, gradually draw the flour at the edges of the bowl into the well in the centre, mixing well with the ferment starter, until the mixture comes together as a dough.

5. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly until smooth and elastic.

6. Carefully work the mixed dried fruit into the dough until well combined.

7. Grease a large, warm mixing bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour to prove.

8. Turn out the proved dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back the dough. Shape it into a ball again and return it to the bowl, then cover again with the tea towel and set aside for a further 30 minutes to rise.

9. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten slightly into a bun shape using the palms of your hands. Cover the buns again with the tea towel and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes.

10. Grease a baking tray with butter and transfer the buns to the tray. Cut a cross in each bun, almost cutting all the way through the dough, so that each bun is almost cut into quarters.

11. Wrap the tray with the buns on it loosely in greaseproof paper, then place inside a large polythene bag. Tie the end of the bag tightly so that no air can get in and set aside in a warm place for a further 40 minutes to rise.

12. Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/Gas 8.

13. Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with two tablespoons of cold water.

14. When the buns have risen, remove the polythene bag and the greaseproof paper. Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross over the cuts in each bun.

15. Transfer the buns to the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until risen and pale golden-brown. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot golden syrup, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.