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Sunday, 14 July 2019

A song for you: The King of the Boars

This song is based on two boar stories.

One of the boars is Twrch Trwyth from Welsh Mythology.


The other is Torc Triath from Irish Mythology.

Were they the same boar?  I posited so in this song!  


Saturday, 1 June 2019

Druids and allsorts!


It's autumn, but there has been hardly any rain. We're still turning out to fires, mostly ones lit by people who aren't very aware.  They light a small fire and don't put it out properly, or they light too big a fire for the dry conditions. Ah well, at least it keeps us busy.  And dirty...



...but not in a good way!

I need to talk about the Druidcamp.  It was while back now but it was most marvelous.

Damh the Bard, Cerri and Kristoffer were so lovely.  As I've said before, if you want to see what a spirituality or philosophy will do for you, look at its leaders, and you couldn't ask for for kinder, wiser, more connected beings than these three.


I learned a heap, and laughed and cried a lot, and some of the moments in the ceremonies and bardic circle and giant music session were just mind blowingly amazing.

Julie, Tamzin, Cait and I performed Savage Daughter together at the eisteddfod.



Afterward at the bardic circle, I did my new song called King of the Boars that I wrote for my new lyre, Torc.  I love this pic Michelle got of me.

I look a lot more relaxed than Ifelt!

I also got to spend time with my Druid peeps!  Yay!

Selfie with Mandy, and a photobomb by Damh the Bard and Kris!  Did you ever!

On the plane with lovely Michelle and my Druid brother Dusty!

My dear druid sister Trudy!
       
And we explored a bit of gorgeous Adelaide.  The botanical gardens are lovely, as is the old architecture, and they have a lot of art and quirky bits that I loved, except the moment where I thought i was about to fall down these stairs, though it turned out there was glass over them!  The sculpture at the bottom looks a bit worried that he might have had to catch me!  



Around here, things go on as usual.  The last chicks of the year are growing up. both roosters, dammit, but being part Hamburg, they aren't very big so won't be able to bully the girls, or very loud crowers, so they might be able to stay.  Frankendotte has gone to live with mum's partner, Karl, and his hens.  He is rechristened Frank Sinatra for his singing, which Karl loves.  A lucky break for Frank!

One of the so called Hamburgs is definitely not all Hamburg.  He is rather hideous in the face right now but his plumage is pretty and interesting.  He was christened Chugly (chicken ugly) for a while but he's now called Bunky, short for Shubunken, because of his goldfish colouring.



The other one is classic Hamburg and is The Cisco Kid because of his embroidered black and white appearance.  He is super pretty, which makes Bunky look worse.


I'm crocheting a blankie for my friend Amy, and as usual Mr Kitty has to help.






He's such a lovey.

I've been passed as a driver for the big ICV in our comms brigade (incident control vehicle).   


We turned out to the late shift with our comms brigade to a large fire and got to see our brigade mates from Chidlow VBFB.  Ha, I wasn't the grubbiest for a change!  Away from the fire, it was cold out there!  It seems silly to be fighting fires while it is cold, but there you have it. 


It was hectic at first.  We arrived to find many appliances and support crews on the boards to keep track of with our very good crew ...


 ...but as the fire was blacked out, trucks were stood down, and the night drew on, the number of fireys dropped, and by the time we left at 2am, it was quite spooky out there. Just one lone guy from the water truck wandering in to find coffee and food at the blessed Salvos truck!
  


No rain, but we know autumn is here because the Virginia Creeper has once more turned.


  I found one of my books on the feature wall at our local library.  Yay!



Roo and i got to turn out to a fire together in the back of the truck.  Also yay!



Yes something weird happened to my face.  Other than me just being weird as usual. 


We had some of our Druid mates over for a Samhain night.  It was lovely getting to see my  friends enjoying playing my lyres. They're so calming to play.  
 

   

            Also Guinevere felt she should be part of the night, and Michelle got a pic of her for me.


Michelle also made me this quilt!  Squeeeee!



It has the rune Ansuz on it, for my patron god, Odin, and for inspiration and skill in communication, and the two ravens who accompany Odin, Huginn and Muninn.  I just can't even begin to say how much I love and appreciate this gift and all the work and skill she put into making it!  I love you Michelle!

This gorgeous old Jarrah tree was on the side of the track we walked one morning this week.



Look at all the liminal space, and the face too!

Michelle also got this pic of my dear Rosie, who is 11-and-a-half now and showing her age a little more lately.



My sweet sweet baby, how did you get to be an old dog so suddenly?            


      

Monday, 8 April 2019

Fires and firey sunsets

It's still so dry here.  We had a couple of turnouts east of us in Wandoo country, and they were rather fraught at first, with fire on both sides of the roads and helitacs dropping water very close to us.  Of course you can't take time to get photos when it's all happening, but I did get this one as we were returning from a water run to fill up the truck.


Andy got a few good ones of the 2nd fire when it settled down.  This is me out in a paddock, using a monitor to put out burning cow pats and wet down the edge of the fire on case of flare ups later.  You can see why people use the cow pats for fires in wood free areas.  The little buggers just keep smoldering!


Here's the traditional selfie by Andy!



There was a lot less slog in the black stuff than we usually get, just a bit at the end.  I came home from the 2nd fire positively spritely and almost clean, though it's hard to see from this pic how that could have happened!


We also took the new caravan out for a trial run weekend.  We went a little under 3 hours up the coast, to a town called Cervantes.  It has a beautiful bay.

I loved these birdy footprints in the sand.  



The sunsets were stunning.








We also went to check out the Pinnacles, which are stone left behind by an ancient forest.  They had really interesting energy.  Kind of treelike and yet stonelike, which I guess makes sense.



 
John Grey, if you are reading this, this pic is especially for you!



The caravan performed well and I wasn't affected by sleeping in it, so that is good news, but we were buggered by the time we came home, so we've pulled out of plans to drive over east to South Australia.  It's 2700km one way, and we'd need to do the drive in four days.   Um, nope!  Maybe one day we'll do it when we don't have a time limit.

Instead, I've booked last minute plane tickets (or in fact darling Michelle who should be a travel agent has!) and Roo will hold the fort here (and happily read books) while I once more gad off to play with other Druids.  Weeeeee!

Here I am communing with the local King Jarrah with one of my Druid friends, who came to visit on Sunday. It is so nice to be with people who see the world as I do.



In the world of chicken, things are going on as usual.  Guinevere has two chicks left of the original four day-olds I bought her.  The third chick was a lot smaller than the two that are left, and over the weekend she injured her leg somehow.  It was not repairable and she was in pain, so I had to send her to chicken heaven.  It was sad, but that is life with chickens. She had a good life while it lasted, and at six weeks, she was only a week or so younger than meat birds are when they kill them, believe it or not!   

Here she is, tucked very close to mama, while they all dust bathed last week before the accident (whatever that was.)



I love how Pongo has his legs in the air!  Yes, it is a he, and the remaining spangled girl is a girl, thank goodness, who I have boringly called Ham for now.  Pongo is some sort of throwback, and has a few black feathers and some brown feathers on the back of his head.  Odd.  He looks rather Dalmatian-y, hence the name!


Hamburgs are supposed to be a bit flighty, but so far these babies have been particularly tame for hen-raised birds.


I can pick them up, push them gently out of the way, and they don't turn a feather.  Guinevere is very friendly so that probably helps.  That and the mealworms!

Frankendotte the rooster is now crowing and chasing the ladies, and as expected, just like his dad he has no manners, so unless he goes to a new home this week, he'll be in the pot.  Poor Nanny Ogg's feathers have only just grown back from before Elvis went to rooster heaven.  He's handsome though!



Behind him is one of my two Coronation Sussex girls.  They are such a laugh! That is Mofo. When she needs to lay an egg, she runs around trying to find the very best hidey spot and ends by laying anywhere she ends up when it is too late. She has yet to lay an egg in the nesting box!

This is what waits for me at chicken bedtime.



Looks like a scene from The Birds!    

Rosie turned eleven.  I can't believe my baby is eleven.  Dear sweet Rosie. I have no idea how you had such a feisty daughter, who by the way bit our lovely postman this week when he came in the gate to give us a parcel.  I'm so sorry Martin!

Tuppence is a handful, no doubt about it.  I'm not sure why she bit him when she's met him many times before and been ok.  She just has a loose wire in that ordinary lab-looking head of hers and sometimes it goes spoing!

Now I have to find some way to keep her from the driveway when we are out of the yard that attache sot our cottage, and on a rural acreage that is going to be tricky unless I just never let her accompany me about the property.  Ah well, in the meantime, there is my sweet Rosie to comfort me.  Can't you talk to Tuppy, Rosie and tel her to pull her fool head in?    

Hey, I never wanted kids in the first place. She's your problem.
 
Cyrano is wasting away to a baby elephant, as older family members used to say.


He is definitely getting around more easily.  He might argue that that is no compensation for a full food bowl, but we'd run out of types of medication to add for him, so it was diet or curtains, and I want my boy around for a little longer yet!               

         


   

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Autumn catch-ups

At last the weather is turning towards coolness.   Things are going on as normal around here, though I am just getting over a crappy cold of snotness.

The chookies are having a nice life as usual. Guinevere went broody again, and since none of her fertile eggs survived the heat while she was sitting, I bought her four day olds. Three Silver-spangled Hamburgs and one white Cochin, which were what the local stockfeeder had hatching that day. I like Cochins, but I think Hamburgs might be a bit flighty for me, so we'll see how they go.

At any rate Guinevere is happy, though she only has three now because one chick died two days after arriving. It was a very hot day. I gave them an ice bottle but Guinevere isn't the smartest chook and she didn't take them over to it.  She's a sweet mama, though.




Morgana and her singleton child Mordred are still hanging out together.  Luckily she hasn't gone back to broody again!  Mordred is quite pretty, a cross of Silver-laced Wyandotte and black Australorp, and a hen thank goodness!       



 

As usual, the dogs and cat are hard at work.


You can see these two are related!  :D 


I've been playing lyre and guitar pretty much every day (till I got sick).  I'm getting a few songs up to scratch ready to join in Bardic circles when we go over to South Australia for Damh the Bard and Cerri's concerts and camp. Weeeee!

We bought a caravan and have been getting it set up to drive across the Nullabor. We've never done it, and it seems like something every Aussie should do once, so we're going to do it.  It's a Jayco penguin camper.  I really like Jaycos and it is the thing we looked at that didn't smell of outgassing plastics.
   
The biggest hassle has been trying to remove all the left over perfumes in it.  We've had to buy new foam to put in the mattress and kitchen seats because the one that was in them had some hideous chemical in it to keep it fresh.  Bleagh.  What a toxic world we are creating. The new foam is European standard and has no chemical outgassing or perfumes in it.  Thank goodness!  This chemical sensitivity drives me nuts.

Not that i had far to go to get there, as the next photo shows.



That's me embroidering my design on my ceremonial tabard.  Jarrah leaves and blossom one side, oak leaves and acorns the other, and the Awen in the middle with the colours of blue for Bard, Goldy-brown for Druid and Green for Ovate.  i love it now it's done but I will not be taking up embroidery for a hobby!  Head torch, 2.5 times glasses, and still I tired my eyeballs out.


Kitty liked to help me. Help me not embroider!  
               

Other current projects include a t-shirt design for the Druids of WA group.  We put out the call for anyone in the group to design a shirt, and i figure someone else will make a more serious one, so I let myself be as twee as i wanted, and this is the result.  Now being watercoloured.


Black swan,  black cockatoo, blue wren, and a non-gendered druid.   :)

We had a fun games night here not long before I got the snots. This pic came just before Thor crashed the Jenga pile.  We'd already played three games of Forbidden Desert by then and died every time. Apparently the five player version is very hard to win, so we didn't feel too bad.


I'll leave you with these pics of a creepy place I found when walking a local reserve I'd found in the street directory.  Turned out it was a whole big old granite quarry area, now abandoned, and it was one of those really weird moments to come upon it all out there when I'd expected just ordinary bush.


It had very odd energy and i found myself Druidly blessing the torn up land, and blessing the restless spirits of those who had laboured here, perhaps the convicts who built the railway lines in the area.    

This was the deep and black lagoon I came across.  A hole cut while chasing the dark granite into the ground, and now full of black water even so late in a dry summer.  It reminded me of nothing so much as the pool at the gates of Moria.  Brrr!   Didn't even dip a toe!