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Friday, 31 August 2018

Life and Dream

The dream was the 17th OBOD Australian Assembly, or maybe the assembly was real life at last.  Not sure.  At any rate, it was bloody amazing, and I can't talk about much of it because it is secret Druid's business (it is a mystery school and it is most fun if you get to learn things in their correct order) however I can say that a weekend with more than 40 people who are all open, heart-centred, nature-loving, creative and just downright wonderful, well, it was life-changing.

Ceremony, connection, laugher, tears, goosebumps, stories, singing, dancing, hugging, meditating, making music, walking amongst the trees with people who love them like I do.  Pure bliss!

Can I show you pics of the lovely people and what we got up to?  Nopey nope!   I wish I could but I can't.  I'll hold the times and the photos close to my heart instead.  To those who were there, just let me say, I love you all, and you are all amazing humans, and may we meet again soon, because I can feel your hearts all the way out there across Australia and New Zealand, and it is something to hold to, but will not be enough forever.

Special mention to Dusty and Jenni, my fellow WA-ites, who shared a cabin with me and made me feel like a kid camping again.  You both rock and I love you lots!     

Here is the hillside beyond the campground with a distant rainbow.

Here is me just after my initiation as Druid.  What can I can say about that but, hell yes, if you are an OBODie on the path, keep going, because it just gets better and better, and of the Druids who held space for my fellow initiates and me, I want to say a heartfelt thank you, and may it be so that I one day come to carry and share the joy, warmth and wisdom that you carry and share so gracefully.

Almost the very best thing?  I made it!  No crashes, no bad reactions, I was full of energy for the whole four days no matter how hectic it got.  I had to be careful, especially of what I ate and breathed, but ten years ago, if someone had told me that one day I would be well enough to do such a thing, I'd have thought they totally sucked for teasing me.  Chronic Lyme *can* be treated and managed well enough to have a good life again, and I am living proof, but I will never take it for granted.  I'm loving every moment of it. 

Home is good too.  I'm still bouncy happy Tina.  No post-con depression.  I am every day working to add more of my spirituality into my life.  Seeking to find out who I am at core, and making sure I prioritise those parts of my life that feed that.  We are all works in progress, and I'm working on it.  Always will be, I'm sure.

More time in nature...

More time with good friends, human and animal...

More time doing work of the hands...

The moccs are getting a makeover. 

Druid tabard to be...
       More time doing all sorts of writing and making art and making music...

New kids' story coming soon!

More time doing service for my community at both my brigades, including my amazing new bushfire brigade, Chidlow VBFB...

Shiny new jacket for a shiny new beginning!

More time snuggling you-know-who...

And apparently less time crocheting, because that same you-know-who likes sitting on the current afghan way too much lately.

Blogging is still going to be less frequent, but I miss the diary element of my time here.  I might endeavour to be more regular with it.  We'll see.  Lots else to do these days!

I wish for you all, "a blessing upon your days, a blessing upon your lives, a blessing upon the land."  /|\ 


Thursday, 2 August 2018


Pemberton is a long way down south of where we live in Western Australia.  See...

Not that the long drive affected me at all...

We went down for a 20th Anniversary Handfasting for two of our Druid friends, the lovely Michelle and Dusty.   How gorgeous is this photo taken by Ashley?

Pemberton is best known for being in the thick of the Karri forests.  Karri are... well... I think unless I ever get to see a Redwood forest, they are probably the most amazing trees I'll ever be amongst.  What better cathedral for a Druid than this?

Their energy is so peaceful and dignified, even if sometimes the humans amongst them are less so...  :D

Don't ask me! Something about being vampires in our cloaks, I seem to remember!

There are beautiful waterfalls too.  Above is the Cascades where we did the Handfasting and below is Beedelup Falls.   Do not go on the swinging bridge down there with naughty people, I warn you now!

And there is this very odd little place known as the Goblin Forest.  Creepy but very cool!

I could imagine so many little critters in there, and as somebody else said at the tine, "Do not touch the water!"  (LOTR reference there for my fellow fans.)

I might try to use it as part of a piece of fantasy art at some stage.   We got a bit lost finding it but when asking for directions we got to meet the lovely Patrick the Stick Obsessed, a Tricolour Rough Collie.   Gorgeous boy and what a lovely place he gets to live!

We stayed in a lovely rammed earth chalet by a lake.   In the first two hours I saw three birds I'd never seen before.  Two of them, the Golden Whistler and the Firetail, were both just hopping around on the grass outside our window!  It's a twitcher's paradise!

I won't horrify you with the blurry photos I got.  Here's one of a Red-eared Firetail from Birdlife Australia:

And here's a male Golden Whistler, from the same site.

For comparison, here is my photo of one.  As you can see, I'd better not give up my day job for nature photography just yet!

What, you say you can't see it?  But it's right there in the middle of the lawn!

See?  Heh.

I hope August sees you enjoying whatever season is yours to enjoy at this time, spring or autumn.

Get outside, look at birds and trees and skies and rocks.   It's good for the brain!

See you next time I feel like blogging!

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Yardwork and Skiving Off.

I made this!

It's been a stormy winter and so far we have three giant bonfires, nearly all from fallen trees rather than the planned grooming of the property that we do every year.  I made this one all myself! It is densely packed with soft green branches and represents hours of hard labour.  Who needs a gym? Hopefully they will be dry enough to burn before fire permit season begins at the end of August.

Today I finished piling up the last of the fallen tree, with the help of Gogs and Drew.  It would have taken me quite a few more more hours, but we were done in 40 mins or so and off to a cafe for cake and a chat!  What would I do without the Firey guys?!  I got Drew to take the above pic before they added any branches, though, while it was still genuinely all my work!

On Sunday, just for a change of pace, I took off in Andrew's Jimny, Timmy, to have a drive out to the old farmsite of Malmalling, where we had a lot of bushfires this year, and where I get lost every time.  I think it is because it is where two small rivers meet, so you tend to think you are on one river and suddenly realise you are now on the other one and facing a different direction.   It is very tricky, especially at night when at a fire and trying to get back for water or food.  Your GPS trail looks like spaghetti after you've done a few hours out there!

Despite being a good half hour's drive down gravel tracks into state forest, it is a favourite haunt of trailbikers, but I managed to find some peaceful places.  This granite outcrop was a great place to have my sandwiches for lunch.

I love Granite outcrops.  So much natural power.

There's Timmy waiting for me at the bottom like a good little Jimny.

The tracks were much wetter than they are in summer (Derrr, Tina!) and in places Timmy and I were up to our ankles in water.  I had a bit of a girly squeal to myself as we slipped a bit while crossing here!

Timmy did a great job though, living up to his rep as a good 4 x 4, despite being a miniature version.

I also came across the old farmhouse site.  These two magnificent old oaks stood sentinel over the rubble of the home that once they graced.

Their energy was so peaceful. I loved them at once and spent some time communing with them and thinking about the people who had once lived here.

These Friesias (?)  had grown all alone and unaided into a beautiful setting of their own.

Down by the little river (I'd call it a creek but it does indeed own the grand name of Helena River)  things were magically damp and a tad spooky.  I kept expecting to see a gnome, or the Oz equivalent of such, peering at me,

Google did this, and not sure if I like it or not, but it does better capture the green of the grass across the river, and the bright shimmer of yellow winter afternoon sun on the water.

Ahhhh, nature, how I love you!   Malmalling, I'll be back to visit again.  Maybe during the week, though, when I will have you to myself! 


Sunday, 1 July 2018

Winter Warm

It is hard to believe today, holed up inside while wind and rain beat the trees about outside, that yesterday sister Jen and I went to the beach.

We took Jen's two 'Yellows' as she calls them, Kelly and Pippa, and my Rosie.

 Poor Tuppy had to stay home with Daddy and her brother, Angus, because I didn't think it was fair either to her or the masses of dogs that go to the beach to take her along and let her brains get fried.  Some dogs, just like some people, don't do well in crowded social situations.

It was a wise choice, because as a result I was able to relax and enjoy the company of my very special and gentle ten year old girl, who got to be my only dog for the morning.

This cute and amazingly-marked dog was just one of the squintillion pooches we passed on our walk.

Blue eyes too!  Did you ever?

I love winter.  Stormy beaches.  Slanting light.  Bonfires...

Amazing dawns...

Those were taken from nearly the same place on two separate days.  Mind bogglingly inspiring!

And rainbows too.

The chickens are enjoying the green grass, guarded over by an almost fully mature Elvis.

In other news, I've been savaging this cheap new violin case to carry my lyre, because I am off east to go to the 17th OBOD Australian Assembly.

It has been kind of fun to hack apart something new.  :D  Let's hope I can get it back together!

At the Assembly, I am hopefully getting to be initiated into the Druid level, so it is very exciting for me!  I think it is been 13 years of study so far, through the Bardic and then Ovate grades, and now I begin the next stage of my journey.  Also, I get to meet heaps of lovely fellow Druidy people, some of whom I have been friends with online for years but never met IRL before!  Yay!

The live story readings are still going well and am now up to the fifth chapter.  I've made a playlist on youtube, so if you want to get the whole story in one place, here it is, or will be when I finish it.  There are maybe two more sessions to go, unless I decide to belt the story out all the way to the end next Sunday!  Beware, is not safe for work and contains some naughtiness and swearing.

Last week I finally took myself off to join in with a local ukulele group.  OMG, so much fun!  Do it!

And with all this winter busyness, what has Mr Kitty been doing, I hear you ask?  Did you really need to?  :D

See you next time I feel bloggy!