F is for Faith

I should have written this yesterday. But I forgot! F is for forgetful. Well, I’m not used this blogging every day lark. I shouldn’t be writing this today as I’m so bone tired. But if I don’t then that’s three I’d have to write tomorrow and that way lies madness. So you’re getting F for faith today.
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E is for… Eee by the ‘eck lad!

Which is my way of saying I am stumped. I’ve thought about it all day and I cannot come up with an entry for “e”. I know, I know, you’re thinking for heavens sake woman, it’s staring you in the face! E could be for Easter. Thing is, I don’t celebrate Easter. I’m a Pagan, so this sabbat is Ostara. And it actually began on march 21, which was the spring equinox. Oh yes, we had chocolate eggs, went out on saturday to Llanarchaeron and watched the children running around on an Easter egg hunt. But it’s not the same, when it’s not your festival. I “get it” when devout Christians get narked about how commercial Christmas has become, because Samhain is my sabbat. But it’s Hallowe’en for everyone else, so it’s all about cute costumes for children, sexy this-and-that costumes for women, and lots of sweets. But for me it’s about honouring the people I love who have gone on into the Summerlands. Okay, people I care about who have died. Ahem, so it’s a solemn and serious time for me. Also, my mother died on november 1 2010, which makes it even more serious.

But y’know, I wouldn’t stop people from enjoying it in their own way. Nor would I want to even tell people they shouldn’t overindulge on oval shaped chocolate, or stop calling it Easter. It is what it is. It doesn’t matter whether it started thousands of years ago or just two thousand, or whether it goes by other names: when you boil it down, it’s a nice time to spend a day or so with the family, out in the spring air and enjoying the end of winter. Or the end of summer, if you live on t’other side of the world.

So this isn’t much of a blog entry, but it will do for today. I’m just getting into the idea of blogging every day so I’ll be gentle with myself and accept that there are going to be some days when I will struggle.

D is for Days out

We’ve just come back home, from an afternoon in Llanarchaeron. It’s a Georgian mansion with model farm, walled garden, lake, walks in the woods etc. For some odd reason we always seem to go in the autumn or winter. This is the first time in years that we’ve visited when the sun was actually shining. It was pretty busy as they’re running a children’s Easter egg hunt over the weekend. But it was lovely to see families of children actually running around, enjoying the animals and all that fresh air and sunshine that so few of them seem to get these days. Read More

C is for Comics! Pow!! Bif!!

I grew up on comics. My mother allowed my sister and I to read just about every girls’ comic going, in an attempt to encourage my sister to read. Of course, they were all British weekly anthology comics. Even then, in the 1960’s, there were no American style “comic books” for girls. But we would swap our girls’ comics for our boy cousins’ DC and Marvel comics. Eventually, Mum let us buy Spiderman, Superman, Batman and X-Men comics from the local paper shop. Read More

B is for birds

The two legged kind! And you have to say that with a leer and a wink. Today I would like to discuss my daughter and her struggle with bloomin’ stupid men who think that people of the female persuasion cannot possibly know anything much about their pet hobby of ornithology. Read More

A is for…..

…and wouldn’t you know it, my mind has gone blank! I had a busy morning as it was wednesday. Well of course it was and is wednesday, silly chump. What I mean is, every wednesday, I go walking with a group of friends. We met three years ago at a gym for women only. Well, I met them three years ago. I gather that they had been going to that gym for a year or two before I turned up. Read More

Blogging Madness!

In a mad attempt to force myself to blog more regularly; for if you build it, then they will visit; I signed up to two blogging marathons in april. (Marathons? Is that a good term for it?) One of them is an off-shoot of NaNoWriMo, Najowrimo. And the other is Blogging From A-Z. (Only as I’m British, it’s Blogging From A-Zed, not Zee.)

Why do I need to “force” myself to blog? It’s not as if my life depended on it. The thing is, I get that blogging and journalling is a good thing. But it doesn’t come naturally to me. It falls into the category of being not nice. It feels like showing myself up, as my mother would say. And who would want to read the ponderings of what I like to call my mind anyway? I find I tend to write journal entries in letters to penpals. Sometimes something someone will write will spark me off. Several pages later I’ll realise that I have written a journal entry. Meanwhile, weeks will have gone by before I dust off my actual journal or log into my blog.

So, here I am, journalling and blogging every day in april. Will I do it? Will my mind dribble out of my left ear with the strain of it all? Stay tuned, same bat-channel!

It’s very strange…..

…but I could swear I had made at least one more post after the one about religion. Ah memory, how you like to play around with my poor brain. I must have dreamt I had written something.

Anyway, I am here today to rant away about body image in the Pagan press. Ah yes, if there was a group of people that you would think would not be all over the thin-is-good thing, and ageism to boot, it would be Pagans. Of which I count myself in that number.
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Losing my religion

…in the REM way, of losing my temper. I tried not to lose it, but a silly, evangelising “Christian” old woman really got under my skin.

In my opinion; and I am aware that other people think differently; relgion is a personal thing. One’s own religion is just that, one’s own. So I have little time for evangelism and I am losing my patience as well. I was in Cardiff with my daughter, on a hot day, and having put in a lot of walking, I wanted to sit on a bench in the shade and rest for a few minutes. As you do.

I saw an old lady handing out leaflets, or trying to hand them out. I thought that she was probably handing out menus as she was working the street in front of a takeaway noodle shop. But then she spotted me and started walking towards me. I remember that I probably smiled, tentatively as I believe in being polite whenever possible. As she handed one of her leaflets to me, I realised that it was a religious tract. I said no thank you, politely, but this woman would just not take no for an answer. She said “don’t you believe in Jesus?” in such a patronising, pitying tone. I was getting annoyed. After all, I was hot and tired and not up for a religious discussion. Not on the street. Otherwise I probably would not have told her that I am a Pagan. Then the shocked, horrified and even more pitying expression on her face really annoyed me. She said something like “oh no, oh that’s awful”.

Luckily for my blood pressure, a old man, who had been sitting behind me, got up and engaged her in conversation about the man who was polluting the air with his out-of-tune and unwanted caterwauling about Jesus, further down the street. Incidentally, he was trying to compete against a man who was singing a song from “Phantom of the Opera” for charity. It’s interesting that this so-called Christian man was trying to impede the efforts of a man who was just trying to raise money for a worthy cause. But anyway, the old man distracted the woman long enough for me to get up and walk away.

Muslims don’t do it; Sikhs don’t do it; Buddhists, Hindus and Pagans don’t do it. So what makes some Christians arrogant enough to think that accosting people on hot days and being patronising and irritating is acceptable? If they’re trying to convert people then they’re going about it the wrong way. And now my opinion of some Christians is reinforced. I am more than glad, thank the Goddess, that I am a Pagan!

Shetland’s Red Bones

It’s not uncommon to read the book after watching a TV series or movie. And it’s not uncommon to find that the book in infinitely better than the said TV series or movie. But Ann Cleeves’ “Red Bones” is so much better than the TV version, “Shetland”, as to be quite ridiculous.

To begin with, her description of the central character, Detective Jimmy Perez. An odd sort of name for a Scot, especially one living in Shetland, you would think. ms Cleeves writes “Perez was what the locals a black Shetlander; his ancestor had been washed up from a sunken Spanish Armada ship. He’d inherited the name, the dark hair and Mediterranean skin.” Now go and look at a picture of Douglas Henshall, who played Perez at the Internet Movie Database. Go on, I can wait.

Back? See what I mean? I know, it doesn’t really matter. Douglas Henshall is great in anything he does. I love that craggy, worn to a frazzle look. (But no woman would be allowed to look like that and still act. Even Brenda Blethyn as Ann Cleeve’s other detective, Vera, was allowed to be frumpy but relatively unlined, compared to Mr. Henshall.) But it was just incongruous to have such a pale, Scottish looking man with the surname Perez and still be a native of Shetland!

Mind you, that wasn’t the only oddity. In the novel, the two warring families are the Wilsons and the Coulsons. But in Shetland, they were the Haldanes and Wilsons. Cassie, Jimmy’s stepdaughter, is a baby and her mother is still alive, in the novel. While in the series she’s a teenager and her mother is dead. Again, I know it probably doesn’t matter as the TV plot had to pared down to fit. But arghhh!

It’s such a shame that the TV version was so, not great. It’s second episode clashed with Broadchurch, which is so much better. I liked Shetland, really. I quite fell in love with the islands. They’ve always been so for me. I live in a semi-rural area of Wales and it’s just not rural enough or isolated enough for me. I could see myself living in a croft, with no neighbours and just a few black rock hens for company. (I’m not so much a mad cat lady as a mad hen lady!) The two-part series was interesting enough to make me want to read the book. But oh how disappointing when I figured out the reason for the murder in the first episode. I wear glasses and am both short-sighted and near-sighted with astigmatism, but I could see the valuable clue before Perez did.

Ah well, I enjoyed it despite the bad adaption. And I wouldn’t mind seeing more of DI Perez on the small screen. Though that may be a tad difficult as “they” went with adapting the third book in the series instead of the first. So I’d guess that it’s going to stay as a one-off. And Broadchurch is still on, for another five weeks!