Feb 7th

Going Home

By Purple witch

I was sat, last evening, looking out the window and listening to the rain. Wasn't planning to write anything but I think thats often how it starts.  Relaxed and suddenly in the zone (On the bed, with laptop, and TV burbling in the background if you want the truth.)   Anyhow, the brain kicked in to gear and I started typing what ever came to mind. Just spent the last half hour tidying it up bit.  Not sure what i'm going to do with it or where it fits into the scheme of my creative endeavours, but it was good practice and i enjoyed doing it. As nothing created should ever be wasted I  thought i would share it.

 

Tonight a dying lantern flickers like a small moon suspended on a giant hook and reveals rain as it falls in glassy lines through the wet reflection of its light.

 

The blustery weather complains across the rigid walls of the cottage with a repeated moan and its sad sound takes on form, sucking the curtain back and forth against the drafty sill so I can feel the damp cold breath of the wind from where I sit. 

 

I have spent a lifetime in this house and this room but tonight those moments and years have folded in upon each other and time is caught in a net of stillness.

 

The candle flame gutters and trembles, creating shadows that wrap themselves around me for comfort.

 

The portal-house begins the ancient ritual of change.

 

The lantern and window disappear as the pale walls dim into earthy fortifications of mossy peat, trailed with vines and small succulent fruits that glow in the darkle. Overhead the wooden rafters transform into a tangle of roots and rock and the perfume of the earth touches everything.  

 

I can hear muted voices rising and falling as folk gather at the border between worlds. They are waiting for her to appear.

 

I know when she arrives because her scent begins to fill the room with a glorious mix of berries, flowers and the fragrance of star-shine.

 

 “Oh,” she says, “has it been so long for you?  It has been only the summer for us.”   

 

Her hand touches my shoulder and I turn to look at her. She is as I remember, constant as the air, dark and silver as the moon and so very beautiful.

 

I cannot greet her as I yearn to do, for this is a moment of ancient ritual, so I touch my mouth to her wrist in the formal greeting of our family. “Hello Mother.”    

 

Only her smile and the briefest of nods is her acknowledgement of our kinship. “Come; let us help you with your garments.” She beckons to the maidens of Attalon, behind her.

 

They come, bringing a bowl filled with sweet scented herb water to purify me, the silver circlet for my hair, the athame, and the robes of the high priestess I had discarded so long ago. 

 

I know their faces.  Alita who anoints me with the water, Bourd, the silent one, who will dress and serve me from this time on, and Caro who marks the chosen with the crescent tattoo.

 

She watches until they are done, then comes again to stand beside me.   “This won’t do.”   She says running her hand through my ashen curls. “Your beautiful hair is white.” In that moment her strength and power are almost visible.

 

With her touch, time falls away from me and the dark hair colour of my youth is restored.   The freshly re-marked crescent moon at my temple ripples under my skin and I feel the beginnings of power returning.

 

“Come Vivvion,” she takes my hand, “it is time to return to the land of your own people and reclaim the power that is yours my child”

 

Suddenly I am impatient to walk again beyond the gates of Annwffn.  I am eager regain my power and to take up again the mantle so long ago put side. 

 

More than this I ache to see the face and form of my father once more.

 

“I am ready Mother … My Lady Sorcha.”    Together we lead the way beyond the curtain of the portal which rolls away into the green and golden land of the Hollow hills.

 

I am home again.

 

 

 

 

   

Feb 7th

A bit of colour for a damp and windy weekend

By Squidge

Another India blog up on the Scribbles - this time it's about clothing and colour.

You cloudies know how much I love a rainbow - well, I didn't get a nicely ordered Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain, but what I did get was (dare I say it?) even better! 

Click here if you want to read.

Feb 7th

For Londoners or nearby.

By mike

Last year I posted a short blog about a performance of Schumann’s piano concerto in which the pianist had picked up a microphone and explained the rationale behind the concert.  This worked in that, as a member of the audience, I felt more involved in what was going on.

  It was nothing planned, but yesterday I attended a Schumann concert by the same orchestra.  This time there was a talk before and after the concert.  But this was for a different reason.

    The ‘Southbank’ had organised a weekend of events called ‘Changing Minds:  A Weekend Festival about mental health and the arts.’

    The orchestra performed two large scale works by Schumann - a violin concerto and a symphony - which were the last two works Schumann composed before a total mental collapse. The composer did not recover.   The event tried to relate the music to this collapse.

  It is a small chance but I wonder if any ‘Word Clouders’ had attended any of the other events and could give a report?

   The concert was not well attended and I must confess I did not know the pieces and my own mind wandered.  But there was a star there.  A female conductor - the one who had conducted the last night of the proms.  

 

P.S  Photography is hobby of mine.   I go for walks and take a camera with me.   When I get home, I go though the photographs and edit them.  In a small way this is theraputic. 

Feb 7th

NHS....

By Old Fat Prop
The Royal College of Nursing has weighed in on Prime Minister David Cameron's health care proposals for the National Health Service.
 

The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the
Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.
The Gastroenterologists had a sort of a gut feeling about it, but the
Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.
The Obstetricians felt they were all labouring under a misconception.
Ophthalmologists considered the idea short-sighted.
Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the
Pediatricians said, "Oh, Grow up."
The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the
Radiologists could see right through it.
Respiratory therapists aren’t holding their breath.
The Surgeons were fed up with the cuts and decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.
The Ear Nose and Throat specialists didn't swallow it, and just wouldn't hear of it.
The Pharmacists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the
Plastic Surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter...."
The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the
Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea.
The Anaesthetists thought the whole idea was a gas, but the
Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.
In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the arseholes in Whitehall.
 
Feb 4th

Writing around language

By Squidge

I had the good fortune to be running a workshop this morning where the students are all ESOL, ie, English is their secondary or other language.

It amde for an interesting session, and taught me a few things too, especially about teaching/facilitating across both language and cultural barriers.

Up on the Scribbles if you're interested: click here!

 

 

Feb 3rd

Squidge's Scribbles from India

By Squidge

Apologies for being absent - I've been to India, Mr Squidge has had a pretty major op on his back, and kids are involved in two musicals which run back to back. So writing time is not very forthcoming.

Anyway, yes, been to India. I've written a couple of blogs so far. The first is a sort of stream-of-consciousness-listy-thing of impressions, the second a deeper look at the spiritual aspects of my trip (We were looking at the possibility of linking with a CSI church community in Pudukkottai)

Some of you were interested, so they're now posted on the Scribbles for you to peruse at your leisure...just click on the links below.

First impressions

The spiritual link

 

I daresay there will be others in time - education...wildlife...tea plantations...the sari shop...so keep your eyes peeled!

 

 

 

Feb 1st

Ferry across the Mersey

By Purple witch

 

I took a four and a half hour drive to Liverpool with my partner, Jon, this weekend. We had a party invite for the Saturday evening from his cousin - it was her 40th..

 

We arrived Friday night and Jon, a Scouser , said “Let’s do the ferry across the Mersey  in the morning  I’ve not done it for years  and I can show you some of the other sights too  and where I lived as a kid”  

 

So Saturday  morning  we spent £10.00 each  for an hour long trip on the ferry and within 10 minutes I had thrown up on the deck , then (yes, you guessed it)   I threw up into the wind  and covered Jon too.

 

  I staggered off the ferry as soon as it made its first stop and sat in the terminal with  my head spinning and feeling totally awful.

 

 Poor Jon had to finish the boat tour stinking of vomit so he could go back and drive our car through the Mersey tunnel to come and collect me.     

 

I threw up at the road side after getting into the car and again in the car on the way back to the guest house.  Jon was brilliant and so supportive even though he was covered in Saturday morning’s breakfast.

 

I managed the party but sat in a corner looking alternatively green and ashen all night.

 

The  drive home saw me looking about the same .

 

 I have been seasick and nauseous since Saturday   lunch time and only started feeling better this evening.

 

In my defense the wind was atrocious and the sea was rolling and pitching the ferry so you couldn’t stand up.

 

 When we arrived back home last night, Jon recounted the event to my son. 

 

My son rolled his eyes and said, “Mum .  you idiot … I remember when you got sea sick on a canal boat on the Norfolk Broads….. And we were moored up “

 

Jon, bless him, just laughed.

 

 I am such a landlubber.

 

Feb 1st

abusive language.

By mike

  Earlier last week there had been a query  on ‘word cloud’ about writing a novel set in the seventies/eighties and whether  the rough and abusive language of the time should be used.  My own opinion is that it should.  Presumably swear words etc etc?   But some words, and their uses, have become period pieces in themselves.

I did a blog on this but it turned up on my home file.   I didn't put it in the blog so much, but I wonder if the novels of the time did use much abusive language? I cannot really remember.    If people are interested I can re blog.  

  I have been clearing out books from my bookshelves and the last popular fiction I read had been Gerald Seymour and Grahame Greene.  In his book Grahame Greene wrote about black racism but used no abusive language - neither did Gerald Seymour.  We tend to think of abusive langauge beeing racist,   but this is seldom the case,  Women might be subected more to verbal abuse?  Bint'' etc etc.  But this is now a word. belonging to it's peiod,  Today women might find the word 'lady' offensive and I am glad the word spinster had disappered, though I am the male equivalent,

I have been called 'Santa.  'Allo Santa'   I might think this abusive,  It once happened on the train and the words were directed by drunks from Petts Wood.  I was on nerve age because how do I reply.  "Yo, ho ho?"  I was in extreme danger however I replied.

It is a difficult issue and I came across the use of one racist word with which a playright made very effective use. 

 

 

Jan 31st

Dissecting Dragons - a foray into podcasting

By Jillybean

Hello Cloudies :)

 

I'll keep this brief and just provide a link here. Today, M.E.Vauhan - a fellow fantasy writer - and I started our new speculative fiction podcast. We had a lot of fun and we should be broadcasting in the next week or so. If you're interested please check out this link to my blog about the same.

 

Dissecting Dragons

 

Enjoy! And thanks 

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