Moonlight Phoenix has risen

music, feminism, spirituality, words and more

Why I’m not an Angry Vegan…

Recently I have felt inspired to write a blog about this.

I am a vegan and I have been vegan for eleven and a half years now. I am vegan primarily for animal rights reasons, as I truly believe animals are not here for our use, and all beings should be treated equally.

In all my time of being vegan I have met a lot of other vegans, vegetarians, and of course many many meat eaters, some who take pleasure in making sarcastic comments or asking what I would do in hypothetical scenarios which are extremely unlikely to happen. I’ve also met people who are simply curious and ask genuine questions and try to understand the choice I’ve made.

There is a certain type of vegan, some would say ‘militant’  , I would say ‘angry’.

An angry vegan often tends to have a very bitter world view, perhaps despising the human race, quite possibly may have cut all ties with anyone in their life who eats meat. Yells obscenities at anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

Now don’t get me wrong. They have got a right to be angry. The world is cruel. Animals suffer. Badly. and in all sorts of ways, from the meat and dairy industry, to animal “entertainment” to animal testing on cosmetics and medicine, to fur farming, hunting, I could go on and on. and Yes, all those things make me angry too.

I have been on many protests about almost all of those things and more. I haven’t so much recently but not because I don’t want to. I do believe protests and actions can make a huge difference, even if simply a passer by notices and it sparks something in them. To me, that is a small but great step to bringing a bit more compassion in the world. Protests are a great way to express the anger we feel.

I choose to protest but I choose not to be an Angry Vegan as part of my everyday life.

Why? Because for me veganism is about compassion.

Compassion is for ALL. So that means other humans as well as animals. I don’t believe that I will convince anyone else to be vegan by being angry with them. I want to show that you can be happy and healthy as vegan and I want to show that with my actions and my words. Yes I’ll certainly promote veganism where I can and I’ll discuss my points of view on my choices and animal rights issues. But there is no need for me to shout others down for not making the same choice as me. I’d rather show my choices by perhaps sharing food or talking about good organisations, by showing the positive sometimes not always the negative. That doesn’t mean I won’t share a petition or a video once in a while. I just choose to show compassion for ALL. Okay so maybe some of those people don’t show that same compassion. But my hope is that by always showing compassion to others, we can teach others to do the same, even if it does take time. There’s no need for me to fight.

so yes I’m very proud to be a non- angry, happy hippy vegan 🙂

 

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A look back on 2016 and a look forward to 2017

In 2015 I was a bit early in posting this post, and now I’m late posting 2016. The truth is I have lots of blogs I need to write at the moment, but this is the first chance I’ve had and felt okay to do it. The last week of 2016 and the first week of 2017 have not been good to me. The light is starting to slowly coming back but the last two weeks have been really hard, and for the first time in a long time I’ve not been okay. We had to have one of our cats put to sleep so it started with grief which then morphed into a deep depression and even anger. I felt really alone. However I am now ready to admit I was in a bad place and now is time I can pick myself up again, as the only one who can really do this is me. I have to accept things won’t always be good but they won’t always be bad either. Life is slowly on the up again and one thing I can do to help me is write! So I will slowly start to catch up on my blogs again, as I have lots to say.

let’s start with a look back on 2016..

Music

still not as prominent as it has been in the past, I don’t think I made it to any gigs this year apart from one local one- seeing my friend Ruth’s band T Bitch at their Halloween show at the Railway Hotel, which was really awesome! (it involved one member arriving in a coffin and me standing on a chair in order to see)!

I didn’t buy any new music in 2016 although I did listen to Spotify a lot and tried to diversify my listening a bit by keeping an eye on new releases and checking out their recommended playlists. I don’t think I can really pinpoint anything new in this area.

Books

I set my challenge on Good Reads to read 50 books again, but I still didn’t quite reach it, I think I read 45 or 46 so I have set it for 47 this time.

I think the best books I read were at the end of the year after my Moon Mother training. I read both Red Moon and Female Energy Awakening by Miranda Gray (who trained me). They are about women’s cycles and how to live in harmony with them. They are helping me to change my life! But I will talk more on this in another blog, but I highly recommend them to all women!

Films and TV

I didn’t see any films at the cinema this year. I’m sure I must have watched some good films but I can’t recall any!

TV Wise- Humans was still very good and Black Mirror. Also enjoyed more nature documentaries like Planet Earth.

Photos/Moments/Things I did in 2016

attempted to write a poem a day, which was half successful as a lot of days I didn’t feel inspired by the prompts in the book I was working with!

Passed my Advanced product advisor test for work

Went to see Vampires Rock!

Took part in the first round of the ‘associate of the year’ for work

went to my first Buddhist ceremony

did a meditation workshop at the EDEN conference

Poetry reading at an allotment day twice

Went to Holland

took part in ’30 Days Wild’ in June

helped out at Tower Hill Sanctuary on my birthday

attended 3 Pig Save Vigils

became the supervisor for the Rayleigh store

held my first fire ceremony

went to Whitstable beach in kent

went to a sheep sanctuary

Restarted the Munay ki

went to the Retreat animal sanctuary

became a Moon Mother

went to Portugal

walked the Saffron Walden labrinyth

held my first worldwide womb blessing group, started giving womb healings

did healing at a shamanic weekend

Miguel surprised me with a shamanic wedding blessing ceremony

took part in a free hugs weekend

 

the most popular blogs I wrote in 2016

  1. 2016 Focus and Intentions
  2. dancing barefoot may 16
  3. Essex Pig save
  4. belated post: april poems for #shewritespoetry2016
  5. 30 Days Wild Week 2 (and a bit)

how I did with my goals and intentions in 2016:

learn more about nature- nature was a big theme of 2016 so a big fat yes. 30 days wild in June really helped too!

heighten my spiritual related work- yes although not in the way I hoped, still didn’t have regular clients (mostly I had none) but I did healing work at a retreat weekend and also can now more healings as I became a Moon Mother so can now do Womb Healings and Blessings, in addition to crystal healing.

get to Peru- not yet!

honour seasons and moon more fully- not to the extent I would have liked.

cook more- nope!

go to yoga classes- yes! apart from when I had the change of jobs and couldn’t go, I have been to a lot of classes in 2016.

walk more often- beginning part of the year yes but once changed job location not so much as no longer walking distance!

better self care- I think overall I was better at resting when I needed to, and I also went to the dentist, the optician and had my well overdue smear test

not to be affected by other people’s stories/no expectations- better with no expectations but still can be very affected by other people’s stories.

harness manifestation- yes, I went from a part time to a full time job and managed to manifest a lot of the ideas I had for my women’s circle this year too.

my focus was: Knowledge, health, magic and self care. I think there was a lot of all those things!

Now finally to move forward to 2017. (a week into it, lol)

My Focus this year is: Balance, Happiness, Divine Feminine

My intentions for this year (including those I set back in October on the witches new year)

  1. To Cook more- carrying this one over as I would like to do more with this when I can
  2. to have new experiences and visit new places
  3. to do more of what makes me happy
  4. to step fully into my role as a healer – reworded as still important to me. I love doing the healing work but I need people to come to me to heal!
  5. To do more activism again -would be great to fit in where I can for causes I feel passionate about
  6. be better at birthdays- I’ve had this before too, last year partly because of lack of money part of the year I wasn’t very good at it. This year I’d like to be more organised and thoughtful
  7. finish my lists!- I am a list hoarder and that won’t ever change. However I have lists on my phone with stuff that’s been on there for ages (things to buy etc) so I want to start getting rid of those things!
  8. Give up the Pill- I’ve been on the pill for about 18 years, I’ll go into this on my blog about womb healing/cycles more but now is the time to come off and change contraception method.I’ve got 3 months left so I will use those first, and that gives me time to explore my options
  9. Live to my cycle and educate others- as I’ve already briefly mentioned (and will go deeper in another post) I’ve been learning more about women’s cycles and it is really helping me to understand myself and other women better. I want to be able to live with this cyclic nature in mind. I also want to help other women to understand the nature of their cycle
  10. make more time for creativity- whatever that is- writing, colouring, collaging…just time to create, even if just for myself.

 

 

 

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Essex Pig Save

 

I heard about ‘Pig Save’ through a friend who posted about it on social media. Intrigued, I wanted to know more. On the event I found on Facebook, it immediately drew me in. The idea was to go to slaughterhouses, hopefully stop the vans for a few minutes, provide comfort to the pigs either by giving water or/and a little love, but also to document what the reality really looks like by capturing them on film and photos which can then be shared widely to try to spread awareness. I’ve been to protests many times but not any as direct as this one. Part of what made me want to take part was they described it as a ‘love based’ approach. So, instead of getting angry (although of course we are), instead just focusing on the pigs. Comfort and awareness are the main aims as I understand it.

I knew it would be quite upsetting to see, but I just knew that I had to do this. The movement originally started in Toronto in 2010. Anita Krajnc, the woman who started it was actually charged for ‘criminal mischief’ for giving water to pigs suffering during a summer heatwave and so the slogan ‘compassion is not a crime’ was created.

The movement started to grow and the first UK based Pig Save was in Manchester. Inspired by this, Essex Pig Save was born.

I didn’t make it to the first event but I was determined I would make it to the 2nd event despite it being a little further afield from me. I liked that on the event they encouraged people that would struggle to get there to post so that lifts could be organised. I posted to say I would need some help getting there and it didn’t take long for a kind soul to offer myself and a few others in a similar area a lift as long as we could get to Rayleigh train station.

On the day I had to get up very early as I needed to be at the station by 7.15am as the vigil started at 8am. (on a Monday morning). I got in the car with 3 other vegan ladies and we made our way to Cheale meats. It didn’t take long to spot the slaughterhouse, as just looking it as we went past it, it looked somewhat creepy and there was a horrible energy about it, and that was before we knew for sure! When we got there we weren’t sure where to park so we tried to park somewhere and a man came out shouting at us until we were told where we could go, just a little more up the road. As where it was, was pretty much near a main road. I had felt okay about it all, but as soon as I had got to Rayleigh I had begun feeling a bit queasy and when we got out of the car I felt really sick and nervous.

It eased my mind a bit when I saw there was quite a few of us (about 20 I think) and a few familiar faces. We stood with placards with an image of a dog and a pig saying ‘why eat one but love the other’. There were two police and the owner just outside of the slaughterhouse. As the events are public on Facebook, they know when we will come. At the first event there were a lot more police but since they saw the group was quite peaceful they obviously realised they didn’t need so many.

demo

Then it was just a case of waiting for the trucks to arrive. I can’t remember how long it took for the first one to arrive, maybe about an hour. Annoyingly the slats were up so we couldn’t see the pigs. Clearly they had been instructed to do this. There was another one I think after that, again with the slats up. It was pretty frustrating. Then a much smaller van with only a few young pigs rolled in which we could have got to easily. We tried to get it to stop but there was no chance. We had a sign saying ‘Please stop for two minutes. we just want to see the pigs’ which someone would hold so the driver could see and some of us would go round the front to try and get the vans to stop.

With the next one, again the slats were up but a few of us were tall enough to get footage from the upper slat just about this time. I couldn’t see anything and did attempt to film but didn’t get any decent footage. We had been hearing pigs screaming now and again in the distance from the slaughterhouse but with this van just before it went in, we heard a blood curling scream come from the van. It sounded like pure pain. It was horrible. One of my friends I came with started to cry so I gave her a little comfort.

The very last one I saw before we went, finally didn’t have the slats up so I could finally see although I still didn’t manage to catch footage but others did. We only managed to stop it for about 10 seconds as people were stood in front of the truck. It was so brief, but it was just long enough to feel and see the pain. In the moment it all happens so quick so all I could do was shout ‘I’m sorry’ to the pigs as they were driven in to the slaughterhouse.

Our group then had to leave so I didn’t see if there were any more. I didn’t manage to get any footage but lots of others did which show one van where the pigs had so little space they were standing on top of each other and they were dirty, and covered in cuts.

I can’t figure out how to post the videos here but you can see them and the photos on the Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/EssexPigSave/

I wrote a poem about my experience:

‘Moment’
Today I heard you scream
I saw the pain in your eyes
I smelt the fear
I tasted blood in the air
I felt your soul
if just for a moment…
it was heartbreaking
but I needed to see
I need to know
I wanted you to see a loving face
if just for a moment…
with no time to think it through
all I could say was “I’m sorry”
I couldn’t stop your fate
but I wanted you to know someone cares
if just for a moment..
maybe one day things will change
but for now all I can give you
is a moment….

 

I’ll be attending again as soon as I can. I don’t know who wouldn’t be affected even just hearing the screams. Please consider cutting meat from your diets. Ideally I’d love you all to go vegan but I know that won’t happen over night so at least take positive steps towards it, make yourself at least aware of what happens to begin with. Think about where your food comes from and how it’s been treated.

 

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Feeling so Bohemian Like You..June 2016

Time for my regular monthly update!

FOCUS AND INTENTIONS UPDATE

KNOWLEDGE (focus on nature)- 30 Days Wild! Look at my previous posts to see what I got up to with this.

HEALTH- been walking every day.

MAGIC- still haven’t done much focus on this

SELF CARE-nothing in addition to what I’ve been doing so far.

To heighten my spiritual work-I saw 2 clients in June and booked one for this month.

To get to Peru- still a long way off (for now)

To honour the seasons and moon-did things on new moon and full moon, but didn’t do anything for Summer Solstice other than change my altar.

To cook more- still nope

go to Yoga classes-went to two during June.

walk more often- been walking every day at least half hour

not to be affected by other people’s stories- not been too bad with this

have no expectations-getting better.

manifestation skills- still lots of meditation, affirmations, prayer etc. Maybe it’s working as I’m changing jobs soon. Staying with Holland and Barrett but moving to the Rayleigh store to be the supervisor 🙂 Migs is getting more work in too.

WHAT I GOT UP TO

A friend of mine is doing a Holistic massage course and I got to be a case study for a full body massage!

I went to a ‘Southend Vegans’ meet up which was a picnic at Chalkwell park. Weather turned out lovely and tasty food!

went to the Southend ‘Essex feminist Collective’ meeting which was about the EU. I wasn’t sure about which way I wanted to vote so this really helped.

Helped a friend out with some cleaning of her flat, and got paid for it too! 🙂

I went to the Southend Animal Aid meeting for first time in years!

Went to see my mum

Visited my grandad

went out for an early birthday lunch with Miguel as he was working away on the actual day. We went to the Railway and I had gnocchi which was delicious!

For my actual birthday I went with some friends to help out Tower Hill animal sanctuary. We painted a fence for them and got to see some of the animals too! I really connected with the horses there. It was a really nice day.

I went to Essex Pig Save. I’ll be writing a separate blog on this.

It was my women’s circle last night, I had 3 attendees and it was on Unicorn Magic. It was lovely 🙂

so starting to be more busy now, now that summer is here!

So July…having a belated birthday get together tonight, got a sealife centre protest planned to go to, my circle and possibly a few other things.

 

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30 Days Wild-Final Week and What I learnt

Day 23

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On Day 23 I looked into becoming what’s known as a citizen scientist. Citizen scientists help provide vital research and there’s lots of nature based projects to be found. I signed up for ‘Birdtrack’ and ‘Nature’s calendar’ I haven’t quite got it all sussed out yet but one is for bird spotting and the other is to record signs of season change.

Day 24

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On day 24, I walked through Churchill gardens on my way to work and tried to ‘spot a mammal’ and I did! Just about managed to catch this cutie before he scurried away!

Day 25

Day 25 was my birthday! and I had a ‘wild’ day! I spent it with some friends helping out Tower Hill Stables/animal sanctuary. We painted a fence for them and also got to spend a little time with the animals too! I really connected with the horses that day. They are sooo beautiful! Throughout the day in travel time I also saw an egret, wild rabbits, a pheasant and some birds of prey!

Day 26

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I had a bit of a ‘chill’ day after such an active day 25. So I decided to see what wildlife I could spot from our back window. I saw seagulls, collared doves, pigeons, sparrows, blackbirds, a few flies, a black cat, crows and magpies! Considering we live near a main road, we do spot some interesting wildlife sometimes. We have seen jays in our car park before! and yesterday my partner saw a Sparrow hawk on our balcony!

Day 27

demo

on Day 27, I went to my first ‘Essex Pig Save’ vigil. I will probably be writing a blog all about this at some point, but it was outside a local slaughterhouse. The purpose of the vigil is to ‘bear witness’ to the pigs. We hope to stop some of the vans so that for just a moment, we can provide comfort to the pigs but also document it so people can see the reality behind their meat. It was a sad day but important to do and I’ll be doing it again.

Day 28

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Day 28 my random act of wildness was to watch the daisies in the garden to see how they change through the day. The top photo was at 11am and the second was at 7pm.

Day 29

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On day 29 I did some cloud watching. I thought it might be interesting to try to identify the type of cloud. I think this was ‘alto-cumulus’ but not sure!

Day 30

As today was the last day I thought I’d try to squeeze in as many ‘wild’ places as possible! I went to Prittle brook, Growing Together Westcliff Garden, Priory Park and Churchill Gardens. I spotted lots of wild life as you can see!

So before I started 30 days wild I did feel very connected to nature anyway but afterwards I feel even more connected! I started to learn more about the wildlife I see, including more names of things and I did some things I wouldn’t have thought to do before like looking underneath a log and watching where a bumblebee goes! I made even more of a point of going for walks and admiring what’s around me. It has reawakened my passion for activism again too!

This was a wonderful challenge that I’d tell everyone to do. It really helps you to see what magic there is around you and almost everything I did was free!

Now I pledge to Stay Wild and be wild 365 days a year 😀

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30 Days Wild Week 3

Day 17

On day 17, I tried to identify bird song. I could hear plenty of it but couldn’t see what birds were making it! The only ones I did identify were the easy ones that I could see which were crows and ducks! I put a video on Instagram and a friend managed to identify a blue tit, black bird, collared dove and sparrows.

Day 18

For day 18, I went to the Southend Animal Aid meeting for the first time in years so it was a day of ‘wild’ planning. I’m going to help at an animal sanctuary this weekend and next week going to a vigil for slaughterhouse pigs.

Day 19

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On day 19, I watched a bumblebee. I watched as it flew flower to flower pollinating. I found interesting that it was ignoring all the daisies, but going to all the white clover instead. (another flower I now know the name of- yay)!

Day 20

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Day 20 was a special day as it was the Summer Solstice AND the full moon! So I did some moon watching. Too difficult to get a good photo of though.

Day 21

DSC_0002Yesterday I re-did my altar as I always do for the seasons but this time I turned into a full ‘nature table’ with lots of treasures I have found in the wild- feathers, shells, conkers etc. And one of my nan’s paintings as the backdrop.

Day 22

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Today I was given some seed bombs, so I’ve put one on our balcony so we can see it grow, and I will plant the other along the brook.

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2016 Focus and Intentions

I never got around to writing a blog run-down of December but in brief there isn’t much to tell- it was mostly working, apart from a few social meet ups but not many.

As regular readers will know, my ‘official’ new year begins in October as I am a practising pagan, so I always set some goals then, but by the time the beginning of the calender year starts, I have thought of more.

So this is how I did with my goals for 2015:

Goals set in October 2014

To have regular healing clients- I had a few but yet to establish any regular people.

To get to Supervisor level in my job- ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! I’m not officially a supervisor (yet)! but I am trained as one so I can cover when needed. I’ve so far covered the Rayleigh store and my own store once. I’ll be getting plenty of practice as I will be covering Rayleigh on Thursdays and Fridays for a while, whilst the manager is recovering from surgery.

To finish my book- ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! I did finish it, although it’s not really that long at around 30 pages. My plan is to self publish it for free as an ebook.

To visit: Glastonbury, Gaunts House but my biggest aim is to go to the Three Wishes Faery Festival!- sadly didn’t manage any of these!

My key focuses-

Friendship- this improved a lot, I very rarely felt depressed about friendships in 2015. I feel very grateful to have some really amazing friends in my life now.

Fun- I definitely had more fun in 2015! It made such a big difference having a job I enjoy and feel comfortable with. I felt less stressed and more able to have fun!

Creativity and Inspiration- I did do some good writing in 2015 although still not as much as I would have liked. Photography became a new hobby, although I don’t take it that seriously, I just enjoy taking photos, I’m not interested in the technical side at all! Also- colouring!!

other stuff-

get involved with the green party- I attended one meeting, but I found that not that interesting so I decided it wasn’t for me. Although I still of course support them and I voted for them in the general election. I am kinda involved though as so many of my friends are involved with it!! I went to political protests so I did get involved in politics in a more active way.

try and get along to Street Spirit Southend- didn’t do this, I think the timing of the meetings don’t really fall right for me, although I do support them in other ways when I can.

spend less time on Facebook- ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!! I spent March off Social media which made me rethink how I use it. So now although I still use it, I don’t read the entire feed. I also took both facebook and twitter away from my phone. I only have Instagram on there now, but I think that’s slightly better as it’s just photos and can be quite inspiring for recipes etc.

reconnect with my pagan/witchy side/go into nature more- ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!!! Definitely went into nature more and think I did connect more with that side of myself again.

watch less t.v- ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!

Get into music again- to some extent yes, I went to two gigs ‘proper’ this year.

Okay so now it’s time to focus on 2016! I am changing from ‘Goals and Resolutions’- to ‘Intentions and Focus’ as I feel that has a better energy to it!

The goals I already set in October were:

  1. To learn more about nature- I love nature so much but I can’t name most of the trees, plants etc. I want to be able to walk in a park and know what the types of trees and plants are. I also want to learn about their uses, herbs and flowers. I learn some things at work but I want to go deeper, things like the Bach Flower remedies intrigue me.
  2. To heighten my Spiritual-related ‘work’- I don’t mean my meditations, rituals etc. My circle has gone amazingly well this year and got a lot bigger. I now really want to have healing work to do, and also run workshops, I ran an Inner Child workshop this year that I’m hoping to do again, and I’m also planning a Goddess workshop. I work part time and do overtime when I can, but I’d love to do part time at my ‘normal’ job and part time doing my spiritual related work.
  3. To get to Peru- planning to go to Peru next year for a retreat. It’s a big ask but I’m trusting the universe will provide us the means to go in some way!
  4. To honour the seasons and Full Moons more fully- use them as celebrations and time to enjoy. If I can’t have the full ‘holiday’ on the day itself due to work then I will celebrate it on the closest day off I have.

My Focus this year will be on:

KNOWLEDGE, HEALTH, MAGIC, SELF-CARE

Intentions-

To Cook more- try some of the recipes I see on places like Instagram.

Go to Yoga Classes- part of my self-care/health focus, I want to go to classes again rather than just doing at home as I don’t push myself enough at home. Aiming to go once a week but I know some weeks it may not be possible so as many times as I can in a month.

Walk more often- do longer walks when I go out, in warmer weather perhaps walk to work or home from work sometimes. Consider doing the Moonlight Colourthon again.

Take better self care- I’m great at taking care of myself spiritually and emotionally but physically I could do better. I don’t need to lose weight but I do want to feel fitter. I also need to make sure I have things done when I need them, not keep dodgy clothes, rest as much as I need to do, take care of my body,things like that.

Not to be affected by other people’s stories- not letting other’s emotions bring my own down.

Have no expectations- don’t have a preconceived idea of how something or someone will be, (good or bad), then there’s no room for disappointment or upset.

But on the other hand, also harness my manifestation skills, I think I am getting a lot better at this, so want to keep this up!

My friend Rae asked me the other day what writing goals I have, I’m not really sure I have any. maybe to publish the book and a collection of poetry I put together, but maybe if I have no specific goals, I might write more? We’ll see!

Wishing you all a most magical happy new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Inevitable End of the Year Post 2015!

I’m a bit early posting this blog this year, but lately my brain cogs have already been turning about my plans for 2016! So it seems like a good a time as any really.

So what was great about 2015! Quite a lot as it turns out, but let’s start with the more ‘outer’ things such as..

Music!

Music still wasn’t a big thing for me this year, but it had a bigger place than it had last year. I went to a few gigs this year, both ones of people I never thought I’d get to see- Kathleen Hanna, as part of Julie Ruin. My review of that is here

I also went to see L7, but I didn’t write a review of that. I couldn’t really see much but it was amazing anyway!

I did go to a few local gigs again as well. I went to Village Green this year and we saw The Selector who were lots of fun! I didn’t buy much music, I did get Paolo Nutini’s album ‘Caustic Love’. I got so used to hearing some of his songs at work that I ended up quite liking it!

I did listen to the radio much more, but found I still kept coming back to music I know and love, and listened to rather a lot of Absolute 90’s. I then discovered Spotify, and listened to even more 90’s music…but I also listened to some new music that way, and one newer album I found by accident there that I really like was the debut from Sexwitch, which features Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes. Here’s one of the songs from it..

Books

I set myself a challenge on Goodreads this year to read 50 books…so far I have read 47….it could still happen!

Having a look through here are a few of my favourites (not neccessarily released this year as most of my reading material comes from the library)

The Circle

Who is Tom Ditto?

Slut

Films and TV

The only film I saw at the cinema was ‘Suffragette’ which I saw with a few of the members of my women’s circle. I did really like it, although I did feel the ending was rather abrupt.

T.V wise, I can’t think of much that has stood out this year. The latest series of Doctor Who was a big disappointment I thought. The last ever series of Peep Show is on at the moment and that has been hilarious. Other than that, Russell Howard’s Good News is always great. The only new series I can think of which was quite good was ‘Humans’.

On Netflix I have mostly been enjoying ‘Orange is the New Black’.

Photos/Moments/Things I did in 2015

Did more poetry readings, I think I did 3 events this year- one at a tiny art gallery, one at my friend’s ‘ Soup’ event and at a Sundown Open Mic.

My Circle really picked up this year, our meet ups got much deeper, but the group also expanded from a regular maybe 4 people, to October’s meet up being the largest ever with about 10 people! And there is 40 people on the Facebook page, so every month there seems to be at least one new face 🙂

Had rather a lot of adventures this year which included: seeing Simon Amstell’s Stand Up show live, going to several protest marches- Million Women Rise, and 2 anti cuts protests (one in Manchester) and a very small one in Southend that was anti war. Going to Brighton for the vegan fair, going to Clacton, went to an animal sanctuary in Kent, went on a Tribal Goddess weekend

Received the Munay Ki rites

Completed my Supervisor training and managed a store for a day

Ran my first workshop which was about connecting with your inner child

had a chapter published in a book!

year 3 of attending Witchfest

did a creative writing workshop

and finally the most popular blogs I wrote this year…

  1. I’ll Think of You…a poem for my nan who sadly passed this year
  2. The Great Soup Unconference
  3. Witchfest 2015
  4. E.D.E.N 2015- Transformation
  5. Spring Equinox Freshness

 

 

 

 

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October 2015

Quite a lot happened in October, I had a few interesting things happen that meant extra blogs as some activities just were worthy of a whole blog!

I only did 1 ‘project’ this time and that was the Inner Witch Photo Challenge on Instagram. Here are a few of my favourite photos that I included in my challenge.

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I do love a good photo challenge so this month I’m joining in with another one on Instagram called ‘Crystal Allies November’ and I’m also doing a project on the Munay Ki to try and learn and understand it better.

Here’s how October went in terms of my aims for the year..

FRIENDSHIP- saw friends a lot and had a lot of adventures!

FUN- did a lot not much I would class as ‘fun’ although at the Soup Unconference, I let my Inner Child out in the music room! 🙂

CREATIVITY AND INSPIRATION- not much in the way of writing, although did read a book on poetry that STILL didn’t inspire me to write, and I’ve signed up for a writing workshop this month. I loved doing the photo challenge though.

To have regular healing clients- none

To finish my book- did do some editing

to be better at birthdays- no

Still no Glastonbury…

spend less time on Facebook- mostly yes

reconnect with my pagan/witchy side- did the photo project and did a lot of spiritual work for Samhain

go into nature more- most weeks I got my walks in, I also went to an ancient orchard for an apple day event

watch less T.V- I think so

get into music again- not really

What I got up to..

Inspiring Women Meet up- looking back at our vision boards and what has happened this year

Soup Unconference

Anti Tory March

Book Launch

Had a lovely afternoon with Migs, Roberta and Gareth. Gareth took us to Two Tree Island where we went and planted trees, then we went to Roberta’s for lunch and a mini fire ceremony.

Went to an Apple Day at a local ancient orchard, and picked apples, they were the best apples I ever tasted!

Went to the first meeting of Southend Feminist Collective- lots of people turned up, so very pleased that even though I didn’t manage to set up a feminist group a few years ago, glad that there is one now, with so many wonderful women 🙂

I went to my first Red Tent meeting in Rayleigh. It was a lovely session of sharing and meditation.

I had to go to London for my work training for my Advanced Product Advisor training

My friend Lola came round and did some beautiful reiki healing for me

I went to see Suffragette with a few friends which was soo good, and filled me with feminist rage!

Finally yesterday was Samhain, so did my personal rituals, had some friends over in the day for a social, then went to a local pub in the evening to watch a psychedelic band called The Lysergics

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The People’s Assembly Manchester Protest

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A few weeks ago I took part in a protest march organised by The People’s Assembly

The protest was in Manchester, while the Conservatives/Tories conference was on, and the protest was all about the cuts and austerity that the party have been bringing as well as other problematic issues. There has been marches here before, but only this time did I find out that Southend Against the Cuts

had organised a coach that would be picking people up from Southend and nearby areas, and would be very inexpensive especially when compared to train prices, and I felt strongly that I needed to be there, so I made sure I booked my place, despite the very long journey, I knew it would be worth it.

Why I felt I had to be there

A lot of reasons really. Firstly the cuts have affected me personally. The benefits my husband was claiming got severely cut, as the rules changed, and all of a sudden I was working too many hours to be claiming benefits, then when I worked the hours I was “allowed”, they gave the benefit back but at much more than half the rate it was. We are in a privileged position though, as my husband no longer has the same severity of health problems, he decided to use the situation to take the steps to go self employed, which has turned out really well for us. HOWEVER, this is not the case for many people who this or similar has happened to. The cuts have been affecting the most vulnerable of society- the disabled, abused women (with cuts to domestic abuse services), and other important services like the NHS, young people, students and so much more.

Other reasons- the Tories are pro fox hunting,pro badger cull, pro fracking and pro Trident, to name a few. I would say I am the opposite of all that they represent. I’ve seen friends and others affected by the cuts. I believe there is strength in numbers, and the more of us that speak out, the better. Maybe we won’t get listened to at first, but sooner or later, if we keep shouting, keep making ourselves visible, we WILL get heard. I really believe this. For those who believe things will never change, well isn’t it better to say you have tried..?

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On the day itself I had to get up at an ungodly hour as my coach pick up was at 7.10am! Luckily the stop was a short walk from my home. My friend Helene got on at the next stop, and somehow with the anticipation and chatted, I managed to stay awake for the 5 hour journey! I was pleased when we made a stop at a service station though and there was a Costa, so I could get myself a soya latte! The protest sort of begun while we were there, while we were queuing for coffee, there was some shouting. Assuming it was just other people on the way to Manchester getting a bit excited, I didn’t think that much of it when we heard shouting about the bedroom tax and ‘f**king scum’. Then we heard from another person on the coach that Ian Duncan Smith had been there and that was what the shouting was about! What are the chances that we would all be in exactly the same service station he decided to go…?? here is an article that mentions the incident here

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It was around 12 when we got to Manchester and all ready thousands of people were gathering. Like the London anti austerity march, it was filled with ordinary people- parents, children, doctors, disabled people, elderly people, and much more. The march itself didn’t set of until 1.30pm, so we took the chance to take some photos, and listen to some of the talks at the start, as well as listening to Billy Bragg sing. At some point we managed to lose the rest of our crowd, as it was just too easy to get separated.

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The march itself took around an hour and felt good spirited. There were drummers, people dressed up and chants like “If you hate the Tories, Clap your hands!” We even spotted a Veggies stall that had vegan cake and other goods you could get for a donation, so I couldn’t resist! We also signed a petition for a Green Power house in Manchester.

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When the march ended, we decided to have a quick stop to have something to eat and get some photos of us with our banners

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Then we made our way in the direction of where the rally was taking place, but there was a line of police blocking us from entering! We started hearing from some other protesters that the police were claiming the space was full when in fact it wasn’t. A few people that were part of the organisation advised to be patient as they would try to sort it out. Lucky for Helene and myself it got resolved quite quick so we were only held for a few minutes before we could go through. However, when we went to the rally it still wasn’t full and we later found out that we seemed to be the only ones from our coach that had actually made it into the rally as the police had started stopping people once again.

Luckily we got to see a fair few speeches before we had to make our way back to the coach. We saw Natalie Bennett, Charlotte Church, the CND, and a few others. I really enjoyed Natalie Bennett and Charlotte Church’s speeches especially.

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We got a little lost on our way back to the coach but eventually we found it, and we relieved to find out we weren’t the last ones back! By the time we left it was 5.30pm, and with another stop it was around 11.30pm by the time we got back.

A worthwhile day.

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dontbeanostrich

if you bury your head in the sand to avoid the rain youll never see the rainbow when the sun shines again

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