Friday, 28 October 2011

New Moon

If truth be told - and it always shall, it's been a step backwards week here in terms of mindfulness.  But I am due on and so I am not at all surprised.  This time of the month ... moontime...I grew up hating it and the extra hassle it bought with it.  Then after I'd had my children I decided it should really be celebrated ... a monthly reminder of my bodies incredible power and birthing potential, a reminder of what sets us apart from menfolk, what makes us Women.

So it became my ritual to buy in a bottle of red wine and a couple of blocks of rich dark chocolate (iron replacement, honestly!).  I allowed myself time to be slacker round the house and to take afternoon naps with my babies.  I allowed my body some rest, kept ready meals in the freezer and looked after myself a little better.

The wine and chocolate ritual stopped as money got tight and sadly with it went the rest - the self care and the celebratory mentality.  Yesterday as I realised I was pedalling backwards through my mindfulness, I caught myself consciously dreading the prospect of it all and once again filling my head with all sorts of unhelpful negative cliches about women on their periods.

So, this month I once again embrace and celebrate my body's incredible power; I've been and bought myself a bottle of cheeky Merlot - even better that it was reduced from £10 to £5.  And I've bought myself a block of extra dark chocolate peppered with freeze dried raspberries, yum.  See - even the thought of it has me in higher spirits.  And I wonder, will these small acts of celebration, acts of self care, important acts of ritual be enough of an anchor to banish that sense of foreboding and with it perhaps some of that pre-menstrual crankiness?  In any case, I raise my glass to my body and to Womankind.  How important ritual is.

Good things are a-happening under this new moon.  Next week I start a new career!  After eight years of working in a media driven environment stressing over margin, analysis, overstocks, curves, spires and all those other shuddersome buzz words, I am finally going to be doing something for the community, giving something back, in service to others.  I'm going to work as a support worker for people who have Down Syndrome and other learning disabilities.  I'm excited, like I was when I left home and stepped out into the world of theatre at 17.  I'm enthusiastic and willing to take risks.  I'm not in the least bit panicky or anxious.  I am surprisingly relaxed, relieved in fact, it feels right. 

And how poignant then that my first day is the first day of the Celtic New Year.  So, out with the old and in with the new, I have no idea what this particular future holds but at least I have wriggled free of the net I was stuck in and my instincts are not warning me off, that much I know.

We are still hopelessly in love with Autumn.

loved the contrast of the browns and zesty yellows on the woodland floor. 

Samhain's so close now and we continue to make and bake and craft with pumpkins...

We printed with apples and paint.  And although the little star in the middle of the apple was too shy and would not be printed we turned them into this amazing pumpkin bunting first thing this morning!

     ... and we've been weaving woolly spiders webs.

I had never even carved a pumpkin until I was 16.  My Mothers upbringing was strictly Methodist and so I grew up being lead to believe that the secular Halloween was sinister and if we ignored it, it would go away - much like trick or treaters. The door was locked and never answered and never were we allowed to trick or treat ourselves.  As an adult realising my Celtic roots, I want my children to place as much importance on this time old festival as they would on the Winter Solstice or any secular celebrations. I hype it up for them but also for me and the child I was. 

The results are spooktacular!...

And you know me, any excuse for a good old romp through woodland with like minded friends in this still unbelievable late October sunshine and warmth ...

They commandeered this ship together and soon had fires crackling away cooking hot leaf soup!  I think you can see Gaia actually eating some!

So who needs softplay or even a climbing frame when nature provides all!

An ancient grain store, a girl and a ladybird...

The clones and a mandalorian warrior set up camp!

 She knew it was a rocking horse the instant she saw it.

Are these tree roots not the most perfect photo frame?

The New Moon brings with it half term ... having my boy at home has been wonderful, if a little challenging. I was warned their behaviour shifts as they start school and start to find feet in new hierarchies and I know he still feeds off my negative emotions when they surface, perhaps he has genuinly had PMT  this week too then.
But it can't all be bad, he has been giving me stars and special twigs as rewards for keeping calm and being lovely, or when I find much loved and long lost toys (of which there have been many this week, I think they must have made their way back through the Stargate that is undoubtedly located somewhere in our house!)

I am amazed and so very proud that he is now recognising letters and groups of letters from which he is learning words. We had a word-bug hunt in my friend Lucy's garden on Wednesday and it was this that made me realise how quick to absorb information he is. I must, must, must make a set of word-bugs for myself. I want to take more of his education back into my hands and as my dear childminder said, see school as laying down the basics that I can build on.  In the whirlwind of school beginning I have felt like I completely relinquished that part of parenting, it felt like the teachers took charge of that aspect, perhaps that's my inexperienced perception as a first-timer but I realise now that although I am not a full time home educator I can still educate at home in my own holistic way.

So this morning we read through his school reading books at breakfast. I decided I'd try my own approach rather than following the guidelines and so we isolated words and went through each one letter by letter. Then we said each a little faster and a little faster still until he recognised the words rolling off his tongue. He loved it and after we had been through the book once he went straight back to the beginning and did it all again.

Gaia continues to find her place in her world and ours. I'm daughter she proudly says, you're mother. And with her brothers development for inspiration she wants to learn to read as well, pointing to letters telling me what they are(n't!) so she is keen for home education as well.

Some other things that have been warming my heart this week ...

Butterfly kissing Gaia's cheeks ... and the giggles that issue forth.

Cheeky cream cheese pumpkin bread

Cheeky Peruvian coconut kisses

 My little Witch in training...

Behold the pot of poison, now go forth and slay the baddies!

The deep clean has begun before the winter arrives; one room at a time, nice and slow.

Window shopping for a DSLR camera

Buying a gorgeous River Island winter coat from a charity shop for only £6!

My cats insistance that I shower him with love even though he is a total flea bag

Ladybird hotels!

Snuggling with my children as they each fall asleep at night.  Their grainy silhouettes in the sepia half light.  Tousling their hair between my fingers, feeling their gentle breath quicken then deepen.  Watching their eye lids becoming more leaden, waking up an hour later on the top bunk realising I fell asleep too!

So the New Moon brings promise and inspiration for putting down new roots and strengthening those that already exist.

Blessings and much love X


  1. I'm 25 and I've never carved a pumpkin. I don't think my mother ever had the time or money to do it with us.

  2. Hello, you have made me feel a bit better today. Its my time of the month starting today, and I think you are right about taking better care of myself. My body naturally tries to tell me to slow down and chill out, but we are bombarded with messages from the media that no one should ever need know we have our period, and we should carry on as normal because we don't want to be accused of being inferior to men. I was just telling my daughter the other day that equality is all very well, but not if it means the de-sexing of men and women. I am not the same as a man, I don't want to be treated the same, I just dont want to be treated any less.
    Samhain Blessings to you.

  3. Hi
    I just wanted to say I have been reading your blog for quiet a while :) and I really like it!
    Just a word of warning about sparklebox, the government had to ban all schools from using it as it is run by paedophiles. Just thought you should know.
    Good for you to be celebrating halloween, we never did as children (it really isn´t that big in Germany)and I enjoy it quiet a lot now :)
    Kimmy x


  5. No way! Ok so will be removing all refernce to that from my post then and making my own, I had no idea, just an old friends recommendation ... I doubt she knew either, thanks for sharing! How horrific.