Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Solstice Serendipity

There was such magic in the air on the Summer Solstice.  The day started by not going according to plan.  No early rise for sun up, a banging migraine and a cloudy, muggy air about the place.  But the kids and I we know how to make magic happen and honestly I have never known time to stand still in our own garden as it did that day.

They know the drill, instinct kicks in - we celebrate with fire, we write unselfish hopes and wishes to send up in the flames, we feast on whatever we can find - toasting home made bread in the flames.  Gathering herbs - Sage, Rosemary and Thyme for the fire, we tell stories and dress up, we warm our toes and our hearts, we leave offerings for faeries that come in disguise, we hold one another and smile deep into each others souls.  And this is exactly what we did.  I humbly remembered I am sitting in perfect abundance, I have everything I need right here so long as they are with me.  




Serious perfection.

Love & Light and Blessings Bright.


Thursday, 20 June 2013

Recipe: Tansy Cake

This is a recipe I want to preserve and secretly I hope one day my kids will ring me and say 'mum you know that Tansy cake you used to make ... can I have the recipe please'.  Weather they do or not it is something that stands out like a beacon from my own childhood.  Not that I actually ate a Tansy cake very often as a child, once or twice a year maybe, but when I did that unique aroma carved a deep nook for itself in my sensory memory.  My Mama's friend Louise would make it in the summer for picnics and special gatherings so it has a mythical legend status in my minds eye.  

I grow Tansy in my garden and I am glad I dried heaps of flowers last year because this year everything is late flowering.  It is something I like to make for Summer Solstice and so that is what I am doing right now.

Tansy is a very traditional ye olde English herb grown abundantly in medieval times and is easy to recognise by it's yellow button like flowers as well as its unique aroma. 


1 tablespoon tansy flowers

2 tablespoons water

4oz butter

4 1/2 oz sugar
2 eggs
3  oz plain flour
3 oz  SR flour

3 fl oz milk

Boil 2 tbsp water, pour over flowers and soak for 5 minutes

Cream the butter and sugar then strain and add the flower infusion to the butter and sugar mixture

Add the eggs one at a time, then the flour, then the milk bit by bit.
Spoon the mixture into a tin and bake at gas mark 3 for an hour or until a knife comes out clean.

The lemon juice is my own addition - just a little adds a certain freshness to the aromatic taste of the flowers.

Summer love & light


The last of the pre-school days

It has started to hit home the last couple of weeks that when Gaia goes off to school in September that's my last baby through early childhood and into the system.  And I am guessing, seeing as I'm starting to feel it myself, that this is when women start getting broody for another baby.  Oh if things were different, but for many reasons its not a serious consideration for us.  Though early childhood has been intense, hard and has seemingly flashed by at lightening speed I am going to be sad to leave these pre-school days behind and though it is always a joy to see them grow and develop and shine, for me at least it is always bitter sweet.  So here in these pre-school moments - this one and this one and that one - is an opportunity for me to mindfully savour and make the most of this time just me and her, hanging out.  We have been spending each Wednesday back at the playgroup run by a local church where I have made many dear and great friends in the women who run it.  We are spending more time in the library and in the parks, frequenting our favourite cafes drinking cheeky coffees & babycinnos (that's our thing, it's cafe culture - I read a few pages of the guardian whilst she chatters incessantly and charms the pants off the other customers) and perusing the charity shops trying stuff on together and having mama lunches & play dates with friends.  She is excited, yes, and confident that school is going to be much more of a thrill than nursery.  She very sweetly doesn't understand that she won't be in Zanders class, that they will always be in separate years; but they are both looking forward to getting together in the playground at break times and I just know Zander will be super protective and caring as she settles into her new environment.  They adore each other.

What of me then?  Well I shall hopefully work a 10-3 Monday to Friday job and sleep every night!  I will go to night school some evenings to do the access course I need to secure me a place on the midwifery degree course in 2014 at Uni so there are upsides to leaving the pre-school years behind and I realise it is only natural to look back and assume you never made the most of it and procrastinate over what you would have done differently and pine for another shot at it all.
I don't know if there is any fool proof way of knowing you made the most of things.  Does anyone ever?   Being present in the present is definitely the way forward in theory, but how does that actually translate into a busy family home?  Some days I know I am properly kicking ass and supping up every sweet drop of their young childhoods as we carve simple yet deeply satisfying elaborate memories and relish each others company and passions.  Other days I know from the empty feeling in my heart that I have been distracted by worries and challenges, absent and seemingly 'not there'.

This mama-hood gig is by nature one that will always be riddled with either worry or guilt or both and just the other day I realised the security and stability of pre-kid days that I keep expecting to reappear again soon when things 'plateux out' (yeah right!) is never going to; the tide will always rise as sure as it will fall - this week there is one set of challenges, next week will bring different ones and it's my job to comb through all the weed and debris churned up on the beach to find the shells, the smooth driftwood and the treasures of life.

Some shells and drift wood that stand out from the last few weeks on the beach that is our lives ...

This first picture of her in this amazing jacket we were given by our friends Katie & Gwen - when we went into LUSH for my henna she wanted an animals rights badge after she'd heard my explanation of what it was all about, love my ltitle activist - she can njow be heard saying 'we shouldn't put make up on pidgeons'!
And she has been delving into yoga with me since we borrowed this amazing BKS Iyengar book from the library so I can deepen my own knowledge and repetoire ... 





Her 4th birthday ...

I'm looking forward to the holidays - the rhythm I know we'll all find that my heart craves ... the one we are experiencing now as little Zander is at home for a while after his operation on tuesday.

Love and light X

Friday, 14 June 2013

Things that made me smile today

I have been so up and down between happy and melancholy just lately.  I'm sure it has to do with the moons energy and this unreliable summer weather we are having - one moment everything feels awful and I feel like a complete failure the next minute I feel present and kick ass.  Today these things made me smile ....

Gaia trying to attach wings to marmalade the cat so he could be her fairy godmother!  Man I'm gonna miss this sweetheart when she goes to school ... who will give me belly laughs like she does?

Returning with Gaia to the pretty wilderness church yard between Zander's school and Mill Road.  Mostly for gathering Elder Flowers but there is a massive soothing peace there too that my soul was grateful of.  The abundant Elder trees have branches at perfect Gaia height so instead of me jumping about and hooking branches down she was able to gather them herself with pride, pleasure and ease.

Of course there is only one thing to do with that bounty!


Posies of flowers from our garden and wholesome salads


Geranium flowers on a plant that is decendant of one my Grandad planted the year I was born and Yogi wisdom that always shows up exactly when it's needed


Keeping in mind this inspirational little quote that is doing the rounds at the moment ... 'The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday'


Love & light X X X

Friday, 7 June 2013

The nitty gritty and gratitude

Last night I danced some sneaky menacing funk off.  I went to a totally frenetic sweaty jazzy-gypsy-ska type gig and for 3 hours I felt like I was 19 again, cares forgot.

I needed that because everything right now feels like it is coming unravelled.  All the unwavering trust I placed in the process is feeling a little tired and inert.  That eternal juggling act of work, money and kids is feeling like a major uphill struggle again and the light that was for a while growing brighter at the end of the tunnel has been obscured for now.  In the space of one week I learnt that my employer is all but abolishing over time and for me this is the difference between surviving and not meeting outgoings.  Then I put two and two together and realised the new job I just trained for, which was to see an end to me working night shifts, has fallen through due to lack of clients and un-suitable hours and yesterday the old lady I clean for on a Friday rang me up and sacked me because she was feeling retrospectively cantankerous about the two weeks I've been unable to get to her ... which she was fine about when we spoke before hand.  Being back on the job hunt and reminded of the difficulties facing mamas who need to work but can't afford childcare is totally sucking, again.

BUT, I am trying hard to remember that if I am to continue honouring my feeling that everything happens exactly when it should and that the universe has it all sewn up then this week of bad luck is making way for something else, something even better.  If nothing else it has got me thinking again of vision and manifestation ... although right now I'd be happy to settle for a job stacking shelves somewhere so long as they pay me I have the urge to plot out a map of companies and organisations I would like to work for that would resonate with my interests be it holistic health, gardening, wholefoods, kids, etc.  But you know what, more than anything this all makes me hope wildly that my kids do not face the same struggles when they have families of their own, it makes me hope and resolve I will be around to help with childcare, logistics, moral support and ease the complexities they won't have foreseen in the naive romance of pregnancy.

That's the nitty gritty, there are also gratitude's to hold close by.  The sun has been shining for almost a week now!  Totally grateful!  For the raw foods I am inspired to prepare and the fact that my kids are totally in to salads now ... grateful!  For the roof over our heads and my kids unending love even when I fall short of the mama mark ... grateful!  For whipping up a frenzy with the kids at Strawberry fair last weekend and nail painting, fairy dust and bindi wearing with the girl ... grateful!  For the unexpected acquisition of an extra couple of hours on a friday afternoon to clean my OWN house ... grateful!  And I can't wait for the summer holidays in six weeks so that we three can settle into that rhythm I know we always find when there is no external schedule to run to!



love and light x