To some yesterday, Halloween was Samhain but to me it was last night and now Samhain starts proper until the sull moon on November Fifth where burn a huuuuge bonfire!
Last night we prowled the streets pretending we were fairie folk - knocked at doors requesting treats for tricks - performed our magic and we were rewarded with much bounty. (and maltesers too ) ended up with a carrier bag full, on meeting those less fortunate who inquired how we had such huge hauls of sugar and coca we replied we did trick and treat - my wife (the dragon who remained in the lair, literally happily reported that after around 8pm those that met her at the doorstep offered to do tricks too.
This is something I've done since a small kid not trick or treat but 'Trick and Treat' - you perform a trick and are rewarded with a treat. We brought back some of the fun to the night and had a wonderful time. Bleedin cold though and i was slightly suspicious of the beast that trailed us with a guttural laugh and dragged a ruined leg while moaning at us. Some very good costumes out there, and the girls all loved it.
Halloween stems from the ancient celebrations of the Celtic New Year. The end of summer and beginning of winter was known in Gaelic as Samhain (pronounced 'sow'inn'), and it marks the beginning of the year for most Pagans. But not me as i said earlier in the blog for me it's Lammas. where the autumn equinox actually starts, as opposed to the last turn of the Wheel, the onset of the final days of waning Sun. when the air grows colder. Our fruits and grains have been harvested, the beer festival is finished! and the leaves are falling, and Mother Earth prepares for her time of rest. All of Nature reminds us that the time of endings, the death that is change, is upon us.
This time was thought of as the turn of the year, when the last harvest took place, and fires were extinguished and relit. People thought of this as a magical time, when the boundaries between this world and the next were dissolved, allowing the dead to return to earth, and for people to foresee their futures. It was also regarded as a time of mischief and trickery when pranks would be played and roles reversed.
It came from Scotland in the form we see now although all six Celtic nations: Ireland (Eire); Scotland (Alba); Isle of Man (Mannin); Wales (Cymru): Cornwall (Kernow) and Brittany (Breizh) have celebrated Samhain, the fest of the dead. In the book of the Kells which predates Chaucer by some time and this Chaucer quote is seen time again in Christian literature but it's wrong ancient Roman texts as well the the Welsh and scottish literature of heroes marks this time in Celtic lore, the feast day of Samhain marked the time when the barriers between human kind and the supernatural were lowered, a time when the powerful forces of the 'otherworld' were let loose and became visible. It's always been the basis of the Celtic 'out with the old and in with the new' belief that darkness comes before sunlight, night gives birth to day, the womb before life, summer grows out of winter. So the year begins with winter. This ancient feast has passed into modern times as Halloween.
The Irish-English Dictionary published by the Irish Texts Society defines the word as follows: "Samhain, All Hallowtide, the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, signaling the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season,lasting till May, during which troops were quartered. Fairies were imagined as particularly active at this season. From it, the half-year is reckoned. Also called Feile Moingfinne (Snow Goddess - Morgan Le Fey).
The Scottish Gaelic Dictionary defines it as"Hallowtide. The Feast of All Souls. Sam + Fuin = end of summer." They also believed that on October 31st, the last day of the year by the ancient Celtic calendar, the lord of death gathered together the souls of the dead who had been made to enter bodies of animals, and decided what forms they should take the following year. Cats were held sacred because it was believed that they were once human beings. Only the Scottish of the nations place it on that date the rest of us place it on the 1st.
Contrary to the information published by many organizations, there is no archaeological or literary evidence to indicate that Samhain was for a deity like 'Satan' or 'The Devil'. Eliade's Encyclopedia of Religion states "The Eve and day of Samhain were characterized as a time when the barriers between the human and supernatural worlds were broken... Not a festival honoring any particular Celtic deity, Samhain acknowledged the entire spectrum of nonhuman forces that roamed the earth during that period."
Some Celts believe that when people die, they go to a land of eternal youth and happiness called Tir nan Og or The Happy Hunting Ground or Summerland. They did not have the concept of heaven and hell that the Christian church later brought into the land. The dead were sometimes believed to be dwelling with the Fairy Folk, (think King Arfur and our good ladies of Avalon) who lived in the numerous mounds, or sidhe, (pronounced "shee" or "sh-thee") that dotted the Irish and Scottish countryside.
Samhain was as i said the new year to the Celts. In the Celtic belief system, turning points, those great moments of our days such as the time of twilight or sunset between one day and the next, the meeting of sea and shore, or the turning of one year into the next are seen as magickal periods. The turning of the year was the most potent of these times. This was the time when the "veil between the worlds" was at its thinnest, and the living could communicate with their beloved dead in Tir nan Og. Or in my case get freaked out by the number of dead wandering the streets!
Glastonbury Goddess Temple - at Samhain
Ahem, anyway the Celts do not have demons or devils in their belief system and so they aren't costumes you'd find us wearing. The fairies, (think of fairies kind of like elves from the world of Tolkien, it being their age before ours) however, were often considered hostile and dangerous to humans because they were seen as being resentful of man taking over their vale and their original lands.
On this night, in the nations of the Cornish, Irish and the Welsh they would sometimes trick humans into becoming lost in the fairy mounds, where they would be trapped forever. So best to disguise yourself and confuse the fairies who might be looking for you. After the coming of the Christians to the Celtic lands, certain of the folk saw the fairies as the Nephilim angels who had sided neither with God or with Lucifer in their dispute, and thus were condemned to walk the earth until judgment day. Same difference disguise yourselves in case the 'Lost Boys' come for you too.
In addition to the fairies, many Scots in particular the Picts (dark race black eyes) were abroad on this night, causing mischief. Since this night belonged neither to one year or the other, this Celtic folk believed that chaos reigned, and these people would engage in "horseplay and practical jokes" Which also served as a final outlet for high spirits before the the thrall of winter set in.
During the course of these Scottish-pranks, many of the people would also imitate the fairies and go from house to house begging for treats or food. Failure to supply the goods would usually result in practical jokes being visited on the owner of the house.
'Trick or treating' is also known as 'Guising'. Pagan Celts would leave gifts for the fairyfolk they believed wandered the countryside at Samhain and it was customary for people to go round their neighbours asking for donations for the New Year feasting. People who took part in the new year festivities would disguise themselves as the ghosts, fairies and spirits who they thought were present at that time of the year.
Since this is what the fairies who were abroad on this night would do, with footprints across your rooves or by snuffing out your candles or fires to protect yerself an offering of food or milk was frequently left for them on the steps of the house, so the homeowner could gain the blessing of the "good folk" for the coming year but to stop any randoms taking the bounty they were marked as being for the fairies - now there's no mention of what the mark was but I'd like to think it were terrifying faces.
Many of the households in the other Celtic nations would also leave out a "dumb-supper" for the spirits of the departed and Augustus (a bleedin' Roman) comments on how amazed his troops were to find food laid out for his troops on this night while they were hungry and about to despoil Sussex (or somewhere). The Scottish story is that folks who were abroad in the night imitating the fairies would sometimes carry turnips carved to represent faces. This is the origin of our modern Jack-o-lantern.
The Roman Empire conquered most of the Celtic regions and two Roman festivals became incorporated with Samhain. The first was Feralia - a day in late October when the Romans commemorated the passing of the dead, and the second was a day to honour Pomona the Roman goddess of fruit and trees.
An apple is the symbol of Pomona, so this could explain the tradition of bobbing for apples - whoever bit into an apple first, would be married first the next year.
Our modern celebration of Halloween is a descendent of the ancient Scottish Celtic festival called "Samhain". The word is pronounced "sow-een" or "sow-in".
The Christian church were against Samhain with it's ungodly practises, and decided to create it's own festivals at the same time. 31 October therefore became All Hallows Eve (or Hallowe'en), and 1 November was All Hallows Day, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
As for cats... he Celts associated cats with the Cailleach Bheur, or the Blue Hag of Winter. "She was a nature goddess, who herded the deer as her cattle. The touch of her staff drove the leaves off the trees and brought snow and harsh weather." You might know her as Jack Frost.
Many great Celtic legends are concerned with momentous happenings which took place around the time of Samhain. Many of the great battles and legends of kings and heroes centre on this night, Arthur was slain by Mordred this night. Many of the legends concern the promotion of fertility of the Earth and the insurance of the continuance of the lives of the people through the dark winter season. The slaying of the Stag in the great hunt of the Host of Light for instance or the Viking deity Wodan the God of ecstasy, but also of death, so the dead probably always made up part of the Wild Host, which rode with great clamor upon skeletal horses and accompanied by ghostly hounds.
The ancient legends of the Irish and the Sagas of the Icelandic (both pre christian documents) tell us that this festival was characterized as one of the four great "Fire Festivals" of the Pagans. Legends tell us that on this night, all the hearth fires in Ireland were extinguished, and then re-lit from the central fire of the Druids at Tlachtga, 12 miles from the royal hill of Tara. This fire was kindled from "need fire" which had been generated by the friction of rubbing two sticks together, as opposed to more conventional methods (such as the flint-and-steel method) common in those days.
The extinguishing of the fires symbolized the "dark half" of the year, and the re-kindling from the Druidic (like Olympic flame) fire was symbolic of the returning life hoped for.Halloween stems from the ancient celebrations of the Celtic New Year. The end of summer and beginning of winter was known in Gaelic as Samhain (pronounced 'sow'inn'), and it marks the beginning of the year for most Pagans. This was thought of as the turn of the year, when the last harvest took place, and fires were extinguished and relit. People thought of this as a magical time, when the boundaries between this world and the next were dissolved, allowing the dead to return to earth, and for people to foresee their futures. It was also regarded as a time of mischief and trickery when pranks would be played and roles reversed.
More on Samhain
Funnily enough Samhain is supposed to also auger those with second sight. So i had to suppress a grin last night when i heard Z say, "I know you can all read my mind, and that there's a law that says that you're not allowed to tell me that you all can read my mind! But I do wish you'd all stop being able to read my mind or tell me about the law."
HAPPY SAMHAIN - enjoy the quiet moments.
Well me and Z have just had our second session of Archery and it's fantastic. We're both doing really well and had our first go with sights yesterday took a bit of getting used to but we're both getting gold with them.
Next week it's our first scored session so there's a bit of competion going on then and after that we join GNAS and get are cards to fire at any archery field and carry bows!
One of the instructors had been out hunting pheasent and had shot a brace of them. Mmmm huntin' your own food sure sounds 'Ted Nugent' doesn't it?
We've also plugged in the Guitar Hero over the weekend and both been shreddin the songs with me finally nailin' No One Knows by QOTSA on expert and Crossroads by Cream! How bleedin' excellent did i feel as the last note died and the score flashed up - 97% on QOTSA and 113 note run on Cream! I rock!
Been looking for a CD Everton shirt on the net but not had any joy so I've started emailing people in the hope i can track one down and K should know in the next couple of days if she's got her job. I seriously hope she has.
Also great news C&R have got on the property ladder at last, buying a 3 bed house in Redhills. Could we be hearing the patter of tiny feet soon? But him saving money for it means he's not going to see Plymouth v Birmingham on Saturday - guess I'll be on my own for that one unless i can persuade Granty.
There's also sad news in the untimely death of talented guitarist Steve Roberts - brother Greg and mamber of the awesome Dreadzone. Gutted for Greg and Family Dread - condolences to the family and loads of love to all grieving at this sad time.
Oh and the fish are doing well seems our Siamese Flying Fox is merely a Flying Fox and therefore a true shark, so as he gets older he'll harass the other fish. So we're supposed to give him back to the shop. Gutting! But it's that or pick bodies of the others out one by one.
ah well take him back and get some corydora julii's I guess.
At the moment we have:
3 Honey Gouramis
2 zebra danios
1 leopard Danio
4 Glass Bloodfins
7 Black Neons (including the baby one born in the tank)
3 Neon Tetras
3 Cardinal Tetras
4 Glowlight Tetras
See comments for the rest!
What the hell is happening to men? The other day i was at the pub went for a slash there was a bloke there moving a strand of hair about on his head then moving it to another point on his head and looking at himself in the mirror constantly tweaking his hair - with that CTC (Cooper Temple Clause) Pete Docherty type crap hair that really doesn't look any different if you move bits of it about. and better if you dragged a comb through it.
Anyway half an hour later i returned to the loo and he was still there and two more blokes had turned up also shifting clumps of hair about in front of the mirror. I had a slash and left and they were still there, my mate went to the loo 10 minutes later and reported they were still there! WTF is happening to the human race - more interested in lumps of hair than beer or girls? OMG - We used to be men not girlie hairdressers!
So all tests done and the docs have ruled out muscle, blood, joints or bones as the cause of the problems. Seems it's neuological - now whether that's down to the quantities of drink and drugs I've bashed into my system or whether it's something inherited genetically. Thay can't say, just yet, but they'll be able to tell me...
...January 17th! What, how long? So until then I have to suffer what feels like (not that i know) arthritis, in my ligaments it seems. Great, the not knowing but knowing what it isn't is worse! Well best case scenario is some form of Parkinsons - mmm nice!
Well yesterday's archery was great fun and knackering! The ECOA (Exeter Company of Archers) has around 80 members and run loads of tournaments. I've been 'fitted' for my bow a 68" 20lb left handed one - number 43! And did pretty well getting most in the centre of the target and I was surprised how knackered i was after two hours of constant shooting. Z did really well as well, and is hoping to compete in junior nationals next year! But i was told my technique probably rules me out for Olympics 2012 Although i didn't mention to them that i pulled a muscle in my neck at SLF!
Doctor's news was crap and I'm not going into how it made me feel now, but I have to see a specialist in Neurology when they can fit me in probably the other side of Christmas. Seems it's my tendons and not my joints that are hurting - so it's not arthritis (he apologised for suggesting it was) this combined with the blood results had the doctor not questioning my need to see the neurologist and basically telling me there was little he or his practice can do!
We also went to OrganicARTS an Arts and Education Centre based at West Town Farm in Ide nearby over the weekend and bobbed for apples, made natural art - from natural materials, carved pumpkins and bought some pumpkins to eat. Didn't realise they varied in flavour so much - we got two varieties Onion and Harlequin and they tasted totally different once I'd roasted them last night. The pumpkin Olympics were fun and we say a 24 hour old calf. A great day despite the weather.
and today I start a new Blog feature:
HISTORIC MOMENTS OF MY LIFE: When i was a teen i used to sale a Mirror Dinghy sail number 43012 called 'Bold Eagle' and would sale every weekend through out the year with the Yealm Yacht Club. Even dressing up to race in hoolies on Xmas Day and New Year's Day - see here
The picture above is taken opposite the yacht club which is the square building on the waterfront on the opposite bank in the centre of the picture.
Anyway there's an annual race from Plymouth Yacht Club around the coast to the Yealm Estuary called the RNLI Passage Race for dinghys, dayboats and yachts, I'd done it previously in yachts but this particular year i was taking the Mirror.
- like this
Two memorable things happened that race.
The first was i managed to sail into a tanker! Huuuuge great rusty thing stopped in Plymouth Sound and we got into the lee of it (where there's no wind) and the tide brought us in against much to the hilarity of all other competitors who managed to avoid, well it was the biggest thing you can imagine on water and easy to miss. Not!
Me being the helmsman that i was, blamed my crew for this collision and yelled at him as we pushed the dinghy along the flank of the tanker until we were clear and a long way behing the rest of the boats.
We made quick time though, once back in the wind, i didn't sand the bottom of the boat evey winter and meticulously coat it with smooth layers of handpainted varnish, sanding each layer, for nothing.
Then came the second thing, we were just about to catch the pack, in the blazing heat (it was mid-July) when we found ourselves becalmed. After another slanging match with my crew and in exasperation i leapt into the sea off the back of the boat - i was a bad tempered bully in my youth. Telling him he could sail her then. The boat and I hardly moved. So in my lifejacket and wetsuit I swam a little away from it, to make him think i meant business. When suddenly he started shouting and pointing behind me, i turned to see what he was gesturing at and just went faint as i saw a huge fin out of the water aiming straight at me. Now I'd seen Jaws and instantly remembered to stay still - i think i was petrified anyway as this huge monster swam at me.
At the last instant i looked down to see a giant black mass swim passed me - it's side touching me leg - it must have been 10 foot long and i was nearly blacking out in fear. as it continued to scrape by i remained motionless until it had passed and was unable to move after it passed me, My crew paddling the boat backward until it reached me -where i tumbled aboard. To discover the Basking Shark (for i had seen its gaping mouth) had skin so rough it had sanded the rubber from my wetsuit and shredded the inner lining from my thigh and leg.
I'd seen it's wide open mouth a metre away and thought that it was about to eat me, turns out it only eats plankton or krill or sumit tiny!
Ever since that moment and despite hitting rocks one winter and holing the boat i was helming (i hung to the inside of the upturned boat and was fortunately rescued by a passing fishing boat) I've never been able to go swimming in the sea. I just get far too nervy at the dark shapes of seaweed or rocks. I used to love swimming and windsurfing -
I was good enough to have one of these when i windsurfed, forget surfing there's nothing better than getting one of these up on the three skeds and aquaplaning through some swell or bouncing it through surf.
but I could never go back to doing that or normal surfing in the sea after that. Rivers, lakes and canals are boring but where I'd windsurf until i lacked the time to do it anymore.
Wow terrific night - lost my notes and got plastered with some old boys I've not seen in 15 years! Great fun! All the best tunes and some fat psychobillies on first! SLF are still fabulous and it was a terrific night of singing yer lungs out and trying not to join all the dads who should know better in the mosh pit - i failed! And came out hot and sweaty and chattin to a load of new friends!
Marvellous - now i was going to Great Yarmouth to see this lot:
But then KAZ told me when we got to the beer festival last night! Mmmmm BEER! (Terrific tho no Scottish ales on yet) that Nick Cave is on at All Tommorow's Parties and it's up the road in Minehead - so we're going!!!! Yayyyyy!
sheesh, it's all gettin' a bit tricky! I'm trying to stay positive about the whole think, but dreamt that K and Z both died last night in my dreams and woke up a gibbering mess. Feel totally inert about everything now. 'always look on the bright side' eh? Well I'm trying to, I've got my grandmother deteriorating rapidly (she is 98) my sister seems to have vanished! and so I've got to deal with that and lie through my teeth everytime gran asks if I'm ok. guess she can sense summits up but thankfully she doesn't press it. She's having giddy spells, hearing music all the time and having the 'little folk' climb out of the walls and visit her at night.
Great so here comes another impending funeral i'll have to arrange - I'm getting good at them now, trouble is I'm running out of family to practice on.
I've been fairly level headed about the whole thing, but hey what's a blog for if you can't offload, and i like to think no one's reading this anyway. That makes me feel terrible too, there's all these people dotted all over the country that i only see at festivals, cos my life's too frikin busy (supposedly) to have anytime to see them or talk to them the rest of the time and i never got into the whole text generation thing and get freaked out by phones - too much acid tripping while trying to phone people - horrendous. Anyway, and even if i am at festivals I'm usually too off my box to have any meaningful conversation.
Somewhere along the line I seem to have lost all the real people in my life, mainly due to being an unpredictable drunk half the time, that rarely decides to open up and actually show I'm anything other than shallow and actually reveal i have any depth to me. infact I'm not convinced I have much to contribute really.
Although i do have loads of memories of bizarre stuff like being interrogated at the age of nine in Iran or having to be rushed to a prison junkie hospital in Singapore after my toe was hanging off as it was the only place with the right drugs or seeing the helicopter with the film crew from Apocalypse Now catch fire or livin' wild in a jungle with a tribe of Micronesians and chasing wild boar, being 'attacked' by a basking shark or having my dad rescue me from a tiger shark by running barefoot across a coral reef. Going to loads of festivals and visiting most of the places to see on this globe. I've had quite a mental life if i think about it, just most of it by the time i was 12.
Anyone get the feeling I'm a bit laidun with regret? I spent years hardly talking to my parents cos i was too wasted to bother travelling to see them more than 4 days a year. Years bitter at my old man for leaving my mum in her condition and running off with someone else and now I see why, as he had this illness, he sent me birthday cards entitled things like 'The Wasteland' and 'Derelict'.
There was all this stuff i was gonna do, manyana, and now I'm not sure I'll ever get around to them. Talk about long dark night of the soul, last night seemed to last forever as i hung on for the dawn. I sat there thinking of the New Hebrides and how I'm the only record keeper of our years there, my sister's too young to remember it. I thought I'd write a journal of everything that I could remember, the places we went, the moments we had. But when am I gonna get around to it. Inertia again, lack of motorvation, no drive.
There's a huge 'what's the point?' hanging over me. I've tried to escape it, but it wheeled on me last night and threw me around like that storm raging outside. So I have to wait to face the results of all these tests and god they can't come soon enough now. Talk about a reversal from my viewpoint of not wanting to know. Now it consumes my waking hours and I realise I've never bothered to keep any records of my life and what I've seen. Mainly cos i felt it was bragging, but who knows when I'll get a chance to tell it all to my daughter, and if I am ill maybe one day she'll want to know. Guess i should right that journal.
But then there's all the other books i was gonna write, to escape the grind, the unfinished painting. Ironic really if i have this illness, i can't just run off to the sun, oh no I'll have to work 'til the end of my days - Maybe getting six months off at the end. None of these projects have been more than roughly started and none are likely to really, I'm caught now in the wait. The long wait - to find out what's wrong with me.
Ahh that was catharthic and depressing, i feel it's rid me of my worries enough to get on with the day. Infact i feel much better. Maybe I'll just type in a few memories down in this 'ere blog when i have moments to spare. it's more likely than finding time to write them in a book.
I really want to go and see this. so i thought I'd mention that the Monty Python stage show - starring none of the Pythons but with Rice as King Arfur has hit the West End. This way hopefully I'll remember to request tickets for Christmas.
Which reminds me dammit I've been sucked into the whole Xmas present thing already! To the extent that my mind is already making lists and thinking hmmm add that to the Xmas list. It's not even Halloween yet FFS!
Well the specialist thinks it's serious - and he said it's compounded by my having arthritis - i didn't know i even had arthritis! When did they find that out? And when were they going to tell me? Seems i also get swollen joints in the cold weather, but the lack of hand co-ordination - it's getting worse by the week.
In the words of the Guvnor "Damn these useless hands!" and seems to be the cause of greatest concern to both the doc and the specialist, especially the rapidity of my decline. As i said I'm even having problems playing Kingdom Hearts 2 - that or they've made the game more difficult!
They've taken more blood tests - 6 thingys full this time - god i sooo hate needles. Another appointment next Monday - blood work results. Then another specialist appointment and more interesting experiments where they electrocute my muscles and stuff like that as they test for neural damage.
I kept getting asked did i smoke, i replied i did used to until September. Then they asked whether i smoked pot (pot - heh doctors so hippylike) - which i replied given up a year ago and they asked whether i felt this was linked to my condition, which confused me i thought they meant smoking had caused the damage, but i think they meant did i notice it once i was less stoned.
Which makes me wonder if this other specialist is a MS specialist - they just said another specialist and i never asked what in. Could it be smoking dope has kept me oblivious to the condition for years? On the plus side does this mean I'd get cannabis on prescription! do they really do that? if only!
At least physically - heart, lungs, liver, kidneys etc I've been given a clean bill of health. Plus it turns out I'm taller than i thought I'm officially 6'3" and not 6'2" - guess i slouch!
The off season meets are in full swing with the London one due on tonight I think at Synergy which looks like an excellent venue - I'm really gutted we're not going I do enjoy eFestivals meets. Then there's another one up Manchester - those are always legendary had a great time at both of the ones we attended.
No news yet if there's an annual next year - but as the last one was down this neck of the woods I suspect it'll be up country and I'd have to do a lot of persuading to get K to drive all that way.
K has a surprise planned for me this weekend as the big meeting with the doc is only a few days away. Think it hit home with her what the implications might be and so she's getting us out of the house as much as possible. she says if my number's up then she'll live in a house full of cats all called 5co77ie! Perhaps the surprise is an unexpected drop in on the meet. But I'm guessing it's the north coast, judging by email info I've seen. Well I'll know more in a few hours.
Off to the health shop to buy my second pouch of tobacco free smoke today so it's clearly working on keeping me off the 'evil' weed as opposed to the happy green one!
Seem our daughter Z has been nominated by her new school - for a special award she's competing with 100 or so Exeter school kids for the Excellence in Exeter Award - we all have to attend a posh event at the Universtiy where we'll find out if she's won. even if she hasn't she wins a pin and a certificate.
i'm dead chuffed she's up against some kids nearly doubly her age! Of course like her parent she'll discover drink and drugs at 14 and screw her academic life up as she goes off the rails - but for now it seems she's at the top of her game!
Spent a fortune on K for her birthday yeasterday and have to go out tonight - so no Kingdom Hearts 2 - what will my thumbs do instead?
and I'm officially Scottish, my Grandad was in the Highlanders so that qualifies me, come on Scotland win the Euro 2008!
Well quick update. It seems I'm showing signs of the disease that finished my old man and, I've recently found out my grandfather, it's a genetic illness and there's a good chance i have it. I have to see a neurologist. But it seems my fate could be cast. Least it means i can go back to smoking!
Seems my aching joints, shaking legs (Fasciculations - it's called for all those who constantly at me), regular cramp in my feet and lack of strength in my fingers occasionally could be down to MND - Motor Neurone Disease. So i've got a decade or so to pick a nice place to die, if i have it. And can look forward to becoming nice and thin in the future.
All i need to do now is build up the courage to see a neuro specialist to know one way or another. This is the thing at the moment I'm struggling with at the moment it's a possibility, if i do all the lovely checks it could be certainty - sometimes i think it's better not to know. Death comes to us all, but for me seems it won't be no surprise anymore.
Yay! Looks like we will be going to WOMAD after saying never again - it's moving out of Reading 'Scumville' and hopefully the criminals will stay away. Better news is it's moving even closer to us! Result!
This has been bugging me for 3 days now and i wanna know if i'm over reacting. My mate appears to have a total memory bypass - he says on Saturday he has a film i can borrow - so i email him about it yesterday - and he's no idea what I'm on about and doesn't have the film he mentioned! WTF! This happens repeatedly with him, he's a DVD buff who buys loads of films and yet has only ever lent me about five. The classic was he'd said he'd lend me 'V for Vendetta' i waited a couple of weeks later he gave me the DVD and asked me to hand it to a mutual friend. No mention of the fact i wanted it! Does he have no memory.
Then we mention going to see the rugby weeks ago to see Exeter Chiefs v Plymouth Albion - which is this weekend. So i remind him of this fact on Saturday, he half remembers - iask him again yesterday - and he's not sure he can go, will have to check with his Mrs - wait up we organised this weeks ago!!! ??
And on Saturday we're talking about organic produce and buying local produce, which we've done for some time, he's just started doing it, but he's telling me about it as though we haven't - we've mentioned it to him for ages! since last summer's food fare we bumped into him at. Then he suggests we give it a go? WTF!
I kinda feel he just doesn't really take any interest in what i say ever. Is he really forgetful or just pretending he's interested. There's loads more examples of this amnesia he suffers from. I mention a film to him, weeks later he's telling me about it. Is this normal?
BTW If he reads this, sorry mate but you're doin' my head in!
It's Monday and the tide is indeed high but I'm holding on. it was friend's birthday last weekend and they'd organised for their friends to all get together and have a meal in a local Russian restuarant. Nice food but very expensive. £18 for reindeer steaks! Anyway the beer was unpronouncable and strong, the wine from France and the menu incomprehensible. The waitresses spoke little English and all looked like girls you might have seen in dodgy porn, or so i was told.
There was a whole seperate page in the menu for the vodka list which reminded me of Beautiful Days and the flavoured vodkas, however these were vodkas made from various things and a more savoury palatte the most sweet being vanilla. My favourite was one off the specials board an unpronouncable at a weighty 79.9% proof.
red square weblink
I left very mashed! Having to hide out in a doorway while it lashed it down as i had no coat.
The next morning we were off to visit my 98 year old grandmother in Cornwall and took her to lunch in nearby Boscastle at the Old Manor as we don't do the Cobweb anymore cos of the steps:
I couldn't face a pint, i was so broken but managed to survive. It was difficult for both of us as it was where my dad used to visit often and everywhere we looked reminded us of him.
However, if i thought I felt rough yesterday, it's not a patch on today. I feel like the tide is going out within me, as the vodka effects slip away. My body feels battered, my fingers feel like i have arthritis as i type and I'm suffering waves of depression where i just want to collapse. My head keeps having intense flashes of agony and my limbs all alternate between aching and numb! Now I'm fairly used to hangovers - but this is savage! If you see vodka at 80% proof take my advice don't take more than a few shots.
House is up for sale, we have new neighbours and they are bustards of the highest order. Loud, stupid and on a drug fuelled binge that's lasted 4 days so far. I wouldn't mind but their music's shiet and they shout bollocks and one of them just howls all night.
but we can't complain or it's constituted us not getting on with the neighbours and could hamper a sale. K however is using her drug squad connecos (from her council work) soon and as they are a multi-occupancy house without a licence we might also stitch them up that way.
Last night at 4am my mind had slightly fried and i was concocting revenge ideas. What is it with this year's freshers they are all converting their garages into street party pads. Black UV lighting, stereo systems, sofas and loads of strangers - hmmm which gives me an idea.
I'm thinking of crashing it, either with my biker mates or invite a crowd of efesters over and basically tell them to shut the fook up or we'll come around every night and really take their party apart.
But i think it's sleep deprivation more than an actual threat and it could result in all out street war - which would make selling even harder. All i know is that tonight I'll be drunk and if they party again i'll be round, I won't be able to stop myself.
Our new neighbours moved in yesterday more bleedin' students - Exeter students have too much cash - a top of the range rangerover with new plates, a 2004 mini cooper a Capri and 3 VW Golfs all now reside littering the roads! Opposite new students also moved in.
So we've had enough - last year we had no rubbish collection cos their cars blocked the road, a sleepless daughter from their late night swearing and partying, our garden used as their tip! So we're not going through it again and putting our house on the market.
I've seen a lovely house out in the sticks with a metal circular staircase to bed, oak beams and 3 courtyard gardens - which i really want to move to.
Just hope we can sell this place. Want to move now but these things take time! The students have been in 24 hours and already we've fallen out with them, more money than sense.
But the new house looks soooo great. It's possible we could get a quick sale for this one and it's lovely views.
It's the happiest time of year again and no I'm not Jewish, but it's Rosh Hashanah for them too. I'm feeling very perky although a little peeky. Had a pleasent night out in hurricane George last night enjoying the warm strong gales and a pint or three. Then tried to stay up all night but failed but awoke before dawn. Heard the dawn chorus, saw the sun rise and felt the vibrancy of the morning, no sign of the darkness that's to come yet. Considered wearing green but had nothing clean - but will be carrying the green flag all winter long in the words of Jethro tull.
We've got mead and a bonfire ready for tonight. Although with my herbal cigarettes many think I've been burning bonfies for weeks. Hoping the weather stays nice we've got dough ready to make some bread things - although we're not decided what as I'd like to make apple bread and K wants cheese bread.
Jethro Tull's - Jack-In-The-Green
From one of the best pagan albums with a song for every solstices and Equinox:
Click - which is a great reference for the album and related imagery.
Anyway here's a little on Mabon for those who are interested:
Now the God is preparing to leave His body. He knows He is dying and it is all right because soon enough He will be reunited with His bride once again. The Goddess prepares to grow weak as the Earth will freeze over when Winter arrives. This is the Harvest Thanksgiving.
The harvest is completed by Mabon. This is a time for reflection over the past year and giving thanks for what has come of it. All year long, literal and figurative plantings have been going on and have finally been harvested; there is a lot of thought about how it went. This holiday is for the preparation of the "season of sleep," and for introspection, and understanding our dark and wise side. We think of sacrifices others have made for us and what we can sacrifice for others. Mysteries and unknowns are pondered.
As Mabon is the time of the harvest and a time for meditation and thankfulness, it is a good time to make wine or mead - yummy. Lots of people like making wine for Mabon because it uses harvested foods and is symbolic of the fruits of the year. But I prefer mead as it's champagne and hunny - very summery. Plus a lot of it is probably going to be packed away and fermented, much like we are packing ourselves away and thinking over what has happened. Some like to call the spirits of their totem animals for help in inner searching. Meditation rituals are very common for Mabon. Some people use this time to visit their friends' and relatives' graves and give them flowers. I also like to have and give a massage in oil and no doubt Sifi would approve though i tend not to use olive oil.
The Mabon season:
Mabon Herbs--Apple, balm of Gilead, calendula, corn acorn, cypress cone, hazel, milk thistle, mugwort, myrrh, oak, orris root, passion flower, pine cone, rose, sage
Mabon Incense--Myrrh, sage, pine, frankincense, jasmine, cinnamon
Mabon Colors--Orange, dark red, yellow, brown, violet, deep gold
Mabon Decorations--Acorns, pomegranates, pine cones, baskets of fallen leaves, cornucopias
Mabon Foods--Breads, corn, cornbread, squash, apples, roots (carrots, potatoes, onions), cider, beans, nuts
Mabon Sacred Gemstones--carnelian, lapis lazuli, sapphire, yellow agate
Spellwork appropriate for Mabon--spells for protection, wealth and prosperity, security, feeling of self-confidence, and balancing magick.
Mead, a liqueur produced from fermented honey-water, is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks. It was once the favourite beverage in regions of Northern Europe where the climate was not suited to maintaining vineyards. Mead had ritual and spiritual significance for the Celts of the British Isles, the Anglo-Saxons, and the Vikings. Many ancient legends recall the pleasures of mead: early Irish literature speaks of the ever-full mead cauldrons to be found within faery mounds; the Norse Eddas tell how the god Oðin seduced a giantess to gain the mead of poetry; and the joys of the meadhall are a common motif in Anglo-Saxon verse. Popular folk-belief traces the origin of the word honeymoon back to the medieval custom of newlywed couples drinking mead for the first month (moon) of married life to ensure their fertility and to increase the chances that their first child would be a son.
Maponos alias Mabon
Celtic God of Youth
The name Maponos or Mabon means 'Divine Son'. He was the son of Modron, the 'Divine Mother,' but a father is never mentioned. He was stolen from his mother at the age of only three days and imprisoned in Caer-Gloiu (Gloucester), until eventually rescued by King Arthur. Perhaps the city was sacred to Maponos. For he was not a mortal, but the Celtic God of the Young & Youthful Pursuits, particularly hunting. He appears in the tale of Culhwch & Olwen, helping the former fulfil his quest by slaying the great magical boar, Twrch Trwyth.
Maponos may be identified with the Welsh mythical character, Pryderi, who was similarly kidnapped in his youth; or, possibly, he is the Irish God of Love, Oenghus, known as 'Mac Oc' meaning the 'Young Son'. He certainly had a popular following in Northern Britain as still to be noted by Lochmaben, west of Lockerbie in Scotland. This may be the Locus Maponi mentioned in the Roman Ravenna Cosmography. A silver plaque from the Roman fort at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) has been discovered inscribed "Deo Mapono". At Ribchester, Maponos shares a stone with a hunter-goddess - perhaps Apollo's sister, Diana - bloody thievin' Romans . At Hexham, however, his musical and poetic attributes are emphasised more. His worship was widespread throughout the Celtic World though and his name has been found in several places on the Continent.
Mabon - Kernow:
mab [maab] masculine noun
PLURAL meibion [meib -yon] - men
The son of man - This sense survives in the word baban (= baby), originally maban (mab + diminutive suffix -an)
côr meibion - male-voice choir (choir of men) - Welsh and Cornish
A descendant as in mab Adam - a son of Adam, a descendant of Adam, a human being
Mab Duw (the Son of God),
... Mab Dyn (the Son of Man)
Mebyon Kernow (the sons of Cornwall) - The Cornish political party is called Mebyon Kernow - The Party for Cornwall's greater independence.
Listed as Mabon in 12th Century records, Mabyn was said to have come from a large family, with 23 brothers and sisters. A depiction of Mabyn exists in the wives’ window in St Neot Church. She is wearing robes, a crown, and is carrying a palm branch. A well in the parish is also thought to represent her. She is thought to be the symbol to the preceeding Celts who the church embraced.
St.Mabyn is a village situated between Wadebridge and Bodmin Moor in North Cornwall. The village is centred on the grade 1 listed 15th century Church of St.Mabena.
Cae Mabon (the storyteller's roundhouse) in Penzance
Mabon is referred to as the “Great Son of the Great Mother” in the Mabinogion. The name is also a form of “Maponus” who some say was the Solar Deity to whom Stonehenge was dedicated. So “Cae Mabon” could mean the “Home of the Divine Youth” or the “Lair of the Ancient British Sun God”! Grandiose pretensions indeed! On a more earthly plane, for ten years storytelling has homed in on the Cae Mabon Roundhouse. Many of Britain’s storytelling “greats” have performed there, telling their funny, epic, surreal, moving, poetic and extraordinary tales.
Well i think that's everything - so raise your glass tonight to the Jack-in-The-Green and think of harvest time. I'm always fearful I'll die before Mabon but once again I've made it. Blessed be!
I've been very interested in the latest developments in science recently so thought I'd mention a few:
Woke up this morning to the most amazing news that the state of California is suing six carmakers for costs associated with their cars' greenhouse gas emissions. story here Most unlikely that they'll win but boy General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Honda, Chrysler and Nissan are sure likely to think of alternative forms of fuel now.
MISSING LINK FOUND
Our early ancestors have been found Australopithecus afarensis which the finder says is "In my opinion, afarensis is a very good transitional species for what was before four million years ago and what came after three million years." Presumably creationists think it's all made up.
link after laughing at girls who got sunburnt at Reading Festival for spraying on tans and not realising their skin burnt under the orange paint, scientists have gone one better and invented a cream which makes your skin tan for real.
Ahh I'm gonna miss lobsters on the beaches in the summer.
AND AT LAST:
Sony's PS3 comes out tomorrow!
link Anyone got a spare ticket to China?
But the bad news is - Z is showing parents around her school for next year's new kids tonight, so going to Nuala's gig is off! Can't believe it's already a year since we looked around big school.
Plus for those who believe in mental stuff, looks like I'm around for another year as there's only one week of September left. This is cos I've always been convinced I'll die in September. Coo coo i know.
A great personal ad - one for IT geeks everywhere
EDITED TO ADD:
Chavez calls Bush the devil!
It's such a great story here it is in full:
He's just about my favourite person in world! Who says there are no more heroes?
Ahoy me hearties i be feelin' right grand at this time of the mornin' why yer filthy scurveyed scum might be a askin well today be pirate day. Yaarrrrr and the cockswain and crew are all havin a high o time uf it abast the office decks today. I be bountifully filibusted and scandalously freebooting usin the o pirate speak. Not only that while sailin the high seas we plundered this 'err website http://www.yarr.org.uk/ aint it grand. So splice the mainbrace and open the grog cos we gots some drinkin' to do lads!
Shiver me timbers! I got some doubloons in me braces an I'm a fightin' and carousin' on the high seas tonite! Seein' if o the swabs in blue can get a result against the lilly livered Posh. wi' a curse, or wi' a vengeance. Boldly, loudly we'll dispatch the landlubbin scum, we'll make Peterbrough's scurvey dogs walk the plank and sendin' them to Davey Jones' Locker.
By the powers! My mates and i a be loaded to the gunwales and raisin' the Jolly Roger. Aye!
Yo-ho-ho an on the lash and plunder we go!
Oh no! Having just been to the next gen console thread and having spent the weekend with four kids who all has PSPs and loving the WiFi facility and game share options. I've decided to buy a few new games. So when MCV arrived on my desk with incidentally an interesting write up on the Sony PS3 delays. This combined with an indepth of the new Wii I found which makes the thing look like it's still firmly marketted at kids. I got out my highlighter pen and have made a list of games I'd like:
Obviously first up is Kingdom Hearts 2 on PS2
Then there's Gitaroo Man - with new songs, new lavels a new boss or two and loads of extras from my fave PS2 game!
:-) Free Running (a game based on the athletic sport of Parkour (as in the leaping about guys in red on BBC adverts) on PSP!!! that's a first)
GT4 - if it's anything like RidgeRacer I'll just drive around loving the weather effects!
:-) GUN - yeah i know some people don't like it but i lolved it and the short length is great for PSP
LegoStar Wars - ok i have this alreadY - it rocks
:-) A new Mercury (Meltdown) - I've only just beaten the first one - so perfect timing.
the new Puzzle shoot em up - Exended Extra (already up for most original game)
Dungeon Siege and Justice League, Myst - huge fan of these games anyway and having it portable will mean i can leave the laptop at home
Steel Horizons (I'm a Battleships fan! What can I say?)
KAZook and hot PXL - both original games, although I'll try before I buy with these two
Then classic re-ports of Bomberman, Brothers in Arms (D Day) Tekken 5.5 (first!!! the screens of this look superb) and Mortal Kombat unchained
Arthur and The Minimoys (can't wait for the film!!!)
- all before the end of November! This and Christmas presents to buy! Well at least Z doesn't want anything expensive and neither do I. Although KAZ may want a £1000 image stabiliser lens! Cripes! We're supposed to be saving for festies next summer, although we have to re-negotiate our mortgage and could save ourselves £300 a month - if we extend our paid off time period - which means we'd have to stay put a bit longer - rather than have paid for it in 15 years.
We're both back on Atkins again (bad carbohydrates) so the shopping bills are a lot less, but i did go to Endsleigh on Sunday and see some lovely Gouramis (£5 each) and bought a load of new plants and a big load of Blackwater Extract - to escape 'Old Tank Syndrome'. Which reminds me tumour Rainbowfish died but the heavy metals should be sorted with new filter materials.
Lastly the weekend's shinnanigans - we all got totalled on Friday and they have a fire (proper thing with chimney) in the garden and it was great to sit out under the stars around fire with some tunes on and drink yummy Bretagne wine - the Plymouth ferry on their doorstep means they often shop in France.
The race was Saturday they came third in their division a good first race, but they now want me to crew as i have raced before and used to dinghy sail (Mirrors, Lasers) for years in my youth - even winning a National Trophy - The Cockerel Trophy (unfortunately had to hand it back after a year!!!)
We then met them down the pub and the drinking really started - seems my brother in law has an account at the bar - nice! He big upped eFests to his yachty mates which i was grateful for and they all seemed rather down to earth.
One of his crew owns the house they are renting while their house is extended. In his garage were three Harleys he'd customed himself and some of the Aquila (Biking chapter) were there too - including the Vice President who i get on with and it was good to see him again.
Anyway suffice it to say as well as too much food, i managed to as usual forage for wood and joke that my bro in law puts the signs up at festies and I take them down and burn them - not strictly true but once again it was me on fire duty and the last one standing come 2am.
Yesterday i nursed a sore head, escaped sailing, though the weather was gorgeous and came home in time to rest in front of the footie. There goes my bet for Man Utd to be unbeaten this season. Least my FantasyFootball teams are doing ok! Good old Everton - though how we didn't win I'll never know!
Stitched up like a right kipper I've been and here's for why. Babysitting for my sister tomorrow - looking after my neice while her parents take their yacht out for a race. Fine. she phones me yesterday saying as I can cook (trained chef doncha know) how about I make them a meal for when they get back. Okay I say, conversation meanders on a while, then I say how many am I cooking for? she says 9 to 11 including kids and crew! Nine! Terrific!
Also they drink like fishes and yes I know I do, but they seriously drink me under the table - in the hour i met them before the Arctic Monkeys - we all had seven pints (yup in half an hour 7!) and then as i left to catch the support they were lining up double pints with whiskey and vodka chasers. They arrived at the venue an hour later and we all had another 4 pints before the band came on - christ I'm gonna have a hangover Sunday.
Arghhhh the fish are getting sick - i think it's down to the heavy metals in Devon's water supply - the iron - hence our red soil. But my water kH values are falling and three fish have got tumours! Oh no! trying to find out what i need to do to fix it!
Well tonight I'm supposed to be out with the lads watching the footie, but four things have happened:
1. I'm becoming very choosy about what i drink and turn my nose up at lager or normal beer these days, all i want is a pint of real ale. Blimey, it's a sad fact but it's true. The pub in question only sells rubbish. Instead of just sitting there agreeing to drink lager - i suddenly found myself viciferously complaining.
2. The pub has taken out one of it's satellite feeds - or so the manager said, and they won't be showing the Arsenal match! The only reason i go to the pub is to watch both games simultaneously - so i might as well be at home watching it - this thought kept running around my head!
3. My mates are purile:
a) they are embarrassing to listen to, particularly when you hear the table next door having an eloquent conversation, where as ours is talking about - cocks and tits!
my mind has always been slightly jumbled - most peope allow for this - tonight they didn't and every statement is picked to pieces, despite them eventually making it clear 'they knew what i meant everytime' - which really gets on my tits - though after a while they realised they were doing it and eventually made allowances.
c) They're constantly talking about the 'mad and crazy' hijinx they had a while ago - i wasn't there and it sounds a bit juvenile to both me and anyone else having to listen to it.
d) they can't hold a conversation about anyhthing, it's constant sexual, racist or character assassination on anyone who enters their domain and I'm fed up of it - I'd rather drink on my own as Billy No Mates from now on.
d) The amount of swearing un-nerves me - guess i am on the outside looking in tonight but it makes me cringe to realise it.
4. I had no money and wasn't prepared to spend dosh in the environment described above.
So i came home.
What? Have i become Mr Intolerent? I noticed today reading the forums that there are some posters i just think, 'I can't be bothered with' for no other reason than they are petty or just be juvenile.
Yup i've suddenly developed a generation gap - how sad is that? Maybe I'm too sober? Maybe it's giving up the smokes? (Well smoking 'Honeyblend' which incidentally i like, but most people can't stand) Suddenly i have some high and mighty complex going on where i find people childish (not childlike) and can't be bothered! Zero tolerence too - I find myself walking away or just labelling folks as thick (in my myspace world) and telling them to get lost.
Is it my age? Whatever it is, i find myself an educated, eloquent conversationist suddenly seeking similar for adult conversation (no not that sort, you should know what i mean) and about to ditch my old mates cos seriously talking to single blokes who have never had a girlfriend! about the women in the pub, 80s kitsch or cult Tv shows really isn't cutting it anymore.
So anyone got any ideas how i can find new mates my also bored of this situation or having already moved on to hang out with? Cos this lot are doing my head in!