Visiting Stonehenge.

Stonehenge 5

Me at Stonehenge

Stonehenge 4

Gary and I went to Stonehenge yesterday. I’d never been there before but I’d been driven past it and seen it from the road. A new visitor centre and exhibition has just been opened there. There’s a museum all about Neolithic life and possible theories about how and why the stones were built. There’s been a lot of archaeology on the site so there are lots of artefacts on display. It was all quite interesting.

You can’t go right up to the stones because of the delicate nature of the archaeology and they’re still digging there but you can get pretty close. I can understand why they don’t let most people up there because a few silly people will always think ‘let’s chip a bit off and take it home’. It’s the idiots that spoil it for the rest of us.

If I look cold and windswept in the photo, it’s because I was! I insisted of having a nice hot cup of tea in the tea shop when we came back from the stones. I didn’t particularly find it a spiritual experience but with a lot of tourists around clicking cameras and the usual exit through the gift shop I thought it was more an educational and commercial experience than a spiritual one.

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ROW80 Check-In 12/05/2013

sitting-bull

I was thinking last time that I posted that I hadn’t done very much but I realised the other day that in my research for my specialist subject on Mastermind I have filled two notebooks with notes on Sitting Bull in the last four to five weeks! I haven’t written any fiction but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. As usual I’m being too hard on myself again.

And when the Mastermind ordeal is over I can use my notes for the book on Sitting Bull I have been planning to write for the last five years or more!

Other than that, I haven’t done very much because all reading and writing is Sitting Bull related at the moment so this check-in is very brief.

I won an award!

Ooh exciting!  For the second time I have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award.  I’m not sure if my swelled head will fit through the doorway now!

So thank you Shah Wharton for nominating me!

Now for this you’re supposed to nominate fifteen other bloggers to receive the award but I’m going to cheat and nominate everyone who’s a member of the ROW80 writing group (excluding myself).  So if you’re a fellow ROWer, then congratulations you’ve won the Versatile Blogger Award!

Now I have to say seven things about me.  Hmmm.

1.  I’m a witch/shaman/practising occultist/astrologer/into all things mystical and magical.

2.  I did my degree in history and my dissertation was on George Armstrong Custer and The Little Bighorn.

3. I’m planning (some day) to write a book about Sitting Bull.

4. I have the loveliest husband in the world and his name is Gary.

5. My lovely hubby and I are the staff of our diabetic cat and her name is Widget.

6. My favourite band is Led Zeppelin.

7. The first book I read that I really loved was A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuinn.

Magic Monday – Days of the Week

Most of you probably know a bit about where the names of the days of the week come from but in case you don’t I can fill you in now.  Monday is rather obviously from Moon Day, Tuesday is one of the Saxon/Norse one named after the Viking God of Justice, Tyr.  Wednesday is another Viking one; named after Odin or Woden as the Saxon’s named him.  Thursday is those pesky Vikings again with Thor’s Day and Friday is the last Viking entry as Odin’s wife was Freeya, she is the Viking Goddess of home, marriage and childbirth amongst other things.  The Viking equivalent of the Greek Goddess Hera.  Saturday is short for Saturn’s Day, after the planet and Sunday has to be the most obvious of the lot!

In magical and occult workings different days of the week are ruled by different planets and have different energies.  Monday is ruled by the Moon and is good for anything to do with pregnancy (the Moon rules the womb), Tuesday is ruled by the planet Mars so it’s a good day to compete in sporting events, Wednesday is ruled by the planet Mercury so it’s the best day to communicate.  Thursday is ruled by the planet Jupiter so it’s the luckiest day of the week and Friday is ruled by Venus so it’s the best day for that romantic candle dinner.  Saturday is ruled by Saturn so it’s a good day to see something through to completion and Sunday is a great day to sun bathe!

Oh no! Not another poem!

In 2002 I started my history degree at Bath Spa University.  I wasn’t aware of it at the time but in the first year they like you to pick a second subject.  At first I didn’t want to and wondered if I could get out of it because I thought there was nothing else I wanted to study.  Then I realised that they did Creative Writing so I chose that.  One of my teachers on the course was a poet called Tim Liardet who as well as being a great poet is also a really nice man.  I took one of his courses and he gave me 70% for it!

One of the exercises he set us was to think of all the preconceptions we have about poetry and poets and write a poem embracing all of them.  This poem was the result.

 

In Order to be a Poet…..

 

You don’t have to be high brow, low brow or a cow.

You don’t have to be mad, bad or sad.

You don’t have to have a PHD, a GCSE or be an S.O.B.

 

You don’t have to be well read, well bred or dead.

Don’t have to be Greek, a geek or a freak.

Don’t need to be hairy, scary or a fairy.

 

Don’t need to be medicated, alienated or inebriated.

Don’t need to be poor, a whore or insecure.

Don’t need a Rolls-Royce, or to be James Joyce, just need your own voice.

 

 

 

The Film “J Edgar”.

This afternoon Gary and I went to see the film “J. Edgar” about J. Edgar Hoover and it was pretty good.  It was a bit slow and not exactly action packed but with a lot of todays films you get conditioned into expecting big explosions, car chases and gun battles and there was none of that here.  The acting was great; particularly Leonardo Di Caprio in the lead role.  Gary and I agreed that we didn’t like him that much when he was younger (except in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?) but he seems to have got better now he’s a bit older.  To my mind, he’s matured in all the right ways.

Judi Dench played his mother and she was as stunningly briliiant as she always is.  The film is directed by Clint Eastwood.

From a historical point of view it seemed pretty accurate to me and the historical detail was probably the most interesting thing.  Hoover was a very flawed individual; racist and a total conspiracy theorist who blackmailed everyone to stay in power and lied about his part in capturing famous criminals to glamorise himself.  But some of his ideas were good and even ahead of his time.  He introduced a central government system for storing fingerprints and helped bring science into crime solving so he wasn’t all bad.

I would say that this is a good film but not a great one.

Writing and motivation

Some days (rarely, I must admit) I race to the typewriter and can’t wait to get started on my writing but more often than not I sit at the computer and think of all the things I’d rather do and then tell myself off for a bit and finally get on with it.  And some days I don’t even do that; I just sit around like an Apathetic Annie and do sweet FA!  Of course, then I hate myself afterwards for being lazy and useless and then I get depressed and so I do nothing again.  I go in fits and spurts with my writing depending on my mood and lately I’ve been doing nothing again.

I have, since mid December last year, edited about thirty pages so that’s not too bad but I always think I should have done more.  I literally threw away my first chapter because when I read it back I realised it was slower than a snail on valium!  I have expanded the sub-plots a bit as well because in the first draft I just went with the main story line and although I think that’s obviously important, I feel the sub-plots add texture and depth to the whole thing.  My research threw up difficulties because I was writing about naval contracts in 1816, only to find that they didn’t really have naval contracts in those days and ship’s pursers bought supplies individually for each ship which made a difference to my plot and meant I had to re-write a lot of the beginning.  Sometimes research can be a nuisance as well as a blessing.