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If you have five mins:
A blog for her friends to check that she's still alive, when she's been missing for a while, and what she's whinging about now.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Sunday, April 24, 2005
'Your mind, your mind, is so full of it...'
~ 'Somebody to Love' by Jefferson Airplane
Rare moment here. I've slept - 11 hours last night - so for the first time in memory, I'm not half-exhausted, running on whatever there's to run on or imbibing something to run on.
I've been so behind on my e-mails. Ian said earlier, 'Why don't you just block delete them like I do?' I could... *smiles thinking of the conversation that Griselda Tello and I had about responsibilities, and that our responsibilities are only to survive and then only what we accept*...
During the course of last night and the 12 hours I've been awake today, those e-mails have involved a handfasting; an initiation; a Grandad at death's door, another two whose Grandad has just passed through, and now another whose father has passed through too; a possible pregnancy; a disappeared girl in Korea; a trip to Britain; a celebratory meal in Wolverhampton; a distressed daughter in London; a five-year-old's visit to Disneyland; three people who feel that they are losing their minds; a haunting; a recommendation (and conversation) about Pagan books which a publisher is considering reprinting; dyslexia and the Pagan academe; the deployment of a friend to Afghanistan and my cousin to Iraq; the birth of a daughter for one of the Kindly Ones; information about Fair Trade vital to a GCSE exam for another friend, and news about her future; and information I held vital for contacting a lawyer in Spain for another friend.
Some responsibilities I'm happy to accept. I'm a different person to who I was this time last year, or maybe more of the person from then. Much calmer, much less easily rattled, but also with far less patience and compassion with those who're just taking the piss.
I have an empty inbox, an empty Witchgrove folder and an empty Kindly Ones folder. How often can I say that?
What's really exciting is that there's a wench on Witchgrove, who Georgia's spoken really highly of, who says she'll teach me. *shivery grin and happy dance*
I'm off to bed with Pratchett's 'The Thief of Time' feeling very accomplished.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Stolen from Georgia's Blog
| You scored as Celtic Pantheonic Pagan. Your answers leaned very close to that of the Celtic Pantheon. Very popular now among pagans, the Celtic Gods seem to draw those who are sensitive and insightful, but also very passionate about their beliefs. Many Pagan Holidays are named for this pantheon and here is where you'll find many stories on Horned God, Green Man, and Druids. You likely either have been or want to visit Stonehenge one day. Many Arthurian legnds include references to the Celtic faith, as well. |
What kind of Pagan are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
Friday, April 22, 2005
'And ah, when you work out where to draw the line
Your guess is as good as mine...'
Life is going on at the speed of knots. Yesterday I kicked ass in different settings, different ways, different skills, from 20 past 8 in the morning until half 1 the next morning. Though there was one situation in the middle of it where I really wished I could have done more - like live half a planet away, within hugging distance of a friend.
There is so much going on right now. Someone I'm particularly proud of is Aud. She's standing up in front of college students, on Tuesday, speaking about Fair Trade. She's getting to the final stage with her GCSEs right now, which is such hard work. I wish her all the luck in the world, though she doesn't need it. She's going to sail through.
Oh and last night I went to see Derren Brown! He was brilliant!
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Some trade justice and a cup of tea please.
This is what me and FT Kate did on Friday night-Saturday morning: Protesters call for trade justice. There's also a video link on BBC News, but I can't find the URL to it now.
We asked a policeman in Whitehall how many people he estimated were there, he told us 20,000. The news reported 7,000. We haven't heard from the organizers yet. The rule of thumb is usually to go for the halfway point between what the police say and what the organizers say.
It was a disheartening start. I'd had a bad, draining day at work and just wanted to sit quietly somewhere and either find some energy or go to sleep. I walked into Kate's after having listened to the situation in Longbridge on one station after another for an hour. I listened to workers and their families being interviewed - 20,000 people are going to lose their jobs in my area - thought on the miners' strike and had just wiped my eyes when Kate pulled up. She had just been to see her Grandad, who is extremely ill and incoherent. He was begging her to take him home, though he was home, and wasn't rational enough to tell her which home in his personal history he meant. She was upset, fleeing into the house to sob her heart out. On top of this, it was raining. Not just raining, tipping it down, can't see four yards in front of the car raining.
We dallied. We had something to eat, had a cuppa, canted, looked out of the window. Thought about it. Would the world actually end if we didn't go? But we went. Complicating it all too was the fact that I had a family party on the Saturday night. This involved getting to London, staying up all night, driving home after staying up all night, trying to grab some sleep, driving home, going to a party. Kate offered to drive. By Warwickshire, the weather was so bad that we even very briefly considered the idea of turning back. Extremely briefly, more unsaid than said, but what if it was washed out and hardly anyone went... By Oxfordshire, the rain stopped and the night became a little better.
We parked at Hillingdon and caught the tube into Westminster. We'd set out at quarter past 8 and didn't reach Westminster until nearly 11pm. I'll not forget the sight that met us. As far as the eye could see there were people with candles. Young ones - babies in arms, toddlers on shoulders, teenagers - and the elderly, young people, middle aged people, people who look like your parents, people with plums in their mouths and tailored suits, people who look like they could be at the Glastonbury Festival. Banners were there in English and in Welsh. Everyone you spoke to had travelled quite a distance to be there. I don't know where the Welsh lot were from, otherwise me and Kate had travelled the furthest of all those I spoke to. The night was quite mild. It was beautiful.
We'd missed the speeches in Westminster Abbey, but that only held 5,000 people anyway. That had been full and so had the area around it and Parliament Square. We marched from there to Whitehall... ish... We actually marched about 50 yards up the road, because we were so late and the sheer number of people meant that that was as far as we could go! There was an unbelievable moment at midnight. Big Ben chimed at the end of the street and we had a minute's silence. I stared into my candle's flame and channelled all the energy around into the cause with goosebumps up my arms.
I'm trying to get pictures of myself in my Fair Trade top outside famous landmarks. It was extremely cold when I took my jumper and coat off for this one outside Downing Street (behind the row of policemen and the black gate), in Whitehall, after the crowds had mostly gone back to Parliament Sq, Leicester Sq or Trafalgar Sq for the various events. Kate had the sense to keep her coat on!
After that, it was a case of wandering around, soaking in that amazing atmosphere and doing a bit of sightseeing, like the permanent protest in Parliament Square:
And trying to peer through the railings at Westminster Abbey, which was now closed to the public but had its doors open, so I could just about see the tomb of the unknown soldier and some of the paintings. That was a pity, because I was well up for going in there. There was a huge queue outside St Margaret's Church, mainly of families with children, going in to catch some sleep before the dawn march. The Sanctuary Square was full of people with their candles, staring out over Parliament Square at the Houses of Parliament, or trying to queue for coffee outside the Methodist Chapel (huge place) or the Women's Institute. Kate and I gave up on that one when we discovered there was an hour's wait just to get in the door. We decided to go up to St Martin's in the Fields, by Trafalgar Square, where coffee was being served in the crypt.
But first got another famous landmark in my Fair Trade top pic:
I was soooooo cold! I'd taken my contact lenses out an hour earlier, because my eyes were hurting. But took my glasses off to get my coat and jumper over my head. I couldn't see my glasses when Kate said to pose (there were lots of people around, so we had to pick our moment) and I'd just dropped my lighter off the curb. That is the smile of a freezing cold, blind person, who is scared of a car killing her lighter. Picture was taken, I started dithering and got my clothes on VERY quickly. Then we set off up Whitehall to track down the coffee at St Martins in the Fields Crypt.
That's Whitehall by the way. And this is me and Kate in Whitehall, as a friendly policeman took the picture:
Whitehall was beautiful. Thousands of votive candles lining the curb right up to Trafalgar Square, though the photo of those didn't come out. The queue up St Martins was huge. Easily an hour and half wait until you even got the inside of the building. Kate and I sat on the steps to decide what to do next, it now being very obvious that we weren't going to get into anything, but pleased by that, because it meant that the event itself was far better supported that the organizers had planned for. Some Londoners joined us, wanting to know what Fair Trade was all about. I took one of them and Kate took the other two. They seemed enlightened as they left. Mine had a candle off me and promised to join the dawn march. Kate and I decided that somewhere mainstream in London HAD to sell Fair Trade. So we walked.
Every coffee shop between Trafalgar Square and Tottenham Court Road, Leicester Square and back through ChinaTown, was asked, 'Do you sell Fair Trade?' Those nearest had a long-suffering look and tone, 'Sorry, no Fair Trade...' As if 20,000 people had already been in, asked, and left again without buying anything. By the time we got back to St Martins, our legs felt like they'd become short, painful, worn-down stumps, but the queue was slightly shorter. We joined it, having walked about 4-5 miles round trip, and as we waited a man came out. At first, I thought he was the vicar, but as he reached us, I realized that it was just that he had a white shirt and black jacket. He pointed to us (as he had everyone in the queue) and said, 'You are one in a million. You are special.' Then went on. I actually felt the cockles of my heart warm up. Yes, we were prepared to wait for hours for coffee which had been fairly traded and which gave a chance to those producing it, rather than cross the road and instantly get a mug of Nescafe. We were one in a million (well whatever 20,000 is of a million) and we were special. I was so proud of us and it was nice to meet a bodhisavata.
Eventually we were in. Warmth, seats, coffee, soup... do you know how precious these things are? 'kin Hell. So much taken for granted but right then, right there, I knew their worth. There was even a toilet. My back was so stiff that when I sat down, it wouldn't give. I had to lean forward in my chair until the pain went away, rubbing vigorously until I got feeling back. Slowly, but surely, unthawing and unstiffening until I could sit back and relax my muscles slightly. Also, all around London, we'd encountered drunk people, some half-dressed and shivering, but looking lovely, crowds of folk having a good time, but bumping into you because they weren't looking where they were going. We went back to what, in effect, was an area of London taken over by the Trade Justice people, all of whom smiled, were considerate, looked out for one another. The atmosphere was so peaceful and beautiful there, especially in contrast. 'A tremendous sense that whatever we were doing was right...' as Hunter Thompson would put it.
We had soup and a bun, I had latte and Kate had two black coffees. We couldn't finish the soup - beautiful as it was - because there was just so much of it and very filling, so two girls on the next table polished it for us. All around were people wilting, half-asleep or just staring into space, but still that huge mixture of backgrounds, ages, cultures etc. People every so often just thanking each other. By now it was past 4am. We'd missed a vigil out on Whitehall, because we'd just that second got our hands on our coffee when the call went out around the cafe. Kate and I just looked at each other. There are times when you do need to be selfish, that was one of them. We got our seats and did our vigil in them!
It felt wrong lingering in St Martins for too long, with folk needing the seats and warmth as much as we had. So soon as we'd finished our coffee and soup, gone to the loo and warmed up, we went back out to have a fag. We just needed a nice seat. Halfway up Nelson's Column was the place! It took some getting up there, but there was a wonderful view. That was so surreal, like a scene out of 'Dogma' or 'City of Angels' or even 'Charmed', where a couple of friends are perched atop a famous landmark looking down on the city. It was too dark for decent pictures, even by my standards, but I did my best:
The latter is a lion's arse, btw, just in case you're really struggling there. I also took a pic of Kate still sitting up where we were, but it's just too dark. I'm going to have to see if one of the professional photographers can lighten it. Up there though, we came to the conclusion that if we were going to make it home awake, we ought to slowly leave now. So we made our way back to Whitehall and I managed to keep my peace candle alight ALL the way down there! It took some doing, some slow walking and nifty cardboard action to keep the wind off, but it kept alight. I was well proud. There was a queue the size of Bournemouth outside the public ladies' toilets, so Kate and I went in the Gents instead. I've seen a dick before and I'm sure they've all seen ladies.
Then a slow meander into the tube station and back. By slow, I mean slow. There was a tube line down, but we didn't know until we'd been standing on Baker Street platform for half an hour. We had to go to an entirely different station and there was a bus laid on. The bus-driver didn't know the route, so one of the passengers had to stand up front and direct him to Harrow-on-the-Hill. One time, he took a wrong turn and tried to reverse, until a van (whose stupid driver... think nice thoughts about the stupid driver) had tried to get up the side of us. We missed him by inches. I watched from the back-window to direct us backwards, while another passenger opened the door and directed us within the four inch gap beside the van. We got out without further incident, couple of other detours, then onto a train to Hillingdon which sounded more dangerous than my car. All told it took us 2 and a quarter hours to do the 40 min journey back to Hillingdon. Kate then put her foot down and we covered half the country in an hour and 10 minutes, collapsing onto her settee in Brierley Hill with sherry to knock us out.
I had a grand total of two hours sleep. I'd just started to drop off when her housemate woke me leaving the house. He'd forgotten something, so came back. Three times I had a blast of cold air from the open front door, then he was gone, silence reigned and I got those two hours. Up again, and slowly woke myself up with coffee and Pro Plus, before canting with Ian for an hour on the 'phone and then driving home.
EXCITEMENT! I had had two certificates back from Wolverhampton Registrar's. One got me another generation back on my Nan's side; the other FINALLY after ten years told me who my Dad's grandad is. The elusive Thomas Ayres is now definitely Thomas Silvanus Ayres, born in Wolverhampton in 1876. I didn't have time to research it fully before we were out the door and up the TA in Fallings Park, me, Mum and Dad, for my cousin Sarah's 40th birthday. We walked in between an army guard of honour. It was a good night, me practically rattling with Pro Plus. I got to have a look around when my cousin, Andrew, ran at me while I was dancing, threw me over his shoulder and ran the length of two corridors to drop me into the officer's mess. That's one way to see the place, 6ft 5" off the ground, trying not to giggle as you're trying to tell the bloke off. He'd sat in something, so I did get to smack him as I whacked the flour or whatever it was off. Git.
We didn't leave there until quarter to one in the morning. Let's just say I slept last night!
I'd like to thank everyone who was in Whitehall on Friday night; or one of the similar events all over the world. To everyone who refuses non Fair Trade produce, I just want to say that YOU are one-in-a-million. YOU are special. Thank you.
Friday, April 15, 2005
To All my Friends with AOL
Urgent IT Announcement: e-mail to AOL blocked
This problem affects all University e-mail sent to AOL e-mail addresses (@aol.com).
The University domain has been blacklisted by AOL due to receipt of spam e-mail from the University. All University mail is blocked even though the mail was sent from a school server not the main University servers. Emails sent from a University email address (@wlv.ac.uk) will not reach any AOL address (@aol.com) and an error message will be returned.
AOL has been asked to lift the ban but they have informed us that there is a 3 day backlog before they will contact the University. We cannot advise when the problem will be resolved.
Please see the ITS news web page for updates www.wlv.ac.uk/its/news
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Glastonbury Festival (tattoo)
Because I was mentioning that I'm not going to get a whole lot of sleep at the weekend, what with one thing or another, mainly the all-night Fair Trade event down in London. But I need to go there, because this is happening and that's happening, and I was going anyway but... somewhere along the way, I must have mentioned Ronan Keating, because suddenly Fair Trade is really cool and 'tell me all about it'. The wench is perusing www.maketradefair.com as we speak.
Should I quit while I'm ahead? LOL
Na... I wouldn't be me else. I'll write about it in my blog instead.
RONAN KEATING SUPPORTS FAIR TRADE!
And so does Colin Firth, and Coldplay, and REM, and Jamelia, and Alanis Morrisette, and Antonio Banderas, and Pete Postlewaithe, and Vanessa Redgrave, and Razorlight, and Radiohead...
Here's some more: Celebrity supporters
Ok, I'll go and do some work now.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
'You're telling me it's in the trees, it's in the trees,
It's not, it's inside me...'
~ 'Green Cell Grey' by Ned's Atomic Dustbin
I feel well dodgy today. I feel hungover, even though all I had last night were: one vanilla milkshake, two Red Bulls and one J2O. I got home feeling dodgy and all through html-ing the weekly discussion, I felt nauseaous and faint. I just been in the bathroom gagging, came back to switch the computer off, when TygerCub e-mailed to say that I could use her picture, 'The Reading Room', for it, so I finished it off. But then had to dash an e-mail off to the Mods to ask someone to add it to the blog before I fell over. Anna, bless her socks, did it for me. Then went abed, shut my eyes and got a sudden image of a bloke there with me. He wasn't entirely alive. I did want anyone would do in this situation, I screamed mentally for Georgia.
Poor Georgia. I think that stems from the first day I was back after my car accident, when I hurt my neck outside. I sent an astral SOS for pain relief, then realized that, out of Temenach, only Georgia would be awake. So I screamed for Georgia and felt the pain receding. I think it's now a reflex action - something bad is happening involving astral/supernatural etc and my first instinct is to go GEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG
GGGIIIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! The fact that there are dozens of others who could help me by-passes me completely.
Anyway, screamed for Georgia and the sight of the thing disappeared. I was alone then feeling freezing cold, gasping for breath like an asthmatic and wondering if I could make it to the loo before I threw up. And that's the last thing I remember.
This morning, I've woken up feeling exhausted and hungover... despite about six and a half hour's sleep (I overslept) and the fact that I didn't touch a drop last night.
Work is downright yampy. But I think I'm getting somewhere with this website. I've been working on this section for two days.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
"There you stood on the edge of your feather,
Expecting to fly."
*bounces around like a bouncing thing on amphetamines*
Yes I was tired, but as I said last night, that was a busy at work and not sleeping thing. I actually listened to Cerr and went abed about half 11 last night and slept as soon as my head was on the pillow. I've woken up this morning so awake. And greatness happened, first off Mum 'phoned to say my cheque had come! Then she 'phoned again to say that I'd had a big parcel from Twin Roses Designs! Then one of my colleagues went up Wolverhampton and popped into a shop for me to save me the trip (I don't actually work in the centre anymore, so it's a git finding somewhere to park, and expensive too).
All of this ON TOP OF THE FACT THAT I'M GOING TO THE GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL! I'm going, I'm going, I'm going, I'm going... 'kin Hell, I'm going! *happy dances, then just sways in entranced happy, long-sighted wonder* It had only hit me by Monday. I'm driving along, with Celtic music blasting out of Rebecca, and my eyes are filling up.
I'm so chilled out these days. I swear.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
'"Come to the cliff," he said
They said, "We are afraid."
"Come to the cliff." he said.
They came, he pushed them,
And They Flew.'
I'm so bloody tired. But it's work-induced and lack of sleep tired, rather than crisis tired. I'm literally swaying in my seat and Cerr's just sent me to bed on Witchgrove. I'm going to because part of my jumping off cliffs and discovering I can fly is via me accepting that I can't stay up until 2am working hard on millions of projects. Because I'm so bone-tired, I've gone all emotional.
So far tonight, Anna got tears in my eyes by posting something to the Grove - every week I html people's weekly discussions and write something like, 'your name's up in stars', to let them know that it's up on the website now. I was joking around yesterday and said that, because it's mine this week, no-one will tell me that my name's up in stars etc. I guess you had to be there! *giggle* Anyway, tonight, Anna's posted on the Grove the link and said it to me. I started off laughing aloud at it, then the more I thought on, the more emotional I got. I didn't really need her to do that, as the original was just us fooling around; but that she did. I don't know, it just touched me really deeply after I'd stopped laughing about it.
Then Cerr and Tarna wrote nice things about me, which got me blarting. Then I've just had an off-list:
'I have been re examining my stance on death row because of your words and the links you have sent. Your words are powerful and so are you......'
I'm really blarting now. Really blarting.
I should do as Cerr said and go to bed.
PS Other than being tired, I'm having such an amazing life right now. AND I'VE GOT A TICKET FOR THE GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL! :-D
PPS Ok, bed.