Showing posts from June, 2015

A Brief Blogging Respite

I'm taking a very small and well earned blogging break for a few days. Real life and adventures call so I shall be back very soon with a full report. In the meantime I shall be down the end of the garden in the potting shed...obviously not gardening but with my feet up, reading a good book and a cup of tea to my side. See you soon- be naughty! Arilx

Life's a bore!

Samantha the Panther [aka Humphrey] briefly considered doing a little something extra beyond breathing on Wednesday. Having thought about it he quickly reached the conclusion that he was still suffering from the strain of the momentum of his rather portly tummy slapping against his front legs as he rushed down the stairs for tea so a mighty yawn it was and a speedy return to his normal state of complete suspended animation. Seriously though he's getting along rather well. He's a gorgeously straightforward chap who is tremendously affectionate towards us. He is still however, very wary of anybody else and tends to hare off at the first opportunity. He remains resolutely stout and always in the market for a snack. I'm not so keen on his penchant for live mice. He let the last one go in our front room but I think he must have caught it later on as three weeks down the line I can't smell anything thank goodness. Yes definitely an all round good egg! Arilx

Sun Down

As a Druid, marking the seasons as the wheel moves round is very important to me. By and large I do this quietly with my closest friends behind closed doors. There are no photos- it's a private affair enjoyed by us all. From time to time though the opportunity arises for me to celebrate with like minded souls. This year Mythago were kindly invited by Sompting Morris to celebrate sun down on the Solstice up on the top of Highdown Hill above Angmering. After the sun had set torches and a flaming beacon were lit in celebration. It really was incredibly atmospheric to dance in the middle of a circle of people back lit in this way and it has does nothing to lessen my addiction to Morris Dancing I'm afraid! Arilx


As it's midsummer and the traditional time for fairies this poem seems rather apt for today. Arilx The Stolen child  Where dips the rocky highland Of Sleuth Wood in the lake There lies a leafy island Where flapping herons wake The drowsy water rats; There we've hid our faery vats, Full of berrys And of reddest stolen cherrys. Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand. Where the wave of moonlight glosses The dim gray sands with light Far off by furthest Rosses We foot it all the night, Weaving olden dances Mingling hands and mingling dances Till the moon has taken flight; To and fro we leap And chase the frothy bubbles, While the world is full of troubles And anxious in its sleep. Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world's more full of weeping than you c

Kingley Vale Part Two

Nowadays Kingley Vale is an SSI. The wood is set at the bottom and then there's a steep walk up Bow Hill but it's well worth the effort as you are greeted with the sight of several different styles of Bronze age burial mounds. These are known as the Devil's Humps or the Kings' Graves as, so the legend goes, the good men of Chichester took on and beat the Vikings and their Kings are buried here [ don't let the fact that the tumuli predate the Vikings by ten minutes or so spoil a good story now will you!] At night time supposedly the trees move around and the ghosts of the Kings haunt any foolhardy soul who visits after the witching hour. This is the view back down from the summit of the hill. That's a dew pond which is full of white water lilies that you can see in the distance. The darker trees are the yews. One of the things I loved about this walk was seeing all the flora and fauna. Most of the butterflies didn't tarry long enough for me t

Kingley Vale Part One

Kingley Vale is one of the best preserved yew woods in Europe and the estimated dates for the trees vary anything between 800-2000 years old. It's been about 10 years or so since we last visited but this time we took some local friends with us who wanted to go but had never quite got round to it [I know the feeling]. If you like yews this place will take your breath away. The nature of the way yews grow and their papery bark creates some beautiful lines and textures and with the human propensity to see faces in things I definitely glimpsed one or two things apparently "looking" back at me! It's very dark but the colours and shapes are eye catching. This one just says "boar" to me and the one below definitely looks like it's trying to escape its wooden incarceration. Slightly creepy I'd say. I will be back with some more shots of the things I saw in my next post. Arilx

Summer Solstice 2015

This natural tree formation looks like a tree spirit to me. Bright blessings to all who celebrate the old ways. Arilx

Surprise, surprise!

I came home from work rather hot and bothered earlier this week only to find the above on my doorstep along with a bag of fresh spinach and one of chard. My Morris Dancing chum had stopped by unexpectedly and left me with some of the surplus of her allotment. Such a lovely surprise- it quite lifted my mood. I have inflicted a bottle of my elderflower champagne upon her in return so the bartering economy is alive and well here in Sussex! Arilx

The Medieval Medicine Chest.

This was the title of a most amazing course I attended at the Weald and Downland last weekend. Run by Cathy Flower-Bond she was a splendid lady and a source of incredible information. I really enjoyed the combination of learning and hands on experience the day offered. Obviously for reasons of copyright I don't want to replicate the content here but I'm sure she wouldn't mind if I shared some of the fascinating asides she threw in as the conversation meandered onto other loosely related topics during the day. Here she is wearing the clothes she makes herself showing the fashions of the early and later Medieval period. These were taken of the garden and herb borders at Pendean House in the museum. Nettles- surely one of the most amazing plants used throughout history yet largely ignored by us today or seen as a weed. I myself have tried it in tea, soup, pesto and made string from it. I know it's favoured by butterflies and can be used to make paper,

Sussex Folklore Map

'Tis a well known fact that I am a great lover of all things folklore. W and I went to a thrilling talk by the folklorist  Dr Jacqueline Simpson on Tuesday evening at the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairytales and Fantasy. I am excited to report that they have produced a free map for the county which links back to Dr Simpson's book "Sussex Folklore" but also includes a plethora of other related information. The final version is to be launched at the end of October. If you notice any omissions or know any other pertinent details they've asked if you could please email them as they want it to be as accurate as possible. Link here Arilx

Erm Squirm.

Once upon a time when the world was flat and the moon was made of cheese I worked in an office for a big insurance company. Lovely people but definitely not my natural environment. At that time I shared a phone extension with another lady and one day I answered the phone and was a trifle surprised to be met with the opening line: " Hello, are you the woman I go to bed with?" This was followed by a bit of a cough and a splutter on my part before I recognised the voice and replied: " I can get her for you if you like....." Deathly silence.... It was my colleague's husband! I did meet him subsequently and a jolly nice fellow he was too but I didn't let on that I had been the recipient of his lusty call!! Bet he didn't do that again snigger! Arilx

Sussex Day

Since 2006 the 16th June has apparently been Sussex Day. This has only come to my attention within the last few weeks and that above is the Sussex flag again of which I knew nowt! The six birds represent the six rapes [boroughs] of the county and the date is the one upon which St Richard of Chichester's body was moved to its current resting place in the nave in the cathedral in 1276. Coincidentally I shall be down in Chi today attending a folklore talk with my chum W. To neatly dovetail the post I thought a short 16th century Sussex folklore tale about the giant of Brede was in order. Sir Goddard Oxenbridge was a 7' giant of a man and the story goes that he ate a child every night after dark and could not be killed by any metal weapon. He met his demise when a group of angry Sussex children got him drunk and then killed him with a wooden saw at Groaning Bridge. In real life he was a god fearing gentleman and the owner of Brede Place [Brede is a small village nowadays].

2nd Anniversary.

Somehow I find that I have been wittering for two whole years the hell did that happen. To be honest I wasn't sure how long I'd stick at this blogging lark but I have to say I love it. Always was a sucker for the written word so may I just thank all of you who are so kind to drop by and I really appreciate the comments you take the time and trouble to leave. As ever a random photo of strangeness that tickled my fancy. Arilx

Grave Notice.

Erm....there's not a lot one can say when faced with an instruction such as this. My inner geek feels that it should have had an exclamation mark added at the end just to add further kudos. Needless to say I obeyed and no graves were walked upon in the taking of this image! Arilx

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No...It's

A hummingbird hawk moth. I was beside myself with excitement when one visited our garden on Monday. Such a speedy little blighter we couldn't get a photo but it returned today. It has a definite penchant for the Valerian. I've seen them elsewhere in the country but this is my first time in Sussex. Several local friends and families have confirmed they have seen them too. Am just so chuffed! Arilx

The Blues.

Fear not...we're not talking head in hands type blues here but of the wildflower variety. Phew! Bugle. This is literally just round the corner from my abode. Speedwell. Comfrey from across the road- discovered when I was poking about in the verge looking for elderflowers. As in the words of dear old Del Boy "lovely jubbly"! Arilx

Champers dear boy?

Swing top bottles courtesy of freecycle. Elderflowers now harvested and 5 bottles of champagne hopefully now beginning to bubble. This is my first foray into this particular brew. Other flowers have been frozen and will be made into the 2015 Elderfaerie batch of Hobbity Booze in a few weeks time. Arilx

Brassed Off.

With an attack of cabin fever looming on Sunday I decided on the spur of the moment to head out to a local village [more of a junction really that everyone whizzes through to get to Brighton] just up the road called Cowfold. Having recently read that the local church houses the biggest brass  in Sussex dedicated to one Thomas Nelond [prior of Lewes 1420-29] and having, of course, not done my homework I rather naively assumed it would be up on the wall.  Nadda...not a trace. Beginning to think I had imagined the whole thing I noticed a long stretch of carpet padlocked down. Yes you've guessed it. Not surprising really as it's been knocking around a fair few hundred years it's suffered a fair amount of wear and tear from the sheer number of tootsies that have trundled across it over the centuries and is now protected. To save anyone from repeating my blunder it can be viewed by appointment. I meanwhile have had to content myself with an image of it instead. No