Sunday, 26 April 2009


Blue, songs are like tattoos
You know I've been to sea before
Crown and anchor me
Or let me sail away
Hey Blue, there is a song for you
Ink on a pin
Underneath the skin
An empty space to fill in .....
Joni Mitchell

I love blue of all shades and hues but perhaps my favourite is the indigo of the evening sky followed closely by the deep delicate blue of the bluebells in the peaceful wood where I walked this morning.
Later in the day, I went out with the intention of buying some wood preservative for my rickety little shed. However, I somehow managed to avoid going anywhere near shops where such a product is sold and came back instead with a lapis lazuli necklace. Now how did this happen, I asked myself as a wave of guilt washed over me, it usually does when I buy myself some non-essential item. As I fastened the string of small lapis beads around my neck they felt instantly right and I knew that for some reason they were a more essential purchase than wood stain (that will wait for another un-bluebell day).
The name Lapis Lazuli comes from a variety of words meaning "blue" (azure) or "heaven": the Latin "lazulum", stemming from the Arabic "lazaward", and the Persian "lazhward" constitute the Lazuli part. The first part of the name, Lapis, is of Latin origin meaning simply "stone". And this stone was named after its likeness to the heavens and of course because of its color -- a brilliant deep blue which is usually veined with small flecks of yellow-gold color from its most common mixture with Pyrite (Fool's Gold) or white streaks from its mixture with Calcite or other minerals.
(taken from one of the many internet sites on Lapis Lazuli)

The woman in the Crystal Shop told me that Lapis Lazuli represents enlightenment (the third eye) and my own book on crystals says it is associated with all forms of communication, expression and learning. It is also known around the world as the stone of friendship and truth.
Lapis Lazuli has an amazing history in its use as a pigment for many of the materpieces we see in art galleries, to find out more see:-

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Rambling on .... beautiful Wiltshire

This morning I joined my local Ramblers group for a 10 mile walk out around the always beautiful, ever inspiring Wiltshire country-side. I have been dipping in and out of this group for about two years now - some faces are consistently there each week, some faces are new. Conversation ebbs and flows, there is no pressure to divulge anything about who you are or why you are there. We just walk ..... today we started off at Martinsell Hill, along to West Wood which was just stunning though the bluebells are not yet fully out. We followed the group leader down to Oare where we came upon a meadow with rare snakeshead fritillaries growing then passed by Giant's Grave Hill then back up to Martinsell hillfort.
A lovely, therapeutic and physically tiring walk - I ache a bit as had to go off elsewhere after I returned home but it was all so very worth it.

West Wood long barrow - with the bluebells just coming out

Half a dozen vintage tractors trundled by as we stopped for a break

We passed a beech wood - and more bluebells

Rare snakes-head fritillaries in a meadow near Oare

Giant's Grave Hill

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


This blog is for Christopher Johnson who gave me now cherished books of poetry by 'AE' and Fiona Macleod (see previous posts). This morning I reluctantly went to work with a heavy head cold and the niggling feeling that today was an important anniversary. I found myself thinking of Chris, one of my dearest of all friends; a musician, writer, publisher and one of the kindest men I had had the privilege to know - so strong was his sense of presence, I typed his name and that of Skoob Esoterica, the publishing company he helped to set up, into Google's search engine. Up came an obituary which had been published in the Independent - Chris had died on April 7th 1996, thirteen years ago today. This was the first year I hadn't consciously remembered .... the past few weeks having been somewhat up and down as another close person became seriously ill, threaded together with more life affirming activities such as walking over the downs in the spring sunshine - with new friends.
But I hadn't forgotten Chris - all that he loved returns in each new spring.
In the hollows of quiet places may we meet, the quiet place where is neither moon nor sun, but only the light of amber and pale gold that comes from the Hills of the Heart. There, listen at times: there you will call, and I hear: there will I whisper, and the whisper will come to you as dew is gathered on the grass, at the rising of the moon.
From 'Silence of Amor' by Fiona Macleod.

Monday, 6 April 2009

The Golden Age

A chalk water stream in a magical wood, leaves of new growth unfurling almost before our eyes

One of the many chalk water springs - in an enchanting place, which for now will have to remain unidentified.

This little blog has almost done a full circle, I started in May last year and now it is another spring - perhaps I have completed what I wanted to say, perhaps not quite yet.
The Golden Age
When the morning breaks above us
And the wild sweet stars have fled,
By the faery hands that love us
Wakened you and I will tread
Where the lilacs on the lawn
Shine with all their silver dews,
In the stillness of the dawn
Wrapped in tender primrose hues
We will hear the strange old song
That the earth croons in her breast,
Echoed by the feathered throng
Joyous from each leafy nest.
Earth, whose dreams are we and they,
With her heart's deep gladness fills
All our human lips can say,
Or the dawn-fired singer trills.
She is rapt in dreams divine:
As her clouds of beauty pass,
On our glowing hearts they shine.
Mirrored there as in a glass.
So when all the vapors grey
From our flowery paths shall flit,
And the dawn shall begin the day,
We will sing a song to it.
Ere its yellow fervour flies: -
Oh, we were so glad of youth,
Whose first sweetness never dies
Nourished by eternal truth.
George William Russell (AE) 1867-1935
For the small group of people I walked with on Saturday - each one eloquent in their own way. Thank you for showing me the springs and wood, alive with birdsong and the first dragonflies of the year - an enchanted place.