Tuesday, 29 July 2008


My dad took this photo in Glastonbury. It's of an altar cloth covered in embroidered angels. If you kind of squint and concentrate you can just see me standing on the right. I love this photo, even though it failed as an attempt to get a clear shot of that altar cloth. I love it because the colours are so beautiful and because every time I look at it I feel like who I am makes sense. 

The hardest thing about having any kind of extra-sensory ability is in trying to explain it. Most of the time words just don't seem to fit and I'm left feeling frustrated... but with this photo I can show what I cannot tell. When I "see and hear" things they are almost always in my mind and not literal. It's as if my brain gets a double image - my thoughts with this other reality beyond them. Just like that photo with it's reflections of worlds within worlds I see and hear in another layer reflected through from one of those other worlds. Just like that photo it can be confusing to make out the details, but there's never any doubt that I am seeing two very different realities reflected over each other. 

Sometimes the reflections on the glass in my mind obscure parts of what I get and then I'm left with pieces and fragments only. Other times it all just "clicks" and the reflection fades... and I see through the glass in perfect clarity. Those perfect clear moments are a "high" that cannot be matched. I had a moment like that on the way home from our holiday. Usually I don't share things like this in public, but I think I need to be true to who I am more. 

On the way home on the motorway I was drifting as I listened to music on the radio. Being a passenger in a car is the closest I get to meditating. ;-) Everywhere else I'm either too busy or too easily distracted. So we were on the motorway (M1 going North) where I had loads of time to drift and "car meditate". I kept seeing this angel sitting on our car roof. Looking a bit bored, chin in hand. Sitting sideways with his feet dangling over my window. I've seen this angel around me before. I suspect he's always been around me - my guardian angel, for want of a better description.

I tried to see if I could see anyone else's guardian angels. What I got was a lot more than I'd expected. This time I saw my husband's angel and I also saw the wings of my mom's angel and my dad's. No more than that though. I got a bit frustrated that I couldn't get more detail and kind of gave up… started watching the scenery and passing cars. That was when I realised I could feel angels everywhere. I felt them first, very intense, then started to see them. Not clear, but clear enough to say there was an angel sitting in the lotus position on top of the large lorry/truck in front of us.

I even saw two angels playing what looked like dominoes on top a car full of a mom-dad-kids family. They realised I could see them and waved... I did not wave back! All the angels seemed to realise I could see them at that moment and for a while the sensation was very intense. A wonderful feeling of everyone being connected. Like a huge crazy web of light threads from every car, and person and angel. Then we pulled off the motorway to have a meal and I lost the connection, but that vision of all those angels above every car will never leave me.

Looking back at that photo I had another idea. Maybe the "glass" is more like that mirror glass that becomes transparent when light shines through it. Without the light all you see is your own reflection... then someone turns on the light behind it and *BANG* - you can see straight through!
That really fits for me. I even know what acts as the switch that flips on the light. The switch is always Love, one way or another. Which makes perfect sense really - Light is just Love made visible.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Holiday trip 3 - Cheddar Gorge

We spent our first night at a motorway place, after a very happy dinner of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Our area of SCotland does not possess one single KFC place. My mom and I suffer serious withdrawal problems so we really enjoyed the meal a lot. ;-)

The next morning we passed a sign saying "Cheddar Gorge" and hubby
said, "Let's go look."

Now, I'd heard of Cheddar gorge, but was imagining a road going above the gorge, with maybe a place to stop and look. Rather like the Storm river gorge and Oribi gorge I've visited in South Africa.

Nope, not like that at all! In Cheddar the road runs through Ceddar town and on through the gorge. There are tiny shops, restaurants and even a hotel all wedged tightly into the gorge near the town end. There are also entrances to caves and other touristy attractions. It's mind boggling! No suprise that there are loads of places advertising they sell cheddar cheese. It was all very pretty, but a bit overwhelming and a tad claustrophobic. So many people, and so many ways to be tempted to buy buy buy,can get a bit too much. Since parking is pretty nil in the area where the shops are we opted to rather drive through and stop in the parking areas nearer the far edge, where there were less tourists and bustle.

It's hard to give a good impression of how deep the gorge is with photographs. When I tried photographing looking staight up I couldn't get the entire cliffside into the shot, so most of these photos are taken from as far back as I could get. I would highly recommend looking at Cheddar town and Gorge on Google maps as the aerial shots of the gorge are very impressive.

First photo of the more green side of the gorge (the left going out of Cheddar).

This next photo is of the right side of the road and gorge. Much more rocky cliffs, full of cracks and caves.

The next three photos are of views further along at other parking areas. The gorge winds and zigzags for quite a way and there are several parking areas for cars and/or busses.

Finally... the road leaving the gorge.

Holiday Trip - part 2 Names and Places

All the way down through Scotland it had been fairly sunny, but that changed around the border and it started getting rainy and very misty. So although I could see it was rugged and mountainous (Lake District) it just wasn’t the kind of weather to take photos in. :-(

One thing that was striking though, was the difference between Highland Scotland and the English villages we were passing through. The highlands have a harsh beauty. If highland Scotland were a goddess she’d be a warrior huntress with wind-blown hair. The English countryside we passed through was beautiful in a completely different way. Lush, almost over-the-top pretty. England as a goddess would have curls and dimples and charm you into staying her devoted slave forever.

We passed through village after village of utterly adorable cottages arranged tastefully in the countryside, like flowers in a vase. White washed and bright brick cottages nestled in amongst plushy trees and roses everywhere! Creeping roses around doors and windows, bushes of roses overflowing tiny gardens... and if there were no gardens there were flower boxes attached to walls and window ledges all bursting and overflowing with flowers.

Travel on back into the countryside and you'd be driving between high green hedgerows or completely submersed in green tree tunnels. Willow trees dripping leaves onto the roads as your drove under them and blowsy fields seemed to lie dozing gently, gorged on grasses and wildflowers. A stark contrast to the wild moors of North Scotland that look scoured and scrubbed to the stones by winds and ancient glaciers.

Northern Scottish villages tend to tuck themselves into folds of hills and valleys to protect themselves from the weather. Seaside fisher towns can be especially grim… or dour to use a more apt Scottish term! Fisher towns in North Scotland cling grimly to the coastline, like barnacles on rocks. Some are truly ugly, some have a quaint beauty, none of them are soft and pretty.

Even the plants and colours are softer. In Scotland we had left behind a summer in sharp yellows and purples. Prickly gorse with masses of golden flowers had just given way to bright yellow broom and smoky mauves and purples of prickly thistles and dry shrubby heather… but in England the wildflowers were in clear pinks and blues and not a single thorn or prickly plant to be seen anywhere.

It was very hard not to fall madly in love with the English countryside… and none of us even tried. We gulped down view after view of luxurious blossoming hills and fields.

The names were just as gorgeous, especially Border places. I wrote them down as we passed by…

In Southern Scotland We passed Dowally, Bankfoot, Buttergask and Tarneybackle farm, Shap and Ecclefechan.

North Enland is even better. On the trips up and down I saved (and savoured) such glorious place names as Wigan Parbold, Congleton, Shugborough, Webbs of Wichbold near Droit of Wich.

Knook and Knock, New Biggin and Nether Pobbleton and my own personal favourites – the river Earwash and the military base at… Warcop!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

July Photo Challenge - Potted Rabbit

Once again Graham, of One Man's Travel Blog, has issued his monthly photo challenge. You can find the guidelines on his blog. Here is this month's theme:

... I am emotionally driven to choose "Food" as the photograph challenge theme for July. The interpretations are endless.... it could be a photograph of your favourite meal (if it is, then be sure to include the recipe in your post!), or it could be a photograph of a fruit/vegetable or even a favourite drink....

My Favourite Rabbit Recipe - Potted Rabbit.

1. Take one cheeky young pokey bunny and place in large herb pot.
2. Add a nibble of lemon thyme, two munches of barley and a generous scoffing of fresh chives.
3. Allow to bake in the warm midday sun until eyelids droop and the feeling is mellow.
4. Add zest for life and serve through a lounge window with a glass of wine.


For those following the ongoing story of Pokey Bunny...

The "model" in my photo is the little rabbit, who came into our garden a while back as a youngster the size of a furry teacup. He (or she) has since taken semi-permanent residence in our garden, but only very recently reached a large enough size to be able to hop into my herb planter. He has a definite fondness for eating, and sleeping upon, my chives! He also has a fondness for wild grasses and poppy heads .... dope bunny?

He also has a great and deep loathing for mud. Every time it rains he spends most of the day cleaning his feet... and shuddering at the revolting fact that his tongue is his wash cloth.

Here's another shot of Pokey Bun in the herb pot....


Friday, 18 July 2008

Crow Journeys


Photo taken by my dad on a country road in England last month.

When I named this blog "Crow's Feet" I intended to write about where those feet took me - in every sense. Sometimes recently I've got so bogged down in "stuff" I've forgotten that first intention. Today's post is going to take this back on track.

Most of my life I've looked at being alive as an experience rather than an existence. I can remember being in hospital at the age of 17 and feeling so excited and happy... because I'd never had major surgery before and this was going to be such an adventure! Somewhere along the way I forgot that. Somewhere I started seeing my life's adventures as problems and burdens rather than exciting experiences.

Okay, maybe it is weird to be excited at having surgery, but it is a great adventure.! Surely life should be a journey enjoyed and savoured rather than a struggling plod to the finish line? I’ve mostly wanted my journey to be the great adventure. Sometimes it overwhelms me and I get panicked or depressed, but it still is a great adventure.

Last week my doctor added a new health label to my alarmingly long list of personal health woes. He thinks (after loads of blood tests and examinations) that my recent pain problems are due to fibromyalgia.

I left his office with a print-out pamphlet and a head full of questions. On the plus side this thing isn't terminal and won't erode me away physically. On the down side most websites on the disease tend to make it sound debilitating and something you can never cure or escape from.

An online friend asked me yesterday:

How do you want this to manifest in the world for you? Big questions... How do you want your story to read, that has fibromyalgia as a part of the setting?

What characters will you write into your story, to help and support you....and what will be your relationship to them?
What characters will you write into your story, who will be the protagonists...the bad guys, who will be trying to steal your energy....and make your quest to wholeness more difficult...

and could we eliminate them at the outset, so that the quest isn't an epic battle to the last page, but a gentle journey of quiet exploration…

How do I want my story to read? What a thought! Instead of seeing it as an unknown road before me she had posed my brain a new and amazing question; “What if you create your own road?”

Here I have been seeing my life story as the great adventure to be experienced (and learnt from), but now… Last few years the “adventures” have come too fast and too furious. I feel weather-beaten and travel-weary.

I replied to her:

I think I'll go with as much elimination of struggle and bad guys as possible. I want it to be a heart-warming success story. Gentle growth. Not so much drama and stress. More Little Women and less Alien Resurrection!

…but do I really? Yes, I do want less drama and tears and obviously we all want a happy ending to our life stories, but no adventure at all? I think that might get boring! I think that’s not really me…

So today I claim my first step on the new page of my new Great Adventure . I will write this part of my journey (hopefully) with excitement and humour rather than fear and despondency. I’m sure there will be sections where the road seems impassable (and the storm clouds gather as the cannibals get ready to cook me), but it will still be an adventure and I will try to write in the bit where I eventually get rescued. ;-)


Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Summer Holiday Trip - part 1


End of June Hubby had two weeks summer holiday so we decided to get the family in a car and off to see England. I’ve lived here five years and only once ever passed through England - all I saw was the motorway and a fast dash through Oxford. My parents are even worse. In four years of living here they’ve never travelling further south than Edinburgh.

My dad wasn’t able to take off as much time as my husband, so we planned a simple route geared at seeing as many places as we could. We left fairly early and ended up having breakfast in a great roadside place at Ballinluig.
If you ever get to Scotland and travel up on the A9 this place does great breakfasts and they offer free top ups on cups of coffee and tea. Good solid food at good prices.

From there we drove down past Perth, Stirling (Stirling castle was amazing, but no way to take a decent photo zooming past in the car) and Glasgow, then on down to Gretna Green. We weren't able to stop this day, so only two photos of Gretna, but on the way home we took more pics. I'll post them later on.

This first one is of the original Blacksmith's place where English couples would elope to get married. For those who don't know - this isn't because Gretna (or their blacksmith) had special legal powers, but simply because it was the closest place on the border between England and Scotland. For a long time the law of Scotland was that anyone could marry simply by declaring their intention before witnesses. This made it very easy to marry... and very hard to do Scottish family trees past a certain age as there are very few written marriage contracts! So English couples would dash up the road to Gretna to be married under Scottish law... in front of the blacksmith as witness. You can still get married here, which must be fun.

This next photo is of the blacksmith's sign. It comes out to small on the blog so I'll write what it says below the photo.
This is the world famous

Famous for runaway wedding since 1754.

Just outside of Gretna there’s a sign saying you are now passing the last house in Scotland. If they didn’t say, and the fact there were English and Scottish flags on either “side”, you’d never really know you’d passed into England.

Tomorrow I'll post the next part of our adventures.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Latest News

Hi everyone!

I am still here, but my computer isn't. I've had a tremendous fight with it the last two weeks and at the moment my husband is in the process of sorting it out between two jobs and the last dregs of the flu = slowly.

At the moment I can't get to any of my word files (where I usually write my blog posts first) or my photos. :-( Hopefully they can be saved and restored and I'll be able to finally put up our holidays pics.

I'm now off to try and get my email adresses back working ... *SIGH*

Friday, 4 July 2008

Bunny Photos

For the lovers of ultra-cute - Hubby finally managed to get some photos of the baby bunny that mostly lives in our garden. Here he is scoffing all the clover and dandelions out the lawn. Not a bad deal really! We lose the weeds and he gains a dinner. ;-)

He (she?) has also taken to sleeping below my parents' bedroom window at night in a little hollow spot in the grass. Maybe not the safest spot, but since we have night lights that turn on if anything moves in the back this bunny will never have a cat or fox sneak up on him while he sleeps. Clever little bun!

For size reference... Little bun is roughly the size of a large grapefruit.


Thursday, 3 July 2008

Lots to come

We've been away for a holiday break in England.

Good news - we all had a fantastic time.
Bad news - my dad and Sandy had sore throats and snuffles, my mom had a cough. I, having been the sick person two weeks back, was fine except for some allergy woes.

BUT we still had a great time and we took loads of photos that we're busy downloading and sorting out (two mobile phones that take photos and one digital camera).

I'll be back with the whole Crow family travel experience once I've managed to get all the photos together on my computer. :-)