Besieged By the Weather

Under a blanket of snow

As I write this post, I sit up late into the night – like I do many nights. But this night is different. I am listening to the sound of icy snow and hail thrash against my window, driven by a strong easterly wind. Normally, I would find the idea of snowy weather highly exciting – but not this time. This time, I find the weather to be threatening, worrying, […]

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Winter Stillness… and Honeyed Ale

It is only 6 weeks to the start of the new year’s season starting to roll into full swing and for me, this time is a seasonal night of rest before the dawning of the new year. So I sit… And watch. I watch the dusk creeping in over the mountains. And stoke the fire for another early evening lost in thought. An aid to that thought is mulled drinks. […]

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Black Friday: A new festival for the church of consumption

It’s that time of year again. A monstrosity of an occurrence imported from America called ‘Black Friday’. Only the nation that has a festival dedicated to being thankful for what they have could invent an event the very next day where they underscore what they do not have and want.  In theory this is the time of year when American businesses would go ‘into the black’ financially. But it has […]

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An accidental author

First Book Launch!

So, I find myself on the come-down from the euphoria of publishing my first book. Yesterday, a final draft copy arrived in the post, and after half an hour of squinting and hovering with a red pen – that ultimately wasn’t used – my finger rather heavily clicked on the ‘publish’ button and I found myself an author. Now; I suppose technically I’ve been an author for a while in […]

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Why do I do it?

Another day comes to an end – I sit, in complete silence, the only sounds in the house are the tick-tock of the cuckoo clock, and an occasional rustle as embers settle in the grate. This is winter – not yet the deep mid-winter, but it is Samhain eve; to Celts the start of a period of limbo lasting until the midwinter solstice. And, as the sudden jolt of the […]

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Seasonal Affective Order

Brown Birch Bolete

The year has well and truly turned. We are now at the half-way point between the end of summer proper, and the festive season of Yule, Christmas, whatever you call it. I never got on well with autumn growing up: a mixture of ME and generally overdoing it in the summer months always lead me to end up in a pretty ‘orrible state by the end of October. Then the […]

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Distillation Surprise: An Azulene Dream

Azulene Floral Wate/Hydrolait

Sometimes it is a surprise to actually get great results when I make medicines. Not because I usually get poor results, but when things ‘go to plan’ and work in practice as they should work in theory, it’s a lovely surprise. Take today; for the first time, I made a floral water of German Chamomille (Matricaria recutita), as part of the process of making a Chamomille tincture (For those that […]

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Flaming June

Well, midsummer is upon us. I will admit that it’s been a somewhat strange late spring/early summer though. Spring seemed to come late, with many things that would start in April only really blossoming in the second half of May. Of course, this meant an explosion in growth as nature ‘catches up’ with itself by speeding up. Now we’ve had a heatwave, and a week of wall-to-wall sun. And would […]

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