Archive for January, 2010

I am just about to finish my NLP practitioner course – integration weekend coming up at the end of this week – and have been spending a lot of time thinking about how to build up some business. I want to develop an online presence, with the intention of offering my services over the phone, skype, or email, so that I can keep travelling and still have work. I’ve been thinking alot about this blog, how I want to use it, and what to call it. Skinawit is great – but a bit obscure?

I love thehandmadelife, as its a big nod to Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ story of the Red Shoes (Women Who Run With The Wolves) which talks about the importance of creating a life by hand and making it just right for you, even if it looks a bit ramshackle to outside eyes! There are two blogs and one website (uk based) with the same name, but they all have a strong crafts focus. Not sure what to do – thehandmadelife sums up what I’m about so well, so much “life coaching” etc is just so clinical and bland, I want something richer and with a strongly creative (in the widest sense) flavour. How much does it matter if there are similar domain names out there? Watch this space, and feel free to offer your thoughts!

Drinking coffee after a two week break. Wow, rocket fuel…


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Life is moving on. We have spoken to our current hosts and, although we had been hoping to stay on for a while, we need to pick up our skirts again in order to protect their upcoming planning applications.

It’s a bit sad, as the family is lovely and there are some interesting people staying here, two young families, one staying in the house and one in a converted minibus with whom we’ve struck up quite a friendship. Its good to feel there are so many friends out there waiting to be made. And that there are other people looking for a different life, with the courage to step out of the norm, with their kids, in order to build the future that feels right. Its good to feel we are in good company!

Still, moving on promises new horizons, and keeps us going on our journey. The family here hosts volunteers from http://www.helpx.net and we have just registered with them and with Wwoofing, so what with that and visiting communities we should have plenty to keep us busy, I’ve already seen a few interesting looking projects.

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I’m a woman of thought.  Someone, a man, once asked me what I most like to do. He was flirting.  I, 18, wooden, innocent, surprised, could only say, hmm, I like thinking?! I have lived with my thoughts for a long time, and wondered what to do with them. Sometimes I am frustrated with all the ideas that spin around my head, how they seem to want a life, they seem to have a purpose, and yet I seem only to give them the broom cupboard of my mind. Now for a change of tack. Now I’d like to share them. It is an experiment in creativity, in responding to what is, in following the path that lies before, and not questioning too much the nature of things as they deeply are, whilst also questioning everything, tirelessly.

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The cold in my bones

Seems to stop

The things in my head

The Flowers of thought

All frozen

And being a being who’s

Mostly thought

I seem suspended

In winter

Awaiting the thaw of


So my soul can run


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Oh it was lovely to get back yesterday. I looked up from my book at East Grinstead and there was so much snow, all egg white dripping off the trees, what a delight. In suffolk it was getting to the sad and scruffy stage of the thaw, but here it was still looking magic. We discovered that there was around 10″ on the drive coming into the car park and accross the fields. Dang, and we missed it all!  After going to say our hellos, we piled into the truck, set the fire and had lunch. Temperatures here had not got above freezing in two weeks. We had left in a rush. The milk, dated 30 December, was still fresh! It reminded me of the Marie Celeste, crossed with the remains of failed polar expeditions – everything frozen, and still in tact.

I have succumbed to the flu which has been going round. Ho hum. It is half misery (my head feels horrible and i dont want to eat, I love eating so this makes me sad) and half pleasant to have some time on the shelf.

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On Leaving

Home time. Home from Home. Time to go home to my real home: the truck awaits, our little world, abandoned unwillingly and left alone in the snow for too long. Time to leave my childhood home again, and every time it is as if I am coming of age once more. Again and again: I regress as I cross the threshold and step fully into an old skin which, ghostly in normal life, here is course and thick and suits me badly.  I re-emerge at the end into my adult self, dazed and reeling, stepping uncertainly yet with new resolve to carve my life afresh. I wonder why I am so fragile? Why at 30 a fortnight here should resonate so deeply?

Change, moving places, always affects me. It is a mark point, a taking stock, a chance to compare and contrast, and to break into a new state of being.  Often I fight it, lingering too long – at the shops, at friends, in towns, in countries. I must learn the art of the timely departure, quitting while I’m ahead. Perhaps it is because I find the transition so profound, and I hold on to put off the moment when the storms will come inside me. Boulversant: in French it means turned upside down and around. A thousand questions are running in my head: was it as good as it could have been? What did I do wrong? How could I have enjoyed it even more? What could I have been doing instead? And, What is next? Will things be OK? Have I prepared myself well enough? Have I made the right choice in going now? What if I had gone sooner? The sheer act of taking action, it seems, throws me into anxiety, however mild, so that every change, every moving on, however smooth, has for me this undercurrent of checking in, of looking at what has gone, and what is to come, and hoping hoping hoping that everything will come good. Sometimes it is like a warm breeze , carrying me on, other times its winds lash and pour upon my psyche, and it takes me days to regain peace and establish a routine which is born of my own sense of purpose.

I am becoming used to these goings on, and know, at least in the back of my mind, that a going will put me off, make me more sensitive, melancholic, or edgy, or it will fill me with strength, enthusiasm and a lust for the world. Either way, it will not be bland.

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We came downstairs to a snowy Suffolk morning, a couple of days before the recent attack of weather really got going.

There was a kind of huge silent space in the air, as if the gods were standing round giving away nothing but their magnificence.

Til next time, dear, pure winter. We love you deep, and crisp,  and even – because you let us know that everything can be beautiful, if brief.

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