Maypole Dancing

Maypole Dancing.

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I’m a rambling man

It’s not every day you are totally inspired.

I have the kind of job, where, if I am lucky, every piece of work, every person I meet allows me to come away having learnt something new. I’m always grateful for the connection, for having had the opportunity to learn from their life experience, and what they are bringing to the task of supporting our children.

But this week I have been totally inspired. As in jaw-droppingly, remember this day, bottle this moment, cherish this memory, type inspired.

This week I met a man nick-named Hazzard. Not a great start you might think.

However he has devoted himself to raising awareness and funds for the charity called Console UK who work towards suicide prevention as well as supporting those affected by suicide of a loved one. He is walking 5000 miles through the 86 counties of the UK from July 2013 to 24 June 2014 relying on the generosity of people he meets along the way for accommodation.

Haz completed a walk through his home country of Ireland for Console which was so successful that he started receiving messages offering accommodation should he decide to do a walk through the rest of the UK.

Amazingly he has only ever had to pitch a tent once in over 400 nights whilst he was in the highlands of Scotland.

Here’s a few words I threw together for the local paper after he stayed at our home last night;

Colm Farrell (known affectionately as ‘Hazard’) stayed in Hereford with Richard & Rosie Evans on Wednesday 2 April 2014.

A parent from the school where our daughter attends posted on Facebook about his walk for charity, as she had put him up the night before in Pontrilas.

I called him and offered him a place to stay. Then a friend came round to visit and we realised she had called him two minutes after I had to offer him a place to stay too! This was great timing as she then was able to offer him a place to rest after walking for six hours, whilst I collected both our children from school that afternoon.

He will covers roughly 15 miles (and up) a day and is travelling from Hereford towards Worcester on Thursday, and then likely to be arriving in the Worcester area on Friday. The most he has covered in one day is 46 miles when he had to get to a destination to see his daughter who is now thirteen.

From Worcester he will travel towards Redditch and on towards Birmingham. He completes his walk in Cornwall on 24th June 2014 which is our wedding anniversary. He said the completion date has also been a meaningful date for several other people whom he has met whilst on his travels.

He is continuing his 11 month, 5000 mile walk through the 86 counties of the UK to raise funds and awareness for Console UK, a suicide prevention charity.

We lost a family member to suicide 23 months ago and helping Colm out seemed like such a natural thing to do especially when we found out the reason he was walking.

I was so touched when my friends helped out by agreeing to give Haz accommodation for the following night at very short notice, near Great Malvern which meant a lot to me.

Check out ‘Hazwalk’ on Facebook for more information about this incredible journey.

He also posts lots of updates daily on his own Facebook page as that is where many of his ‘planks’ (offers of a bed) come from as people share the news of his route. His name on Facebook is Colm Farrell.

Since beginning his UK walk, Console UK have received enough additional funding to open a support centre in London, with plans to open another in Leeds in September 2014. His ideal outcome would be for there to be a Console support centre within easy reach of every town in the UK and Ireland.

His fundraising website is;

http://www.mycharity.ie/event/colm_farrells_event/

Please share with your friends. Colin’s phone number for any offers of future accommodation is 07582 443707.

Here is an article from when he travelled through Lincoln;

http://thelincolnite.co.uk/2014/02/fundraisers-5000-mile-suicide-prevention-walk-reaches-lincoln/

Here is a short video and a few quotes about the charity walk when he travelled through Worksop;

http://m.worksopguardian.co.uk/news/local/video-charity-walker-finds-hospitality-in-worksop-retford-dinnington-and-saxilby-1-6439450

Here is the tripline map showing the route so far;

http://www.tripline.net/trip/Hazwalk_UK_2013-2014-1650000056621006BF4C8189FE7A42D8

I will be updating the blog more regularly now I promise!

Thanks for reading!

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Rhythm, Repetition & Reverence

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I really enjoyed the third session of the Education for a Happy Childhood course with Joy De Berker. The theme was rhythm, reputation & reverence.

Here’s the view of Bath as we walked to the venue.
20131121-061239.jpgWe made felted animals and learned about using natural materials with children in art & crafts. Rhythm is not routine, but the natural ebb & flow of movement in the home, on a daily, weekly and annual basis. Looking at the seasons and festivals which accompany them, I began to think of rhythm in a new way.

One thing I took from the session which had been mentioned previously, was that ‘every child has a golden heart’. A worthy reminder that every child is innately good. Simple but important.

This is how I have always felt about children, having worked with children & families for over eight years now. It was good to hear more about a philosophy which fits so well with my natural instincts on parenting. It also fits well in understanding that children’s behaviour is their language, and it is our responsibility to understand what they are trying to tell us in the way that they present outwardly.

Here’s a few other snaps from the day.

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Acupuncture

This week I had my regular acupuncture appointment with the most amazing seventy-year old practitioner.

This time was different as my daughter was with me; not planned but not a problem either. She sat and did some drawings whilst we carried on with my appointment.

I am no expert on the topic but have been benefitting from regular acupuncture since February 2012.

It was recommended to me by a family member who was suffering with a range of issues. She told me how she remembered having needles put in and watching her body change from being very shaky, to being calm and still for the first time in a long time. She also said (her words) that she ‘got her mojo back’, and has been more active and outgoing as a result.

I often recommend trying acupuncture to friends & family, especially if they are struggling with a health problem of any sort, but I have never actually written down what it is like for me having a treatment.

The thing about acupuncture is, if you are at all interested in what your practitioner is doing, you may end up thinking about your body in a totally new light. I love learning about the points which she chooses to needle, why she does or doesn’t use massage or moxa (to warm a point) before needling certain areas, and about traditional Chinese practices for health in general.

The only way I can describe how it feels when I have a treatment is that it’s like being ‘plugged’ back in.

Imagine rechargeable batteries, plugged back into the mains power source & recharged – well that’s pretty much what it feels like. Sometimes the overall effect varies; for example I might come away feeling vitalised, or totally wiped out & in need of sleep, but that one feeling of being ‘plugged in’ is always there.

As the needles go in I can sometimes experience a rush of feeling in one place, reminiscent of the beginning of pins & needles; numb limbs benefitting from the rush of the blood supply back into that part of the body.

Some treatments I have felt great warmth in specific parts (not always the area actually being needled), or the sensation of water, like a warm wave coming over me. Often the points used in the toes affect my head and scalp, and I have been successfully treated for chronic migraine without reoccurrence.

Sometimes it feels like I’m a tree with roots exposed but that a treatment brings me back down into the ground again, supporting me in soft nourishing earth. Often I feel pulled back down to earth, strange but true.

I have learned the hard way, to treat your own health as an utmost priority. It is priceless and I am eternally grateful for the way it has helped me become a healthy happy woman again.

Thanks for reading. Coming up….. my first Steiner Warldorf parents evening!

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Ina May you make my day

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Last night I watched ‘Birth Story’ with Ina May Gaskin.

Her book Spiritual Midwifery was the start of a wonderful learning journey for us, and I was privileged to hear her speaking at a birth conference the year after our daughter was born.

The birth at the end of the film is so like our daughter’s was; eyes open underwater, gazing up at us.

In the film she visits Kilpeck Church to see the famous birthing gargoyle called the Sheela-na-gig fertility carving.

I used to think that I would love to one day give birth at The Farm in Tennessee. But watching this I realised its because of women like Ina May that I feel like I could birth pretty much anywhere. Thank-you Ina May for continuing to inspire me.

If you haven’t seen the film I would highly recommend it, whether you have kids or not, regardless of how and where they were born. Its totally in my top 100 (mental note idea for blog post favourite movies of all time).

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Under the weather

Having had a snotty grotty wheezy few days in our household I’ve been looking for inspiration & motivation every step of the way. Here’s some beautiful things I’ve had the pleasure of noticing in my attempt to be more mindful

Roaring bonfire at magical Diwali bonfire night at school

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Resting dew drops, pointed out by our daughter

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Colours and cathedral

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Kilpeck Church gargoyle  (reminded me of my hubby & I – not sure why)

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Skyline to savour. I find myself looking up a lot more than I used to.

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Practice Makes Poster

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Ok so I may be labouring the point here……

but here’s the final double-sided version of the beautiful Advent Fair poster my husband Richard designed for our daughter’s school.

All graphic design services were donated free of charge and I think he has captured the feel perfectly, especially considering he has never been to one of the schools’ advent fairs before.

We are really looking forward to it! All his artwork can be found on his FunkyArtist Facebook page.

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