We rely on so many things nowadays, electric, gas, cars, buses, trains, planes, phones, etc. What would we do without them? It seems as if we are going to get more frequent and severe storms here in the UK which bring down power lines and make a lot of disruption to transport. We have just had two such storms back to back and another is on the way today. I am lucky where I live and there is little disruption to my daily life apart from the fact I stay in when the storm is at its worst.

Many years ago there were timed power cuts of so many hours each day. These were rotated from day to day so you had to plan in advance what you were going to do especially where cooking was concerned. Other things had to be planned in advance as well as shop tills did not work without power. I had candles in a lantern and battery powered lights then. Today you can get better battery operated lights for emergencies.

But today there are many still without power due to the storm. I hope they stay safe and warm. But are you prepared for something like this? Do you have spare lighting of some kind, food you can eat cold and blankets to keep you warm? Or will you panic and not know what to do? Can you get to work without transport of your own? Can you walk to work or to the shops?

Maybe it is time to stop being reliant on so many things. We are in the middle of great changes and we must look at how we live and what we need to stay alive. We must be prepared to live in a different way if necessary and get on with it instead of complaining about it. There is no return to normal, whatever normal was then. A new normal is here but will change rapidly. Are you too reliant on any of the items I mentioned above? If so look at alternatives for when they are needed. Be prepared and not so reliant!


It has been one of those months where lots of little things went wrong and set me back on what I was trying to do. I always think that these kind of things come in threes so I must be on my third set of three by now.

I can’t remember now all of these little things but some stick in my mind. While doing a lot of sewing the needle broke on my sewing machine. Luckily I had one to replace it but it took time as it was fiddly to do. Then I chipped a tooth. I don’t have many left at the top so chipping one of these was not a good idea! Then a light bulb went in the kitchen and I had to ask a friend for help as I couldn’t get the old bulb out. That’s three things but there are more. My rose got black spot and had to be dealt with, the storms knocked down a lot of plants and had to be staked so they stood up again and then on Tuesday I got a very bad sting while watering the garden. Poor bee; sat on my arm and I didn’t notice it so bent my arm and squashed it. Of course it stung me and also bit me! The sting is still bothering me as I have a problem with my body dealing with stings and bites. A visit to the pharmacist helped but it is still not getting much better so a visit to the doctor on Monday maybe. On top of all this a parcel has not arrived having been sent back to the sender from the delivery depot as it was damaged!. I wonder what else there is to come along to set me back.

The weather is certainly not helping me get back on track with the garden as it is pouring with rain. It is good for the plants of course but it also makes the weeds grow as well. The area of the sting is still red and itchy and is in a place which makes doing things harder as it is on the inside of my elbow. But life goes on, as it does and I take each day as it comes, doing what I can and resting or reading when I can’t do everything else. But I do miss being outside in nature. I can however watch the birds through my window and that can be quite interesting. Last week a sparrow hawk shot into view and dived into the hedge but came out empty handed but from what my neighbours have said, it did get a pigeon later on. One day I will get a photo when it comes as it is a regular visitor.

So setbacks have happened and maybe there are more to come as our country faces turmoil and changes as does the whole world. I am trying to live each day without anger and worry but that can be hard to do when you get other little setbacks to stop you from moving on. How do you deal with these little setbacks?


Extremes are in the news at the moment but they have been around for a very long time. But lets take the weather first as that is very current. There have always been extremes of weather but we seem to be getting more, possibly because the climate is changing. So we have lots of flooding and lots of drought. These bring their own problems, like landslides and forest fires which both devastate the land around them and people’s lives as well as the wildlife which also lives there. But we are unable to change these events so far. However, such events often bring out the best in people and they all help each other to get back what they have lost. But a question here, does it change their lives?

We can look at extremes of beliefs next. There are some very right wing and some very left wing thinkers around. They each have their strong beliefs and many try to get rid of those who don’t agree. This turns into dictatorship and is not good for the many who don’t have the same beliefs. How do we deal with such extremes? Compromise is essential and we all need to think about what is fair, not just to ourselves, but to others who share our planet. What is best for one person is not necessarily any good for another. We are all different with different needs and this needs to be consideredĀ  at all times.

Sometimes it can be easy to see if something is good for all of us. Take a large car for example, made in this country. That benefits people by giving them a job, it benefits those who buy the car and drive it, therefore benefiting those who maintain the car. But against all of that, we need to consider emissions and air quality. Not easy is it.

I am a great believer in changing what I can and trying to work with what I can’t change. This applies in all parts of life and the ways of my life. I feel that is a start and try to encourage others so that extremist views may at some point become a thing of the past.


Retreating into the dark or not?

This week I have felt that I need to retreat and replenish my soul from the events of the world around me. But then I think that the time is not right for this as there is a lot of work to do to help others find their way in these troubled times. It is not just the wars that cause us problems but our ever changing weather. There seem to be more extremes of weather here in the UK and this was forecast when climate change was discussed some time ago. Yet we are never prepared for this. I think about my bungalow which was built about 30 or so years ago and won an award for the design of the complex of which it is a part. But no-one thought about the strong winds which blow around the houses and chase plant pots and wheelie bins away because there is no safe place to store them. But that is nothing compared to the floods up north. Yet we still build houses by rivers and streams and high bridges which cannot stand up to the wind.

So do I retreat for a while and ignore the outside world? I have tried over the last couple of days to find that quiet time for contemplation but was disturbed by the howling of the wind and loud bangs as things outside were blown around. Maybe now is not the time for this kind of work, contemplating our world in peace. Maybe some music will help. I have been listening to my favourite composer Shostakovich recently. His music tells of the pain and sorrow that is current in our world yet was current in his world too. As I have often thought and said, times do not change, history repeats itself continuously and we do not seem to learn from this. Maybe my time for a retreat is not yet here.



A stormy world

There is a full moon eclipse this coming week. I have been told that this represents extremes, shocking and unpredictable behaviours. We already have this in our world so does this mean it is going to get worse?

Is this perhaps the last of this type of behaviour in the world and we are cleansing things ready for a new and fairer world?

On a scientific level, the melting of the polar ice is causing problems with the jet stream and hence unpredictable weather and storms. We can’t really do a lot about this or can we? Can we do anything about the ‘storms’ of unrest? As a druid I ask for peace every day, all over the world but sometimes feel helpless to change any thing at all. How do you feel about all of this? Can we work together to change things?


After the storms

At the time of writing the sky is grey and it looks like rain. The wind is also blowing hard. Our land is devastated in many places. The floods will have killed small animals especially those insect larvae which live in rivers and streams. There is no food for others and no nesting places. I used to have around 20 starlings visit my bird food hangers but now there has only been one lone starling after days of no birds at all. Where have they gone? Are they finding food elsewhere? The local stream has been extremely high and very muddy in colour and in places the fields are flooded. There is a wildfowl reserve close by and I wonder how high the water is there and how polluted it is.

As a druid I find this whole scenario very distressing and wish that people would learn to understand that we are all part of our landscape and that we cannot control nature but have to work with it. Without the insects, especially the bees, where would we be? We need to understand that we depend on the activities of all the animals on our planet. They are all a part of a wonderful natural chain of existence. But nature is far more powerful than we are. She will fight back as the daffodils in my garden which are struggling in the wind and rain. Let us keep hope alive and work together to save our world.


Changing our perception

Britain is having a stormy time at the moment. One storm after another reaches our shores. We need to remember that we are an island surrounded by the sea. For many years now, the east coast has been crumbling into the sea. Much of the east coast like the fens and other parts of Britain were once islands and the land was reclaimed and kept as land by the careful use of canals and dykes. When I lived in the Fens I watched the dykes being dredged each year and knew about various flood plans where fields were kept as flood plains when necessary.

Yet our government has allowed houses to be built on flood plains and also near the sea. The Victorians built long rows of hotels by the sea as they thought this was a good idea. Yet when they built the railway at Dawlish it was considered to be a risk all those years ago.

If this pattern of weather which is due to the position of the jet stream, (remember last year’s weather pattern was due to this) is to recur then we need to look at what we need to do. Houses near the sea and farmland are vulnerable and we must find ways to protect them or move them inland. The power of the waves is clear to us all. Let us change our perception of what we need to do, we cannot fight the waves but only work with them. Nature is more powerful than we are! What are your thoughts on all of this?

flooded river

Stormy chaos

What a week it has been! One storm after another and still one yet to come later today. There has been a lot of flooding and power cuts and people do not know what to do. One comment by a family in darkness over Christmas was that they had talked to each other, something they did not do normally!

But what is the weather telling us? All the floods are in low-lying areas or by the sea yet we build houses near these areas. There have been floods in the past in these places so those in power think that making flood defences stronger will help. Well, the water has to go somewhere so it will just find somewhere else to flood. Nature is powerful and much stronger than we are. We need to learn to work with her not against her. We are part of nature too, part of the landscape and we need to be aware that we share the landscape with other species who also have needs just like we do. Co-operation is the word that should be at the forefront of any scheme where the landscape is being used.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you been flooded and if so how do you feel about it?

This mornings sky was red, a sign of more bad weather to come. Be prepared.


Stormy weather approaching

Expect trees to topple and buildings to get damaged we are being told as a large storm approaches. It has been very blustery for the last few days and the leaves are falling rapidly from the trees. Some trees are already bare while others are still green but the garden is covered in leaves of many colours and the sycamore wings from a nearby tree. The fallen leaves provide homes for many insects and food for others so nature is working in this way too.

But what about the effects of storms on us, not just our property? I find that after a storm the air is clearer and the sky too. There is a brightness that wasn’t there before. We live in such a negative world that a storm clears away the feelings of negativity and leaves everything sparkling like new. I feel that storms should give us hope for the future. After devastating damage done by storms in the past, people have got together in communities and supported and helped each other to rebuild. But should we need a storm to make us do that? Why can’t we work together and learn to live together so that the world is a better place? Your thoughts on this are appreciated.


Stormy Weather

This week has been a week of hot sunny weather with several storms, some of which have lasted for many hours. Usually storms clear the air but this does not seem to have happened so far and we still have hot, humid weather.

I was thinking how all the elements are involved in a storm; earth, air, fire and water. There have been lightning strikes and flash floods, showing us the power of nature. A walk by the swollen river last week brought the amazing smell of damp woodland and swirling water over the weir. It is such a distinctive smell but difficult to describe.

But I wonder if our planet is giving us a message. Is she trying to show us what can happen if we have no respect for her? I am lucky to have a garden at the front of my house. Some of my neighbours have tarmac or fancy paving stones leaving nowhere for the rain to go thenĀ get angry over the large puddles that form. Houses are built on flood plains, rivers and streams are filled with rubbish. Is this the way to treat our planet? People cut down trees because (I quote)’ they don’t like cleaning up the leaves or cleaning out their guttering.’ But how good for soaking up the rain are our trees?

Have we lost our connection with nature? How can we teach or show others how important our gardens and trees are to your future? What can you do?

muddy river