Friday, 29 April 2011

Bringing a nation together...

Well I wasn't going to watch all the wedding coverage today, but I got totally sucked into it!

I am extremely proud to be British today, in a country and a world that has a lot of problems it was lovely to take a day out to celebrate the wedding of a wonderful Royal couple.

It was worth it to see all the little looks and hand holds between William and Catherine - they seem so totally in love. They also seemed 'real' trying desparately not to giggle during their vows and looking totally bored during all the churchy bit!

We were rewarded with two kisses whilst on the balcony, and seeing William tell Catherine she was beautiful when they stood at the altar, also a shot of him holding and squeezing her hand whilst they sat in the carriage - truly magical.
To see all the crowds that had gathered and hear all the stories about everyone making new friends, along with all the camraderie - fabulous.  So many comments from the public saying how, with all that was happening in the world today how wonderful it was to take a chance to celebrate something very special.
Nice too to see the trees in the abbey, and the little odd pagan touches in the service ;-)
William and Catherine both looked incredibly happy, their wedding today brought a nation and indeed a world together.   They are a new young generation of royals, I can see that they will bring fresh new ideas along with them.
Oh and the hats!  Some beautiful, some mad, some just totally outrageous!

Beautiful, I am very glad I watched it, and even more so that I could share it with friends across the country and across the world - with the aid of IM and Facebook!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

My thoughts on the Royal Wedding...

I was extremely saddened today to see a facebook post being extremely hateful about the Royal Wedding.

Why was I saddened?  Because it was posted by people that are supposedly pagan.  I understand pagan beliefs to be nature based, and all about love, light, being kind and positive.  The way they were talking was full of hate and spite for people that they don't know and are never likely to meet.

So how do I feel about the royal wedding?  

Am I a royalist?  No, not really.  But I am English and generally proud to be so.  The monarchy is part of Great Britain and part of what makes us British.   Will I be watching it on TV?  No, probably not because I would rather spend the time with my family, but I will look at a few photos on the net to see what the wedding dress looks like LOL!

Yes a lot of money has gone into this wedding, yes there has been a lot of media about it.  But let's face it there is a lot of media about everything now - there was probably as much media when the Beckhams got married!

Not having a huge royal wedding is not going to solve the unemployment problem (one of the posts on facebook made suggestion that it would help !!).    Unemployment is a totally separate problem from the royal family, I cannot see any connection.  Other than the royal family employs a lot of people, and that's a good thing!

The good side is that there are a lot of street parties being held, neighbours that have probably never spoken to each other will be setting out their deckchairs on the pavement outside their houses on Friday and getting to know one another better.  The children are excited as their schools are having parties tomorrow and hubby gets a day off work!

Most of the royal family do a lot of work for charities, and most of the chaps have spent some time in the forces doing their bit.  Yes, they are rich, yes, they do have fabulous life styles...but think...just for a minute...would you like to be swapping places with Katie?   I certainly wouldn't, well for a start I would have to go to church and certainly wouldn't be allowed to be a witch ;-)   But to have no privacy and to have every single thing you say, every move you make watched, noted and comment on?  To be told what to wear, what to do, where to go, how to act? No thanks.

I get that some people are upset about the fact the Royals hunt, I get it I really do.  I don't particularly agree with fox hunting, it seems very cruel.  But you also have to remember theirs is a very different way of life.  One that has not really changed a great deal in hundreds of years.   Is that an excuse? no, it is not it is a fact. Would I go on a fox hunt?  No I wouldn't.   Am I a vegetarian?  No, I am not.  However I do try to eat free range or organic meat, I do care about the life the animal has had.  I personally don't believe man was made to live on vegetables, ancient man would never have been able to survive on vegetables, fruits and nuts alone, especially during the winter months.   If you kill an animal I believe you should use all of it, all of the parts in respect for the fact that the animal has died.  So no, I do not agree with hunting for sport.

Hopefully as generations pass the royals will move on from fox hunting, other small changes have happened, but it is a different way of life completely and changes for them take a long time!  William is part of the younger generation, hopefully he will be able to bring a fresh new perspective.

But to set up a total hate campaign for a young royal couple that are getting married because the royals go on the occasional fox hunt?  Come on people!!  This wedding should be about everyone getting together to celebrate, to celebrate that we have a monarchy, to celebrate young love, to celebrate with your friends and neighbours, to celebrate the nation coming together, ALL together! 

And if you really aren't interested then just wish them well in what will probably not be the easiest of relationships and get on with other things!

Just my humble thoughts.


Monday, 25 April 2011

Good times!

This week my husband’s band is celebrating 25 years.   Hubby is the only original member that has been in the band since the beginning, but the band has had some long term members over the years which is unusual for a rock band!  They are celebrating with a gig that will include all the line ups from the entire 25 years and even a line up from the original band that theirs evolved from.

So today has been spent with lots of reminiscing and looking out old photographs.  Lots of photos from the mid 80’s that involved lots of back combed hair and spandex trousers.

Hubby and I have been together for 19 of those years so I know most of the band members quite well.  For about ten of those years the band and all the wives were very close, like one big family.  In fact at one point five of the wives were pregnant all at the same time! ;-)  We went everywhere together, we went to all the gigs, we partied, we even spent all of our free time together socialising. 

Twice a year we all piled down to HOG rallies for the weekend, I don’t think we stopped laughing from the minute we arrived to the minute we left. Usually involving some fancy dress theme or other, which seemed to involve a lot of the men always dressing as women…

Good times, very good times and I am thankful for them all.

But, as these things do, it all ran its course and we have drifted off into our own separate lives.  Only crossing paths on the odd occasion (in the local rock band world you tend to know everyone!).   Life changes, people change and everything moves forward.

Today was spent looking back over very happy memories.


The band - The Mafia rock band

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Gentlemen...where for art thou?

Having watched quite a lot of Poirot episodes lately it made me think about how the roles of men and women have changed.   Poirot is set in and around the 1920s/30s and he himself is a very respectable and gentlemanly character, as most of Agatha Christie's characters are (even the ones that are the murderers LOL).

When I met my now husband, some 19 years ago, he always opened doors for me, offered to carry my shopping, made me walk on the inside of the pavement etc and he still does now.   At the time I was very independent and wasn't used to such chivalrous conduct so I fought against it.  Putting all my 'womens equal rights' into play.   But, I soon got used to it and now would not have it any other way. 

I love to be treated like a lady, I love a gentleman to open doors for me, to show respect.  Unfortunately these gentlemen seem to be few and far between.

Whilst I am very thankful for the womens movement that gained us the vote and the right to have our voices heard, I do worry that we may have gone just a tad too far.   Personally, and these are purely my own thoughts on the matter...I do believe that there are some jobs that a man does better than a woman (and a few that a woman does better than a man too!).  Also physically woman are never going to be as strong as men.  

For those that don't know me very well I am a strong and sometimes fiesty woman, who likes to get her own way (don't we all?), I don't think I would have lasted very long being 'the woman indoors' but, I do still like a man to ultimately be in charge...but don't tell my husband ;-)

I do lament that we seem to have lost 'manners' because of our fight for equality.  I am not suggesting for one minute that we head back to the days when a woman was not heard, or allowed to speak or have her own opnion.   What I do think we have lost is being treated as women.    It may sound very insignificant to have a door opened for you but to me it matters.

Whilst people no longer throw effluent out onto the streets there is no real need for a gentleman to walk on the outside of the pavement, protecting the lady from getting splashed, to me it is still a nice gesture.

A few years ago I was out to dinner with my company and some guests, when I got up from the table to visit the ladies room one of the older gentlemen there stood up too, it was an old fashioned gesture but I loved it nonetheless!

In a world that sees young women lying on the pavement outside nightclubs, too drunk to stand and young men after a night on the booze, trawling the streets looking for cars or property to damage I wonder if we have given up too much? 

I also have a bit of a bug bear about bad language.   My husband never swears in front of me, never has.  I am sure he does when he is out with the boys, but never in front of me.  And I am very grateful for that.   I don't think it is polite to swear in front of a woman, and I personally hate it. 

I also dislike women swearing, I think it is ugly and unnecessary.  Have we lost so much of the English language that the 'f' word now seems to be part of every day speak?  It is a shame if that is what it has come to.

In this ever fast moving world I just hanker a little after a few manners and small gestures that make the world seem like a nicer place.  Maybe I am a minority in that?


Friday, 8 April 2011


I am a little bit in love with Steampunk.

I stumbled across the culture a while back and loved it instantly.

Then last week on the Castle TV show he went to a Steampunk themed bar!

So what is Steampunk?

A brief description from the Steampunk facebook page:

Steampunk is a retro-futuristic genre of art,costuming and literature set in a world where steam power is still commonly used, a world frequently shaped by other alternate history elements, such as highly-functional dirigibles being used in place of airplanes, or analog computers being developed as early as the 19th century, or different outcomes to actual historical events. Steampunk tends to bear the cultural trappings of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and is often characterized by the desire to make fashion and the objects that surround us more unique, more artfully designed, which results in a Do-It-Yourself attitude and creations. The "-punk" suffix in Steampunk tends to lead its devoted enthusiasts to a greater deviation from traditional Victorian and Edwardian social mores than the Neo-Victorian sub genre of retro-futurism (although they are frequently mistaken for each other).

And from the Steampunk website:

Steampunk has always been first and foremost a literary genre, or least a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy that includes social or technological aspects of the 19th century (the steam) usually with some deconstruction of, reimagining of, or rebellion against parts of it (the punk). Unfortunately, it is a poorly defined subgenre, with plenty of disagreement about what is and is not included. For example, steampunk stories may:
 Take place in the Victorian era but include advanced machines based on 19th century technology (e.g. The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling);

Include the supernatural as well (e.g. The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger);

Include the supernatural and forego the technology (e.g. The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, one of the works that inspired the term ‘steampunk’);

Include the advanced machines, but take place later than the Victorian period, thereby assuming that the predomination by electricity and petroleum never happens (e.g. The Peshawar Lancers by S. M. Stirling); or

Take place in an another world altogether, but featuring Victorian-like technology (e.g. Mainspring by Jay Lake).

There are probably plenty of other combinations I’ve forgotten, but that’s steampunk as a genre in a nutshell. Steampunk has also cross-pollinated its way into other genres, so there is steampunk romance, steampunk erotica, and steampunk young adult fiction. I haven’t spotten any steampunk picture books yet, but I won’t be surprise when I do.
 And it isn’t just written fiction anymore. There are steampunk games (e.g. Bioshock II), steampunk graphic novels (e.g. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), and even steampunk movies (e.g. Sherlock Holmes) and TV shows (e.g. Warehouse 13). There is even steampunk music and steampunk performance art.
 But steampunk has become a lot more. What with all the cool contraptions in the stories, it was only natural that some people would decide to make some of them (or at least things like them). Thus, steampunk gadgets came into the real world. People has “steampunk’d” everything from computers, desks, telephone, watches and guitars to cars, motorcycles, and whole houses. These objects can vary from a grungy look of a forgotten antique to the shiny overwrought newness of a Victorian gentleman’s club. Think brass and copper, glass and polished wood, engraving and etching, and details for the sake of details. So, steampunk is also a design aesthetic.

This aesthetic carries over into personal style with both clothing and jewelry being made in a “steampunk” style. The clothes are not exactly Victorian, adding in technological bits or hints of a more adventurous life than a typical Victorian citizen likely enjoyed.

So, steampunk is a genre and a design aesthetic.

But wait, there’s more! Steampunk has a philosophical angle as well, which is somewhat of a combination between the maker ideals of creativity and self-reliance and the Victorian optimistic view of the future. This last bit has led to accusations that steampunk includes a fair amount of empire worship, which is a reasonable concern. Another criticism has been that steampunk focuses on the best of the past and quietly sweeps the bad (i.e. slavery, child labor, widespread disease, etc.). Again, this may be a valid criticism and it is somethat that steampunk will have to address.

Personally I love it, the jewellery the costumes, the whole idea.

For more details and creative Steampunk people try these links:
Steampunk website
Steampunk Couture
Steampunk facebook page
Steampunk jewellery on facebook


Thursday, 7 April 2011

Blue Goldstone

I have a beautiful necklace that I purchased a few years ago at a Harley Davidson bike rally.  It is a silver dragon curled around a blue goldstone.   I wear it quite a lot, but had never thought to look up the properties until today...

Blue goldstone was created, it is said, to a secret formula by Italian monks in the 17th Century.  They were reputed to chant a magical formula over it to make it especially powerful.

Goldstone is a man-made gemstone, first created by alchemists trying to make gold. Not really a gemstone, more of a glass bead. Created using copper and copper salts with a reducing flame.

Blue goldstone is helpful for migraines and visual disturbances, for assisting the flow of blood, for detoxifying the system and for recovering from surgery or intensive chemical therapies.  It is also an energiser.  It is good for land regeneration programmes and for cleaning the skies of fumes and pollution.

All colours of goldstone are good for redecorating or renovating an old or unmodernised house, for converting other buildings into homes or for the ingenious adding of space to an existing home.

At work goldstone will ensure that you gain recognition and a chance to develop your strengths.  It will also attract a better salary or job opportunities.  It is helpful for amateur and professional actors and for those in the media, especially those who appear on radio or TV, for PR and press officers and for all who want to become famous.

A  magical stone for children, it will help them lose fear of the dark as they hold a piece of the starry sky. 

Goldstone is excellent for increasing telepathic powers and for all forms of star magic and channelling star guardians. 

Blue Goldstone Gemstone Meanings - Emotional, Spiritual, etc.
  • Blue goldstone is a lucky gemstone.
  • Blue goldstone is great for providing composure.
  • Blue goldstone aids transformation of thoughts from one person to another.
  • Blue goldstone is good stabilising emotions.
  • Blue goldstone is good for giving energy.
  • Blue goldstone helps remove or repel unwanted entities from your environment.
  • Blue goldstone is the gemstone of wisdom and science, helping us remember the light within the darkness and showing us to reach for the stars.
Blue Goldstone Gemstone Meanings - Healing, Medical, Physical, etc.
  • Blue goldstone is good for lifting depression.
  • Blue goldstone eases pain of arthritis, rheumatism and other
  • aches and pains.
  • Blue goldstone is great for anxiety.
  • Blue goldstone helps with pain and inflammation.

Sources - Healing Crystals by Cassandra Eason and jewellery art website.