Monday, 29 October 2012

'The Song of Wandering Aengus'....W.B Yeats

WENT out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The man who walked the long walk to freedom

I was thinking about Nelson Mandela today, I've not a clue why today particularly, but thinking how amazing it is to ponder what one human being can go through and do in their life. That it only takes one person like him to bring great change. And what made him different than someone else. One day he is a prisoner of Apartheid, the next he is ruling a Nation. How one human can sacrifice their life for standing up to the injustice served upon their fellow countrymen makes me wonder about the human capacity for a world that is currently rather commercial and rather greedy. Aung San Suu Kyi is another.

I found some words of wisdom from Nelson Mandela, and I'm jotting them down as much so I can read them again at my own leisure as I am for anyone else! I know,from the stats, that some people do read this blog and the number is clearly someone finds my waffle of interest (or some interest):

“There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right".

Bourbon Street beginnings....

There are about ooh 3 or 4 people who know that the story of Little Satsuma begins in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 2001....I have no photos from being there as they are somewhere stuffed in a box in a house in Essex, assuming the owner of them is still alive.

A strange sequence of events that began on a trip there were the catalyst for a number of things that subsequently happened that led me along a very interesting path and led me eventually to a small village in Wales where I now live.

What it has showed me is that life is there in front of you, like a big fat pile of putty. There is no manual on what you are supposed to be making, you just have a try and see what you can make of it. If it's good keep it that way and the amazing thing is that if you get it wrong or what you shape it as turns a bit rubbish, you can always remould it  - keep the bits you want and dont be afraid to look at what bit were crap and change.

I wonder if we all sat down and had to write on a bit of paper the 3 pivotal points that shaped our life what they would be? Would we have still arrived where we are without them? If not what would have been different?

the wondrous, wondrous twists and turns of the path we tread on this mortal coil.

Fools live to regret their words, wise men to regret their silence

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A (very) short ode to my new home :)

There is a village, it's hidden in the hills
There is a village where the madding crowd stills
There is a village where the cottage chimneys smoke
A place of magic and handmade folk

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Crystal Deodorants

We are still sorting out a big delivery of Crystal Deos into UK. As some people have noticed we have run out of stock of the large ones.

It's for two reasons: they are becoming ever more popular so have gone down faster than last stocks did , and some of the contacts I have to contact to get them from are not great at replying and I've been sorting this since early September.

Should have them in again v shortly, we still have mini sticks (though levels dropping v quickly), roll ons and sprays.

And we will factor this in in future. It would be faster for me to go to the source and chisel them myself I think!

thanks for your patience xxx

Winter Arts Market, Dec 8th & 9th, St George's Hall Liverpool

Erm..hello..grab your christmas jumpers out of that old vintage suitcase, get your novlety antlers on and enough money to buy: mince pies, mulled wine and LOTS OF AMAZING PRESSIES and save the dates; 8TH & 9TH December.

Excitingly we are once again lucky enough to have got a speck on both Saturday and Sunday, 200 applications for 110 stalls I think it was.

The quality, creativity and sheer diversity of handmade stuff to buy from local makers literally makes my head spin, heart flutter and debit card creaaaaaak and croaaaaak.

I tend to spend the first two hours on Saturday buying up lots of stuff, spending all the profit I have yet to make. Best presents EVER IN THE WORLD EVER.

More details here chaps: Click me..I'm a link to your Liverpool winter wonderland

See you there. 10% off at the Little Satsuma stand if you are wearing a Christmas jumper, antlers or bring a snowman friend with you. one of the manifestations of the mystery that is life...

“In the past we have tried to make a distinction between animals which we acknowledge have some value and others which, having none, can be liquidated when we wish. This standard must be abandoned. Everything that lives has value simply as a living thing, as one of the manifestations of the mystery that is life.”

― Albert Schweitzer

Of Monsters and Men....

short point...are these the best band ever? addicted to listening to 'Sloom' by Of Monsters and Men.

makes me want to skip around the lounge (if it was bit bigger)

A race to the end....

I have become rather good sort of pen pal friends with one of my very first customers, we often email each other on various animal issues, campaigns and chew the fat on life in general at times. We still haven't managed to meet up at the various stalls and meet & greets she does, but hopefully will soon.

She helped with some ideas when I was wondering how to build my plinth dress from chicken wire and recycled stuff.

She fosters greyhounds for, we did a collection at work of dog goodies, materials and stuff for raffle prizes for them, and the work they do is fantastic.

Her foster dog, Dee, (pictured above) is finally off to her new home next week which is such good news as she had been with her a fair while and is a beautiful dog who deserves a loving home.

She sends me links and posters sometimes, which I always email on to my animal loving bods, but I thought ooh I can ftp them up to my web and link to them. So I am testing doing it....if you click this pdf link's an example of some of the doggies they have saved.

Click here: Erin Dogs Poster: Please give me a nice home :)

They make great pets as they only need two twenty minute walks a day, many can live with cats, are hypoallergenic for asthma sufferers and are clean , quiet and calm and live 12- 15 years.

Many greyhounds bred for racing never even make it to the track and are 'disposed of' at less than 2 yrs old. If they do race and manage to make it to 'retirement' when they aren't wanted they end up at markets being sold on, or if they don't sell they get killed or in fact other things I can't write because it makes me too sad. Sadly in man's own race for money and man's greed these poor furry chaps get a very raw deal.

Erin Hounds also help Irish lurchers who face neglect and disposal, having been used for " field sports" and breeding.

So in the spirit of "Don't breed or buy whilst animals die" we thought we'd blog about the great work Erin Hounds do and do some tweets too to let people know there are some great ex-racers there looking for a home :) xxx 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The lie-in, the witch (that's me) and the welsh wardrobe

Well, what a bizarre day. a beautiful day in which, without boarding  a plane I have travelled around Canada and Scottish Lochs.

I had called Dave yesterday who runs the boathouse at the lake, said I'd ring about 10.30am today to check they were there (I called late..that's the lie in bit!). I set off (forgetting an all important towel to dry off...this aspect of oubliation was not discovered until I had jumped in the lake at the end of my canoe trip, out the back of the boathouse), I got lost and I swear I somehow drove through a secret wardrobe and into Canada or a far northerly scottish loch.

My and my little ford KA ended up on a very narrow road up a VERY steep hill/ mountain and then found a little sign post for the lake, that then sent us down a track through some moorland, the track/ road was basically just about wide enough for my (old) bat mobile and which had lots of sheep pottering about on it.

As the lake came into view I actually said out loud 'What an absoloutely amazing place', because I couldn't believe I had never been before.....just stunning autumn sun drenched roads with over hanging trees and birds singing and waterfalls at the side of the road.

I was expecting Aslan to appear out of the bushes or Dorothy & the tin man to saunter past - it is like driving into a fairytale/ a film set/ a place dreams are made of.

The canoeing was immense, at one with mother nature, watching birds soar and swoop and bubbles from fish pop up on the surface. I saved a few of these biggish winged insects from death by drowning (but slightly freaked when I realised they would be onboard my mini insect noah's ark for the rest of the trip!) and we sailed back to shore with a wasp I'd plucked from the lake who was drowning, perched on the front like a mascot - I safely lifted him to shore onto a dry leaf and he seemed ok. I waived his foot passenger fee too as he had no spare change.

"Can I jump in?" I asked. to be fair I think they thought I was slightly crackers, but they let me jump in from the boat house back door. The water was chilly but felt amazing.... I like to think it knocks years off my boat race (face for you non-cockneys).

And so I dried off with a towel - not a clue who's it was, had a peek at the RSPB place (one for closer visit/ attention on next trip), peeked at the dam and stopped to look at the Corporation of Liverpool HUGE plaques at the side of the dam - because this dam gives Liverpool all its tap water. The tower in the photo filters out leaves and other stuff...and until a few years ago it literally flowed straight to the taps of Liverpool. So for those of you in Liverpool tonight brushing your teeth before bed - I was swimming in that a few hours ago - but don't worry....I didn't wee :))))) sorry couldnt resist.

I made my way back to Llangollen by luck rather than by navigation skills. Wetsuit & lifejacket drying in the bathroom, tea eaten and now for a film with the bunnies :)

Saturday, 6 October 2012

What a to do!

At Carrog by the River, sunny day
 At the start of the year, which in fact I started dressed as Marie Antionette at 4am on arrival home to a police cordon and an Audi crumpled at the house gates, I made a list of what I'd like to do this year. Not really one about acheiving things, more one of places I'd like to visit or things I'd like to do.
It started with a few items on, half of which I had done by June....and then it just grew...I think it even grows at night when I am not looking :) And it's huge, but I see/ read about places (mainly these are the ones further down the list as it changed in nature circa March-June) and get told about them by people I meet on my travels, and I really really don't want to forget them....

Judging by the size of it and given I have a project in the day job that is eating night and weekends I'd say my little big list will be seeing in 2013 with me :)
Visit Lancaster for day
Bat house @ Chester zoo
Go ape at delamere
Learn to use sewing machine
Borneo orangies
Go up snowdon
Go to denise's friends farm: Fordhall
Zakappane forest Poland
New: Shambala fest Aug n'hampton
New: Visit Bath
New: Visit Eden project
New: Llandudno
New: Shepherds hut @ Llangower campsite
New: Telford ski centre!
New: Alwen Reservoir
New: Brenig Reservoir
New: Cycle Llandgela forest
New: Visit Llandudno & by canoe great orme
New: Nant mill and plas power wood shopping & cable car
New: Stokholm island of Pembrokeshire (puffins and birds)
New: Try and find the ski centre at Lake Vrynwy
New: Find Rhiwargor Waterfall

In Progress: Swim at Carrog Beach (end of steam train) - well I've been there & paddled (see pic)

In Progress: Go to Munich Christmas Markets again - sorting it with my Santa pal, Rebecca
In Progress: Visit Rick's place in Hereford (Hereford Alternative Arts Centre), hopefully Oct/Nov with Laura

In Progress: go to Warsaw - booked to go in November

In Progress: Llangower by Bala - beach for swimming - located it whilst canoeing with my dad.

In Progress: Go to lake Vrynwy - due to go tomorrow and canoe

Done - Go sailing/canoeing somewhere I've not been before
Done - Monkeyforest day
Done - Trentham Gardens barefoot walk without crying in pain
Done - Go to morocco again
Done - Ride a camel (but must be one that is well cared for and loved and looks happy)
Done - Visit an urban farm again  - and yet again a four legged animal bit me :)
Done - Go to krakow - done
Done - Swim in a lake/ more wild swims - done
Done - Buy a canoe
Done - Go up to the Castle ruins in Llangollen

Done - Go on the steam train at Llangollen

Done - Swim the Blue Lagoon at Horsehoe Pass Quarry


iPhone notes

I could spend hours reading what's in this very useful little app. It evokes thoughts of where I was when I made the notes & what was going through my busy head.
There are to do lists, poems I've written whilst waiting someplace or other, poems about dates I've been on, my list of dates, places I want to visit ( marking them 'done' when indeed they are), phone numbers & emails related to people I've met in course of travels & some of whom I throw a puzzled glance at before I delete them, hostel addresses in eastern europe, postcodes of places I've been en-route to & some time or other, business ideas and well a whole heap more!
It forms a very interesting little insight into day to day life, the bits we remember & the bits we forget.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Midnight manoeuvres

I'm sat in the hallway in nightie and leg warmers, having had major urge to tidy up, put washing on & get set for tomorrow. The rabbits are awake from daytime slumber and TJ is currently peeking at the screen as I type. I love the sound of their feet as they make their merry way about the house. Family guy is on, one last cuppa and then bed. For a lie in, a a rare old lie in :)) x ooh and found out its Llangollen food festival in 2 weeks do am made up as its walking distance from satsuma cottage...perfect way to spend an autumn day in the welsh hills and valleys :)