Animal Communication Workshop May 2018

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Hello Friends,

I’m happy to announce that I’m running an Animal Communication workshop with Ashley Ramsden.

Ashley is the co-founder of the International School of Storytelling, the longest established centre of its kind in the UK.

I met Ashley a few years ago, during one of my ‘How to Communicate with Dogs’ workshop. I was very honoured when he contacted me earlier on this year, to ask if I would like to run an Animal Communication workshop with him! I love the idea of combining Animal Communication and Storytelling, this is truly a one-of-a-kind workshop.

“Once upon a time” is when it all begins… the moment when we shift our perception, the mind opens itself and anything is possible!

Echoes of the Mazaruni…

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Thom and I have been following the adventures of Natalie, an artist who is currently travelling around the world with her partner on their sailing boat, the Kehaar. Thom is passionate about shipwrecks and was fascinated by her post on a wreck they came across in Guyana. That post inspired him a lot… Inspired by Natalie’s beautiful drawings he drew his own Mazaruni, made his own out of Lego bricks and asked me to send it to her.. We were very excited to read Natalie’s post today…

Remember my post Shipwrecks and Sand Shoals? A couple of months after the post went up I got an exciting e-mail from 7-year-old Thom (and his mum, Noemie). Based on the sketches and photos in my post, Thom (who tells me he is “really into wrecks”) made a gorgeous drawing of the wreck.

Thom's drawingAnd then he went into 3D and built a Lego version of the shipwreck.

Thom's Lego wreckThom’s a charming young man, one of maybe three people who immediately recognised that the name of our boat, Kehaar, was taken from the book Watership Down by Richard Adams.

Note: In the book, about rabbits, Kehaar is a blunt old seagull who speaks with an Eastern European accent. He is very knowledgeable about the world, and he often confuses the rabbits by talking about things that they do not understand or cannot comprehend, such as bullets and oceans. Kehaar is the reason…

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Welcome Autumn

creativity, Thom, Uncategorized

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Since writing this post at the beginning of the summer, Thom has been through a few sketch books and quite a large amount of paper… I have been a bit more savey. I’m still using the same book, and it looks a bit tattered now from being soaked with water wash for all sorts of water colour, clay or pastel experiments.

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Dear Thom,

You have spent the entire summer thinking about and drawing dragons. You have drawn, painted and modelled an impressive collection of different species. We have been spending hours reading together the How To Train Your Dragon books, by Cressida Cowell, as you loved the films so much. You told me that the dragon on picture number 2 (above) is a fire dragon.

Prior to dragons, you were fascinated by pirates, as we read Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie. We even met a real pirate in Eastbourne, during a Pirate gathering. You were dressed in your fine pirate outfit and this big grown up Pirate surprised you, when he drew out his dagger out of his belt, in between waiting tables to start a play fight with you. You got a bit scared and decided that you would rather take your pirate outfit off and just go to that Pirate gathering in normal day clothes.

To my surprise, you got really captivated by the story of Pinocchio retold by Michael Morpurgo that we read after Peter Pan, just before we entered the Dragons Era.

We had a recent butterfly interval, during which we spent a few days making butterflies in all the ways we could think of, covering the doors of our craft cupboard.

We have only lived here for a few months but the patio has already hosted numerous creative endeavours…

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Such as a few action painting projects…

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and some large scale chalk creations…

You have also been showing a very keen interest in photography and I have let you play with my camera quite a lot.

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You seem to really enjoy making your own short videos. In one of them you keep repeating: “The caterpillars are singing along with the birds”. I thought it was beautiful.

While I have been struggling with back issues, spending a lot of sunny days bed ridden, or being seen by the osteopath or the physiotherapist, you have spent a lot of time riding your bike back and forth on the cycle path to get gelatos (“strawberry cream ice cream in a cone, with chocolate sprinkles please”) with Daddy (and sometimes with me too).

The Tooth Fairy paid us a visit for the first time, as you lost your first milk tooth. It was exactly around the same time you managed to ride your bike without stabilisers for the first time, at the beginning of the summer… and you have been riding it steadily ever since!

It was the day of the football World Cup final and we ended up watching it in a pub that evening as we were celebrating your bike riding success with a pub dinner. You asked me questions all throughout the first half of the game, getting us a few looks from irritated football fans.

Yesterday we came across a few dressing up bins outside a charity shop near us… and we found a couple of very cool outfits… so now you are waiting for Halloween :)

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Your current favourite place is the Rock Climbing site. As two climbers pointed out to me this afternoon, you seem to be a “natural”: you just climb up and down trees and rocks with such ease and speed to the dismay of  everyone around.

You and Tara are both really good climbers and such a combo! It’s sometimes hard to keep up with you two! You have just spent the afternoon together, paddling in a stream, playing with stones.

I hope that you are enjoying this journey as much as I do, and remember:

“To live will be an awfully big adventure!” (Peter Pan/J.M. Barrie).

With lots of love,

Mum.

The year of the Horse (and I’m a horse!)

My Poems, Uncategorized

Sciatica

Heart Ache

Bulged disc.

Yoga

What the heck?

Back twist.

Arnica

Seized neck

Prolapsed disc.

Old Micra

Rusty brake

No fix.

New Micra

Rattling snake

Bad Clutch disc.

Supernova

Of mistakes

Financial risk…

Alma

Matters on deck

and improvised tricks.

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“A rainbow greyhound, as they are in Floorland”.

Seed Bombs…

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Making seed bombs is great fun, and throwing them out of a car window, or carefully choosing the perfect spot to leave one or two of them behind is satisfying too…

Seed bombs are little balls made out of clay, compost and seeds.  They look like chocolate truffles but they don’t taste the same…

Helping native wild flowers to reclaim waste land or urban environments is one of these little things that we can do, as individuals, to bring our humble contribution to helping wildlife and the environment… Small contributions make a great difference indeed!

Seed bombs make wonderful gifts too! You can make a nice box for them and handwrite a thoughtful quote, about small things being beautiful… And voila! I gave seed bombs as party gifts to all the kids who joined us at Thom’s birthday party that we threw in the woods this year, and the kids enjoyed holding them as they fit nicely in their hands :)

You can make them and ‘bomb’ places with kids, with friends, with strangers, young and old alike!

Before you start:

IMPORTANT: Choose good quality open pollinated (no hybrid or GMO) seeds of non-invasive, native species so you don’t cause a crisis in your local eco system.

This website helps you to choose the right seeds if you are in Europe.

Before planning your seed bomb attack, check out the weather forecast… Spring or summer rainy days are great for dispersing your seed bombs as they will melt quickly and the seeds will germinate sooner than during a dry spell…

Choose your terrain carefully so that your plants have better chances of survival. Avoid over managed areas such as parks where your plants are likely to get mowed down by park wardens. Find abandoned areas, cracks in the pavement, derelict wasteland…

If you are going to launch your seed bombs in a place where people are likely to walk past them, add some annual edible plants in your seed mix. Opt for the low maintenance, hardy varieties, such as courgettes or pumpkins :) add a sunflower as they look pretty and offer seeds to the birds…

Anyway, here is my recipe:

5 tablespoons of seed compost

4 tablespoons of terracotta clay powder

1 teaspoon of seeds (for small seeds, add half a teaspoon more for big seeds, the bigger the seed, the fewer seeds you need!)

sprinkles of water to moisten your mixture until it feels just right, like you would want it to be if you were working on a sculpture with clay so you can make a small ball with it (see picture).

You will need empty egg boxes to carry your seed bombs until they are dried (they dry overnight if you leave them somewhere warm and dry), but you could also choose to use them straight away…

you could also add 1 teaspoon of chilli powder as a natural pesticide :)

If you want to know more about seed bombs, I recommend Josie Jeffery’s book: Seedbombs ‘Going wild with flowers’ (leaping hare press).

Have fun!

Feel free to let me know how your seed bomb missions went in the comments below!

:)