Tag Archives: Mythology

Other hobbies

What do I do when I am not writing?

Quite a lot actually, because I don’t write much at all these days; I have lots of ideas for things to write but I think illness has made me lose focus and passion for it.  I was a lot more passionate about writing than I am nowadays.  It is simply because pain distracts me and makes me lose where I am heading – coughing fits and a severely runny nose are the biggest contributors for throwing me off course, yanking me out of the zone, as it were.  As I have said before in many posts, I live with a perpetual chronic cold, with ear, nose and throat infections thrown in.  It isn’t just a sniffle, I wish it were, but I can get through five hundred individual tissues on a bad day, two hundred being the norm for me.

Since the 21st December 2019 the only things I have written are what are on the blog and approximately 5000 words of non-posted works of other things, but nothing contributing to my novels.  Hand written notes of other ideas are not included in this, I am spending more and more time in bed these days as I can barely move.  All these problems are giving me severe insomnia and hypersomnia.  What do I mean by that?  Well I don’t sleep at night, I seem to sleep better during the day, for some reason my chest and sinus is worse at night.  When I do eventually sleep during the day I sleep between 7 and 16 hours in a stretch, to wake up for 2 hours in a choking fit with a dry crusted mouth.  Not a pretty visual I know.  I can go 30 to 40 hours without sleeping, purely because I am too busy clearing mucus from my system.

So it isn’t any wonder why I lack focus and concentration really.

Basically, everything I do when I am not writing, are things I can do at home, in the bedroom.  Primarily with my desktop computer, as I have recently had it moved to the bedroom due to the fact I am often too sick to get downstairs these days and I have moved my laptop downstairs for the rare occasion I am down there for more than an hour.  Because my legs swell a lot sitting at the computer desk, I can only sit here for an hour before I have to rest with legs up for thirty minutes, to get the swelling down, so even if I am on a roll, my ankles start burning and that throws me off course and I have to go and put my feet up.

I read approximately 30 to 80 pages of a book per day and about half a magazine too.  The types of things I read the most are fantasy, sci-fi and comedy fiction with a lot of non-fiction thrown in; the non-fiction I enjoy are self-help books, nutrition books, history books, theological research, mythology, folklore and cultural studies.  My current reading list is Time Song by Julia Blackburn, The Toll by Neal Shusterman and Roy Vickery’s folk flora. 

I do puzzles such as codebreakers, arrow words and gardening magazine crosswords – before my chest got too bad I used to love doing 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles, but it is frustrating having a coughing fit and losing pieces across the room all the time!

If I am not too busy fighting mucus, I get to knit, crochet, sew or practise my recorder and keyboard. 

I watch TV only if there are documentaries I am interested in, I mostly watch Smithsonian and BBC four with some Drama channel thrown in.  I will watch anything with Lucy Worsley, anything about the history of jazz, soul and classical music, nature and wildlife documentaries, documentaries about farming and country life.  I like science too, so I will watch sky at night and space science programs as well as things in the past such as time commanders, gladiators and the occasional wrestling show.  I love comedies, I only watch the comedies on the Drama Channel, but I am picky about which ones to watch.  I like only connect and some quiz and puzzle shows like Countdown, but I don’t watch them all the time.  I have to be in the mood to watch TV and before I was sick I watched around three hours of TV a week, these days it’s about two hours a day.  We never miss Michael McIntyre’s Big Show if we can help it, nor do we tend to like missing gardeners world or shows such as the RHS show, cruft’s and BBC Proms.  I’m pretty old fashioned I suppose for someone who is thirty seven.  I dislike soap operas and drama llama stuff – yes I mentioned the drama channel, but there are three hours a day where it is strictly comedy and I tend to only watch that channel (at the comedy times) or food network when there is nothing else on.  Sometimes I put on a DVD and I will often choose vampires or family animations and comedies. 

The main things I do these days are play games online.  I don’t even socialise that much online anymore, because I lose concentration and people who know me are starting to think I have memory problems.  Because a coughing fit will make me forget what I have said or what I was on about.

The online games that grip me are… Roblox, yes Henry got me onto it and to be honest, Roblox has saved my relationship with my son!  Because I find his kind of games hard to do since becoming sick – Roblox has opened a whole new world for us and we play hide and seek and various other games together.  When Henry is at school, I still sneak onto the site and play bee swarm simulator, Ripull mini games and fairy simulator.  Bee Swarm simulator especially!

Other online games I play are ovipets it is a cute breeding game on facebook and I have been addicted to that for nearly 5yrs. 

Flightrising is another breeding game, but I go in and out of phases with that.  Primarily I have played this for a whole eight months without a break, purely because Henry wants to see what dragons I breed and he loves to name them and do what we call “Dragon Lottery”.  Dragon Lottery is where I look through the offspring possibilities scrying menu to see what will happen if I pair certain dragons up, sometimes I can’t decide, so I make a list of all the best ones that go with my chosen female that day and I number them, then Henry, Paul and I will choose a number from the list and put it through random.org and sometimes someone gets the number right, in which case that person must get a treat of some kind or get to choose to do something; I breed five pairs of dragons every five days, because that is how long it takes for the eggs to hatch and we have a limit of five breeding nests on this game. 

I used to play online scrabble but I have got accused of cheating because I know too many unusual words.  I don’t cheat on that game, I don’t see what purpose that serves other than the joy of creating misery on another person who loses and I am not a vindictive person like that.  I really do have a broad vocabulary, though I rarely use it outside of scrabble and I love doing anagrams for fun, so I see a lot of seven letter words and I am a dictionary and language addict, so I know words that are weird to normal people.  Here is a list of words I know for high scoring on scrabble, which have got me accused of cheating when used previously – plus, I have read books written by scrabble champions.

ZEBU – QAT –  QUARE – SEQUIN – AWK – EUOI – AIA – QI – KIMCHI – VEX – VAV – TAV – EAU – UVEA – AEON – OXIDE – POXY – QIN – QINTAR – FATWA – QABALA – QADI – SJOE – KHAKI – EUOUAE to name but a few.  I have to admit I was shocked when SEQUIN was considered a questionable word, the others I can understand, but I was sure almost everyone knew what sequins were?

I love words and word play so much I have considered about having a word of the week thing, but I am unreliable with keeping to things like that, as you can clearly see from past efforts or lack of.

Other than sketching with pencils or sharpies in bed and/or colouring in and story planning, I don’t do much else on a bad day.  On a good day I can add about an hour of light gardening to the list but not much else anymore.

I’m pretty boring I suppose, by my peers.  I can’t even cuddle the rabbit lately because I cough too much it terrifies the poor thing!  I suppose I sound like some big barking bear or something to the poor creature.

I have gone out to the doctors and walked past dogs when I am like this and the dogs think I am barking at them, they react accordingly, it is embarrassing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Daily Prompt 21

Sorry for a late daily prompt, my internet has been tetchy since we made the decision to go fibre or what not.  I am not very good with technical terms.  We have been losing internet for hours on end for a couple of days now, don’t know when the next time I can post.  So I am trying to put as much up on schedule as possible just in case I lose the internet for a longer period of time. I remember a few years ago I lost the internet for about nine weeks solid, I really hope it isn’t going to happen again!

Today’s prompts are – A Badger – A Dress – Revenge – A Gelert – A gold mine

Now for those who may not have heard of a Gelert before, it is a Welsh mythological ghost dog.

The origin of the story is this;

Prince Llewellyn had a dog which he named Gelert.  The dog was very faithful and one of the best dogs this prince ever owned.  But one day the prince decided not to go hunting with Gelert, when he came back he went into the nursery and found blood spattered all over the hound and on the walls of the nursery; thinking the worst the prince blamed the dog for attacking the baby and not hearing any sounds of the baby he immediately plunged his sword into the heart of the dog, killing it instantly! Upon further inspection of the baby a servant discovered that there was a massive dead wolf next to the baby and the baby was completely unharmed and asleep, the blood had been from the wolf not his son.  Full of remorse the prince carried the dog that had protected his child and dug a grave just outside the castle walls and gave the dog a proper burial.  Ever since, the dog’s spirit is said to roam the area protecting humans from danger of any vicious animal and even supposedly demons and witches nearby.

This is one of the many stories of the legend of The Gelert.

As you can see with prompt words like these, there is a lot to play with, especially incorporating the old legend within your own piece of work!

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Inktober Day 12 – The Kappa

The Kappa – Yokai of Japan

Today’s Inktober is based on a Japanese demon known as The Kappa part of the Yokai demons, he lives in embodiments of water, rivers, lakes and ponds.

Kappas are renowned for their obsession and passion for cucumbers and therefore locals often give offerings of cucumbers at festivals to the kappa’s to keep them from becoming harmful to the villagers.

Kappas have a naturally forming dip at the top of their heads which constantly hold water, if the water was to be accidentally spilled out, the kappa can become extremely weak or die.  It is said, if you are by an embodiment of water and you see a large aquatic humanoid which represents a human, frog and tortoise mixed together, sometimes they may seem like half duck and turtle that is a kappa and that if you do not have a cucumber to hand, this creature will either rape you anally and steal a part of your soul or tear your limbs apart as their second favourite form of food; So what do you do to ensure you are safe from this creature if you can’t give it an offering – you bow, these creatures are awfully polite and will bow back at you, spilling the water from their heads and rendering them helpless until they can top the water back up in its head giving you enough time to scarper!  Despite how evil all of this sounds, it is also thought that Kappas aren’t always malevolent, in fact often times they can be benevolent and help people who go fishing, particularly if they have been appeased with a cucumber or two.

In old Tokyo many people believed that if you ate cucumbers before going fishing you could prevent an attack, but then this act was banned by law because it was seen to be provoking the kappas to attack all the more!

 

 

 

 

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Inktober 2018 – Day 5 – The Mermaid

Mermaid

 

Yes today is the 5th day of Inktober and as you can see I have chosen a mermaid for my theme of the day!

Everybody knows what a mermaid is, but do you know what they are really like?

They aren’t what you see in Disney movies according certain world folklore and that’s for sure!  They don’t go around singing at mortals and wishing they were humans and fall in love you know, well actually they do sing at mortals and when they do it’s a sign you really should block your ears and get out of that ocean and according to some legends, they do sometimes fall in love with mortals too, but it’s not all pearls and coral – oh no!

Mermaids from Ireland were called Merrows and they were supposed to be ugly creatures, with green hair, scales, and claws and were evil critters by all accounts.  They had a penchant for falling in love with beautiful human men and would often kidnap them to take them into the sea to drown them so their spirit could live with them in the other realm or they would take on the appearance of a beautiful human woman and breed with him on land and disappear with or without her offspring and the groom.

In Russia they have the Rusalka which can be either benevolent or evil depending upon the individual, you could never tell what a Rusalka would be like if you saw one, so it was best to keep away from them.  It is thought they were the spirits of young girls who were horrendously killed or had violent accidents, if their death was caused by a rape and a murder it was said that those would be evil spirits to men, as any man who goes near her in her transformed self would be garrotted to death by her long hair!  Sometimes women who are in danger would become protected by the Rusalka from any man nearby who is about to harm her!

The Fin Folk of Norway and the Orkney Islands were often considered using humans as slaves and they only way to escape them were to throw coins of silver into the sea to distract them as they loved silver a lot!

So, the next time you think that mermaids are sweet endearing ladies of the sea, with shrill beautiful voices and you fancy taking your chances to get romantically involved with one – think again! 

 

 

 

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Bananas and minions

Bananas are magic in more ways than you know and the minions from despicable me must be onto something, so what?  Read on to find out more…

Minions are more than just adorable little yellow beings that help Dr Gru from the movie Despicable Me in my household; they are creatures that have opened doors to getting my son eating healthily because of his little yellow friend obsession!

My little boy, Henry loves to collect minions of all types, even the purple ones.  They are funny, cute and should exist in reality to my mind and his.  But also because of their existence the minions have also assisted in healthy eating.

I am not the only parent to notice the change in their offspring in regards to eating fresh fruit.  Minion’s all-time favourite food is bananas but also they love apples too!  Since watching some minion shorts on YouTube my son has wanted to find banana recipes.  I tried to bake him banana bread, he kind of liked it but the rest of the family hated it.  Then I remembered when Henry was a small baby into being a toddler, he used to love banana sandwiches (a favourite of his grandmother’s), but then he grew out of it.  Recently though, on Henry’s quest for banana recipes I have got him back to eating banana sandwiches again, a firm favourite of his now.

Way before the minions existed however, it is strange that I used to have a weird habit of randomly saying the word “Banana” just for fun at times I couldn’t think of anything else to say… it became my little quirk for years, this started around 2001 and I kind of grew out of it in late 2008 because an ex-boyfriend of mine made me uneasy about being so free with the word “Banana”.  He was a stickler for having things in context and when I said the word “Banana” it was always out of context and he made me feel silly and immature.

Bananas have always been important to me for more reasons than just my weird little habit and loving the minions so much… they have always been part of my daily diet, on days I don’t have a banana I feel listless and lacking in physical energy compared to days I have a banana. 

My favourite milkshake of all time is banana flavour; I prefer homemade milkshakes though – especially since I have been diagnosed lactose intolerant last year.  Banana milkshake is still tasty with the lactose free milk though!  I now make my banana milkshake with Nesquick banana mix and moo free milk and lactose free ice-cream, I then mush up an over ripe banana and blitz, it’s very scrummy and far outweighs anything McDonalds could give me.

Before I got ill, I regarded myself as very sporty and active, lunch would always contain a large banana.

Bananas are all clones of each other and potentially a disease that would affect one will affect all the bananas in the world, meaning we are so close to losing bananas forever… a worrying concept for me and my son as we are more than a little obsessed with the tasty snack!  Did you know as well that a banana is actually a berry and it is a sterile mutation?

Bananas are also sacred to the Hindu God Vishnu and there are many stories about why it is so important to Hindu faith.  Along with Hinduism bananas are also sacred in Buddhism as it is the favoured plant for Buddha.

Gurus from India believe that the banana tree is a portal to the other realm, the realm of the gods and they call the tree the talking tree, because there are many tales that the Gods spoke to mortals through the tree.

The banana also assists with two chakras, the solar plexus and the sacral.

Two banana trees grown outside of a building are spiritual protectors of the residents within.  It is also believed that if you carry a banana with you when travelling the banana will protect you from harm.

It is also widely believed that if you dry a banana and rub it on a man’s body that he becomes more sexually energetic and longer lasting carnally!

Bananas are the symbols of masculinity and it isn’t hard to see why!  Bananas used in magick will help with monetary spells, spells for protection and sexual potency.

So there is more to the banana than first meets the eye!

So the next time you hear a minion shout “BANANA” there are many reasons why they are so obsessed with the wonderful yellow berry!

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Things of December

Recently received books and movies via gifts or personal purchase have been;

Clash of the Titans DVD the 2010 version with Liam Neeson

Blue Planet II a hardback book

Paul O’Grady’s “country life” hardback book

Raising the Dead: The Men Who Created Frankenstein by Andy Dougan (gift from nephew to me)

RHS What Plant Where Encyclopaedia by DK Publishing

Hobgoblins–The Secret Histories by Ari Berk (A gift to my son from his best-friend but I read it first)

The Box-set of The Hunger Games DVDs

All of these came into my house in the month of December 2017.

Other purchases or gifts I feel match fantasy or horror are…

Quite a few different types of gemstones, especially hypersthene, a tigers eye pendulum, a lapis lazuli gemstone for Henry, A black onyx pendulum, a Rhodonite pendulum for my Henry, an apatite, a large rose quartz the size of a small hot crossed bun and last but not least a hematite thumb ring. 

I bought incense and a new incense charcoal burner in the shape of a Chinese lotus flower.  The scents were vanilla, cinnamon, patchouli, dragon’s blood, rose and lily.  I can’t burn these things when Henry is at home; I have to do them when he is at school and open all the windows afterwards because he is prone to headaches.

I was gifted a fairy house garden ornament in the shape of a mushroom at Christmas from my husband Paul and Mrs Tiggy Winkle acting as the old woman in the shoe ornament and a wolf trinket box.  I do like weird stuff.  He bought me a good sized wooden box too, the shape and style of a pirates treasure chest and it fits all of my gemstones in perfectly with room for half again!  It really does look like a real pirate’s chest now with all of those gemstones in it.

I am a big kid, anything remotely regarding fantasy or horror and I like it.  Depends what it is however but my house certainly shows what I love in every nook and cranny!  I am not averse to having marvels cushion on my sofa for example!

It is difficult when friends and relatives visit because they presume I allow Henry to rule the roost, but the look on their faces when I say “No, it’s for me, I wanted it there”.  They do ask occasionally whether or not I should put such things in my bedroom?  I can’t put everything there!  Besides, what is wrong with a marvel cushion?  A soft toy of the joker on my PC desk?  3 snow globes on the bookshelves?  Four different types of calendars in the living room, Gothic, minions, marvel, wolves and then there is DC comics in the dining room with an RSPB one.  The first of every month is interesting for me, I like guessing which 1 of the many calendars around the house my husband will forget to change!  Me and Henry take bets with fruit pastilles!

I love the fact that I can be so free to be more me, with Paul lately.  He always wanted me to be me, but I was never confident enough to make it reflect in my home and for the first 5yrs living together it was all cream and browns around the house to make it look more like a normal household – yeurgh.  But now it’s green, yellow, with the occasional quirky wallpaper.  In the living room on just one wall there is wallpaper that looks like pastel version of the trees depicted in the movie The Lorax.  In the bathroom it is mostly white tiled but we are going to buy dolphin and coral wallpaper next month.  The kitchen is kitted out with tiles a harlequin would love, also next month we are buying wallpaper for just one side of the kitchen and that will be in the style of Mediterranean food.  Our bedroom is royal purple and soon I will be adding cerise to the other side of the wall, I also wanted to get door murals to make the doors of the house look like medieval castle doors!

I refuse to grow up.

Anyway, have a HAPPY NEW YEAR all of you ❤

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Vikings & Hob-Goblins

During the last week of December I have been researching mostly by accident Hob-Goblins and by design Vikings and their respective histories, customs and superstitions around the world.

I have had a Viking story brewing in me for decades but with no firm story grasped and I have had some new ideas regarding this, but because I know very little about Vikings as a collective, I felt that some research was necessary.  I found it weird that an idea I had about Odin actually clashed with mythological truth, it must have been something I learned once but had forgotten it.  The bit about the 8 legged horse.

As a teenager I ventured into spirituality first by learning about Norse witchcraft, the runes, the drumming, the festivals etc., but I never learned more about the mortal Viking history, like I am doing now.  I did know about their war traditions and their units, such as the screeching women and the berserkers through a game I used to play called Rome Total War.  Regarding Viking warfare and general ancient warfare, I would fare well in writing about it because of the amount of historical research I’ve done throughout my life regarding the subject as well as coming from a military family background.

By and large though, I know more about Spartan and Roman day to day life than I do the Vikings.  Which is why I am disappointed to find that the books I am finding at the library are mostly mythological.

I know it sounds funny to think about it, but I have learned more from watching “The Hairy Bikers” and “Gordon Buchanan’s” ventures in Scandinavia regarding food and dance than anything I’ve learned in books.

In fact, even more laughable is the fact that it is easier to learn more about the superstitions of the Hob-Goblin or Santa Claus than about the ancient Viking people.

There is one thing I have learned though and that is in Viking times it was a derogatory term to be deemed “A Viking” for it literally means “PIRATE”.  This was very interesting to learn.

I am learning accidentally about Hob-Goblins because of a book my son was gifted by his friend Alice.  This is the fourth calling to learn about Hobs and house folk in the past 18 months, something is pulling me towards them.  I have no idea what it could be, I have no idea of any story interest I might have in writing about them… yet.  But something is definitely trying to get my attention with this little creature.

I am a very spiritual person, so I believe in little folk like these and recently when I have been reading about them more actively and reading snippets out loud for my son Henry to overhear, I have noticed that the whole house is becoming more accident prone with food and drink and according to legend, this is a sign of a hungry or thirsty and very ignored little house hob.

Funnily enough, along with this, my husband has discovered that his tea is going down faster these days.  So now we have started to make an extra cup of tea in the kitchen and it seems to have stopped the accidents and weirdly enough an inch in the cup has gone down!

I have a lot of experience with all kinds of spirits in my life.  I have never done drugs and I rarely drink, if there is anything to wander about it is my sanity I suppose – but why do we shrug such things off and think someone nuts when little jewels like this are revealed?  Why is it so hard to believe in little fair folk and ghosts but it is fine to believe in God?  Really now, what is the difference?  Oh and for those hard-core atheists, just remember you can’t see ultra violet light and infrared without technology but it exists doesn’t it?  I rest my case.

I was told by a friend recently that my little forays into the spirit realm should be a subject for my blog, because it aligns with fantasy and horror for many people.  This is why I am starting to mention such things.  It has always been a part of me; I just never put it in the blog. 

Hob-goblins in particular have always been something I have been nervous of because of the stories of boggarts and trolls, though trolls are very different to boggarts and hob-goblins.  The nervousness stemmed from a horror movie I watched when I was little and it gave me nightmares, but these days I realised the movie was actually a fantasy comedy and I can’t help laughing every time I see it now.  “Troll” where I believe the real first Harry Potter came from!  A young boy’s sister is kidnapped into fairy world by an evil troll who was formerly a wizard who went bad and got turned into a troll as punishment by his former fiancé – the witch known as Eunice of whom the boy known as Harry Potter befriends in order to save his sister and all his neighbours in their apartment from the evils of the troll unleashing fairyland into the mortal world once again.  The movie was made in 1986 and stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Obviously also, hob-goblins are found in the wonderful movie “Labyrinth” starring the late David Bowie, one of my most favourite all time fantasy movies where a young girl called Sara makes a wish she will soon regret, regarding her baby brother Toby.  The King of Goblin City descends upon her and makes a bargain that she has just 13 hours to find her baby brother in his labyrinth of surprises and dangers or else her baby brother will become a goblin forever!  A wonderful story, full of inspiration!

I wonder what my mind will make of these Hob-Goblins someday… I can’t wait to find out!

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Kelpie

Glaring lights, pale as death, call you and me.

Dancing through the leaves of the night, dancing around the willows and the oak, hearing the sounds of mysticism in an endless voice of hope:

What is it that we evoke?

Rushing through the air of the night, filling our souls with curious delight; the moon shines upon us as we run after thee, O what can you be? What can you be?

The silver of the night can be what you are or a guiding star? Yes a guiding star!

You took us from our campsite when the air was chilled and harsh – you made us run bare footed across the country grass!

Nightly dew soaks our wandering feet and we search for where you go. Roaming free like a bird in the sky you fly, through the leaves of the trees in the night!

But we remain warm with your charms dear light.

Running endlessly we wonder where you take us. Miles and miles it seems… we run through the fields and past the stream, this feels like a wonderful dream!

Pure is your light of wonder, warm is your glow, but where do you take us, where do you go?

What are you which we evoke?

Faster and faster you run wild and free, past the streams and the tree’s and we run faster along with thee.

We hear a mystical voice again, calling like a choir, calling our names to follow still, even though the night is chilled!

Brighter and faster the light becomes running through the corn. We follow and run helplessly we become most forlorn!
The light has gone! The light has gone!

O where are we now?

As if it was all a dream we suddenly awake from the hypnotising light we are in the lake… we are in the lake.
Drowning, mourning sorrowfully, we cry and call for help. But all that hears our calls this night is the old mythical creature the Kelps!

All we do now is yelp and yelp!!!

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