20 April 2011

Busy busy

Wow, can't believe it's been a week since I updated!

I've had a busy week. On Saturday I was at the Pagan Federation Conference in Edinburgh, where I met up with people I haven't seen in far too long, heard some brilliant and interesting speakers, and managed to avoid the ones who I would have found less than inspiring. Vivienne Crowley's Grail talk was really interesting, and the lady herself funny and managing to combine healthy scepticism with belief. The other workshops of note were two run by Christer Ellingsen talking about Shamanic Trancework. His first session was talking about the trance work and the term "Shaman". It was interesting (and reassuring) to hear that he considers Shamanism to be a craft, a method, rather than a religious path. He was quite adamant that it is not religous at all, and that he does not consider himself a Shaman as that is a specific role which doesn't really have a place in today's society. The second workshop was a practical trance workshop which was incredible, with him drumming and which left everyone I spoke to afterwards feeling drained as though they'd been running.

As usual at these things, there's a real mix of the earthy and ethereal. Workshops about unicorns and chakras might suit some but I steered clear! The shopping stalls were as usual, too enticing for my bank balance so I bought a couple of things, including a pair of earrings from a very talented lady who I know, Peggy at MoonlightForest.com.

The evening entertainment involved my having to act as magician's assistant - a task which was suitably embarrassing! It was followed by the amazing Damh the Bard, who I have never seen live. He was fantastic. Great music which everyone sang along with, and the man himself self-deprecating and plain funny.

Despite having had next to no sleep the night before, I managed to last the whole evening and am so very grateful to my friend Andrew for being taxi driver :-)

A couple of days later I was up at Aberfoyle, resuming duties as Osprey information officer. The new chap in charge was keen to reassure me again about the lack of pressure to sell memberships. I have to say I was kind of shocked at how young he looked - am I getting old?! The room is completely re-done, with windows (hurray!!), more touchy-feely exhibits, more screens, more animals to talk about. It was great to get back into the swing of things again. There are birds on the nest - though not the usual pair who haven't returned :-( This pair are the third on the nest in the last couple of weeks, but look as though they're the ones who will hold it. Neither of them are ringed which means we have no idea about their history. But they're mating and nest building so we expect an egg imminently! Usual left-field questions - the best were "Which route does the West Highland Way go at Inversnaid?" and "Is the road through Thornhill still closed?"...

After a full-on couple of days I was totally exhausted. As I suspected, speaking to people is what really tires me out and drains me, so it's been nice having a very quiet couple of days since.

At the Allotment, all is going well, particularly the weeds... We've had such good weather I've had to water the veg beds, not that I'm complaining! The raspberry bush is spreading like wildfire - makes you realise how much of a rip-off raspberry plants are at garden centres! It's lovely to see everything springing up.

And the swallows have returned!

Summer is definitely a cumin' in :-)

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