Touch and Smell

Way back in 2001 when my fave critique partner and I got together, I’d started a spreadsheet for a book with a working title “The Fragrance of Fate.”

This was my research into the sense of SMELL.

Sir Walter Raleigh smelled of strawberry.


The trouble with a computer and/or a phone is that you can see/hear but never taste or smell or touch.

To this day I can remember the smell of Tsar. Our beautiful German Shepherd.

The taste of Marmite takes me back to my brothers and I around the breakfast table before school.

The touch of velvet sends me back on to the stage in a drama class.

These three senses begin at birth. A baby is born and taken to the mother’s breast. The baby feels, smells and tastes. It’s primeval.

Computers are not even half of a whole.

If you hold your lover in your arms and don’t get drunk on their natural scent – they are not your partner.


Love involves all 5 senses and that enigmatic 6th sense.

As Napoleon supposedly said to Josephine – Home in three days. Don’t wash.

Now THAT is Hidden History :o)

Standing On the Shoulders of Giants | The Herb of Death

Foxgloves. I love them. Somehow they self-seed and just pop up. We now have two outside the front door. Somehow.

The Herb of Death – a short story by Agatha Christie, a story within The 13 Problems, has a glorious writing device.

Dolly Bantry is unable to tell a story like all the dinner guests. She’s very open and honest about it. So she begins with a short precis and then flounders.

Sir Henry Clithering rescues her by suggesting that she CAN tell the whole story via questions asked by her fellow diners.

Dolly answers. The guests guess. Miss Marple KNOWS.

Writing The Hero’s Journey

I am first and foremost a writer.

I’ve studied both the art and the craft of writing for decades but everything I’ve read and/or written boils down to one single Universal Truth.


This is the meaning of life. To live that journey.

Joseph Campbell was a great mentor via his books. Robert Graves too. And Myth & Legend. And the Tarot.

Everything in our lives is predicated on The Journey and how we choose to travel.

This journey ALWAYS starts with THE FOOL. The blithe young soul wearing the motley, with a bindle on his shoulder, the rose of love in his hand and a faithful dog at his heels as he steps over the cliff into the unknown.

The Journey always ends with The World. A circle. A Naked Woman and the Tetramorph (the four elements or the Four Evangelists or…)

It is a completed cycle.

Within this journey we face so much. So many trials. The Magic. The Spirit. The Love. The Strength. The Forward. The Backward. The Death. The Rebirth. The Devil. The Angel. The Destruction. The Rebuilding. Justice. Judgement. Light. Dark. Hope. Failure. Loss. Gain.


George Lucas wrote Star Wars based on Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces.

Luke is the fool. The little man with a strange voice (Obi wan?) is the Magician. Leia is the High Priestess. Darth is just one letter away from DEATH. And Vader is an anagram of RAVED.


I see this within my own life. Though – I just keep going back to The Sacred Fool (Heyoka) and Death is a given.

Don’t Bring Me Down…….

Thanks :o)

The Romance of The Rose : Brain Killer

Image above of MY IRL bookshelf?

Yes. Not photo-shopped or fake or mandela or…!

This book has killed my brian (!) for years.

It’s dense and tangled and thorny. Fact!

But it is HUGE part of my literature/history/hidden journey.

Allegory can be as confusing as eff.

The Romance of the Rose was written in two stages by two authors. In the first stage of composition, circa 1230, Guillaume de Lorris wrote 4,058 verses describing a courtier’s attempts at wooing his beloved woman. The first part of the poem’s story is set in a walled garden, an example of a locus amoenus, a traditional literary topos in epic poetry and chivalric romance. Forty-five years later, circa 1275, in the second stage of composition, Jean de Meun or Jehan Clopinel wrote 17,724 additional lines, in which he expanded the roles of his predecessor’s allegorical personages, such as Reason and Friend, and added new ones, such as Nature and Genius. They, in encyclopedic breadth, discuss the philosophy of love.

I’m a rose grower. I have about 20 rose bushes in my garden. All but 2 planted by me.

A ROSE by any other name etc…….

Oh. And. DO NOT get onto the book to the left of Romance of the Rose. Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin.

I’m feeling feisty and tigerish today.

Why is Cottagecore so Gay?


I must’ve been “Gay” all my life and never knew it.

That’s a bummer.

I’ve done ALL that Rowan describes, all of my life.

OK. That’s me out of the wardrobe.


I’m also a huge Agatha Christie fan and she uses “GAY” to mean happy & “QUEER” to mean strange.

BTW : When I was 6 years old and we had to live with Nan for a while before moving to Scotland, I gathered all the fallen petals from her roses and squished them into a jar of water – to make rose water.

I made a jar full of stinky sludge :o)

Bizarre Theory Afoot!

I’m teaching my self Eco-Printing on paper. The results are amazing and beautiful so – thought I – as I have some spare calico cotton left, how about seeing if it can be done on fabric.

Yes. It can.


But I also saw something else here. Too bizarre NOT to share.

All the materials used have to be natural. Plants, paper, alum, fibres. And part of the process is the boiling in water for a while.

You then end up with a negative image on the cloth………..

Look. In my simple mind, this makes sense. Fact!

Groos & Snowdrops

Our garden and the cemetery that borders it are covered in snowdrops.

I love and adore these little flowers. They survive Everything Winter can throw at them and just pop up to remind us all that Spring is about to arrive.

My brother’s wonderful wife planted everlasting snowdrops around our mother’s grave when she was interred. She KNOWS!

You can think and say what you want about graveyards. Ours is beautiful. Yew trees. Daffodils, snowdrops, bluebells and carpets of primrose in spring. It is a living calendar of time.

So :

Don’t Bring Me Down.


Briar Rose : Edward Burne-Jones

Of all the Pre-Raphaelite artists, Burne-Jones speaks to me most.

I adore his Briar Rose Cycle. A place to get lost in.

I often mistake a Briar Rose for a Dog Rose (which has seeded and grown in my garden these past two years…Yay!)

They are both wild and RAMPANT in hedgerows. And VERY thorny.

P.S. Lennox and Stewart mean something else to me…


In 1544, Lady Margaret married a Scottish exile, Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox (1516–1571), who later became regent of Scotland in 1570–1571. In total the couple had eight or nine children,[17][18] four boys: Henry, Henry, Philip and Charles, and four unnamed daughters, though only two sons—Henry Stuart (1546–1567), born in 1546 at Temple Newsam; and Charles Stuart (1555–1576), who later married Elizabeth Cavendish in 1574—survived to manhood; one of their other siblings was called Philip, presumably after the Spanish king and husband of Margaret’s cousin, Mary I. Elizabeth Cavendish, wife of Charles, Earl of Lennox, was the daughter of Sir William Cavendish and Bess of Hardwick.[citation needed]

Faith, Hope & Clarity

So many childhood memories.

We once lived in a flat, my parents, me, one toddler brother and one baby brother and the grown ups knew exactly how to keep me quiet and occupied for hours. All it took was a scrapbook, some Victorian pictures, scissors and a glue stick. I’d be parked at the dining room table but always found that too confining so ended up on the floor surrounded by “stuff.”


I’ve gone back to this just recently with Sarica as my guide and mentor.

The Traveler’s Notebook is now being used as both a planner and a journal. I’ve thrown away the amazing Ryder Carroll system. Again – far too restrictive.

My journal has two sentences hand written on the cover. The one in the title above because this process is incredibly peaceful and meditative. The other is a quote from Hamlet…


Simple. Childlike and something that can be done as and when.

Here is Sarica.

Vodka & PotPourri

I prefer moist potpourri. Just my preference.

Mine is housed in huge terracotta Victorian Butter dishes – where they’d hand whisk butter. They usually have yellow paint on the top.

Do what the lady below says and then when you need to refresh it all, spray with vodka and water, add more essential oils and microwave for a few seconds.


Like canopic jars full of herbs and spices – potpourri can last decades.


I’m stunned.

My Shakespeare rose has formed a bud in deep mid-winter. Wow!

The image above is of a David Austin Shakespeare rose. In full bloom they are beyond divine – in my humble opinion.

I collect all the rose petals in my garden and replenish my decades old pot pourri pots with them. Waste not….!

To me a rose is a symbol of our own life cycles. We bud, we bloom, we wither, we die. Time after time (Go away, Cyndi Lauper!)

Of all flowers, Methinks the rose is best.