Friday, 17 July 2015

A summer evening

Originally written on 30th June 2015

Walking on a perfect summer evening.

It’s been a hot summer day. As we walk down a tree-lined  path, you can ‘smell’ the cooler air - thank goodness for trees and the welcome shade they provide.

The scent of honeysuckle is in the air as i look directly at the low sun through the trees - suddenly you can see all the insects flitting around.

Around me, I see wild rose, foxglove, horsetail, nettle, holly, hawthorn, hazel and purple clover. The hedges and edge are bursting with growth.

A blackthorn arches over the path as if marking out a transcendental gateway. I wonder where my mind would take me if I mentally stepped through it?

Around me, elderflowers are coming to the end of their season, but I can still bathe my nose in that special sweet yet dry scent.

I walk past a low hanging willow and look up at the pale moon in the light sky.

The peace and tranquility is overwhelming. If only I could bottle and preserve this feeling….


Friday, 17 April 2015

Building with Straw Bale and Getting it Right!

In Missouri, USA, there's a place called 'Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage'. If the name isn't beautiful enough, some of the natural buildings being constructed there will win you over!

I've been following the exploits of a guy called Ziggy for quite a few years - he initially built a cob roundhouse with reciprocal frame roof (a lá Tony Wrench of www.thatroundhouse.info) and although it looked beautiful, Ziggy was open and honest about the failings of the building - mainly that pure cob was simply not insulating enough in the cold and damp winters they experience there, and consequently, it became very hard to heat.

Anyway, with the experience of that first building, he and his partner and friends went on to design and build a timber framed and strawbale house called the 'Strawtron' which is now completed and for sale.

The overall design and quality of finish, particularly the fine plasterwork is awe inspiring. I'll let some of the pictures do the talking...







For more information, do check out: http://www.theyearofmud.com/


Herbs for Anxiety

I realise I've not posted here for ages. I've simply not felt the need.

I am changing - I am having to change in order to survive and thrive.

Anxiety and depression have got the better of me, and to that end, I've been attending a Mindfulness class every couple of weeks. It's great, but I felt like I still needed something extra to get my mind and mood into a better place so I went to a friend who is a herbalist.

The alternative would be prescribed anti-depressants from my doctor with the possibility of side-effects and addiction. I not ruled that option out, but I'm keen to try more natural approaches first

So I've been given some herbal preparations and some 'exercises'. The exercises, which I'll explore later on, are geared towards getting my mind into a more positive place - one of my 'problems' is that I have taken a very negative view on some things, and have struggled to see positives. Elements of this blog reflect that, and I will be going back over some of the old negative posts and removing them.

Anyway, I'll write more on a future blog post, for the moment, here's what I'm working with, herbally speaking.

Medicines

By Johann Georg Sturm (Painter: Jacob Sturm) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Johann Georg Sturm (Painter: Jacob Sturm)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Tonic: comprised of 2 parts Vervain (adrenal support), 2 parts Nettle (blood cleanser, adrenal support), 1 part SJW (nervine), 1 part Evening Primrose (for stress with digestive issues), 1 part Motherwort (nervine). Dose 1 tsp 3 times a day.

Scullcap: 1 dropperful under the tongue for the 'screaming habdab' moments. Not more than 3 times a day.

"I don't give a shit" tea: 1 tsp or 1 pinch of vervain, chamomile and lemon balm. Infuse in just boiled water for 10 minutes, strain and drink. Not more than twice a day. Recommended to be taken after work.

Nettle Seed: 1 - 2 tsp each day (on porridge?) for adrenal support.

Search out some Yarrow (which I have in my garden) and take a piece around with you to help boundary issues (where you stop and other people/things start).

In addition to the herbal medicines, I've also been given some things to think about and some journalling tasks - more on that soon...

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