What do I like to do when I am not writing or doing art? Strange to say, that creativity is such a big part of my life it is actually really hard for me not to be in creative mode in one way or another.
Outside of actually physically writing, I do think about things to write almost on a constant basis I am a chronic daydreamer! I can’t hold conversations very much travelling in a car because I zone out to daydream and for me, it’s just as well because it is my coping mechanism for car travel sickness – hence why, I have never learned to drive. I am actually going to try next summer to have my first ever driving lesson, but I don’t think I’ll have more than three before deciding that driving isn’t for me!
I like to talk about sceneries when travelling on trains, I love trains, but again I daydream a lot on trains. Unless the conversation isn’t specifically towards the scenery I tend to zone out on people.
It’s easy for me to zone out completely and sometimes it takes a person shaking me by the shoulders to come back to reality again!
But outside of this one big daydream of mine, what do I do?
I like tending to the garden, but I am never without my creative quirks there either as I imagine faeries or trolls peeping out at me from behind bushes and dark corners and so forth. Whenever I garden, I garden with nature and unseen forces in mind; I have to have fruits, herbs and vegetables every few feet, because it helps the fair folk, animals and birds. It’s either my active imagination or my witchy roots and shamanic past that allows me to see things that others say aren’t there. I have never decided which is true…
But whatever I grow in the garden to eat, I always ensure that at least a quarter of what I grow is never harvest as because I don’t want to be seen as greedy and because I feel that you should leave things for nature, to go to seed or for the fair folk. Did you know in actual fact that ancient humans used to always farm and garden like this until humans developed more of the greed gene?
I am not a tidy gardener, I am a cut and drop type and I have the healthiest soil for miles around because of it; I know that some diseases and weeds should not be cut and dropped and I am wise to those things and they go either in a bucket of water to rot down or they go into a bonfire at the end of the month. I have a special area for the bad stuff.
I grow with companion planting in mind and bio warfare – I am completely 100% organic and chemical free, what I do is I learn about nature and what feeds on what and I try to mimic the natural balance in my garden by trying to encourage pest killers into a problematic area. If I grow nasturtiums the nasturtiums tend to encourage caterpillars and they generally leave my cabbages and other things alone, if I have an influx of aphids on my peas I grow sweet peas that are inedible nearby and umbellifers such as dill, fennel and yarrow to attract ladybirds and lacewings which eat aphids, as well as calendulas… no calendulas don’t eat aphids, they attract the things that do!
I am loved by frogs and toads and it used to freak my mother out every summer about how they’d hop or crawl after me if I was near the pond, because I had nurtured them since tadpoles and they became tame enough to be touched (make sure your hands are wet before you touch them as your skin can burn theirs).
I try to ensure a lot of mini ponds around the garden or makeshift ponds in the forms of buckets and ponds half inserted into the ground for them, because they kill slugs and snails and also we have a family of five hedgehogs in our garden most of the time, we’re quite lucky because our garden is small really – but we have so much life here!
My back garden is only 30ft wide and 50ft long, my front garden is 20ft wide and 20ft long, so it really is quite small for what it gives us! We get a lot of food out of it and there is plenty of nature here – we always get comments from people in our neighbourhood about how we’ve bewitched wildlife and stolen it from their gardens because they don’t get all the bees and butterflies we have and they’ve never seen hedgehogs or woodpeckers in their gardens! I just simply smile, shrug and say – plant more, get rid of your horrendous decking and fake plastic lawn and grow wildflowers, and then they’ll come to you. Most snobbily sneer at the idea and look disgusted at my suggestion, but there has been one or two who have listened and nature is spreading, as it does and as it wants to and as it should!
When not gardening, I am bonding with animals, either in the form of pets or those in my garden; I am known to be quite mad by some neighbours because I click at magpies to call them down from the trees and some eat out of my hand and give me presents of egg shell and the prettiest stones they can find!
My magpies are my biggest influence in my writing, they are the main characters of a particular book series I am writing and they are based entirely on magpies I have befriended in reality.
I know it sounds nuts, but my life has been saved by a crow I cared for when it got heat stroke, this crow has long since died, but its family remember me and watches out for me. I am profoundly deaf with inner ear auto-immune disease, which means a lot of the time because of ear infections I can’t wear my hearing aids at all, so I become completely deaf regularly – but one day I didn’t hear a car coming after I thought the coast was clear, it was one of those young teenage drivers who were racing down the long road and they nearly ran me down, but my crow, the one I saved earlier that year swooped down knocking me off balance just as the car nearly hit me, making me fall out of the way of the hit!
This crow and its family gets upset if they don’t see me for more than three days at a time and will shout their caws loudly and fly around the house until I either open the window so they can see me or go outside for a few minutes just to let them know I am OK – Paul is fascinated by this, but to me it’s normal! They quieten down once they see me!
See it’s hard to have a “normal life” when I live the life I do. My life is certainly not normal for everyone out there (points to the world) but it is normal for our ancestors and tribal people. I consider myself an ancient human trapped in modern times.
I find it hard to have a “normal life” and talk about “normal” things. I think normal is very suggestible, different to everyone and it hurts me when people feel they have the right to judge someone like me! Because, in reality, had humans maintained their tribal existence and had maintained living as nature intended, then based on that, my way of life would be considered normal and conservative… it would be strange, not to be like me!
Other than having my head in the clouds and playing with nature like some kind of Disney princess, I do like movies and I do like doing puzzles. I love 1000 piece puzzles and have a big collection of them and I have a love for word games, scrabble and codebreakers, that sort of thing.
I love feeding people too, I love to cook and I am often accused of making people fat when they stay here for more than a week! Most people have to go on diets after visiting me, because they grow an addiction to my food!
I make as much as possible from scratch, including various jams, chutneys and sauces. I am not scared of making pastry and I often cook too much deliberately, just to freeze them for later. That’s how a home cook can manage their life better, cook and freeze – it’s safe, probably a lot safer than bought produce.
It’s funny but I get comments from people about how unsafe it is to put my lasagne in the freezer if nobody eats it all, but then they go out and buy microwavable frozen lasagne meals… the irony is both sad and laughable.
I find it hard to make friends with regular people; it’s easy for me to make friends with witches and creative people though. Unfortunately I live in an area that is famed for its culture, but most of the people who live around me are science based workers, unemployed or in catering. For the creative folk I have to be in the centre of town or a village five miles south from here, that’s where the creative folk are.
Paul is a scientist, he is a little bit creative because he used to be a photographer and he did once become a lecturer for art history in a university; but he is really a doctor of geology and that’s what he has been most of his life. So he fits in here in our village, because a lot of people who live around us are doctors or nurses.
But he admits, though he loves some of my work he doesn’t love it all and it is hard for him to be enthusiastic in partaking an active role in being creative with me and brainstorming with me or even encouraging me beyond his scientific “get on with it” kind of way. He is rather picky about what he likes and what he doesn’t like.
It is hard for me, because I am the type of writer that when she writes her stuff for the day she wants to share it with the person she is living with, immediately, because I am a person who likes to brainstorm with others – I like to talk about what I have done, because I am emotionally shallow and needy. I am easily knocked off my perch if I think someone is disinterested, this is the hardest thing about me being a writer, since moving in with Paul.
My mother on the other hand was very good at feigning interest to buck a person’s creative confidence up, but Paul doesn’t like to even pretend and I appreciate him for that – but it is also frustrating for me.
So, what do I do outside of writing? Basically play with animals, do puzzles, gardening, fatten people up and just generally connect to my inner being and nature. I think that’s entirely me… I do love music, I love art, I love practising on my various musical instruments, but when I do that – I tend to go back into creative play again, then write songs and compose music!
So that’s me! A creative child of nature; surrounded by a multitude of other species; that is spiritually connected to her little world and loves to entertain people with food, story and poetry.
Hope you enjoyed an insight to my weird little life!
Thanks for reading!