Today I am thankful for all the dear ones in my life. I have been reflecting on life and death recently. My Mother in law passed away peacefully at home aged 73, two weeks ago, and her death has raised so much for me to process and think about. I have thought a lot about mortality and dear ones and how shocking it is to lose someone, even if their passing is kind of expected.
   I have come to remember just how important that is to value every second of life, and treasure the moments with family and friends, while we are all still here together. I feel so lucky to be a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a niece, a grand-daughter, a sister-in-law, an auntie, a friend.
   The passing of Edith has strengthened my resolve to make as much time to be with all these precious people as much as I can be, and be the best and truest version of myself that I can be while I have breath and life. I give thanks for the blessings in my life, and one of the biggest blessings of all is family and friends, and the opportunity to create happy memories with them to cherish for as long as I am granted life!
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Becoming a Waldorf doll maker!

   So, looking back on this year, 2016, one of my biggest achievements and also biggest joys has to be that I became a doll maker! I was drawn to make a Waldorf doll for each of my smallest children, and literally fell in love with the process! I began researching lots of books and tutorials and tips about making these beautiful natural toys and started my doll making journey! I soon felt happy enough with the quality of the dolls I was producing to list some for sale in my etsy shop, and to my complete joy, they began to sell!
   I am lucky enough to have lots of supportive friends who have commissioned me to make dolls for their little ones too, so even though I only began making these sweeties this summer 2016, I have already sold quite a few.
   I feel like I have found my dream job and I quite simply cannot stop making Waldorf dolls! I remember clearly when I left school, not really having a clue about 'what I wanted to do when I grew up' and I give so many thanks for the years between then and now, travelling, adventures, falling in love, having babies, starting my little business selling handmade hemp yoga mat bags, then handmade children's clothing, and finally, aged 37 finding out what I really really want to do and doing that! I feel so fortunate, and I probably would never have dreamed back then, aged 16 that my dream job was doll maker!

If you would like to see more of my dolls or purchase one, please visit my shop            
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My home birthing chronicles - Part 4. The birth of Shiin

Here is the final installment of my home birthing chronicles, and the story of the birth of my first born child, my gateway into motherhood, my opener of the ways! I give so many thanks for the awesome adventure that is motherhood and to each of my children for the blessings they have brought to my world!

My pregnancy with my first born child, Shiin, had mostly been my love and I travelling around Italy, Switzerland and France in our little blue camper van, without too much contact with friends and family, and definitely no books on the subject of pregnancy and birth and no internet! I didn't really know what to expect, but I focused on trusting my body and my baby to know what to do when the time came.
    Back in Glastonbury, my labour began early one morning. We were parked at the top of Wearyall hill. My waters began leaking straight away and mild contractions came and went. I was super excited and a bit scared too. My beloved made me as comfortable as possible and reassured me that this was early stages and could take quite a while, so we settled into a rhythm on the hill for a while. I remember being sick and the contractions getting quite a bit stronger. I was starting to really moan through them and we decided to go and find our Doula friend Joy. Rer drove us into town to get some supplies and there was a surreal few moments of labouring like a primal mama behind the curtains of our little van, whilst parked in the middle of the High Street! We then drove to the White spring to collect spring water and finally found our doula. At this point the contractions were almost overwhelming. I started to feel like I couldn't cope, and Joy arriving was like a cool gentle breeze to my fire. She wrapped herself round my back quite maternally, and made soothing sounds, and helped me to remember to breathe deep into my womb with each rush. Rer drove us to my parent's farm in a nearby village, where we had prepared one of the outbuildings as a birthing room with an old wood burner, some carpet and crystals. They helped me down from the van and into 'the nest' as we called our birthing room. Joy went up to fill my parents in on the progress then returned. I felt so relieved to be in our little safe space.
    Rer lit the burner and candles and made the place magical. I roared on my hands and knees. The midwife arrived quickly and she gave me an internal examination which was excruciating and put me off my flow for a bit. I was on my hands and knees and felt shocked at how powerful the contractions were. I don't know what I expected, but I think I thought actually pushing the baby out would be painful but the contractions wouldn't be!  Well I quickly learned that baby moving down the birth canal was a new and indescribable sensation! I would not exactly describe it as pain, but it was all consuming, powerful, strong, intense and required all my attention! Rer was repeating my birthing mantra, 'down, good, open, yes!' with Joy which helped my focus stay right down in my womb and out of the fear zone! I felt safe and held energetically by Rer and Joy as my body opened up to birth my baby.
   I could feel my body pushing on its own now. I was in a timeless altered space completely in my body now.  I was screaming and bellowing, and I think it was obvious to everyone but me that the baby was almost ready to be born. The midwife came and sat by my head and gently instructed me when to breathe and when to push and when to stop pushing. I followed exactly what she said and very soon felt the baby crowning, which at the time felt like I was a balloon just about to pop! It was sharp and stingy and the most powerful and huge sensation I have ever felt! The baby's head came out and the utter relief of having birthed his skull through my maiden's portal was immense! One more push and his body was out too. I felt such a mixture of feelings in that moment. The room went very quiet and Rer passed me my baby through my legs. He was very blue and did not seem to be breathing. I held him close to my breast and laughed and cried and talked to him and implored him to breathe. What seemed like ages ( but was probably just moments) later, he breathed and cried and started turning pink. Our little boy! He was so beautiful! I found it astonishing that he had been the one in my tummy all that time, with his little face and I didn't know what he looked like till that moment! He started feeding pretty quickly and we wrapped him in a towel. I can't really remember birthing the placenta but I think it happened fairly quickly. Rer put it in a big bowl to bury in the garden later. The feeling of joy and utter bliss was complete. The midwife examined me and found no tears or damage. My sweet Rer had rubbed cocoa butter into my perineum most days for at least two months prior to birthing which I am sure helped me to be stretchy!
   ( In my subsequent three births I found that my body knew exactly what to do and when, but I was only 23 back then, and extremely ignorant about the birthing process back then, so it was a bit more scary.)  I cuddled up with Rer and our little baba while the midwife completed forms and Joy went and told my parents they had a new Grandson! I am so grateful to have had a safe, beautiful home birth. Our little boy was 8 pounds 3 ounces and we decided to name him Shiin, which is an old Celtic name, but also means ' from the sacred lake of the double truth come waves' in ancient Egyptian.
Thank yo so much for reading my story. I hope it is helpful and inspirational to someone somewhere! Blessings x
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I wanted to share with you all a poem that I wrote back in 2000. It is one of my favourite pieces that I have written over the years and I dedicate it to the Starchild within us all!
   (Thank you Kiya and Sylvie for being such beautiful little faeries for this picture!)

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My home birthing chronicles - Part 3. The birth of Zoser

 I have decided to share with you the stories of my four home births in ' My home birthing chronicles'. When I was pregnant each time, I loved reading other women's positive birth stories, so here is the third installment of mine, in the hope that it will inspire someone somewhere for their own birthing journey.
  This part three is the story of the birth of my son Zoser.

   Zoser's story begins on a gorgeous sunny February morning. I was lying in bed with my beloved Rer and our adorable baby boy Shiin. We were staying at my parents farm in a converted outbuilding that we had previously given birth to our first boy Shiin in 20 months before, as our actual home at that point was a tiny little camper van! The wood burner crackled merrily taking the chill off the morning. It was about 6 am when I felt my first contraction. I remember feeling a mixture of emotions. So happy to bringing my new baby forth, and a bit scared of giving birth again, also bursting with love for my baby boy Shiin, wondering if I would ever be able to love another baby as much as I loved him! We all snuggled there in the early morning light for another hour or so as a family of three, while I nursed Shiin and the contractions gently came and went. Rer took Shiin up to the house to my parents so they could look after him while I laboured. 
   Rer razzed up the burner and lit many many candles all round the hearth, it was so beautiful. I moved around the room, stopping to hold onto things while I contracted. The labour gently progressed, with Rer feeding me spoonfuls of honey and molasses to keep my energy up and drinks of water, and both of us repeating our birthing mantra, 'down, good, open, yes!'. A little later the rushes started coming on quite strong. I was vocalizing quite loudly through them by this time. Rer was supporting me beautifully, rubbing my back and toning with me. The wild black cat Poppy, who lived on the land at the farm came in and set up residence by the door. She looked like a sphinx, a guardian of the gate and I felt a very protective energy coming from her. A bit later, Rer wrapped me in my dressing gown and took me a little walk down into the orchard. It was difficult to walk and the contractions were really strong. I felt vulnerable outside and just wanted to be back safe in our little birthing nest. I had to lean on Rer for support and we slowly made our way back to the nest. 
   Rer called our friend and doula Anara and she soon arrived. Rer and Anara did a lovely protection invoking prayer and lit more candles. We had a beautiful shrine and the energy in the room was so lovely. I started to feel the bearing down sensations. I knelt on the floor at the foot of the bed. I think I was there for a while, but time didn't make much sense to me at that point! I was pushing quite hard but baby wasn't coming out yet. Rer and Anara decided to lift me up to a standing so gravity and a change of position could help. Almost as soon as I stood up, the waters broke and baby's head crowned. I was bellowing like a tribal Mama! One more push and his head was out. Then on the next contraction his body flew out and down onto the cushions. They helped me down onto my knees again and I picked him up. We realized that his cord had ripped in half, it must have been quite short, so baba was in my arms and his placenta and most of his cord was still inside me. It was so quick in the end that I felt quite in shock, as baba must have done too. Rer quickly tied hemp string around his cord and we wrapped him up and put him to the breast. He latched on pretty quick. Anara gave me homeopathic Arnica for the shock and this helped. It seemed to take absolutely ages to birth the placenta, but finally it came out and Rer put it in a bowl, and helped me to bed. 
   A burst of winter sunshine beamed in through the window and Rer wrapped Zoser up and took him outside the door briefly to see the sun for the first time, before tucking him back into my arms. The midwife arrived and checked me and baby over and filled in all the notes, then left. Poppy the cat jumped up onto the covers and snuggled up between my legs! She stayed there all night like a proper little guardian.
(Still covered in blood and exhausted but elated in this photo! Zoser is tucked up in the crook of my arm here under the covers!)
   So my beautiful boy was born without his parachute! I feel that he was in a hurry to be born as he knew he had business here on this planet! He is a proper little earth warrior, but he is also very dreamy, even now! I chose his name when I was pregnant with him. We visited Egypt and went to a place called Saqquara, where there is a step pyramid built by Pharoah Zoser. I didn't know for sure, but I felt strongly I was carrying a boy child, and I decided that Zoser would be a great name for him. The whole labour and birth lasted 8 hours and I give so many thanks for his safe arrival, especially when it was so dramatic! Zoser weighed in at 8 pounds and 5 ounces. I needn't have worried about not loving this baby as much as my boy Shiin. As soon as I saw him, my heart expanded massively to fit both my baby boys easily into my love!!!

(Top picture is baby Zoser and Poppy in our giant bed. We moved into our yurt, bought from our magical doula friend Anara and her man,  after Zoser was born. Bottom picture is my baby boys together! Lucky mama!!! )

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Thankful for the breath of Spring

   Today I am thankful for the promise of spring. The sweet sounds of the birds busy with their nest building. The yellow daffodils springing up everywhere. The fact that it is not completely necessary to do coats up. The quality of the sunlight subtly changing. The energy of spring permeating my being. I feel so much more energetic and full of creative ideas. My sewing machine has barely stopped as I create new ranges for my etsy shop and new outfits for my little people. I feel a kind of slow anticipation building as the weather gets warmer and I know that full on spring is just around the corner!
   Although autumn is my absolute favourite season, I find myself enjoying spring more and more as I get older. I love the Easter crafting with my kids, and the flowers starting to bloom. I love trips to the bluebell woods and seeing lambs everywhere! Most of all I give thanks for the sheer power of nature, the constant turn of the seasons, for Mother Nature ever abundant, and the promise of the return of the sun!

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