Geeses and Eggs

I keep putting off talking about the geeses and lambing time, because I haven’t any pictures at the moment. The weather has been too miserable and fraught for good pictures. But let me just tell you about the geeses.

We now have four: Gander and three geese. One of the geese is Blueleg, from the second half of our first batch. One is from the 6 we carted home from Mytholmroyd in two buckets in the back of the car, and the last is possibly one of our two hatchlings from last year. I have no idea which gang Gander came out of, but he deserves his own mention.

Gander stands proud guard over his harem, always on the watch, while the ladies nibble at the grass, chatting. He lets himself eat too, but he has one eye on the world all the time.

Himself lets them out (when he remembers) and puts them to bed most days, since they live on his site and he’s there more. He tells tales on Gander, but I think they reflect more on him. The other night, Gander apparently climbed the trailer’s back door as Himself closed it. He was clearly an alarming and impressive sight. He’s never done that with me.

He spends a lot of time hissing at me, telling me to go away, but it’s all posturing, nothing more. He’s never nipped me, bashed me or done anything else. He doesn’t want to. He has to posture in front of the ladies, even though he knows (and they know) that I don’t pose a threat.

I suspect Himself has jeered at him many times. Gander has to then make a real effort because he’s being belittled.  Okay, maybe not that, but there’s something very male testosterone about the relationship between those two.

I admit I cheat. I take the geeses a little something; cabbage / cauliflower leaves, a scoop of grains. This is probably the real reason Gander doesn’t hate me. He knows I represent nice things. When he sees me arrive, he either flies shrieking down the compound, ladies in tow, or he marches them down: “One two, one two, one two!”

We’ve now got 30 eggs either in the incubator, or waiting to go in. Eleven this week! Although the geeses came and shouted at me when I took the most recent batch of eggs, they didn’t even check the nest immediately. Just marched over to their feed tray and ate grains.

On the way home, some of the eleven tumbled out of their straw bucket after it fell over going round a bend. I have no idea if they are okay or not, so I’m bringing them up to room temperature before putting them in the incubator tomorrow.

Wish me luck, please.


The Bad Cook eBook by Esther Walker

Honestly, I haven’t bought it – I’m miffed it’s an eBook because who needs a cookery book on a computer? But I gotta tell you, Esther’s blog Recipe Rifle is hilarious and slightly bitter, her recipes are organic (in nature, not necessarily ingredients) and I’m certain The Bad Cook BookBad cook will be great to read as well as cook to.

Interviewed again!

So today, as anyone who gets my Twitter feed will have realised, was my interview with Johnny Worthen, venerable author and gobshite of deepest Utah. It was fun seeing the questions he was asking, but hellfire, it was hard thinking up the answers.

I wished I could have been as smart-funny as Tammy Maas, and Erin Britt but t’was not to be. I do tend to panic when someone turns the spotlight on, and I even had to go through my entire book to work out who got killed, because I couldn’t be sure I’d remembered them all. Hardly spontaneous, but still fun.

It was very nice to be asked questions and not to be interrupted halfway through the response.

Thank you Johnny!


Who Cares What Katie Ate?

I know. It probably sounds like some kind of professional jealousy, but it isn’t professional and I’m not jealous. Sure, I blog about food a fair bit, but I wouldn’t define myself by that. Katie, from the famed What Katie Ate blog, is a professional foodie. She does photoshoots and even, I suspect, television. I can’t – and wouldn’t try to – compete.

I get her blog (when she can be bothered to write it – sorry, I mean when she has time throughout her busy, television camera imbued life) in my inbox, but there’s nothing about it to make me want to open the email and see what she’s written.

Today I did that, and now I wish I hadn’t. Her entire post was about how busy she has been as a professional foodie and how she simply hasn’t had the time to create lovely food, test it, mess with it and then type it up. Sorry, Katie, I expect you’re a lovely person, but we all have busy lives, and their minutiae as to why everyone else is less important than you are quite boring, just like yours are. It’s like when a ‘professional’ explains that they haven’t done something because life is treating them so hard. It’s annoying. You don’t care why, you just want to know when. Same with Katie. I don’t care why, just show me the food!*

Oh, and by the way, her food does look amazing, but there are an awful lot of ingredients and different flavours sometimes. Makes me wonder if you can fully appreciate the combinations when there are so many conflicting, fabulous flavours to comprehend.

*This coming from someone who blatantly hasn’t had time to make food and photograph it. But then, as a foodie I don’t claim to be professional.

Galactic Federation of Light; or, Overrun by Aliens!

For those who don’t know me that well, I won’t bore or terrify you by explaining in detail my ‘religion’. Suffice it to say, I don’t do the organised type anyway.

However, I’m compelled to look into certain aspects of spirituality – namely ‘walk-ins’ – in the name of research, and compare the descriptions and explanations with those of demonic (or other) possession. See, because the latter has a long history and the former is ‘New Age’ * I expect there to be huge similarities. (I’m researching my new novel idea).

The main difference, is that walk-ins are likely to be enlightened or advanced spirits (souls?) on a mission from the Galactic Federation of Light. Demons are … well, sometimes guardians of particular dimensions, thoughtforms created by powerful mind(s), and general all round bad boys (and girls).

You know, I can cope with the ideas of spirits, souls, even groups of souls, like monads. I can understand gods and goddesses, angels, spirits of water and animals and the like. I get those things. I can even cope with Source. Use of colours, vibrations, coloured light, and visualisation. I get that too. Demons, thoughtforms, elementals and fairy-type beings, these too fit in with what I already understand on a spiritual level.

The Galactic Federation of Light does not. I can’t get my head around it and that bugs me. I can’t understand why such militaristic language is being used by followers and channellers within this spiritual paradigm. Lord of the Seventh Ray (St Germain) is just an example. Galactic Command, [Ascended] Masters, Angelic Kingdom, and Time Lords.

The only obvious answer is that the people who are propogating and evangelising this ‘information’ truly believe they are channelling it from aliens. The Aliens are using that language. Aliens who never explicitly say what their plans are (we’re left to ponder over the nuances of ‘Ascension’ and ‘Disclosure’), beyond ‘mass landings’ but who insist benevolently that they are for the greater good of humanity.

Just imagine for a moment that this is true.

From a pragmatic point of view, how can mass landings possibly be good for humanity? Last time I looked, we were just about as crowded as we could handle. I guess the proponents will say that they exist on different dimensional planes to our physical bodies, so there isn’t a space issue. But what do they want? Why are they coming? Is this remotely real or not?

I don’t mean to offend anyone, but can you see why this makes me feel a bit creeped out?

I’ve seen all this before, in books. Anne McCaffrey’s Federated Sentient Planets series, the Tower and the Hive series – in fact through the entire Talent series there are bits here and there. At least McCaffrey’s incoming aliens don’t pretend that they are benevolent. She also has different types of aliens that get along with each other (as in Federated). Just like this lot.

Was Anne McCaffrey a proponent of the New Age and the Galactic Federation of Light? A prophet, or Oracle? Or was she a mere science-fiction writer doing what they do best (and doing it really well): predicting the future?

The information received by the channellers may not be valid. How does anyone confirm that a specific alien has contacted them telepathically? Part of the problem with channelling is that there are two, even three ports of trust. First that channelling is possible at all, second that the channeller is trustworthy and third that the entity delivering the information is trustworthy.

While I believe that channelling is possible and I have a high tolerance for a lot of psychic events, I expect trickery can be played too. Since I don’t know the channellers or the entities personally, I can’t say I trust them, and obviously I’m not keen on the messages.

So, Galactic Federation of Light (or GFL as it is known in the community), I still can’t get with the programme and be completely comfortable with your possible existence. I question your motives and if you don’t exist at all, that’s fine with me, I’ll stick to my dryads and nymphs.

At this rate, the book will end up with a full on demonic-troll possession.

*as described by the ever knowledgable Wikipedia

Level 3 Panic Warning; or, Cooking up a Panic

From what I can tell, blogging gets in the way of writing (my new novel), and work gets in the way of life. Add in there a few insecurities, miscommunications, and stick in lambing time for good measure, and you’ve got a nice, stressful base.

The tangled mess of modern life can either be organised – fairly strictly – so that everything has a time slot; or it can be left to mulch into a squelching wet mass. Sometimes it looks like roadkill.

It’s almost a recipe: take one tired person, two Weetabix, half a pint of milk, a strong coffee, an effervescent vitamin tablet and 330ml water. Shake. Transfer onto a baking tray, make it prove itself for about 8 hours in a tepid, air conditioned atmosphere, then give it a roasting for 40 minutes at 220 deg C. Transfer into warm, fuzzy clothing, switch on a flashing, noisy box in the corner, and that’ll keep it nice and soft until you want to use it. Not that it’s clear what it’ll be good for after all that. Too long in the fuzzy clothing, and it’ll go off its game. Miss out the last part of the process and something may grow (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing – remember penicillin?).

The media have been on about this for years. It’s some kind of culture-trap we’ve fallen into, this idea that there’s no time for anything and that everything should be quick, easy and accessible. But it isn’t. But we think it should be. Of course there’s no time for anything if you sit in front of the TV every night. (More people do this than actually admit it. I can’t prove that, but I observe the defensive reply that ‘the TV is hardly ever on’ from nearly everyone I meet (those that don’t know me) after I say I haven’t got a TV; as if there should be guilt attached to the association. As if. I openly stare, unashamed, at the ever present box in other people’s houses. I love TV and sometimes miss it, but it’s a time killer and mustn’t win.)

‘Time killer’. See what I did there? Look at the language used now: ‘grab a sandwich’; ‘hit deadlines’; ‘kill time’. How violent it is. And fast.

It’s easy to understand how people can become nervous wrecks through being exposed to the constant panic of time running out. Stress anywhere – even if home is a happy place – permeates your reactions to outside stimuli, like parents, children, choir practice … Even in your comfort zone, there’s no protection from its effects.

At least one of the entertainment devices used to reduce the stress probably induces it further by propagating the so-called ‘culture’. Even if you’re not a rampant consumer blown by the winds of buy-and-sell, you’re still bombed every 17 minutes with half-baked utopias sponsored by mobile phone companies and banks. More, if you use the internet regularly.

The world will never really be like that. Those utopias? Bullshit cooked up by a ‘creative team’ in a ‘breakout zone’ in an otherwise corporate office, but everyone knows that, right?

We’re all thick skinned and media savvy, trying to reject such blatant begging for our custom. We on purpose refuse to compare our lives to the dramatised ones on the goggle box. But what we don’t realise is that underneath our thick skins we’re already in a panic. Not only is our world not idyllic, but we’re running out of time. If you don’t keep up, you might never catch up. If you can’t afford it, you’ll never fit in.

Giant bills from massive companies, with the threat of prison if you’re too poor to pay (but not poor enough). No news is good news, especially if it’s national or international. Weather reports are now characterised by the alarming ‘weather warnings’ on a scale of 1 to 5. Doesn’t leave you much room for the inbetween variations of weather. A sudden overnight snow storm of wet, sloppy stuff – vanished by 1pm – gets a Level 3 warning. What does that even mean? What about the documentaries telling tales of the disappearances of species and habitats – whose fault do they usually put it down to?

All this, without even mentioning the demon ‘convenience’ food. More panic when uncaring people fed us something without our knowledge and we couldn’t do a thing about it. What if it hadn’t been horsemeat? What if it’s something else?

The ‘culture’ doesn’t just promote sales. It promotes hazardous panic and unpleasant stress, subtly, subliminally, and without ethics. Welcome to Britain.

Parkinson’s Law and A Very Specific Writer’s Block

Today, someone very kindly held my hand virtually throughout a job that he had given me. I feel very lucky and relieved, and I hope I did a good job.

My confidence was utterly thrown by being given an opportunity (*sigh* why does that happen?), and my hang ups about the subject area also came into play. Every word was squeezed out, like blood from stone, drip, drip, drip. It was agonising and frustrating, because I felt I was missing a trick that would allow the words to flow; the subtle disparity between what I was inclined to write, and what the client wanted.

I am many things, but subtle isn’t one of them.

Something else I noticed: I needed to be finished by 8pm to set off on my bed shift. I had about 1000 words to write.I’ve written that much in under an hour before now. I worked on it solidly from 1:30pm to 7:55pm, an unbelievable 6 hours. Is it coincidence that I finished at just the ‘right’ time or did I manifest that? Did I subconsiously know?

Or is it further proof of the existence of Parkinson’s Law: work always expands to fill the time available?