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“A warm hearted, engaging story for the young and young at heart…”

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Beautiful Violetta craves excitement and when a beauty pageant is staged in her sleepy Somerset village she is determined to win the first round and go on to become ‘Queen of the World.’ With her head full of dreams, vain Violetta sets of for the bright lights of Victorian London. Forgetting all about the little Mouseling she has left behind Violetta’s heart is set on finding fame and fortune. Magdalena wakes to find Violetta has vanished in the night. Determined to find her, the little Mouseling bravely sets off in hot pursuit after her wayward Mama. Although her journey is littered with many pitfalls, perils and full of danger, taking her all the way from England’s shores to the New World, she never gives up hope. Will Magdalena find Violetta. And if she does, will vain Violetta return back home? Follow Mouseling Magdalena on an amazing adventure and find out just how with a lot of courage and a big heart she becomes ‘Maggie the marvellous Mouse’!

 

Click here to Join Magdalena on her amazing adventures where fears are faced, adversaries overcome, adventures had and against the odds love conquers all.

 

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Yellow Roses

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Ohhh I so love yellow roses…I wish you could experience the gorgeous scent of these beauties growing in our English country garden this June 🙂

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We have many beautiful flowers, plants, herbs and trees thanks to clever Mr Nash, his healing hands and green fingers. The roses are in the front garden, next to beds of lavender. As I leave the house, I am drawn to stop and bathe in their beauty, close my eyes and fill my senses with the sheer beauty that is a rose.

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They bud, they bloom and are gone all too soon~ like a metaphor for life~ And I am reminded to be in an “attitude of gratitude” for life is precious and fragrant, and I thank God for many Blessings received and more to come for all those I hold dear in the sanctuary of my heart, for HE is good.

IMG_1939There are also red and orange roses in our garden, but yellow is my favourite. The colour represents for me Christ Light,  the Sun, the Solar Plexus Chakra, Warmth, Happiness, Zest for living, Friendship, Power and WellBeing.

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~A colour I would choose to share with those I love and care for, my family and my friends and for you too~

 

 

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The Cat’s Tale

Do you ever wonder why we have pets, why we have a close affinity with animals? I believe we are given our pets by God to help us on our life path. They love us absolutely unconditionally, and the bond once formed with an animal can be so strong, so intense and life affirming. Love is Present. It breaks my heart when people are cruel or unkind to God’s creatures. There is no need for it.

It is really easy to love that cute little fur-ball of a kitten or a puppy. It is a lot harder to have the same ‘Ahh’ feeling for a tough old alley cat, but who is to say that a battered old bruiser is not just as deserving of a little TLC and respect?

I‘d like to tell you about one such Cat I met many years ago. His name was Charlie, he was the scourge of the neighbourhood. He was big and brawny and Charlie liked nothing more than to prowl around looking for a good fight.

Charlie was not a friendly cat. Although he had a home, he was originally a rescue cat, he was very much his own boss. His nature was much more alley cat than pampered pet. He had attacked other cats and dogs and he had even attacked people too. Often very viciously and I heard first hand how he managed to claw and draw blood from a lovely elderly lady who is known locally to be extremely kind to animals. Clarice needed hospital treatment for the wounds he inflicted, yet she never reported Charlie nor did she complain to his owner about his bad behaviour, choosing forgiveness instead of anger and resentment. Clarice told me his owner had enough of her own worries and there was no need to burden her further. She was a very wise woman.

My special pet is called Angel, she is just the most adorable fluffy white West Highland Terrier. She has a very loving nature and is a very sweet and friendly girl. Although Angel has a big bark inside our house, she is shy and timid outside.

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Angel and her favourite puppy dog plush toy

 

One day Angel was out walking with me, It is very green and pretty where we live. She was happily doing doggy things, like sniffing all those interesting scents from other pooches, cats and foxes. Out of nowhere Charlie sprang at her and tried to claw her down her back, she is a small Westie and at that time not long past her puppy days, and next to Angel Charlie was HUGE. Angel is my baby girl and no one and nothing will hurt her whilst I am around to love and protect her. So I reached down and scooped her into my arms and roared at Alfie ‘Leave her alone!’  I roared so loud my voice stunned him and he gave up on his ambush and slunk off into the bushes. Angel was very shook up and frightened and I was not best pleased with that cat. For the longest time when I saw him afterwards, one look from me and he just knew better than to mess with Angel again. Knowing she was safe, Angel just continued doing her doggy thing, sniffing all those deliciously enticing scents and not engaging with him.

A few weeks later, I was sat on the step in my front garden, hunkered down between our very tall hedges. Along the path comes Charlie. I was feeling very down about something. As is the way with life, all things pass, all is transitory and I no longer recall what had upset me although at the time it was important enough for me to seek solitude in nature. Charlie had (if cats can have such a thing!) a very ‘hang dog’ look about him. He wasn’t slinking along with his usual beligerant air.

I caught his eye and asked him ‘You not feeling so good either Charlie?’ He stood watching me, in that way cats have of staring into your eyes and deeply reading you. I dare say, cat owners have no secrets from them! And then something odd happened. In that instant I just knew everything about Charlie, why he was like he was and how his ‘old battered bruiser Tomcat’ exterior was just an overcoat wrapped around a lost boy who had a heart after all. He told me he had especially chosen his special human Courtney, the girl who had “rescued” him, because she was having a hard time in this game called life, and she had been battered and bruised by a lot of unkind people. He had come to show her she was worthy of love and devotion and that he enough  strength and courage to protect both of them.

He came over and gently rubbed his face against my leg and I stroked him under his chin. He sat there and purred a bit. I talked and Charlie listened and between us we gained a liking and a great deal of mutual respect for each other. When I needed a friend that day, God sent one along albeit he came in the strangest disguise!

Charlie and Courtney eventually moved on, where she went, he went. I know a well deserved and happier life awaited both of them.

I have long forgotten whatever had ailed me but even though he is long gone, I have never forgotten old Charlie the cat.

 

Thank you for reading! This is a true story although, apart from Angel, I have changed the names of the characters who appear in my little sharing:)

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I Knew These People…

 

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Ary Scheffer~”The Ghosts of Paolo and Francesca Appear to Dante and Virgil” ~Taken at the Wallace Collection

“I knew these people…once…It was a long time ago…”

She looked like she needed to talk, some fragmented ghost of a memory rattling around the caverns of her mind seeking to find a voice. So I pulled up a chair and sat down beside her and prepared to listen. After all, it is what I do. Listen. I listen a lot. People tell me things, always have. Seems to come from nowhere, the torrent of words, the secrets and the shames. I never judge. That is for the Man above not me.

A waiter came over. Smartly dressed with slicked back black hair, just a hint of grey kissing his temples and a smile that reached his rich brown eyes. I noted he was deferential without being subservient, in a very European way. I liked him and resolved to leave him a good tip. I saw he liked her, a lot. Did she like him? It was difficult to tell.  There was a story hiding behind his smile, but that would be for another time. Right now was her time. She had something to say and I had a strong intuition I needed to hear it.

I ordered a pot of English Breakfast Tea, toast and marmalade, “Make that for two, please,” I glanced at her and she nodded her approval at him.

“Très bon,” he rewarded us both with a smile, hiding just a soupçon of merriment. This man did not take life too seriously at all. He really was very handsome and as he walked away a delicious hint of citrus and spice lingered in the air.

“Mmm,” I sniffed appreciatively “Do I detect patchouli and sandalwood?”

“Indeed you do. Top notes and base notes. Quite enticing, isn’t it? Clive Christian 1872,” she replied with authority and I wondered if she was the one who had gifted him a very fine bottle of cologne.

We sat in comfortable companionship in the beautiful glass roofed Courtyard. Soft pink stucco walls wrapped the restaurant with the elegance of a bygone age.  She asked me if this was my first visit to the Wallace Collection.  I smiled and told her I often came here to Hertford House and take yet another admiring stroll through the sumptuous rooms of the museum, admiring the works of fine art, especially paintings depicting angels.  I told her my Mother had first brought me here as a little girl.

 

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A.-Victor Fontaine (fl. 1837-1884)
Ganet the Elder (fl. 1871 – 1883)

“Love Triumphant” ~Taken at the Wallace Collection

“Mummy are Angels just make believe or are they really real like the elves with their black patent shoes with big silver buckles and fairies with their gossamer wings in my big picture book?” I had made earnest enquiries.

“Indeed they are Evie,” Mummy had replied, “Would you like to see the lovely paintings of the Angels in Hertford House?  We shall look at suits of armour and you can see for yourself knights who protected princesses were very real too! We shall have tea and toast and yummy jam when we finish. ”

My Mother always had a special way of making the most magical things sound a natural part of everyday life. I missed her and gazing at my elegant companion momentarily wondered would Mummy have looked just like her if the sickness had not came and took her away much too soon. Would we be sitting here now recalling my delight at the moment I had gazed on the beautiful paintings of Lords and Ladies of long ago. Entranced by the many treasures housed in the Wallace Collection, I had moved from one sumptuous and ornate gallery to the next, each filled with armour, fine porcelain, ornate snuffboxes and gorgeous fireplaces and rococo chandeliers. And I had seen the Angels. And I had believed.

I saw I was under close scrutiny, “I like it here,” I told her, “ I like it a lot. It’s been a long love affair,” I said.

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Velázquez’s black veiled beauty “The Lady with a Fan” ~Taken at the Wallace Collection

She smiled and told me she loved it too, had been visiting the imposing Georgian house, standing proudly on London’s Manchester Square, for as long as she could remember. She said that she loved the Gainsborough’s and Fragonard’s. She smiled in appreciation as she divulged her favourite painting and said she found Scheffer’s “The Ghosts of Paolo and Francesca Appear to Dante and Virgil” hauntingly beautiful. She said it made her cry. She told me she hugely admired the serenity of Velázquez’s black veiled beauty “The Lady with a Fan” and shared she was intrigued by sculptures depicting veiled beauties. She wondered if Raffaele Monti’s emotive statuette truly depicted a Circassian slave? Perhaps, she postulated, she was truly free and her beautiful veiled countenance was an allegory for her seeing ‘beyond the veil’ into numinous realms. She said her name was Evelyn and she had a town house close by in Crawford Street, she was a Writer and she was glad of my company. A lot of words as one would expect, but not what she really needed to say.

I shivered involuntarily. Crawford Street was a place I knew well, having grown up in an elegant stucco fronted Georgian house. In different circumstances I would be living there now, but for the premature loss of my darling Mother. That house held many happy memories and I had vowed one day to return, that it would be my home again. Meeting Evelyn was proving to be more than a touch synchronistic.

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Raffale Monti~”Circassian Slave” ~Taken at the Wallace Collection

Our tea and toast arrived.

“Those people…?” I tried to engage her to take my mind away from wandering down dark avenues from the past.

I poured tea, fragrant with freshly pressed leaves, from a pewter pot into our cups and she added the milk and sugar. The toast was good. I ladled on rich yellow butter and a generous helping of deliciously bitter marmalade and as I savoured the flavours I waited for her to speak. You can have an intuition on what they may say, sometimes hear the words before they actually speak them. Then when they do speak, the emotions come in, sometimes softly flowing, sometimes a tidal wave. And I have it all hitting me, sometimes it’s hard to remain inscrutable, to just listen. But it is about them, not me, so they never know I have eyes that look into their distant pasts and possible futures, their right here, right now’s or just how much I know…

She was different. Looking at me quizzically with intelligent eyes, and with a start I realised she was reading me reading her. A feint smile. I winked at her, knowingly. We laughed conspiratorially.

Sunlight, delicately streaming through the glass roof caught her hair. Cool blonde with strands of silver pulled off her face by a black velvet band. A woman of a certain age, but what that age was I would be hard pressed to say. Quietly understated elegance. She wore pearl earrings. Beautiful pearls, soft as moonlight. I admired them.

“Indeed yes, they are beautiful. Tears from the moon.” Her eyes misted. I reached over and covered her hand with mine. A simple gesture, speaks more eloquently and deeply than words ever can. She had long slim fingers tipped with manicured nails varnished the colour of her pale pink pearls. Her hand was surprisingly cold.

“Those people…” I encouraged, knowing the earrings held the key to her story, as did love. Was it lost, unrequited, had her heart been broken or did she carry the heavy weight of human frailty having inflicted pain and hurt on another? I munched my toast waiting for her to reply. The toast here is really very good. My reward for patience just a flicker behind her grey eyes, a wry smile and the deafening sound of silence. Perhaps a guilty conscience lay behind her insouciance? I truly hoped not.

Suddenly I had a very strong desire to know and held her gaze searchingly. I saw the relief in her face as the waiter returned with a fresh pot of tea and she took the opportunity to slip her hand away from mine, the shutters were down. The moment had passed. I got she was uncomfortable with my touch, the warmth of another human reaching out to her. I wasn’t sure if she would tell me her story, or keep her secrets to be shared only with the ghost living in the caverns of her mind. With a start, I realised I could not read her, looking into her eyes all I saw was myself looking back, my pale pink pearls catching rainbows of light as the sun danced through the atrium.

She may well have a lifetime of stories to tell, but I was going to have to live them before Evelyn shared our secrets with me, Evie…

© Eily Nash 2016

~Thank you for reading “I Knew These People…” One of the supernatural tales from my latest book “Nightshades” available on AMAZON~

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Angel’s Garden

 

 

Angel is a rather small West Highland White Terrier, what she lacks in height she more than makes up for in the sweetest, sassiest personality and sheer bark power~I think that must be a Westie thing! Angel would like to invite you for walkies around our garden where we like to work and play, Thanks to Mother Nature and the very capable assistance of Mr Nash, it is rather lush & lovely:)

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We love sitting beneath our lovely big Beech tree we are inspired to write, reflect and wonder at the magic of nature all around us.

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Angel is very partial to  Grannie’s herbs! Here she is licking her lips after a little snackette of Oregano from under the Bamboo and Beech hedge 🙂

 Not all herbs are good for dogs, so Angel has chosen wisely as Oregano is good for Iron, B6 and Calcium. My poor baby girl has metal pins in both her back legs and this is a great addition to Grannie’s home cooking for her!

We love herbs and have quite a variety spread throughout the garden and in pots…LOTS of pots and as I find them, more are added all the time!

~ Angelica, Basil, Bay, Borage, Comfrey, Coriander,Curry leaf, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Hyslop, Jasmine, Lavender, Lovage, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Sorrel, Tarragon, Thyme ~

 

We get a LOT of different birds visiting from the tiny Wrens, Sparrows, Bullfinches to the Corvidae family of Crows, Magpies and occasional Rooks. There are always plenty of treats ready and waiting for everyone on the bird table! We are also blessed to have our family of Robins and super sweet little blue tits who live in the garden all year round alongside the ‘big girls’, the Wood Pigeons and their cousins the collared Doves. There are plenty of places to nest, I think I countered over 70 trees once~mostly lovely tall Blue Spruce!

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As the Sun goes to sleep, the night garden is illuminated by starlight. We watch the constellations, the transits of Venus and the Moon moving across the night sky. There may be the rustle of a fox and we hear Mr Owl, a lovely treat indeed!

Angel loves her garden, and snow is rather special, she romps through the flakes and becomes a giant snow ball! It sticks to her fur and her paws and after she has had her fun it is time to come indoors to be cleaned off, warmed up and given a tasty meal…

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Butterflies, Beetle and Bees love to visit, and when I buy local honey I wonder if the bees had stopped by our gorgeous PomPoms, The Alliums, for a tasty snack!

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Angel’s GrandPa has very green fingers, and our ‘rainbow’ garden is abundant with many treasures throughout the turning of the wheel of the year. We delight in the perfection of all God’s Holy creation and are indeed blessed to be surrounded by such beauty.

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We shall say bye bye now and hope you enjoyed your visit to Angel’s garden:)

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FIREBIRD

“It is time to rise again, My Winter Child…”

Here follows a tale of the alchemical nature of fire.

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The Phoenix rises towards the Sun in these glorious images from the 12th century manuscript “The Aberdeen Bestiary”

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The wild west wind blew and vicious branches scraped at the little lattice windows. Clawing, scratching trying to gain admittance into the warmth of the stone cottage. Ellis shivered, the howling sound unsettling her, it had a life of its own, nocturnal and numinous. Shades of an unseen creature only perceptible by its tortured screams. Ellis was slightly apprehensive at being all alone in Myrtle Cottage. Wrapping a brightly coloured mohair shawl tightly round her, more for comfort than warmth, she raced downstairs, somehow feeling that the heat of the fire would offer protection from the cacophony outside. However, the fire was out, she had slumbered longer than she realised. There was no warmth, just a pile of grey ashes. The wind began to howl once more and the pale moonlight was casting long shadows against the whitewashed stone walls. The feeling that a living, breathing entity was wrapping itself around the cottage grew, and Ellis began to feel her heart pump louder and louder, hearing the rapid heartbeats in her ears like tumultuous waves crashing upon a lonely shore. A loud screech shocked her, it was an Owl, but the fierceness of its call jangled her already shattered nerves even more.

“E l l i s…” distorted and carried on the wind as a wraith seeking a lost love. She started to sob, becoming tremulous and very afraid. Every fibre of her being acutely aware of being absolutely alone in the isolated little cottage. This morning, in the bright light of day, it have been so welcoming and warm, encompassing her in a sense of belonging. What madness had caused her to stay here, so far away from all that was familiar?
A loud and urgent “rat a tat” jolted through her awareness like an electric shock, it was the final straw in Ellis trying to keep it together. She let full reign to a primordial scream, as someone or something pummelled the thick wooden door from outside. Almost in slow motion the door was slowly being pushed open by God only knew what sort of phantasmagorical creature. The last thing Ellis recalled, as the room closed in around her, was a large and ominous dark shape lurching into the cottage. The creature was all black and came billowing through the door, a giant crow like bird, talons outstretched and sharp beak cawing and coming directly at her. Ellis fell heavily on the hard flagstone floor in a dead faint.

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My beautiful Firebird was made by stained glass artist Richard Pelham in Glastonbury

The smell of burning wood, pungent with incense stirred her senses, Frankincense mixed with traces of Spikenard, Benzoin, and Patchouli. Slowly opening her eyes Ellis was aware of smoke spiralling up the chimney, chased by flickering amber flames. Crackling and hissing from the resin scattered over the logs. The air hung heavy with the smell of the heady resins. The room felt warmer, calmer. She was aware of the comfort of cushions and the embrace of the mohair shawl. No longer on the hard flagstones, the comfortable big old couch was providing this safe haven. She did not question how she had arrived on the couch. All was in darkness save for the light of the fire, and as the flames took hold of the logs and kindling, Ellis was drawn to the pictures within the flames, watching them leaping, dancing billowing. The orange and red and gold, warming, calling… Seeing creatures leaping and dancing with abandon within their own world, the element of fire, tiny lizard like creatures-slithering and sliding, in and over and under the crackling logs. Looking closer, she saw they were paying particular attention to what looked like a green log. Leaning in to get a better view of their antics, Ellis was surprised to see what looked very much like an iridescent green egg. Reaching for the old cast iron poker, she gently nudged the egg. The little fire Salamanders scuttled into hiding under the logs, yet she knew they were watching, they too fascinated by the green egg nestling within the flames and smoke. With a start, Ellis saw a crack forming in the egg and the Salamanders, gathering courage came to pay close inspection, perhaps the strange hatchling was one of their own kind? Face glowing with pleasure, Ellis watching the little ones dance through the tongues of fire, welcoming the newcomer from the egg. The flames appeared to converge, the red and orange and gold merging as one giant flame, rushing up the chimney. The flame seemed to be taking on a solid form, more colours, blue, green, and purple, fusing into what very much looked like a face that rather disconcertingly was staring out at her!

Piercing eyes, sharp beak and wings, gloriously coloured, slowly unfurling. There was a squawk, piercing to her ears. Then fluttering and whooshing of air. The flame seemed to leap out at Ellis and frightened she drew back into the sanctuary of the big couch as the bird formed from fire, swooped from the hearth into the room. Its magnificent wings unfurled, flames extending out from the tips of the outstretched wings. The splendid creature hung numinous in the room, creating a brilliance that eradicated all the gloom. Then, fixing her with a steely stare the Firebird opened its beak and spoke…
“Ah Ellis…I have been reborn and come to tell you, child of the Winter Solstice, so shall you be…The path has been long and hard for you, but that life is dead and buried in the cold hard ground. You have been purified by the element of fire, and now it is time for you begin anew, such is the turn of the wheel as it moves from life to death and renewal…” The Firebird flexed his talons and continued “You are charged with being brave, for this way is not for the faint of heart nor those whose spirit is not of the Light. You, My Winter Child, will rise again triumphant, as a Firebird!”
A swirling multi-coloured spiral of energy filled the room, and as suddenly as he had arrived the Firebird was consumed back into the flames. Once more, the burning embers crackled and hissed, dancing flames playfully chased the smoke up the Chimney. Had she imaged it all?

By the flickering firelight, Ellis saw something glinting on the grey flagstones, curling smoke rising towards the low beamed ceilings. Slowly she got up from the safety of the couch to retrieve the strange, smouldering object and gingerly picked it up at the edges.
“Oh!” she gasped. In her hand dangled a perfectly formed Firebird, fashioned of stained glass with the molten glass newly set within a casing of silver. And as the firelight caught the radiant colours of the glass, Ellis marvelled that the Firebird was made many hues, red talons and beak, a body of green, neck of blue, a vibrant purple head and opalescent white eyes, the outstretched feathers on the wings graduated from red, orange and yellow. All colours beautifully aligned and balanced, and then she realised they were also the colours of the Chakras. The words of the Firebird hung delicately on the air…

“It is time to rise again, My Winter Child…”

THANK YOU FOR READING! The Firebird is an extract from Supernatural “Wychwood” published by EdenDene and available on Amazon, paperback & Kindle EBook 🙂

 

 

 

 

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The Sibyl Of Wychwood

The Sibyl~Is she a woman to be feted or feared?

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“Sibylla Palifera” ~Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1866-70)

They called her the Sibyl for she knew things, things she shouldn’t have known, couldn’t have known. She knew things about you that you did not want her to know, and she knew things you wanted to know. A look from those deeply knowing eyes, a beguiling mix of the blue of the sky and the green of the earth, would tell you she was different. And when she looked deeply into your eyes, you just knew she could see into the very well of your being, into your soul itself. She saw your light, your dark, those things you kept hidden from others and even those things you kept hidden from yourself. The Sibyl could see if you were wearing a mask and hiding your true self. She also knew if you were ill, and she knew the plants and herbs of the forest that would cure you and it was rumoured she knew those that could kill you too. When the Earth wore a mantle of winter she draped herself in a deep green velvet cloak, as if she had wrapped herself in the cold mossy ground upon which she walked and as summer sang its song, she wore a gossamer gown, pure and white as the light of the moon itself. Her hair was long, falling down her slender back, a blanket of darkest night. She wore the flowers of the meadow and leaves of the forest braided in a circlet around her head. As the wheel of the year unfolded, so she would honour the Great Mother with offerings from nature reverently placed on a small stone altar in her humble dwelling place.

How did she know what was in a man’s mind, heart and soul? How did she know how to cure and heal? It was whispered behind closed doors she had the ‘sight’, second sight. She was a Seer, for she also saw many things that were not of this world, those hidden occult things impenetrable to others. It was rumoured she conversed with wraiths of those beyond the veil and the spirits of the ancestors, and that she could conjure up unseen forces through rituals, incantations and spell weaving. She was an adept of the old ways, a mistress of the dark night. Aspects of the Maiden of the golden days, Mother and Crone found expression in this woman’s heart. Her deep love of the forest was repaid by the spirits of the trees and the elemental kingdom, who dwelt in the realm between this world and the next. They all knew her name, Phaedra, and she was beloved by them. Yet with all this seeming power the Sibyl chose to live alone, never courting fame or fortune. She understood her goddess given gift and knew these things to be transitory and not a true path to contentment, wholeness and happiness. She lived deep in the woods, and it was her home, sanctuary and her apothecary too.

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‘Magic circle” ~ John William Waterhouse (1886)

The Sibyl had the power of healing in her hands and the words she spoke to you and the way she looked at you. The magic of healing was also present in the potions and infusions she brewed in the thick cast iron black cauldron, bubbling away on the dancing eternal flames of a fire that never went out. It was said that she danced and sang by the light of the moon and casting all clothing from her body She would run and skip skyclad in pure abandon, around the dancing, leaping flames as exotic incense, fragrant and heady would fill the night air. In blissful trance, she would become one with the rich earth beneath her feet and the stars above her head. The Sibyl would chant a mystical incantation to draw down the moon and fill her body with the energies of the Earth and the Cosmos, eventually falling upon the ground in ecstasy with a wild cry of ‘Blessed Be!’ Her eyes shining bright and energy spent she lay before a clay statue of her goddess, The Morrigan, who’s likeness she had adorned with nine strands of her hair and crow feathers, both as black as night.

She dwelt beneath the Tor, a magical mound rising out of the low lying, still marshland of the Somerset levels. The land was bathed in a golden light, that the peoples of the West called it the Summerland. Her little Hamlet was named Wychwood. Around were a ring of hills, gently undulating, and curving in a protective circle watching over the Tor as it arose majestically skyward, bathed in an ethereal luminescence. This place held magic in the air and in the land. From the sky above the constellation of Aquarius glittered in celestial beauty, the story of Ganymede the beautiful youth, beloved by Zeus woven into the cloth of heaven.

But for all her selfless acts of kindness to the villagers, there were many who feared the Sibyl for they did not know her or understand her magical ways. In ignorance, they choose not to see her true nature, as one in tune with the natural world, and the intertwined and over lapping spiritual world that was integral to the natural world they shared.

There were rumours she performed the rites and rituals of the old heathen ways, long before the new religion came, and it was said she spoke sacrilegious words of a Mother Earth and Father Sky. All this made the villagers fearful for Sibyl’s path was lost in the mists of time.

For those who had not eyes to see, the Sibyls dwelling place was strange. She lived beneath an ancient oak, amid an avenue of powerful trees, it was said the Druids had planted them as a ceremonial route to the Holy Hill. The oak’s branches and leaves reached high into the sky, whilst its roots anchored deeply into the rich soil of the earth. The Sibyl knew the oak pulled energy for its life force from both earth and sky, and she honoured the wise teacher that was the spirit of the tree. The oak nurtured the Sibyl and grounded her, providing a connection to Gaia, Mother Earth. All she needed was right here in the shelter of the magnificent oak, with a little babbling stream providing crystal clear spring water. Whilst all around an abundance of nature’s pantry for her to feast upon, berries, apples, pears, nuts and herbs. For the sibyl, life was good and she felt blessed to have her place in the matrix of the Divine plan for all creation.

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“Night with her Train of Stars” ~Edward Robert Hughes (1912)

In the stillness of night, she would lay gazing at the star-studded sky. The Sibyl could hear far beyond the gentle rustling of the wind caressing the leaves to the music of the perpetual choirs, the choir of ambrosias intoning the music of the planetary spheres to the rhythm of the cosmos. He would come to her then, a man without form, a man of spirit. Gently he would stroke her face to let her know he was near. As she stilled her mind, the voice of the man would speak to her, and impart arcane knowledge and spiritual truths. Telling her tales of the mystery and magic of the old ways, and of ways yet to come. In visions, he showed her when he too had been upon the bountiful Earth. She saw her man as he lived his life, on the side of her beloved hill, a holy man named Peter, giving his life in service to the greater glory of the Creator. It was the holy man of spirit who led her to the plants and herbs. He showed her the way of them, those that could harm those that could heal. He also taught her to ask the plants to withdraw their energy, before she plucked their leaves, in order that she caused no harm, He taught her to leave gifts for the nature spirits for the bounty and blessings of natures’ larder. Deeply Phaedra loved her Holy Man of spirit, with a love that was pure and eternal. Peter watched over his beloved charge from the realms of ‘otherworld’. The growth of her eternal soul was most precious to him, for he had untaken to guide this life. It was with satisfaction he watched her blossom and bloom, taking her first hesitant steps along her healing path, and leaving behind the cruelties and hardships of her early years, and growing in compassion and love for all living things.

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‘Hero’ ~Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

He knew, though oft times it pained him, that the path to greatest growth was often strewn with rocks and thorns that would tear the flesh, and lacerate the soul. He knew that true healers were born out of adversary and forged in a foundry of pain. To be a healer was to be as Chiron the last Centaur, to heal others but unable to save oneself from the agonies of life and bear scars that scored deeply into a heart that loved too deeply and too much.

Phaedra gazed spellbound into the night sky Peter would bring alive the constellations from both Northern and Southern hemispheres and show her the magic of their stories. This was one of his many gifts to her alone, and the night sky held a rich tapestry of myth and fable. She saw wonders such as Chiron, who Peter had told her about, immortalized by the ancient Greeks as the constellation Sagittarius, the sign under which she had been born into this world on a bitterly cold November’s eve, when the snow was thick upon the ground. Chiron was a seer and a mystic healer, a Centaur apart from the others of his kind who sought revelry, drunkenness and sensual pleasures as distractions from any spiritual path. For in these ways of storytelling with the stars, Peter sought to imbue Phaedra with the knowledge that all pain and trials and tribulations were but transitory things. The true nature of self was Spirit, free, eternal, born from light. He brought her the gift of the Ourobous, that time was not a linear and the mind could travel where it will, in all directions and dimensions.

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‘Night’~Edward Robert Hughes (1851-1914)

Now in the village there lived one who wished to be as accomplished and adept in the magical arts as Phaedra the Sibyl. He wished to look through the veil to otherworld and see the unseen and to know the unknown. But his heart was black and he desired to know these things for power over others. He desired to know her secrets, and he watched her silently hidden in the shadows. But she had the gift and she knew he was near, and she saw inside his heart where his dark desires flamed and burned. He approached Phaedra, pleading, beguiling, and beseeching her to allow him to become her neophyte. But it was in vain and all to no avail. For to be a healer she instinctively knew one must be free of the illusions of the world. There was to be no self-glorification or exaltation. The power came from a Higher Source, gifted to the worthy. As it was given, so it could be taken. This was a truth she knew the man with the dark heart would never comprehend.

In anger, his fascination turned to thoughts of dark revenge. In his black heart, he resolved to betray her. If Phaedra would not allow him access to her arcane secrets, then she would pay the ultimate price. It came to pass that a plague was sweeping across the land, and the prayers of the priests were powerless to stop its rampage. In fear, it was whispered that those who practiced the magical arts were to blame. The people conjectured the practitioners had unleashed unwanted spirits and demons upon them, turning their minds to madness and the skins to rotting, putrefying flesh.

The jealous one had friends of influence. He knew that the authorities sought to appoint a Witch Finder General to transverse the land, seek and destroy those who walked a dark path. This cleanser of souls, this man of strength, was to show no mercy to the adepts of the dark arts. They were to be consumed by fires of holy righteousness. It did not take long for the black hearted one to secure the post. Sadly, in their ignorance the great and the good who had appointed him failed to see that the Witch Finder General was an agent for the darkness they sought to eradicate. The insidious darkness that ate away at the very fabric of their world.

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‘In The Orchard” ~František Dvořák (1912)

The soldiers came for her with pikes and muskets early one morning. It was in the early days of February, at Imbolc, the great fire festival dedicated to the maiden aspect of the goddess. The Witch Finder General gave his instructions to the compliant villagers to construct a funeral pyre. There was not one single voice to speak up for Phaedra. Not one of them would testify that there was no plague or illness in their Hamlet of Wychwood. The people and the animals were strong and healthy. The compliant villagers helped the soldiers bind their only healer to a stake. They ignited the dry kindling. The flames rose and licked hungrily at the dead timber. Thick black smoke, like serpents uncoiling ready to strike, twisted around Phaedra’s body.

Phaedra’s eyes were turned heavenward watching a Portent of Death materializing in the shape of a black cloud. The cloud began forming into the likeness of two powerful and immense Corvids, a raven and a crow. By her side, Peter stood invisible to all but Phaedra, transmitting love and purity to her in her hour of need. The sky grew darker and a tremendous thunder storm rent the sky with an almighty and fearsome anger. Wild streaks of lightening flashing fearsomely, the elements electrified. The earth and fire, the water and the air and the ethers roused in a terrible rage that their daughter was at the mercy of the baying crowd. In fear and abject terror, the crowd ran away. A charged fork of lightening ripped down to the earth, splitting the stake in two, and ripped the rope that bound Phaedra asunder, freeing her arms. The flames began to rise higher. Her beautiful eyes turned heavenward and Phaedra placed her hands in the prayer position over her heart. The Sibyls’ spirit rose gracefully from her body before the flames could touch her skin.

(c) William Morris Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

‘The Angel of Peace’~Walter Crane (1900)

The crow transmuted into the embodiment of the goddess Morrigan, who knelt at Phaedra’s feet in deepest sorrow. The powerful raven, swooped low and transfigured into the Angel of death, mighty wings outstretched. Phaedra was received into the waiting arms of Azrael, his great black wings enfolding her in Divine mercy and love. They began to ascend heavenwards. Phaedra looked down and saw the hungry, all-consuming flames engulf her human body in purifying fire. The fire used its power to transmute the barbs and daggers of venom and hate, fear, ridicule and superstition flung at her. Her frail body was now no more than an empty vessel and had become one with the fire. The body was becoming charred embers and ash, destined to return to the earth. It would now nurture the rich soil of Mother Earth, who had provided Phaedra in her lifetime with so much bounty and sustenance. The storm momentarily subsided. The clouds dispersed to reveal an azure blue sky. An intense and radiant ball of Light filled the sky and Phaedra and Azrael the Archangel seamlessly melded into the Light of Love. As the wild west wind blew, the words ‘Blessed Be’ poured a gentle benediction down onto the land beneath. Below, the villagers watched in shock and awe, as a magnificent crow took flight, circling and screeching overhead. The Morrigan swore vengeance upon their heads as she threw down a cauldron of retribution upon their shameful heads and returned whence she came, back to Otherworld. Then the rains came, a torrential angry downpour. The funeral pyre was extinguished leaving a fire pit that scorched the earth, leaving nothing remaining of the crime against an innocent soul but a bleak and desolate hole. The plague came full force upon the healthy villagers, a plague engendered from their own malicious and dreadful action against one who had done no wrong. There was no healer to tend to them, for in burning the ‘witch’ they dispensed with the only one with the knowledge of the forest that would have healed them. They had incurred the wrath of her goddess also, and The Morrigan’s curse was to be feared. The Witch Finder General rode out of the village, cursing it as he went, not knowing that the Morrigan had also touched him with the plague. She chose not to give him the easy route of the kiss of death, but to inflict him with a pox that ate away most of his once handsome face, damning him to be a figure of repulsion and hate. He spent the rest of his days hiding in the shadows. With no power and no acolytes, he was alone, penniless, homeless and friendless. Oft times he thought of the healing power held in the Sibyl’s hands and oft times with regret he bitterly rued the day he had given the order for her to burn on the funeral pyre. For there was none now who could cure his body. The Angel of Death, when he came calling, took the ravaged body but not his tormented Soul. That was doomed to eternally walk the earth alone.

~~~♥♥♥~~~

As the ages of man passed by, a spring bubbled up from the ground below and was fed by the sweet rains that filled the fire-pit with a pool of water, tinged with red. Some say it is caused by iron ore in the soil, others by the blood of the Sibyl. The pool is known for its healing properties, and many come, and drink from it and feel the presence of angels. For it is said the nature spirits watch over and bless the water. The Sprites dance and the Devas sing ‘Phaedra was her name…’ in homage to the Sibyl. All who partake of this water are blessed by its magical properties.

Beside the spring grew a Rowan tree. She gracefully wore white flowers in springtime, providing sweet sustenance for the bees. The setting sun of Autumn would find the Rowan adorning her delicate boughs with deep red berries. Her gift to fill the birds as harsh winter approached. It was said the white symbolized her purity of spirit and the red her blood. All around the little Rowan grew a hedgerow of Elder. It looked as if the Elder gently wrapped the Rowan in his protection. Some said it was Phaedra’s holy man, Peter, with its white flowers for his purity and purple black berries for his Divinity…To this day, it is a healing and holy place.

 

Thank you for reading this abridged version of “The Sibyl of Wychwood” ~a tale from my Supernatural novel “Wychwood” published by EdenDene Books and available on Amazon as paperback & Kindle EBook. 

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Heart Surgeon Dr Lucis Ferre is dashing and debonair and the answer to fragile Ellis Harwood’s dreams. She falls hopelessly under his spell only to realize things are not as they seem. The man she marries has a heart of darkness, forged in the foundry of his secret occult practices. On a harrowing winter’s night, the dream becomes a nightmare, and Ellis’ life is hanging by a thread. Deliverance from the evil doctor is close at hand. By a twist of fate, Ellis finds sanctuary at Myrtle Cottage in the Hamlet of Wychwood. Nestling in the shadow of Glastonbury Tor, It is a place where the veil between worlds is gossamer thin, and mystery and magic abound. Enigmatic country Doctor, Peter Cabot and his eccentric housekeeper, Hepzibah set about healing her battered body and bruised heart. But Lucis has unfinished business… Will Ellis allow Wychwood to weave its magic, or will she choose to go back to the evil Lucis…. A choice must be made…..

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Magic of the Bluebell Wood

Searching for a touch of magic and enchantment in your day?

Just follow your heart and Mother Nature will signpost your way 🙂

 

 

Come and see for yourself, as we take a walk through the magical bluebells woods!

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Each spring we visit the bluebells, they live in the woods beneath some very ancient trees.There is something quite magical about bluebell woods, you can sense the fey at play and hear the music of the tinkling blue bells dancing in the breeze.

I love to spend time here, to just be and connect with the natural world. Young saplings grow beside tall trees that have withstood all nature has thrown at them, their strong roots anchoring them deep into rich soil of Mother Earth. High in the branches the birds gather and gossip, bring news to the forest from places near and far. And with  gently rustling leaves, the trees signal their appreciation for knowledge of such things.

The trees that have stood tall through many years eventually lay down to sleep, and where once they provided shelter for birds and bats, now they are home to the beetles and bugs, providing warmth and nourishment and rich nutrients for the soil. Such is Nature’s way. Once created all things continue to exist, in one form or another. What is true of trees, is true of people too.

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The old dies away and makes way for the new…

The bluebell wood is indeed a magical place where Dryads and other Elementals of the Devic kingdom live, laugh, love and play, whilst the Guardians of the forest keep a close eye, silent sentinels offering their protection.

And here they are! A glorious carpet laid out on the woodland floor. Tread carefully on Gaia’s magical carpet!

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It is time to leave now, and as we continue on our path, we take nothing but the wisdom of the woods…in which, paradoxically we have taken everything.

 

Bright Blessings

Eily

 

Posted in MAGIC OF NATURE, Nature, NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY, PHOTOGRAPHY, Uncategorized, WRITING & BLOGGING | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

About The Boy

In which Angel meets a yummy boy and lets her aspirations of social elevation to the aristocracy go to her delectable head.
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Her Royal Pawness Princess Angel and loyal subject and servant Grannie!

 

Grannie, Oh Grannie… There is something I need from the shops. Can you pop out and get it for me, like right now, please!

‘What do you need that can’t wait, Pumpkin? I am rather busy on my latest manuscript ‘Gossamer Threads’ a collection of ghostly and gothic tales.’

Grannie, your manky old manuscript is not important. My shopping is important. If you hurry up and take the elevator, not the stairs, it should only take you three minutes to get there?

‘Get where, and for what? And why on earth would I want to walk down the stairs when we are on the 53rd floor penthouse???’

To Tiffany’s Grannie. I need a Tiara, like right now, Grannie! Go on, hurry up and get down there  before they close. And if it wasn’t a dire emergency, you really should take the stairs Grannie, then maybe you wouldn’t look like a big plush cushion. Just sayin’!!!

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Image Attribution MatthiasKabel on Wikimedia

‘Really Angel, that isn’t very nice is it?’

Well Grannie, you are not exactly being nice. In fact you are being mean. Very mean. This is important to me. If you loved me, you wouldn’t be stood there arguing when the clock is ticking the seconds away to closing time. Please Grannie, please. I really “Want, Need, Now” that Tiara!

‘Is it for your super exciting and glamorous event, we have time Pumpkin as that’s not until the end of this week?’

No, Grannie. You are wasting time, Grrr…

‘Unless you ‘fess up as to just why you have an urgent need for a Tiara, Angel, I won’t be going to Tiffany’s or anywhere else except back to my manuscript.

Oh. OK. I have a hot date with a hot boy!

‘What? another one???’

‘Grannie, you know there is only one boy for Moi….now go fetch my Tiara. Get me a gold one with some diamonds, rubies and emeralds. Oh, and some sapphires and maybe pearls too, that should do nicely.’

‘It must be with someone very special, Angel. Is it with your true love, your handsome Scottie boy, Hamish? I thought he was back home in England’s green and pleasant lands?’

Er…Nooo, not him.

‘Is it with Mason the Mastiff, the Hollywood Hottie you dated in last summer and confessed all in your last book ‘Angel in the City? After Hamish caught you out when all the World’s  News channels reported you had been caught skanking in the Hamptons?’

Er …Nooo, not Mason.

‘Is it with Mason’s twin brother, the intellectual Shaunessey? Remember you had a meeting of minds ‘thing’ with him and Hamish caught you when you made the cover of Time Magazine?’

Er …Nooo, not Shaunessey.

‘Is it with Teddy Hot Paws, the dapper little chap Hamish caught you skanking with just before you left for NYC and took his revenge by dating Kimbles that cheeky dog food model and boyfriend nabbing Biatch of a Bichon Frise?’

Er…Noooo, not Teddy.

‘Are you going to ‘fess up and tell me, Pumpkin?’

Granniiiieee….like no, no and no!!! None of them! If you are going to be mean I shan’t tell you that he is a Prince and I like the sound of Princess Angel. I like it much more than Pumpkin…Grrr…You are totally getting on My Paws, Grannie…Grrr…You are annoying me now…Grrr…Go get that Tiara from Tiffany’s before they close, and before I bite you…Grrr…and don’t tell Hamish, he may not understand about the boy!!!

Hmm…”Her most Royal, Regal, Highness, Princess Angel”…

Mmmm, my Lovelies, doesn’t that sound quite delicious…

Angel likes! Angel Loves! A lot!! And Angel also has a secret. I may well tell you who my mystery man is in our delicious “Shh…Secret Sharing Sessions” and all about our fated meeting in Central Park!

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We hope you enjoy this cheeky slice of Angel Cake…Find out what happens next by grabbing your own from

Amazon! Kindle & Paperback available like right now 🙂

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Angel is a diva dog who has it all, beauty, fame and a luxurious uptown life in Manhattan with her doting Grannie and Butler James attending to all her copious ‘want, need, nows!’. What more could a girl want? When Angel meets a super cute boy, who happens to be an incognito King, she realises there is something missing from her life, the royal title of H.R.H Princess Angel to be exact! When her royal suitor bestows tasty treats and offers more, Angel’s dreams of social elevation go to her head. Our girl is on a mission to nab herself a crown and a rather yummy cake. She isn’t about to let the little matter of a true love back home in England spoil her plans. But when old frenemy Kimbles the Bichon biatch arrives in New York, and a blast or two from the past reappear, life becomes “it’s complicated” and Angel finds she has more than a touch of trouble on her delectable paws. Mischief and mayhem ensue as Angel is determined to have her crown and wear it and have her cake and eat it! Join our girl on the couch in her fabulous Manhattan Penthouse as she candidly reveals all in her cosy secret sharing sessions, with you, her Lovelies!

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Cats Eyes

 

 

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“A cackle filled the air. The only reply was a vicious hiss from the black cat as it stepped out of the cloak on the floor, fixed him with  deep amber eyes and sauntered out of the door…”

 

When Favian looks to the dark arts to get what he deserves, Eliza is very happy to assist him…

The lone horseman cut a shadowy figure, barely visible threading his way through Sherrards Wood. The trail was overgrown and difficult for both man and beast to negotiate, especially as the weather had a mind to be unkind and inclement this winter’s eve. It was a night to be fireside with plates piled high with good food and fine wine served by comely wenches. He cursed vehemently as the cold rain began soaking through his opulent velvet cloak, the fur trim sticking uncomfortably to his skin. The north wind, having taken a dislike to the man, had a mind to torment him and screeched obscenities right back at him.

Unsettled by the strange shadows prowling through the trees and the howling wind Favian made haste.  He violently dug sharp spurs into his horse, urging it to break from its steady canter into a gallop. Almost expecting to see a pack of baying hellhounds giving chase he glanced over his shoulder, unaware the path was narrowing ahead. The hoot of a barn owl startled his steed, and spooked, it lurched to the left into dense undergrowth. The move was unexpected and before the man could gain control of the reins angry brambles scratched and tore at his noble face. Favian shouted at the horse as he felt a hot trickle of blood coursing down his cheek, rivulets of red running over his lips. The taste of iron was bitter and he spat in distaste, wiping his mouth with the back of his gloved hand. Savagely he used his whip on the animal’s flanks, blaming the innocent creature for his discomfort.

By the time Favian reached his destination he was in a foul mood. He would not have ventured out on such a night if it were not of such import.  Dismounting, he tied Ned his uncomplaining old horse to an ancient chestnut tree. There was no thought to the creature’s well being. It had been a long hard ride and food or water would have been welcome. There was none to be had. Instead the man reached deep inside his cavernous cloak searching for a comforting leather flagon filled with mead. Once he had seen to his needs and availed himself of a long draught of the sweet tasting and warming liquor he strode purposefully towards a dilapidated hovel. Standing forlornly within the forest clearing it was a far cry from the opulence within his father’s castle walls. A spiral of thin grey smoke rose up into the damp night air, whatever comfort it brought was carried away on the howling wind. The crackling of broken twigs caused the hairs to rise on his neck. For a moment he hesitated. A sense of foreboding came over him and he felt uncharacteristically afraid. Drawing in his breath and a dagger from his side and with feral eyes searching for hidden foes, he was on high alert. The skinny black cat that rushed by him was a huge relief and aiming a misplaced kick at the cat he laughed as it turned, arched its back and hissed. Another deep swig of the mead strengthened his conviction and he followed the creature towards the hovel. The cat was sat outside a weather beaten wooden door staring directly at him. Its amber eyes were penetrating and he had the uncomfortable feeling the creature was boring into his mind. He shook himself, he was not a fanciful man, it was only a cat not some phantasmagorical creature of the night the villagers spoke of in hushed and fearful tones. Favian was strong, and if not for an accident of birth as the second son of a nobleman he would be on the brink of becoming the most powerful Lord of the Manor in these parts. The cat was in his way. Favian did not like anything or anyone to stand in the way of what he wanted. Without a second thought he unsheathed his dagger and took aim.

His face clouded darkly at the thought of what might have been if it were not for his weakling of a brother. With only a matter of days, if not hours, before the Lord of the Manor breathed his last it would all fall into his unworthy hands. Favian spat in disgust at the thought of Florian, his pathetic sibling whom he had left sobbing at their aged Father’s deathbed inheriting everything. The heir should have been him. He was the man to own the castle and the lands far beyond its walls. He should be the one with men to command, swearing allegiance to no one but the King himself. He should be the one to marry Estella, the comely and virtuous maiden chosen for his brother’s bride. The thoughts burnt as raging coals in the furnace of his mind. It should have been him! He deserved no less. Life was unfair! His were the eyes that saw her first, the French beauty with flaxen hair wound and bound around her proud head and dancing eyes of cobalt blue. He had shown his devotion to her on the jousting field. Yet she had spurned his ardent displays of valour in favour of his weak sibling. How could she prefer Florian’s vapid utterings of courtly love, serenading her with the songs of the Troubadours, to his manly valour?

As his Father’s second son arrangements had already been made for him to enter the church. His future mapped out for him, a future he did not want. It was not what he deserved. A future life as an Abbot was not to his taste, something had to be done and it had to be done now, before it was too late. The hovel before him held the solution. He had come this far and now there was no going back.

He seethed recalling the scene that had become etched in agonies of jealousy upon his mind, robbing him of sleep and peaceful repose. Florian and Estella locked in a tight embrace beneath the eastern tower, whilst he remained unseen listening from a window above.

‘Ah Estella, my heart aches for Father and his plight. I fear the days to come. If there were another way I would keep my brother close, but I have seen the darkness growing in his jealous heart. He would see me join our Father in death’s embrace and take you to his side!’

‘Fear not, my beloved Florian, for I will be forever at your side, two hearts entwined as one. Favian has a cruel and vindictive streak.  The powers that be would not allow for him to become the next Lord of this Manor. If ever two brothers were so different! One of you pure heart, the other with a heart as black as night. He would not rule with wise council and grace, as you will my love.’

‘He does not want to enter the confines of the church, but Father and I decided he is far too brutal to take on the auspices of Knighthood.’

‘Chivalry is not in his dark nature, Florian. The church may well prove safe haven for his eternal soul. Come my love, let us return to your Father’s side. Eliza has brought me a potion of Meadowsweet and Wood Sorrell she prepared in the herborium to aid him in his hour of need.’

‘You are indeed blessed to have her as your handmaiden for she comes to you with many talents born of an ancient lineage, my love. Those amber eyes of hers hold much knowledge.’

‘Indeed Florian, for one so young she is well versed in the old ways, which are always useful in dangerous times such as these.’

Hand in hand they had walked back into the castle and to his Father’s bedchamber.

With a sense of urgency Florian sought out Eliza…

FLA

The interior of the hovel was dark, lit by a single stumpy candle formed from tallow, and it took Favian a moment or two to acclimatize to the gloom. The tallow smelt acrid and unpleasant and he sniffed in distain. A creak drew his attention and he made out the shape of a crumpled old woman sat fireside upon a wooden stool. She was wrapped in a thick woollen shawl over a dirty black skirt. Her feet were bare and coated in the grime of the forest floor. The cat was nowhere to be seen, despite having evaded his dagger and run through the door which had creaked open seconds before Favian had made his unceremonious entrance. A sudden movement and the fire sprang into life casting a low glow. A blackened pot hung on a hook above the grate. Burning embers added much needed illumination to the pitifully poor interior. It was almost threadbare apart from a rocking chair and a trestle table laden with jars of potions and bunches of dried herbs and flowers. The old woman broke into an unexpectedly raucous cackle and the cavern of her mouth gawped open exposing a few rotten teeth within her wizened maw. Her face was lined and wrinkled by the ravages of time and strands of straggly white hair covered her eyes.

‘What can I do for you good Sir Favian?’ Her polite enquiry was laced with sarcasm.

‘Eliza sent me,’ he stated starkly, not questioning she knew who he was.

‘Oh.’ There was no surprise in the voice that answered.

‘Eliza told me you practice the Arts.’

‘What Arts would they be? What would an old woman such as myself know of Arts? I live a humble life, living of the land and grateful for the charity of those good of heart.’

‘Pah! Don’t play with me old woman,’ he menacingly bent his large frame into her frail body. ‘It is said by those superstitious villagers that you are an adept of the dark arts.’

‘It would be very foolish to claim such powers. You know what villagers are like with their silly gossip about witchcraft and the like.’ She left her words hanging coldly between them.

‘Eliza is not given to gossip. That girl knows things!’

‘Aye, she may well do so Sir Favian, but I dare say what she knows she shares only with those she trusts within your Father’s walls and keeps her own counsel.’

‘And she did too, until I beat it out of her!’ he spat in frustration.

The old woman responded icily ‘did you indeed? Was there any need for that? Eliza has been a true and loyal maidservant to the Lady Estella and your noble family. I hear you tried to make good use of both those fair ladies yourself. I hear your Father has made provisions for you to enter the Church.’ Her voice was loaded with contempt.

Favian clenched his fists, face red with rage. He would have swung for the helpless old woman, but he needed her. His eyes grew cold and he resolved once he had what he had come for she would get what she rightly deserved for such insolence. They burnt witches and no one would doubt his testimony the old hag had put a spell on his brother causing him a quick and painful death. He smiled at the thought of all his plans coming to fruition. With his Father dying, his brother dead and the Manor all but his nothing would prevent him taking the lady Estella for his wife. And as for the comely Eliza, there would be no one to protect her and keep him from her bedchamber now. It would not be long until he got just what he rightly deserved.

‘A man in my position gets what he deserves, and more, that is why I am here and you will help me get what is rightfully mine.’ He crouched down low and grabbed the old woman’s wrists in a vice like grip. ‘Eliza said you practice the dark Arts. She said you were the only one who could give me what I deserve, and give it to me you will!’

‘Unhand me and tell me what it is you want, I will not be able to practice the Arts you speak of with broken hands.’

‘I want control of the Manor and all the land and villagers. The old Lord is on his deathbed and I should be his heir.’

‘Does not his Lordship have a firstborn son, your brother? You are but a second son, the right of title will not pass to you.’

‘Aye, what you say is true, but with less than a year between us my brother is everything I am not. He is weak and his support for King Stephen over the Empress Maude could loose us everything in these dangerous times. As Lord of the manor I will pledge allegiance to Maude and her cause. I will receive great riches and rewards for my loyalty!’

‘There are many in these parts would call that treachery Sir. King Stephen is the rightful heir and his support is strong. You could loose everything, The King is not a forgiving man, so it is said. But how can I help with such matters?’

‘You were the one taught Eliza the power of potions. I need such a potion. I need something to remove the obstacles in my path to my destiny. I need what I deserve and I need it now, tonight!’

‘Then why did you not ask Eliza for such a potion?’

‘She said her skills were in healing and removing those things that ail a body. I beat the truth out of her, she sent me here to get what I deserve from one practised in the old ways and the dark Arts. I am done conversing with you old woman; give me what I ask for. I will have what I rightfully deserve before day break.’

‘Hmm. Indeed I shall use my Arts to give you what you deserve, Sir Favian. If it is your will and you so desire it, then confirm your intent and it shall be so, but I warn you once the spell has been cast to give you what you rightfully deserve there will be no going back. Death will occur and what has been engendered cannot be undone.’

‘I do desire it.’

The old woman stood up and walked over to the trestle table. Carefully she rooted through the bottles and herbs. Selecting those she required she returned to the fire. There are indeed herbs that heal and there are also herbs that harm. Throwing sprigs of henbane onto the fire, she began chanting arcane words. The fire began to spit and growl as angry flames grew higher.

Favian stood before it lapping up the warmth, satisfied it had begun. The chanting grew more urgent and the flames intensified.

‘Are you sure I should continue?’ she asked.

‘Do it!’ he replied excitement of what would rightfully be his consuming him.

The old woman opened a vial of a foul smelling liquid and cast it onto the fire, her woollen cloak slipped to the floor. She did not look frail now. Her hair was no longer white, but a blanket of black cascading down her back. Through billowing smoke he could just about make out her shape as she stood tall and proud. As she added more herbs and resins, the smoke cleared. Favian saw her eyes for the first time. Luminous, deep amber eyes. Eliza’s eyes. Shocked he blinked and she was gone. With a roar, flames of blue and gold chased red sparks up the chimney. Favian gave a gasp, it seemed as if the gates of hell were opening. Fire and brimstones spewed out into the room and began encircling him. In fear he cried for it to stop. A cackle filled the air. The only reply was a vicious hiss from the black cat as it stepped out of the cloak on the floor, fixed him with deep amber eyes and sauntered out of the door.

~Thank you for reading my cautionary tale of witchery from my latest book~

“NIGHTSHADES” ~A Collection of Ghostly & Gothic Tales

 

Available on Amazon on Kindle & paperback

 

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Beyond

I am very excited to welcome a special guest author to “Gossamer Threads” and I hope you enjoy the first instalment of a Sci-Fi Series by my beautiful boy, Ryan Nash, aged 13 🙂

♠Beyond♠

There is us, the human race, the only place we could  live is on Earth or so we thought. Lately scientists are developing a space shuttle capable of travelling way beyond our solar system. Giving the human race the chance to dramatically evolve to their full potential. The launch of this craft is due to take off next Sunday on 1st January 2035. Since the economy crash of 2020 technology has evolved to become more advanced than scientists previously predicted in 2005 as we begin to evolve.

By the time Sunday came, everyone was ecstatic and filled with joy to see the first shuttle launch since 2010. The shuttle was very big and holographic; it has huge thrusters and looked ascetically pleasing. Shortly after admiring the beast of a shuttle it was the decisive moment the time to make history. The count-down began 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 and off it went, accelerating faster and faster, through the sky before becoming no more than a faint red dot in the sky and disappearing into the beyond.

Meanwhile on the space shuttle the crew were preparing to go into hyper drive propelling them light years away from the milky way within minuets. Their mission was exploration and investigation. Their mission would take the crew about 1 year, hopefully returning home by New Year’s Eve 2036. Quickly the engines on the shuttle power up to hyper drive and within a blink of an eye the shuttle was hurtling into the unknown.

As the engines came out of hyper drive to the slow hum of the engines whirling down, the crew were amazed to see bright and vibrant colours and some colours that they never even  knew of their existence. The Beyond was truly an amazing place populated by different planets; a strangely coloured smallish purple planet, a large green planet and an extra large blue planet with 12 moons!

“This is amazing,” one of the crew members said as another took a photo of the new planets with their phone. Space in this new solar system was not like the black dullness back in our home solar system, instead it was alive with vibrant and pinkie blue tones. It made the solar system look more friendly and cute.

“Okay, enough lolly gagging and admiring the planets, now lets go and explore and investigate these new planets.”

The large shuttle slowly approached the small green planet. Once the shuttle had landed the crew members disembarked the shuttle to explore and collect samples form the planet’s surface. The crew called the planet Dormarous. As the doors on the shuttle open, the crew take their first steps on Dormarous. The planet seemed like earth, but as if they were in a rain forest.

“Interesting,” one of the crew members observed. “What?” another said, “The Eco system is exactly like Earth, we can breath this air, in-fact the oxygen here is purer that the oxygen on earth!”

Surprised the crew slowly  remove their large metal helmets and took their first breathes. The place the crew discovered is not like any other known solar system, for the crew had found a self aware solar system,  populated by self aware planets, suns, moons and stars.

As the crew of the shuttle were taking samples,  one crew member dug a soil sample from the ground when there was a  tremor beneath their feet. The crew member had just hurt Dormarous! At first the crew just thought it was a short anomaly nothing more than a mini quake. But it soon became apparent that it wasn’t a coincidence, but a known fact that every time a crew member stuck a metal object into the ground there would be a mini quake.

“That’s weird,” one crew member remarked.

“What is?” another enquired.

“It seems that every time I poke the ground it causes a mini quake!”

The crew member was right! In  fact it was unsettling creepy that the planet could feel pain and the crew wondered if they could do more things to the planet, make it feel emotions. But how would the crew be able to accomplish something like this? The crew could never  have imagined that they would encounter something so bizarre or something as strange as this.

The crew returned to the shuttle to collect some equipment and electronics to further test the question ‘Does the planet feel like any other sentient being?’ As strange as it is, the crew were very creative in how they tested this theory. The first test had already been completed and  results had strongly indicated that the planet may indeed feel pain. One of the crew members documented the events that had taken place on their time on the strange planet they named Dormarous, while the rest of the crew were trying to test the theory ‘Could the planet feel anger and depression?’ Their first attempt went as a fail. The crew tried shouting at the planet, but nothing happened. Then the crew started arguing with each other about what they were going to do to be able to make the planet feel other emotions. Just as they were arguing, the planet started to violently shake and the equipment started to go off the charts with 7.9 magnitude quakes. Right at that moment the quakes ended, a deep loud voice shouted ‘SILENCE!’ Shocking the whole crew.

The crew became increasingly concerned about their safety.

‘DON’T YOU PEOPLE HAVE ANY SANITY!’ The planet Dormarous asked incredulously.

One crew member shouted out ‘Who are you what do you want from us?’

In reply the planet Dormarous continued to speak ‘WHY ARE YOU BEINGS SO DECEPTIVE AND CONNIVING?’

‘Us conniving and deceptive?’ One crew member responded indignantly.

Dormarous started to become angry and more agitated and annoyed. ‘THAT’S IT! I’VE HAD ENOUGH!’

Suddenly a hole opened up and devoured the shuttle craft.

‘TO GET THE SHUTTLE BACK YOU WILL HAVE TO PASS A SERIES OF TESTS TO PROVE TO ME THAT YOU ARE WORHTY TO BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE! PROVE TO ME YOU ARE ALL WORTHY AND YOU WILL GET YOUR SHUTTLE BACK AND ALL BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE IN PEACE. KNOW THIS, FAILURE FOR ONE IS FAILURE FOR ALL AND  THERE WILL  BE DIRE CONSEQUENCES FOR FAILURE, TO SPEND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE ON THIS PLANET AND DIE HERE OR TO DIE IMMEDIATELY, YOUR FATE IS NOW IN YOUR HANDS. CHOOSE WISELY AND BE CAREFUL.’

To be continued….

A Sci-Fi series by Ryan Nash

 

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Nightshades

NIGHTSHADES

~My supernatural tales are on Kindle now!~

nightshades

Ghostly and Gothic Tales from Past and Present… Does the touch of darkness illuminate the light within…

Angel of the North: A beguiling stranger offers Cassie a miraculous solution to all her problems, will she accept his help?

Candlenight: On All Hallows Eve the Souls of the dead walk among men and Lady Leonora has unfinished business.

Requiem for Love: A lost soul laments her true love.

Edge of Darkness: Johanna choses to ‘dance with the devil’ when she takes up with Nick Mephistopheles only to find there is a price to pay… Nick wants to own her, body and soul.

Stairway to Hell: Ellis has escaped the devil’s lair when the strains of a melancholy mandolin send her hurtling back to darkness.

Cats Eyes: Favian looks to the dark arts to get what he deserves. Eliza is very happy to assist him…

An Angel Calls: A woman lays with her life and soul in the balance, is there redemption from the demon of addiction?

The Bower: With her Knight in shining armour fighting in the crusades, Lady Perdita, alone in England’s green and pleasant land, is forced to defend the honour of the man she loves.

Beguiled by Beauty: ‘I am an actress,’ she said, ‘A weaver of dreams and a maker of magic!’ Maude beguiles a married man. Will he betray his wife?

I Knew These People: “They are beautiful. Tears from the moon.” When Evie admires a pair of pearl earrings she is unaware they hold the key to a secret.

 

 

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Written in the Stars

edwrad-rober-hughes_night

Night by Edward Robert Hughes

 

Come to me, my own True Love

I will show you wonders above

Behold! Diamonds of Celestial Light

Cast upon a blanket of darkest night

A story of Love begins to unfold

An ancient tale once more told

For you and I, my Own True Love

Are written in the stars above❤

 

Eily Nash 2016 ~for my Husband

 

 

 

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Clandestine Coffee

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Image by Eily Nash

A cautionary tale of Dapper Dan and my  timely escape from becoming his reluctant muse…A true story…

….I was taking a little trip down memory lane and thinking about the many times I have accidentally got myself in trouble through misplaced kindness.

‘How could kindness cause trouble?’ I hear you ask.

‘Intentions being at odds with expectations,’ is the answer, I guess. One person intends one thing, the other expects something else…as was the case with my accidental ‘clandestine coffee date’ with dapper Dan…

It is hard to resist a cute dog out walkies with their human. Teddy the little Yorkshire Terrier was a handsome boy and very engaging with it, he knew just how to get attention. I would stop and fuss over him and pass a few words with the man attached to his lead. Eventually the dog died and I didn’t see Dan anymore.

Then one day I bump into him  and have a little catch up chat. I should have remembered that dogs and their owners are often similar in temperament, the late lamented Teddy could wrap any female in a five mile radius around his cute little paws. Dan tells me he is lonely. He tells me his long term live in girlfriend left him. He says he misses company.

I reassure him that he is a fine looking gentleman, well dressed and well kept and has such a charming manner that he will certainly meet a lovely new lady.

He says he likes to go to town in the mornings to sit and have his coffee and just watch the world go by and it would be nice, just once, to sit with someone. He has spun such a tale of woe that by now I am feeling so sorry for him and offer to buy him a coffee and watch the world go by with him for a while. I arrange to meet him at Costa coffee at 11am. He brightens considerably and we go our separate ways.

I go home to my lovely husband. When he asks me what I am up to the next day I tell him about my latest act of kindness, my coffee morning with a lonely gentleman. He looks a bit dubious, but says nothing…BUT says he will meet me afterwards at around 12ish and to keep my phone on. So all is good and next day off I trot to do my good deed 🙂

I rock up at Costa and  Dan is sat, dapper as ever, just as he said watching the world go by with his drink in his hand. I buy me one and him another. We are chatting away and it’s just like having coffee like with the girls…or so I think…

I tell him I am writing and have finished a book. He seems interested. I tell him I like witchy things, his eyes glaze and he rapidly looses interest. He starts talking about himself. He doesn’t stop. He tells me art is his hobby and he belongs to the local art club   and that he has had work in their exhibitions.

‘Oh how wonderful! How impressive!’ I enthuse, from what he has said he doesn’t get much encouragement and I am on my mission to brighten his lonely day whilst enjoying a yummy Flat White.

His gaze travelled over my rather fetching and well stuffed co-ordinated outfit of lime green T-Shirt and skinny jeans. In the interests of honesty I have to ‘fess up that channelling a plump caterpillar was not a good look, all the same he took in a rather too long and appreciative glance of what my friend Angelica calls my ‘assets’ I am thinking he didn’t need any encouragement after all…O’er…and well, Ewww…

‘Yes, indeed, the nude life models are my thing! Why don’t you call around to my place, I am more than happy to show you all my work, day or night, in fact, anytime at all. I am always on the lookout for my next muse, Eily My Dear.’

It is fair to say by this stage that one was not amused to be his considered his unlikely muse! I almost broke out in a cold sweat envisaging the lecherous Lothario immortalising me in oil.

My mind went into overdrive…O’er what if I ended up imitating the lush lovely in Luis Ricardo Falero’s ‘The Witches Sabbath’. Dunno how I would have explained that to Mr Nash 😦

Oblivious to my obvious discomfort Dan tells me just how much he is missing female company. He tells me just how much he admires the female form. He tells me his Lady left him ‘cos of his cheating. But he is now over her as he has a new interest…Hmmm…

The penny is slowly dropping. Time for evasive action methinks.

Saved by the ringtone! Hubby calls.

‘Yakety yak yak…’

‘Yes Darling, I’m just finishing coffee with Dan, see you at the fountain in 5 minutes.’

An incredulous stare from across the table.

‘That’s my husband,’ says I,  ‘sorry I shall have to fly!’

‘Your husband??? You TOLD him you are out with me???’

‘Errr…yes. And? He likes to know where I am! Sorry he can’t join us BUT I have an urgent need to join him, like right NOW!’ I prepare to take flight, and not on my broomstick.

So now Dan is looking at me like I have just invited him to a swinger party. At the speed of light the reason for our coffee dawns on me. Open mouth I gasp ‘Surely, you didn’t think we were on a date???’ This was not my expectation!

The look I got back said it all. His dishonourable intentions were clear!

Shocked, I made my excuses and left. I never went for coffee with him or any other ‘gentleman’ again…

My very wise husband cried laughing. ‘Is art the new come up and see my etchings line?-that will teach you young lady about going on coffee dates with other men!’ says he gleefully.

Was he jealous of my accidental clandestine meeting with dapper Dan? No…not at all…After all he was an octogenarian! Mind you he didn’t look too bad for an old boy of 80…

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Wine of Desire

1835_Ary_Scheffer_-_The_Ghosts_of_Paolo_and_Francesca_Appear_to_Dante_and_Virgil

1985-Ary Sceffer The Ghosts of Paolo and Francesca appear to Dante & Virgil

By the light of a fire burning bright

The Lady sought love in the night

Desire ignited within her dark eyes

She went to him with innocent guise

In his chamber her Lord did wait

With his black heart full of hate

After Hearts and bodies did entwine

He gave her a goblet of ruby wine

The venom brought her to the floor

He told his wife he loved her no more

It was another who set him aflame

He was callous and without shame

As the poisoned wine her life did take

A final promise she did make

Beyond the grave, his cruel crime

He would rue until the end of time

♥~♥~♥

Eily Nash 2015

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She walks in Beauty…

In which the Muse is upon Angel as she channels Lord Byron and exposes Grannie as a love cheat along the way!

ANGEL CAKE

“Beauty, thy name is Angel… “

‘Oh is that by a famous poet?’ You may solicitously inquire, my Lovelies.

Hmm…It is indeed by someone famous, but not a poet. Someone who, dare I say, may well be a Literary Genius! Have you guessed??? Who comes to mind??? Clever you! Yes…It is by Moi, and it is all about Moi…Who else?! Now you and I, and all the World know I am indeed beautiful, so why am I penning the obvious?!! ‘Cos I can, My Lovelies…I Am The Paws! And like the first canine, like ever, to be a real Author…How cool is that??? No need to answer My Lovelies, the question is purely rhetorical. It is more cool than a polar bear in Ray Bans sunbathing on an iceberg.

‘How did you discover your talent for poetry?’ you may well further solicitously ask me, my Lovelies.

Well it was all because of Grannie skanking with a famous poet and threatening my family security and also our shopping trip to Nieman Marcus…Read on…time for another of our little “Shh…secret sharing sessions”

It was the day after the whole debacle with GrandPa and the floozie that turned out to be an annual herb, and my abandoned date with that Angel cake and Krios at the Loeb boathouse restaurant in Central Park. Grannie was trying to make things up to me and we were chilling with smoked salmon and cream cheese blinis and chilled Chardonnay in our Penthouse. I was trying to talk to Grannie about something really important. Shopping. But she just wasn’t listening and she had this really stoopid mushy, faraway look on her face. She was muttering something about ‘his words being soooo sublime and how blessed she was to have her perfect man.’ Hmmm…who was this geezer she was ranting on about and more importantly did my G.G.P (Grumpy GrandPa) know? and if not, why not…So in the interests of family unity, getting my own back and shopping, I did the right thing. I once again Face Timed him back home in in England’s green and pleasant land from my Apple iPad in the big Apple.

‘GrandPa, listen up, I need to snitch on Grannie, Erm, I mean tell you something…this is very serious….Grotty Grannie has another man and he has been sending her love letters!’ I solicitously informed him.

‘Grooouuumppphhhh…W.T.F? Didn’t you cause enough trouble yesterday, you little Minx!’ He eloquently answered as he choked on his Gordon’s and tonic. Obviously having had one or ten too many. Just sayin’ G.G.P!

Funny how I got the blame for what was patently not my fault. I decided to be the bigger dog, which is no mean feat when you are less than a foot tall, and ignore his accusation. This matter was way to important for pettiness. Direct action was called for. Westies are renowned for our feisty and fearless disposition, so ignoring his apparent discomfort, I proceeded with my expose of my manky, home wrecking and cheating Grannie.

‘See for yourself!’ says I, turning the camera on naughty Grannie as she sat, eyes glazed, reading some tosh from a card with a pink love heart and red roses on it.

‘What are you reading Grannie?’ I cleverly asked, my suspicion it was a missive from her mystery man was confirmed as she spouted…

‘She walks in beauty, like the night…’ sigh...

‘And all that’s best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and her eyes: 

Thus mellow’d to that tender light which heaven to gaudy day denies…’ sigh…

‘One shade the more, one ray the less, had half impaired the nameless grace which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o’er her face;

 Where thoughts serenely sweet express how pure, how dear their dwelling-place.’ Mega deep sigh

‘And on that cheek, and o’er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent!’

Even deeper sigh. Eww. Humphhh…I’d hardly call Grannie’s black and shameless heart innocent, and I was sure G.G.P wouldn’t either!

‘See and hear for yourself G.G.P! Grannie is far from innocent and that geezer’s barely literate…’ I was triumphant! Grannie was caught cheating and totally unaware G.G.P was witnessing her bare faced skanking! That will teach her to ignore Moi when I need to go shopping…

‘Angel….You Minx!!!’ My ingrate of a GrandPa shouted at Moi. This was getting to be a bad habit.

Then Grannie’s phone rang. Then my Oldies had a very loooonggggg convo about Moi. Then unbelievably, and unfairly they both said I am so totally grounded. Again. Porquoi???

Hurrumphh. Who Knew???? The manky card was from him to her. Erm, it seems they had a thing called an anniversary. Seems she likes poetry. Seems she likes this geezer called Byron. But it is OK. He’s dead. G.G.P has nothing to worry about and neither do I, apart from getting down to Fifth Avenue pronto…I need to get ungrounded like right now. Hmm, I have a little idea! If some rubbishy old poet has that effect on my Grannie, then I definitely can do better. Neiman Marcus have some lovely Loro Piana scarfs in. I like them. They look good on Moi. I need Grannie to grab her Amex and  buy me a nice Jardin Berbere cashmere one, a mere snip at about $2,000 before they sell out…I want to look good when I finally get my paws on that Angel cake and manage to keep a royal date with Krios. So I have penned this just for her, I think she will be impressed to be immortalised in verse, and more than happy to flash the cash for Moi, don’t you?

She walks in shadows of the night

It’s really best she avoids the light

‘Cos her gaudy mush is a right sight

It ‘d give ole  Frankie Stein a fright!

Angel Cake available on Amazon!

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The Lost Princess

Jen

My beautiful Princess, Jennifer Norman~Mummy Loves you

Once upon a Time, (as all self-respecting fairy tales start), a beautiful Princess named Rowena was trying to find her way through the forest. She thought she had become lost, and she panicked to be alone so far from home. As she neared a clearing in the forest she was delighted to see a fine Knight upon a fine horse. The sun was glistening on his amour and he was a dazzling sight. He introduced himself as Prince Tarnish.

The gallant Knight offered her his hand, and pulled Rowena up behind him onto the magnificent steed. And as is generally the way in these matters they rode off into the sunset. The Princess greatly anticipating the happy ending she had been sold with her Prince. Eventually, after a bumpy ride they arrived at the Knight’s castle. Once again, the bright light of the sun dazzled the Princess and she was unaware of her surroundings or where the Knight had brought her to, a fortified castle in the Land of Mendacity. She was so very tired after the long journey. Night fell.

Awaking from a fitful sleep, she opened her eyes and was bathed in pale daylight filtering through the window. With surprise she noted the window had iron bars. Why would such a beautiful castle need such things, what was to be kept out, or who was to be kept in? Peering through the thick black iron bars, which greatly restricted her view of the wide and wondrous world beyond, the Princess saw her Knight, Prince Tarnish. He was preparing to mount his trusty steed and ride out in pursuit of adventure, after all, isn’t that what Knights do? Rescue fair damsels and slay dragons.

In the cold light of day, the Princess saw that the Knight’s amour was not the dazzling white she had first seen. No, it was tarnished in many places. With blinding intuition she realized the Knight had no interest in slaying dragons, for they would be a formidable foe (and also put up one hell of a fight). This Knight sought out tender and pure hearts to run his gauntlet. Hearts he intended to batter with his spiked lances, and just for good measure pierce with the cold steel of his sword. For the pure of heart knew not of his treacherous traps. She also saw an image in her minds’ eye of the Knight. He was sitting astride his mighty horse, whilst she tried to wipe the tarnish from his amour, with the beautiful fabric of her luxurious and dazzling raiment. The Princess valiantly hoped she would be able to shine his amour so brightly that once again it would gleam as if the heart of the sun blazed out from the core of his very being. With deep sorrow, she saw that she was unable to polish the Knights amour, the tarnish was too ingrained. Worse, the beautiful, iridescent clothes that made up her attire were becoming rags. Torn, tattered and shredded beyond recognition with the fruitless effort. The Knight chose not to notice such trifles, and he did not provide his Princess with new garments befitting her royal status. She began to wonder if he truly was a Prince of

if he truly was of noble birth. Polishing Prince Tarnish’s armor was proving a huge challenge to Princess Rowena. This was a job for a serious Alchemist, versed in the magical arts of turning base metal to gold. It was not for the feint hearted or the delicate sensitivities of a Princess versed only in Love and Kindness. To know this grieved the Princess greatly, and in her sorrow many tears fell. Eventually the tears formed a shimmering, glistening pool in which her countenance was reflected. The Princess stared into the pool and it took many minutes before the realization dawned, the desolate and sad beauty looking up was indeed a reflection of her own self. How had this come to pass? In anguish she cried out for help.

A soft voice whispered in reply,

‘Hello’.

Surprised her request had been heard, she looked for the source of the comforting voice. Could it be there was a fairy godmother waiting in the wings? Turning her regal head towards the discarnate voice, she was met with the sight of not a glowing and magical fairy godmother, but what appeared to be an incredibly ugly, wizened old Crone. In truth the Crone was a Wise Woman, but the Princess had yet to find this out. At first she recoiled in horror to her answered prayer. Beware what you wish for.

The Wise Woman was wrapped in a deep moss green velvet cloak; under which her long and bony fingers gripped an object of deep beauty, an oval mirror, coated in a strange

black surface which gave no reflection.

‘Who are you, old woman?’ enquired the Princess.

The Wise Woman looked deeply into the sad eyes of the beautiful Princess. Her gaze was penetrating, reaching into her very psyche. Her eyes seemed to draw the very essence of the Princess’ character from the core of her being.

‘The help you requested’ she replied.

‘What do you carry under your cloak?’ asked the Princess, intrigued by the black mirror.

‘Your freedom’ replied The Wise Woman.

The Wise Woman told the Princess, as she handed her the object, that it was a scrying mirror, magic of course. It was made from black Obsidian, a crystal for prophesy and truth.

There was a warning on the back of the mirror stating:

‘Truth can hurt,

Untruth’s hurt even more’,

Proceed with Caution.’

‘OK, you read the warning, ‘What do you want to know?’ asked The Wise Woman

Holding the vision of the handsome Knight, not so resplendent in his tarnished amour, the Princess asked,

‘Pray, tell me what lies beneath the Knight’s amour, who is there when the real Knight stands up, is he really a Prince of Noble birth?’

Looking deeply into the mirror her gaze was met with an inscrutable black surface, slowly an image appeared in the depths of blackness. She did not see an image of a fine and valiant Knight, intent on righting wrongs and doing chivalrous deeds. She did not see a Knight worthy of the glorious deeds the Troubadours sang of in their love songs and on the strings of their mandolins. She was shocked to see a very horrid and naughty child. He was throwing the mother of all tantrums, his face contorted in rage because he could not have his own way. Sadly, the Princess recognized that this was indeed a true depiction of the Knight. She turned to

The Wise Woman and enquired,

‘Does the Knight not know of Love, Honor and Chivalry and all that stuff the Troubadours sing about?’

‘How could he?’ replied The Wise Woman

‘He is but a child, and he does not know that Love is unconditional. He seeks to receive not give love, from a place of childish egocentricity and willfulness. This child has not been taught well, he faces many lessons before he learns.’

‘Oh, how very sad, that grieves my heart.’

The Princess sighed, for she was indeed pure of heart. She did know about love being unconditional and compassionate. Her heart went out to the Knight who did not know these things.

‘And you, Princess? Are you ready to face yourself?’ enquired The Wise Woman

At first the Princess was afraid, the sorrowful face from the tear stained pool still fresh in her memory. It seemed an eternity since she had seen her true reflection. There were No mirrors in the castle; for the Knight had no desire to see His true reflection and equally had no desire for the Princess to see her true beauty. He knew then the light of her loveliness would illuminate the darkness in his heart.

Slowly she lifted the mirror, eyes tightly closed. And slowly she opened them, unsure what she would behold. The deep black obsidian once again stared inscrutably back. Once again an image formed within the heart of darkness of the magic mirror. An imaged that grew and grew in magnificent radiance. It was the most gorgeous, multi -faceted, pure cut diamond she had ever beheld; emitting glorious, iridescent, magical colors. The diamond glowed and pulsed with the intensity of the very Sun itself. In awe she asked

‘What does it mean?’

‘You see a true reflection of yourself, Dear One,’ answered The Wise Woman.

‘And the Knight?’ whispered the Princess.

‘You saw a true reflection of what he is, Dear One, he is no Prince and therefore not worthy of you,’ answered The Wise Woman.

‘What now, what do I do?’ implored the Princess.

Once again she lifted the magic mirror and gazed deeply into the void of all knowing blackness. She saw clearly the Knights castle, the draw bridge was pulled up and the hatches were battened down, for a fierce and mighty storm approached. Vicious vines were rapidly growing over the castle walls, reaching to the very turrets and parapets. And with all her heart the Princess knew, if she stayed she would be forever entrapped within the Castle walls.

‘Is this all there is for me?’ A solitary tear fell onto the mirror.

‘Look again, Dear One’. Replied the Wise Woman

When she did, she saw a path leading from the treacherous castle. A tiny little path, winding through thickets and thorns and all manner of unforeseen terrors.

The path gradually widened and once free of the castle grounds it opened into a glorious golden path leading towards the Sun. Along the path were strewn infinite possibilities and opportunities. Once again, the Princess’ intuition showed her that if she summoned all her courage and bravely traversed the path she would find her own Eden. The Princess vaguely remembered, from what seemed an eternity past, this path was the very one she had been on. That was before becoming lost in the forest and doubting her ability to travel alone, before seeking the ill-starred protection of the Knight.

‘What do I do?’ she cried to The Wise Woman, who had stood by and silently observed all these things.

The Wise Woman wrapped the Princess in her old, fragile and wizened arms. They felt strangely warm. They felt strong and the Princess was filled with a pulsating feeling of absolute acceptance, peace, tranquility and an overwhelming sense of unconditional, heartfelt love for The Wise Woman. A feeling that was all at once familiar, the Princess felt she had come home.

‘The choice is yours alone, Dear One. It is the way of this land you inhabit, this Earth plane, that you have been given as part of your lessons the double edged sword of Free will. You have free will to stay or go or free will to enslave yourself to another or choose to use the key that you alone hold to your freedom. You always have the gift of free will, use it wisely.’

As these words sunk in, the Princess broke free from The Wise Woman’s embrace, and through her tears which were now falling as rain upon the winter of her heart, she struggled to see the Wise Woman. As she wiped her face, she gasped, The Wise Woman was gone. In her place there stood a radiant Being of Light. An Angel, whose very presence filled the entire room and emitting a brilliance that was truly ethereal and heaven sent. In awe, the Princess realised she was looking into the face of her own Guardian Angel.

‘Know this, Dear One, now you have asked for my help I will support you whichever path you choose. I cannot choose for you, as you have free will. I can and will ease your path and illuminate the way. Know that I have Always been with you and there for you. I have laughed when you laughed and I have cried when you cried.’ The Angel smiled and then continued,

‘Dear One, nothing is lost, herein lays the opportunity for a lesson to be learned. Things on this Earth plane of illusion may not always be what they seem. Can you now see the day you were lost in the forest, you alone had the freewill to find your own way out, and you alone had the free will to choose to accept the Knight’s hand? You could not make the Knight what he is not? The Knight could not make you who you are not.’ The Angel paused to allow the Princess to assimilate her words, and then continued,

‘Dear Princess, a priceless lesson to learn is this: all you need to navigate this sea of life is to let the wisdom of your Soul captain the ship of the Self. The Diamond that you are refracts the Light of Cosmic consciousness you hold as your birth right.’ Her eyes looked deeply into the Princess’ as she continued;

‘Even the Knight holds this light, and when his inner child grows so he too will come to realize this Truth.’

‘Will the Knight change his ways, will he change for me?’ asked the Princess, holding onto a tiny vestige of hope, for she loved the Knight although she did not love the way he had chosen to treat her.

‘In order to love another, first the Knight must learn to love himself; completely free from his ego self, this may take some time,’ the Angel answered.

The Princess bowed her head. She realized that her Knight may never be able to change his ways and that if he did, it would be for himself and not for her or anyone else. She finally realized that to hold onto the hope another person would change to be the way someone else wanted them to be, well that was a flawed hope, doomed to failure. Her wise companion continued to counsel,

‘Remember and hold these Truths: Time is the great illusion, for in Eternity there is no time. You, the Prince and all mankind are in essence spiritual beings; you are in the density of matter whilst you grow through the experiences of being in human form. You are more than you can see. There is much more that you can be. Princess Rowena, the choice is yours alone. You may choose your path, you cannot choose for him the path that you would wish Prince Tarnish to travel, only he alone can decide.
The pure essence of Divine Love resides within you~All that is without is merely an illusion.’

And in That moment the Princess absolutely and unequivocally knew the path she would choose……

THE END…..Or was it just the beginning?

© Eily Nash 2012

From my novel ‘Torn from the Heart’ Available on Amazon

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Magic power of a wishing flower

PUFFBALL

From a field in Glastonbury

Sweet Dandelion
Do you wait patiently for me
To come along and set you free
I’ve heard plenty an aged tale told
Of the magic a Dandelion holds.
Is that so little wishing flower?
Do you have such magic power?

I bid of thee, fly free, Blessed Be.
Bring my heart’s desire back to me!
Scatter through the fields and trees
Soft starburst on the gentle breeze
Treasured seed falls to Mother Earth
Within each one the promise of rebirth

…And so the dance of life goes on…

)0(

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Lily Flame

IMG_0675.jpg

Gorgeous Lilies, kissed by the touch of morning rain, living in my English country garden 🙂

Lady Lily Flame

My Lady,  My Love, My Lily Flame

Do you wear a sullied cloak of shame

Has purity and innocence taken flight

To the beguiling dark embrace of Night

Nyx and Erebus, alluring, starless charms

Mists enticing you into seductive arms

My Lady, My Love, My Lily Flame

Guileless innocence, without blame

Deny the Ferryman his Stygian fee

From Thanatos tenebrous domain flee

By  flames of Winter burning bright

Take safe passage through the  night

My Lady, My Love, My Lily Flame

Capricious gods may play Night’s game

Gates of the rising sun light the way

To sanctuary of Hemera’s breaking day

Purified by the kiss of the  Morning Dew

Absolution and Benediction fall on you

~Eily Nash 2015

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Moi goes Noir!

O’er I am feeling a tad pleased with myself, My Lovelies!

“Indeed, Angel, and just why would that be?” I hear you ask “Is it because you are such a clever little Pupster and your paws have penned such woofiliciously good books?

Hmm…Yes that is one reason to be pleased, but it isn’t that!

“Oh, could it be that you are so cute, Grannie waits on you hand and paw?”

Well yes, of course  she does-that’s her job, and now I have my Butler James he does too… But that isn’t really a reason to be pleased, unless of course you count THEIR pleasure waiting on MOI…So, it isn’t that!

“Of course, it is because you are so beautilicious, you have all those boys chasing after you…Teddy Hot Paws and your True love Handsome Hamish in Tewin, your English country village (you told us all about them in Telling Tails) and Mason the Hollywood Hottie and Shaunessey his Intellectual brother in Manhattan (We met them in Angel in the City) …Oh and of course Krios the Royal Personage you told us all about in your gorgeous slice of chick lit, Angel Cake!

It is true that I am rather like that other famous Diva Marlena Dietrich.Can I help it if Dogs cluster to me like moths around a flame and worship at my perfect paws.. I like her you know. I like old movies, all that Noir stuff. It gave me an idea for my latest photoshoot…Moi goes Noir!!!

VISIT ANGEL’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE FOR ALL HER HILARIOUS CANINE CHICK LIT!

Visit  Angel’s blog 🙂

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