erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brighid's cross)
Aside from Irish class this evening, I spent some time today digging out more of my Brigid sources and material related to some of the things I want to cover in the flamekeeping book. I scribbled more notes, and now the table is covered with books and photocopies. I know I'm not doing a lot on any given day, but I'm at least getting a little done on a semi-regular basis.

One of the things I did was order a copy of Kim McCone's Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature. I had to order it through ABE from Germany. It was the cheapest copy I could find, which means that inclusive of postage I'm paying just under a hundred dollars for it. I saw copies listed for I think up to about £800 (I don't even want to think about it), so I can't complain too much about what I've had to pay here. It'll take a while to arrive, though.

In a little bit I'm going to drag myself into the kitchen and make a rhubarb cobbler. I wasn't feeling up to doing much today until just a little while ago. The time change is not something that makes me happy, but I bitch about it every year. I'll need to haul out the ladder and change the clock on the wall sometime soonish as well. Probably tomorrow.

For those in the Seattle area who might be interested, Leon and Allen are doing Shivaratri at Travelers tomorrow evening at 7pm. They told me to pass the word to interested parties. I might go, if I have enough brain cells to drive that far. I won't be able to decide until tomorrow sometime.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (ow. Robertson Davies)
I am beginning to wonder if the frequent/near constant migraines I've been having of late haven't been because I have only been wearing the bifocals. It could in part be eye strain triggering things, so I'm going to go back to wearing my regular glasses unless I'm reading for a week or so and see if that helps at all.

In the email today I got some notes toward a history of CR session I've been asked to do for Wellspring this summer. There's a lot yet to do, but it can wait until after PCon, as I still have things to do for that.

Today I made duck soup. Yesterday I got a lovely crab and today I spent time cracking it out of its shell, then made some pasta alfredo with crab, which was very very tasty and noms.

And now I'm going to go to bed and see if I can get the headache to go away.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Misogyny)
I attempted galettes today. I need to actually sift the buckwheat flour, because the stuff I have has the little bits of husk in it from when it was ground, and it is slightly annoying in the finished galette. I also need some practice getting them thinner and flipping them so they don't break apart. They tasted pretty good, though.

I've finished the basic digging through books that I'd planned for my healing deities presentation. I have five pages of notes, plus the text of one poem that I do plan on using as part of the presentation. I have 32 named figures and half a dozen or more unnamed ones who are mentioned as doing something that heals themselves or another person, or who are invoked as a part of a healing procedure or ritual. It's been quite interesting. Tomorrow, when I'm not dealing with Brianna's moving stuff in, I'll be working on an outline.

I'm ranting a bit here, but it's not that long. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Eggplant)
Today was group at the VA. I spent my time at Travelers afterwards consolidating some of the notes I've been making toward the Irish healing deities presentation, but when I got on the road, it was still raining and traffic was slow and pretty thick. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it was stressful.

When I got home I tossed some eggplant in the crockpot mostly following a recipe I got from an Indian crockpot cookbook. It turned out pretty well. I will probably do it again, and I still have another eggplant left. They had a really good deal on them at Freddies yesterday and they were nice ones, not all bruised and nasty and going off, as one might sometimes find when a thing is on a sale like that.

Having had a really tasty galette when I was in Brittany visiting [livejournal.com profile] eydimork, I had been looking around for a recipe for them off and on since I got home. All the recipes I'd been turning up included eggs, which they traditionally do not. Tonight I found a no-egg recipe and will probably try making some of the batter soon, as I have buckwheat flour already. I'm thinking I will need a nonstick crepe pan to do them properly without tearing them apart. I also found a couple of recipes for a mushrooms and cream filling, which was what I had there as well. I'm looking forward to trying them out.

I saw several recipes for a sweet apple filling that I think I might want to try with pears instead, considering that apples don't agree with me. I suspect they will be very tasty.

Tomorrow, Dom comes in from NYC. Sunday, my garage gets filled with stuff. Monday, Brianna gets here. Sometime during all that, I have to transfer my notes to a doc file and rough out an outline for my PCon presentation.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brigid Poet)
Got a note from Hiraeth today in their newsletter that one of my poems is in the Winter 2012 issue of Written River (it's on page 24 if you want to look). As with the previous issue, that also had one of my poems in it, the photography is gorgeous. I'll have to go order a hard copy so I can put it in my collection of Stuff I Have Published. I wasn't even expecting to have another publication credit by the end of this year!

Went down into Seattle today, and the weather was dry for a change. It was nice not to have to drive in the rain. There was a traffic backup for a while but once past that, I did okay and got to the VA at about my usual time. Hung out at Travelers for a bit afterwards. When I got home, I did dishes and tossed some laundry in the washer. It's drying now. I've also got lamb and chickpeas in the crockpot with some onion, garlic, and ginger, which will be turned into curry tomorrow.

I've got [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor coming over tomorrow, assuming we're both in any shape to be moving around. She's not been feeling great lately either. We might just curl up on the couch and watch a movie or something. I don't know yet.

I had contemplated writing a bit tonight but am really just not focused enough for it. It was good that I managed to at least get a few of the chores around the house done. I do need to change my sheets tomorrow and do more laundry because of that. It can take a lot out of me to haul the sheets off the bed and re-make it. I just wish I had a little more energy for things.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (GIR likes FOOD!)
That is all.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (triple nerd score)
My britpicker got back to me today, the final edits to the fic were made, and it got posted. It is currently enjoying a great deal of happy fandom love on the archive where it's been placed.

Laundry was done, chickpeas were cooked, curry was made, and that's about it for yours truly today.

Tomorrow is the VA, then a little time hanging out at Travelers afterwards. I'm a bit headachey and am hoping that I won't be migraining tomorrow. I think it's a possibility.

Overall, I'm very pleased with myself, if aching too much.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Northwest forest)
"Last night" I didn't really succeed in getting anywhere near sleep until about 7:30 this morning. I woke around 1pm, I think. Mostly still tired, but I finished up the dishes and dealt with the chicken bones from the two I roasted for the ritual. They were turned into broth and blue corn was added so I'm making some soup of it all now. I responded at length to an email from a friend in Edmonton.

Aside from that, all I did was go for a walk around the lake with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor this evening as it was getting dark. I've seen some photos from NYC and the surrounding area that looks just appalling and am hoping that injuries and damage will be as minimal as possible. To my friends back east, I hope you're as safe and well as you can be under the circumstances.

I pretty desperately need to get a haircut here soon. I'll probably do it just after the beginning of the month. It's really getting in my eyes and bothering me. When it's this length it gets really wavy and just goes all over the place; it's not actually straight at all. This means that it looks pretty stupid, sadly.

Tomorrow I'll probably see [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor again for a bit, then in the evening head over to the AFK for the usual Tuesday steampunk social. No idea if anyone will show, given that SteamCon was this past weekend and probably most of the locals are fried as post-con toast.

Beyond that, I'll try and get an expanded outline started for the ogam article for Abraxas and maybe try to work on some fic.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Totem emerald moth)
I was of two minds when I got up today. [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor invited me to go to one of her bandmate's birthday party this evening. I got myself up and dressed and did my dishes, then decided I'd probably be all right.

I like the folks whose party it was. They have a really nice place. When we got there one of their guests had a kid who might have been four years old, and who was into everything. It's always hard for me to be around little kids. It's like having a porcupine jammed into my aura. I have a lot of trouble shutting out the stuff about kids that bothers me. I react to kids about the same way that some people react to fingernails on chalkboards. There was going to be a jam, and [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor brought her harp along. M was messing about with mics and speakers and there was a lot of feedback happening off and on during the evening. Another person came and brought an infant. And stage lights were turned on and the lights turned low so that the flickering lights were doing the strobe effect thing at intervals.

Between everything, at about hour two I was feeling really stressed and out of it. We were there for about four hours total. I was so stressed out that my entire body was one giant cramp when I got home. I'm still trying to wind down from it. I've been home for about three hours and am finally getting to the point where I don't feel like a fizzing wreck. I think I may skip out on parties there unless I know they're going to be adults only, and somebody else is dealing with the mics. I was only able to turn on a little music about 15 minutes ago and be able to tolerate it.

Some people tolerate all that stuff really well. I'm not one of them. I never really have been. I can cope with large crowds for a limited time. I can cope with noise. I love going to live music shows. Something like this where I'm confined in a small space with kids and quite a few folks I don't actually know, with no control over what's happening around me, particularly when I'm tired to begin with, really takes it out of me. I'm one of those people who needs a lot of alone time at the best of times, but when I'm under the weather, I tend to be hypersensitive to anything discordant, jittery, or stressful. I love people - when they're in another building and I can talk to them via text or IRC.

I cooked some chicken rogan josh, and that helped. I discovered that two days in a crockpot on low is enough time for garbanzo beans to actually be soft and tasty - this is very useful information, as I hadn't been leaving them in that long previously, and they just weren't cooking properly. I had put them in with a lot of water, some bay leaf, fenugreek seed, a hunk of ginger root cut into half-inch pieces, and half an onion and just let them go. They were perfect for putting into the rogan josh when I made that this evening. I've also got some chicken broth now, and will be picking meat off the bones of the back and other remains sometime before I head to bed tonight.

I wasn't able to get to breaking down the boxes that I'd hoped to today, but perhaps I'll be able to get to them tomorrow. It would be nice to get them all out of the library. I may go over to [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor's place tomorrow to help her assemble more furniture and stuff if I'm feeling like I can handle other human beings within twenty feet of me.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (spices)
Today was a little slower and quieter. I filled out the VA survey and added a bunch of notes on some of the pages expressing my issues with the way it was written and where I varied from their assumptions. Not sure if it will make any difference at all, but at least I have attempted to have my say. Took an hour or two, where they claimed it would take 30 minutes. That, of course, is if you're just picking tickyboxes. The fact that anxiety level doesn't necessarily influence what I absolutely have to do because I live by myself doesn't seem to occur.

The salal berries went into the dehydrator today. A couple of small ziplock bags of them went into the freezer. I made a small salal berry cobbler as well. I turned off the dryer for the night a couple of hours ago because it's so noisy, but it shouldn't be a problem. I'll turn it back on for a bit tomorrow.

This evening I did a little chasing down dates for ogam in manuscripts so that I could construct a rough timeline for the use of the alphabet. I chased down more information the Ballinderry dice and am not quite convinced by the arguments that it's an isolated 2nd century use of ogam. I have no idea what it is, but I don't think it's that. I haven't done any photographs of things or any scanning, but I did at least get a few things done aside from #writechat today.

I'm currently feeling slightly overwhelmed and wish I didn't have a bunch of stuff to do this coming week, but stuff has to get done. My sinuses are still not too happy with me and I'm kind of hoping I'm not coming down with a cold or anything. That would be immensely annoying.

[livejournal.com profile] ingvisson is coming over tomorrow for a bit and we're going to the schmooze together. I'm going to wipe my data off the laptop tomorrow, as he has the OS discs that I need. I'm considering sending this one back to Apple for recycling, as it could net me about $300 in credit with them. It won't be useful in paying for the new computer, but I'm guessing I could get some useful stuff with that much money at the Apple store. I'm definitely contemplating an updated version of Office for Mac, as mine is Office 2008.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (GIR likes FOOD!)
[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I went over to the park today to pick salal berries, but they were really substandard there. Most of them were dried out and a lot of others were moldy, which was really pretty nasty. We ended up picking from along the sidewalk by the lake. It was closer to the road than I liked, but at least they don't use lead in gas anymore, so I wouldn't be too worried about lead poisoning or anything. They washed off just fine and we got three bags full, which got cleaned down to two big mixing bowls full of berries that are now sitting on the counter on paper towels drying off a bit. I'll put them in the food dryer tomorrow, as I don't want to leave them in overnight. Last time I did that, they got crispy, which really doesn't do much for their flavor.

I spent part of today updating some of my software for the new computer and messing with the email so that it works again. Last night being able to send was sporadic but I think I've got it together again now, and it's been sending consistently again. Bills got paid, though the charge for the new computer hasn't showed up on the credit card yet. I'm sure that'll happen soon.

My Dead Can Dance hoodie showed up from [livejournal.com profile] miss_adventure today, which has delighted me to no end. I wore it out when I went grocery shopping tonight. I hadn't been out for more than just a day or so's worth of stuff since I got home from Europe, so I had rather a lot to pick up, but there were some nice Washington peaches that felt and smelled ripe -- it's hard to get peaches in a store that are actually ripe enough. They're often either grainy or crunchy. I think these might turn out okay because they're fairly local and they claim they were "tree-ripened," though what that means these days is anyone's guess. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow when I have one for breakfast.

As noted in my other posts today, I did a blog page on finding the Wayside Well in Kildare, and Hiraeth Press posted one of my poems to their website, which made me quite happy. I sent off the link to the publicity person at Immanion. I also sent off a copy of the manuscript to [livejournal.com profile] finnchuill for a poet friend of his to look over. I hope he'll like it.

Tomorrow I'll probably do #writechat for a while and then work on some more material for the EBC presentation. I have photos that need to be taken and things that need to be scanned for further slides. Fortunately, Word and PowerPoint both still work on this version of Mac OSX. I'm definitely liking the new larger monitor. It's at a better height and I have a lot more space to deal with things.

Today's mail, along with the hoodie, also brought a fairly lengthy health practices survey from the VA. A lot of the questions are not particularly answerable (for me at least) in the format they've laid it out. So much of their stuff can really only be answered as "it depends on how I feel that day," which they really don't have allowances for. I'm going to have to give some serious thought to my answers. Also with the VA, Wendy called on Friday and left me a message that the spirituality group starts again on the 6th, for a four-week session. Things are shifting yet again, so they're needing to figure out how to handle it. But it'll be nice to see everyone again.

Carrying the huge box with the computer in it yesterday really messed up my arms. They're very sore today, as they were last night. Hauling four heavy bags of groceries tonight didn't help much, sadly. Monday is the CR schmooze. Tuesday is the steampunk social at AFK. Wednesday I have a meeting with a couple who want someone to do a handfasting for them. Thursday Jeff's back to help with finishing up (I hope) the EBC presentation. In the midst of all that, I have to deal with scanning things, photographing things, writing up text slides, and expanding on some of the material I've got for the presentation outline.

Tired Erynn is really, really tired. Probably should cork this yummy apricot cider, pop it back into the fridge, and head for bed.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lynx at first glance)
I want to try to list some of the things we did today while I can still remember the bits. There was an awful lot. I took photos inside one of the churches/cathedrals there, which was open for photos unless a service was in progress. We walked along Wenceslas Square when we came out of the underground. Walking along that way, we went to the Franciscan Gardens. There was a passage where we saw a very cool stained glass tribute to Tesla radio. From there we went into the Old Town Square and saw the astronomical clock and an immense amount of amazing architecture. I wish I could list all the cool stuff we saw, but I don't even know what most of it was. At the edge of the Old Town Square was Kafka Square, where we got a little lunch of good food for a pretty reasonable price. I had half a roast duck, some yummy garlic soup, and some of the wheat dumplings (as opposed to potato ones) with gravy. It was really tasty. The sib and I picked up little touristy replicas of the face of the astronomical clock. I think they're actual clocks you can hang on the wall (the extra touristy bit is that they say "Prague" on them). I got a little ceramic plate as well. Probably the most touristy things I've got on this whole excursion so far, even counting the two t-shirts.

After lunch we cruised down some narrow cobblestone streets, most of which were pedestrian-only. Eventually we came to the Charles Bridge and I took a whole bunch of photos there. That took quite a while, and it was bright, sunny, and hot today, so I was pretty pleased except for the glare in my eyes. Descending from the Charles Bridge back into the city, we wandered along some more narrow cobbled streets, looked into an English language bookshop (not much of interest, though it did have a section of Czech-interest stuff in English), and then sat and had a little something cool to drink in the courtyard of the Kafka Museum.

We walked to the garden in the grounds of the Czech senate, which has a really weird fake cave wall up against one wall, in which they also keep a collection of owls. Pretty odd stuff. By that time, exhaustion had pretty much caught up with most of us.

After dropping the sib at the trolley, we headed back to chez [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands, where we caught a little rest and I previously posted. About 7pm, we walked over to the Nad Kralovskou oborou, which is a game restaurant, where we indulged in Czech versions of different wild meat. I had the wild roast boar with a rose-hip sauce, which was absolutely excellent. Once done with dinner, we walked across the street to the old king's hunting grounds, which the restaurant is named after. We walked down to the hunting lodge (not what you are imagining from the US, as in "small cabin in the woods." I got a few photos of the lodge in the sunset, and of some kind of spherical sundial or sight of some sort, marked with astrological engravings. I'm going to have to try to figure out what that was.

Tomorrow will be Prague Castle, the Jewish quarter, and the alchemy museum.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lynx at first glance)
I want to try to list some of the things we did today while I can still remember the bits. There was an awful lot. I took photos inside one of the churches/cathedrals there, which was open for photos unless a service was in progress. We walked along Wenceslas Square when we came out of the underground. Walking along that way, we went to the Franciscan Gardens. There was a passage where we saw a very cool stained glass tribute to Tesla radio. From there we went into the Old Town Square and saw the astronomical clock and an immense amount of amazing architecture. I wish I could list all the cool stuff we saw, but I don't even know what most of it was. At the edge of the Old Town Square was Kafka Square, where we got a little lunch of good food for a pretty reasonable price. I had half a roast duck, some yummy garlic soup, and some of the wheat dumplings (as opposed to potato ones) with gravy. It was really tasty. The sib and I picked up little touristy replicas of the face of the astronomical clock. I think they're actual clocks you can hang on the wall (the extra touristy bit is that they say "Prague" on them). I got a little ceramic plate as well. Probably the most touristy things I've got on this whole excursion so far, even counting the two t-shirts.

After lunch we cruised down some narrow cobblestone streets, most of which were pedestrian-only. Eventually we came to the Charles Bridge and I took a whole bunch of photos there. That took quite a while, and it was bright, sunny, and hot today, so I was pretty pleased except for the glare in my eyes. Descending from the Charles Bridge back into the city, we wandered along some more narrow cobbled streets, looked into an English language bookshop (not much of interest, though it did have a section of Czech-interest stuff in English), and then sat and had a little something cool to drink in the courtyard of the Kafka Museum.

We walked to the garden in the grounds of the Czech senate, which has a really weird fake cave wall up against one wall, in which they also keep a collection of owls. Pretty odd stuff. By that time, exhaustion had pretty much caught up with most of us.

After dropping the sib at the trolley, we headed back to chez [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands, where we caught a little rest and I previously posted. About 7pm, we walked over to the Nad Kralovskou oborou, which is a game restaurant, where we indulged in Czech versions of different wild meat. I had the wild roast boar with a rose-hip sauce, which was absolutely excellent. Once done with dinner, we walked across the street to the old king's hunting grounds, which the restaurant is named after. We walked down to the hunting lodge (not what you are imagining from the US, as in "small cabin in the woods." I got a few photos of the lodge in the sunset, and of some kind of spherical sundial or sight of some sort, marked with astrological engravings. I'm going to have to try to figure out what that was.

Tomorrow will be Prague Castle, the Jewish quarter, and the alchemy museum.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Have you seen this wizard?)
Today started out with a drive through the town of Josselin, where they have a really beautiful castle. I took some photos from above the town, where there was a good view, and then from below the castle on a little bridge, where many photos of the structure are taken. Because of the time of day, the sun was behind the towers above me and I had trouble getting a photo from that angle that didn't have any Jesus beams all over it. I'm not sure how it will turn out, but we'll see.

We headed out after that to Merlin's Tomb, a very small megalith structure that is surrounded with a vaguely paved circle of modern stones. The place was crawling with tourists and many people had left offerings and notes of different sorts there. I did get a few photos without a lot of people in them, but all the sites we went to today were quite busy. I suspect a good deal of it was because it's the high season, and because it was a really nice, mostly sunny and fairly warm day today. The "tomb" was on a four kilometer loop trail, but was very near the beginning, so we didn't have to do the whole trail. Close by was a "fountain of youth" which, contrary to what you might think, was a well where infants and young children were bathed for their health, not a place where adults could get eternal youth.

After this, we went to an ancient oak tree, estimated to be about 1,000 or so years old. Of all the places I've encountered in Brittany, this one actually felt the most sacred, was the most quiet, and had a sense of reverence in the people visiting. It was quite different from the other places with a lot of people at them. We took quite a few photos here, but didn't stay very long, because we had a fair bit still to do during the day. I would have loved to stay longer and sit, but I find it difficult to meditate with a bunch of other non-affiliated people around, and my hosts were being very patient with me as it was.

Once we got back to the car, we went out searching for the fountain where Merlin met Viviane. The GPS kept trying to send us down closed private roads, or down roads that no longer exist, so we gave up on it for a bit and went to the Arthurian center instead. This was a kind of cool place in a partly ruined castle. Rather than being a museum, as I suppose I had expected, it was a center filled with Arthurian fantasy art, informational placards, and life-sized dioramas of various incidents in the lives of Arthur, Merlin, and others from the Grail cycle. Although everything was in French, I noted they had material there about Lí Ban and a figure that is apparently similar to her in Breton folklore. They also had a story about a madman who was associated in some way with the ancient oak we had just visited, and had some information about the location of the fountain/well we were searching for. Though the place was a touch cheesy, it was obviously lovingly done, and no expense was spared in collecting art or setting up the tableux.

As we drove, [livejournal.com profile] eydimork was telling me about a local legend that Merlin was not actually buried in the tomb we'd visited, but that he had climbed a tree and ascended from there into heaven, never to return. I thought that was rather interesting in light of both the whole poets ascending the tree motif, and of the association of Suibhne with flight and perching in trees. She said she'd find me some references for some of this, even though most of it was just online and probably local oral tradition in origin. If I can find any kind of documentation at all, it will be useful for my geilt and filidecht research, I think.

All of this stuff is said to be in the forest of Broceliande. Very beautiful area. When we stopped for lunch, the restaurant had placemats with tourist maps of local legendary sites and points of interest, which showed us the approximate location of the fountain we were looking for and, armed with that and the name of the village the fountain was near, we were finally able to find it at last.

This was also an approximately 4km loop trail, but the well was pretty much right at the midpoint, so we did do the whole walk. The trail was fairly muddy, and some of it looked rather like a logging road. There were some stacks of felled trees along the side of the trail, marked with numbers, obviously for shipping out later. Still, the area was largely peaceful, even though there were literally tour busses of children who had been hauled out to the site. We managed to get out to the well, get some photos, and move along before it was swamped with noisy kids.

Tonight for dinner, I had the local scallop dish that I was told about (which name escapes me), and it was quite tasty. Certainly worth having! Tonight I'll be off to bed soon -- tomorrow morning I have to catch the train for the airport near Paris, then fly off to Prague. The sib has already started his trip up there and will be spending the night tonight in Germany. Tomorrow I'll see him, [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands, and her husband. I can't wait!

[livejournal.com profile] eydimork and Magnus have been wonderful hosts, even though I have spent a fair bit of the time here in kind of lousy shape. They have been kind and patient and taken me to ludicrous lengths to see piles of rocks and water coming out of the ground. And a parade, which we didn't actually see much of. Magnus gave me a copy of his heavy klezmer cd, which I had him sign. I will have to play it for certain of my friends who will appreciate both the music and the irony. ;)

I'll try to post something before I head out in the morning. Happy happy, y'all!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Have you seen this wizard?)
Today started out with a drive through the town of Josselin, where they have a really beautiful castle. I took some photos from above the town, where there was a good view, and then from below the castle on a little bridge, where many photos of the structure are taken. Because of the time of day, the sun was behind the towers above me and I had trouble getting a photo from that angle that didn't have any Jesus beams all over it. I'm not sure how it will turn out, but we'll see.

We headed out after that to Merlin's Tomb, a very small megalith structure that is surrounded with a vaguely paved circle of modern stones. The place was crawling with tourists and many people had left offerings and notes of different sorts there. I did get a few photos without a lot of people in them, but all the sites we went to today were quite busy. I suspect a good deal of it was because it's the high season, and because it was a really nice, mostly sunny and fairly warm day today. The "tomb" was on a four kilometer loop trail, but was very near the beginning, so we didn't have to do the whole trail. Close by was a "fountain of youth" which, contrary to what you might think, was a well where infants and young children were bathed for their health, not a place where adults could get eternal youth.

After this, we went to an ancient oak tree, estimated to be about 1,000 or so years old. Of all the places I've encountered in Brittany, this one actually felt the most sacred, was the most quiet, and had a sense of reverence in the people visiting. It was quite different from the other places with a lot of people at them. We took quite a few photos here, but didn't stay very long, because we had a fair bit still to do during the day. I would have loved to stay longer and sit, but I find it difficult to meditate with a bunch of other non-affiliated people around, and my hosts were being very patient with me as it was.

Once we got back to the car, we went out searching for the fountain where Merlin met Viviane. The GPS kept trying to send us down closed private roads, or down roads that no longer exist, so we gave up on it for a bit and went to the Arthurian center instead. This was a kind of cool place in a partly ruined castle. Rather than being a museum, as I suppose I had expected, it was a center filled with Arthurian fantasy art, informational placards, and life-sized dioramas of various incidents in the lives of Arthur, Merlin, and others from the Grail cycle. Although everything was in French, I noted they had material there about Lí Ban and a figure that is apparently similar to her in Breton folklore. They also had a story about a madman who was associated in some way with the ancient oak we had just visited, and had some information about the location of the fountain/well we were searching for. Though the place was a touch cheesy, it was obviously lovingly done, and no expense was spared in collecting art or setting up the tableux.

As we drove, [livejournal.com profile] eydimork was telling me about a local legend that Merlin was not actually buried in the tomb we'd visited, but that he had climbed a tree and ascended from there into heaven, never to return. I thought that was rather interesting in light of both the whole poets ascending the tree motif, and of the association of Suibhne with flight and perching in trees. She said she'd find me some references for some of this, even though most of it was just online and probably local oral tradition in origin. If I can find any kind of documentation at all, it will be useful for my geilt and filidecht research, I think.

All of this stuff is said to be in the forest of Broceliande. Very beautiful area. When we stopped for lunch, the restaurant had placemats with tourist maps of local legendary sites and points of interest, which showed us the approximate location of the fountain we were looking for and, armed with that and the name of the village the fountain was near, we were finally able to find it at last.

This was also an approximately 4km loop trail, but the well was pretty much right at the midpoint, so we did do the whole walk. The trail was fairly muddy, and some of it looked rather like a logging road. There were some stacks of felled trees along the side of the trail, marked with numbers, obviously for shipping out later. Still, the area was largely peaceful, even though there were literally tour busses of children who had been hauled out to the site. We managed to get out to the well, get some photos, and move along before it was swamped with noisy kids.

Tonight for dinner, I had the local scallop dish that I was told about (which name escapes me), and it was quite tasty. Certainly worth having! Tonight I'll be off to bed soon -- tomorrow morning I have to catch the train for the airport near Paris, then fly off to Prague. The sib has already started his trip up there and will be spending the night tonight in Germany. Tomorrow I'll see him, [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands, and her husband. I can't wait!

[livejournal.com profile] eydimork and Magnus have been wonderful hosts, even though I have spent a fair bit of the time here in kind of lousy shape. They have been kind and patient and taken me to ludicrous lengths to see piles of rocks and water coming out of the ground. And a parade, which we didn't actually see much of. Magnus gave me a copy of his heavy klezmer cd, which I had him sign. I will have to play it for certain of my friends who will appreciate both the music and the irony. ;)

I'll try to post something before I head out in the morning. Happy happy, y'all!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lotus)
Today was threatening rain when [livejournal.com profile] fififolle swooped me off to Maryport, where we went to the Senhouse Roman Museum. For a tiny place, it packed in a lot of stuff. It has, apparently, the largest collection of Roman altars in Britain (23-ish?), mostly to Jupiter, but also to Mars, Aesculapius, and Minerva, among others. There were two Epona figures there, a horned god (I couldn't actually make out the figure clearly, I'm taking the museum's word for it), and the famous snake-stone pillar, with the snake climbing up one side and a face on the other. I took a bunch of photos. The site is some miles from Hadrian's Wall, but is a part of the general area's fortifications, and there was a rather badly done statue of Hadrianus Augustus in the recreation of the shrine of the standards, but one must photograph it anyway. ;) It was something with at least a tenuous connection to my Antinoan devotions.

There is an active dig going on through to the end of August, and they were giving tours, but we were there about noon, and the tour wasn't until 2pm. We decided to head down into Maryport and grabbed some lunch at the cafe in the aquarium (we didn't go into the aquarium itself). By the time 2pm had rolled around, the wind had picked up and it was raining. I wasn't really feeling that well anyway and didn't think my legs would hold up for it - I've been cramping pretty badly all day and had a lot of trouble moving most of the afternoon and into the evening. I was just as glad to let it go.

Upon our return to Chez Fi, I checked the weight on my backpack - just a hair under 20 pounds, so I have a little breathing room for my flight from Manchester to Rennes. We looked around at possibilities for things to do tomorrow, given my trip out to Penrith, and it turns out that the Long Meg circle is about 15 minutes or so out of town, so we may be able to visit that. It's outside of town on the other side of Penrith, but Fi seems willing to haul me out there. I don't think she's been there before. This is a fairly famous circle, and the third largest in Britain, so if I do get to go, that'll be a really nice finish to my tour of English sacred sites.

This evening we packed my hiking poles into a spare shipping tube and duct taped them like crazy. We'll stop by the post office on our way out so that I can ship them off home. They're very light, so the postage shouldn't be too much.

I wasn't really able to do more than a quiet meditation for Lughnassadh, but if rain is the presence of Lugh, then I certainly had him in spades today. We give what we are able, when it comes to time and physical capacity, and I was not up to very much today at all. I would have liked to do more, but perhaps I can do a little something tomorrow when I get into the B&B in Penrith and have some time alone before I see if Stephen will be available. Certainly, if I can spend a little time meditating at Long Meg without getting soaked, that would be a nice touch.

Tonight at dinner, I tried a Stella Artois pear cider, which was very nice. Last night, along with the Kopparberg, we'd tried a Bulmer's pear, which was really bland. I wasn't impressed at all, but I wouldn't mind having this one again. I wasn't nearly as jazzed as I was about the elderflower and lime, but it was still a good, solid cider with a nice flavor. If I can get pear, it's a little easier on my system than the apple, which can be a bit problematic if my system isn't quite up to dealing with it. Cider is usually reasonably safe, as apples go, but there are days when one really doesn't want to take any chances.

Being just a touch headachey, I'm about to drop myself into bed. I hope the weather in Brittany is better than this. I don't mind a little rain, but it's been downright dismal for much of my Isle of Man/Britain visit. I'm delighted I've had such good company to spend the time with, though! (Thank you, Fi! You and Neil have been wonderful.)
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lotus)
Today was threatening rain when [livejournal.com profile] fififolle swooped me off to Maryport, where we went to the Senhouse Roman Museum. For a tiny place, it packed in a lot of stuff. It has, apparently, the largest collection of Roman altars in Britain (23-ish?), mostly to Jupiter, but also to Mars, Aesculapius, and Minerva, among others. There were two Epona figures there, a horned god (I couldn't actually make out the figure clearly, I'm taking the museum's word for it), and the famous snake-stone pillar, with the snake climbing up one side and a face on the other. I took a bunch of photos. The site is some miles from Hadrian's Wall, but is a part of the general area's fortifications, and there was a rather badly done statue of Hadrianus Augustus in the recreation of the shrine of the standards, but one must photograph it anyway. ;) It was something with at least a tenuous connection to my Antinoan devotions.

There is an active dig going on through to the end of August, and they were giving tours, but we were there about noon, and the tour wasn't until 2pm. We decided to head down into Maryport and grabbed some lunch at the cafe in the aquarium (we didn't go into the aquarium itself). By the time 2pm had rolled around, the wind had picked up and it was raining. I wasn't really feeling that well anyway and didn't think my legs would hold up for it - I've been cramping pretty badly all day and had a lot of trouble moving most of the afternoon and into the evening. I was just as glad to let it go.

Upon our return to Chez Fi, I checked the weight on my backpack - just a hair under 20 pounds, so I have a little breathing room for my flight from Manchester to Rennes. We looked around at possibilities for things to do tomorrow, given my trip out to Penrith, and it turns out that the Long Meg circle is about 15 minutes or so out of town, so we may be able to visit that. It's outside of town on the other side of Penrith, but Fi seems willing to haul me out there. I don't think she's been there before. This is a fairly famous circle, and the third largest in Britain, so if I do get to go, that'll be a really nice finish to my tour of English sacred sites.

This evening we packed my hiking poles into a spare shipping tube and duct taped them like crazy. We'll stop by the post office on our way out so that I can ship them off home. They're very light, so the postage shouldn't be too much.

I wasn't really able to do more than a quiet meditation for Lughnassadh, but if rain is the presence of Lugh, then I certainly had him in spades today. We give what we are able, when it comes to time and physical capacity, and I was not up to very much today at all. I would have liked to do more, but perhaps I can do a little something tomorrow when I get into the B&B in Penrith and have some time alone before I see if Stephen will be available. Certainly, if I can spend a little time meditating at Long Meg without getting soaked, that would be a nice touch.

Tonight at dinner, I tried a Stella Artois pear cider, which was very nice. Last night, along with the Kopparberg, we'd tried a Bulmer's pear, which was really bland. I wasn't impressed at all, but I wouldn't mind having this one again. I wasn't nearly as jazzed as I was about the elderflower and lime, but it was still a good, solid cider with a nice flavor. If I can get pear, it's a little easier on my system than the apple, which can be a bit problematic if my system isn't quite up to dealing with it. Cider is usually reasonably safe, as apples go, but there are days when one really doesn't want to take any chances.

Being just a touch headachey, I'm about to drop myself into bed. I hope the weather in Brittany is better than this. I don't mind a little rain, but it's been downright dismal for much of my Isle of Man/Britain visit. I'm delighted I've had such good company to spend the time with, though! (Thank you, Fi! You and Neil have been wonderful.)
erynn: Gaelic merman image (GIR likes FOOD!)
I think the gal felt sorry for me as she handed me the key this evening and said that I can just use the cabin tonight for free, so why do'nt I pack things up while they're still dry. The weather had cleared up considerably this afternoon and except for a little mud on the bottom of the tent's ground tarp, It was all dry from the warmth today. I've folded up everything but the sleeping bag, as the cabin has an air mattress in it. There's also a lamp and a heater, and right at the moment it feels like the height of luxury.

I tried to call the Chinese place and had trouble with it, then tried the local pizza place, and also couldn't get through. It turns out they needed a prefix, which I found on the pizza website (it wouldn't let me order online, the bastards), so I dialed the pizza place with the prefix and will have za and some cole slaw delivered to the campsite. Hot tea has been made, most of my stuff is ready, and I have hot food coming! Life is pretty damned awesome right now, even if the pizza is from Dominos. One must make sacrifices now and then, what?
erynn: Gaelic merman image (GIR likes FOOD!)
I think the gal felt sorry for me as she handed me the key this evening and said that I can just use the cabin tonight for free, so why do'nt I pack things up while they're still dry. The weather had cleared up considerably this afternoon and except for a little mud on the bottom of the tent's ground tarp, It was all dry from the warmth today. I've folded up everything but the sleeping bag, as the cabin has an air mattress in it. There's also a lamp and a heater, and right at the moment it feels like the height of luxury.

I tried to call the Chinese place and had trouble with it, then tried the local pizza place, and also couldn't get through. It turns out they needed a prefix, which I found on the pizza website (it wouldn't let me order online, the bastards), so I dialed the pizza place with the prefix and will have za and some cole slaw delivered to the campsite. Hot tea has been made, most of my stuff is ready, and I have hot food coming! Life is pretty damned awesome right now, even if the pizza is from Dominos. One must make sacrifices now and then, what?
erynn: Gaelic merman image (d'oh!)
After lunch today I inquired after the cherry and almond pie at the restaurant. I knew that sometimes things were different here than in the US, so I specifically mentioned this to the waitress (maybe 20, I'm guessing, but at any rate quite young) and asked what they meant by pie. She wasn't really specific. "Oh, it's just pie," she said. I neglected to ask after eggs or anything.

Sure enough, when the pie was brought, it was more of a custardy/marzipany thing with a sort of vaguely cakey crust than the "pie" I'm used to at home. The cook came out and asked about it and said of course there was egg in the crust and all, and why hadn't I said anything? I told her that in the US, pie means a pastry crust around a fruit filling, and that pie crust wasn't made with egg, but just flour, water, butter or oil, and salt - nary an egg to be found. I was disappointed, as it really did look good. Had my innards not been a little wonky the past few days, I probably would have tried at least some of it, but I really couldn't chance it today.

Next time I will specifically ask if I even vaguely suspect that the item mentioned may not be what I think it is.

Wanted to take the steam train today, but it's running about an hour behind and I just didn't have the spoons to cope. I'm back at the Manx museum, having a ginger beer and some tylenol in hopes my hips will stop aching enough for me to walk around without limping too badly. I'll take myself down into the gallery with the displays on Manx poets and whatnot. With any luck, there might be a place here or there where I can sit while I contemplate and check out the exhibits.

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