Acts of Rebellion

If voting could change anything it would have been made illegal. That’s what the establishment think. We have a system of democracy, but it’s failing us. Why?

Because we as voters are becoming disengaged with those in power and those in power live elite lives with little to connect them with us, the common man. Whoever you vote for the government wins.

But we can change things.

Please, register to vote and use your vote. This plea goes out especially to young people.

Don’t tell me you don’t understand, you don’t know anything, your vote won’t change anything. That plays into the hands of those who would keep the status quo.

Please, register to vote and then vote. You have until May 22nd and here’s how”

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Less than 40% of 18-25 year olds are registered to vote. It takes minutes to register and not much more to vote and the impact of that vote can echo down generations.

In 2016 boundary changes came into place. Alongside new rules for registration of votes brought in last year, disenfranchising many and making it harder for students to vote, this makes it even more urgent that young people engage with their right to vote. Consider it an act of rebellion against the status quo.

In Cambridge 17% of voters vanished from the electoral register when new legislation was brought in. Don’t let your voice be silenced because those in power do not like the way you might vote.

Register. Now. You have until 22nd May. Together we can make democracy work.

Jonathan Pie says it better than me, if with rather more ‘colourful language’.

 

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Where Fresh Meets Salt

Writing today at Aberbach, then Abereiddi for a while. I placed a stone again, where fresh meets salt and watched some people walk past, not see, some people walk past, stop, pick it up and replace.

The other that I had placed here had gone. Loved the way the lines echo the light in the water.

Looking back through old photos, in 2008 I was playing with gold leaf on beach stone. This one lived in my garden for a while, where it was frosted in December.

Found a thin hagstone on the beach at Abereiddi. Perfect for gilding.

 

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Stones and gold

I left it at the beach when the tide was so low.

We had walked our small pack of dogs, almost the last day on the beach until autumn, as the dog ban comes in. The tide was so low.

 

Dog racing on the beach.

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The wreck stood out proud and you could almost walk around to the next beach. The rocks at the end, usually underwater, such beautiful colours. So alive.

I carried the stone in my pocket, and placed it on a rock, by the cave. It was so far below the high tide mark, in a part of the beach that isn’t exposed to the air for so long I thought the sea would take it.

First, I received a message form a friend. She had seen it, in the pool. The sea had moved it but it had fallen face up. She took a photograph, but left the stone.

Then I received an email.

“We went to Whitesands Bay for the first time this weekend. It was such a lovely place: seabass and chips from the Surf shop’s cafe in the carpark, the minibus that took us into St David’s, the cathedral where the organist was practising, then back through little lanes and villages to the car park again. Then we walked along the shoreline of the bay and back against the cliffs, admiring the different coloured rocks, and the ‘almost’ caves which we clambered into as far back as we could… and the first one had a deepish pool which cut off the entry, and in that pool I saw a stone with gold. So my husband ventured in and lifted it out. It was so beautiful that we weren’t sure that we should touch it let alone remove it… But we discussed it and thought that it hadn’t been hidden, so we brought it back and asked ‘famous Pete’ who runs the car park and campsite, whether there had been some sort of Easter treasure hunt, or something similar. He hadn’t heard of anything but thought it looked nice, and that we should keep it.

I hope that is what you intended of it. It seems to symbolise the magical stay we had in a magical part of the land. Thank you.”

Amazing that it stayed visible, gold to the light. So pleased. And yes. That’s what I hope for. That people will find delight and magic in the work I do.

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We are all migrants

A picture on instagram, from Adam Buick, of a moonjar afloat in a calm sea.  That’s where it started for me.

This is what the caption said:

Seven jars will shortly be set adrift across the Irish Sea, destined for the coast of Wales, I hope. Part of a new commission and exhibition for Aberystwyth University Ceramics Collection.

I needed to know more. Why?       

This is what he replied when I asked:

Following on from yesterday’s post: “When a King of Ireland had seven troublesome daughters, he decided to cast them away in a boat without sails. The currents carried them east and they came ashore upon the Welsh coast. They were rescued shortly afterwards by seven local farmers, with whom they fell in love, and married. The place was named Tresaith, the ‘Place of Seven’, for each of the troublesome daughters who made it their home.”

The commission is for Year of Legend, and how more in the moment can this be. As ever, such a beautiful idea, to place these pots into the sea, releasing them into the wild.

For, as Adam says, ” the movement of people and the mingling of different cultures is part of who we are”.

These aren’t the first thing that Adam has left in the wild. As part of his making he crafts tiny votive pots and gives them back to the land. So beautiful, so very very beautiful.

Do look at Adam’s website. The photography and the films will bring you peace of heart away from all the lies and trickery of politics.

Adam is putting tracking devices into the pots so that their journeys can be followed. I hope they survive, wish them calm seas and a sandy beach to wash up on. They may be carried by time and tide to safe harbour, they may be smashed on the rocks, or sunk. Whatever, they are the product of a beautiful mind.

 

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Wild gilding

Up the hill to search for words and more. The tree now washes like a green wave over the entrance to the lane. We pass through, to another time, where, 

dogs and ravens talk and play. She was roosting on the rock where I write, but decided today to dance with the dogs.

Then she flew high, above Hrafen’s Ey.

I went to the tomb of the rabbit, curious because of a comment from Andy, to see more. I took a packet of redgold, my agate dog tooth gilding tool and some sizing. At the back of the tomb was a small treasure that has now worked its way into my story. Like a seed, like bone, like a heart, like the markings of a labyrinth.

Cold and windy on the hill. The skull, so porcelain delicate. I gilded it, but not well, as gilding in the wind, I found, is difficult. One sheet blew away like a beautiful leaf, high, high into the dark grey sky and π chased it, over the hill and away and away.

I settled the skull back into it’s home. Rabbit bone and gold now.

Too cold to write, I should have bought a scarf, but head filled with words we went home, past the curious cartography of rock, with a landmass of moss and islands of lichen.

Half way home the dogs went chasing rabbits, and I whistled to call them back and The White Cat came running, wondering why we had gone without him.

Back home I photographed the gift of the rabbit skull. The bears watch over it now, for a while, curious as to what it is, or whose heart. They are like that, bears, always wanting answers.

And this morning I had my first reported wild sighting of stone and gold, from Frances Green, who, running on the beach found this, and left it in the wild.

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Mine, said The White Cat

Up the hill, early morning, chasing the thread of the words in a story. I took two stones. One small, one bigger and the first I placed in a nook in the rock where I hoped it would not be found.

But The White Cat found it, while I was writing, decided it was his precious, carried it around in his mouth like  a dog with a ball.

 

When time came to move on I rescued and returned it.

We walked off, but not before the three posed for the camera.

Coming down off the hill I found the strangest thing, where the lichen rock was taken. A small tomb, with a clean skull. I returned it and am thinking how to answer this question. But first I need to discover who this fine creature was.

Ravens flew around, close, so close, and on the hill someone rested, with a full crop. Peregrine or kestrel? Couldn’t decide.

On across to where the ponies have hollowed a place in the shelter and here I left the other stone, where the hawthorne grows, and ivy tangles the boulders.

For a while I wrote more then walked back over the top of the hill, past the stones mapped by the cartography of lichens and moss.

Home now. Time to gather up and stitch in the threaded pieces of story….

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How to read Robin Hobb

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What we don’t see

As I drove away to place another stone I realised that I had left behind both camera and phone. I almost went back to get them, but then thought, no. I was heading off to sit on a beach and write. It would be good to have no distraction. By now it has probably been taken, though I placed it above the tideline.

I drove to Cable Cottage, where the first thread of telegraph was sent out, under the Irish Sea and then turned the van around and parked by the footpath to Aber Bach. Onto the beach, at the further end from the footpath, where the fresh meets salt I placed the stone, across the stream. The water on one side was deeper and clear and the light played with it making beautiful ripples.

I walked on, sat and wrote for a while and watched as 4 people walked over it, wondering how it was, especially as this was a crossing over water, and they had to watch their feet for balance, that 4 people could walk past and not see it.

Then I wondered what there is around me that I don’t see, even though it is in obvious view. So, very, many, things.

I wrote more, tangling threads, then walked back to the van, past the stone where it maybe still sits in the crossing. I will go back in a day or so, see if it’s still there. It’s big, as large as my hand.

I went then to Abereidi, where the tide had gone out while I was writing, wrote some more, tangled myself into knots, unwound and unbound in my head, walked the beach to look for stones. I returned home to find flowers.

I will go back to Aber Bach, and take another stone incase this one is gone. Such a beautiful place to leave something.

My house fills up with stones, and it’s good to return them. I came home with some fine curiosities yesterday, and I have an increasing urge to chisel.

 

 

 

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What I was doing yesterday.

Yesterday my daughter asked for my help with something. She needed someone to film her for a short promo film for a few yoga days she’s running on Ramsey Island.

I know I said I was taking a sabbatical, but I am also writing a novel, and if that doesn’t make sense to you then just know that I’m not really worrying about that.

I’ve not landed on Ramsey for a while. It was a beautiful day. Here’s the result. More later.

And if you fancy signing up to it you need to follow her on

 

instagram

youtube

and take a look at her website.

Here’s an example from the youtube chanel

 

And here’s her van and her hound, Rosie, made by The Indie Project.

Hannah says, please subscribe to her youtube channel, and full details for the Ramsey Yoga days will be posted later today.

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A book of a lifetime.

On May 5th, in the evening, Jane Johnson will be interviewing Robin Hobb about her latest book, Assassin’s Fate, published in the UK the day before. The event, with Toppings Bookshop, Bath takes place in Christ’s Church, Julian Road.
Of the book Jane says,
“The most beautiful book I’ve ever published? Certainly the one that tugs most on the heartstrings. Fitz and the Fool – the deepest, most frustrating, elusive, affecting friendship in fiction. These characters have been my constant companions in the past 20 years I’ve been editing these wonderful books. So looking forward to the UK tour – beginning 29 April in London and finishing a week later in Plymouth.
Jane will be interviewing Robin. I’ll be there too, mostly to listen but also, to sign books if people wish it, as I have done so much cover art for Robin. At least that is why I will be signing. I will be there to help celebrate this stunning book, the conclusion to Megan Lindholm aka Robin Hobb’s wonderful series of books.
I still remember meeting Fitz for the first time.
Jane is Robin’s editor, and also edits many of the finest writers in the genre that is fantasy, from George RR Martin to Joe Abercrombie, via the stunningly brilliant Mark Lawrence. It was Jane who commissioned me to do the covers for Robin’s books, and held my hand through the crafting of many of them. I interviewed her some time ago, fascinated by all the books she has had through her mind, on her editing desk, and also all the books she has written. So many books that I love owe their publication to this woman, and I believe that without her fierce championing and loyalty to her writers we would never have seen Game of Thrones rise as it has.
Both of us adore Robin’s writing. Truth be told we are both rather fond of the author too. In some ways I envy Jane, being one of the first to meet Fitz, the bastard son of royalty, Nighteyes, the most beautiful fictional creature in literature today, and one of the first to visit he Six Duchies, meet the dragons, so much.
If you don’t know Robin’s work you need to begin at the beginning with Assassin’s Apprentice. Don’t tell me you don’t read fantasy fiction, just do yourself a favour and sink into this world and read without prejudice.
Tickets selling fast. There are other venues on the tour including The Lonely Planet in London and Waterstones in Plymouth, but this will be the very best.
Here’s a link to Robin’s website where you can see how differently her book is presented in UK to US. I really want a US edition too. Really love the difference.
And here, to the UK tour dates.
And what is the new book about? So many things. Each reader will bring their own truth to it. To me, it’s about the difference between justice and vengeance, and in being so brings it right into our world, and right into our time.
Thanks Harper collins, for bringing Megan, aka Robin Hobb over to our shores.
If you have read all of Robin’s books then you need to get Cloven Hooves by Megan Lindholm. Good luck finding a copy. Time to bring it back into print Harper Collins. I’ll do the cover…..
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