Thursday, October 1, 2020

Review: Christmas for Beginners

Christmas for Beginners Christmas for Beginners by Carole Matthews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh Carole...how you love to play with my emotions!

I spent most of the book wanting to bash the handsome actor about the head & shoulders with a tea towel.

The ups & downs...heartbreak & teen-angst...

Oh my this book was a lot!



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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Review: With or Without You

With or Without You With or Without You by Drew Davies
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not bad...

From the cover I was expecting a light, fluffy, Chick Lit read. This one was a lot deeper than I expected.

It did drag a bit and as a solid introvert I didn't always identify with the themes of loneliness and silence but I can appreciate their place in the story.

It is however a journey of self-discovery, forming connections, and finding one's self amidst uncertainty, guilt, and unexpected change.

Again, not bad but not exactly my cup of tea.

BLURB:

How long does a coma last?’ I ask.
‘Days, weeks, months?’ the nurse replies with a shrug, although her eyes are very kind.
‘But on average?’
She just smiles, unable to give me an answer.

Wendy’s life can be neatly divided into two: before and after.

Before her husband’s car accident, it was just the two of them. They never took the train at rush hour, and they avoided their noisy neighbour upstairs. Naveem devoted his spare time to vintage train models, and Wendy to re-reading the well-thumbed pages of her favourite books. It didn’t matter what others thought about their small, quiet life together – they were happy.

After the coma, Wendy barely recognises herself. When she’s not holding the love of her life’s hand, accompanied by the beep of the life-support machine, who is she? The nurse tells her to talk to Naveem – that he can still hear her – but she doesn’t have a single thing to say.

Suddenly Wendy can’t bear the silence. She needs something, anything, to talk to Naveem about. Suddenly she’s losing herself at fairgrounds packed with crowds and candyfloss, she’s at the airport, waiting for the whoosh of the planes as they take off, making friends with the neighbour she has spent over a decade avoiding.

Knowing that every breath her husband takes might be his last, Wendy has no choice but to try to carry on without him. Should she feel guilty about living while his life is on pause? And when – if – he wakes up, will he still love the woman she has become?

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Saturday, November 2, 2019

~ Cailleach ~ Winter Goddess


text & image courtesy of Tempestuous Moon on Facebook

~ Cailleach ~
Winter Goddess

The goddess known as Cailleach in Scotland and parts of Ireland is the embodiment of the dark mother, the harvest goddess, the hag or crone entity. She appears in the late fall, as the earth is dying, and is known as a bringer of storms. She is typically portrayed as a one-eyed old woman with bad teeth and matted hair. Mythologist Joseph Campbell says that in Scotland, she is known as Cailleach Bheur, while along the Irish coast she appears as Cailleach Beare. Her name is varied, depending on the county and region in which she appears.

According to The Etymological Dictionary Of Scottish-Gaelic the word cailleach itself means "veiled one" or "old woman." In some stories, she appears to a hero as a hideous old woman, and when he is kind to her, she turns into a lovely young woman who rewards him for his good deeds. In other stories, she turns into a giant gray boulder at the end of winter, and remains this way until Beltane, when she springs back to life.

Shee-Eire, a website dedicated to Irish folklore and legend, says,

"The Cailleach Beara is ever-renewing and passes through many lifetimes going from old age to youth in a cyclic fashion. She is reputed to have had at least fifty foster children during her 'lives.' Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren formed the tribes of Kerry and its surroundings. The Book of Lecan (c.1400 a.d.) claims that the Cailleach Beara was the goddess of the Corcu Duibne people from the Kerry region. In Scotland the Cailleach Bheur serves a similar purpose as the personification of Winter; she has a blue face, and is born old at Samhain ... but grows ever younger over time until she is a beautiful maiden at Bealtaine."

Cailleach rules the dark half of the year, while her young and fresh counterpart, Brighid or Bride, is the queen of the summer months. She is sometimes portrayed riding on the back of a speeding wolf, bearing a hammer or a wand made of human flesh, and sometimes even wearing human skulls attached to her clothes.

Interestingly, even though Cailleach is typically depicted as a destroyer goddess, especially as a storm-bringer, she is also known for her ability to create new life. With her magical hammer, she is said to have created mountain ranges, lochs, and cairns all over Scotland. She is also known as a protector of wild animals, in particular, the deer and the wolf, according to the Carmina Gadelica.

The Caillagh ny Groamagh ("Gloomy Old Woman", also called the Caillagh ny Gueshag, "Old Woman of the Spells") of the Isle of Man is a winter and storm spirit whose actions on the 1st of February are said to foretell the year's weather; if it is a nice day, She will come out into the sun, which brings bad luck for the year. The Cailleach Uragaig, of the Isle of Colonsay in Scotland, is also a winter spirit who holds a young woman captive, away from her lover."

In some Irish counties, Cailleach is a goddess of sovereignty, who offers kings the ability to rule their lands. In this aspect, she is similar to the Morrighan, another destroyer goddess of Celtic myth.

"Since this Goddess is one of cold honesty, wear something blue today to encourage personal reserve, control, and truth with yourself throughout the day... In the morning, cover your altar or a table with a yellow cloth (maybe a napkin or placemat) to represent the sun. Place a blue candle in a central location on the table, along with a bowl of snow to represent Cailleach Bheur and winter. As the candle burns with the light of the sun, the wax shrinks and this Goddess’s snows melt, giving away once more to the power of warmth and light. Keep the remnant was and re-melt it for any spells in which you need a cooler head. Pour the water from the snow outside to rejoin the Goddess.”

Review: Baking with Kim-Joy: Cute and Creative Bakes to Make You Smile

Baking with Kim-Joy: Cute and Creative Bakes to Make You Smile Baking with Kim-Joy: Cute and Creative Bakes to Make You Smile by Kim-Joy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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