peasblossom redux

peasblossom
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I came across some peasblossom at the end of my run today… it nearly made me cry… not for any murky sorrows, tho they are forever lurking, but just because it was so gorgeous and enchanting
a vibrant pink magenta in colour, like some Thai Airways orchid… hothouse spoilt… preposterous
an escaped cultivar? slumming it amongst the ruffians of ragwort and briar
petals peeking out here, then THERE, far flung further along… betwixt and between the tendrils submarine submerged somewhere beneath the host bush
louche and sprawled throughout the hedgerow, the flowers, like some 1920’s flapper, partied out, collapsed, draped elegantly across a chaise lounge

when we were young my older sister was peasblossom, one of the fairies in midsummers night dream
she had this beautiful, frivolous, lace and tulle pink garment, topped off with a purple pixie cap
i vaguely recall the performance, outdoors, it went on forever, so it seemed to the 5 year old me, i was sitting under a chair…
late late late, yet still light in the sky, so must indeed have been midsummers eve
solstice the endless languish of light
the costume was a staple of the dressing up box throughout my childhood,
that and dads old biggles-esque leather flying helmet, that he, in turn, had worn as a child, the smell rich, leathery, beautiful
oh and a long blonde wig, which dad had foolishly bought for mum, she always had dark short hair, instantly BANISHED to the dressing up box… whatever her opinion of the wig, the four of us all loved it
a box of possibilities?

oh peasblossom unkempt amongst the hedgerow
as we pass through the world, world is straggle pulled through us

away across the field, a swag uddered cow yet to be milked
the gut clutch of being, churn
the raft of thoughts, ego clod hopper lurches across

yet beyond this, all is golden, in its majesty, brimful, somehow swollen
life is imbued by the gentle quality of our cherishing
steady… with poise… toes uncurled, dear Hobbit, bask in this, the endless, endless torrent of presence

Jog on
Jaw first.. tilted, forward to the future

70’s a few years later

Lammas

tom
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Lammas/Harvest blessings… right on cue the first tom to ruddy ripeness… tho this one seemingly so huge that it has, after einstein, warped the fabric of both time and space
must be such a bulge full world seeing thru the eyes of a fish? apols for another veg snap… guess august is always fruit and festies
yield of a different type… daughter has been moving out of her student house, a glut of clobber! where does it all come from? the trusty estate car fit to burst
guess that is what being a parent to kids in their twenties is often about… i can see my dad patiently and good humouredly helping me move for the umpteenth time…
lugging another lucky dip box: wizard cape, curios, futile gee gaws and a hoard of books. thanks dad!
life in all its rhythms and cycles

Sarah: Oooh that’s goodMine completely failed this year 😟no tomatoes 🍅

oh thats a shame… for me, most years, the only thing that gives a decent harvest… slugs and snails don’t seem even remotely keen on them! xx

Sarah: only thing I’ve managed so far this year is radish’s!Think it was v wet , then v hot, now v wet !

dolor

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yes, sit, be soft, be kind, with these your orphaned loves

the black smoke of sorrows hangs heavy
dense, acrid, cloying
no single specific reason
these things surface from time to time… shadows are sometimes foregrounded… rearing up, given substance beyond our imaginings
often, with me, it follows a joyful, full power morning yoga
melancholia seeped deep into muscles, settled, pooled in a habitual way of holding
good to limber, then loosen, mbe, if possible, allow to pass?

much of it is not even our own misery
some borrowed from the cloak woven by our ancestors
how many times did we bury our beloved children?
how often, as pastoral nomads, headed for the summer pastures, did we have to leave behind our infirm mothers, fathers, elders?
in more recent days, frequently the crops would fail, else pestilence and war squat malevolently upon the land

other woe was crafted just for us… as a baby, the cries which went unheeded
overwhelmed by the unknown… flinched from an imaginary blow
were we held, cosseted, our needs met? gnawed by the ignore
not a matter of blame, attunement is a most particular skill to master
nonplussed by our sorrow

yet self more porous than we might imagine… sustained merely by the lie of its perpetual telling
sadness, anger, the usual gang of neglected emotions, these with their ebb and flow, sweeping through us like a tide
others borrowed from the zeitgeist (‘times ghost’), the maw of the media which chews over, spits out
the myth kitty of our communal misery
what the stain of trauma and abuse?
climate catastrophe, how many species have thrown in the towel over the last decade?
so much masked in our culture of frantic buoyancy

which of us has not poured imagination, courage and love into a project… to find it comes to naught
as tho our dreams and hopes have no merit
to see others flourish
who has not told someone of our love for them, only to be ignored, pushed away
this love, so tender, its sweet perplexed smile

yes, sit, be soft, be kind, with these your orphaned loves

snozzcumber

snozzcumber
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Snozzcumber! that GREW in the garden!!
probs shouldn’t be quite so suprised as i planted it… but miracle of a slug dodger
i’ve named this one wilson… wilson pick-itt
Update
alas poor wilson is no more…. sunday morning yoga followed by courgette and sunshine… a great start to the day

couldn’t wait till the midnight hour tho… too peckish

Sigh … Since festie I have clearly eschewed the use of clothes… So unspiritual and a symbol of capitalist oppression… Sky clad in.B&Q

buddhafield

fire!
clarissa
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heart drenched with love, back from buddhafield, my slightly belated, a little bit exhausted, waffle appreciation post for the yearly lush bubble of buddha… soul nourished, mind frazzled yet fizzed, pure exuberance
so good to see friends with their babies and toddlers, a new generation, to meet again after the grueling covid palaver
beautiful pics from cc, as my phone turned off, thanks lovely x

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‘spring water flowing
through a meadow and the shadows of clouds
passing over the hills and the ground
where we stand in the tremble of thought
taking the vast outside into ourselves.’
from billy collins: directions

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we the bright shining ones
a nighttime visit to the crew tent filling thermos flask with barleycup, about to head to the dance tent for a euphoric footstomping psytrance rave
ah buddhafield the only time ‘barley cup and rave’ sit congruently within the same sentence
else:
emerging from a devotional puja to the sumptuous colours and harmony of an epic sunset
lounging in the shade in a hammock, amongst the oaks and silver birches in the glade… before, eek, quick stepping up to the front gate, stewards hat on, to help out with the van fire!
singing with gleeful but tuneless gusto buried within the brethern of the bass section… snoozing in the dharma parlor
in a ‘work that reconnects’ workshop, grieving the loss of species and habitat, then lurching into the middle of a comedy yoga skit out on the village green
these things, and yes, a lot of dancing! i so love to dance… to drums after the rituals, live music in small world, or to the bedlam cacophony in the recycling / drum and bass tent
gleeful juxtaposition… each minutiae but a fractal of the whole… or vice versa?! a summoning

hare
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i tend to wonder, wander, wind blown thistledown, seeds of the heart, going whither my feet roam… join a group, then drift away… trying to stay within the field, the aura of grace and flow… the minute i ‘want’ something/somebody the energy seeps away
trust that when i acknowledge the immediacy, the intimacy of feeling… then all is fine, not to say flippin’ gorgeous
it helps knowing so many people, disparate down the years, else just to turn around and share a few noodlin’ words with your neighbour
the golden thread of hare magic, motif, woven through the whole festival
Alala’s heartfelt recitation of a poem from memory
the divine transcendence of a hug from a stranger, a lover, stopped still for eternity halfway across the field… green gold, gold green… twixt nettles and the hare
an impromptu 5 minute sing-a-along and boogie in a queue for crew food
chanting kirtans around the fire as the moon rises and the night time stars wheel serenely overhead

parking
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my stewarding mostly consisted of meandering between the different steward positions, checking how everyone was getting on
each a Galapagos island of conversation, chewing the breeze(?), sure, a 5 minute of perfunctory ‘hows the shift going’ which swiftly lurches in ANY beautiful and random direction:
‘vipassana and the myth kitty of each individual, unique yet eternal soul’
‘whats your favourite flavour and colour of ice lolly?’
‘the spirit essence of our huge ancient beech tree’
‘the mores, foibles and manners of the 90’s crusties squat rave scene’
‘the beauty and exquisite precision of logical thought’
‘roll over on your back, kick your legs in the air, upturned turtle yoga!’
i always love stewarding and the whole steward team… most of it’s loafing about nattering to passers by…
else laconically, on the walkie talkie, in best late night radio dj voice issuing shift advice ‘watch out for maroon motors… they always give most trouble. over’
yet occasionally something festival important happens, focus, reset: function… ‘how can i help?’
part of the joy of the steward crew is that often their fresh to the whole experience
many of them the same age as my kids… i’m occasionally pondering what does it mean to become an elder? if not me… if not us… then who? if not now then when?
a slow gradual transition, settlling down into this, suprisingly comforting, notion
what are the energies and the postures that i wish to model?
wisdom. open hearted kindness. embody boldness… that man can be a bedraggled, florid extravaganza! that world is both beautiful and often funny? that to sing and dance and chat together is astonishing, we are enough
all of that and stubborn more
i see too many folk, usually young men, wandering around on their own, bewildered on the fringes… these kindred… all beings are welcome, all included… some fierce yet protective dharmaparla spirit
Feet Rooted in the earth, Rose Gold Rising, Arms Aloft, White Gold tumbling down… these energies to spill out from the heart, onto this land or into anothers arms… echo echo the same
x
as always to clutch at things with a splodge of words, acknowledge the intangible, the various… breathe

buddha
buddha

Jonnyfen: Beautiful words man! x

thanks lovely, hope to see you there next year x

Clarissa: Love this! Takes you right back there reading these beautiful words 😍

Dinnae neglect nor forget the glorious pics too! Xx

Saoirse: Joy beyond joy, deep immersion in the moment. Blissful and radiant .

Graeme: Summation.It was a great pleasure working with you once again Richard.These words deepen a tangible gratitude for this gift we share.Ty 🙏😊🕉💖🌌⛺🔥

Yes. Ditto. Hugely enjoyed reconnecting with you, Emma and all the team. Having a role, some responsibilities… however fluffy and occasionally flakey… helps anchor the experience. In a warm, supportive, rich and stimulating environment we can all flourish… and become more who we truly are… blessings on your onward journey! xx

We be beautiful!

Sam: Was lovely to see you again Richard 😌💜🕉

You too bro! Tho, ha, that ‘neuro-bleak-batter-core’ was a dismal racket! Dunno how Cleo and Ella tolerated it… Each to their own! Xx

Ok ok secretly I loved it… Life isn’t always folk noodlin and bird song!

Sam: haha 😂 everybody loves a cheeky bit of neuro 🤓Hope you got home alright bro & are adjusting back to whatever this normal stuff is 😳😂👌 x

Ha ha… Soul is always exultant, yet mind frequently dingy and body just craves a ferocious beat!… Neuro deffo has its place … All good here, tho stopping by Saintsburys on way back from a run, smiles, let alone hugs in drastic short supply… Wishing ya ease for your transition xx

RP: Ooh, like the sound of that!

Cleo: Lovely to see you Richard! Hope you having a wonderful time back by your coast ❤️ big love xx

Cleo! thanks m’dear… all pleasantly slow and gentle back in seaside sussex… today will toodle along to stanmer organics… permaculture, tea and a boogie…. adventures continueloved your warmth and beautiful energy at the festie… hope life flows sweetly with you! hug xxx

Cleo: sounds wonderful and i am glad to here your adventure continues 🥰 lovely to see you again, the kindest soul and maybe the seaside will call us together someday – see you on the coastline✨🌊

thanks… sweeet xxx

mushies

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mushies! enuff for brekkie anyway… garlic and homegrown gorgeous courgette. yum!
these are ‘blue oyster cult’… or something like that, pleurotus anyway
a month or so ago i volunteered on a mushroom cultivation course up at the earth ship, in stanmer park, with brighton permaculture
what better way to spend a weekend! a beautiful outdoor location, friendly folk and fascinating subject matter… my ‘job’ was mostly making tea
along with some logs, we got to take home a bag of spawn impregnated straw… it loitered in the loft for a while
i shocked it by dousing with cold water and then bunged it in the shed.
yield!
can never resist a selfie. okey dokes. pack for buddhafield!.. swim in the sea!… sunday mellow vibes everyone

baby snail

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aww a baby snail curled up and asleep in a courgette flower! cute
…. that or she’s punch drunk sozzled into unconsciousness having gorged herself on the nectar… the blighters have utterly decimated almost everything i’ve planted…. runner beans are has-beens
of all the courgette plants this is the ‘last man standing’… a pyrrhic victory… snails have been so bent on devouring the others this plant has mostly survived… one fruit looks like it will make it to harvest. yay
courgette flowers are super on salads… tho might give this one a miss… plenty of vitamins in snail slime?
toms are looking good tho
the devastation is the same every year. you’d think i’d learn. try something different? apparently not!
i don’t mind. spiral shells… mystic beauty
evicted to the patch of great willow herb down the far end of the yard
anyway stuff to do! x

Megan: If you plant lots of garlic, onions, leeks, etc. around the plants they like it keeps them away (to some degree).

chess

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chess… when playing this ancient and intriguing game, best to dress to impress, like some ottoman panjandrum!
with left over birthday money from mum i ordered a chess set and a book of puzzles, arrived today. fun
………
my latter years, once my dance career is complete, will be spent playing chess in a park, on a hill over looking the turquoise sea
each morning I shall set out the pieces and recite poetry, sitting there in the shade of an ancient tree, surrounded and succumbed to Roses
opponents will come. opponents will go. the hustle is moderate to lucrative
a beautiful old town nestles somewhere down below, meditteranean… spain? italy? Praha-on-sea? yet the stillness rhythmically punctuated by the ullululation of a mosque… daydreamy artifice need not be overly specific n’ realistic
in the distance a band plays flamenco inspired music, sometimes mournful, often more euphoric. latino… frangipanni … jacaranda … bouganvilea
as i ponder the board, half an eye wanders to the endless variety of beautiful folk meandering by, dog walkers, book readers, jugglers, kids… many stop to tell me about their lives, i nod sagely.
KnxB Check!

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(as i’m clearly prone to waffle)… i loved chess as a kid… sport of kings? that and table tennis… best games ever… do all programmers adore chess?
i was the captain of the school team… top board… which sounds impressive… but when its a drear bog standard british comprehensive… i think i was the only oddball actually interested…
many of the other pupils dressed as mods and spent all day being brusque and gambling with games of ‘penny up the line’… tho yeah in hindsight that sounds fun too!
i even played at cobham chess club… clive craigmile (craig clivemile?) took me along most weeks, there was me and one speccy kid, he was good, and lots of earnest, intelligent middle aged men
chess clocks with the looming impending doom of the flags… a genius invention… notation pads to jot down every move
an air of intense concentration. humbugs, in fact every variety of boiled sweet… oh and pipes! surely them bods were smoking pipes?
clever

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i almost posted a black and white photo… to comply with the underlying chess cliche… but decided the colours were far too lush and sumptuous to waste

‘chess a game for clever and serious people’, a selfie obvs, tho as befits all attention to detail folk, i set the board up so i’d lose to fool’s mate on the next white move… hence the glum… well scholars mate actch, but ya get the drift x

Roast Avocado and Asparagus

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Roast Avocado and Asparagus, on a base of quinoa, with spinach, orange and almonds! washed down with a czech lager…
oh and an equally green view from the downs
first attempt from a birthday recipe book from my sis, tasty! tho somehow warm avo has the unique quirk and kink of something from the 70’s
i was half expecting the suggestion of a vegan prawn cocktail for starter and pink angel delight for pud?!
this despite the fact i doubt i tasted an avo before ooh 85.. back in the seventies of my childhood it was but a colour for bathroom suites
the zeppelin of cuisine (well if your middle class brit like me) has clearly drifted in the direction of the moon
(new instagram moon in cancer)