Gillian Archive - Cae Non

Author Archives: Gillian

One Day Spiritual Workshops

Posted on: February 16th, 2014 by
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New for the summer, Gillian will be leading a series of individual one-day workshops on a variety of spiritual subjects. Read what’s on offer and book your place now!     30th March:  Develop Your Psychic Sensitivity: A practical hands-on approach to deepening your intuition and enhancing your connection to the many levels of existence for a richer, fuller and more rewarding life. (Also includes divinatory techniques) 27th April:  Psychic Cleansing and Protection: Simple ways to cleanse and protect yourself, your home and your workplace, leading to a safer, healthier and happier life. 25th May:  Becoming Friends With the Natural World: Ways to experience nature and access its essence at a deeper level and why it is of vital importance for our survival that we learn to do so. 29th June:  Meeting With Yourself: How to get to know yourself on a more intimate, deeper level, which will ultimately lead to understanding, acceptance, healing and happiness. 27th July:  Banish Your fears and Worries:  Practical and straightforward ways to deal with your worries and fears, putting you firmly back in control of your life and emotions. 31st August: Meeting With Your Higher Self: Experience and learn simple techniques to help you connect with your higher self and access your own ancient wisdom. 28th September: Past Lives and Soul Healing: The relevance of having lived before, soul fragmentation, retrieval and healing. All workshops use a very down to earth and  accessible approach which is rooted in basic personal experience. No previous knowledge or experience necessary. Each day begins at 10.am. and finishes at 5.pm.. Each workshop costs £35 and includes all tuition, refreshments and home made lunch. email me to book your place on a workshop

Down the Field

Posted on: August 10th, 2013 by
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Taking a walk with the dogs around the field, I took these pictures. I feel that the photo of the little Dog Pool captures the essence of summer here; greenery and wild flowers almost hiding the pool away and the water all stirred up with clay from the bottom where the dogs have jumped about and sat in it. Well, after all, it was originally made for them – somewhere they could cool off and enjoy! The willow tunnel leads away from the hard standing and the Hafod, down into the less frequented area of the field where most of the trees have been planted. It seems quieter here somehow, and for now more open to the sky – if that is possible! A good place to lose oneself in the magic of the meadow. Here is Melly – one of our two golden labradors – sitting on top of a pile of stone proudly surveying her little kingdom! The stone is actually piled at one corner of the hard standing, waiting to complete the path to the hafod this winter.

By The Stream

Posted on: August 10th, 2013 by
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Looking across Dafydd’s Californian poppy herb bed and the stream, with the bench just visible on the opposite bank beneath the big old gorse bush. The carving of the Owl stands guard to one side of the path. The Salmon of Wisdom stands at the other side of the path, near the steps down to the stream. In the background is our neighbouring hill, one of several low peaks which shelter us from the winds that blow in across the sea. It is easy to walk to the top and gives a fantastic view of the ocean on one side and the spread of the Llyn Peninsula on the other. Note that the balsam is in full flower, but is more valued now that we have our first colony of bees! The steps down the the stream, with moley’s little offering of tunnelled soil in evidence to the right of the bottom step!

Lammas Celebration

Posted on: August 4th, 2013 by
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Lammmas really did defeat us weather-wise. It was quite warm but blowy and wet and this time we graciously conceeded defeat; errected the teepee tent in the oak grove and sat thankfully inside it! As always, what needs to be, will be what will happen. We all enjoyed a peaceful, relaxed celebration of the grain harvest and examined the importance of relationships and agreements. We built a pretty celebratory bower in the centre of our circle and shared the specially baked sheaf-loaf. Later we retired inside the hafod, lit the stove and tucked into a communal feast which everyone present had so generously brought edible contributions for. Joy and prosperity for our harvest!

Kitchen Garden

Posted on: July 30th, 2013 by
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Not to be totally out-done by Dafydd, I planted up some little containers which I had painted green earlier in the year. One of them is actually an old book shelf, which had begun to rot at the bottom, so has been recycled! (The spaces between the shelves make excellent divisions between the different herbs!). This is the start of my Kitchen Garden, the photo was taken just after I planted my herbs out: thyme, sage, chives, sweet cicely, marigolds, greek oregano, and rosemary, mint and parsley in smaller containers.  I also have Melissa (Lemon Balm) at the other end of the garden. These herbs are all for culinary use but of course they do have valuable medicinal uses too. This is just the beginning though. On this slightly raised area of stream bank, I also plan to plant black currant and gooseberry bushes next spring, and maybe a couple of apple trees! After that, we will have to see where the land takes me…

Harvesting Willow

Posted on: July 7th, 2013 by
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Winter and very early spring is the time to harvest – and plant – willow. Here is a view of part of a willow bed, local to us, where I was today helping to cut and sort the crop…. heads of willow can be seen standing waiting in the background; “stools” that have already been cut in the foreground and a pile of willow branches – or “whips” – lying on the ground ready to be carried off the field. And yes, that is water lying on the land; willows love it, which after the weather we have had in the past few months is just as well! Here Neil is beginning to cut some red willow which looks particularly pretty at this time of year. I am going to have some of this to plant the heart-shaped centre of my labyrinth with! This is the sort of material needed to build structures – and labyrinths! – beautifully straight, strong and pliant branches, 8 – 12 feet long.             And here we have some of the smaller, thinner lengths, and some of the red willow, all ready bundled and tied for transportation… guess what I will be doing for the next few days????

Useful recycling

Posted on: July 6th, 2013 by
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Useful recycling: Take two people, two wheelbarrows and about 80 bags of rubble and old plaster (discarded from our house in the process of eradicating an outbreak of dry rot), and tip it onto our waterlogged path up to the Hafod… creating this…. Wonderful way to use it all, creating a semi solid base on which to spread stone which should bed into the plaster and set. Should end up a good serviceable path which looks nice as well as making journeys up the field much easier….  Simples!

A Very Happy New Year!

Posted on: July 4th, 2013 by
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Greetings and good wishes to all our readers for 2013! After an extremely volatile and challenging year, we all enjoyed a peacefully deep and loving Solstice followed by a really quiet Christmas. But by the 27th December we were heading down on to the land with coloured candles and ribbons and bags of fresh evergreens with which to decorate the Hafod for New Year. While I was wobbling about on stools, poking holly behind every plaque and mirror, weaving ivy around the beams and setting red and green candles in their brass and copper sticks, Dafydd was out beginning to plant the 450 trees (see Dafydd’s own post) which had recently been delivered and Holger was maintaining his various weather stations.    This was to be the first of several days we have spent down there in the past week, including New Year’s Eve. We would work around outside until the light began to fade and then gather around the little wood-burning stove, comforted by large thermal mugs full of hot tea and coffee, singing carols and playing our favourite children’s games. As twilight deepened, an increasing number of candles were lit, flares went up outside the Hafod door and more logs were piled on the stove. (At one stage we got so hot – nearly 23 degrees – that we were sitting in short sleeves with the door wide open!) Every time we went down for the day/evening we took a sumptuous cold buffet supper to consume early in the evening; salads and dips, cheeses and cold meats (apologies to the vegetarians among you), cakes, stollens, biscuits and cheesecakes… cider and homemade wine was passed around freely… and there were only three of us there! Altogether we had some wonderful times! And on New Years Eve itself, we could see in the far distance the fireworks being let off – multicoloured flowers against the night sky. But nothing could rival the full moon sailing across blue velvet. With all the rain that has fallen this last few months, our land is indescribably sodden and everywhere we walk we squelch into several inches of waterlogged grass or squelchy clay mud. So the evening I wandered out to find the outdoor loo and foolishly decided not to don my wellingtons to walk there… only to find myself well over my shoe tops in very cold water and very sticky mud… was not a very sensible idea! (Well I should have known better, shouldn’t I ???!!!) Overall, our time at Cae Non this last few days has been absolutely magical. I hope that it is a foretaste of all the magical and wonderful times to come in this new year and wish you all a wonderful time of coming together, success, satisfaction and joy.   

The Frosting on the Cake

Posted on: July 1st, 2013 by
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These photos of Cae Non were taken a week after the main January snowfall which brought traffic to a standstill and rendered it a real pleasure to be cosily tucked up at home! Seven days later, most of the snow had melted from our village and the local towns were completely clear – as if it had never been! But the Snowdonia mountains were still cloaked in thick snow and ice…. and as we drove towards the sea at Pistyll and our land we discovered that so too were the fields and lanes there. In places the drifts were four and five feet deep. Here on the lane outside our gateway it was much more sheltered, but although melting fast, easy to guess how treacherous it had been earlier in the week! Looking up the field towards the stream and the Hafod, this sturdy and immensely useful addition to our outdoor facilities awaits four – or more! – strong men to transport it up to the Hafod. Anyone for a picnic??!! The island looked so pretty, as indeed did the rest of the land. It took on a whole different atmosphere… became a fairy domain full of magical energies. I found the intense quiet and peace of Cae Non in deepest winter extremely calming but also amazingly energising and utterly joyful and ended up stomping around in the snow, cheerfully singing and whistling, and feeling inexplicably happy. Standing on the island there was an intense still as if the land was listening. The water in the channel around the island was actually still frozen – hence the faint similarity in appearance to Kendal Mint Cake in the picture! The fact that we get such icy winter conditions opens up all manner of possibilities, not least the option of skating in winters to come! As we are contemplating forming a larger pool at the bottom of the field, it would be perfect…. shallow enough for it not to matter if we plunge through the ice into water which would only be 12″ or 18″ deep! The white of the snow makes the Hafod appear strangely dark! From this perspective you cannot tell that there is a glowing log fire burning in our little stove, or that we had had to leave the door open because it was so hot inside! Can this really be the same stream bank where I sit in spring and summer, basking in the sunny warmth of such a sheltered spot? Looking carefully at the snow, it is easy to see that our two Labrador dogs, (Stella and Melangell), have already thoroughly explored… there are paw prints everywhere! Later when I was trudging back down to the car at the gate, a thought suddenly struck me. As a child my mother would make a traditional Christmas Cake with ancient china Santa and fir trees grouped on top, but for New Year, she would bake another fruit cake, this time decorated with a tiny coaching scene. A yellow stage coach pulled by four minute brown horses was racing towards a jolly little inn with comfortably glowing windows, while porters stood waiting for its arrival. Several green spiky fir trees provided a rural backdrop. To make it more realistic, my mother used to create “muddy ruts” in the icing “snow” by dragging the tines of a fork through it which had previously been dipped in gravy browning. It was very effective! As I looked down at the tracks in the snow I realised that they looked exactly like the sugar-crafted miniature ones…. and for a very odd few minutes, I felt as if I was walking in a scene on a massive cake…. I told you that the snow at Cae Non has strange qualities about it!!!!

Midsummer Solstice

Posted on: June 22nd, 2013 by
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All set to celebrate the midsummer, only the weather was proving a bit fickle and moody so to be on the safe side, we erected our teepee tent and prepared to celebrate under-cover if necessary. Here everything is set for the festivities to begin. It is good to know that in summer we can also use a similar arrangement to shelter us from rain, wind or sun if we wish to hold some of the workshops and discussions outside when the weather is a bit too potent for our vulnerable human condition. As it turned out, we never went inside the tent; chilly and a bit wind-blown we gathered in the grove of baby oak saplings where we also later lit a blazing bonfire around which we sat, sucking on delicious lollypops purchased from the old fashioned sweet shop in Harlech.