Friday, 24 August 2012

How Are You Feeling? Aha.

I have just spoken to Photographer Extraordinaire, Eileen Rafferty, and we have both agreed that we are going mad.  We are not sure if it is the menopause, but we are quite relieved to find that we are not alone.  On the one hand, it is a relief that someone else is suffering in the same way, and on the other hand, it is alarming because it may be catching.  How are you feeling? Aha.

However.  The Summer holidays are nearly over, and soon there will be a dearth of people in my house.  I am delighted to share my home with all who live here, but there comes a time in any busy home when the boss, me, needs everyone to take a long holiday.  Here is my household.
  1. No 1 Son.  Waiting to go back to college and spending time watching instructive, educational documentaries on telly on the sofa. He has plans to take over the world.  After last night's documentary on Ancient Rome, he thinks Nero was misunderstood. 
  2. No 2 Son.  Waiting to go back to school and spending most days asleep and most nights awake.  Has joined a gym and is training himself for future cage fights.  After your GCSEs, I tell him.
  3. Lodger 1.  A hard working Polish fellow who works nights.  He is so well brought up and so well behaved I am grateful he stays.
  4. Lodger 2.  A polite and interesting young man who is interested in astronomy and skate boarding.  He always checks if I need anything before popping to the shops and I think that is very good manners.  I never tell him to bring me back a bucket load of chocolate and Victoria sponge because I think he may move out.  One day I will.  He will be strong by then.
  5. Reg.  The man cat belonging to Lodger 2.  Reg really is a mystery.  He is small, sleek and black.  We all think he is an Egyptian God.
And Lo!  Tell us what you have done despite your madness

I have decluttered my studio!  It is bigger now, without the boxes and papers and pieces of ribbon.  I did this knowing that it was an outward expression of a very full mind, and I was hoping that by chucking away all sorts of rubbish, I would, in my head, undergo a similar experience as if by magic.  I am very pleased I did this, and while I was about it, I decluttered a fraction of my house.  Under the stairs, in my wardrobe, and in the telly room, there is peace and harmony.

  Forgive how it just cuts off, I think you get the picture.

Soul Midwives are a very wide ranging group of people, living and working all over the UK and beyond.  We had a useful and encouraging meeting a few months ago, where we made contact with each other and talked through things that we find difficult.  It was such a positive meeting that we decided to meet every few months to talk over our Soul Midwifery, and to learn from and support each other.  So, on the 11 September I am hosting the next Soul Midwife meeting here, in my house in Bognor Regis, from midday to 3pm.  If you are a Soul Midwife, please come along.  Email me on

Two days later, I am going to do some further training with Hermoine Elliot's foundation, Living Well Dying Well -   in Lewes, Sussex.  I met Hermoine a few years ago, and liked her very much.  Hermoine trains Soul Midwives as Doulas for the Dying, and has very much the same ethos as the lovely Felicity Warner who trains Soul Midwives

Living Well Dying Well is one of the sponsors for the Kicking the Bucket festival in Oxford, in which I am taking part.  Liz Rothschild organiser and brains behind it, has put together a month long festival of discussions, arts, performance, information and much more, on end of life issues from 15 October to 2 November -  I will be on a discussion panel on 27 October, after a performance of Nell Dunn's play Home Death.

Any more work despite growing instability up top?

Why yes!  There is!  I am waiting to hear back from the Scottish organisation  I may, funds permitting, take the A Graceful Death exhibition plus workshops up to their Annual Event in Edinburgh.  I do hope they say yes, I would love to meet them and to hear of all the good work that they do.  It is an awful long way to take an exhibition, Bognor to Edinbugh and back, for one day, so I will have to see if they can cope with the millions of pounds it takes.  Fingers crossed.

Tell us about the Life Board Workshops, do do do 

Well if you insist.  The Life Board Workshops are now up and running.  You may remember that to create a Life Board, you sit down with me and a huge table full of different papers, images, glitter, words, stick on jewels and butterflies and fancy things, paint, hearts and so on.  I give you a board, and you start to create, on the board, despite feeling that you have no idea where to start and what to do, a visual representation of who you are and what you are feeling right now.  Mostly, by the end of it, you are amazed by how lovely your board is and that actually, you are a very nice person with much to celebrate.  You get lost in the creating of this Life Board, and feel clearer after having done it.  It explains something of your self to you.  So far, I have not had anyone do a Life Board and then leave in tears, shocked at how horrible they are and what a dreadful mess their Life Board has shown them to be.  I did have a lady who started her life board by painting it all black.  She is recently bereaved, and I thought Gosh.  Where do we go from here?  She ended up with a glorious silver and black, playful and clever Life Board.  Here it is, to show you.  the silver star on the bottom left was attached on a sort of paper spring so it leapt out at you and waved about. 

Amanda's Life Board

And here is the one that Eileen did -

Eileen's life board with poetry

Life Board Workshops are very good for those who are bereaved.  They are good for you if you feel the need to express yourself and don't know how, they are good for you if you simply want to come and indulge in cutting, sticking, making, thinking.  They are all about you, they are all yours.  You can't go wrong, you will find that you are really quite wonderful.  If you want to come and create, then please do.  Details below -

Workshops last 3 hours.  They run in the mornings 9am to midday, or afternoons from 2pm to 5pm.  They are run from my house in Bognor Regis.

Cost - £30.00 per person.

I have everything here, but if you want to bring photos you want to cut up and use, or poetry, bring them. Otherwise I can find poetry on the internet while you are here and print it out for you to use.

If you need me to come to you with the Life Board materials, I will do that with pleasure.  I will ask you to pay the travel costs on top of the £30 per person. 

A solution to my madness has arisen -

I am going to St Ives for a few days to stay with an old school friend and fellow fairy, Jane.  I know Jane will cure me, she had all the facilities to do so.  I am leaving early next week in a cloud of furious fairy dust, and won't come home till I am normal.  

1 comment:

  1. Having had a quiet day and an afternoon siesta I feel a bit more human now! Looking forward to seeing the perfect studio (though it always looks perfect to me).

    Doing the lifeboards is fascinating and I highly recommend it. I had no idea mine would come out as it did - I had vague thoughts of red and pink polkadots - but the process sort of takes over and you learn what you want to do by just doing it. Very therapeautic, and great fun too. : -)