Spring Fever in Autumn.


A brief respite from the wonderful hurly-burly. It’s been one of those intense periods of work and creativity, yet for the first time in ages, I’ve not been doing much writing, (of my own). However, it was back to it this morning, and then I thought I’d pop in here and say hello.

These times away from routines can be compost-making times, hey? I remind myself of this as I watch the leaves whirl madly outside my window. They scatter themselves across the lawn, and I rake them up from time to time, giving them to the garden beds, where they’ll nourish the plants with their rich rot. The Chook Ladies are doing their level best to bring disorder and mayhem to the garden, throwing themselves into the piles of leaves, like the feathered berserker butterballs that they are.

It’s been unseasonably warm, but now the sky is gathering up its stormy skirts, layer upon layer of cloudy tulle, white mist, and leaden silk. Every now and then, there’s a gust of wind that sets the wind chimes singing, (they never fail to enchant me), and more leaves are released from their increasingly bared branches.

It’s been a teensy bit over a year since we moved here, and I have to say that I have never in my life been more at home anywhere, nor thought it was possible to fall so deeply in love with a place, as I have with this little mountain.*


And all around me there is inspiration and beauty, and I’m pulled in so many directions. It’s almost like a Spring Fever, this snowball of creative activity and fervour. I attempt to centre myself, yet I’m quite happy for it to tumble from me in a mad gush. It’s part of the ebb and flow, perhaps. The calm, tranquil, even-tempered waters are fine some of the time, but there is also a time at the end of Winter, when the rivers and streams rush with the thaw. They boil and race, released from stillness in all their clean, cold clarity. They are unapologetically passionate, and intent upon their course.

Perhaps we favour too much the stillness, the calm. Striving for such a state, understandably as a counterpoint to the sensory overload of our Age. Yet all seasons and moods carry power and beauty, and the energy within them to transform, create, destroy. So I welcome this Spring-like energy I’m experiencing, even though I am also enjoying the beautiful and ancient descent into the deep seasons.

In the spirit of Spring, but rather than try to play catch-up in too mad a fashion, I shall toss a bouquet of random things in the air, and see where they land…


Despite the fact that we’re knee-deep in Autumn here, I’m poring over seed catalogues. I can’t help myself. I’m quite obsessed. And right now I’m sowing sweet pea, comfrey, and wildflower seeds. I’ve been planting out blackcurrant bushes, and yet more lavender. My honesty seedlings are flourishing and more than ready for planting out. All my kale and salad greens are doing well, offering up on a near daily basis their leaves for salads. And after much research, which has resulted in an agony of decision-making, I’ve ordered a climbing rose called “Cinderella”.

Said rose is actually part of my cunning plan to transform the benighted Frankenstein’s Potting Shed into something less retina-burning, and a lot more fragrant. It’s a three-pronged approach involving paint, Virginia Creeper, and…roses. There’s also buddleia involved, but that maketh the plan four-pronged, and therefore less elegant in the telling. I shall post some before-and-after pics anon. Poor old potting shed. At some point before our arrival here, it suffered the indignity of a tree falling on its roof. As if it weren’t unfortunate-looking enough, in all its naked aluminium glory.

It’s also spurring me to paint other projects, including the exterior trim on my house. Although the latter plan, (along with the shed-painting), is somewhat thwarted by the season. So I’ll have to sit on my hands and wait until Spring.


A list, of sorts…

Long walks with swathes of ruby leaves at my feet; golden, sepia light; Samahin night with Starchild incense, and bats; sipping sweet rose London fog tea; receiving a gift of sublime ecoya candles; reading the new issue of Womankind Magazine, and devouring Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, (in one sitting). Helping a friend paint a bedroom and ensuite in her home, and loving how it’s evolving from a cold-looking storage space into a cosy sanctuary. Knitting up a ‘Juliet’ using Malabrigo worsted in ‘Paris Night’, (as I work my way though my wool stash). Thinking about the (un)common ground – the nexus between magic and science – and how fascinating is this idea to a science-loving witch who despises superstition and crackpot ideologies . You know the ones – the compassion killers that masquerade as enlightenment, but which plug us full of the same old, old fear and guilt; and a delusional sense of superiority.


Listening to Radiohead’s ‘Burn the Witch’; loving the fierce but kind truth-tellers, (there are more and more appearing, right when we need them most). Sensing the call to Sharon Blackie’s Reclaiming the Wise Woman course; feeling incredibly inspired by Colette O’Neill’s Bealtaine Cottage, (I love it more than all the words, and am often deeply moved, as well as tangibly impacted when I see and read of her profound work of love, and healing earth magic). Seed-swapping; spending time with dear friends; creating a playlist for a book I’m writing; nibbling on baba ganouj scattered with pomegranate seeds, and scoffing avocados…whole, (lemon juice, salt, spoon, inhale).

And you?




*Or rather, a hill, as one would refer to a landmark of this height in New Zealand

13 thoughts on “Spring Fever in Autumn.

  1. “You know the ones – the compassion killers that masquerade as enlightenment, but which plug us full of the same old, old fear and guilt; and a delusional sense of superiority.”


    Love your porch!


    1. Thankyou Pia – my porch seems to be an ever-evolving spot, as the seasons change. It’s a lovely place to sit and watch the world go by in Summer, but in the colder months is becomes all wuthering-heights-ish, and a place to be when you fancy a bracing blast of icy gale from the Antarctic!


  2. “It’s been one of those intense periods of work and creativity,…”

    So happy that you have all this energy! You must be mostly recovered from whatever “pothole” life threw in your path, a while ago. Yesssss….

    Here, we are in the midst of a couple of life’s “potholes.” Husband had to go in hospital, with an “angry” pancreas, which they helped make “happy” again. Simply by resting it, with no food or drink. 🙂 Only giving him an IV saline solution. He came home and I came down with a horrrrible cold. Eeeek.

    While getting better, I have to try to not give it to him. !!!!

    Let me tell you, a surgical face mask is not a “beauty look” for an “olden” gal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ,-)

    Gentle hugs…


  3. I am so glad to read of your happiness. I think of you as a hill witch, full of light and rose-scent and swirling enchanting shadow. I love to read everything you write – its always infused with the magic of hill, rose, earthy enchantment. I hope you do Sharon’s course because I’d love to myself and would wish it for anyone.


    1. Thankyou for saying such lovely things Sarah. And I’m definitely aiming to find a way of doing Sharon’s course…it’s tricky with the Northern-Southern Hem exchange rate, being what it is. xx


  4. i can fervently recommend Sharon’s course….i’m immersing myself in its goodness and it’s so very definitely worth it

    i’m flapping around like a blue-arsed fly these days….the mad rush of spring, the digging over of garden beds, the planting of strawberries and blackberries and all manner of veg and flowers and assorted shrubbery….but it’s a good [ish] sort of busy.

    this morning, i listened to a wonderful episode of On Being with an interview with a Nobel physicist who was really a poet and philosopher in disguise…science and magic and beauty…oh, so very much intertwined. you’d probably like that one. 🙂

    much love to you…it’s so lovely to hear you sounding so content with things. xoxoxo


    1. Oh Mel, I love that you’re doing that course! Constantly I’m finding like-minded spirits who are doing it/recommending it, and it’s strengthening that call.

      I also love the sound of that On Being interview – I shall have to ferret it out, because it sounds like just my kind of ticket.

      And your Spring! Your work in the garden is sounding exciting and productive! Such a beautiful part of the world that you’re in…I’m loving this Autumn, even thought my garden is looking scruffy and even a little demented : )
      Much love to you too, dearest Mel. xx


  5. Another yes for Sharon’s course.
    Your home is so beautiful; such a lovely feel to it.
    I fully relate to your mood. It’s how I get in our September and I LOVE it. Enjoy.
    Also, after my binge-consumption of The Dresden Files, I’m very happy to see Bob the Skull in that last photo : ).


    1. Jo, you’re one of the people I noticed doing that course…and that’s a big vote for me.

      Bob the skull tends to come out at Samhain, and then he sticks around for many moons beyond, leering at the cats, and finding our human folly generally amusing. I haven’t done the Dresden Files…yet : ) xx


  6. Sounds like your autumn is as busy as my spring. Hardly any time for blogging and visiting my blogging friends – that’s just the way it is sometimes. You sound in very good spirits – I hope your health scare is behind you – loved hearing about your frenetic life right now – just got to keep juggling all those balls in the air.


    1. Thankyou Elaine. Things really are a bit all over the show at the moment, but I’m enjoying myself flitting from one project to another. Enjoy your beautiful English Spring! xx


  7. *insert long spate of profanity here*

    my ridiculous blog feed for some reason hasn’t been showing me your blog in the postings list…it’s done this before (quite often, actually), but i thought it had sorted itself. when i got around to checking up by going directly to your page, there was not one post, but TWO that i had never seen. useless fecking reader…

    on the positive side, this meant that i had two lovely blog-visits to do, so i saved it up for this morning when i got an unusual amount of sleep (which means, nearly 7 hours, broken only twice, for fairly minimal amounts of time. sigh.) and when my daughter, home from her college, is sleeping in as people her age seem to do, and my bath is done, and tea made, and underwear and robe on, and breakfast made (leftover chickpea/rice pilaf with a lovely free-range egg softly cooked atop), and the world unwontedly quiet for a weekday morn…

    last things first: i can’t believe i’ve not encountered bealtaine cottage before! oh! and that incense looks very tempting. and i WANT a ‘juliet’ gilet. i do wonder if a sad little knitter-only-of-rectangles could somehow make and join together three rectangles (plain stitch only, because of course i canna do patterny thingys) to make some variant version? nah. best not. franken-vest is what i’d end up with.

    so happy that you are happy in your new home. it sounds lovely. the potting shed beautification sounds promising, and it seems right to have chosen a “cinderella” rose, given that it is “rapunzel’s cottage”… (starts mental note to look up other fairy tale linked plants and domestic items…)

    “feathered berserker butterballs”! i did laugh out loud, the image was so vivid. if one knows chickens, that is so exactly right.

    i do think that the autumn is—as much as spring is, really—a time of bursting energy. it’s just different tasks calling forth the engagement…for myself, i’ve always been more likely to “spring clean” in autumn. making the nest ready for the long dark, ready for cocooning through winter. and the blessed coolness after the misery that is summer brings one back to life. makes perfect sense to me…

    i’m enjoying “womankind” too—along with the usual disparate stack of reading. i thank you for mentioning it previously, which led me to subscribe. the beautiful card which came to me a few days ago is on my desk next to the flowers from mother’s day and previous letters, and i thank you for that too! there *will* be a letter soon, when i find another large-ish block of quiet…


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