flying my Redfox flag

I was fortunate enough to be part of the inaugural Redfox Retreat a couple of weeks ago in Somerset. We stayed in a gorgeous Georgian manor house.

front hall

This was my very first retreat. I'm fairly good at taking care of myself - I firmly believe that if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. And as I'm (mostly) a Stay at Home Mom, it's important that I stay happy. Or at least sane.

I also firmly believe that my creativity and my mental state are inextricably linked. Co-dependent.

But - even given the above belief - I still felt incredibly selfish to travel so far away from home & family to nourish myself. Body and soul and all that.

And nourishing it was! Meghan, Sas and Susannah said that was the word they had in mind when creating the retreat.

Susannah, Sas and Meghan
Mission. Accomplished. *standing ovation*

Three days of workshops, some in the warm embrace of a yurt, all in a circle of very likeminded Women Who Became Vixens. 

yurt entrance
yurt interior

One day spent on a class field trip to Glastonbury.

Glastonbury Tor
walking up the Tor
ruins of St Michael's church
I made it
looking towards Wells and Bath
in the St John's church labyrinth
at the Chalice Well,
at the Chalice Well,
yes: it was cold
at the Chalice Well
ruins of Glastonbury Abbey

And every day nourished by the most awesome team of food friends! 
(gluten-free sticky toffee pudding. seriously.)

lunchtime goodness

evening ambiance

Would I recommend it? Hell to the YEAH! Did I find it difficult to relax and retreat? NO. not at all. 
(I guess I really am selfish, after all.) *smirks*

string of lights,
sparks of connection

This will go down in my books as one of the most soul-full experiences of my life. The group of women who showed up were... divine. I lost track of the number of times when I looked around and thought what the fuck is going on?? and this feels greater than the sum of its parts... 

It was powerful. 

first litter of
Redfox vixens


curriculum vitae

Geez, I really struggled in school. So when my daughter showed me a video recently - posted on Facebook by my sister - wee tears sprang to my eyes. How I wish I had had the gumption to state aloud that an exam result shall not define my fate. Or my worth, in my case...

And then a whole lot of stuff started whirling around inside my head about schooling. I've been trying to stay positive when presented with the query "why do I have to learn this!!!" flung in my face during homework. It's tough. And: I hate homework. I already DID homework!!

We read Wuthering Heights in high school. Grade 12 if I remember correctly. I slogged through that book, not understanding a single syllable that Kathy's family's gardener uttered. After a while I would just skim his parts and hope that whatever he said would be illuminated contextually at a later point. 

(Luckily my English teacher read aloud the gardener's parts in full brogue. Suddenly the jibberish made some sort of sense!) 

Then there was Shakespeare - one play a year. Another slogfest. I never knew how funny, romantic, current, lewd... heck - downright entertaining! - his plays could be until I saw them in action either in play form or a movie. 

My son is at the slogfest stage now. Although he says that they don't just sit in class and take turns destroying the various characters by reading aloud. I'm not sure exactly how they do it, but given how much different his other subjects have changed since I was in high school I'm sure Bill isn't spinning quite so fast in his grave these days.

Thanks to one of my cousins, my kids have been priviledged enough to experience Shakespeare as a really funny play long before now. This cousin acts in a company that modernizes Shakespearean plays all the while staying true to the text. She was in their production of Henry V last summer, and her own 8 yr old son ended up knowing great swaths of the play verbatim.

Just the other day, my son announced that he felt sorry for his cousin... saying that all he's known so far is how funny and entertaining Shakespeare can be. 

"Once he gets to high school, he won't even recognize these plays! ... he's in for a rough time..."

So maybe I've been lucky to suffer through the poorly read production of The Merchant of Venice, and Hamlet et al and then be illuminated. I can't imagine how it would be the other way. 

Hopefully by the time my cousin's son is in high school, the curriculum will have evolved even more. 


P is the meanest girl letter


My daughter has synaesthesia too! And yes, she got it from me. It's incurable and we wouldn't have it any other way.

I discovered this from the discussion that we had in the car en route to (what else) synchro practice recently. Gave me the shivers... so cool that she and I have this in common!

So we started comparing: for me A is red, and for her: navy blue, B is brown (me) and yellow (her), C is yellow/green. And so on. 

But then she went further and listed their personalities and genders: A is (definitely) a boy - and an irritating one at that, B is a (tom)girl, C is a boy, but a nice one.

I started to compare, and realized that - when pressed - my letters had genders too. No personalities though... maybe I've outgrown that aspect.

When we got down to P:

she said, shaking her head a bit

"P is a mean letter. A girl: P is the meanest girl letter."


for me

Part of the reason why I keep this blog going is to document. Primarily for me. 

For the past two years I have been working on a goal. To tidy things up, put things away, and then? ...then to maintain the tidyness. 

Here is some recent proof:

You can not imagine just how proud I am. However I have wrenched my arm patting myself on my back...