Samhain onboard

1 Nov

Happy Halloween to all and Blessed Be to fellow pagans.
For the first time in a few years, I am not working on Halloween weekend so have had the chance to chill out onboard my boat drinking spiced apple tea, reading spooky stories (there are some horrors in Neil Gaiman’s “Fragile Things”) and burning the green skull candle I’d been saving. I even found a “Day of the Dead” page in my colouring book. (Yes I have a colouring book. Actually, I have three- and they rock.)

I had loads of errands to run in town so braved the scariest thing of all- Saturday shopping in Milton Keynes. BUT, as I get phone reception there, it turned out to be a good thing I did- I accidentally visited the Gothic Manchester festival while on tour last weekend and entered a raffle in aid of S.O.P.H.I.E. to win a knitted Cthulhu. As I want my bathroom to be sea monster themed, I’ve wanted one for ages. Well, I got a phone call and… look!!! The white one is mine!!! ❤
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Also, the reading rooms at Manchester’s library are amazing. There has to be a secret portal in here. Right?

Samhain (aka Halloween) is the pagan new year- marking the end of the ‘light’ half of the year. The Celts believed that days began at sunset and so the new year begins now, at the dark half of the year. It’s a time for remembering the dead and celebrating the lives of ancestors. Though I love a good party and making costumes, I also find the season a time for being still and meditative. Especially losing someone at this time, it was even more important to me that I had my alone time.
As I know very little about my ancestors, I thanked them for the fact that I’m alive thanks to them and lit an extra candle, and wrote messages to the friends I have known who have died. (Luckily, there have been few.)
One of these friends died while I was at school, still living with my mum. That night, I stuck this little plastic stained-glass-effect butterfly on my bedroom window for her. It sat there for fifteen years and after I left home a decade ago, my mum tried to remove it. It resisted all attempts at dislodging it and now that my mum is moving house too, she assumed it would stay there but had one last try at pulling it from the window. It practically fell into her hand. ❤
Looking at it now, it reminds me very much of some tattoos on another very close friend. I don’t know what that is supposed to ‘mean’ but things seem to have come full circle in a way, like so many things in life. All I can do is hope that in the same way, we’ll be reunited with our loved ones who died first.

My little space on the hearth, with candles, tea, notepad and snuggly carpet. See the skull candle?
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I didn’t dress up this year but as I dress up every day (even when I’m naked, I’m being a wood sprite, goddess or strange sculpture), that’s fine. I have some beautiful photos from an Autumn photoshoot with Shannon Swift and Orchid Corsetry, in which I think I look rather vampiric! 😉

3 copy
7 copy
1 copy
5 copy

It’s the first day of NaNoWriMo, which I’ll tell you about soon- so for now, I’m going to get writing. 🙂 Wish me luck!


13 Responses to “Samhain onboard”

  1. projectshadowlondon November 2, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

    That candle is amazing! As is the story behind the glass butterfly.
    Hope the writing is going well, I’m hoping to get back on track myself though not doing NaNoWriMo as such. Still ages behind on my third book 😦
    And finally, as the owner of a recently-acquired ‘Cthulhu Loves You’ cushion, may I just say, “Squeee!”
    Hope Samhain has been good for you, certainly sounds like it. Smiles and blessings 🙂

    • roswellivory November 5, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

      Thankyou- it’s not going so well right now but I will get right on it today and tomorrow. 😀

      Ooh- what is the book about? Good luck with it!

      LMAO!!! Thanks. D

      • projectshadowlondon November 5, 2015 at 11:50 pm #

        Good on you! Doing better than I have – thoroughly exhausting week 😦 What are you writing about then?

        As for mine, let me throw you a link for the first two to get you some context!
        Now book 3 (in progress) deals with the most human of the characters, and so I’m working on what I can best describe as a urban fantasy supernatural spy adventure, and raising the stakes for everyone following on from the second. Current scene I’m working on will hopefully polish up well in later drafts, but I’m being rather mean to one of my lead characters…

        Thank you!

        • roswellivory November 9, 2015 at 12:08 am #

          I’m just editing some old stuff so I have complete drafts to hate at a later date. 😛

          Ooh! Thankyou- I’ll have a look asap! 🙂 It sounds awesome.


  2. Frivolous Monsters November 8, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

    Is Fragile Things a good read, as I see it’s lots of short pieces collected from all over? I’ve got most of Neil Gaiman’s stuff and am just reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane now. I think I’ll go back to re-reading Neverwhere or American Gods particularly as I recently got the anthology that has a follow up to Neverwhere in it.


    • roswellivory November 9, 2015 at 12:12 am #

      Ooh yes!!! Some of the stories are better than others, some grow on you and some are awesome from the first read! (there’s one that’s a parody of gothic fantasy which I didn’t like at first but now really love and one about a little dead boy hanging out with a live boy, which is horrible and beautiful at once).

      I haven’t read The Ocean- what’s that like?

      R x

      Hang on… a follow up to Neverwhere??? Is that in Smoke and Mirrors?

      • Frivolous Monsters November 9, 2015 at 2:03 am #

        I shall look out for it then. I thought I had most of Gaiman’s books now, going off the Wikipedia list, apart from the co-authored ones because I’m suspicious of what that means.

        The Ocean at the End of the Lane gets a lot of love from people, but I didn’t really feel it. It’s only about 235 pages and for most of it the main character is a seven year old boy. It’s like a children’s book, but not suitable for children. I’m not saying it’s not well-written (of course) but I found some of it tough going as you really do feel the struggle that the child endures when he’s trapped with no way out.

        It is odd, but I think I can relate with Neverwhere more because it has a “normal” male adult central character that’s a bit of a loser but goes on to learn. That and I love the BBC adaptation they did for TV, which I thought was wonderfully cast, even though I hear Gaiman didn’t like it.

        If you haven’t read ‘Stardust’ then I think you would enjoy that. Again not too long, but if you’ve seen the film it bears little comparison as the book is much better. Thankfully I read the book first.

        As for the brief follow up to Neverwhere (I’ve not read Smoke and Mirrors either) it’s called ‘How the Marquis got his Coat Back’ and features in an anthology edited by George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones bloke) called ‘Rogues’. A very big book – 800 pages – and the story, presumably about Marquis de Carabas, is 32 pages. If you are internet savvy you may be able to find it elsewhere?!?

        I think I might read Neverwhere again before dipping into it for that one.

        • roswellivory November 11, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

          As far as I’ve seen, his co-authored stuff is all projects with friends- like Terry Pratchett. I’ve read and loved Good Omens. 🙂

          I love Stardust and can never decide if I prefer the film or the book though. 😀 Possibly because the film has scenes from Norwich in it- which is where I lived for a good-sized chunk of my life.

          Thanks for the reviews! 😀 I’ll read The Ocean at some point soon, when I’ve finished the Night Watch series (which rocks) . 🙂

          R x

  3. Kitty Wood November 10, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

    I don’t know how I missed this blog before! You know the reason I have those butterfly tattoos is because when I was 17 a close friend passed away, and we had a shared love of butterflies, and they played Love is like a butterfly by Dolly Parton at her funeral. When we left the crematorium there were so many buddleia trees, and butterflies everywhere.
    Love you xxxx

    • roswellivory November 11, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

      I knew the tattoos were for a friend but I dodn't know how strong the butterfly connection was! That is SO beautiful!

      xxxxxxx ❤

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