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♫    Music to dream by ....
For the Northern Lights,   which I have yet to see ...

on the album 'Nick Drake' 1971 - Island Records  ♫

'Northern Sky'   -  Nick Drake

(Opens in a new window - minimize & listen while you browse)

Nick Drake


     April 28th 2012
      Soon to Beltane -  The May Day - a gift that the earth has thrown us 
 here catch!    Please click on the picture above to hear Jethro Tull and 'Cup of Wonder' (minimize to browse)
"For the May Day is the Great Day ..."

    The faery here will be looking forward to the May Day dawning away from her woods and familiar meadows. She will miss the bluebells, full out in Hurst Wood and the Triangle as you can see in the flash above, taken yesterday. Miss too the shy flowers that open just before the full leaf canopy of the hazels and oaks dapples the pure sunlight.

       This year, Jack in the Green will meet me in a different English county, and the Greening will be blessed in another sacred spot.

My wood is ready decorated for Beltane -   wild garlic,  primrose,  celandine,  lady's smock,  wood anenome -  just a few that were in bloom today

Further entries you may like for the Beltane and the Maying can be found on my wesite here:
        Entries for May 1st and May 13th 2010  here    .....     and for May 3rd 2011 here

       New for Ogham tree Calendar and Magic pages is The Scots Pine - Ailm - ruler of the 2nd day of Winter Solstice

New on the Hedgerow Cooking pages, fresh now for late spring ... Wild Garlic Raita ... here

    April 16th 2012
    .... Compton Cemetery Chapel - an art nouveau masterpiece
      (The Ogham wood for magic is now Saille (Willow) - April 15th - May 12th)Compton Cemetery Chapel - Mary Watts © vcsinden 2012

Or should that be 'Mistresspiece'?  We magics know that this peaceful faery place was the design and creation of Mrs. Mary Watts (wife of painter George) at the height of the 'Arts and Crafts' movement - in the decade spaning 1894 - 1904. It was her gift to the village of Compton in Surrey.

Muddypond gazed in awe at the little chapel on the hill one day last week.

Come and take a closer look with me, but tread quietly. The building is a treasure house of celtic and spiritual symbolism.

  In describing her imagery Mary calls each symbol a 'Magic Key' that 'unlocks a door into a world of enchantment'. Just look at the door, and you will understand ...

  Carved in oak and chestnut, many crucifix symbols from differing traditions swirl behind a huge wrought iron cross. The bottom half shows a vanquished dragon.

Compton Cemetery Chapel - great oak door © vcsinden 2012

  The building is decorated outside with terracotta panels and intricate friezes - the largest, angels, representing Hope, Truth, Love and Light. Mary held classes for women from the village, teaching them how to make the pottery tiles, and the smaller gesso pictures for the interior.

Compton Cemetery Chapel angel panels © vcsinden 2012
Compton Cemetery Chapel art nouveau panels © vcsinden 2012
Compton Cemetery Chapel angel panels © vcsinden 2012

      Lift the latch of that oak door, and step into the cool, dim and green interior. Feel the deep magic of the place, still used for rememberance more than a century after completion. Dark art nouveau angels stand in sympathy and hope, amongst the tangles roots and branches of the Tree of Life while cherubs look down on us from their arching roof.

Compton Cemetery Chapel angel panelled interior © vcsinden 2012

Triskele- Mary Watts Chapel © vcsinden 2012 Labyrinth Altar - Mary Watts Chapel, Compton © vcsinden 2012


Compton Cemetery Chapel gravestone © vcsinden 2012

    This magic hopes, really hopes, that you'll find a way to make a visit to this incredible place very soon, if you have never managed it before.

Information for visitors here

Compton Cemetery Chapel gravestone © vcsinden 2012

      All pictures of Compton Chapel used on this page are © vcsinden 2012

       April 12th 2012    .... the ConeDragons have arrived for summer ...

  If you feel like going for a spring walk, and filling a bag with pine cones and faery-founds, then you might like to see the 'Drimble of ConeDragons' that has now arrived on my  'Hedgerow Crafts'   page - at last! A great nature-crafty idea for any small sprigs you may have to entertain!
Click picture to see larger image. 

You might also like to know about  " Flowers of the faeries - the daffodil - a little magick "  new on the 'other' Ecoenchantments Blog - 'Wolf Moons and Muddypond Green'


    April 6th 2012
night of the full alder-moon ....... and wishing you an egg-filled easter ...

  Muddypond's cone dragons discover an egg under the alder moon ©vcsinden2012

Tonight - under the light of the full moon - the Alder Moon - or as the faere-folk call it - 'The Waking Wood Moon', Muddypond's ConeDragons- (soon to feature here on the Hedgerow Crafts page)- discoverd a treasure-trove for Easer.
carried it off home, and are saving it to eat on Easter Sunday - this being the traditional time for many mortals to give and consume special eggs, as she has explained to them. 



     April 2nd 2012

          The enchanted art of Paul Kidby - and his faery kingdom ....  


                         Here is a little treat for all lovers of faery art and of 'Discworld' alike.
Did you know that Sir Terry Pratchett's illustrator of choice for the last ten years - Paul Kidby
- can also imagine, draw and paint us fae?
Oh yes he can!
Did I say imagine?  Hmm - actually I think he's seen a few of us somewhere in that New Forest of his!

The video above is from Paul's publishing house - Daniel Maghen - and shows enough to make us long to see the whole book. The book is filled with  'Fėes, lutins et crėatures fantastiques' and was written with his wife Vanessa.
It's seriously lovely - called 'Le Royaume Enchante' and it can be bought here.

See more about the art of Paul Kidby here on my Links page.

From 'Le Royaume Enchante' by Paul Kidby
From 'Le Royaume Enchante' by Paul Kidby
Four faery Illustrations from '‘Le Royaume Enchanté’ by Paul Kidby
From 'Le Royaume Enchante' by Paul Kidby
From 'Le Royaume Enchante' by Paul Kidby

    Below is a piece of Paul's possibly more familiar art work - from 'Discworld', showing the disc itself - which of course sits atop four elephants who in turn balance on the turtle Great A'Tuin. Not such an easy vision to portray!

Paul Kidby - Discworld illustration

pictures© paul_kidby and used here with his kind permission




   March 29th 2012

   Just two little things -
  First - over on the Wolf Moons and Muddypond Green blogspot, you might be interested in
  'Snip Snip Snap! Hans Andersen and the work of Four Contemporary Paper-cut Artists
' in storytelling.

  Also - the barn owls are
thinking about nesting
over on the Barn Owl Trust 'Barncam' and 'Nestcam'. During the day they're spending most of their time
roosting and preening each
other in the nest box -
live Webcam -do have a look! 
(Click pictures to view)

Barn Owl Trust live webcams link

Update - 2nd April -
oh do look -
the pair have
two beautiful eggs!

Update - 7th April - Four eggs !!


    March 25th 2012  
         Coldrum - the truth ... from a hedgerow faery's perspective ...
              (The Ogham wood for magic is now Fearn (Alder) - March 18th - April 14th)

     Here in Kent, a county which is a lot more rural and wooded than many people think - stand the remains of a neolothic longbarrow - named Coldrum. This name, it's thought, originated from the Cornish word 'Galdrum' - meaning - 'Place of Enchantments'. (You will see - whichever human worked this out was RIGHT!) 

     Muddypond's pictures of Coldrum were taken for last week's Spring Equinox, and summer 2011.

Coldrum, Kent, spring equinox ©vcsinden2012

  The dolmen still stands near the top of its mound, bare now of the earth and grass that would have covered it - and its roof stone has fallen. Once, it was surrounded and guarded by huge standing sarcen stones, but like the dolmen itself, these have either fallen or begun to slide down the hill.

  My faery-ancestors (the dwarf branch of the family in particular) must have seen it as it was - only a few generations ago. A huge grassy mound, surrounded by a rounded square of over forty upright sarcen stones.


  Coldrum was said to be a chamber tomb for mortals, and of course yes, the bones of at least twenty-two of them were found here. But us magics, we know better! We know that all those thousands of years ago, they only borrowed it!

   The cromlech remains an enchanted and remote spot, a peaceful place for contemplation, as it has been for over 4000 years. Once a communal burial place, it was merrily ravaged, of course, by parties of mortals from the past, calling themselves antiquarians, archaeologists or simply treasure seekers.

Coldrum - megalithic long barrow in Kent, ©vcsinden2012
Coldrum megalithic long barrow, North Kent ©vcsinden2011
Digging barrows in 1854
From the book of Thomas Wright Esq. M.A, F.S.A
'The Wanderings of an Antiquary' 1854

   Thomas Wright Esq. who wrote a book about his exploits
, visited here around 1850. On the right is his own sketch of his party having fun with a chamber mound that used to stand in the hills nearby.

“Proceeding from the circle at Coldrum,  towards the east, we observed single stones, of the same kind and colossal magnitude, scattered over the fields for some distance;  and it is a tradition of the peasantry that a continuous line of such stones ran from Coldrum  direct along the valley to the hill of Kits Coty House , a distance of between five and six miles.”

  For those not familiar with ancient Kent, Kits Coty House isn't a house but a vast megalithic tomb. I will show it to you another day!   

Illustration from Hermann Vogel's extraordinary
'Kinder- und Hausmärchen gesammelt durch die
Brüder Grimm' 1910


As far as us Magics go, I need to tell you that we have no fond rembrances of many a Victorian 'intrepid explorer'!
Not only did they practically wipe out the earth's tiger population with their guns and unbelievable greed, but they indiscriminately dug and wrecked the charmed places of my ancestors - our Faery Cathedrals.

 Here on the left, you can see an ancient picture, sketched by my dwarfish cousin 317 times removed, of the moment when one of the Magics found the lost chambers of Coldrum.

  Things have improved in the 21st century - long may it last!
Nowadays, people can feel that the stones are sacred - and they tie little offerings to the 'clouty' tree nearby.

Coldrum and the clouty wishes ©vcsinden2012

The top of the burial chamber, viewed from behind the giant beech 'clouty' tree with its offerings and wishes.

   Now please don't forget - should you ever visit this enchanted place - you simply borrowed it from us!
The PROOF is below - you see - just one of my dwarf ancestors with his artefacts,
buried here when he faded, thousands of years ago!

From his book 'L'univers de Nains' by contempoary artist Guillermo Gonzalez



    March 12th 2012
         Spring skies - under an English heaven ....
    Violets on the Neighbourhood Bank, Hurst Wood, Charing, Kent ©vcsinden2012 

Spring Quiet

Christina Rossetti

Gone were but the Winter,
Come were but the Spring,
I would go to a covert
Where the birds sing;

Where in the whitethorn
Singeth a thrush,
And a robin sings
In the holly-bush.

Full of fresh scents
Are the budding boughs
Arching high over
A cool green house:

Full of sweet scents,
And whispering air
Which sayeth softly:
"We spread no snare;

"Here dwell in safety,
Here dwell alone,
With a clear stream
And a mossy stone.

"Here the sun shineth
Most shadily;
Here is heard an echo
Of the far sea,
Though far off it be."

Hunton Churchyard withe the snowdrops in bloom ©vcsinden2012
Snowdrops and primroses in the churchyard at Hunton, Kent -
taken on one of Muddypond's many faery snowdrop walks - early March 2012
Primroses, early blooms on the bank ©vcsinden2012
Postcard by Molly Brett Dark violets, sweetly scented ©vcsinden2012
Exquisite Medici Society postcard c1940 by Molly Brett
Violets (& above) today on the Neighbourhood Bank
Ferns unfurling in the spring at Hurst Wood, Charing, Kent ©vcsinden2012 Blackthorn blossom ©vcsinden2012 Hazel catkins dance ©vcsinden2012

Blue skies and sunshine, tempting the ferns to unfurl, the blackthorn to blossom and the hazel catkins to drop their clouds of pollen
as the spring bumbles and butterflies journey by.     You can see more pictures of 'Neighbourhood Bank' here


You may also like 'Of Spring lambs and Mr. Blake ...'  new at the 'Wolf Moons & Muddypond Green' blog



    March 2nd 2012  
         Of Reykjavik, 'The Ring Symphony' and returning for Rammstein .......

Two extraordinary musical events for this woodland fae, in the space of two weeks! 
First, at the end of my Icelandic journey (see more here in Feb diary).
Walking down through sleet to Reykjavic harbour, the lights were blazing from the new Concert Hall - a sculpture of geometric glass.
Lord of the Rings Symphony - Harpa Concert Hall - Iceland Harpa Concert Hall - home of The Icelandic Symphony Orchestra ©vcsinden2012

    And inside?  The eagerly awaited 'Lord of the Rings Symphony'.   Three huge choirs and the full Icelandic Symphony Orchestra to play the beautiful score by Howard Shore.  This was all pulled together with the famous Lord of the Rings art work by Alan Lee and John Howe, shown on a giant screen above the choirs.

The Lord of the Rings Symphony in Iceland ©vcsinden2012

Muddypond's picture of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and Choirs Feb 17th 2012

Frodo-Alan Lee
Black Rider by John Howe

Image above 'Frodo' by Alan Lee.
Not part of the symphony artwork, but included because I think it is just sooo beautiful!

Image right - 'Black Rider' by John Howe

Alan Lee - 'The Company'
'The Company'  by Alan Lee

  It was a truly magickal night, and I was very lucky indeed to hear a live performance.
You might like to listen to a taster -  the first section after the Prologue is called   'The Shire'

Rammstein - 02 London -Feb 24th ©vcsinden2012

 Then came London - and 02 Arena  - and a sell-out gig for the mad metal goth rockers from Germany - Rammstein.
So, you may well enquire, fairies appreciate 'mad metal goth rockers' do they?
  Indeed so!

Rammstein - 02 London Feb 4th 2012 ©vcsinden2012
Rammstein - head-banging sound surounded by ecstatic fans

Rammstein hey? Hmm - and WHY do they make you think of 'The Lord of the Rings' exactly Ms. Green?

Well. don't they look like the worst of the Orcs of Mordor to you??

Mordor - John Rowe
'In Mordor' by John Howe
Eowyn versus the Nazgul - Alan Lee

Image on the left -
'Eowyn Versus the Black Nazgul'
Image on the right -
'The Horses of the Ring Wraiths'  

by Alan Lee

Ring-wraith Horses
Til Lindeman of Rammstein at the 02 in London - sings 'Engel' Feb 2012 ©vcsinden2012
Til Lindeman - Rammstein lead vocalist and pyrotechnic maniac performs 'Engel' with his trademark wings outstretched!

If you like fairy illustration, you might enjoy 'Of Spring-cleaning and sunset streaks .... '
New today (March 5th) at the 'Wolf Moons and Muddypond Green' blog.