And so to the diary of my days away:
Day 1 - Monday
Buffy and I arrived at lunchtime after a stop at Taunton to pick up additional food supplies and a wok to cook on! I had a brilliant small gas cooker but that was really only good for drinks and soups and not for bigger meals that I intended to cook. We had some difficulty initially getting the padlock unlocked, but Buffy eventually worked out that there was a small button underneath that needed pressing in order for the lock to slip. My first impression on seeing the bothy was that it was sublime in its location, looking out to sea with Lundy Island on the horizon, surrounded by trees and amazing views but private with its access.
I really didn't do much for the rest of the day as I was physically and emotionally drained, but I did take a quick walk down to the beach - when I say beach, it was really reminiscent of Budleigh Salterton in South Devon with pebbles and red cliffs close by. There was absolutely no-one else in sight which gave me a wonderful feeling of 'aloneness'. The tide was in so my walk was restricted to staying close by the cliffs. High above me a kestrel called with a shriek, and as I watched, it flew into a small cliff top cave where the volume of noise increased as it was welcomed by one or more chicks. The sea looked inviting and I wished I had brought a towel down with me for a quick dip. There is something about the sea when the swell is big yet calm, that portrays all of its power and majesty, which I love. It took me briefly back to those days rowing on the Indian Ocean when for days on end we had this wonderful display (and help) of the swell pushing us gently along the way.
Returning back to the bothy I decided to have a quick meal as I was feeling tired, so supper was a beautiful bowl of lentil soup with some butter beans added for good measure and black pepper. It was gorgeous!
I went to bed early after conducting a short welcome ceremony inside the bothy. I will do my proper one outside tomorrow. As I am not allowed to light a fire inside, I substituted that with a couple of tea light candles on a shelf unit which helped with some light inside what was now a gloomy bothy as well as some heat I hoped. I was yet to do a proper unpack of my rucksack and kit bag - I think my old army training of keep all of your equipment packed up, just in case you had to move quickly, kept me from unpacking! I did however need my sleeping bag and sleeping mat, as the wooden platform provided inside the bothy would have been a wee bit uncomfortable without them! It was really cold in the bothy that night and my right shoulder pain kept me awake most of the night. I think I had pulled a muscle there whilst lifting some plasterboard at home (the one we are building/renovating). With any luck, over the next few weeks it would clear up - I have to say my body has a habit of repairing itself pretty well! The wind blowing outside from the north is a constant element and could be heard rattling the trees that are all around me. A beautiful sound as it changes all the time, and who knows what 'beings' are singing on that wind! Looking outside the sun started to disappear over the sea horizon, it turned from blood red to deep crimson, exquisite shades of purple before finally disappearing for another 10 hours or so.
Day 2 - Tuesday
I woke up at dawn to the sound of heavy hailstones smashing onto the roof! The noise was absolutely incredible and lasted for about 10 minutes. I managed to get my voice recorder on to keep the sound for future podcasts. As it was now getting lighter outside, I managed to brave the aerial bombardment to get a photograph of hailstones the size of large peppercorns littering the garden floor. This was then followed by a brief 5 minutes of snow flurries! This is what I love about the British weather - you really do not know what is coming next! It might be the end of April, but with the wind coming out of the north it certainly had a wintery feel and I had to dress accordingly. I had a quick breakfast of muesli, an apple and a large mug of tea, and then moved outside to conduct my ceremony of honouring the land. A pheasant with no tail walks through the garden calling - this was to become my alarm clock as he generally did this every day!
I conducted my 'arrival ceremony' in the small garden and did a couple of trips collecting pebbles from the beach to make my glyph. Now I had my connection of the four elements with the ocean represented by the stones I collected, the earth of the garden itself, the air with the breeze coming up the hillside from the sea and fire represented by my fire pit.
I spent most of the morning tidying up the outside area and rebuilding the fire pit. I then walked south along the beach until I ran out of ground as the tide was coming in again quickly. It's rained on and off today with warm sunshine in between.
I felt better in myself today, and certainly believe that this period of solitude will be blest. Just before bedtime (8pm) I saw two deer close to the Bothy. Perhaps they were drawn to my wonderful deerskin that I have with me, a present from Buffy, and something that helps me reflect and meditate. I have to say, it's also jolly warm.
Day 3 - Wednesday
The wind has shifted more to the north, hence the colder weather I am experiencing inside the bothy. Even so, I awoke early to the sound of 'no tail' the pheasant again in the garden.
Today I walked south along the coastal path. All around on the high ground were ancient oaks and brilliant displays of bluebells. I stopped for a while in a quiet spot to meditate - this is something I really want to master whilst I'm here, as meditation does not come easily to me yet. There were no other walkers on the path, which was excellent for me avoiding as best I can any human contact. After about 2 hours of walking with sunny and cloudy weather and great views out to Lundy, I descended into the deserted village of Bucks Mills. It was a bit like a ghost village and I saw no-one as I walked past old lime kilns to the beach area. As it was low tide I decided to walk back via the beach. This took me around 3 hours as I kept stopping to look into the rock pools. Coming towards me was an old woman with a pink hat and long dangling flower necklace. I tried to avoid her but she shouted out how beautiful the stones were! I answered yes and tried to keep walking. She said, "you know they are alive - the stones"! That stopped me and I had to agree with her. She said it was wonderful that the world was recalibrating to get to a higher frequency! That blew me away. Again, I agreed with her, and then she just walked away. How weird was that! I saw no one else and had no idea where she had come from. She must have been in her 70's! When I looked back along the beach, I couldn't see her - where did she go?
This whole change of planetary frequency is an interesting one. I first became aware of this from Marcus Mason, author of the book ‘The Astrology of 2012’ way back in 2012. According to various teachings, the earth and all beings living on the earth are in the process of shifting into a whole new level of reality in which a consciousness of love, compassion, peace and spiritual wisdom prevails. This has been called the Fifth Dimension. Some say this shift will probably be complete within the next couple of decades; others give no date. But all seem to agree it will be complete sometime in the near future, although individuals will be each moving into the Fifth Dimension at their own rate when their frequency is high enough to match the vibration of the higher dimension. It will also bring about better worldwide communications especially between world leaders – hopefully leading to greater understanding and peaceful intentions.
Later that night I cooked my first wok fire meal on my outdoors fire pit - chickpea casserole. It was delicious and soon after I was in bed (8pm).