Breathing fresh crisp clean air in a forest is revitalizing. 2 years later (and watching a lot of YouTube travel vloggers) after being safe and hidden, consumed in darkness, sometimes fear. Sometimes within the catacombs of surrendering happiness from the escape from society. Even for just moments of meditations. Comfort and creativity… seeking calm in 2022.
I suppose it, with that I mean winter, workload and lockdowns for me was like being stuck underwater for a while, unable to fully feel and breath. The urge to do better with being SAD in January had made me angry. I’m not dwelling on winter viruses, I am counting my blessings that I’ve not been touched by the worst of ‘them’ I’m no longer speaking of the ‘C’ word or ‘O’ variant.. But December was pretty snotty, irritatingly sinus headache heavy! I am tired of it. I’m exhausted at the aftermath. With that comes the need to recharge and be revitalized. Time to break the surface and cause wellbeing ripples. Life is short, experience it. Whilst enjoying lost of tasty fruit and vegetables and no so much ‘naughty food.’
Our solution. We are getting outside walking in the light on weekends. Rain, snow, fog, or sunshine and blue skies like we had last week. A beautiful morning in local place called Thieves Wood. We live in Robin Hood County, Nottinghamshire. We have plenty of green options to explore. There is always an opportunity for a road trip.. Even just for tea and cake! Whilst I adore the sea and its recharge and cleansing ability. There is so much opportunity in this green and pleasant land that is good for the mind, body and soul. My focus now wanders in this wonder.
I needed a tree hug and had one. Beautiful experience. Absorbing stresses, worries, frustrations and returning love, reassurance, peace. Walking amongst them in awe at their vastness, age and good vibes. Clearing my head, amongst them… Whilst some stand bare waiting the springtime buds of blossoms. Some are evergreen and majestic.
We were lucky to spot a deer roaming in the distance. There is something magical about standing on the Earth amongst Trees in silence listening, breathing, Healing. Which is where Earth Tree Healing originated. I just put music to it.
Trees communicate through their roots. They carry past memories, nutrients. The changing seasons and cycles of life. They nurture the earth. They release oxygen and help us breathe. Many love the tree of life symbol.
If you are able..go hug a tree. breathe the fresh air. It will do you a world of good.
What an exquisite journey adventuring in this world…and beyond.
With dreams of flying, meditations on my egg chair, surrounded by brilliant vibrations and the things, people and animals I love with all of my being. Single Reverie (Meditation) by Earth Tree Healing is a relaxing 7 minute ambient 432Hz soundscape. It’s available to stream, add to your playlists and download for digital stores.
Creating art is an exquisite experience. To release colour, shapes, visions, abstracts into surfaces, objects is something that I’ve enjoyed from childhood. Our home is filled with it. Alas it’s time to progress and create more to sell for more collectors to enjoy. I can’t take it with me when I pop my Clogs… and only my Vlogs and music remain.
Time to not glance at the horrors of the news, the manipulations of facts, the speculations and opinions that only lead to dark thoughts and times.
My clouds are colourful. As my hands age… each second.. each moment. I make the most of my every day dexterity. I choose legacy and bliss. Thank the power of Specsavers for Varifocals in ones mid 40’s!
My latest work in progress:
Creating a Crystal Guitar. Energy Art – Claudine West – Video.
I’d been looking forward to annual leave from my NHS day job for months. We should have been going to Cyprus. (But that certain pandemic put a stop to that!) So on 1st April 2021. We travelled to Mablethorpe on the east coast of middle England and it’s surrounding coast on a Clange road trip – our first visit to the sea in months. It was really cold. On our 10th Handfasting Anniversary. The desolation of pre season pandemic seaside towns, that look like a zombie apocalypse movie set, with an endless sea of empty caravans. Just added to my feelings of bleakness whilst searching for sunshine. But the Nutella doughnuts were good. Video below.
A positive though is that it has enabled us to invest in 7 of my Earth Tree Healing albums duplicated onto CD to sell – via
Taking full advantage of lockdown confinement. I’ve just completed a new ambient album in my home studio called Pilgrimage of Elements. Music Links
What stemmed from seeing a word #Werifesteria on a friends social media post (thanks Don!). ‘Werifesteria’ – verb meaning to wander longingly through the forest in search of mystery.’ This set me off on and exploration without physical boundaries.
Connection to Earth (Werifesteria) Water (Azure Oceans) Fire (Sacred Fire) Air (Anima) and Spirit (Divine Journey)
Tracks are just under 10 mins each. The music is less melodic, more ambient. Very nice to meditate to. The track ‘Sacred Fire’ features a recording of tribal drumming round the fire at a Pagan Tribal Gathering Camp.
This year, as I explore the countryside on new ‘Adventures With Clange.’ I’ll add footage to the music.
Whilst I experience a blissful state composing. Something dark affected me badly last week. It’s been creeping up on me again for a while. I had put it down to exam nerves, relentless working fatigue. Working from home has its ups and downs, but I am very grateful my bosses have kept me safe and workplace has been really supportive with wellbeing for staff. I’m so glad I have Ange to talk to about this stuff. Who really helps sort ‘me’ out.
I have loved being in the company and pestered by our cats Pattie & Rambo (even though we lost Tipsy last year, I was lucky to spend lockdown #1 with her, unknowing at the time she would have to be put to sleep in November. Which broke our hearts. Check out @clangecats on Instagram.
Ange works from home anyway downstairs, so I located myself upstairs. As to not get on each other’s boobage. I’d felt really quite unwell mentally and physically recently. Anxiety was creeping back. Neglect of the basics of wellness is not good for me. I’d talked about it with Ange. She asked if I was still taking my vitamin D? I’d stopped the extra high strength dose a few months ago to have a break, whilst trying different supplements. Well….. there is a lesson again for me, during a winter that I’ve spent shielding indoors. It’s felt really cold and dark. My blissful safe 4 walls has kept me safe and warm. The cross trainer providing exercise. But the 4 walls had begun to make me feel trapped. I craved green trees and blue skies. I kept telling myself all these mind chatter negatives and problems were smaller than I thought. Everything will be and is actually all good.
Constant fatigue, mind fog, generally feeling off, muscle aches, lack of energy.
The lack of the Sun. That wonderful warmth that bursts through clouds to recharge body and soul had been lacking. I’d managed a brief bicycle ride after getting mine serviced. But sat in a bitter cold wind, cursing myself for not braving cold walks outdoors. My whisker biscuit temporarily ruined again, getting used to the saddle! Ouch! My knees sound crunchier than crushing crackling. Self rage. Missed opportunities. But this Lockdown has seen healthier eating habits form and weight loss.
Am I Peri-Menopausal? Something is definitely changing in that department. Being in my mid forties now. Having to get varifocals too. Wow. With that comes hobbies, such as an extreme liking for visiting garden centers and comparing cheese scones. Whilst getting routine medical things back on track (hunt my Cervix for my smear test has been another drama! and that’s another story best served cold graphically with friends and family!!!! – The 3rd medical profession found it! )
I’d tried an apple cider vinegar supplement capsules. (As wanted to to get away from drinking shots.) Unfortunately they constipated me and gave me tummy ache.. Gutted.
So what did I do? That I personally feel helps me.
I started again on high dose vitamin D, Meditation, a quality Royal Jelly tablet added. (Along with already taking Turmeric and Bee Propolis.)
Reconnected with Reiki – as I do when I meditate.
The blue healing candle on my music altar burned unusually high and brightly. Rambo cat came in the room meowing, woke me with a start, back into the muggle land matrix. Then the smoke alarm went off. Terrifying all in the house!
I had a CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply) exam yesterday at college. A retake, as I’m really not academic my memory is shot. I revise and revise. The experiences of failing exams,(especially nasty when it’s 2% from a pass!) on a subject such as commercial contracting for example – something I neither have personal interest in, nor job experience – is a punch in the fanny. But you get knocked down. The drive to complete, finish the course gets one back up again.. after a pity party, disappointed tutor of course. A change of approach to study time, utilising more resources for the theory understanding. When exam questions seem gibberish, unintelligible – the rot of self doubt, shame, frustration and incompetence creeps in. Then the ‘Claud – you are a creative! Once this qualification is complete. You can fully focus on your bliss again…and have life back…. kicks in. ‘Ange will also remind you how fooking mardy and miserable you have been. I just need to stop trying to fit in, in muggle land. It was never meant to be for me. Can’t talk the talk, or kiss the arses. Lockdown isolation from people has generated an even bigger rethink of ones future. Just got to make it happen. Working for the greater good, sacrifices selfish gain.. I can live with that (Enough rahing on Claud!!! Well Anyway!)
Balancing this – an apprenticeship level 4 Diploma, full time day job work and being a musician/composer. (Violins in background, tiny ones too) Really is a challenge. This year I’ll complete. 2 years later… But better to have done it during a year of lockdown and achieved another qualification for day job work. Having spoken to fellow students and their struggles with this course. I now do not feel as bad and traumatized as before. I need to stop being so harsh with myself. In hindsight. My lack of ability to concentrate had also, I believe been part of my vitamin D deficiency symptoms. On top of my obligatory seasonal SAD issues.
Those that moan of lack of time, motivation or boredom. Get off your arses, do not wine to me! Nothing is free, hard work pays off. It might not be pleasant and will piss you off and tire you out. Procrastinating is non productive. A wasted life is bitter spent. ‘Poor me’ is easy, pro activity pays off, you don’t need to read a fucking self help book to find that one out.
I met and fell in love with ‘Godzilla.’ A tortoise. You hold them like a burger. Listening to his breath, and him kicking me with surprisingly strong legs, has left me filled with a surprisingly huge new found affection. They are going to find him a girlfriend at West Notts College. Love him.
We drove up to The Peak District at the weekend. (Now lockdown rules are relaxing and remaining very careful and socially distancing…. and our use of home lateral flow tests to keep friends and family safe) we’ve both had our first vaccine doses. The AstraZeneca one. Only side effects for both of us was fatigue the next day. (A duvet day helped and lost weekend) If I start growing gills at 50 and mutating…Well at least I’d had had a few good holidays.
Fresh air, amazing views. Beautiful, snowy, great fish and chips.
Clange Video here
So in conclusion. I’m starting to feel much better, sleeping better. That inner and outer wellbeing feeling is returning. The world is not so dark. Spring has sprung pretty blossoms. Looking forward to a summer of safe adventures, even if we cant leave the UK. As ever thank you Ange for putting up with me, loving me and supporting me when I’m a Twunt.
Take care, be kind, adventure, be happy – Claudine
In other news: My winter PlayStation gaming is done. Playing Days Gone and The Last of Us 2 have been nightmare winter inducing zombie games. Fortunately neither have turned me into a crazed potential murderer or violent individual.
Not watching the drivel of the doom mongering news, has enabled mind wellness. A pursuit into physical and spiritual wellness follows. More time spent connecting with trees.
Massive thanks to the following YouTube creators for getting us through lockdown after Netflix and The Mandalorian. I’d not chosen to read books, as found my mind was too exhausted studying and I have a tendency to fall asleep, neverminded how riveting. Maybe I’ll try audio books. These are a few of our discoveries and favorites. As well as Friday night virtual foodie adventures exploring the planet virtually and planning our own.
As spring catapults my happy vibes into sunshine land. A few days annual leave in lockdown has allowed some serious home studio time. (A needed break from NHS day job land) I spent the day composing & recording FRIGG for my 2022 album – GODDESS 2. I wanted to experiment and challenge myself with a lot more live instruments, rather than just midi sounds on Logic Pro X. A brilliant wellbeing boost. We had got up early to venture to the river (a local blessing during pandemic restrictions) having done a long walk the previous day (for us) on the journey to better fitness. My knees were murderous following it. Venturing out, whilst social distancing during shielding is a novelty. But after lockdown #1 over indulgences and laziness during working from home. (It’s started so well too!) We have both incorporated healthier eating and much needed exercise into lockdown 3. No crisps on the monthly internet shop! I do love Ange’s swearing and BF’s when we get the delivery of bulk goods that she lugs into the kitchen. Rarely will we need to visit supermarkets now. Farm shops selling local produce from small businesses is our weekly fresh shopping. I can’t thank The Real Milk Company enough.
It’s a long, but sensible road ahead…. (I won’t be posting weigh ins on social media – as it pisses me off when others do it, to only put twice as much weight back on, once their ‘diets’ end) We are entertaining some of the secret stalkers and virtually interacting with Ange’s family down south with ‘Ange’s lockdown Gousto live cooking videos’ and other troffing experiences. We can’t eat out, so eating in is the new thing. Can’t beat a good cull and unfollow or others uninteresting, joy vacuuming negative and argumentative shite. Give me Batzilla the bat or @celinaspookboo frankly hilarious sleepwalking exploits on TikTok any day.
Ours is a gradual lifestyle change. Removal of unhealthy snacks and better managing portion sizes, along with exercise is making both of us feel better.
Watching the sunrise through river mists is an ethereal experience. Whilst hints of winter still cools ones toes. The sunshine warms up my hope for better days of freedom outdoors and normality. With our April Cyprus holiday cancelled. Ange & my sister in law are surprising us with a mystery 2022 big holiday abroad. I love a good surprise! We frantically scrambled to book a short Cornwall break (lockdown end permitting) in May. So at least we get to see the sea. Fingers, legs and fanny crossed!
Ange had her covid vaccine. So whilst pandering to her every need (as she had mine afterwards) copious cups of tea. I spent Sunday 28th Feb 2021 having a wonderful indulgent time improvising aka composing. Featuring acoustic guitar, tongue drums, kalimba, tambourine, baroque organ and love eggs. Whereas filming myself does disrupt my creative flow slightly, it really is a great way to remember my journey. Watch my video of the session here. A really good accomplished day. It also feels good to get out of a PMT driven funk.
It’s 5am. Our cat Rambo is pestering me in bed, and being a pesky annoyance harassing us for the last few nights lots…in his springtime excitement
My arm is hurting. Otherwise – feeling pretty good so far. Bar lethargic today and needed an afternoon kip.
I received a shielding letter yesterday – even though I’ve been very safe, careful and home working for the majority of the pandemic. I have some box ticking underlying health conditions. (Which I’m working on to improve, with support from my health providers)
Yes sometimes in moments my worse fears have been present. To my knowledge I haven’t had COVID or needed to test for it. But for all I know maybe I have? I’ve had the odd few days in the last year of feeling a bit rough, some sinus headaches, weather changes and a nasty UTI when Tipsy our cat got ill and put to sleep.
All those other viruses did not just go away. Bar getting it from the local cob shop. We’ve been pretty lucky when ‘super spreading’ has been allegedly rife everywhere.
We had a good virtual catch up via Zoom with friends last night. Netflix binge watching recommendations were plentiful. Along with a hilarious sleepwalking ‘checkout operator’ In bed story. Involving the contents of bedside cabinet being scanned into ‘under the covers.’ The realisation that nearly a year of this has gone by. Reminiscent recalls of those old times of hugs, holidays and socialising in the flesh. Wow! Facebook memory lane!
Watched a really funny film ‘Booksmart.’ Our sense of humour too.
With an easing of lockdown in the UK on the horizon. We are accepting – this year will, in many ways be restricted with movement and interaction with loved ones. This thing can’t last forever… well we will see!
Making the most of a crazy circumstance been the enabler for us : A productive working from home regime with the many facets of what we do.
Indeed opportunities knocked, were manifested and embraced. Adapt and conquer, or don’t.
With an improved and growing international reach of my Music. Ange’s businesses in the world of Tarot, book publishing, herbs, oils & candles are thriving.
Survival – financially, physically, practically and emotionally was the goal from lockdown 1. Yes we did it.
Be in no doubt, we have had our ‘moments.’ Some domestic arguments, irritated each other at times.
But perseverance and positive thinking remains the dominant thing. Days job stresses are my main trigger, followed by the approach to perimenopausal beginnings. Yes some low days. (See previous blog) But mainly good and productive days.
From the start of lockdown 1. I made a promise to myself to be productive with my passion – music. An album ‘GODS’ some enriching and ongoing collaborative work. I’m now working on a new album Goddess 2 for 2022. Let us not forget, the release of our live, raw improvised album via Stinking Rita band – Live From Studio Five (recorded in between lockdown restrictions last year in a rehearsal studio)
Spare time from full time day jobsy in the NHS & studying for a CIPS qualification is spent musically. (Bar killing a few zombie hoards on the PlayStation) it has become a productive Groundhog Day.
Leisure time is spent holidaying and exploring otherworldly interests and posting cooking videos via YouTube.
After a brief cold spell. We are venturing out locally for nature walks- the cross trainer has been my winter mode of good sweats.
Ange & I have indeed become weary and frustrated of our lack of freedom to travel – but have been good girls with the imposed ‘rules.’ The long dark winter months are never a favourite time of the year. Switching off the horrors, speculations of the media and reading books, listening to podcasts has been the way for me to distract from the shite of what we are presented with.
Disconnection has been healthy for me – as am not a social butterfly. Becoming even less so over the years. Keeping good friends close and everyone else at a distance virtually is good for me. Yes you can see my activities and sharings, (a record of memories for Clange)
I don’t look much at what others are up to, which in some ways is disconnecting.
In our home environment – we are de cluttering slowly. Filling every wall space left in the house with wall tapestries. Mystical additions to salt lamps with mellow lighting has improved our surroundings and limited space.
I did have a very busy and in some ways shitty dark January- good riddance you sticky stinky arsehole with fleas and piles!
Even my sad lamp stuttered. But a Gousto delivered meals regime of some very nice food, cooked live on Facebook & YouTube 4 nights a week by Ange is like eating out, at home.
Whilst not costing us the earth. Our food waste has definitely declined. It’s just the extra cardboard packaging. (That we recycle)
This new, free from supermarket visits life is great. Once a month, a staple goods online delivery. Weekly fresh food from Gousto & our farm shop. Has saved time & money for us.
We have enjoyed some weekend takeaway deliveries from ‘Filthy Vegan.’ A monster kebab with hot sauce!
As a regime of gradual and healthy weight loss fills us with wellbeing. (the odd blip week when the scales just say – “slightly disappointed, but don’t give up- if you don’t order naughty snacks – you can’t eat them bitches.”
Lessons… progress. Positive habit changes.
Ange did a lovely thing the other day. We are both very aware that others are not as fortunate as us. We are by no means wealthy with money. We are abundant and grateful of everything else.
We had a good month. So Ange went out and bought and donated some staple food stuffs (and a cake for the volunteers) who are providing cheap and free cooked meals at a local community centre.
Whilst also supporting animal charities, which we continue to do. It’s nice to not be selfish.
A big high five to those of you that have fund raised for good causes, volunteered, done your bit and philanthropists. Paying it forward feels good.
We were talking last night about how judgemental and dictatorial some folk have become… these post notification social media keyboard warriors, self professed experts ‘Ranting Twats’ in their chosen field of being fucking obnoxious and entitled. Yep.. we’ve all seen it and cringed, unfollowed, un friended. Not that this virtual reality of social media ‘friendships’ truly fills the void of human to human interaction.
The path to Dystopian nightmares in gaining traction. With technological distraction.
Ban your mobile phone for an hour and focus on the physical… wow… therapy for the addicts.
Weaned off the loneliness of virtual reality… now that is an impossible task for some.
I remember 10p in a phone box was the thing when I was a kid.
How times have changed.
Along with living amongst potholes, bodge jobs with no longevity of the fix, (as there is no money, a lot of wasted money in a failed energy company too. Why, when you are not experts or the monopoly in that field even attempt it!) – have a looksie too at Denmark’s plastic recycled roads. Oh and really bad inconsiderate drivers are everywhere, road hogging cyclists and a city that needs some TLC when it opens up again. I have visions of cities in the Walking Dead!
Then, there are the ones, that are able to articulate sensibly their opinions and have a decent debate, when these things differ from others. I prefer them.
Ange and I are intrigued by some Nordic areas and ways of life and are planning a visit.
I’m not a fan of the greyness and unsustainable greed of cities.
Ethical and sustainable approaches in business and living is paramount to our future.
Even though Ange and I are craving travel and road trips. (And are adventuring in food atm) Planning and researching is fun and fills us with excitement. Most importantly – hope.
Nearly a year of Pandemic (for whatever the real truths are around this thing) has left us restricted, grieving, struggling at times, but mainly resilient, productive and resourceful. Some have not opted for that route. I’ve interacted and listened with people who have experienced isolation, fear, rejection, mental health issues and it’s really is a sad thing.
Anxiety (I’ve had some worrying episodes) is the controlling mystery monster that never truly explains why when it exits its hole! But techniques, meditation, Reiki, reassurance, talking about it, has helped me combat that dark, bleak, empty, terrifying, panic entity in my mind.
There is also that elephant in my rooms of subconscious. The dreaming. An ocean of visual delights, horrors, strange need. My brain, soul, past lives are creating a murmuration of a party in my pants. I experience life times during those REM sleeps. The weird, the re digested is put into Claud’s mixing bowl of night movies and spat out. Recently hanging out with Tom Cruise (nothing sexual, even for a lesbian)
I don’t journal my dreams. I’ve already sought and found my mission and messages in the life (by no means does this mean I’m a complete enlightened being yet) I am cracking on with that journey. With the downs and ups that brings.
I’m now focussing on the beautiful awakenings of spring, walks by the river, blossom, the freshening of air.
The lilley pads in the lake. Those still moments of joy and breathing. Nature connection. The big wide sky. A little bit of tree hugging harmed no one and no thing.
As always – making music saved and saves me from an apocalypse in mind, soul and body parts. I can wrap myself up in it, never mind what is outside my creative cocoon.
Sobriety (mostly I have an unpleasant after effect of feeling depressed from drinking. Tea and a clearer head, has been the better version of me for a number of years) and spirituality is the path my twenty something I was weary of and uneducated in. This is now my (lot better) reality.
These thinking early woke hours, spent manifesting good things. Along with lesser times chewing over the bad and forcing myself free of those voices and frustrations. A mindfulness exorcism is something needed. Or a pep talk along the lines of ‘sort your shit out!’
Good days and bad days exist.
But…. the future, as well as the present should be embraced with all the positivity the world can muster. Survival and wellbeing. I’m sure there will be lots with a whole bucket list of regrets in hindsight, who did not invent or embrace opportunities, but dwell and place blame. Effort is sometime painful, exhausting. When I’ve failed an exam. I studied harder, sacrificed more free leisure time and retook to gain a distinction. Pleased? Accomplished? Hell yes!
But even with successes and failures. The effort of doing and trying is very rewarding. I much more enjoy the journeys than indulging the end results. As soon as one journey is finished, I don’t want to remain still, but embark on another.
With a daily routine of gratitude and appreciating loved ones and all that extra time with our cats. We journey on in this….adventure.
I am only human here…. after all. (Please excuse typos.. you get the gust)
It was an honour to be asked to produce, reimagine, remix Hollow Man by Bassey. I’ve performed in a previous band with him on the bass and myself on drums. I find lasting collaborations fascinating and very creative. Working with other musicians pushes my boundaries of instrumental and electronic music. Developing a vocal line, a melody, a lyric, a guitar riff, a scream. Being part of a creative evolving project. Good things. Good vibes, good lockdown. Featuring other producers: S.T.K.M.Y. Russ Forster, Nation of Teflon Souls, Toronto Blessings, Antonio Zee. Available on all good music stores and streaming services.
We are expanding the formats of LizianEvents News Podcasts. As the demand is growing Liz and I feel it is important to evolve and test how different format will work. Claudine West was gracious to offer her support and test the water. So pleased are we with the potential of the show The Banquet Podcast…