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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in rhiannonbw's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, March 27th, 2014
1:22 pm
The Whereabouts of Rhiannon Biddulph-Williams
Well I haven't updated LiveJournal for a few years, so the best place to find me is on Facebook. There's only one Rhiannon Biddulph-Williams so I'm easy to find.
Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
2:00 pm
And you thought pagan forums were bad?
I know my sensible friends think many pagan forums are a bundle of self-love, ego stroking wank. This is because you have not seen some parenting forums. If a poster writes 'What do you think?' or 'What's your opinion?' they actually mean, "please agree with me, or at least if you don't keep your mouth shut and your principles firmly locked up too".

Sorry madam, but, whether you like it or not, unless you've got certain medical conditions or are a junkie, formula milk is second best. That's just one of those annoying 'scientific facts' that you are choosing to ignore in your quest to wear prettier bras.

Yes, really, there are women out there who are deciding to give up bfing (having established it succesfully) because they want to wear prettier bras. I kid you not!

Subtlety has never been a strong point of mine. . . . . . .

Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010
8:58 am
Still here!
Wow - it's 9 weeks since I posted on LJ. Time is an even more precious resource now than it was then. Right now I should really be grabbing a 3 minute shower and diving into my 'yummy mummy' clothes ready to hit the supermarket. (Because of course, I can't be seen in public as anything less than an organised, fully in control mummy can I?)

Motherhood is a lot harder than I thought it would be, and that's with a massive support network around me (I have cooked a total of two meals since 11th Jan and changed 3 pooey nappies). I have no idea how single mums and those with no support network manage without handing baby over to the nearest stranger and running for the hills.

Here's a brief summary of labour - it wasn't brief (3 days), lots of time in water bath with gas and air (lovely), followed by realisation that baby wasn't coming out so into theatre for assisted delivery. Thankfully the Birmingham Women's Hospital is a flagship hospital so I had the best of both worlds - a lovely hippy and peaceful time in the Birth Centre, followed by state of the art medical care in the Delivery Suite. All followed by the realisation that we were only a few hours away from both me and baby Rose not making it - thank the Gods we are blessed with being born in the UK.

So life remains good, we are slowly getting the hang of that great adventure known as 'taking the baby out of the house with everything you need in one bag' and starting to face the world again.

Piccies available on facebook.

Current Mood: tired
Monday, October 26th, 2009
9:58 am
Sense and Sensibility
This weekend I was invited to speak on the local radio Sunday morning religious programme about Pagans and Halloween.  Hopefully I did okay - mum thought I sounded sane and sensible and she's normally quite critical, so that's a good indicator.   As ever, the usual problem is that the presenter seemed to want controversy to help boost ratings, and I don't do controversial.  We'll see if I get invited back at Yuletide.

In other news, I have the most well-behaved baby ever.  Not only did it wave and smile on cue during it's 20 week scan, yesterday it also kicked its father in the back when requested.  Let's hope the good behaviour continues for the next 18 or so years!
Monday, October 19th, 2009
12:16 pm
Weekend musings (and for no particular reason)
Babalon - helping ugly people get laid since the dawn of humanity.

(Well it amused me!)

Current Mood: amused
Monday, October 5th, 2009
11:03 am
Language and provocation
I was intrigued during a conversation yesterday, at the language used when discussing social security payments.  This conversation was with someone who has never worked. 

In the UK we give tax credits to people who have never paid tax.  There is also an underlying assumption that the money received is paid by 'the Government' or 'the council'.  There is no comprehension of the fact that it is actually working tax payers who are funding the lifestyle.  People who have no understanding of the concept of 'tax' are getting 'tax credits'. 

In the UK we use phrases like 'benefit entitlement'.  I don't believe anyone (including me) is entitled to any thing in this world that we haven't worked for, other than basic human rights.   The phrase 'I am entitled to XXXX amount of money" was repeated ad infinitum during the conversation but I bit my tongue for the sake of keeping the peace.

We also have a culture of moaning about immigrants taking all the houses.  It's my tax money.  If faced with an English national who has never worked but popped out several children and expects she is 'entitled' to a house and other financial support, or a desperate genuine refugee who is fleeing death, persecution, war, and wants nothing more than to have a safe country in which to raise their family and who wants to work but is prevented from doing so by the immigration system, then I would prefer my taxes to fund the latter.  So sorry Mr and Mrs. Angry of Birmingham, I would rather my Council did give the house to a Somalian family fleeing war than to another drain on the Welfare resouces.

Maybe changing the language used won't fix the problem but it would be a start to remind people that they are not 'entitled' to anything other than the air they breath.  The fact that they have been lucky enough to be born in a country where a welfare and state supported non-working lifestyle is achievable is something they should be grateful for. 

And removal of the 'tax credit' language for those who have never paid tax, and a strong reminder that the person they are rude to in shops, or the bus driver who pissed them off, or the doctor who has too many patients to cope with, is paying tax and funding their non-working lifestyle, it might make them think a little harder about where their money does actually come from.

I can dream can't I?

Current Mood: thoughtful
Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
8:29 am
Quick Update
The final handfasting of the season has taken place, the llama was beautifully behaved, the drink flowed freely, the bride looked stunning, the guests were enthusiastic and the sun shone.  We only have three handfastings booked for next year as I kept forgetting that I will have other things to occupy me.

And this morning dawn was beautiful, pink sky, fresh winds, shining Venus, cat pissing for England.  Sweet Heaven!

This evening we are checking out local educational establishments.  It's called planning ahead.
Thursday, September 24th, 2009
4:52 pm
It's okay because it's natural and we're pagan
Just when you thought you'd seen everything.


the site may take a long time to load because there are a lot of photos.

When you can drag your eyes away from the sartorial disaster that is the public face of neo-paganism, scroll down towards the end.  There you will see some lovely photos of thoughtful druids planting what looks to be wheat in the middle of Avebury Stone Circle. 


Current Mood: hungry
Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
9:11 am
Today I am mostly hating litter
Why does Britain have one of the worst litter problems in Europe?  The only city I've visited with anywhere near the amount of rubbish is Rome. 

Birmingham City Council will pick up bulky rubbish FOR FREE!  No charge, Nada! It takes one phone call to sort out.  They will also clear up any other large amounts of rubbish, again for absolutely zero cost.  They're not too brilliant at regular street cleaning, particularly in the 'poor' areas where it's most needed, but then again, they shouldn't really need to be cleaning the streets if everyone did the respectful thing and took their rubbish home

If we have no respect for our country how can we have respect for ourselves, or maybe that is the problem?

Current Mood: annoyed
Monday, September 7th, 2009
1:04 pm
Looking forward to hibernating!
Only two more handfastings, both this month and then that's it, at least until next year.  Rather stupidly I've already taken on three for next year before remembering that logistically it may prove difficult. 

I am really looking forward to Autumn and Winter, not least because we have a weekend at Hill House - yay!  I may even take my air gun down to keep myself amused and the squirrels nervous.  My furs are already being aired, the wood pile being enlarged and the thought of long lazy evenings with beloved in front of the fire watching the new series of America's Next Top Model is topmost in my mind. 

This year seems to have flown by, I can't believe I'm already trying to figure out what to do for our Work's Christmas Outing.  Suggestions (cheap!) gratefully received.

Current Mood: peaceful
Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
9:52 am
Separated by more than an ocean
I am amused by the difference between USA and British maternity care.

The USA says "Wow, you have midwife led birthing centres, and are trying to reduce the medicalisation of birth.  How very primitive."

We say "Wow, you have doctors at normal births, a 33% rate of caesarean for physician convenicence, give birth in brightly lit operating theatres, flat on your back with your legs in stirrups.  How very primitive."

Current Mood: amused
Friday, August 28th, 2009
10:57 am
Words of Wisdom
'Life has a funny way of creeping up on you. '  Definitely rings true at the moment.  Even when I try and make life boring it fails miserably, not that I am complaining too much.

In other news, after hearing all the hype I watched X-factor last night to see what all the fuss was about the teacher, Danyl.  Someone that good, that confident, has to be a plant, but then again, Simon Cowell isn't that stupid as he must know people will start wondering, or then again is he just double-bluffing us? 

Also - does anyone know of any handfasting celebrants in Norwich?  We have been asked about a possible gig on 23rd December and there's absolutely no way I can do it and Martin is still at work on that date.

Current Mood: amused
Monday, August 24th, 2009
10:05 am
Sleep time and hedonism
After a very busy week, I needed sleep time, and still need some more. I may even disappear home early today. 

Last Wednesday found us living the high life again, for the first time in ages.  Martin took me for lunch at Gordon Ramsay's at Claridges.  The food wasn't as good as similar Michelin 1* in Birmingham, but the venue is stunning.  I adore the 1920s Art Deco and Lalique glass and it's worth the price of the drinks just to nose around.  It's also the very first venue I've ever visited where there is a lady to turn on the taps for you when you visit the toilet.  I guess all such venues have their quirks - the George V in Paris has a little cushion for you to place your handbag on.  Suffice to say we had a fanatastic time before tootling off for afternoon tea, a champagne reception and a tour of Clarence House.  For monarchists such as myself and Martin it was lovely to nose around a family home, even if it did feel a little intrusive at times.  As if that wasn't enough hedonism for one day, I then treated Martin to a cigar and whisky at The Lanesborough, which has arguably one of the best cigar smoking areas in the country.  I prefer the 'smoking room' intimacy of the Hotel du Vin Cigar Huts, but it was a very splendid and luxurious (and expensive!) way to while away an hour or two whilst waiting for our train home. 

Thursday evening was an 80th birthday celebration for my father in law, held at the Aston Villa football ground.  Alas I was too tired to join in the tour of the changing rooms, but it was lovely to see nearly all the family and Martin is always so happy when encouraging his grandchildren, nieces and nephews into hyperactivity.  I am happy to report that both he and his hat survived the assault.

All of the above meant I was knackered come the weekend.  I had lots of options - a tour of Worcester Cathedral and day out with my brother's new mediavel expert flatmate, or a day at Ragley Game Fair where I wanted to look at lots of guns even though I can't shoot at the moment.  I can still drool.  However, the idea of sleeping for the afternoon won all arguments.  Tired doesn't even begin to cover it.

Current Mood: tired
Monday, August 17th, 2009
10:08 am
Making an effort
Following on from my previous post I will, for at least this week, make an effort to post on LJ.  So my comments on today's news!

The Man from UNCLE was in the offices last week and I didn't spot him :o(

Drug driving campaign? Are people really that stupid?  Actually don't answer that question.  Though given the standard of driving in parts of Birmingham how can the police tell the difference?  Will the advertising campaign make any difference at all?  Surely  those sensible enough to know that drugs affect reactions and driving ability will not drug drive, and those that don't really give two shits will continue to put their own and other's lives at risk?  I don't think it's fear of getting caught that stops people drink or drug driving, I think it's an acceptance of responsibility.  There will always be those who think that they can get away with it.  (not mentioning any pop singers and their amazing ability to run their Range Rover/Land Rover into other vehicles whilst stoned).

Afghanistan - another 5 British soldiers die over the weekend supporting American foreign policy.  Can anyone remember exactly what our excuse was for going in to Afghanistan in the first place?  I know ther was some wishy-washy Al-Qaida stuff, or was it the Taliban? Who cares anyway, all those foreign types look the same with their weird headwear and dodgy beards.  Why not just blow them all up?  Ooops, sorry, I forgot we are supposed to be the good guys!

To top off all of those grumps, I also have sciatica.  It's not as bad as several years ago when my spinal disc burst and I was crippled, but it's still fairly unpleasant and unlikely to disappear anytime soon.   I will just have to remind myself that I must embrace the changes to my body ;o)  Anyway, it meant I woke up in a really shit mood which is not improving as the day goes on. 

Current Mood: grumpy
Saturday, August 15th, 2009
7:20 am
The War is Lost
Does anyone have any opinions on why Facebook now seems to be the medium of choise for dispersal of our thoughts?  Twitter has caught on with some folk, but not with others (I am in the latter group).  Even my Father in Law is on Facebook, though he hasn't figured out how to use it yet.   I've noticed that LJ is a lot quieter these days than it used to be.
Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
9:07 am
Annoying niggles
At the moment my ears do not want to hear much except classical music - perhaps a side effect of the Radio One Big Weekend bass?  But in a rare moment of musicology(?) I switched on Kerrang radio and heard a song I really liked.  But the announcer didn't give the name of the song or band, and all I can remember is that the rhymes in the lyrical refrain were all based around the 'eeeze', so words like 'trees', 'please' and 'breeze' (I think).  Not much to go on to track a song down!

So why the long radio silence on LJ?  Has my life suddenly gone boring?  Actually no, it's just that most of the stuff that I'm up to isn't really of interest.  And weeknights spent lounging on the sofa doing nothing are still enough of a novelty to keep me amused.

But we're still here, still having fun, still living, still enjoying ourselves and making plans. x

Current Mood: excited
Monday, July 6th, 2009
8:56 am
Sartorial desertion - the town that Fashion forgot

I can only be talking about Glastonbury right??  Note to anyone thinking of opening a soap and/or hairbrush shop in Glastonbury. It will go bust within a week.     Happily the Blue Note Cafe remains a haven of normal folk and still does nice food. 

This time, the Goddess Temple was open so i thought I'd go and see what all the fuss was about.  I honestly tried to keep an open mind, but the sight of an earth goddess-type smiling one of those sickly benign half-smiles, that I presume is supposed to look as if the smilee has achieved some sort of spiritual enlightenment, but makes them look slightly crazy. and the accompanying choking incense as soon as I went through the door knocked down any positivity I was trying to feel.  I HATED THE PLACE!  Absolutely couldn't stand it.  The scarecrows Goddess representations were positively evil in their vibe, sharp, horrible, and every fibre of my being was screaming to stay away from them.  Maybe we both recognised that I am not someone who thinks spirituality can be bought or sold, maybe only those willing to be suckered into paying for a course are welcomed?  (Call me cynical, but an organisation like the Isle of Avalon Foundation running a course entitled 'How to write a book in 3 months' is just a little TOO obvious?)

So I moved on to the altar to Domnu, whomever she may be.  I suspect that Domnu is more one of the 'let's drag some names out of myth and deify them', kind of similar to Rhiannon but with even less mythology to support deification?  How come Pryderi never gets honoured?  Poor deity to have a supporting role in the story ;o)

And then of course, the largest shrine in the Temple, to the famous and well know goddess with lots of historical references, Novala, summoned with the invocation"yap yeht sa gnolsa pihsrow srekcus eht tel".   It wouldn't be so bad if there was an honesty, an admission that many of these supposed Goddesses have no historical supporting evidence for worship, but there isn't.  They are called the Ancient Goddesses, and what an insult to Brittania to try and suggest that Britain was not named for Her?   I find, as a Priestess of Aphrodite, that the Goddess Temple is an insult, that it rejects and dismisses a core part of what it is to be a woman.

The shame is, that I absolutely love Chalice Well Gardens and the Tor, I just wish they weren't situated in Glastonbury.

On the plus side, we also visited Wells, which was beautiful, and drove back via Cheddar Gorge, we shall be returning to both when we have more time.

Current Mood: in need of a wash
Friday, July 3rd, 2009
10:37 am
Proud to be a Brummie because we're such nice people!
Selly Oak Hospital, our local general hospital, is also the main centre for wounded soldiers returning from Iraq or Afghanistan.  One of the initiatives is a simple idea:

From the Help for Heroes website:

"We are delighted to be able to contribute to this very simple idea. We put £10,000 aside for the Military Liaison Officer’s funds at Selly Oak. That money enables the MLOs to take the patients and their relatives out for a pizza or a curry while they are at Selly Oak and for them to start getting used to being seen in public.

More often than not, the locals, when they realise who the group are, pick up the tab; (thanks Brummies!) "

To donate to Help for Heroes, go to www.helpforheroes.org.uk
Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
10:03 am
The Biggest Loser
<mini rant starts >
I am wishing people would stop forwarding me the viral email about the 'War on Terror', whatever the fuck that is!  You know, the one that says something along the lines of 'I don't care if a few dark skinned types are tortured/murdered/subject to infanticide/insert war crime of choice. . . . . blah . . . . blah . . . . blah . . . . . . there are only three people who've died for you, Jesus Christ, an American Soldier and a Canadian*/British* soldier"  (*delete according to nationality of recipient/sender) 

If you truly believe the crap in the email, if your humanity has been destroyed to that extent, then you've already lost. 

<mini rant ends >

Brought to you by a weekend contemplating the links between the romantic view of "the warrior", the modern neo-pagan view of the Mhorrigan and Mark Twain's War Prayer available in full at  http://www.warprayer.org/

"With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it --

For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimmage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen. "

Current Mood: contemplative
Monday, June 29th, 2009
12:31 pm
On Hallowed Ground
This weekend, Martin and I spent a very pleasant day visiting Soho House and Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.  For those who don't know, Soho House was the meeting place of the Lunar Society, a collection of eminent scientists, thinkers and inventors, a major cog in the wheel of the industrial revolution and also a group who pushed for social change, rights for workers and an end to slavery.  (Yes, that's right folks, Birmingham is the home of the industrial revolution, despite what Ironbridge may claim. )  The Lunar Society never had more than 14 members, the most famous being Janes Watt, Matthew Boulton, Erasmus Darwin (Charles's Grandfather), Josiah Wedgewood, Joseph Priestley . . . . . . . and we stood in the dining room where they met.  Amazing!
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