Liquid Cigars – Evoking Smell And Taste Through Memory. 

A collection of photographs inspired by a whisky tasting festival taken from the scribbled notes of my neigbouring stall-holder with whom I shared the day. Her descriptions and company were inspirational. 

The experience takes me back to my first days on Crete when I encountered for the first time one of my favourite whiskys, Highland Park. My partner at the time asked me to close my eyes and describe the images that were evoked by the smell and taste. I was instantly transported to a rugged sea shore in the rain, the smell of the sea and seaweed strong and powerful in the air and the taste of the salty sea air mixed with rain upon my lips. 

Here is a glimpse into this lady’s sensory world…


Liquid Cigar

Nutmeg and Pepper

Icing Sugar, Soft Toffee

Harbours At Low Tide and Hemp

Boiled Car Sweets

Fun times! I certainly enjoyed myself. 🙂

evoke (v.) (etymonline.com)
1620s, from French évoquer or directly from Latin evocare “call out, rouse, summon” (seeevocation). Often more or less with a sense of “calling spirits,” or being called by them. Of feelings, memories, etc., by 1856. Related: Evoked;evokesevoking.

Photo Credits: 

Cigar Image: 

http://www.cigarinspector.com/cigars-101/how-to-smoke-a-cigar-without-going-up-in-smoke

Liquid Smoke:

Liquid Smoke by Koipeach on DeviantArt

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Ode To The One Who Never Was.

I am back in the cave where we first met, that dark, safe place where you once lived. 

The place where I learned to let go of my fear, the place I learned to love you….witch lady, spirit lady, lady of Other. Your dark eyes aglow with the fire as it shimmers and reflects in the water of your eyes, my whole being aflame, inflamed by you…

In this hollow, empty space I now stand, I bring the memory of you back into being. I infuse the memory with breath and I give it life; and for a moment, as I bridge the memory,  the red-golden glow of the fire flames flicker, dancing around the cave. You trace your finger down my face, turning me to you. And as I turn, I feel your lips gently brushing mine, and you lead me…
…deeper and deeper into your kiss…

deeper and deeper…

deeper and deeper…

…until a thousand stars are born.

26th April – Memorial of Our Lady of Good Counsel

A surprise, unexpected post, but bear with me, sometimes the Muse just works this way…

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Good Counsel, also known as:

• La Madonna del Paradiso
• Madonna del Buon Consiglio

Additional Memorial:

25 April at Genazzano, Italy

Profile:

“Records dating from the reign of Paul II relate that the picture of Our Lady, at first called La Madonna del Paradiso and now better known as Madonna del Buon Consiglio, appeared at Genazzano, Italy, a town about twenty-five miles southeast of Rome, on 25 April 1467, in the old church of Santa Maria, which had been under the care of Augustinians since 1356. The venerated icon itself, which is drawn on a thin scale of wall-plaster little thicker than a visiting-card, was observed to hang suspended in the air without support; early tradition says that one could pass a thread around the image without touching it. Devotion to Our Lady in Santa Maria sprang up at once. Pilgrims began to pour in, miracles began and continue at the shrine.

In July 1467, Pope Paul deputed two bishops to investigate the alleged wonder-working image; no copy of their report is known to have survived. Devotion to Our Lady increased. In 1630, Pope Urban VIII made a pilgrimage to Genazzano, as did Pope Blessed Pius IX in 1864. On 17 November 1682 Pope Blessed Innocent XI had the picture crowned with gold by the Vatican Basilica. In 1727 Pope Benedict XIII granted the clergy of Genazzano an Office and Mass of Our Lady for 25 April, the anniversary of the apparition, elsewhere the feast being kept a day later so as not to conflict with that of Saint Mark the Evangelist. On 2 July 1753 Pope Benedict XIV approved the Pious Union of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful at large, and himself enrolled therein as its pioneer member; Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII were both later members. On 18 December 1779, Pope Pius VI, while re-approving devotion to Our Lady, granted all Augustinians an Office with hymns, lessons, prayer and Mass proper of double-major rite; with a plenary indulgence also for the faithful, to which Pope Pius VIII added another for visitors to the shrine. On 18 December 1884, Pope Leo XIII approved of a new Office and Mass of second-class rite for all Augustinians, while on 17 March 1903, he elevated the church of Santa Maria – one of the four parish churches in tiny Genazzano – to the rank of minor basilica. On 22 April 1903 he authorized the insertion in the Litany of Loreto of the invocation Mater Boni Consillii to follow that of Mater Admirabilis. The same pontiff on 21 December 1893 had sanctioned the use of the White Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful.

Patronage

• for enlightenment
• Catholic Women’s League of Canada
• Missionary Sisters of Saint Peter Claver
• Albania
• Amargosa, Brazil, diocese of
• Essen, Germany, diocese of
• Sandburst, Victoria, diocese of
• Amargosa, Brazil”

Sources:

http://catholicsaints.info/our-lady-of-good-counsel/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Good_Counsel

Images: Wiki Commons

Hanging Out With Nettles.

​I had an enchanted morning, out in the fields gathering some wild nettles. Some for tonight’s dinner and some to dry to drink as a tea later on in the summer. Now, here it is prime time for the nettle, in the peak of its season. The fresh spring growth tender and abundant. 

You know, I miss so much from Crete and I was reflecting upon this as I was out this morning, what would be a regular sight, so familiar, of people out in the fields collecting wild plants and herbs, known under the generic term as horta (χόρτα), you just don’t see it happening here. People wandering about with a small knife in their hands and a carrier bag bursting full of vibrant fresh greens after having spent much time in the fields with their bum in the air. For Creten and Greek people it is a part of daily life and diet. Everywhere you go you made sure you had a carrier bag and a small pocket knife with you somewhere either in your pocket or in the car. 

I have really missed the aching of my back from having my bum poised mid air while collecting all the wonderful plants for dinners and drinks. But most of all, I miss the health I get from the plants as a reward! I do notice a big difference in my vitality after not having eaten freshly picked bitters and greens from the wild for a while. It has dropped considerably.

They are so good for you! The bitters help the stomach, they clear your skin, make your nails stronger, you get lots of nutrients, minerals, vitamins and energy from them. I won’t go into details but here are two excellent sources for further information for you to peruse and I will add them at the end of the post. 
I really miss also, more so than anything else, the closeness I felt to the land and plants on Crete. I do miss the plants of Crete very much…they became very familiar friends and allies. Companions. We had a wonderful relationship and I miss them as dearly, just as I would miss any close friend. When you are close to the land, you eat of it, you live and breathe it, you communicate with it, it becomes a part of you and you of it. You develop this amazing relationship with what is around you and with what you share this life with.

So, it is about going back to this way of living for me. And bringing what I learned on Crete here with me. So I am back out there, familiarizing myself with the local land spirits, the plants, the land. I have oatmeal and tabacco in my pocket ready to be offered. 
What I am really surprised about is, as I said above, what would be a familiar sight on Crete was met here this morning with people asking me what on earth I was doing! Not in an unfriendly way but they were genuinly asking me. I know there has been a surge of people re-wilding, it’s all over the internet anyway, and an uprising of foraging workshops, wild food workshops and just general awareness! But really, but I was surprised none the less by the responses. Perhaps it isn’t as  common a practice as I thought?

Either way, I loved my morning spent out in the fields. I will add this as it is a bug bear of mine and I always rant on about it, so bear with me:

As a rule of thumb, only collect what you need from the plants and respect them and the land where you are collecting. If avoidable and you are not collecting the whole of the plant for a specific purpose, make sure you don’t damage the plant too much to ensure new growth. If there is only a little of the plant growing, I would leave it alone. From where it grows abundantly, I collect. I always give a little something in return, some tabacco and or oatmeal. I always chat away with the plants too as I am collecting. 

Fun times!

Resources and further info:

Mrs Grieves Botanical:

http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nettle03.html

Am very excited about this lady’s work, check her out here at:

http://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/