Return to the Isle of Wight

Dad dropped me at the horses roundabout in Newmarket for me to hitch to Bath. I had planned initially to see Joanna, Andrew and Leo in Slough, but Andrew’s health had become more serious and they wouldn’t be around. Needing to reconnect with Owen anyway, it was straightforward to plan a trip to see him instead.

image
The light was great at dad's...

I’d stayed with Dad, Apriliana and my two sisters for a few days, since arriving back in Britain. On Thursday night, I went for a walk by moonlight, trusting completely in my intuition along the whole way. I walked for two hours, and it was incredible.

I got a lift fairly quickly from a couple who were going to private dance tuition with one of the top ballroom instructors in Britain in Dorking, south of London. So they took me there. All the while, my head was stiff, a pressure or low-mineral headache.

When they dropped me, I rushed to find a spot to pee. I then sat and had lunch, and kind of had an energy crash. I wasn’t having a good day for energy.

I got a lift after a while to the services, a few miles further down the road. There I had a coffee, hoping it’d help my stomach and head, and had another long break.

I rejected a few lifts going not onto the m4, but then had a feeling that I was going to be stuck there for a long time if I didn’t accept a lift anywhere. I accepted a lift after a while from a lady driving a minibus to Heathrow airport, and she dropped me at the Heathrow junction (before the m4).

From there, head still swirling, I contacted Owen asking him to pull me towards him because I was struggling. I’d received an offer of a lift to Hertfordshire, which was strange considering my sign was for ‘M4/Reading’.

But within two minutes of sending the message to Owen, a young guy pulled over a long way up the slip-road, and said he was going past Reading.

It turned out he was going to Cardiff. So I had a lift, pretty much, to Bath.

The young guy is an engineer at a university in West London, on placement in Cardiff. He asked me many many questions about Skanda Vale, and about my life in general. It was a little hard on my weary head, but my sadhana was to be sharing what I know through my experiences of living at Skanda Vale and Somaskanda Ashram. There was quite an air of naivety about the conversation, but it was important to keep going.

From the Bath junction I got a lift with a lovely lady who is at quite a crossroads in life, having split from her husband and temporarily living in Bath. I told her briefly about my situation, and she responded emotionally when I said about potentially going into a monastic life.

And I was in Bath.

My connection with Owen was as it was supposed to be. We shared pujas, and much catching up. We visited Wells cathedral, and I said farewell to Owen at about 7pm, sun going down, on the outskirts of Wells.

I got a lift fairly quickly to Shepton Mallet. My head was quite mushy again, and I found it hard to communicate much.

And from Shepton, I got a lift very quickly from Danny.

image
Danny and I, saying farewells at Winchester services

Danny really wanted to make sure I got somewhere decent. He was going up the M3 to London, but wanted to go across Salisbury Plain so that he could stargaze a little (he lives in East London and never gets to see the stars). He’d been visiting his young daughter in Wells.

We stopped in a tank crossing, and he was quite over the moon (the moon wasn’t visible yet). The sky was clear, and we could see plenty of stars. He said it was like someone had sprinkled some dust all across the sky. It was quite a special moment.

We got back in the car, ready to go. But we saw a glow in the horizon in front of us. A big orange ellipsoid. Like an important building lit up, or a massive fire.

The moon rose fairly quickly, but with such vitality and strength. It was a tremendous moonrise. I felt thoroughly blessed to witness it.

And so we left, and drove on. Danny wanted to take me to Winchester services, which he said would be good for me. And we connected so well all the way there. We were meant to meet.

When we got there, I offered to buy him a coffee but he insisted to buy the round. We sat drinking our coffees, and he told me what’s next for him. He flies out to Grenada on Tuesday, to see the famous something or other there (I can’t remember what it is). I told him about Jass living there, that he really should meet up with him. And his mouth opened wide for a moment. One of those moments where the universe brings things together so intricately you can’t quite believe it’s true.

Danny is perhaps in a transition time in his life. He’s been a scaffolder for many years, but now is getting into doing work in theatres, building set supports or something. But also he’s found a love for foraging, and is hoping he can find a way to make a living from it.

It was quite a momentous goodbye, and we each wished each other well.

I climbed over the fence to leave the services (I looked on Google maps to find a route out, but it had been fenced off), and walked through woods aiming to get to the other side of the services. But I felt a connection with the woods, and very quickly found I was due to camp there for the night.

I rang mum, told her I’d come home the next day, and set up camp.

It was great to camp again, and I had a beautiful and highly charged puja.

image
Sleeping under three maple trees

I slept like as if I’d had too much coffee (which I had), and slowly got myself up and ready to go in the morning.

I felt a little out of it, but good.

I got a lift from a BMW convertible driver to Southampton, and he ended up taking me to the Isle ferry port. He was saying about being overly stressed, and things needing to change in his life. He admired what I’ve been doing.

I didn’t manage to get a lift on the 1pm ferry. Neither did the family who picked be up 😁 really sweet Romanian family, all musicians, who live in Newport on the Isle. They’d been on holiday in Romania for two weeks. I noticed how the lady was singing along to the music they had on – the vibrations of her voice were strong, like she’d trained a long time.
I talked with the guy for a while on the ferry about God, intentions, and how to know what the right thing is. It was a nice talk, and he had warm and relaxing energy.

Mum had told me that she wasn’t going to stick around for my ferry to come in – she’d worked until 2, and was tired out, so was going to go home. I was a bit sad, because I thought it would’ve been a good time to reconnect with her. The family offered to drive me back to Brading, despite only having had one hour sleep the night before. As we came off the ferry, I saw mum standing by her car, almost as if an apparition. I pointed her out, we stopped, and I said goodbye to the family.

The pilgrimage doesn’t feel like it’s finished. I showered and then went to set up my shrine. I started to feel rather sick and dizzy. I couldn’t set it up. Something was completely not right. At no time on the whole trip have I felt anything like this. And so, the pilgrimage continues with learning how and where my life goes from here.

My shrine has been a central root of my life. It is a physical encapsulation of the tenderness of God. I don’t know what will happen next, but it’s beautiful to be receiving this message so clearly.

Advertisements

Leaving Somaskanda Ashram

Words will not do justice for the experiences that were had since leaving Somaskanda Ashram yesterday, as well as what I experienced whilst at Somaskanda Ashram.

It’s hard to chronicle what happened, because there are so many emotions involved in the happenings of the last few days.

image
Nandi with a fixed gaze on Lord Shiva

On Saturday morning, Swami Amba and Swami Durga called Silja, Ralph and myself into the seminar room for a private talk. We were told that the previous night, Swami B had walked out of Skanda Vale. He’d walked out with Brother Danny and Sister Jo. It’s impossible to explain to someone who doesn’t know Skanda Vale about how monumental this drama is. Swami B has seemed like, if anyone could be considered to uphold the role, a leader of Skanda Vale ever since I’ve known the ashram. I lived with him for a few months in Somaskanda Ashram last autumn/winter, and got to know him very well especially when we’d become quite isolated up the mountain as just the three of us in December. I know deep inside me that he is pursuing God’s direction in his movements, and that is why he left Skanda Vale. I’ve prayed for him so strongly, and I have a lot of trust in God looking after him.

On Sunday evening, at the end of the Christian Service at Somaskanda, I suddenly felt a strong feeling of urgency in regards to my actions in life. I felt something telling me that I absolutely can’t go on in this way, and things need to be very different. I need now to have a definite focus and scope in my life. I requested to God that things be made clear by May next year. And I said that if things are not clear by then, I will write to Skanda Vale requesting to become a monk.
When I returned to my bedroom after the service, I felt an urge to turn on my phone, to check my email/internet. I received a whatsapp message from Anja, replying to a massage I had sent her over a month ago. She pulled me towards her in Basel.

I left Somaskanda yesterday (Monday 2nd October) afternoon to travel to Bern, where I would be hosted by Meret and Martin for the night and then travel by train to Basel this morning to see Anja/catch my flight.

Swami Durga encouraged me to stay helping him finish a job at Somaskanda of extending an outdoor shelter in time for the inauguration anniversary celebrations of the temple. I’d planned to leave on my journey in the morning, but of course didn’t leave Somaskanda until about 3pm. Swami Durga dropped me at Fideris train station, where there was a good place for people to stop and traffic went slowly there. He said he would take me to Rapperswil, before Zurich, if I was still there by half 5.

Within a short while a man stopped in a pickup truck with a horsebox attached. I saw what looked like antlers in the back, and was dreading that it was a deer carcass, as it’s now hunting season. It turned out that the young man is a farmer and had gone to the Prättigauer mountains to collect his two goats and two donkeys to take them back to where he lives in St Gallen for the winter – they spend the summer in the mountains. The ‘antlers’ were in fact of the goats, who were very much alive and well. The man was called Simon, and he dropped me in Landquart.

From Landquart, I was sending a message on my phone I think to Anja when I heard a beep from a car. It was beeping at a car that had stopped for me, who had stopped in maybe a slightly dodgy spot. He hadn’t recognised me before he stopped, but had merely stopped because of my sign for Zurich. It was Ulrich, who I know very well from seeing him a few times last year at Somaskanda Ashram. We’ve always connected really well, and deeply, so it was quite something to be sharing this really long satsang with him all the way to just past Zurich. He was overjoyed about having picked me up. I told him about Swami B leaving, and also reminded him about Mohanji coming to Somaskanda next week. He offered to either take me to the train station and pay for my train to Bern, or to take me to a big services at the start of the main highway to Bern from Zurich. I told him I needed a few minutes to think about it. After a few minutes, it was clear that I needed to go to the services and hitchhike one more lift. He told me he had a feeling that I would get a lift from someone who really needed to meet me.

After maybe 20 minutes of hitchhiking, a lady in a small and fairly full car stopped, and apologised that her car was maybe too full to take me. I said I could take my backpack on my lap, and accepted the lift. And that started my amazing encounter with Sabine.

Sabine recently lost her job working to improve how employees work in a certain big company. Within a month of losing her job, she’d found out about a clowning weekend workshop in Constanz. Now she is due to be starting a 2/3 year clowning course, and her life has massively shifted. We connected very very strongly. It was like our hearts were sharing a big long hug the whole way. When we arrived in Bern, Martin invited Sabine in for a tea, and she met Martin and later Merit. It was incredible. Funnily, Ulrich had kind of predicted that such an encounter would happen.

In Bern I shared a lot of talk with Martin and Merit over dinner, and later shared a lovely puja with Meret.

They paid for me a train to Basel, and thus began a meet with Anja that felt like it could be the thing that changes everything.

Last December, Anja came to Somaskanda with a friend of hers for the weekend, right at the beginning of December. We would stay up until gone 1am talking, heart on heart, eyes seeing into depths of being. But also, we had the devotions in the temple to focus on. The night before Anja left, I dreamt of her leaving, and dreamt that she walked down the road and I walked the other way, and it was very sad. Then we both turned around, and she came running to me, and we embraced and declared love. When she actually did leave (now not in a dream), this did not quite happen, but it was a very high-energy afternoon/evening, and it was also the last time I saw a number of other people, who had all come for a board meeting. Walking back up the track to the temple on this clear December evening, on my own, the Swamis driving down to the valley too to do a few jobs, I felt such a heaviness and sadness that I hadn’t felt in many years, and I had to stop on numerous occasions to just process it all. I understood the Goddess Lakshmi to be right by my side in these moments. The moon was bright, and stars too, and I was the only person up this mountain at this time. I cried a fair bit, and sung a lot to Lakshmi.

I have since always associated Anja with Lakshmi. She somehow holds a reservoir of Maha Lakshmi’s love and grace. Seeing her again, in Basel, was, for me, an incredible encounter, and absolutely amazing that it was somehow made to happen. If I were to move to Switzerland without it being a move to the ashram, I think it would have to have something to do with Anja.
We didn’t have so much time to share, and Anja said a few times about it being the shortest stay she’s ever had from a guest. I had my flight to catch, because I had duties to fulfill in Britain.

image
Memories of Skanda Vale, at Basel train station

Anja lives in a little wood chalet at the end of a wooded garden, completely sheltered and hidden away from everything. It’s like a hobbit house in a way. I felt so reluctant to leave. And if there’d been a clear sign not to, I would’ve taken it.

Anja is studying hyperwerk – ‘post-industrial design’. She explained it a little to me, that it is a course based around thinking about how we will live after the industrial age comes to an end. She said about one student doing a project on leaning back with hands together behind the back and walking slowly whilst whistling, and how this is the solution to everything.
There was a feeling of encouragement from her for me to be thinking about doing such a thing. My life on the Isle of Wight is really not ideal, and there’s been a feeling inside me that I might well be wasting a lot of time and energy with what I’m doing there, that should be going into something more important. Sure, there are things that are really good to be involved in, like the pilgrimages I’ve been on there, and my volunteering work. But my Greenpeace work I’ve now become very uncertain about, and also definitely where I am living.

I said goodbye to Anja at the airport.

I chanted throughout the whole flight, going through my mala over and over, and spent the last half hour or so singing ‘Vel Vel Muruga’ (Come, Come, Muruga). It’s been through this song that I’ve sent energy and prayers out to Swami B. When the plane landed, I felt my devotions becoming intensified…Muruga, Muruga, Muruga, Muruga, Muruga.

I got my luggage fairly quickly, and left the airport to hitchhike to my dad’s house near Newmarket.

I got a lift quickly from a taxi driver, who was going to London but took me to the next services. This was strange because the services were not the services I was aiming for, but I’d given a request to God that I get some cardboard to make a sign with, and cardboard was available here. Then another taxi driver stopped, and he was also going to London, but he took me to the big services. A Russian/Bulgarian man, who might well move to the Isle of Wight because I said it’s rather nice there.
Then 10 minutes stood at the slip road going towards Cambridge on the M11, and another taxi stopped, this time a bit dangerously as he’d been in the wrong lane really for stopping. I’d just started singing a bit more intently to Lord Muruga when he stopped. Of course, he was an Indian man, and of course, he was driving back to Newmarket.

He was from Rajasthan, a deeply traditional area of India. He goes back there every few months, for a month each time. I found it amazing how much holiday time he has. He remarked about how different it is in Britain how noone looks after their parents here, and he’s happy to hear that I’m living with my mum. I said that living with my mum has a lot of complications, but, for the time being at least, it is my duty. He had a deep gentleness and sweetness, that I much appreciated.

He dropped me in Newmarket, and Jasmine and Iona came running up to me at Waitrose, our meeting point.

The feeling of returning to Britain has been heavy – but there’s things I’m here for. I can’t delay with stuff anymore. Switzerland is calling with quite some urgency, and I’ve not got much time. Swami B’s walkout has shaken everything up for me, and I can no longer say for definite about anything. For all I know, I could be given a clear sign to become a monk next month. I could also be given a clear sign to move out to Switzerland, or whatever, and I’ll be listening with intent for whatever signs come my way.

I spoke tonight with my mum about what I’ve been through recently. I told her briefly about my experiences in the pujas over the weekend, and the developing energies, and feeling like I have a role in it all. I also said that, if things don’t tell me otherwise by the springtime, I will write to the Swamis Council about becoming a monk at Skanda Vale.

There is a real certainty inside me now about needing to be clear in what my life is about. I can’t go on pilgrimage and experience all of these extraordinary things and then go back to the life that I was living before. I have got to let it take me somewhere, and continue living my life by God’s direction, which comes about through my experience of intuition.

I was originally planning to travel from here, in Suffolk, to Slough to visit Joanna, Andrew and Leo, on Friday. Andrew has colon cancer, and his status has recently been changed from level 3 to level 4. So they are going to Scotland for him to receive mistletoe therapy, because he has outright refused to have chemotherapy (as it essentially just kills off a part of the system and often the symptoms come back a few years later but when you don’t have a strong system left to fight it anymore…. He’s really keen to put all of his faith into alternative therapies and spirituality, which is really encouraging to hear). I will instead travel back to Isle of Wight on Saturday theoretically (though I wouldn’t be surprised if something happens to happen en-route to add another twist in the tale!).

Journey to Somaskanda Ashram

I left Villa Simonicchi with Vitorio, as we shared a beautiful and peaceful drive through the speaking mountains.

Vitorio is 81. He was pretty much a master carpenter in his working life, a long time in the past, but he still works when his body allows. When he dropped me at a service station, his eyes welled up, and I saw how much of an effect I’d had on him in my short time staying. I spoke French with him, which brings him back to his younger years when he living in Paris and then near Geneva, where he learnt carpentry as to escape military service. Now he’s at a point where his body hurts sometimes and he can’t move much for days. He feels sad having this body slowly dissolving, but hopefully Jenny has resolutions to accommodate the change of pace.

I played ukulele on a picnic bench in the services for quite some time. I had a feeling that I would be at this services for a while, so I thought I should sing to St Francis rather than pointlessly trying to hitch a lift (I’ve had this feeling, this whole journey, of knowing when roughly I will be picked up, and where I will end up… So singing songs instead of standing by the exit/talking to people is just simply going along with this feeling, and allowing it to thrive). A man came and sat to eat his lunch at the bench, whilst I was learning Gaudete.

My feeling of St Francis was extremely strong at this time.

When I did start hitching, I was somewhat surprised not to get a lift straight away. But I waited, and a guy turned up to take me to the next services. I waited a while there too, and a lady took me to Bagna di Romagna. She tested out my Italian (which didn’t exist upto that point). We drove through country mountain roads to get there, and she enthusiastically asked me quick questions which I was surprised to understand (but didn’t know how to respond – I ended up opting for using a combination of both French and Spanish, and trusting she’d understand).

image
Bagno di Romagna, gnome

At Bagna, a very friendly lady took me to Sarsina. She taught me lots of little bits of Italian, and seemed really happy to talk with me.

Sarsina had a lovely feel. I walked down the hill a little, following the road, and felt a real gentleness in the air. Here a lorry stopped for me – he said he was going to Bologna. I was amazed to get a lift going so far from such a rural place.

I soon established that the driver was Moroccan, which means he speaks French (and thus, communication came easy). We had lovely conversation about his home city of Fez. At one point, I noticed the sun setting, and there was this great moment of stillness as we were gripped by the beauty.

image
Sunset, en route to leaving Italy

It turned out he was going to Verona. I really enjoyed the hours of just listening to the radio and watching the world go by, slowly, in our truck.

He dropped me at the last services south of Verona. We’d bonded well, and it was actually a little sad to say goodbye.

I got speaking to a German couple, who didn’t have space in their car but we shared moments of stillness, through conversation, together.

I bought some chocolate, got some fresh cardboard, and chilled out for a while. Then a German car pulled in right next to me, and I asked the young guy if he had room for me going up towards Germany. He and his girlfriend were happy to take me.

image
Arrival at Europa Bridge services with German couple

They’re both studying automotive engineering in Wolfsburg, the home of VW. They’d been on holiday to Sardinia, and were driving back pretty much non-stop because their term starts in less than two days. Molina (?) was feeling car-sick for much of the way. But we shared enthusiastic conversation about the ethics of electric cars (both are seeing it as a ploy by governments/big industry to boost the economy, and are not optimistic about the benefits of switching over to electric because the electricity will still come from fossil fuels). We get to Europa Bridge at about 12.30 (past midnight), say farewell, and I realise immediately that I need to just find somewhere to sleep.

I ring Mum, as it could be the last time I talk to her for a little while. I walk up to the chapel, but it’s not open and there’s no camping ground by it. So I walk down the mountain on a little track, until after quite a while searching I find a little spot at the corner of the track. It’s hard pitching the tent because the ground is very stony/kind of tarmac here. I have my puja, make a hot water bottle, and sleep.

It’s a cold, wet night. I wake in the early hours shivering, and put on more layers. It absolutely pours it down at one point – maybe the heaviest rain I’ve experienced since leaving home.

I take quite some time getting up in the morning, it still being so cold and wet. It reminds me of travelling when I was 18, with my brother, when we’d often be camping in pretty cold conditions. The kind of cold that goes right to your core.

I got to the services and hitched in rain and mist. I was getting really damp, and my sign was falling apart. I gave up, and left the services for the peage just before the motorway (just catching traffic from the services – but changing spot meant a change in energy, and surprisingly I felt a lot better when I got there).

Within a few minutes a small lorry stopped, and the guy said he was going to Holland. I took the lift, and got off just a little down the road in Innsbruck (he was going east, I needed to go west).

Then I was stuck in Innsbruck for a long time. I consulted hitchwiki, which made the situation more confusing. I finally got a lift to Innsbruck West. It was coming up to 6pm before I got a lift properly out of Innsbruck, from Hannel, who was going to Bludenz. He’s nearly finished his medical degree, that he’s been doing for 8 years.

We drive about 15 minutes on the motorway, going pretty fast, when the divine gives a new complication.

image
First first tyre..

A tyre has gone flat. The recovery comes in about 20 minutes, and the guy fits the replacement tyre quickly by the side of the road. We get going again, albeit much slower as the replacement tyre is limited to 80kmph. I receive an email from Swami Durga saying he can pick me up at 5.15am from Kublis, and take me up to the temple. I become determined – and it feels like Lord Somaskanda has suddenly gripped me by the back of the neck, and is carrying me along. He’s taken over Saint Francis in aiding my way. It’s a bit daunting being journeyed by such a strong aspect of God.

Then we get a second puncture.
The same recovery driver comes, and takes us to their garage in Imst, where the tyres will eventually all be replaced with winter tyres when the friend arrives with them. I tell my driver I have to hitch out, and sorry to abandon him. And thus I have 3 hours of getting cold and hungry trying to get a lift out of Imst. Everyone goes to Innsbruck from here – I have a few offers of lifts but none going west.

Hannel laughs a lot when he picks me up the second time. I feel pretty relieved that he hadn’t missed me.

Hannel drops me in Bludenz, advising me to get a train to Feldkirch. I do, but after having a surreal journey through a petrol station shop looking for food (and buying a load, as I’m anticipating an all-nighter of much walking), and then playing music with some Arabic guys I meet outside. They take me to the station, I buy my ticket, and get my train.

And I’m in Feldkirch. Right on the border with Switzerland and Liechtenstein. And quite a pretty place. I sit outside the station having some food, bracing for the journey to come. An important moment.

A security man comes up and asks where I’m going, what I’m doing etc. He’s pleasant, and wishes me well. Then I get up to go, and realise I don’t have my ukulele. I’m sad. I go see the security guy and tell him, and he gives me a phone number to ring when I can. I guess I left it on the train. It has been a rather nice travel companion that I got so far with. But these things happen for a reason. And I think I would’ve really struggled in what was to come had I still had the uke.

I walk and walk, for about an hour. Almost in Liechtenstein, a young couple stop, and offer me a lift to Buchs. I tell them about my journey, and they try to help by taking me further.

From where they drop me, I walk for about two hours, with two cars going past. The walk is intense, as I feel the energy of the pilgrimage becoming stronger. Somaskanda is so near. My first time returning since leaving on 21st December last year.

I get to a junction for the motorway. Clock is ticking. At about 4am, a car pulls out from nearby and stops. I ask to go to Landquart, the next town. The driver says ‘We are the police’, very sternly. I say ‘okay, can you take me to Landquart’. They ask for my passport. I have nothing to hide, no reason to be worried about an ID check, but they refuse me a lift even after checking me out.

But two minutes later a guy stops who does give me a lift, to Landquart. He’s working near the station. He finds it pretty funny that I’m hitching at such an hour! But he understands my predicament, and helps me out a lot by putting me on a good road.

And from there, a young lady stops after a few minutes, and takes me to Schiers. I arrive in Schiers at 4.45. The divine plays the cards right. It’s possible to arrive in Kublis in time. I’m absolutely knackered, and there’s no traffic here except cars going really fast and it’s not well lit up.

And I end my journey of the night on a train from Schiers to Fideris, as the last 5 miles seem impossible to hitch. I arrive in Fideris at 5.50am, and set up my tent at probably 6.30am. I set up my shrine and am in bed at 7.30am. I wake at 11.30am, with a start, and get things ready for a puja.

My puja is incredible. The energy is tremendous. I’m here. I’ve arrived. I didn’t need to arrive physically at the temple by puja time, after all. I arrived where I needed to be for it.

And I get a lift up to the end of Fideris village, then after half an hour’s walk a guy stops, with Silja inside, who takes us both up to the turnoff for Somaskanda Ashram.

Still knackered, and rather spaced out from the journey, but it’s fantastic to see Swami Durga, and Swami Amba and Brother Andy.

Om Somaskanda Murtiyae Namaha.

image
Up mount Somaskanda

Laudato sii, o mi signore: praise be to you

Today I start on a new pilgrimage. It feels like I’m literally having to finish this St Francis pilgrimage and begin the Somaskanda pilgrimage. Such a big transition.

But, really, I bring St Francis with me. He spoke to me on a number of occasions over the past couple of weeks, and I had to change quite a lot to come to connect with him. Yesterday, in Assisi, I saw clearly that he will come with me, and that this inspiration of St Francis won’t just pass once I leave. He’s a teacher, who I think I will spend my lifetime understanding more and more, as I learn to become more a student of his.

image
From near where St Francis had stigmata

Jenny and Liz, at Simonicchi, have been most exceptional of hosts. They provided an exchange so full that I felt I didn’t do near enough work for what I received (I stayed with them through HelpX, where you commit to offering a few hours work a day in exchange for board and lodgings). They base their lives around St Francis, and were offering such service for my pilgrimage that can only come about through the enigma of unconditional love through the divine.

At La Verna, above, I was seeking something. Seeking for a long time. Eventually, I came to the Sasso Spico, and found a place to rest. I meditated for quite some time, and I felt myself beginning to understand what was here.

A few days later, I was offered a trip to Assisi. Liz took me up to the Eremo delle Carceri – the hermitage – which I wouldn’t have got up to without her lift (it’s quite a walk from Assisi). In the hermitage, there is a cave of St Francis. In there, the stillness is incredible.
There was also one other cave, further down the gorge, which had a different energy but also one that I wanted to stay with. But we had to go – we didn’t have so much time for the visit.

image
Gorge of Eremo delle Carceri (the hermitage)

Assisi… not an easy place to be, the energy is so very very high. But the tomb of St Francis, in the crypt of the great basilica, brought me to my knees for a long time. It’s a great goporum, emanating a reservoir of pranam for all pilgrims to receive grace and healing through.

image
Temple of Minerva

Then, the Porziuncola down the hill – the tiny chapel inside the massive basilica – is a place beyond words or comprehension. Sat down on the floor in there, an energy of immense expecting. If you listen really really acutely, you hear St Francis teaching. And his teachings are straight from the divine – he is a divine messenger.

Now I’ve come to know St Francis a little, I sing Laudato Sii, o Mi Signore and everything feels right. St Francis is guiding my way to Somaskanda Ashram…… 🙏

image
My friends, wild boar, at the services I now hitch from

I’ve had a funny thing with Jenny’s apples on this pilgrimage. Yesterday, I gave both apples I brought with me to Assisi to two beggars, who were both extremely grateful, and I could tell were receiving a lot of grace from the offering. Today, I threw the core of the apple I’ve eaten to the end of the little field and saw two animals moving. I went slightly closer, and noticed they are wild boar. The first wild boar I’ve ever encountered up close. And I realise – I’m being helped greatly in offering to nature.

Assisi pilgrimage: Day Five (Monday 11th September)

It was not as hot in the morning as I expected. A manageable heat. I packed some things, did a puja, packed away the shrine, and slowly slowly got things ready to go.

This old deserted field is quite the dumping ground – the spot I chose for pitching the tent happened to be probably the one spot in the area without rubbish everywhere.

image
Visions of an insect

This remains of some kind of insect was impressive – it’s like a see-through shell, with no insides. There was a long line of ants passing food along – thousands of them, all working together.

image
The sea!

I unexpectedly saw the sea (I didn’t realise how close it was – as I’d arrived in the dark).

I walked to the services, had an awkward time buying water (because the shop wasn’t designed for people with backpacks..), and ate my breakfast and was joined by a group of French ladies chatting about their tour.

I began hitching, with caution, from the services. Hitchhiking in Italy on the private motorways is apparently illegal – at services and on peages, and any on-ramps too – but also apparently they don’t enforce it at all. I asked a few people, including a Romanian guy who was very sweet and apologised that he’s not going my way. I met a French couple who agreed after a bit of talking to take me past Genoa. They asked me to look after their car whilst they had coffee, so I sat and played some songs on the uke. Young Romanian guy came over to listen, who really appreciated the music. Lots of Om Namah Shivaya’s in today’s music – and a great feeling from it, too.

Martine and Michelle are on retreat for a little bit, having come from Marseille to a very special place on the coast past Genoa. I had total trust in them the whole journey – they were going to drop me at the right place. Martine asked me a lot about my time at Skanda Vale, and I showed her some photos of it. (For those interested in knowing about Skanda Vale/Somaskanda Ashram, follow these links: Skanda Vale, Wales and Somaskanda Ashram, Fideris, Switzerland).
When they dropped me, and hour or so later, Martine told me that it was really really good to meet me, she gave me €5 ‘for the evening’, and we said our farewells.

image
Martine, Michelle and I, on arrival past Genoa

This services is on a short stretch of road between two tunnels. I started hitching (cautiously) from the car park for the restaurant area, and a worker from the services came over. She told me to stand in the shade instead, because the sun is too strong. And then she went over to two younger guys, and they were my hitching audience for a few cars, enthusiastically bemoaning each car that didn’t stop.

It didn’t take too long to get a ride though.

image
Marchen and I, in Arezzo (last motorway stop)

Marchen is driving to Roma from Rotterdam. He’s Polish, from Brodnica (I think), but has lived in Netherlands for 10 years. He’s quite a character. We drive pretty darn fast all the way – he’s tired and I guess it keeps him alert to be fast. I’ve had a lot of tired drivers on this journey, but this was the first that I felt the need to stimulate conversation for the sake of keeping the driver alert. So we talked about snowboarding, about Poland, and about Peterborough (there are lots of Polish people in Peterborough – he said his friend runs a shop there). He’s going to Roma to stay with a friend from school.
A funny thing happened on this journey. I had assumed that he’d be going a different route to me, as the most direct route to Roma is down the west coast. But his satnav took us via Florence, which meant passing right by my junction of Arezzo. I found this very funny – and for me it was the divine helping me out on my journey. It meant I definitely would arrive at my destination for the night.

I subtly decided on taking a bus or train from Arezzo. I was done, and I knew it would be cheap (and Martine’s euros would go towards this). But before I could hitch towards Arezzo, I felt very drawn to the village of Battifolle. I think there must be some strong energy lines going through it or something – I felt I needed to get to the other side of the church tower, a specific corner even. I got there, and sat and ate/drank a little.

image
Looking out towards the hills of Assisi

From here, there were the sweetest of grapes, and olives everywhere. There was even a pomegranate tree in a guy’s garden. The temperature was nice.

It didn’t take long until a campervan came rolling down the hill, and stopped with my thumb out. I decided not to take the big road into Arezzo – I didn’t get the right vibes from it – so took the small back route, which was calmer. Leonardo is a happy young guy working for his parents’ cleaning products business in Arezzo. He travels a lot in his camper, and was really happy to pick me up. He offered to take me to the station in Arezzo, which I thought about and agreed. I would be able to get picked up from Sansepolcro if I could get there.

image
Leonardo and I, arriving at Arezzo train station
image
Benigni's town (Arezzo)

Arezzo is a funny place. Roberto Benigni, who I adore, lived in Arezzo and his incredible film ‘Life Is Beautiful’ was shot around the city. But, at least by the station/bus station, it has a darker vibe, an aggressiveness, and I felt a little uneasy being there. I’d found out that there is only a bus towards Sansepolcro, and I bought a ticket to Anghiari (nearer for my hosts), and tried to find my bus. I went from bus to bus arriving in the bus terminal for about 45 minutes until a bus arrived, which I thought wasn’t going to be it again, I asked the driver ‘Anghiari?’ and he nodded.

About halfway, passing through mountain villages, we stopped suddenly to let by some little wild boar. It was a very sweet sight – my first time properly seeing them.

My arrival in Anghiari was splendid – an old walled hill city, all lit up nicely.

image
Anghiari, the old walled city host to the 'battle that never happened'

My hosts picked me up, and we connected immediately. Jenny has lived here for 30 years, being pretty much donated a derelict barn by pure chance when she was learning to sculpt. She looked after her mother in her last years until her mother died at 102. Now she tries to get people to come here – she rents out a cottage for holidays – but has found helpx the biggest blessing as it’s much easier and free-flowing.
We talk over soup and bread about lots of things, until late. She tells me things about St Francis having strolled through these parts, in exact details, and I’m excited to hear more. It feels like she’s a bit of a gate-keeper of the area.

Extremely satisfied, I shower and then conduct my puja. Everything has been divinely orchestrated.

image
Shrine in my room
image
View from my room

I will not update this blog on a daily basis anymore, as I have now arrived in the land of St Francis. I may write about my next pilgrimage, to Somaskanda Ashram next week, but I’ll see if it feels right.

Thank you all for following 🙏

Assisi pilgrimage: day four (Sunday 10th September)

Today was a day of overcoming quite some obstacles, throughout. I learnt when walking the Dragon Line pilgrimage on the Isle of Wight last month that a pilgrimage can bring about so much both internally and externally. The energy you come into a pilgrimage with is strong, and affects all around.

I started the day as I ended the night before: with a puja, as normal. And in this one I got a lovely feeling of seemingly everlasting calm at the end of the puja. I packed the shrine, had a shower, and greeted Michelle. He offered me breakfast, a very decent proper coffee, and I sat on the balcony whilst he got showered etc. It was lovely to be in the Provence sunshine – gentle and warming.

image
Start of the day saying goodbye to Michelle!
image
Special clouds in Provence

He dropped me at the end of the village, and I got a lift eventually with a couple going a few miles down. They dropped me at the motorway peage, and everything suddenly smelled of honey. Like, really really strongly.

image
Fields of honey

A man who works as a cosmetics information person across the world picked me up before I could even start hitching, and took me to the last services before Aix-en-Provence.

I had a break at the services, thinking I could quickly cook up my pasta I’d Freegan’d yesterday. I was just trying to light my stove (it takes quite a few tries to get out going unless the conditions are optimal), when a lady came up to me and told me it’s illegal to make fire in this region. So I stopped, and ate chia seed stuff instead. This sent me on a bit of a downer – I was really looking forward to my pasta.

And thus began quite a wait at this service station. Eventually, a car almost full of two young guys and girls stopped, with one of the girls enthusiastically signalling for me to get in. I’m not sure in retrospect if she was serious, because I’ve got a lot of luggage, but I accepted the lift into the centre of Aix-en-Provence, pushed completely back in my seat by my backpack. The atmosphere in the car was nice, very playful.

image
Arrival in Aix with overly full car

Arrival in Aix, and I play music for a little while in a main thoroughfare. I don’t earn any money, but find it an important part of these moments on this day.

Hitchwiki says a 20 minute walk out of Aix going south gets you to a great hitch spot, with lots of hitchhiker messages left on the signs. I saw one hitchhiker message, and it definitely isn’t best to hitch at the end of the pavement. I went back on myself and found a suitable spot. After a little while, a guy stopped, I showed him the map, and he seemed unsure of where he was going. I had a fair amount of okay feeling about it though, so I accepted the lift into nowhere-land, and off I went.

image
JAI MA!

The guy had a bit of a sloppy vibe. An oldish guy, working as a security worker somewhere. We stopped for him to have a cigarette, and got back in the car and he didn’t start driving. We just sat there, and every so often he would ask me a question about my journey. This got to me a fair bit, because I had a time limit pretty much for arriving in Cannes tonight for something-or-other (important part of the pilgrimage), and I encouraged him for us to leave. Eventually he agreed for us to leave after he had another cigarette, because I said that if we didn’t I’ll go and hitch another ride (it doesn’t help having a ride if the ride is in effect a little bit useless….!). We got to my drop-off point, a peage from some town, and said farewell.

Within a minute or so a girl stopped, and made excuses not to take me but I assured her that a lift to a services a while down the road would actually be really good for me. She was going far enough in the right direction, and I had good vibes from her. She agreed, and we shared a great conversation about life etc. She’s just quit working for Ralph Lauren so that she can study for social care (I think), and she’s Vietnamese, French, German, Canadian, and probably a few others, and she’d like to travel. She expressed a lot of admiration of the Maldives. She was very flirtatious, which was nice because at my age girls are normally generally fairly closed off, which in effect shuts down the friendly connection somewhat. To be flirtatious is for me like an expression of interconnectedness – like birds teasing each other, or dogs racing after each other. It’s an offering of playfulness, which is lightening and good for the soul.
She bought me some cookies and a drink at the services shop, and we said goodbye, hugged, and shared ‘a bientôt’. Interconnected.

image
Very sweet girl energising the journey a little more, taking me closer to Cannes

From there I got a lift quickly from a guy in a big pickup truck. He told me tales of his wwoofing, and of cycling all across France. He’d eat just wild fruits along the way, which he said is the best for keeping you going when doing 80-100km per day. He cycled from Marseille to Calais in 13 days – 1100km, going through numerous vineyard areas. En route, his wing-mirror became detached. We stopped at the next peage and I offered him my duck tape I’d bought to repair my tent pole, which he was really happy with. He took me to Cannes services, or so I thought….

image
Cannes, la magnifique

‘Cannes services’ turned out to be a tiny aire (very small rest stop) with just toilets as facilities. But it had absolutely tremendous views of the city of Cannes. Cannes is quite alike Bath in majestic-ness. It’s energy is one and the same. I wished to go inside, but it was too late, and it seemed anyway that, for now at least, this is why I came to Cannes.
I found that I was 2km from the actual services at Cannes. So I asked a young guy for a lift, who obliged, and was surprised to find that it was really less than a minute away.

These services don’t come with pretty panoramics or anything. I stood at the exit for a while, but with nothing happening went with my stuff to in front of the shop. I started asking people for a lift, and the third guy asked me if I was English, when I’d clearly spoken in French. He was Belgian, but 10 years ago married an English lady from Surrey.
He took me into Italy.

He’s a first officer on a luxury yacht moored in Loano. He said about the difficulties of his job – he sometimes has to spend weeks or months away from home, away from his kids and his wife. But it’s very good money – because not many people are prepared to commit to such a thing. He finds this motorway boring, having done it hundreds of times. We share some great conversation, and he drops me at the last services before Loano.

I recognise when I arrive that I’ve arrived at my destination for the night. There is no need or reason go further. Just to find somewhere nice for camping. So I look it up on Google satellite (I’ve been cheating a fair bit tonight and on Thursday night in finding places to camp….), and walk out some 10 minutes to a wild slightly spiky field.

One great thing about arriving here is the appearance of cacti. Remember the other day, me posting a photo of the Kactus cafe in Caen? It all seems to link together…..

image
ITALIA KACTUS!

Today has been such an up-and-down day. Every so often I remembered to come back to thought on St Francis, internally. And things seemed to ease. Things seemed to become more gentle. And the obstacles were taken away.

And this reminds me – at the start of the day today, when I was sat on the loo at Michelle’s, I saw Lord Ganesh staring back at me. There was a fairly large Ganesh statue on the edge of a bookcase in the bathroom!! I asked Michelle about it, and he had a look of sheer surprise on his face. Then he remembered it as something of his daughter’s, seemingly for the purpose of keeping the books upright….!
He removed my first and foremost obstacle very well 😁 🙏🙏🙏

Assisi pilgrimage: Day Three (Saturday 9th September)

Today starting late again, but this time because of the heat. It had rained heavily during the night, so the humidity in the tent is pretty high. Sun blazing on the puja tent, every movement is inducing more heat.

I cook food – rice, lentils and nettles – have a puja, which is calmer than yesterday’s, and pack the tent. A pole has split slightly, but it’s very fixable (I later buy some duck tape…). The rain begins again, but just slightly, after I’ve packed the tent.

I meet several people to talk to at the services about life/travels, then I had to the exit with a sign for ‘SUD’. One of nuances of my pilgrimage so far has been the lack of paper/cardboard coming my way. So my sign is vague, but appropriate.

I get a lift very quickly. First car, in fact.

They’re going to Languedoc.

image
Myself, Isabelle and Ivan, after a 300km+ journey to Le Caylar

Isabelle and Ivan have travelled from Bruges to holiday near Lodève. They’re great. We listen to two Beatles compilations, and take in the sights of the Cevennes, the wider and the narrower valleys, and the mystical volcanic region around Clermont-Ferrand. They drop me at Le Caylar services.

image
An English electric car, charging at Le Caylar services
image
Grand sculpture tree in Le Caylar village square

image

Le Caylar invited me in for a conversation. I freegan’d some food, and cardboard, and climbed up to the pinnacle of the rock of Le Caylar, that stands out in the whole area. I’d been talking with Isabelle and Ivan about sacred mountains in the area – that I was sure that these mountains were each sacred in one time – and the mount of Le Caylar exemplified that. Sure, there’s the Notre Dame and the big Cross of Christ at the top. But there’s the ruins of a structure so much vaster and more full of pranam, the energies of worship intensely indented into the mountain. I thanked the Lord for the blessing to visit such a site on this pilgrimage.

image
Notre Dame de Le Caylar
image
Sun at the rock of Le Caylar
image
"Christ be with me"

From here, it getting dark, I communed with God/the universe/intuition about what to do. It was cold and windy here, and I had envisaged myself finishing the day properly in the south. I didn’t receive a clear sign about what to do, but felt an urge to continue despite it getting darker and colder. I put on layers, and waved out to each car, once every five minutes or so.

Eventually I said, out loud, ‘two more cars and then I camp’. It took a long time for those cars to come. I received a message to not hold the sign anymore, and the last car stopped. He said he’d take me to Montpellier. It turned out he was going past Aix-en-Provence.

What followed was a very very long journey! Another four hours or so travelling, including stopping for another hitchhiker (who only went about 10km down the road), travelling mostly on smaller roads through small towns and villages. Michelle is a caricaturist – drawing for books and stuff. But he’d just been working a week of the vindage in Albi. He offered to host me for the night at his house in Provence, which I gratefully accepted (though felt inside that I was going slightly off-route, energetically). We listened to Gogol Bordello and Tom Waits for a while.
At one point the gendarmerie stopped us. I was a little concerned they were going to a search of the car, and thus search through my baggage, because I’d have to explain my shrine/camphor etc. But they didn’t – they just did a breathalyser of Michelle, who passed with flying colours, and we went our way.

Arrived knackered, barely able to keep my eyes open. Had my puja discretely, received so much good feeling from it, and fell into a deep deep slumber.

Assisi pilgrimage: Day Two (Friday 8th September)

I start the day with much much rain. It’s beautiful though. The best night sleep I’d had in so long. The feeling of spaciousness is incredible, even though I’m bordering onto a pretty major motorway.

image
Rain very very very soon!!

I have a most amazing, charged yet grounded, puja, then make some coffee and food, and take my time getting ready to go. With so much rain, there’s no need to rush.

My stove is a diy alcohol-fueled stove, part of which I bought on eBay. It’s literally a cider can cut up and slotted together to make a container, with a few holes pierced through. It makes a very very quick-boiling stove. I prepared my lunch – dhal.

image
Dhal cooked on the stove
image
The stove

An opportune moment arose of the rain dying back, and I quickly took the tent down/separated it, got all the waterproofs on, and trotted off. Within perhaps 10 seconds of departure, rain came down heavier than ever. It poured like it had waited so long to do so. Me slightly saturated, I arrived at the service station with all its weird and wonderful vibes, and drifted off to the exit to get a ride out.

I waited possibly two minutes before an English lady stopped, asked politely if I spoke English, then said she was driving back to England. I waited about an hour for the next offer, from guys in a circus who were going to Belgium. Then a guy to the other side of Paris who after I regretted having rejected the lift of as I was getting cold….

When finally……

Antoine turned up!

image
Antoine and I, on arrival near Tours

Antoine and I shared much heart to heart about life and living. He’s 24 and understands that when he gets to 45 and has been running his own business for some years he can think about giving it all in and going travelling or something. Sounds like a plan, but if not now, when? This is the question I ask so often. Where there is a feeling about something, it’s good to follow it to where it goes to rather than pushing it into some distant future and rationalise that some things are more important. With so much energy going into this ‘dream’, it’s a fight against the spirit to keep pushing it away. And thus internal harmony can’t be reached until things change.

Antoine dropped me in Tours, I gave him myhitchhome card and took a photo, and I rested on some grass to have lunch (very late lunch – it was now 7pm). It was great to be out of the rain.

I started hitching again, and the skies were getting darker as the minutes went by.

Thinking about my route, because there was so much more traffic going on the road to Chateauroux than on the motorway, I decided to give myself 10 more vehicles going onto the motorway before switching roads. The ten all went by, but I didn’t feel right to move. So kept going. Eventually I gave myself another few cars, and the last one stopped. They were going past Bourges.

A lovely almost-retired couple, going to Montluçon. They liked gardening and travelling a lot. They man spoke little bits of English I guess to make things a little easier on me. There was a lovely feeling from there, and I enjoyed their company very much. They dropped me at the centre ville services – near Saint Amand.

And here I am for the night! Sleepy a fair bit, but a good day, with just two rides but going a long distance in each.

I’m getting that much closer to St Francis….

Assisi pilgrimage: day 1

I took some time off work, and planned a holiday. I’ve wanted a holiday for a long time – I was talking about it with Markus a fair bit when we were building at Somaskanda last year.

I decided I would go to Italy.

And then the holiday turned into a pilgrimage. Because I have to go towards Assisi if I am going to Italy.

And then my ethics got in the way, too. I cannot fly there, just for convenience sake. I can easily go overland. But I don’t have money.

So I booked a very cheap ferry ticket which I’ll probably be charged extra for (it was a day return and stipulation being that you had to actually make the return), from Ryde to Cherbourg via Portsmouth.

I slept little at night, because I was up late and up early finishing off the packing and generally getting stuff into a state of feeling ready for me to leave. I left in quite a mess really, unwashed and rather rushed and buzzing off little sleep.

I saw my old friend Stefan from Neutrik on the bus, and told him I was going on pilgrimage. It’s funny how some people seem to give very clear messages. He told me to stay safe, and then his next words I don’t think I understood in speech but the energy was obvious. He’d intuited something, as had a couple of others who I’ve spoken with recently, and so I’m being a touch more cautious.

image
Pilgrimage spot on the Isle: Culver, and 'the nostrils'

In Cherbourg I sat down a long while by the Place du Jour with amazing views of the forested cliffs with forts on top. It rained, and I changed shirt, had a bit of food, and played ukulele. Coming back to myself after quite a tiring ferry crossing.

I walked a fair while out of Cherbourg, soon enough finding it gone 3pm and still pretty much in Cherbourg. After a while of trying a few different spots for hitching, a young guy stopped and explained something that I didn’t understand and I hopped in. He took me a few miles down the road to a better junction for the motorway.

I got picked up within the first few seconds from there – another young guy, called Roma, who is off to a prog-metal festival near Paris. He took me into the centre of Caen and encouraged me to busk in town. I was gaming on there being a decent tram going exactly where I needed to go to hitch out.

I earned 70 centimes whilst singing Shivoham, a made up song, Radhe Radhe Shyam, and some Indian poppy bhajan I found on YouTube. It felt nice to do, and had several people offer hands in prayer in response.

I got to the tram stop and a young guy came up asking something I didn’t understand. He wanted to borrow a lighter, which I happened to have in my pocket. I gave it to him and insisted he help me with the ticket machine that I didn’t understand. I needed to get to the end of the line (which was literally 3 mins walk from the hitch spot). He asked me where I was going, then said he’d hitched to Bordeaux in the summer. He warned me about getting around Le Mans.

image
Kactus, Caen

The tram was very crowded, but as people gradually left I felt more easy. I got off, and went the wrong direction and felt silly when I got there (though did get the chance to pee, which was important), then went back on myself over to the hitch spot, stopped at subway to fill up water (which they were reluctant doing for some reason) and made my way.

Creepy two guys stopped immediately. They said they’d take me through all of France. Pretty sure they were on something. So I made my excuse, and held out.

Lorry stopped unexpectedly. He was going to Le Mans!
And the nicest guy – really lovely to talk to. He dropped me at Alençon services, and tried to convince an Italian trucker to take me to Italy (but was going north instead…).

And here I am. Ready to find a camping spot. And going very much in the direction of Assisi.

Tuesday 2nd May: updates

Dear readers, followers, and passers-by,

The last three months have been pretty cool. I felt inspired to run this blog mainly to prove my newly made friend Lucy that hitchhiking can and will work on the Isle of Wight, and the results have been immense. Not only does it work really really well, but I also have met some great people as a result, and, in my own little way, feel like I’ve helped bring the world together, just a little bit.

image
The rising and clear visions of Beltane

Last week was my final work week at the Neutrik electronics factory in Ryde. On Friday morning, when I was giving in my time-sheet as normal in the supervisors office, the supervisor said very casually “Simon we’re going to let you go”. It came quite suddenly, I hadn’t expected it as I’d only just had my second review in which I saw I was still ‘performing’ very well, attaining 101% for my timings, and getting faster again. I was popular in the factory, though focused solidly on my work.
“Aye??”, I replied, and took a seat.
Helen told be that the work is drying up a little now, and because I had no plans to become permanent there they couldn’t train me up to other jobs. Also, perhaps word had spread that I was already looking to leave to go into part-time work, I felt I wanted to be outdoors more now, and enjoying my life more.
So the next two hours until the end of shift were spent working still very solidly, and saying farewells to umpteen colleagues that wished me well. It’s a good place, where I’ve made plenty of nice connections.

I was expecting quite an incredible hitch home as a result. But, alas, the universe provided me with a very grounding first aid teacher, who taught first aid to royal navy recruits in Portsmouth.

I wrote a song about the Neutrik family, which can be watched:

I then had an absolutely incredulous weekend learning dowsing from Judith Lock (www.wightweekend.co.uk). This was a most amazing ride over the weekend, full of amazing discoveries about my ability to dowse (which I never knew I had), and very vivid dreams at nighttime to accompany the daytime wonders.

And, yesterday, Beltane, sharing a beautiful ceremony with Wake The Wight at Mottistone Longstone.

I don’t know what will happen to this blog in the coming months – because I don’t know where I’ll be working/living – but come late summer I plan to hitch over to Greece with my good friend Alex, accompanied with a mandolin and maybe guitar and drum and didgeridoo. Hitchhiking is often about finding home wherever you are. When hitchhiking as a travel, you hitch to where you will lay your head at night. This is just as much a home as any other, in that moment in time.

My Hitch Home shall continue….!!