"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

All material on SHIMMERCASTDREAMS copyright of Marie Bruce and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Friday, 17 November 2017

BOOK NOOK; Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica D George

It is a cold, frosty night as I begin to write this post and I am snuggled under the faux fur throw, sipping on hot spiced fruit punch to keep out the chill. I have a Yankee Snowflake Cookie candle burning, to make the house smell festive, and after a long day of Christmas shopping, I feel like I am getting into the winter spirit, no doubt helped along by this fabulous book, which I have just finished reading.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George is a retelling of the classic Norwegian fairytale East of the Sun and West of the Moon, which is also an album by my favourite band A-HA.  From being a young girl I have always wanted to go to Norway, possibly for my birthday one year, and this book has revived that dream in me again.  I really want to see for myself the frozen snowy landscapes that are described in this novel, because it sounds just like a real life fairytale. 

I could feel the cold as I read this book; the world building is that strong upon the page that it lingers in the mind. It tells the story of a poor lass with no name and no prospects, but after coming upon a magical white hart reindeer and freeing him from the brambles he is trapped in, the girl is granted a boon.  She is given a secret name and the ability to talk to animals and hear their words.  The girl soon becomes well known for her special gift and before long an enchanted polar bear comes calling, begging her to help him by living with him for a year and a day.  The girl agrees and her adventure begins, taking her across a vast land of ice and snow.

The bear lives in a magical ice palace, where log fires blaze in the hearths but the palace doesn't melt.  The girl is introduced to luxury and fine dining for the first time in her life and she is given a beautiful suit of rooms in the palace, including a dressing room full of wonderful ballgowns and lovely clothes.  She settles in and with her pet wolf, Rollo, for company, she begins to explore.  

Thus far the novel has undertones of Beauty and the Beast, but this tale as old as time has a distinctly Norse twist, for in order to break the enchantment and free the bear, the girl must first decipher the strange runic language carved into the ice pillars and fireplaces of the palace.   The story incorporates lots of Norse mythology, and magical creatures such as trolls, selkies, fauns and centaurs, all play a part.  The girl meets the Three Norns and the Four Winds as she continues in her quest to free the bear and she must make the journey to find the Queen's palace that lies east of the sun and west of the moon. 

It is a very wintry tale of swirling snow flurries, and in a way I wish I had waited a few weeks to read it, as this is a novel that begs to be read by the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree, while snuggled into a mermaid blanket or faux furs. Even the character of the North Wind looks just like a white and silver version of Father Christmas!  So if you are looking for something to read during the festive season when you have time off work, this book is ideal. And if you think the cover girl looks familiar, that's because it is modelled by You Tuber FreddyMyLove adding her charm to the overall beauty of the book. 

If you like wintry Narnian style fairytales then I am sure that you will really enjoy Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow.  It has certainly got me all ready for winter. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

MUSICAL DOLL; A Thousand Years

I have died everyday waiting for you...

x💘 x


Ballet is one of my goals for next year

November is my birthday month and the time when I begin to make plans for what I want to do throughout the next year.  With the harvest of Samhain last week I realised that I've done quite a lot in the past twelve months.  I have completed the classroom hours of my Counselling Diploma and left college and the taskmaster tutor behind; gained a placement for my clinical hours; passed three extra training courses in Grief Counselling, Business Etiquette and PTSD Counselling; wrote new psychotherapy features for a new editor and a new media house; and went ice skating again for the first time in four and a half years.  Of the six major goals I set for myself this time last year, four have been achieved, plus additional ones I set along the way - and there's still time before the end of the year to achieve the last two.

So I've been pondering on what I want to do next.  Half-term being over, I went ice-skating again yesterday. This is definitely becoming a regular thing. We had the first frost of the season and my car was covered in white when I went out to drive to the rink.  I had a lovely skate and practised some manoeuvres - just forward chasses in both directions and glides, nothing fancy - and I felt like myself again for the first time since I started the diploma.  It was very liberating to just glide along to the music without a care in the world.   

Of course the ice-hockey players kept getting in my way and one of them nearly skated right into me!  I was on a circle, just quietly doing my own thing and chasses-ing around the line, when he very nearly slammed into me. He did that three times!  He did apologise each time, giving me a wink and a smile, but it still irritated me.  

There is some rivalry between ice-hockey players and figure skaters and the hockey players love to give figure skaters 'tips' on skating, so when one of them skated up to me and said "I've got a tip for you" I just rolled my eyes and thought "Here we go!" Then he said "Whatever you do, and this is very important, whatever you do, always keep your feet on the end of your legs!" and off he skated, thrilled with his own wit. It did make me laugh though.

I got chatting to one of the figure skaters. He has lessons in ice-dancing with one of the male ice-dance coaches and he was telling me about it.  It does sound like fun and is something I would love to try, but I need to find my ice-feet again first.  I've had a long break and I just need to build up my confidence, not to mention my strength and balance, before I undertake ice-dancing lessons.  

Its always nice to chat to people who have a shared interest. You never know what you might learn or what doors might open for you.  In the past four years the rink has taken on lots of new coaches, so it could be that one of them suits me better than the one I had before.  Getting some private lessons might be fun and it is something I am thinking about.

I have also decided to set the goal for next year of starting dance classes again, namely ballet, as I think this will improve my skating.  The two disciplines are  very similar and spending time in ballet class should help to improve my core strength, balance, turn-out, extensions and fluidity.  Ballet and ice-skating support one another, so it makes sense that ballet class should be one of my next goals.  Later this month I have tickets to see The Northern Ballet dance The Little Mermaid and I am sure this will inspire me to do all I can to achieve my own ballet goals. 

Another goal I am setting for the next year is to continue my psychotherapy training.  I want to take a Life-Coaching course because this sits neatly alongside both counselling and my writing and I can use it to expand both areas. I do it anyway in my self-help writing so I might as well get the qualification for it!  Someone I know from my clinical placement is thinking of setting up a private practice next year and he asked me if I want to work alongside him there, so this is also something I am considering. If I had a Life-Coaching qualification it would mean that we could offer that too, as well as counselling services. 

And once I have finished my clinical hours and got the certificate for my Counselling Diploma in the bag, I can then put together the portfolio of work to support my application for the MA that I want to do.  I'm hoping to begin that next year, in the autumn time.  It will be another iron in the fire.

So I've done a lot since my last birthday, and when my new solar year starts on the 22nd I will have a list of goals all written out, so that I know where I am going and what I want to achieve in the next twelve months.  It is important to know what you want out of life; to have a focus and a direction of travel, with a particular  destination in mind.  Drifting along has never been my style, because it gets you nowhere and you end up feeling like a victim of life, instead of an active participant.  I'm looking forward to another year of busyness, learning, achievement and possibility.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

POET'S CORNER; Love's Philosophy by P B Shelley

Cupid and Psyche

Love's Philosophy

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle -
Why not I with thine?

See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;

And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

By Percy Bysshe Shelley

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

MUSICAL DOLL; Its All Coming Back To Me Now

Echoes of the past whisper through the silver mists of an autumn night...its all coming back to me now...ghost rider...

"It was gone with the wind but its all coming back to me...
The flesh and the fantasy all coming back to me now."

Monday, 30 October 2017

Saturday, 21 October 2017

POET'S CORNER; Beautiful Wings

Beautiful Wings

I gaze no longer at empty horizons
I look no more to the skies
Now turning away
At the dark of each day
To the place where the last hope dies

Enshrouded in a wispy cocoon
I rest and I wait out the storm
Then in plumes of white
And ethereal light
I grow spirit Wings of my own

And I try out the span of my Wings
They're as light and as pure as snow
As they beat with my heart
Shake off dreams torn apart
I am free now to let you go

So I leap out into the void
In peoples darkness, now I am their light
But who holds a candle for me
In the darkness through which I can't see,
When Wings weigh me down in the night?

As I dance with cold winds of the north
On the wing I am one with the dove
Our chance has been lost
I'm an Angel of Frost
A new beginning I'll suffer alone.

By Marie Bruce