Happy new year, lovely one!
Well, happy Gregorian new year anyway. Your true new year begins on your birthday. Most of us are not born on 1 January, but it's usually a fun time.
I spent my new year's eve at the Moyneyana Festival kick-off parade in Port Fairy, Victoria. I watched my newly-turned-two little man have the time of his life watching fire trucks, and SES trucks, and police cars, and semi-trailers and tractors parade past. He was so excited. I've never seen him so wired. Held by my dad, his face was beaming; and when the trucks hooted their horns, his little mouth made a perfect O with utter delight. It just made my day. I couldn't have asked for anything else. Even the hilarity of Cards Against Humanity later that night couldn't touch it for good fun!
I've got deep roots in that area of the world. My grandmother and her line were from there; their friends and family are all buried there somewhere. My Granny's best friends are buried in the cemetery that's next door to my parents' place at Tower Hill. And if you know the region at all, you'll know that a little bit further inland - near Byaduk - there's a little valley named Harman's Valley. Well, my Granny's maiden name was Harman and she grew up on a property in the bottom of that very valley. Here's a link to a document about the remarkable geology of that region, if you're interested. It goes to a PDF, just FYI. I believe that some of the photos taken by Diane Luhrs were of my high school class - 8E - on an excursion down that way in the early '90s!
It's a remarkable thing to me that so many people I know don't have roots in Australia. They're first- or second-generation Australians; even my husband! I've been confronted with absolute astonishment by some friends. One, who had studied for and taken a citizenship exam, exclaimed:
'You're one of those early settlers we had to learn about!'
Yes, yes. Correct. On both sides of the family, actually.
When I was at my parents' place at Christmas, my dad gave me a photocopy of a piece of our (very deep, on both sides) family tree, plus an excerpt from an old Aussie book, Lost in the Bush. It chronicled the story of the Duff children, Isaac, Jane, and Frank, who lived in a hut on Spring Hill Station about 35 miles north-west of Horsham in Vic. On Friday 12 Aug 1864, all three went into the bush to collect broom for their mother - and they got lost. They spent nine days and eight nights in very cold winter conditions before they were rescued. That story was included in the fourth book of the Victorian Readers from 1930 until the 1960s.
Isaac Cooper was a child of Frederick Cooper and Elizabeth Mellor. Frederick was my great-great-great (if I count this right) grandfather. He was born in Staffordshire, England but his daughter (dad's grandma's mum) was born at Warra Warra near Swan Hill in 1875.
It's not appropriate in this day and age to claim any kind of connection to the land in Australia if you're not an indigenous person. But frankly when your family has been born in Australia for 6+ generations, you're not connected to somewhere else so much any more. Your connection to the land is different from Indigenous (how can it not be?), but you still breathe the trees and the soil when you know you're home.
Anyway, I teased you about spelling before you opened this email so I'll get to the point.
Over my break, I had some personal shit go down that I'm not going to tell you about. But what it resulted in was the awareness of the power of speaking aloud.
You see, darling one, since the birth of my boy I've had a tendency to speak aloud. About, like, everything. That speaking aloud became muttering aloud about everything from what I was doing to how I felt about other people around me. And I hadn't really noticed.
But what I was doing was casting shyt into the world that was acting unhelpfully in my world. When I realised this, I ceased doing it immediately and literally everything changed.
So, what's the relationship with spelling? I'm glad you asked.
To spell is to cast an enchantment.
The native word has origins in the Old English term spellian, which is from the Proto-Germanic spellam:
Old English spell "story, saying, tale, history, narrative, fable; discourse, command," from Proto-Germanic *spellam . Compare Old Saxon spel, Old Norse spjall, Old High German spel, Gothic spill "report, discourse, tale, fable, myth;" German Beispiel "example."
From c. 1200 as "an utterance, something said, a statement, remark;" meaning "set of words with supposed magical or occult powers, incantation, charm" first recorded 1570s; hence any means or cause of enchantment.
The term 'spell' is generally used for magical procedures which cause harm, or force people to do something against their will — unlike charms for healing, protection, etc. ["Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore"]
In general terms, the belief underlying the use of spells is that the wish that they embody will be fulfilled, regardless of its goodness or badness, so long as the formula has been correctly pronounced. Broadly speaking, then, spell and prayer, like magic and religion to which they severally belong, can be distinguished by the nature of the intended purpose. [Enyclopaedia Britannica, 1941]
Speaking aloud is powerful, not just because others can hear you. ;)
My point is that if you're bad at spelling, take heart. It might actually be a good thing.
What I'm up to right now
This year I'm dipping my toes back into the old world of paid writing work. This means that I'm taking clients in:
- academia, editing papers (chiefly in Engineering)
- SEO writing (on behalf of technical SEO consultants).
The decision to work with technical SEO consultants rather than direct with businesses is because the wins are far greater. You get much more bang for your buck when you have an SEO team. Plus, I just freaking hate doing shyt like keyword research. I'll leave that to the experts, thanks!
I'm still also doing life readings and have appointments available throughout February for 1:1 readings and numerology.
Plus - and goodness me, this is exciting - I'm just on the brink of releasing the most beautifully designed illustrated numerology charts. They pick up the key points from numerology reports (which run to 8+ pages), and recreate them as stunning posters, printable up to A3 in size. They make the most gorgeous gifts, especially for those who have just welcomed new little people into their lives. Shoot me a reply if you'd like some info on how to get one.
Well, that's all from me for this month!
Don't be a stranger, eh? Drop me a line and let me know how your year has kicked off. :)