Picking up our own Sh*t

I walked back from the school run today with a friend who is a dog-owner.  As we reached a slightly squashed dog poo, she paused and mused, “Ah. I’m not sure, but I think I’ll take responsibility for that one.”  And she duly did the deed with the plastic bag. What I want to share today is a practice that … Read More

Yin and the Art of Not Doing

I spent a lot of this early Autumn doing nothing. Lying down in bed, asleep or awake. Sitting very still in a chair in the sun. I had a disturbance of the inner ears, which made movement or concentration of any kind difficult. My doctor helpfully offered the word ‘disequilibrium’ to describe the brain confusion that resulted from any exertion. … Read More

Slow Books – Melting Islands, Arctic Bears and the State of Publishing

When I saw the play Island at the National Theatre, it made me cry.  I cried because the story was sad and true – it’s about a melting island in the arctic.  I cried because the story was beautiful, and beautifully told.  And I cried because it was written by my sister, Nicky Singer, and I was proud. It’s such an important … Read More

Moon Time – a book whose time has come

This week sees the publication of the second edition of a book by Lucy Pearce that’s close to my heart: Moon Time – Harness the ever-changing energy of your menstrual cycle. I met Lucy in her role as commissioning editor of Juno magazine, in which some of my articles have been published.  She’s a great networker, and a powerful voice … Read More

Strong Like the Water

What is an empowered woman like?  I keep returning to this question and wondering.  What is the nature of feminine power?  Is it different from masculine power?  Do we have any models? A year and a half ago I went to a Women and Earth Retreat, at Pistyll Rhaeadr in Powys.  The long weekend was run by Annie Davey and Hilary Kneale … Read More

Kismet meets Peggy Seeger

This year, the band I’ve played with for twelve years, Kismet, had an unexpected opportunity to work with Peggy Seeger, a musician whom publicists are fond of describing as a “folk legend.”  We played together in a  fund raiser for Pegasus Theatre last month, and the experience has left me feeling both honoured and affirmed. As we met to discuss … Read More

A New Story for Halloween

This Summer I went to the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall, (http://www.museumofwitchcraft.com/) and left full of emotion.  The museum is a bewildering hotchpotch of Wicca, Druidry, Astrology, historical fact and cultural references, plus a case of instruments of torture.  It was these that made most impact on me.  Whatever ill may have been done by witchcraft (and I don’t … Read More

The Sacred Art of Litter Picking

The Sacred Art of Litter Picking “Picking up a can From the river And then another On and on It’s like a devotee Doing countless rosaries.” These words are from Dominique Mazeaud, an artist who for seven years from 1987 conducted “The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande,” picking up litter from the river for a day, on the same … Read More

Calling up the Wild Woman

At Uncivilisation Festival this year I led a workshop for women called Singing Over the Bones.  In an hour and a half in a tepee, we gathered up the bones of the wolf woman and sang her into life.  This is the story of how that came to be, what happened when we did it, and what it might possibly … Read More

An Urban River Ritual

Every first Friday of the month, whatever the weather, I pack my bags with fire-lighting materials, don wellies and warm woollies and head down to the end of Meadow Lane to await a small troupe of like-minded  folks, some carrying drums.  We hop over a five bar gate and walk down through a neglected water meadow to a spot that … Read More