#Blogmas Krampus

Archive, Blogmas 2019, Challenges, Randoms, Miscellaneous, Family Adventures

Who is Krampus? And what does he have to do with Christmas.

Well in Europe, cental europe they have folklore tales of Krampus who is a horned, beastly figure often described as “half-goat, half-demon”, this Krampus beast, appears during the Christmas season, and comes to punish children, those who have misbehaved, the naughty ones, in a stark contrast of the loveable, jolly Saint Nicholas, who is known for rewarding the well-behaved, nice children with gifts. Krampus joins Saint Nicholas in several regions including Austria, Bavaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

It is thought the folklore pre dates Christianity and popular in Europe even today. There’s even modern horror films you can watch, featuring him.

Now in Whitby the UK, they now have a Krampus Run and Ball for charity. It’s great to see old tales and traditions coming back. Check them out below.

Whitby Krampus Run

#Blogmas 5 ways to be more Sustainable

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Sustainable seems to be the buzz word of the year. And I see great people making great changes, to live more sustainable lives.

But it’s important to know we can’t all do grand gestures of huge changes, but we each can do small changes, that collectively will creative huge differences.

Such as…

1,Christmas Tree

There are huge debates over which is more environmentally friendly, and honestly it has to be weighed up to your beliefs. I myself have an artificial tree, as that suits my lifestyle. I’ve also had the same tree for nearly 2 decades!! And honestly at this point it’s more environmentally friendly for me to keep using it. No doubt it will last me a few more decades if I’m honest. I do worry about disposal though, in the future.

photo credit

2,Wrapping Paper

Buying recyclable wrapping paper (how this isn’t the norm, is beyond me) my daughter uses brown paper which can be decorated, stamped or use ribbon, which is a lovely touch. I’ve even used old Primark brown bags as my wrapping paper, well why not? I have seen some use scarves too, but that’s not possible with small children with a thousand presents (well that’s another point, the amount we buy). We also often reuse old cuts of wrapping paper, and ribbons too. Every little helps.

Visit Here For Artisan Shopping

3, Presents

When I can, I buy from small independent shop owners, crafters and the like. I like to buy things that will last or can be used, so candles, soaps and classic clothing wins for me here. I used to papercut and make jewellery, which was handy. Alas I struggle with arthritis so this isn’t possible anymore. Or when you buy things try to buy things that will last a long time. My favourite gifts really are socks and photos. Both are so treasured.

We buy much loved pyjamas and dressing gowns for grandchildren, using practical things over toys, as their own parents will know what toys to get them. Not as exciting perhaps, but sweetened the deal with their favourite Disney characters help.

4, Decorations

We use decorations we have had for decades, but when we do buy, we buy more classic timeless ones, no themes on our tree. More like it’s a tree of family milestones, each piece tells a story of our family. Because of this, your less likely to want to replace, even when they’ve grown up and flown the nest. So less waste! We also aim for more glass, wooden types.

Though Alan the pig above I had to buy recently (last Christmas) from TK Maxx as I love him, and he’s felt so sure to last too.

Photo Credit

5, Food

No one needs the amount of food that is pushed in the adverts. We honestly onmy need to buy the same amount as we would the normal week, with a few extras. But the adverts have you believing that Christmas is ruined if you havent got every cake, pie, and alcoholic drink known to man. Do you really need that much to spoil yourself? Will you regret it as soon as Janurary starts? Is it worth it. Yes have a treat or two. But honestly no one needs 12 cakes and gateauxs, as well as 10 vodkas and all the nibbles. Be sensible, and understand a treat is a treat when it’s not a lot of or often bought.

Well this is what I’m telling myself anyway, as classically I will overeat and indulge then predictably I hate myself in Jan. So I’m attempting to break the cycle. Stay as active as I can, and stop sabotaging myself with ‘goodies ‘ that aren’t needed. Or not in that volume anyway.

Dark Gathering 2019 Part 3

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Sadly our time to leave has come, and believe me when I say, we ae heartbroken. This place, this time, this event really touched us. It was perfect.

To end the trip properly, we gathered ourselves ready to walk the Rocky Valley.

This is what the website says about it.

Take in majestic views of the bay near Bossiney

The stream starts life high up on Venn Down, 820ft (250m) above sea level. From there it meanders through fields before tumbling dramatically, first at the waterfalls at St Nectan’s Glen, then through rocky bluffs and deep clefts all the way to the open ocean in the bay near Bossiney. Grade of walk: Trainer (all rounder); type of walk: ‘Waterside Walks’, ‘Hidden Places’.

It was not EASY, and I struggled if I’m honest. But the sights were worth the pain, and stiffness.

We found the ancient labyrinth carvings, the old mill and raging waters.

Bridge wasn’t confidence inspiring! Least it warned us.

The walk itself isn’t long, but it is grand and energies felt around the water and stones, and earth. Brilliant place to end our spiritual journey on.

Dark Gathering 2019 Part 2

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The reflection of remembering ancestors still hanging in the air, we decided to lighten the mood for the morning and visit Port Isaac, home of Doc Martin I believe.

What a gorgeous picturesque village,the skies are blue (shock after weeks of grey and rain) the sea is twinkling and it’s pretty warm for October.

We meandered down to the harbour then the doctors surgery for photos. Lots of breaks though as it’s hard on hips here. And we had a mini picnic with flask of coffee, and coffee cake.

Just before heading off to Boscastle, we went to visit the harbour and walk to a cave. Big mistake, we went in for a photo, and the path we used had been submerged in 2 minutes!!

My photo just before it rushed in on us.

How fast was that, so cue us taking shoes off to wade back onto shore. It was up to our knees in less than 2 minutes. I would never have known the sea came in that fast.

After that excitement/ horror we clambered back to the car, to giggle over the adventure that was forced upon us.

And onto the next leg of our journey and that’s the Minster of Boscastle, to connect and honour a famous witch buried there, well just outside there. She had resided in the Witchcraft Museum for decades, but it was decided she deserves peace at last.

Joan Wytte” was born in 1775 in Bodmin, Cornwall. She was sometimes called the “Fighting Fairy Woman” or the “Wytte (White) Witch”.
Joan was famed as a clairvoyant, and people would seek her services as a seer, diviner and healer. Her healing practices included the use of “clooties” (or “clouties”), strips of cloth taken from a sick person and tied to a tree or a holy well as a form of sympathetic magic, such that when the cloth rots, the disease was believed to dissipate.
Later in life, she became very ill-tempered as a result of a tooth abscess, and would shout and rail at people. She often became involved in fights where she exhibited remarkable strength and people came to believe she was possessed by the devil. She was eventually incarcerated in Bodmin Jail, not for witchcraft but for public brawling, and due to poor conditions in the jail, Joan died of bronchial pneumonia at the age of 38.
Her bones were disinterred and used for séances and various pranks, then later displayed at the Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle, Cornwall. It is said that, while her skeleton was on display in the museum, they started to experience disruptive poltergeists, and a witch was bought in to advise them, who said that Wytte’s spirit wished to be laid in a proper burial. She was finally laid to rest in a peaceful wooded area in Boscastle, and her gravestone reads: “Joan Wytte. Born 1775. Died 1813 in Bodmin Jail. Buried 1998. No longer abused”.

I have had the most awful tooth issues this weekend, was that a coincidence? And upon leaving we spotted the most beautiful cat, so graceful yet timid. I’m sure it was Joan saying thank you for visiting, and honouring her.

Dark Gathering 2019 Part 1

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When it’s the 26th October and a Saturday before Samhain (Halloween) so that can mean only one thing! It’s #DarkGathering time at Boscastle.

The All Hallows Gathering, or Dark Gathering as it is most commonly known, is celebrated on the Saturday before Halloween each year. This conveniently falls upon the half-term holiday so it enables families and children to attend which adds to the all important theme of ancestors at this time of year.

It is basically a seasonal festival with dynamic performances from Morris dancers, musicians and the all important meeting of the Welsh Mari Lwyds with our Cornish Oss, Penkevyll marking the end of Summer and the beginning of Winter. The main venue of these performances is outside the famous Museum of Witchcraft & Magic in the pretty village of Boscastle, Cornwall.

And we are going!! All booked into a cottage, so we headed down on the Friday 25th to get all the travelling done, before the event day. Staying at Bodmin in a cottage called the Nest.And what a cosy romantic nest this is. A perfect getaway for us newly empty nesters. We are definitely finding our feet with being a couple with no responsibilities anymore.Friday is arrival day and first up is King Arthur’s Hall. It’s raining and we look bedraggled but loving life.Rain was terrible,but we walked anyways to kill time before check in. Looking for the remains of a rectangle ruin, claimed to be King Arthur’s hall. It was boggy underfoot, not signposted at all. And much further than I thought, but we found it, after walking through the gatekeeper cows, that admittedly terrified me.Thankfully hoseseasons let us check in hours early though. As after this walk we were drenched.Saturday arrived, I adorned as many clothes as possible, as rain was horrendously bad. Packed spare clothes too, armed with a lantern for later, we headed to Boscastle.The festivities start at 12pm with storytelling, so while that was on we did some walking around valenicy valley which sadly was flooded, so off to the coastal route to stroll before the dancing begins.At 3pm the crews gather to watch the groups of Morris dancers.Braving the cold and wind while they dance away.Once the dancing is over, there’s a quick opportunity for us to grab some snacks and drinks, I also change my clothes and grab gloves.When we return, it’s dark now, lanterns lit and the procession begins, the mood is more sombre the beat slower.

The real reason we are here has begun. Remembering lost loved ones, being grateful and blessed for all we have, while honouring those that have passed.It’s a deeply emotive time, a beautiful ritual, calling on ancestors to be with us. I was greatly moved and highly emotional , what a reflective thought provoking event.

And honestly I couldn’t video or photograph it, as it felt disrespectful to do so.When it finished and we drove home, the tone of the procession and ancestors honouring stayed with us for hours afterwards. I believe this will be our new tradition to do each year. Already planning next year’s.

Glastonbury #Faeryfair 2019 Part Three

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The last 2 days have gone in a blur, and the hand is coping well, I’ve even started thinking the steroid has worked in the left hand. And hip is coping too.

Camping is more enjoyable now my hip is replaced, but I learnt the hard way about leaning forward in the camp chair. Do NOT do that ever ever ever!! Ouchies.

Like this, never do it with a hip replacement, I have no restrictions from surgeon, but I think my body has set its own!!

So it’s up and at them again, off to the event. We heard from others that the vendors had complained about Jasmines queue, so we had to queue until doors opened, walk through then queue out the other side, so we didn’t block any stalls.

Thanks to Ian and Kelly for getting a photo of me and Hubby and Ian. The queues were less busy than Saturday,and we got some gorgeous postcards and even Disney ones too.

This time we had some noodles to eat, so we cooked them in the back of the car, with coffee to drink we were sorted, and getting ready to explore Glastonbury.

With that done it was time to head back for our last night in the tent, how has it gone so fast?? We’ve had times we’ve been chilly, but wrapped up and with our heater we’ve been lucky.

So many many things to see and explore in Glastonbury, there is never enough time it seems.

Glastonbury #FaeryFair 2019 Part Two

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Saturday is event day, so up early to see what the day holds. Have to be at the event by 10.30am so we got there at 10am.

Getting there to queue as we are wanting the exclusive Sparkling pink rose fairy pin made by Jasmine Becket Griffith

Shy as ever I didn’t really get any photos, I kick myself for it now of course. Met some twitchlings (other Jasmine fans that also watch Jasmine paint on twitch) which was lovely.

We bought a Day of the Dead bag, I love the detail in her dress. And bought a calendar, as it’s a perfect way to have 12 pictures. Of course we got the calendar signed in December for Richards birthday.

We ate fish and chips in the car, to shield ourselves from the chilly wind, and had a drink or two. Awaiting the zombie releases!! Spooky szn has started.

Everyone was in good spirits, and it was nice to see so many out to support the children’s charity.

We left with full bellies and sore cheeks from laughing so much. What an epic day.

Glastonbury #FaeryFair October 2019 Part One

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It is my favourite event to go to, a #KarenKay event. A Faery Fair set in Glastonbury, and this time it’s a 2 day event, with my favourite artist #JasmineBecketGriffith showcasing her artwork once again.It is also celebrating 10yrs since it’s started, so I think all the vendors that make this event what it is, are going to feel pretty special about it too.Setting off on the Friday at the crack of dawn, it should be a giggle. Camping at a nearby (25 minutes drive out) campsite that has electric hook up and even an indoor pool. We went there last year, so it’s not new to us.Cappuccino made, pumpkin spice added, I’m feeling all autumnal and halloweeny. Side note (ewww my pumpkin spice syrup was awful, even know same make as usual)

Stopped off at Avebury, to walk the stones, feel the energies and have a picnic too.Gentle strolls to break up the day, before we continue off to the campsite in Glastonbury.Recreated some old photos of the first time we came to Avebury, back when we had 4 small daughters in tow.

Tent up, all snuggled up and now for first night tea, a grand fry up, just what is needed after a long long day of travelling and setting up.

Check out all the space, we use to use this for all of us, from 6 people to 2. It was nice to have space to spread things out too.

Some beers and giggles and connect four finished off our first night. Tomorrow up early to go to the #FaeryFair

Going out out #Suki10c

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It’s time to let loose and have some fun, and listen to good music once again at #ChapelOfChaos at Suki10c it’s taking us back to the 90s when nobody had any cares in the world.

Let’s hope the hip and hands can behave for one night!! Last time I came here I was day 100 post #hipreplacement this time it’s day 268!!

I adore this club, it’s accessible for wheelchairs and walking sticks, and best of all I love their recycling policy.Proving you can be wild and hedonistic while caring about the planet too.

It also has a vast amount of seating, which I need. As even when hips do behave, I still can’t stand for long.


Chapel Of Chaos goes back to the 90s for a retrospective night of hardcore, gabber & early rave classics 1993 to 1999. Join us as we go back to the days of Helter Skelter Technodrome, North, Steam, Club Kinetic, Hardcore Heaven, Vibealite, Rezerection, Dance Planet, Obsession and more with some exclusive sets from the DJs & producers responsible for shaping hardcore techno music in the 90s.

LEVIATHAN AKA TELLURIAN (CENOBITE / MOKUM LEGEND)
With a career spanning over 30 years with huge releases on the legendary labels Cenobite & Mokum amongst others, we are absolutely honoured to welcome a good friend of the Chapel, all round nice guy and pioneer of the hardcore scene Leviathan / Tellurian. Hailing from Amsterdam, this groundbreaking artist started with hip hop in 1985 before releasing his first rave record in 1992 and then becoming a regular on the Mokum label and starting his own label Cenobite in 1996..the rest is history! This guy helped shaped the sound we all love so we are proud to bring him over to England to rock the Chapel. Get ready for Leviathan vs Tellurian classics…we’ll tear your soul apart!

FERGUS (VIBEALITE / TOMORROW’S WORLD)
Vibealite, Tomorrow’s World, Helter Skelter, Hardcore Heaven, Uprising, Diz, North…what else needs to be said? The Vibealite legend doesn’t take many bookings so this will be a very special vinyl set just for the Chapel diehards. Your favourite DJs favourite DJ is making his debut at the Chapel with a hard trance into gabba set.

SCORPIO (DANCE PLANET 93/94 SET)
Well we couldn’t have a 90s night without Scorpio could we? For this special set we are going back to the south coast in 1993-1994 for the start of Scorpio’s journey into hardcore. Dance Planet, Obsession, Fusion and more were a huge part of this guy’s history and the young fresh faced lad interviewed by Carl Cox hoping to play at Dreamscape one day in 1993 is coming out to play for one night only with the records that shaped Simon Mitchell aka DJ Scorpio. Strictly 93/94 classics and forgotten gems from this hero.

MARC SMITH (REZERECTION SET)
Marc Smith has been a cornerstone of UK rave music for 30 years with releases on the Thunderdome CDs, Clubscene and his own long running label Notorious Vinyl alongside numerous album mixes, countless tapepacks and sets all over the world. With unmatched energy on the decks and an open minded approach to hardcore music, we are very proud to present the party animal Marc Smith playing a very special Rez set 94-96 style. Fasten your seatbelts!

DJ RIBBZ (CLASSIC ACID TECHNO)
He had such a good time at our old skool night in February, we just had to invite Ribbzy back and this time he’s bringing his 90s techno records! Known predominantly for his MC’ing, Ribbz is also a highly accomplished DJ with a DJ career spanning 25+ years at Helter Skelter, Hardcore Heaven and more. We could genuinely listen to this guy read the phone book so it gives us great pleasure to welcome DJ Ribbz to play some of his favourite acid techno records and warm up the Chapel properly.

ANDY FREESTYLE vs ANDY TECHNO
2 of the most skilled DJs in the UK (FACT!) go back to back for the first time with an exclusive bouncy techno / early gabber set on vinyl. This set will be fast, furious and bouncy as fuck!

THUMPA
(1997 – 1999 EARLY RAVE SET)
Slow and low set from Chapel boss Thumpa with lots of 97-99 classics and underplayed gems from the ‘new style’ era of hardcore. This set will be strikt voor de hardcore!

PSYVEX (TECHNODROME FORGOTTEN GEMS SET)
Friend of the Chapel, regular at our nights and top bloke Psyvex impressed us with some amazing sets on soundcloud so we thought it was only right to let him loose on the decks! Playing an hour of the underrated, under appreciated and often forgotten gems of the Technodrome days 97-99, we are excited to bring Liam over for his first Chapel set!
HOSTED ALL NIGHT BY MC RIBBZ, SQUIDGY B & FROSTIE

Dealing with Empty Nest Syndrome

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Back when I had small children, some days I longed for this day to arrive, the day when you have no more children living at home! Man I would fantasize about the peace and quiet that would entail. As at the time I had 4 daughters, that loved bickering so so much.

But fast forward 27ys and that day arrived, and I wasn’t ready!!

I’m 43 and I’ve had children to look after since I was 15yrs old, so it’s fair to say children have been my entire life.

Yes older siblings had left periodically for their universities, but with having younger siblings at home, the mind was kept busy with them. But when the last one leaves, the peace and quiet can be deafening!!

Dealing with empty nest syndrome

Once you’ve seen your child safely settled in their new accommodation, you might find your home feels a little empty. For a bit of help making the transition, check out these handy tips below

Find a new interest. Having invested so much in your child or children you may find yourself with some free time on your hands. Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to try, like taking up walking, volunteering for a local charity, or even going back to university yourself and starting a new business venture. (for us it’s visiting the countryside as much as possible, and going to the theatre)

Get to know your partner again. Some parents find that without their children at home they need to re-build their relationship with their partner to remember why they married them all those years ago. Schedule time together to do things that you both enjoy, or set yourself a regular ‘Date Night’ just for the two of you.

Keep in touch. You can still to be close to your child even after they have left home. You should try to maintain regular contact through visits, phone calls, emails and text, but also realise that you need to get the balance right so that they don’t feel smothered by too much contact. (We wait for her to video call us)

Don’t do it alone. Remember there are hundreds of thousands of parents in the same position as you are now. Talk to the people around you – your friends and partner – who know what you’re going through. If you’re finding it hard to shake the blues, you can visit your GP to talk about how you’re feeling and get some additional support.
Pat yourself on the back. It’s no easy task raising a child and you should congratulate yourself on your excellent work so far.
We’ve opted to clear out the clutter, and change the house from a family of six to a family of two. Slowly slowly declutter and refresh and have a positive outlook to these changing times.