2017

Has seen some blessed times, but now I’m sad and sulking for missing my first gig of the year because I’m ill and skint and just not up for doing things. 2016 exhausted me. Had a beautiful time last weekend seeing friends though, drawing on happy memories to drg through. That and plans of better times ahead.

So, here are my plans/goals/wishes for this year:

  • learn to drive
  • cycle regularly
  • more poetry
  • perform at some more places
  • get some performance videos done
  • perform at festivals
  • get my show on the road
  • write a new book of conceptual stuff
  • actualise some visual/video/multimedia creation
  • get some decent boots and walk
  • walk long ways
  • have adventures
  • get strong – lift weights, run, yoga, eat food that isn’t cheese
  • blog and diary and record everything
  • get some proficiency in tarot reading
  • meditation focus
  • graduate from DBT having learned all the skills and able to use them in life
  • carry on helping out at Derbyshire Refugee Soidarity
  • do more Belper stuff
  • get new glasses
  • go foraging
  • get my stupid painful tooth sorted out/stop moaning about the tooth
  • go to more amazing camps and festivals
  • visit many friends, especially the ones I haven’t visited in years
  • learn/revise Basic First Aid
  • learn a few tunes by heart on the tin whistle
  • learn to crochet
  • sell a load of stuff to declutter and fund all this
  • apply for a Masters (finance permitting)
  • don’t drink all the damn time
  • get some independent self sufficiency
  • get some community
  • Edited to add: Run the Tenby Half Marathon again! What am I even doing?! My family talk me into these ridiculous things.

I think  that’s enough to be going on with. I’ve made a start today by putting a couple of things on ebay, and I’ve been keeping organised with a Bullet Journal and to do lists. I know Bullet Journal sounds like an enraging gimmick, but I was doing the basic form for half of last year and found it really helpful,so I’m carrying on. Got no memory in general, so writing it down helps.

Keep your peepers open though folks, maybe some interesting things will happen this year…

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2017

Arbor Low

arborlow2

Everyone told me that Arbor Low, toppled stone circle and barrowful of bones, was a place of bad vibes. So of course I had to go. Sunday was sunny and bright, the kind of day that makes you ache to get out of the house. Chris drove us into the countryside along a series of narrowing and increasingly rutted trails, following the Satnav because we still foolishly haven’t gotten round to buying a map. Yes, that’s right. We’re those idiots, charging into the unknown, relying on Google Maps and Chris’ uncanny homing pigeon abilities to save us.

So we found Arbor Low, and the cheeky farmer trying to charge an access toll because you have to walk through their field to get there. The circle is on high ground, and the surrounding  earthwork is imposing, giving a sense of shadowed claustrophobia to the central ring of stones. To induce claustrophobia on top of a moor, under a beautiful blue sky, is quite a feat. The rest of the landscape has such a feeling of expansiveness, entering the circle is like feeling a cloud cover the sun. Each stone lies flat in the grass, toppled perhaps by witch-fearing medieval folk or just the ravages of time. The wind whips around the circle, the head-high raised earthworks somehow offering no shelter at any angle. Sheep wander freely, and some hikers sat happily picnicking on one of the stones. That seemed like a bad idea. Too many ghosts for sure, and maybe they’re contagious. The least evil-feeling place was, surprisingly, the round barrow forming part of the earthworks, where archeologists have found human remains and grave goods. They also found human remains in the centre of the circle. Human sacrifices? Honoured burials? The neolithic equivalent of someone doing Black Mass in your favourite cathedral? It’s a mystery.

The feeling of sorrow is there. A similar melancholy to ruined churches, but with more than a touch of enmity. 4000 years is a heavy weight of history. So now there’s a place which could have been beautiful, now haunted by ghosts and hostile weeping, out there on the moors. It’s cold and lonely at Arbor Low.

For more fascinating historical info on this place, click here. They seem to know their stuff, and cite a fascinating array of historical sources.

As for myself, maybe I’ll do a cleansing ritual just in case. The mourning of the Earth is not to be trifled with.

 

 

Arbor Low

I did the Firewalk!

Remember I was planning to walk on hot coals?

I did it!

Pippa firewalk
I walk across the fire

It did actually hurt. Not in a bad way, but you can defintiely feel the heat searing into your feet. Luckily I like pain.

I’ve not done any charity sponsorship stuff since way back in school, so I am amazed, humbled and thankful at the great response I’ve had. So many of you have given, to a charity called Annabel’s Angels, who you’ve probably never even heard of. They are an amazing charity, giving practical help to people living with cancer here in Derby.

If you want to donate, click to here. £120 raised so far.

I’m SO happy and grateful. Firewalking was a beautiful experience for me, because I’m something of a masochist. But the money being raised for this charity is actually blowing my mind, THANK YOU ALL!!!

This was all part of Challenge Cancer Week.

I want to thank Simon Jones specifically, this was his brainchild.

Thank you to everyone who was involved in making this happen, and thank you to the Telegraph for reporting it!

It feels too good to be true. I did something which I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and by doing it, raised £120+ for an amazing cause. So many family and friends chipped in, I am so grateful to all of you.

Thank you. It’s especially poignant as my friend has been diagnosed with an inoperable liver cancer. I can’t save him, (I fuckin wish I could) but at least I’m doing something, right?

Thankyou, all of you.

https://www.justgiving.com/Pippa-Nayer

I did the Firewalk!

I Want to Walk a Trail

To reach the far horizon

For a few years now, I’ve been fascinated by long, long walks. Pilgrimages. Solo treks across countries, across continents. From the Pennine Way to the Pacific Crest Trail  (recently made famous by the film Wild) as well as less officially designated trails, there are so many journeys to make. I like the idea of wandering, but having a route and destination at least vaguely in mind is a part of it. Being free to point your nose to the trail and walk, knowing that’s your task and your goal. Otherwise, I have a tendency to merely drift.

Today I found out about The World Walk: a guy my age who is spending five years walking across all five continents. He’s pulling his stuff in a handcart. I read about Cheryl Strayed’s self-help trek on the Pacific Crest Trail, but also Peace Pilgrim‘s 25,000 miles across America without baggage or supplies. Walking has power, and walking far, travelling those immense distances under your own power, being just that small dot on one huge map… I want to do that. I remember reading an article or essay or something, let’s call it a short travelogue, of someone walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. I’m not a Christian, I’m not any religion, just can’t deal with being spiritually dictated to, but the idea seemed to take hold that I should become a pilgrim. That spiritual element is important, I think. Or maybe the idea of walking for penance. Retreat.

Me striding out on my super legit spiritual quest. (Obviously not me. Amazing pic tho.) Credit due: https://battleofwisby1361.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/a-pilgrim-in-a-patched-dress/

When I get frustrated, I wish I could just wander off. Obviously that’s an immature approach to problem solving, but it isn’t my main motivation any more. I’m done with running away from home. I suppose it’s the usual unbearable self-absorbed search for ‘meaning’. Or something. A search for space. The amazingly smart Rebecca Solnit expresses the contemplative side of walking perfectly:

Walking, ideally, is a state in which the mind, the body, and the world are aligned, as though they were three characters finally in conversation together, three notes suddenly making a chord. Walking allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them. It leaves us free to think without being wholly lost in our thoughts.

[…]

The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it. A new thought often seems like a feature of the landscape that was there all along, as though thinking were traveling rather than making.

I want to walk in order to think clearly, not in the neurotic circles of sedentary contemplation, but with the freedom lent by an ever-changing scene. To experience new things constantly, while maintaining a constant rhythm of steps, of days. To get strong and overcome some painful misery that actually counts. Walking as meditation and pilgrimage and self-discipline, as well as good old-fashioned means of transport to see the world.

It’s 1am and I’m absolutely convinced right now that I should go on some walk. Not literally right now, it’s dark outside, but I’ve wanted and talked about some kind of backpack treck adventure for years now, without it moving any closer to reality. So this is me realising that if I don’t start thinking real world, I’ll never get to do this, and I’ll die unfulfilled and embittered by regrets. I’d like to walk across Europe, eventually.

I Want to Walk a Trail