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Dear Diary: Unpleasant experience, seagulls and pigs

You can’t please everyone…

Towards the end of last week I had a bit of a ‘ta doo’ and it wasn’t very pleasant, but I am going to share it here because I promised to show the good, the bad and the ugly.


A comment was posted in our fb group, and it was worded to basically trash my books and asked if anyone else in the group believed my books to be bad as they couldn’t ‘understand all the hype’. Strange to post such a comment in a group run by the person you are slamming, but anyway…I was very polite and answered their comment with a query, I requested further information to clarify what they didn’t like, which books they were referring to and maybe I could assist in some way. The person posting was a recent addition to the group and self-confessed to have only been practising witchcraft for a few months. Several other very lovely folk posted comments in the thread saying how much they loved my books and couldn’t understand the person’s comments (for which I am truly grateful, you guys are amazing). The original person replied, not to my query, but to one of the others basically questioning their judgement in liking my books. Up to that point I had resisted the suggestion from the rest of the admin team to delete the comment.


However, once the person had basically insulted one of our members, they broke the rules of the group. We have a zero tolerance for rudeness, bullying and spiteful comments. The comment was deleted, and the person removed from the group. Interestingly on checking, the fb profile for this person was empty, just a non-descript avatar, no header, no posts, no photos, nada, zip, zilch, which does send up a red flag.


We thought that was the end, but oh no. This person then began to send messages to my personal fb account, with comments such as “ I guess I read you right. You're books lack depth because you lack depth; perhaps that is the reason for your superficial books. You're great at marketing and cranking out low quality work. That's what sells these days, I guess.” I tried to be polite with my replies but there followed more insults, so I blocked them.


Now I am not stupid enough to believe everyone will like my books, they won’t, it is a fact. We are all unique individuals with different tastes, and that’s what makes the world an interesting place. But there is no need for nasty insults, particularly in my own fb group!


From someone who has walked this path for over thirty years and had books published for more than ten years, to the person who has been dipping into witchcraft for a few months, you have a lot to learn, I hope you get everything in life that you deserve.


This week

It has been a week of interviews too, I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with fellow witch and author Sheena Cundy, the podcast will be out in a couple of weeks. And then on the Fika with Vicky show where we always have such a giggle, we might be on the opposite side of the planet, but that lady is my sister from another mister for sure!


And research on the Hedge Witch book is sorted and organised (by organised I mean a pile of books filled with post it notes), so writing has begun…


Seagulls

One of my favourite sounds is seagulls. I know sometimes a group of baby seagulls can be loud and raucous but I love listening to them. We are lucky enough to live about five minutes from the ocean so I often wake to hear seagulls sqwarking on the roof tops. It reminds me of holidays as a child I think. I do work with seagull, he often appears to me when I am dealing with emotional situations.


Pigs

And pigs. Some of you will have heard me mention that I once lived on a farm, which I did. Many years ago when I was 17/18 I left home to live in a workers cottage on a farm. The farm focused mainly on pigs but also a bit of arable and had a sister dairy farm just down the road.


At the time I was working as a junior secretary for an accounting firm during the week, but at weekends I would help with the pigs. Up at silly o’clock to clean them out and feed them.


We started in the main barn which had rows of individual pigstys to house the mummy pigs that had just given birth along with their new piglets. Each one had to be swept out, new straw laid and the pigs fed. Mummy pigs are grumpy, piglets are hilarious and make lots of squeaky noises. Then onto another barn with a row of large stys along one side with separating gates that housed the larger piglets. This barn was always the noisiest! We had to start by shooing all the piglets into their sties and shutting the gates. Then working sty by sty to sweep out the, well let’s just say it was wet and squishy and we used a broom type affair that had a wide piece of rubber on the end. Many years later I can still recall the exact smell…

(Image britishpigs.org)

This was all swept down to the end of the barn and into a huge pit. Herding piglets is a challenge.

The last job was to jump in the tractor and head to the woods to feed the main piggy occupants. This was long before ‘free range’ or ‘organic’ was a thing, but thankfully our pigs lived in a lovely wood and allowed to roam about. As the tractor pulled up to the gate the pigs knew the sound and would come running.


The pigs were all Hampshire Saddleback, which is the breed that are black with a white stripe around the middle. I only used to get involved helping out at the weekends, but a lot of work went into looking after and breeding the pigs.

Sometimes I would also hop on a tractor to ride along with the seed planting or the harvest. And on occasion we would get a call to go help herd the cows from the dairy farm that had a habit of escaping onto the road!


Our little cottage was down a winding dirt track, in the middle of fields. It had electricity and original leaded light windows, but no mains gas or central heating. Our water was heated by keeping the log fire burning in the Rayburn. In the winter the toilet would freeze and the walls in the living room would run with damp. But it was my first experience of running my own home and I loved it.

Having that experience gave me an insight into how farms work, how hard the farmers work and perhaps a different perspective on animals that a lot of people don’t usually get.

(add pic of hall place)

I think this was also my first introduction to the pig, who later morphed into my wild boar spirit guide.


It has been a couple of decades or so, but looking on Google Earth for the address, I am pretty sure this is the cottage we lived in.


Down time

Still working my way through the Rivers of London book series by Ben Aaronovitch, on book four now and it is just as good as the first three.

TV - we have discovered Law & Order UK which is an old one, but seems good. And I have been working my way though Bake Off the Professionals, re-watching previous series.

Music listened to this week - Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Cyndi Lauper.


Stuff


Join me on my Wednesday morning chats if you are free, replays are on my author fb page and my YT channel.


You can also find me on this blog and on social media. If you think I can help with anything please do reach out. We are all part of a community and it is an honour to be here with you and to support each other.


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Kitchen Witch sponsor two daxies via the Red Foundation dachshund rescue - https://theredfoundation.net/


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