Illustration by Sara Simon, from The Mystic Cookfire

Oh my gosh, it’s suddenly come on all dark, grey, damp and chilly here in the north of England.

My feet are cosied up in thick socks, but the goosebumps on my arms make my thoughts turn to lunch: red lentil soup.

My daughter, Eliza, has started taking a thermos to school so she can bring soup for her lunch. What a treat to have something hot and delicious to look forward to in the middle of the day.

There are more than 40 soup recipes in The Mystic Cookfire, so she’s not likely to get bored!

 

Illustration by Sara Simon, from The Mystic Cookfire

 

This week she’s enjoyed red lentil and vegetable, leek and potato, and tomato.

Tonight I’ll make some red pepper soup (her favourite) for tomorrow’s lunch.

Thinking ahead, next week’s lunches will include: Bay and Onion, Black Bean, Potato and Corn Chowder, Italian Peasant Soup, and my favourite: Goan Potato.

 

Illustration by Sara Simon, from The Mystic Cookfire

Illustration by Sara Simon, from The Mystic Cookfire

 

What I love about soup is that it’s quick and easy to make; and the house always smells amazing while there’s a pot simmering on the stove. It’s also (ever the crafty mother) a great way of slipping in vegetables and fresh herbs that would otherwise be rejected. Amazing how things just ‘vanish’ when you blend a soup!

 

Tomato soup

Tomato soup

 

What is your favourite soup?

Wishing you a delicious and rather tasty Autumn! Love, Veronika xx

The Blessingway: creating a beautiful blessingway ceremony

The Blessingway: creating a beautiful blessingway ceremony

Just wanted to share the new cover for The Blessingway, illustrated by Susan Merrick. I really love it!

Equinox blessings, and happy New Moon in Libra.
Issue four of Starflower Living is now available to download.

  • Editorial
  • Walking with Beauty
  • New Moon in Libra
  • Officiating Weddings
  • Healing Adrenals
  • Thyme Honey
  • In my Kitchen
  • Conscious Uncoupling
  • Love (poem)
  • The Starthrower
  • Autumn Equinox
  • Creating a Charmed Life
  • May Di Vorce be with You
  • The Mirror of Relationships

Cover photo by Sabine Scherer Photography.

Cover photo by Sabine Scherer Photography.

http://starflowerpress.com/living/index.shtml

On an Autumnal day in New Zealand in March, 1996, I gave birth to my first child at home in a birth pool by candlelight. Mozart’s music played in the room, and she arrived in this world peacefully. She didn’t cry or fuss, but just looked into our eyes and took in her surroundings.

Half an hour later, it was time to cut the cord (if I knew then what I do now, we’d have had a *lotus birth and not cut the cord). She howled and screamed. It has been said that cutting the cord doesn’t hurt, but she clearly felt ‘something’ as our physical connection was severed.

 

Seconds after giving birth at home, by candlelight and Mozart, to my daughter Bethany.

Seconds after giving birth at home, by candlelight and Mozart, to my daughter Bethany.

 

aucklandgarden

For eighteen years, we have shared our lives. At seven this morning, we waved goodbye. That umbilical cord was well and truly cut. And it bloody well hurt me too. She’s on her own now. This part of my mothering journey with her is over.

I’m no longer there to protect her, make sure she eats her greens, warn her off certain boys, and prompt a bedtime to ensure adequate sleep. My job is done.

I look forward to hearing all the stories about university life. But today, I grieve. Today I trust the tears which fall so freely to cleanse old wounds.

I have found it interesting in these past few weeks how differently people respond to pain. Those who have attachment parented their children ~ they understand. They allow me my grief without trying to band aid over it.

And then there are people who are quick to remind me that she’ll be home in ten weeks. It’ll zip by, they say. Maybe. But I doubt it.

If you ever miscarry, someone is bound to say ‘never mind, you can try again’ or ‘it wasn’t meant to be’…rather than just honouring the loss. They mean well, of course, but it doesn’t help.

Yes, Christmas might be just around the corner (at my age it’s always just around the corner!)…but that’s more than 150 meals we won’t be sharing together. More than seventy mornings where I won’t get to see her smile or share a cup of tea.

As a bonded family, every day is a lifetime to savour. So, in some people’s world ten weeks is nothing. This morning, for me, it is a long time away.

I appreciate she’s not going off to war or ill in hospital. She’s a beautiful, healthy young woman with adventures ahead of her ~ but that doesn’t make the cutting of the umbilical cord any less painful.

The eighteen years between giving birth and saying goodbye, now THAT has zipped by.

beth

Do you like to read romance novels? You can find the first chapter or two of the five contemporary romance novels I wrote last Summer here on Wattpad. Pop on over. They’re free to read! http://www.wattpad.com/VeronikaRobinson

You can find my first two novels on my website www.veronikarobinson.com, Amazon, good bookshops or www.starflowerpress.com Bluey’s Cafe is also available on Kindle.

 

My second novel, set in Australia.

My second novel, set in Australia.

 

 

My first novel, Mosaic.

My first novel, Mosaic.

Pharmacy shelves abound with ‘remedies’ for coughs and colds, but I can promise you nothing will come close to being as brilliant as your own home-made elixir.

I’ve made up a batch of Autumnal cold syrup so my daughter can take some to Bangor University when she leaves (in two days). There are rumours of Freshers Flu which are leaving all the new students rather terrified.

 

lemonsyrup1

What you’ll need:
Organic lemons (you’re leaving the skins on, so make sure they’re organic)
Fresh ginger root (one decent chunk, about five inches long)
30 ml 100% eucalyptus oil (do NOT use synthetic oils)
Raw honey (depends on how much you’re making)
Old glass jars

Place the glass jars and lids into a large pot and fill with water and bring to the boil. While they’re sterilising, get to work make your mixture.

Slice the lemons. (I used three bags of lemons, but one bag is fine)
Slice the ginger root.
Sprinkle liberally with lots of eucalyptus oil.

Gentle warm the honey if it’s ‘set’ honey. Don’t boil it. You just want it soft enough to pour into your jars.

When the jars are done, and have cooled a little, place the lemons and ginger root in each one until filled to the top. Sprinkle in more eucalyptus oil. Pour honey in until covered. Screw lid on tightly. I tip my jars upside down, and upright, and down again a few times over the course of the next day.

To use: simply take a spoon of honey (including lemon and ginger) and pop it into a mug with boiling water. Sip as often as needed throughout the day.

 

lemonsyrup2

This can be used as a preventative, too. This mixture will last for months in the fridge.

So, all you Freshers starting university life, get drinking this remedy. Stay strong, study hard, have fun ~ and most importantly, phone your mother!

*You can also find a recipe for Thyme Honey (also effective for coughs and colds) in issue 4 of Starflower Living (publishing Sept 24). http://www.starflowerpress.com/living/index.shtml

 

New Love April 1995

New Love April 1995

It’s such a gorgeous Autumn morning here in the Eden Valley. My husband Paul and I are in ‘my’ writing room (which doubles as a guest room and second lounge room and general workspace for the whole family) at work on our various projects. Eliza’s at school. Bethany’s asleep (four days till she leaves for university!!!!) I love this time of day when the early morning Sun isn’t long over the hills, mist is in the fields before me, and there’s a gentleness to the morning.

It took a long time to get to the point where we could create a life where we mostly work side by side rather than Paul being at other work. I enjoy this daily companionship so much (though I still need to find a way to press the ‘off’ button when Paul starts talking to me about sports).

In April, we will have been together for twenty years. I have no sense of our relationship being ‘old’, even though when we met it was:

 

“I’ve known you forever”

at first sight.

 

I still love it when Paul holds my hand as we walk down the street, or puts his arm around my waist for a cuddle as we’re waiting in a queue. I never tire of the way his face lights up when he sees me.

 

So, in April, we will have a Vow Renewal Ceremony shared with our friends to honour this chapter of our lives. We both feel we’ve grown and changed a lot in that time. Renewing our vows is about recognising this, and saying ‘we still do’.

 

The story of how we got together still makes me smile. I invited Paul for dinner and he never went home again. We moved in together straight away. This photo is from the morning after that dinner. My flatmate said ‘let’s get a photo so you can remember this day’… as if I’d forget!

It is, indeed, a privilege to grow old together (even if he has few wrinkles than me!)

Do you eat together as a family? What does tea time look like in your home?

For me, it is an important coming-together time. It’s a place where we share not only our food, but our day.

We light a candle, often play some gentle music, say a prayer of gratitude for the meal, and dine together. According to recent statistics, this isn’t how most families spend their meals.

It is in this part of our daily rhythm where we will feel the biggest ‘hole’ when Bethany leaves for university in eight days.

 

dining

Would you be a stay-at-home mother? Do you feel you don’t have a choice and that the economic climate ‘forces’ you to leave your children with someone else?

 

Stay-at-home mother

Stay-at-home mother

If ever there was a zodiac sign to represent personal growth, it’s Scorpio. I am now taking submissions (writing and art/photography) for issue 5 of Starflower Living magazine.

Issue 5 themes for the New Moon in Scorpio (due date, October 4th): soul mates, sexuality, transformation, empowerment, letting go, grief, old baggage, psychology, secrets, depth of character, compulsions, deep emotional connections, ancestors, debt, inheritance, jealousy, abandonment. Health: sexual organs, organs of elimination, menstrual cycle, sexual infections. email: office at starflowerpress dot com