💚 Living between the Sea and Dartmoor in the S.W. of England

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Growing my hair long again 2020
Cornwall Dec. 31st 2019 Icey cold!  Porthcurno near Minac theater.
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June 10th, 2019 in Holland for a family reunion.

You are welcome on my blog with journals and slideshows of pictures. I’m enjoying my life, after retirement from working for an income, on an island: England, the seat of Mars according to Shakespeare. A seat rocked by the storms of change. I’ve got mixed feelings about the attitude of British people in general, which seems to show symptoms of a long-lasting depression, a numbness almost. Simultaneously, there’s a strong pull of this part of Europe, calling me home. Nature and space to live, to breathe clean air. I might move to Sussex the South Downs or the West coast of the Republic of Ireland. My very first visit to Galway was in 1989. Hello, beloved Atlantic Ocean!

Cliffs of Moher Ireland

But first, we’re all plunged in the challenge of a pandemic, since the start of this year.

How to live with this adversity and changes on all levels of global society? I believe in this: Unless we know where and how we are right here and now, we can’t enter uncharted territory, with clean clothes and stepping forward in new shoes. The pandemic, like a festering wound caused by poison, and I refer to Rudolf Steiner’s view on the nature of viruses, that is raging worldwide now, is forcing many of us to look within and find answers by searching our soul, more or less in survival mode.

This instinctual response, to a worldwide life-challenging force, is to many of us a purgatory of our inner poisoned spirit also. That is, it’s maybe more accurate to say that it’s an invitation that can be welcomed and declined both. In that way, the liberation of our shackles may show up as an inner process, personal, as much as external detoxification of all poisonous endeavors planned and practiced on our planet today.

This isn’t the end of the world, it’s the dawning of a new day for humanity, where many of us will be astounded and somewhat bewildered too, seeing that light of day.

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A new move is in the planning for springtime 2020. A return to my home in Holland. For a long break from Britain. I lost my heart in Britain’s vast nature and variety of landscapes, its rocky bottom and red earth, the thatched cottages, the public footpaths, the coastal paths, the moors, and the Atlantic Ocean,  during more than 20 years of happy holidays, crossing the North Sea Channel by ferry. For the whole month of June, each year. The Isle of Skye in Scotland, the South Coast of Britain, Sussex, and Devon. Cornwall, the YHA in Tintagel, with that magnificent coastline. YHA Bellever Postbridge!

The history of the Celts, all seafaring folks of ancient time and the druid culture, the unspoiled nature, woodland and seaside, the moon-landscape of Dartmoor, grazed by ponies, sheep, and cows, with larks rising in song in unbounded joy, all of this woke up my exploring and curious mind, stirring the beat of my heart.

With a close connection to what once was lived in great respect for earth’s wisdom, the natural laws of life, with a pun on nature, my great teacher, I’ve found in this life.

Ashburton 03-2020
Here’s where I lived for 2,5 years in Devon

I am in the S. West of Britain, in reasonable comfort, and privacy, at last… after moving 7 times in all the years I lived in Britain. There’s much more British landscape to explore: Cornwall, Exmoor, and the Lake District, Scotland and the British islands: Lundy, the Isle of Man, the Scilly Islands.  Ireland, with a population that might be closer to my nature in attitude and liveliness. Above all, it’s offering unspoiled nature and a great coastline.

A return to The Netherlands is a priority now, a break from the UK in turmoil, with a new jump later, over the North Sea Channel, westward, to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. 

I’m privileged to find the freedom of adventure, going on trips after ending my working life. Soon with the freedom of conquering the hills on an e-bike! Although those narrow and winding lanes are a challenge, at times. I’m prepared to throw myself in the hedge when danger lurks. The use of my e-bike in Holland is easier, for sure.

Here’s a short video with an impression of my town: https://vimeo.com/221155578

Here’s a link to my recent journal of July 2019. High summer, a long period of hot weather. It’s the year 2019. The hills are turning yellow and the level of the river turns very low. https://wordpress.com/post/marianoranda.wordpress.com/39193

Here’s my latest recording with pictures, of chapter 2 of Paddington at large: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iq4LEVx9Zk


After almost 5 years living in a foreign culture, a country with a long history, in extreme highs and lows and a class system that rules the English population to this day, I’ve learned to cope with the differences as far as I am capable of. I will leave though, for a welcome re-orientation of where I shall choose to live in a home on the Atlantic coast.

After living almost 5 years on British soil, this rocky island, I completely understand why it needs its portion of highly eccentric and maverick residents. Not that it helps much, though, hahaha. Most of the British population is a hard stoney nut to crack when it’s about inner change due to what seems to be collective hypnosis, always correcting those who are at risk of waking up in real-time. There’s a need for loud confrontations, to tackle the abuse of power and corruption in all levels of British society. With a class system ruling.

When a nation is in survival mode for a long time, opportunism, abuse of drink and drugs, plus mental problems are all present on stage. Meanwhile, the Monty Python sketch, that Britain seems to show up with pretending it’s the reality of daily life, continues to this day. A soap opera, with drama as an essential ingredient.

Pomp and circumstance, that’s what it is. It’s high time that Britain wakes up with a bolt of lightning and a roar of thunder. For arrogance and complacency are deadly to the ability to change. And change is the only way to restore this mad island’s sovereignty with sobriety in tow. There’s much brightness covered up in Britain.

The text below speaks to me. I believe there’s a fine line between healthy detachment and social engagement without strings attached. I believe that my 7 moves from room to room, in Britain, have made me aware of what engagement is and what it means to feel that one belongs and how this shows up in the external world as much as in my internal world, my inner home, with an affinity for myself in my heart. Bottom line.

It touches me in a peculiar way:

“—- to be inaccessible does not mean to hide or to be secretive. It doesn’t mean that you cannot deal with people either. A hunter uses his world sparingly and with tenderness regardless of whether the world might be things, or plants, or animals, or people, or power. A hunter deals intimately with his world and yet he is inaccessible to that same world. He is inaccessible because he’s not squeezing his world out of shape. He taps it lightly, stays for as long as he needs to, and then swiftly moves away leaving hardly a mark.”
From the book Journey to Ixtlan by Carlos Castaneda
There’s an insight I’ve grown into, that’s related to the quote visible above:
“You can’t leave the trouble in the place where you are in your life without truly making peace with it, for the next step to be free”.

Move over the images and find the captions.

In this April 2019 Time magazine, you’ll find an excellent summary and diagnosis of the conditions within the EU, with Britain leaving. It’s free of sensational shouts, which are unfortunately all over the place in 10 Downing Street, the British papers and on television: https://time.com/magazine/us/5568295/april-22nd-2019-vol-193-no-15-u-s/            

On Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 2019 The EU chief Juncker has announced that Britain will leave the EU on January 31, 2020. The naughty kid is sent away from the classroom. There’s a cloud of depression blocking the sun of British hearts.

What an adventure, the times we live in right now, to see the two ends in our reality, life’s elastic stretched apart, wider and wider, as I perceive it. Our extremely polarized world, a battlefield of opinions, and surveillance of the masses increasing by means of smart technology. We’re entertained and programmed in a stealthy manner, living in an open prison when we don’t pay attention. Microphones in digital devices? The response of Google is…. “Oops, we didn’t realize that, so we will shut it down” (an empty promise). Your smartphone registers sound and visuals both. Facial recognition is the norm.

At one end I see those who choose a virtual reality, assisted by smart technology, smart meters, smart LED lights connecting the cell towers ready for 5G activation. Alexa and electric cars driving by themselves. Lo and behold, the wonders of technology, softly killing our physical connection with a world of substance, our sensuous awareness, our physical bodies alive in balance with spiritual awareness and the tangible world around us, the natural laws of the land we live on and restore our peace of mind and heart.

How many of us are ruled by the number of likes on that faceless book, the daily dose of virtual dopamine? At the other end (of the elastic) I see those who move and choose the tangible world of earth, water, air, and fire, their hands finding the work that needs to be done. On the inner plane as much as in the world out there. We need to be in charge, waking up to our ability to create our reality and the freedom to go to sleep with a sense of contentment, for having done the work that our hands find doing in agreement with our heart’s desire, and our mind’s clarity.

Pleased with the expression of our skills, seeing the harvest of goods grown in nature and in our community, our family at large, our circle of friends. I believe that we need to master the embodiment of our soul, in touch with our senses, our physicality, in order to meet the challenges of technology that is sold to us under the name “smart”.

We are living in a velvet prison when we pay attention to the lure of artificial intelligence, giving up our sovereignty and the freedom of choice, allowing others to choose for us. Here’s a document called Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars: https://www.docdroid.net/tE8Jq9i/silent-weapons-for-quiet-wars.pdf#page=5

I myself choose the joy of my craftwork, of art and sharing of what’s good in our lives with others who enjoy the simple pleasures of life and who know how to create a sense of belonging while living together. As a community, a friendly neighborhood. Fear and the loss of one’s inner compass is equal to living in separation. Especially when our eyes are wide shut and that becomes a way of life. Complacency is deeply ingrained in Britain  I’m learning by contrast, but it’s useful only for a certain length of time. Replenishing one’s inner qualities is hard, for it’s exhausting to witness a society falling apart.

Here’s an ancient Chinese proverb:                                                                                                “If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is an order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.”

The Xmas lights and the icing on the cake in Britain are in blues often, terribly cold. The words of welcome and praise may sound polite and well-meant, but often it’s just a layer of programming. The famous politeness in Britain that is forced upon children to this day, while the conditions of living that gave birth to it are lost in the past. An empty shell.

There seems to be a sentimental bug present in parenting, in Britain, that causes parents to treat their kids as princes and princesses. What a prepping for Disney land.  It’s a loss of reality check, for British people don’t like to be told. Correcting each other is not done and in that way, many established ways of doing things are frozen. Hence the tightly contained frustration expressed in domestic violence, obesity and binging. Britain is suffering from moral panic and at this point, it’s in a deplorable state.

Amidst austerity, and a dysfunctional government, plus a corrupt legislation system, many choose consumerism, drink&drugs, and entertainment of an infantile quality (watch the British telly) over sobering up in constructive ways to find solutions, with the raising of one’s voice in tow. The following statement is typical for the British attitude in managing problems. “We’ve got to get through this somehow when we work out what ‘this’ is.” Seeing the consequences of a present decision or action is poorly developed.

In the core of Britain’s dilemma, is a clash between the old world, Britain’s history as an empire, and the new world storming in, where money and power are going to sit in the back row gradually, and equality, justice and a fair share of what’s good in life and what’s ready for change is welcomed and encouraged. For the time being, it’s screeching in the bend.

The issue with year on year never-ending flooding disasters in Britain is an example of the complacent attitude, looking no farther than the length of one’s nose. When the government orders building companies to build new homes, somehow, that’s done in obedience without the use of common sense, pointing out the practicalities and issues.

Most of the locations where new homes are built are sensitive to flooding, were reported in the papers, last week. End of February 2020. This winter has been extremely wet and 2 storms have raged over this island as well. With much flooding as a result of it.


Here in my town, there’s a decision made to build a new estate. In a location that is fully inadequate, with a market garden nearby, a bee hive farm where precious honey is sold and narrow lanes, causing traffic jams and occasional danger for kids who go to school, walking or on their bikes. Not in the least, the risk of noisy neighbors and pollution due to the increase in traffic. Issues with noisy neighbors and loud music are often endured, suffered without end too, in Britain, for no one dares to raise his/her voice and the police seem to have different duties. If they happen to be around. Yes, inefficiency isn’t foreign to Britain nowadays.

In the almost 5 years in Britain, I’ve witnessed strange helplessness, in Britain, like that of a child that has lost its trust in life’s goodness, lost its power of initiative while living in shock, numbness, and complacency. Pretense has a variety of colors in Britain. I believe that one could say that, overall, the folks in Britain are depressed.

My first landscape in felt, made of wool
Felt work by Marian 01-2020
The second landscape of wool “The Flight of the Souls” In the left upper corner an angel is present. I didn’t intend to include it, but how appropriate is its presence, isn’t it?

Although I live my last months in Britain quite comfortably, relieved for having made a plan and knowing that all will be fine, as my life unfolds in true colors, to me, it’s clear that many old paradigms are showing wear and tear, on a personal and global level and that we’re entering a new decade (2020) with changes that will touch many of us in profound ways. For those of us living in the past, avoiding the present, the near future will probably show up with a shock to that dream, an obligation to pick up our responsibility.

Since the start of the year, we’re confronted with a pandemic, a COVID-19 virus. This may have an effect on my choice to return to The Netherlands as soon as possible. It’s March 1st today, and the numbers of contaminated people are rising fast in the UK. The BBC offers a video with instructions on how to wash your hands. I’m sure you need it…… ridiculous!

Apart from the huge impact of the Coronavirus, in China and now increasingly in the West, what are the signs of change, you may wonder?

The expiry date of many scientific statements seems to be near, with the definitions of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin turning topsy turvy since scientists find proof of a conscious web of life’s building blocks, as much in the so-called inert matter as on the level of DNA, our human blueprint. 

Simultaneously, there’s an experience of shifting consciousness, a sense of discomfort, feeling as if the old world has come to an end, watching the enormous impact of our digital technology and its influence on our nervous system. Our connectedness through the internet of things is unbelievably skyrocketing in all sorts of ways. For better or for worse. Online, what a comfortable chair to sit in and act out whomever you wish!

Why do you think that there are so many protests in the streets all over the world where governments lost touch with society, the common people? Living a lie is coming to an end for many of us. Don’t worry about it, although there’s discomfort, at times, with mud on your wings you can’t fly. Clean up your mess, that’s the most simple way to put it.

Legislation systems begin to tumble down due to fraudulent strategies, exposed to the public eye. Attempts to infiltrate governments, to bring powerful honest members down, and bring crooks to power, with the financial system in peril, a bubble ready to burst.

Italian banks are dragging the Deutsche Bank with them when their collapse begins to show up. The Central Bank of Europe keeps an Eagle eye on it, for a large number of European countries are in great debt. The lame man leads the blind man, so to speak.

The box we choose to live in (even when it’s unconscious) is about to burst at its seams. Will it be Pandora’s box? Or graduation day, with presents wrapped in it? A celebration? 

The agitation-industry is thriving, satisfying many people’s need for instant satisfaction, a quick fix when that’s not found within. Sensation imprinting is the main ingredient, in most mainstream media. It’s the seed of cynicism, despair, and loneliness. It’s empty air.

There is hope, for The Grand Wizards of Oz, the shadow government hiding behind their curtains, are trembling in fear, knowing they’re close to being exposed. Skeletons fall out of the closets on the global stage. Jeffrey Epstein is taken out, alive or dead, and more will follow. Prince Andrew has stepped down from all royal duties and faces trial in the US. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, moved to Canada, saving their privacy and freedom.

Powerful and wealthy people are caught, found out, after a long time of cover-up. Look at the Catholic Church in perilous waters for some time now, look at political moves that can’t withstand the light of moral standards and service to others. To me, it’s the darkest hour before dawn and the present pandemic may well be a desperate measure taken by running rats on a sinking ship. As far as I’ve understood, China’s economy receives a hard blow and in that manner, the game of cards may see a change of hand that way.

Amidst the disclosure of hideous crimes, no doubt there’s going to be more display of smoke and mirrors, fear-mongering and other forms of disruption. The Climate Change Salvation Army is now singing in our streets, trumpeting its urgent message, based on lies. Don’t let it distract you from your freedom of thought, your path, and your destiny. It is time to welcome truth as a friend, inside and out, and live responsibly. Be sensible. It’s what I intend to practice and live for the remains of my hopefully very long life.

The machinery of power and money is slowly grinding to a halt due to its own defects built in the construction. I believe that we need sobriety, optimism, and initiative, while the world is turning upside down, bringing an end to old systems for a reason. Life itself can’t tolerate foolhardiness and destruction of what sustains it and offers us a choice to live a life worth living. We’re as much the changers as the changed, in this transformation.

The shepherd needs to wake up to his role of a king and the king needs to step down and walk amidst the herd, as a shepherd, knowing the meaning of humbleness, which means the choice for stewardship, equality, and co-operation, working together, in the living and loving of life, to each his/her freedom of expression and space to live and breathe fresh air, with the warmth of the sun on our face and its light in our eyes.

A suggestion: How about being the best version of yourself that you know how to be? Wouldn’t that lift the burden off your shoulders, of other people’s expectations and those of yourself? You don’t have to do better ever, you’re simply right where you are, making new choices whenever there’s a need for it, felt within your own mind/heart/body. To me, change is an ingredient of evolution, a logic no one can miss. Experiences in sync with understanding lead us toward a conscious choice, with the freedom to choose again. And again, without judgment. That’s the joy of evolution, to me, when living forever.

For myself, I feel it’s helpful to have left the work floor, with the buzz of competition, liberated from its burdens, as a formerly self-employed woman. I’m in favor of sustaining myself, in all sorts of ways, creating the comfort of living in friendship with the elements, in nature and in the company of kindred spirits, both young and old. The voice of children is a joy to my ears in the streets of my town. Sustaining youthfulness.

Wondering in the forest.jpg

I’m reaping the harvest of my life’s adventures and the birth of new initiatives at the same time. That’s the fertilizer for my present moment and future years. I can’t tell others what to do, although I’m inclined to have a point of view about everything and perception of human behavior that goes very deep. Myself included. I’m in training, with my inner voice present as a guide I listen to more often. And less to what my mind tells me, fueled by an old paradigm hidden in my genes, a heritage of my ancestors and past lives, of which I’ve had a few in this lifetime as well. That agility serves me well now.

My role, which is a choice as far as I’m aware of it, is to live what I believe and know to be true for me. Outside time as we know it, cleared of past memories that try to keep me deep in the wrong groove. And to express this in my life in most practical and creative ways, with the use of strong intuition, in gratitude for my very good health, well organized and creative on many levels.

How many of you are familiar with being the changer and the changed both? While conditions of living are transforming with a sharp rising curve in technological evolution and a decline in moral standards. If we don’t pay attention, we’re told lies presented as truths. Fake news is a term nobody had heard of 20 years ago.

As a counterbalance,  much of present-day deception is observed by a collectively fast-growing awareness, with many of us realizing that nothing is the same anymore. It’s not a conclusion made by our mind, it’s an experience in all nooks and crannies of our existence. Where’s wisdom to be found? What’s the fertilizer for our ability to know ourselves and the freedom to allow our soul’s purpose to be known, appreciated and expressed?

Moving with change requires gymnastics, flexing the muscles of one’s mind, body and spirit. To me, the wind of change calls forth the separating of the chaff and the grain, as within so without. It’s highly unlikely that we wake up while escaping from what’s staring in our face and while sitting in our comfortable chair, isn’t it? Or this option?

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Philosophy has been defined as “the love of and the seeking after wisdom”. Socrates said “Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher and philosophy begins with wonder” This, I guess, sums up who I am and how I choose to walk my path in life, with a mind of my own, doing the work my hands find worthy of doing. Down to earth and artistic in an expression of all sorts, be it in creating a home interior, a garden, or a landscape felted of wool.

Royal rags are my favorite outfit, though some of you may wonder what I mean by that. It’s an aspect of my soul, in love with beggars and royalty both. The freedom to be present with all kinds of people from all walks of life. Despite the bumping against British society’s deplorable condition, showing up at times.

Remember Barbara Streisand, the 70’s? In her outfit of 2nd hand clothes on stage? I guess it’s also partly a rebellion against the “establishment”. The dress code of what society dictates, that limits equality and prevents a genuine connection from a place where authenticity is welcome. Barbara Streisand was skillful in her rebellion and talented.

This nomad loves imperfection and the beauty of a recycling center looking like a gypsy camp, with people who are willing to muck through bags and boxes, sorting the items and placing cuddly toy animals or dancing porcelain figurines between the plant boxes. Or once loved shoes with plants growing in them. Playfulness mixed with a contribution to the Chagford community and an example of great teamwork.

The success of this project that started in 1993, is found in growing into a chain of projects with a cafe annex healthfood-shop, a vintage clothes shop in town, since Jan. 2018 and a compost-project, as the start of it, collecting food- and garden waste of the town where it has grown its roots, for 26 years, offering education and materials, be it clothes, building materials, paint, books, toys, kitchen tools, bric a brac and furniture.

I’m talking about Proper Job Chagford here, where I worked, living in Moretonhampstead for a while. Mucking in as a volunteer, with dedicated volunteers, offering their time and energy. 

http://www.proper-job.org https://youtu.be/hidSnd1Tfbo

Improvising can be turned into a form of art. After all, I’m an artist at heart and an old hippy. A 60’s rebel. A rebel without a cause? A Calvinistic minister’s child, the oldest daughter of 9, growing up in the ’50s in The Netherlands. The little frog pond.

1976 Glamour on bike
On a bike, with high heels. The glamour years in my country of birth The Netherlands, in the early ’70s, attending the Academy of Arts.

I’ve found, as I move through the recent decade, since 2010, where change has swept like a storm through my life, that I am as much the changer as the changed. Therefore, I can’t expect to know what’s ahead of me, really. It’s a learning curve by surrendering to my experiences and paying attention to what matters and to all that matters not. There’s much to let go of, like a tendency to analyze too much for too long. This page is long!

I’d rather surrender to what life holds in waiting for me and walk with eyes and heart open, in trust and acceptance of how it shows up and what it shows me, also when it’s not enjoyable at first glance. Responsibility is embedded in my actions when free will is at the base of my conscious choices, I believe. Each moment offers such freedom of choice, once I’m disciplined by paying attention and being truthful to myself and the lightheartedness that is in my nature. With joy for nature’s beauty and landscapes.

Getting things done, well organized, resourceful and diligent, with great patience often. I’m a builder, not a squatter among ruins and others build their own reality, be it a sandcastle, a straw-bale house or a cottage of quarried stone with a thatched roof. How can we conduct the whirring windmills of our minds and create harmony?

I love the drops of splashing backwater on my face while standing on the bow. That’s just a description of how I prefer to experience the elements. I need to feel the wind and sun in my face and to be touched by life, by people, taught by Gaia and her nature’s beauty, her wisdom and her nurturing qualities, in unconditional and mutual companionship. It’s why I enjoy taking pictures and making drawings of nature around me. The sea!

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In a dream I’m standing in front of large stone doors, pushing them open with ease, finding a golden cloud of fog behind it. What happens if I jump into it?

Walking in the empty and remote spaces of Dartmoor, or over footpaths through woodland that is largely untouched by people and machines, with gnarled old trees and boulders covered in moss, or walking along the flood mark at sea, picking up pebbles, some with holes in it, feeling the thrill of being a beachcomber, on bare feet without a care in the world. That’s my way of recharging my batteries. How I love to live with the elements. I do enjoy being alive now, learning each day, it’s interesting and intense!

So far my views on life in general and mine, at present anno Jan. 2020.

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Beesand beach, on the south coast of Devon, where I camped one night, safe with the elements

This text on page 288 of Henry David Thoreau’s book “Walden” sums up my stance in life:

“The surface of the earth is soft and impressible by the feet of men, and so with the paths which the mind travels. How worn and dusty, then, must be the highways of the world, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity! I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now”.

And the note at the start of Thoreau’s “Economy” a chapter in that same book, reflects my present approach to my inner “Mother Superior” while sending her shouts in the cloud:

“I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up”

Here’s a slideshow with pictures of my short time in Moretonhampstead, early 2018.      I hope it’s visible, there seems to be a problem to show it here. If that’s the case, please go to my Dutch page “Hollandse pagina… ” and find the slideshow over there,  scrolling down to slightly below the center of the page.

The highlight of my stay in Moretonhampstead is my volunteering at Proper Job Chagford. Here’s what this recycling re-use project, started in 1995, pioneering, is about    http://www.proper-job.org/

Also, the saving of a black lamb was memorable, a few weeks old, abandoned in the snow by its mother who didn’t have enough milk to feed two of her own. Also, the heavy snowfall in March 2018, of which I’ve made many pictures during a long Sunday walk to North Bovey. Over the lanes, without hardly a car in sight. I caught the snow by holding my umbrella, which grew heavy with a cap of snow on top! 

Here’s my first video in black and white 😉   


When it doesn’t show up, go to my YouTube channel here: 


And now that we’ve arrived in October 2018? What’s on? Early summer of 2018 I’ve returned to where I lived earlier, in 2017. I live close to the home where I rented a room for 7 months, during the last year 2017. It was a decision that had to be made, although none of the housemates wanted this. But there was no other way. I’ve enjoyed living in this home much and restored the name of the house on the front door, in gold: Avalon.

I’m thinking about what could be a proper name for the house where I live now. After 3 years living in the UK, I’m more at ease, secured with a long term contract, living as a caretaker of a large house and garden. Living on my own for most of the time. Privacy again and no frustration of having to share the kitchen with filthy housemates. There’s a lovely garden to work in, grow vegetables and flowers, entirely fenced off by old stone walls, with my hammock installed during summer.

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My hammock in the garden. This long warm summer of 2018 it’s used well!
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Here I am, ready to leave Holland in a few days, the end of June 2015. Until we meet again…..  

After 35 years living on my own, in Holland, sharing homes with others, in England, while adjusting to a different culture, where folks often don’t say what they think or feel, either skilled in creating storms in a tea-cup, or withdrawn and lethargic, was at times challenging. I doubt if I will ever step into a house-sharing adventure with strangers again. English people tend to not think things through properly, often immature, with, little awareness of applying self-reflection.

I cherish solitude and my own space, my private room, plus quietude in the home and in nature. During my first years of moving around, I’ve seen different parts of Devon. I’m happy with the nearness of the sea and the Tamar Valley area with Tavistock, Bere Ferrers, with its beautiful river landscape. Calstock, in the S. W. of Devon, has its own unique charm, with artistic and eccentric folks jumping around.

Also Totnes, with the River Dart, the footpath all along this river, towards Ashprington, plus Dartmouth and King’s Wear, the bright light of Brixham’s harbor and the coastal paths, the cliffs of Berry Head. Shaldon beach is one of my favorite swimming spots. Many miles of coastal paths are waiting to be explored in the years to come. Be it while settled in Britain or in Holland, picking up the rhythm of my yearly holidays in June each year. Maybe more often and who knows, in due time, a second jump overseas, for a life in the S.W. of Britain.

I join volunteering work in the community and participate in social events, at times. I’m a craft-woman and artist, creative in many ways. I’m wary of gossip, the recent racist talk coming to the rise more, since before and during the Brexit procedure. It’s shocking at times, how poorly informed some people are, while shouting and screaming, safe in the box of their opinions, with hearsay and ignorance as welcome company.

As a writer, I appreciate quietude much. And also, as is the term nowadays… “me-time” or “cocooning” in order to recharge my batteries. I’m not running after those who don’t “get me” in an attempt to make them change their mind and approve of me, my Dutch directness and frankness. To prove my point and show my true colors. I’m learning and growing savvier in taking care of myself and choosing a nurturing company.

I’m an incurable optimist, at times impatient with lethargy and complacency in others, but, ultimately very patient in the efforts I make to create and improve my living conditions and at the same time co-operating in new ways of living together, at peace. I’m a Capricorn, born on New Year’s Day. A sure-footed goat, who jumps from rock to rock and enjoys the views from great heights, like on the Tors of Dartmoor and standing on the hills of Devon, or the cliffs at sea. Britain is a Capricorn nation. Coincidence?

I send my shouts in the clouds, to wake up and shake the dust out of moldy ideas and views, to digest good food for thought. The initiatives to enrich our lives and how we make use of our abilities, is largely our own choice, in the company of our sense of belonging and our being at ease, first and foremost with ourselves. How much do we dare to yield our personal power for the better and create a life in well being? To make peace with our life. Alone and together? With the affinity for ourselves, within the ❤

Apricot Center Huxham Cross 27-09-2017 (1).jpg
Pumpkin in flower, on the land of Huxham’s Cross Farm Dartington,  where I volunteered in the summer and autumn of 2017
Apricot center 10-2017 (3).jpg
Chard in the light of late afternoon October 2017, at Huxham’s Cross Farm

From the lounge on the first floor of the house, I often enjoy the view on the hills to the South, with brown cows or white sheep grazing the slopes. I celebrate the sunrise in summer, during an early hour, in the highest level of the garden, drinking my first mug of coffee, waking up with a view over the roofs, toward the eastern sky. There are many trees, shrubs and stone walls covered with ivy or other growth. Squirrels too are jumping from tree to tree, harvesting the hazelnuts. Red robins, blue tits and sparrows are present too, in large numbers.

I’ve become friends with an elderly lady who offers me apples from her garden, the end of each summer. We discuss our history and culture, hers is English and mine is Dutch and she shares her 93 years long life-experience as a nurse and midwife with me. Many a grown-up man and woman in town, once were caught by her hands, with a first breathtaking cry.

She’s fond of her independence and she knows exactly how she wants her home and garden like she’s become used to have it. It’s hard for her to let go of taking matters in her own hands as a former nurse and midwife, with a strong sense of duty. Cleaning women and carers, nowadays, don’t always show up with diligence and a perceptive attitude, she tells me. She’s concerned about everybody’s comfort except her own.

I witness the carers in my old friend’s home, acting on automatic pilot, saying things that sound hollow because of their not being present in their words. I am amazed at times, about the negligence of basic qualities in domestic care workers. Stress, underpayment, and work-pressure tend to kill the skill of presence, creativity, and improvisation.

With a Dutch-Frisian background, growing up in the ’50s, with a mother who stayed at home, raising 9 children, including me, her oldest daughter, I’ve learned a few things. Although I am an explorer and curious at heart, even rebellious in asking questions and commenting, at times provoking, my sense of duty and harmony in the home was strong at an early age and it never wears out, for its part of my creative lifestyle, resourceful.

I had to practice self-discipline and the skills of domestic care were taught in those days. Traditions and rules in lifestyle and social traffic were still strong. Amidst a baby boom, the Dutch population worked hard, recovering from WWII. Shut up, do your work! The ’50s.

Monday was for washing and waxing the furniture. Wednesday was the day of minced meatballs and red cabbage and Sunday was a resting day, with 2 visits to church and coffee with cake in the morning after service. Our cake became famous and it drew many a visitor to our home. On Sunday afternoons we had to sing while standing at the organ, where my mother played hymns and psalms.

How we nipped each other, bored and annoyed! No playing in the street, in our Sunday costume! My mother and us children walked inside the church like a row of geese, 10 in total, to the front pew which had “our names” on it. My father, the 11th goose, was ready to climb the pulpit after we had seated ourselves and the organ started to play. I remember, asking in wonder “Why is the life outside the church so separate from the life inside the church?” I found this inappropriate, it showed a glow of false holy shine.

We were obliged to show up as role models, for we were a minister’s family. Imagine growing up in a house made of glass: God’s eyes and the eyes of the congregation were upon us. No wonder I was fond of being outdoors, hiding in nature! This is my background, born in Holland in a small village near Hook of Holland, The Netherlands.

“It was through the feeling of wonder that men now and at first began to philosophize.” 

– Aristotle

Where I live, I’m fond of walking through the narrow alleys with stone walls, to shops and other destinations, avoiding the main road with fast driving cars. On my way to my favorite shop, I often meet a cat-friend. She’s outdoors all day, I’m told and she’s got beautiful whiskers. It’s why I gave her the name “Moustache”. When I call her by that name, most often she runs toward me, mewing and purring. Such a compact and healthy furry cat. At times, I’m tempted to take her home with me, but she’s settled, at home where she has found her ways and spots of shelter.

Grey catfriend 08-2017 (5)

Here’s the new page I wrote today, March 10th, 2020: https://marianoranda.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/what-is-it-that-has-shaped-england-to-what-it-is-today-anno-2020/

Cuddyford Meadows 10-2017 (12)
Flowers at a smallholding where I’ve picked up my volunteering work again in June 2018, after leaving in November the year before, feeling sad for having to say goodbye.

Here are a few impressions of where I live since June 2018:

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The first walk from Avalon to Dartmoor, end of springtime 2017
A walk on Dartmoor, May 2017
Haytor and a group of visitors, plus a climber going up with the assistance of ropes and a buddy 
High up Haytor Summer Solstice 2017
Lime Kilns in Buckfastleigh
A view from high up on Haytor, June 21, 2017, Summer Solstice
A former monastery or priory, very well kept, a beautiful harmony.
High up Haytor, did you know that the cows come up here as well?
Rocky stairs, a beautiful design, at the seawall of Dawlish beach
Red rock and a peculiar structure along Dawlish’ coastal path
Haytor on a summer day 2017
Ally with view on St. Mary's church Ashburton 06-2017
I love these old winding alleys, with the warmth of the sun, or the cold of frost, radiating from the stone walls and the peculiar acoustic effect, the colorful coverage of flowers in May and June. Red Valerian is most present among them here.
Bluebells walk to the Moors 05-2017 (2)
Bluebells in woodland, May 2017, on my way to Waterleat.
A former monastery garden reminds me of  the book “The Secret Garden”
Bridge Ashburton 06-2017 (1)
I believe it’s Cow Parsley, at the bridge near St. Andrews Church.
Bridge Ashburton 06-2017 (2)
Springtime is beautiful in Devon!

Going back in time, here are a few impressions of Dartmoor, summer/autumn 2016:

The area of Whistman’s Wood on Dartmoor
The area of Whistman’s Wood on Dartmoor
A stone cross near Moorshop S. West Dartmoor

A few impressions of Wookey Hole, where caves are. My first year in Somerset, 2015, though I didn’t live in a cave 😉

Titlands Lane 05-2016 (3).jpg
Walking over Titlands Lane to my home, with a view on the Mendip Hills, summer 2015
Oswald, a dog I often walked with, through woodland with wild garlic. Each year, end of summer,  I visit  Wookey Hole and meet friends who welcomed me warmly and supported me in my first year in the UK.
The Wells Bishop’s Palace cat on his high seat. I’ve worked as a volunteer in the communal garden of that beautiful park/garden. 

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Saved green bird 06-2016

A lovely bird, recovering, after it flew against my door-window in Wookey Hole.

This green bird flew against my window and sat dazed and concussed for 20 minutes on my terrace. I watched it from a safe distance and had to encourage it to make a move when it found its bearings again.                  

It looked at me sideways with a bright eye, moved its wings and…. off it went on its green wings, steady. I felt so relieved, after finding 2 small birds flying against my window to their death. I’ve held them in my hands until they lay silent. It’s a wonder and mystery to me, how small birds, with their fragile structure of bones are able to fly.

See how it looks like near Horrabridge in the South-West of Dartmoor, where I moved to after leaving Wookey Hole in Somerset:

Neighbourhood Horrabridge 07-2016 (4)
Sunlight streaming through the leaves of low hanging branches over a stone wall
Neighbourhood Horrabridge 07-2016 (6)
Walking to the Moors near Horrabridge
A walk over the Moors 09-2016 (5).jpg
Another day on the same spot, this time with Dartmoor ponies around.
Neighbourhood Horrabridge 07-2016 (7)
At times, the atmosphere turns a bit gloomy, on Dartmoor. To me, there’s a charm in all seasons on Dartmoor, with its changing light and colors. An empty vast landscape without a sound is magical to me, also the wide-open sky with massive cloud formations and far views from a high spot, with a glimmer of the sea, at times. And larks rising, while my heart joins their jubilant song and mad ecstasy while reaching for the skies… how high is my Heaven.. on Earth?
Canal near Tavistock 07-2016 (2).jpg
This is a canal in Tavistock, a town in S. West Dartmoor, where once boats were towed by horses, transporting ingots of tin, copper, lime and quarried stone. The granite of Dartmoor is precious.       
Garden near Buckland Abbey 08-2016 (1).jpg
A magical display of light and purple flowers against a South facing stonewall in a public garden near Buckland Abbey. 

And to end with a few, to me, prophetic last words of Henry David Thoreau, in his book Walden: “The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.”

🕉Blessed be, Marian 🕉 

Artistic selfportrait 2011

Article 19 of the Human Rights Charter: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
(The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, in Paris.)





















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