Tag Archives: Magik Thread

I Was Taken Shopping – And Enjoyed It!

I’m convinced that men just don’t “get” shopping” in the way that women do it. When we go to buy something, we go the shop, pick what we went for, pay for it and leave.

It’s no accident that women go on shopping “expeditions” in which they look at everything in the shop before settling on the very first thing they looked at, an hour earlier. If that word expedition applies to any human endeavour it applies to shopping. I’m sure that a trip to the south pole is a walk in the park compared to one of Sue’s shopping trips. This isn’t me being sexist; it’s the result of many years of dispassionate observation on my part It probably comes down to the genetic differences between men and women.

For this reason, I would normally prefer to immerse my head in custard rather than be dragged out shopping.

Yesterday, however, was a bit different. It wasn’t a trip into the centre of Nottingham to worship at the shrine of Monsoon or Debenhams, but a drive out the wilds of Derbyshire. well, not exactly “wilds”, but to the (really) picturesque village of Cromford. We were taking Maggie, a friend of ours, to visit Mystical Crystals in Cromford Market Place. Sue and I both love this shop which has a calm, healing atmosphere and is run by Keith, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of crystals and stones. There is always calming meditative music playing there and the air is filled with gentle smell, on this occasion of fig and something or other.

We have never been to this shop without coming away with some more beautiful stones to add to our growing collection, and this visit was no exception. I now have a Celestine geode, a quartz point and a slice of a multi-coloured mineral that I have already forgotten the name of. Sue has piece of amethyst geode and a small natural bowl of agate (I think) crystals. But I’m already jumping ahead to the second part of the day.

After spending ages in Mystical Crystals shop, we crossed the road to Inpsired Earth where lots more surprises awaited us. Since our last visit to this shop that is filled with knitted hats and jumpers, felt slippers and tote bags of all shapes and sizes, the place has been extended. It still has all the fair-trade knitted and felt things, but also has lots of jewellery and a whole new area with eastern (Indian and Tibetan, I think) wooden tables, doors, shutters, boxes. At ecvery turn, we discovered door knobs, coat hooks and so much more. There were even rolls of Tibetan Prayer flags in the shop.

There is also an independent bookshop in Cromford, Scarthin Books. We did intend to pay a visit there, but time ran out so this is a treat that we have yet to enjoy.

With these three shops, as well as the seriously rural atmosphere, Cromford has everything in place to become a real hippy heaven; a place where I could feel completely at home.

If you heard a loud rumbling across Derbyshire on Saturday, it wasn’t an earthquake, just my tummy complaining as 2pm came and went and my lunch remained out of reach in the back of the car. We did stop shopping for a tea and scone in the Old Bakery (also in Cromford, and next door to Inspired Earth). After a visit to the millpond in the centre of the village, we drove up to Black Rocks to have the home made soup and Cheese Scones that Sue had brought with us.

With the rumbling silenced, we then set off for the second part our trip, towards Stapleford and another haven of hippiedom, The Majik Thread‘s shop.

In a masterpiece of mistiming, we arrived there to find the blinds down and the door locked. They shut at 3pm on a Saturday, it seems, but the universe must have been feeling in a good mood towards us because there were people in the back of shop attending a workshop, so we were invited in to look round. Of course, more money changed hand in return for rocks and a book or two.

It must have been getting on for 5pm before we got back home and with no time for an afternoon nap, it was straight into preparation for last night’s disco at Lakeside – the first wedding of the 2009 season. That’s why today has been very lazy and laid back.

We did intend to get out on the bike, but didn’t make it. No worries, there will be lots of other chances this summer to get out and join the ever increasing number of other bikers on the roads.

Ride Safe


Festival Of Fire

Festival of Fire was a Mind, Body & Spirit event that took place this weekend at the sumptuously appointed Conference Centre at the University of Nottingham. This was a brilliant venue with lots of space for the organisers’ ambitious programme of talks, entertainment and a large exhibition hall for the 50 or so  stalls in attendance.

This was the second of these fairs that Sue and I had attended, so we are still a long way from having any kind of baseline to compare this event to others. However, we did have a very different perspective on the event to our experience of the Mansfield fair a few weeks ago because, on the Sunday, Sue was helping our good friend Kathy on her stall. Kathy, or Katherine when she is at work as a therapist under the Ray of Light banner, had invited Sue to come along to stand in for husband Phil who was on the radio airwaves this morning at Ashbourne Radio.

My own minimal involvement in the event was to wander around the event with and without Sue and to hang around Kathy’s stall a lot chatting, drinking coffee and eating Sue’s sandwiches.

Just like I did at the Mansfield event, I was struck by the calm serenity that so many of the people attending, both stallholders and customers seem to give out. However, as (very) honorary stallholders, we seemed to be treated slightly differently by many of the other, far more knowledgeable and experienced stallholders. As I walked around, many of them seem to start with an assumption that I was some kind of expert. I took pains to make sure that they knew that I was a very green newbie and without exception, people would explain things to me. I only wish I could remember everything I had been told.

However, I am rushing ahead of myself a little. On the Saturday we arrived just before the doors opened and had to wait just a couple of minutes to pay our entrance fee and get into the centre. Our first tour of the stalls showed the variety of therapies, crystals, books, jewellery and other objects that were available. We quickly located the Ray Of Light stall and met Phil and Kathy.

Phil & Kathy on the Ray Of Light stall at the Festival Of Fire

Phil & Kathy on the Ray Of Light stall at the Festival Of Fire

Sue’s first priority was to avail herself of Kathy’s professional services and to have an Indian Head massage.

Once she was suitable relaxed, we went to the massive auditorium to see Black Feather, an amazing man who I can only describe as a musician, poet and storyteller. I can’t find anything about him on the web, so my impressions will have to try to do justice to an amazing hour that we spent in his company. First of all there were no more than a dozen of us in a theatre space that would probably hold several hundred. Black Feather started his performance by saying that he wanted us to consider that we were with him in his home. This immediately made the vast space feel far more intimate. During the hour, he also asked the audience to say words or phrases that they felt. at first, I could not do this, but as I relaxed and the he wove the atmosphere around us, I joined in.

Black Feather then started to play a wooden xylophone, and his vocals were a mixture of English songs and chants that could have been in an African language, or could simply have been non-verbal vocal improvisation. Black Feather is also an accomplished flute player and a magical and engaging storyteller.

I would love to remember the two stories that he told us and write them exactly as he told them to us, but I could never do him justice. What I will say is that if you ever have the opportunity to experience Black Feather yourself, I am sure that it will be as a great experience as I had this weekend.

If this had been the only highlight of the weekend, I consider that it would have been a good one. However, things just got better and better. I am convinced that the power of the universe, or whatever is out there, was at work on me.

On Saturday we also went to a talk by Adele Womersley of Art ‘n’ Sound about Sound Therapy. This was a potentially life-changing experience for me. Adele was clearly quite nervous at giving her first such talk and my own inexperience at this kind of event gave me some kind of connection with her straight away. But when she introduced her subject and then let us play with her singing bowls, chimes, drum and other instruments, I felt that I had discovered a whole new world. I understand sound and how it is made and travels. Adele made the connection for me between the science of sound, my own use of sound in entertainment and communication and its potential for healing and for working on a spiritual plane.

Sue and I were both so taken with Adele and with this whole area that we really want to explore that our Christmas present is sat here at home; two singing bowls. I am also hoping to be able to work with Adele to create a website for her music and artwork.

I am going to write more about these singing bowls in the near future, and I intend to learn as much as I can about Sound Therapy.

Even after this, the weekend had more to offer us.

We were walking round the exhibition hall when I stopped dead at a stall that had a display of the most beautiful angels.  Now I am not one to be attracted to a doll, but I felt that one of these angels actually spoke to me as I passed. I stopped and had the strongest possible feeling that I was supposed to have this angel, named “Cassiel”. Most of the angels were pale colours, many of them white, but Cassiel has more earthy colours and just stood out for me.

Angel Cassiel

Angel Cassiel

 Amazingly, on the Sunday, Sue was called by another Angel from the same stall, Gabriel.

Gabriel, the angel that called Sue

Gabriel, The Angel that called Sue

Both of these angels were made by Sharon Dewick of “Angel Wings” and they, and her other creations can be seen on www.naturesworkshop.co.uk.

Last, but by no means least, a key source of whatever learning I can get with what feels like spiritual overload, is being provided by the incredible range of books provided by Peter from “The Magik Thread”. We have promised to visit both his shop in Stapleford and his website at www.themagikthread.co.uk. We now have two books and a DVD from Peter’s stall to kick-start that learning.
Perhaps I’ll let you know more about these when I’ve had chance to read and watch them.
I should find it amazing how, as one door closes on a chapter of our life that another one opens. However, I feel that the universe wanted us to find these people and to have the experiences that we are having and that somehow, now is the right time for this.
It’s an amazing ride and I’m hanging on to see where the journey takes us.
Ride Safe