To get through life, which can be incoherent, relentless and tough, I sincerely believe that comfort is key. Humans can function with only their basic needs recognised but most people who have control of their own lives live it on a level which is comfortable to themselves. Some people gain comfort in lavish belongings such as plush carpets, movie screen televisions, the latest pair of Ugg boots or a brand new 4×4. Whereas I discover comfort in people and experience on a physical or spiritual level. It’s vital for me to be surrounded by people with whom I am comfortable: my daughter, my immediate family and my friends. I call for little else for comfort but perhaps a good book and some nice herbal tea.

The clocks go back.

This starts to make me feel uncomfortable. I’ve never really understood the concept of the change of time. I believe it may be the hierarchy’s way of fucking with our body clock in what is by no doubt the most formidable season of the year. If they really wanted to help us get through the winter then surely they should pin a massive blanket in the sky which generates heat and light. October through to March could be like sitting on the rug by your gran’s fire place, our pale faces beaming gratified radiance with an extra boost of vitamin D in our bloodstreams. Unfortunately, I can’t envisage this proceeding any time soon. I therefore struggle on with my self-diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and I try to supplement my comfort by protecting myself with the people I love most.

I reflect over the summer months and the memories they brought me, I think of times when my psyche was positive and proceed to make plans to mimic those experiences that lifted my spirit and placed me in an affirmative mind space. There are too many to mention, most surrounding the same group of friends. The friends that can trudge me through these long cold months.

It was Friday 13th.

A few weeks previous Kathryn, Hayley and I had been to see a spiritualist. I’m always skeptical and uncertain by the term ‘spiritualist’. I often associate it with a money-making scam or an unforgiving way of toiling with vulnerable emotions. I saw it through nonetheless and I wasn’t shocked, just pleasantly surprised by what was unearthed. A feeling of confirmation as to what I’d already known. I was told I had the gift of the divine, and through a source of wicker or witch craft I could hone my spiritual aid. Hurriedly I sifted through books of the ancient occult. I already delved in the art of tarot reading and numerology so it was an easy subject for me to relish. I studied the lunar cycle and moon phase and couldn’t wait to try my first spell or offering.
As an initiation into the craft I decided to honour the Pagan goddess Brigid.

The moon was full.

Kathryn, Jackson and I made our way to a secret location. Bags filled with accoutrements for our Druid offering. We set the alter in preparation. An offering of bread, nectarine and cinnamon surrounded by candles. Music set the scene as we cast a pentacle circle of protection and repeated the following prayer.

I honour you magnificent Goddess.
I am your daughter and walk in your path.
I love you and thank you for all you have done for me.
Please continue your precious presence in my life.
I offer you this small token, as recognition and appreciation of your love and guidance.
Please accept my offering.

The ambience changed dramatically and a sense of peace swept the room. Three friends sat quietly for at least half an hour, focusing on the words that still echoed around the concrete walls. Concentration penetrating our third eye chakra. Giving back to the goddess and the world through transmission meditation. Connected not only by interlocking hands. Opening the circle of protection we had a right good laugh at how we felt through the process and made a promise to continue our spiritual path, something which we all uphold today. Continuing our meditation with Auntie Jean and frequently reading my tarot cards for enlightenment in our daily lives.

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We also get blind drunk sometimes instead of our spiritual capers and this is exactly what we did this Halloween.

Duke’s corner was the meeting point, espresso martini was the drink of choice and our debut Velvet Elvis Foundation interview was the topic of conversation. Titi and I had been asked along by textiles student Caitlin Miller to answer a few questions in line with her final year dissertation. Titi discussed her paintings and I discussed my blog. Being Halloween, I’d previously raided Ruby’s dressing up box and the three of us sat happily in crowns, a witch’s hat and comedy glasses. Mid interview saw a disruption in the form of Jackson Craigie and a ripple of fear crossed my body as I instantly knew it would lead into a chaotic night. Effortlessly throwing back the drinks, it seemed face painting might be a promising idea so we left our mugs in Titi’s artistic hands and were transformed into the full line up of Kiss and Jackson sporting a Mike Tyson facial tattoo. I flippantly decided on a change of mask, this time sporting tattoos reminiscent of Valli Myers an Australian artist, dancer and bohemian muse. We met with Kathryn and made our way to Boudoir to continue our ghastly behaviour.

The party finished off in The Tin Smith where no spooky stone had been unturned. A dj played Halloween classics and the bar staff had all been dramatically transformed into the tin man from The Wizard of Oz. The modern venue had been decorated with fake spiders webs, autumnal leaves and was even complete with working popcorn machine, candy apples and cauldrons full of sweet treats. Louise Wilson joined the gang and we all consumed the demonic atmosphere, dancing dramatically with other revellers dressed in impressive costumes. At one point Jackson and I tried to sell the popcorn to the unwilling punters from cast iron urns we’d found lying around. Impressed with our merriment it was time to call it a night, a short trip back to the Poley Penthouse and retirement to bed more than satisfied with the uplifting effect spending time with your group of friends can bring.

Forbidding the seasonal change and drop in climate or light to affect my otherwise upbeat demeanour, I’m ready to kick winter in the vampire teeth.

Long live the VEF and dook for apples like a Queen.

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