Halloween at Mystic Springs: Agnes Ontario

Hiya kid! Welcome back!

It’s my turn now, and I do ‘ope you’ve been enjoyin’ your visits ‘ere to the island. As I’ve said, we are a friendly bunch and do love your visits whenever, however and for how long you visit.

That goes for Tom’s blog as well, by the way. ‘E isn’t ‘ere right now, but I know that ‘e too appreciates the time you spend visiting ‘is little part of – now what does ‘e call it? Blogland? Blogland. Just thought I’d mention that.

‘Appy ‘Allowe’en, by the way. I’ve ‘ad such a great time this year, and I’m still full from that buffet Mr Beckwith made. It was themed for ‘Allowe’en, with things made to look like eyes and frogs and wands an’ lizards an’ things. At least I think they were made to look that way.

Jus’ my little joke there – just kiddin’! No, the food was lovely.

Now, you know a little more about us on Mystic Springs, don’t you? We’re just a normal bunch of neighbours ‘oove lived on the island for a few years, so to speak. We all ‘ave somethin’ different to give to each other, an’ that’s why we get on so well. I wouldn’t live anywhere else, even though I do like goin’ to the mainland every now and then. And that ‘as nothing to do with Sydney either, before you say anythin’. ‘E’s far too young for me anyway.

As you know by now, if you didn’t already, I can’t see through my normal eyes, but I can see very clearly through my mind’s eye. Doctor Felix ‘as very often offered somethin’ to bring me normal sight back, but I’m ‘appy just the way I am. You may call me daft, but it’s what I’m used to, and at my grand age I’m ‘appy for things to stay as they are. I also see other visitors through my mind’s eye as well, like Emerelda, for example.

Now, for my section, I’d like to give you a little gift. Just for fun, it can be used like your own little ‘oroscope, if you like. It’s a tool for, you know, the times when you’re ponderin’ whether to go this way or that, or ‘ave the need of somethin’ to maybe give you a burst of inspiration, or an answer for somethin’?

Like a crystal ball, if you will, only in card form. Well, computer card form. An Oracle. There. That was what I was tryin’ to say.

This link will take you back Within the Sphere (apparently long time visitors to Tom’s blog will remember it was called that for a while) for a special set of cards that are randomly selected, at random (well, as random as the computer can be!), that may help to give you a pointer for the thing you’re ponderin’ over.

Maybe you can’t decide between red or blue? The answers may ‘elp.

Maybe you want just one message which will brighten your day? The cards may ‘elp with this.

Maybe you want an answer to a question… the cards may ‘elp ‘ere, but be careful. The cards are pointers, not the be all and end all, and are provided just for fun.

Maybe you just want to see what message comes through. The cards may make some sense if you read them in turn, but it’s all down to your interpretation.

Think of them as one of those magic eight balls from a few years ago, with better answers than ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘maybe’.

I’m endin’ with doin’ my own general readin’ from the cards – let’s see what they say… I’m jus’ goin’ into italics again…

Be patient. Feel the magic and then shine your light. Remember it is always darkest before dawn, when the light returns once again. The cards are emphasising this. Be positive. Be creative. Shine your light and reflect on what you do to both yourself and the rest of the world. Be positive. Show forgiveness. Listen. Relax. Have fun. Just be you. And now the Stop card has appeared.

Ooo – that’s a nice readin’! But it’s all down to interpretation, really.

I do ‘ope you’ve enjoyed tonight’s posts, and spendin’ time ‘ere on Mystic Springs – we’ve all enjoyed spendin’ time with you! I’m not sure when we’ll be back, or even if we will be, but that’s fine… that uncertainty is just as important a step through life as the memories we make along the way. Enjoy your uncertainties, enjoy your memories and enjoy your life!

And, for the last time…

‘Appy ‘Allowe’en!

Halloween at Mystic Springs: Medical Matters

Hiya, kid! Good to see ya back again. We’re all ‘avin’ fun ‘ere at Mystic Springs; then we normally always do! What about that shed? Mr Beckwith’s Buffet went down a treat. An’ we all ‘ad to clap along when Adam Mirage sang ‘is song. Did you manage to catch either of them? I know it’s tricky with timin’s an’ things when you pop in and out like this, but you may ‘ave been able to linger around a little instead of fadin’ back into the ether, as it were. We spend a lot of time in that ether, you know – more time than you actually realise! An’ that ether – that’s where the magic truly ‘appens. I’ll tell you more about that later, but first (I’ve put my posh voice on now, but it don’t show through in typed form) Doctor Felix would like to talk about somethin’ medical, for ‘allowe’en.

Good evening.

Medicine here on Mystic Springs has always been less conventional than it has been in the Outer World. We still use potions and lotions, concoctions and tonics, spells and incantations, and leeches. Only not in that order.

I go by the name of Doctor Felix, but throughout the years I have been more of an alchemist than a doctor. It’s easier to call me Doctor Felix than de Chiel Felix, as most people pronounce my first name incorrectly. It’s Dash-Ool, by the way, although I don’t mind however it’s pronounced. Dash-Eel will do, or Dash-El, or just Doc if you prefer.

I love medicine. The potions, that is. I’m not too keen on blood, although on occasions I do have to perform bloodletting on my patients. That is only used for keeping the four humours in balance… I don’t let blood just for the sake of it!

The four humours, if you aren’t aware, are a blend of what makes up the person’s body. Each one of us has a different make up, made up of differing amounts of blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. I find it all very interesting how these four elements tie into the four natural elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, and how in turn they tie in with the seasons of the year – and then the seasons tie in with the stages through life.

I’ll leave things there for the humours, as I want to give only an overview and they in themselves go back centuries, and I don’t have the time to cover all that here. If you get time, search on line for diagrams of the humours, and you can see the relationships between, well, everything really!

Alchemists through the years have always been working for ways to prolong life, if not make it eternal. We here on Mystic Springs have managed that to some extent, although we still age. We use the natural elements created to help us to age slower – or even stay where we are.

Alchemy looks for the Elixir of Life, which basically covers everything, the Panchrest which cures all illnesses and the Alkahest which is a substance that dissolves every other substance. And these are all achieved by being able to transmute one substance into another. We do like our gold as well, you know!

Our Elixir works for us here on the island, but we have been using it for centuries; although you probably wouldn’t know it by looking at us. We are all quite youthful, even if outward appearances may deceive.

On the first day of each season, we create a new batch of Elixir to be used in that season the following year. The new batch is stored in the vault that corresponds to the next cardinal compass point along (North, South, East or West) from where the last batch for that season was stored – so if Spring’s batch was stored in the East vault last year, this year’s Spring batch would be stored in the South vault, with the East vault’s batch being used this year.

It’s far more complicated than it sounds, but basically, it’s just another step of the whole process of life. The cycle. Everything moves around. Things end yet things go on.

It’s almost a paradox, if you think about it. The Elixir of life is created using a substance that dissolves every other substance, and the Elixir is stored in a cyclic pattern as it has been since the beginning… but where did the first year’s last year’s batch come from?

I shall leave you with that one. We don’t live on an island named Mystic Springs because of the beautiful views, you know… although they do help. And the mist at this time of the year is simply phenomenal.

I’m out of time now, but could go on for hours about this. That will have to wait for another time.

I hope you are enjoying Hallowe’en!

Halloween at Mystic Springs: The View from the Back of the Shed

‘Ey, kid… it’s good to see you back ‘ere.

Now, it’s our boatman’s turn to post. Over to you, Sydney Feelgood…

Thanks Agnes. I’ve had a lock off camera placed at the back of my shed for a few weeks now, just taking a photo every now and then. Being a boatman, I do like to see a nice quality grain, and there’s one particular section of the shed that provides a good view of that, in all weathers. I’ve chosen just four photos to share, as I’m fully aware that photos of wood panels may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the differences in different weathers is outstanding.

This first photo is from early morning, after a dry night. As you can see, the wood is very dry. I quite like the knots in the wood, as they all look like eyes. At night, they must be reflecting light from somewhere as some of them actually glow! Luckily, all of these photos are from the daytime. I know it’s Halloween, but sometimes things like that can be just a little too spooky.

This second photo is from later that same day. The sun is trying to break through the clouds, giving the wood a subtle pinkish tinge. If you look down the right-hand side of the picture, especially toward the bottom few panels, strange faces appear to be peering out from the wood.

The sun finally came out for this third photo. The odd orbs are actually reflected sunlight off the fishpond that’s over on the other side of the garden. I have a couple of gnomes around the fishpond which I’m sure come alive at night. They are always in a different place the following morning.

And finally, this fourth photo is my favourite. Just after a torrential downpour of rain, the wood now appears a rich golden colour. Being a boatman, obviously I like the look and feel of wet wood, and there is something comforting about the damp and fresh smell that the wood gives off. Not that I actually physically sniff the wood; the aroma just permeates the air.

I hope you enjoyed these views from the back of my shed. I’m planning on another series of photos of the rocks around the pond, which I’ll create as soon as I get another lock off camera.

Thank you for calling by… Happy Halloween!

Halloween at Mystic Springs: More about Mystic Springs

By ‘eck kid, you’re back earlier than I thought you would be. Did you have a good time at the Grumbellses? They love to throw a party, they do. I love the warm feeling I get from their house. Such a nice family… and Archie is such a cheeky little chappy.

Amy Brock from number eleven’s here in the lounge, and she’s brought Audrey Fothergill with ‘er. They’re both good friends of mine, and Amy loves gettin’ involved with things. She did some research about Mystic Springs and would like to share it tonight.

It all began on a cloudy, stormy night, around this time of the year, funnily enough. Amy will take it from ‘ere…

Mystic Springs, or Mystiske Fjærer for its traditional Norwegian translation, or Myrkr Vǫtnin if you’d like to know its ancient Norse name, is an island hidden within the estuary of the River Mersey in North West England. It exists in a realm of its own, reachable only by boat made from wood enchanted by the very Earth in which Frigg lives. Some say Mystic Springs is actually an element of that Earth, a gateway between worlds if you like, but the only gateway we residents have seen is the mist-like barrier that separates our existence from the outside world. It seems ships simply pass straight through us, if they happen to be travelling in the same space that we occupy.

The island does move, although the time it takes to travel from mainland UK to here is always the same, due to the attuned wood in the Myrkrskúta (A skúta is a small boat). So with the island’s movement, we can be over by Iceland one day and experiencing the majesty of the Northern Lights, or down by Denmark the next. We can only travel between Mystic Springs and the UK, however, but from there we can explore the rest of the outer world if we so desire.

We have many Rune symbols etched into the trees on the island, some of which are completely unique to the symbols that exist today in the outside world, and the meaning of our symbols is currently lost. We are trying to research them and find similarities with existing Runes, but occasionally, like the island changing location, the Runes change shape.

To me, this indicates that they are fluid in nature, so any meaning we attribute to them must only be flexible. A symbol of a circle, we understand, represents time. Both the Sun and Moon are circular in shape, so we wouldn’t know if the circle represents day or night, but we do know it represents time. Any time. Another Rune we are seeing is eye-shaped, so we must think of this as vision… sight, thought, inspiration, knowing – not just seeing.

There has only ever been one settlement on Mystic Springs. From the early days, residents lived in one particular area, The Fell (which means hill), but since the beginning of the twentieth century we moved into the street. We have no vehicles on the island, apart from carts and the skúta, and all our supplies are obtained daily by the owner of the local store on the corner. There were plans to expand the town in the 1950s, hence the shop being on the corner, but in the end we residents decided to keep things as they are. We currently have no further plans for expansion.

Our weather here is fabulous all year around, but between Halloween and March 1st our days are a lot shorter than that of elsewhere. It is during these dark days that we hold beach parties and bonfires to honour and celebrate the island that we live on.

We are friendly people, and welcome any visitor at any time of the year, but with only one way in and out, entrance, and exit is by invitation only… but the mists around the island also protest us. If they deem a visitor ‘not suitable’, the island will remain hidden and the skúta will automatically turn itself around and head back to the mainland. In such instances, the boatman is automatically attuned to the island itself and will disappear in front of the visitor’s very eyes. Once back on land, the skúta will do the same.

We are a small island, both and neither part of the UK mainland, but we are a magical, mystical lot. There’s a lot more to us and the island, but that will have to wait for another time. We like it here, and are honoured that you have chosen to visit us today.

Happy Halloween to you… and may you continue to enjoy your stay.

Halloween at Mystic Springs: Number Seven

‘Ey kid – good to see you back. Sorry about the weather – it’s turned a bit foggy and misty out there, ant it? It usually does around this time of the year – it’s with the island bein’ in the middle of the Mersey Estuary – in our little Mersey Triangle. It’s more an oblong but the Mersey Oblong doesn’t sound nearly as good. Amy Brock will be along later to give a bit more information about the island , and I believe she’ll ‘ave the correct name for the Triangle or whatever it really is.

Ooh, sorry – if you’ve just come to this post, an’ not the first one, you’ll be wonderin’ who the heck I am. I’m Agnes Ontario, and I will be your ‘ost for the evenin’. Tom ‘as very kindly given ‘is blog up on ‘allowe’en (of all nights!) so we islanders can provide a bit of Mystic Springs magic. Well, a few snippets that may be interestin’. I’ll be providin’ my own post a little later on, but from now, and until then, I’ll be appearin’ in italics! I always thought that was an ancient civilisation, like the Incas, the Mayans and the Italics, but I was told early on I was in error. I sometimes am. None of us are perfect, but it’s our imperfections that make us special.

I’ll see you in a bit. For now, we’re goin’ across to Number Seven, where the Grumbellses are playin’ a little game…

ARCHIE: But mum! I wanted the strawberry ice cream and she had it!

TULIP: I thought you gave it to me, Archie. I didn’t just take it!

ARCHIE: You did! You just took it. She just took it, mum, she did.

TULIP: Archie, you don’t normally like the strawberry one. You normally have blood orange.

ARCHIE: I wanted strawberry tonight. It’s not fair! Mum!

MAUDE: Children! Enough! We’ll settle this later. Our guest has arrived, and look at the racket you both are making. Archie – have the blood orange one and apologise to your sister. I saw you give her the strawberry one earlier.

ARCHIE: But, mum!

MAUDE: Enough! Now run along, the pair of you, to the living room where Dad and Xavier are. I’ll be with you in a moment.

TULIP: C’mon, Archie. It’s OK. I told you you gave it to me.

MAUDE: Sorry about that. Just another normal evening here at number seven. Please come in. I hope you don’t mind the candles, we haven’t had electricity since the 1970s. We much prefer the darkness you see.

Do you like the decor? Gravestone Grey with a craquelure effect on the walls throughout the house. My favourite room is this one, the hallway, and the living room. We had the arch ceiling put in last month and the hallway looks lovely and ominous. We’ve had the shelving built into the walls so that they trap quite a lot of the light from the candles here, and sometimes, especially when we use the large candles, they look like torches on a dank cave wall. We also had the running water feature added along the wall as well at the same time as the ceiling, which gives a soothing echo. I love it.

The outside of the front door is plain black, but inside, as you can see is blood red. We made it look old especially. We like old things.

Speaking of old, wait until you see the chandelier in the living room. Fifteenth Century true Gothic styling. We don’t use it, it’s just there for the ambience, and it shows the cobwebs off remarkably well. That’s another thing we all like. The spiders know how to make their mark on the decor. I swear they all moved in once we’d finished decorating. There’s a wolf spider up in one of the bedrooms, and Archie has his own tarantula. He’s made quite a few nice wall hangings from the shed skin. He’s quite the artist.

We’re going to play a game of Statues tonight. We love it. Hallowe’en is always Games Night here. With Statues, one of us leaves the room to make a blood fruit cocktail or something, and the others get themselves into the oddest positions. Then, we take out the dusty old furniture covers, and cover everyone and everything in the room. One person remains uncovered as the umpire – although we call them the vampire! – and the person who left the room goes back in, and without touching anything has to say who or what is under the cover. The one with the most correct guesses is declared the winner of the game – but in our game we have a twist, the loser wins. The one with the least correct answers gets the trophy. And the vampire’s decision is final.

ARCHIE: Mum!!! We’re ready. Xavier is the first vampire!

MAUDE: Ooh, it’s time for the fun to begin. I’ll take this tray of blood fruit cocktail in for after the game, it’s better once it has been warmed slightly by the candles. Come through, if you’d like to join in. The last guest who joined us is still here – they literally turned into a stone statue in the corner, and they look as though they are enjoying themselves so much it’s a shame to turn them back.

I’m sure you’ll have f—oh. Our guest has gone. I knew I should have locked the door. Ah well. Another guest will be along soon, and we can play Snap. With real bones. We really like that game.

TULIP: Mum!!!

MAUDE: Coming children. Just locking the door. For now…