Once we stopped the vans in Yorkshire, our wonderful brother – despite driving for more than three hours – did prepare a wonderful meal of risotto (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaT-CEIVHhE). While he was cooking I was familiarising myself with my new home for the next week or two, which is an independent hostel (www.hebdenbridgehostel.co.uk, also known as “mama weirdigan’s”).
There was a lot to take in, including reading all the signs around the place, which sometimes were about describing an animal and even one describing a human being. Slowly I was introduced to a cat which is called “Kipper” (the hostel cat), after I had read all about her on the sign on the lobby wall, and as I introduced myself to her as an Earthian peace pilgrim she appeared to be very lovely and friendly. Then I was reading about a human description below the Kipper story, and I met the wonderful person I was reading about, as he just turned up in the lobby area and entered the kitchen and very kindly said hello to me as he was coming out of the kitchen, and he is one of the main caretakers for the place. Finally I did meet a beautiful woman called Danni who is helping the hostel to run as efficiently and as smoothly as possible during the day and even sometimes at night, especially when they have more people staying.
As I introduced myself to them, slowly we started talking to each other and then had a wonderful evening meal and drink together. I was taking in a lot of information, especially in the lobby and the lounge area (and clearly there was a distance like between Earth and Moon, if not Mars, between Larry’s Lounge at Small World and Over the Moon festivals and this lounge here), and then we all said goodnight to one another.
After having a wonderful rest from days and weeks of running from one festival to another, I had a good night’s sleep in my new home in a very civilised way, and I can guarantee that some of the Egyptian pharaohs even didn’t have such a life and resting place (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pharaohs), and then I had a great breakfast and started writing up and catching up all about my daily activities for the duration of more than a month.
It was today that I was shown the workshop for LEDfantastic and some other little projects. As Dave and I were talking about some of the projects, my sister came in and said I was “in a little heaven room”, and it was indeed a place where I would love to do things during my spare and free time. It was here as well that my brother showed me how he had made some bread which he brought to the Alchemy festival, which we had enjoyed eating there, he was making it by using a machine and all he has to do is to add all the ingredients and then after about two hours the bread will be ready.
Later in the evening our caretaking friend kindly cooked us a very nice vegetarian stew (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stew) with some beautiful potatoes, and then after that we did washing up, and having our tea, and some more catching up, then we said goodnight to one another.
Today we were all quite busy with our daily tasks and my brother went to the Isle of Arran in Scotland for a duration of almost five days (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Arran), and he has left us at about 6am. The rest of us had our breakfast in our own time as appropriate, and I am sure we all enjoyed it.
In the evening our sister cooked us a wonderful rice and some vegetable and also some fried eggs, just for three of us, and we all enjoyed eating together, and afterwards as usual we all helped to do the cleaning and washing up, and later we had our nice tea break with some wonderful cake which Danni has kindly made.
Today during the morning, and afternoon apart from trying to write and catch up for the blog, I went down to the lobby and lounge and tried to find out all about everything on the many boards all over the lobby and the lounge, and it was very interesting. I think there is a lot of information here if you want to know more about the area, and the whole world as one.
Later Danni has kindly made us a wonderful dinner with a very nice vegetable stew and white couscous, and again we all helped with washing up, and shared another evening with each other while having our tea break after our dinner on the table in the lounge area.
Today during the morning and afternoon, apart from trying to write and catch up again for the blog, I studied more in depth the lobby and the lounge area, and also right at the back of the lounge where there is a wonderful and very quiet meditative room, which as you enter the lounge it draws your attention due to always having its door open. In that room there is a small library of books and many different games for you to explore, and even you can have your own music to be played if you want to, and if all the material in there is not enough, or just you want to have an auxiliary mental boost, I found two books which have drawn my attention, being “God and the new Physics” by Paul Davies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_and_the_New_Physics) and “The Pennine Way” by Martin Collins (http://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Pennine_Way.html?id=rOGwll7kGY4C).
Finally, after spending some time looking at one wall of the lobby, I managed to find out what all those seemingly to me at first glance mixed and confusing maps and photos were about. If anyone wants to do or fancies more than 250 miles (268 miles/431 km to be exact) of walk in spring or summer time (I don’t recommend in autumn or winter), I think you should definitely get in touch with my brother Dave, who has done this walk (the Pennine Way) and he has managed to get the certificate for it as well. It is a walk where you will start from Edale and go to Kirk Yetholm, crossing at least two major counties here in England as far as I understood – Derbyshire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derbyshire) and Yorkshire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yorkshire) – then Northumberland National Park, and finally into Scotland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotland). It must be a wonderful walk, which I wouldn’t mind doing if I find the right time for it, but please, this is what I understood – before you decide to do it, talk to Dave as he is a wonderful and nature-loving walker in the area (and now he is doing one in Scotland on the Isle of Arran), or else do some good research about the long walk before you go.
Later today in the evening, again the cooking came back in the circle to my beautiful sister, and this was due to be my turn, but because I didn’t have all the ingredients for my dish, so she kindly cooked something, which she was thinking it was simple but it was the most wonderful veggie burgers plus organic beans, and I have seen her spending a lot of time making and then baking blackberry crumble cake yesterday, which I tasted, and it was great, and now today after our wonderful evening meal she prepared some custard for its dressing. So we had another wonderful evening meal all together, and the place for my brother Dave was really looking empty and already I felt we were all missing him, and we were looking forward to seeing him again soon.
It was today that we had another beautiful day and I wanted to go to the little town and explore the area while the weather was looking very good for this time of the year, but I knew that the family of my sister are coming, so I decided not to go out and I asked my sister “if it is ok, I really would like to stay in and try to meet them all and spend some time with them”, especially I wanted to do this as I have heard it is her sister’s eldest son’s birthday. Definitely, I was over the moon to stay and talk to them.
I came down to the lobby at about midday, and here we go they were all around the kitchen and the lobby and the lounge area, so I was introduced to our mum and another two sisters and two wonderful boys, then slowly as we were chatting and talking to each other the birthday boy and his little brother came along and I introduced myself to them and gave them my heart to heart hug as I did with the rest, then they slowly start to open their presents and we did start to play with their presents and the toys, which they both have got including “play doh” for the little one and “uno” and some more for the older one, and I didn’t have a chance to play with all the presents that he got due to the lunch being ready and so we were all called out for the lunch.
After we all had a delicious lunch together, and I really enjoyed it, then we had our fruit dessert and then it was washing up and then our tea break, which we all had outside in the garden, while we were playing uno, and then finally the birthday cake arrived and our wonderful nephew was so happy. Of course the little one was a bit upset, for the reason that he couldn’t understand why his big brother is getting more stuff then him and getting his slice of cake first. I hope he will understand soon before it all gets complicated and the rest to follow.
Later in the afternoon after having our tea and the birthday cake, we all went up to a platform very near to the hostel as the sun was moving from the garden towards the platform, which has been made to be used at times like this just to get some more sunshine, and also in emergency someone can easily put up a tent there and have a nice camping area. As the clock was approaching to about 5pm the family slowly prepared themselves and they said goodbye to us, and I have to say here I really enjoyed and had a wonderful time with my extended family, and as I told them earlier I hoped that they will all one day very soon in the future meet my side of the family as well, and we all enjoy living for what is the most beautiful thing in the whole planet – “our love for each other, and our coexisting in peacefulness and harmony with mother nature”, and nothing should separate us from one another.
Later, we didn’t need to cook as we had a lot of food from lunch time, and also some wonderful people who were staying in the hostel have cooked a lot of food and a big pan of stew which they very kindly asked us to share it with them. After we’d helped ourselves and then helped with washing up, then it was our tea break, and I’d really had another wonderful day and evening in my new home in Calderdale.
Today after waking up and having some wonderful breakfast, finally – after staying indoors for almost five days while trying to catch up with my last month’s peace journey to festivals and gatherings and many other places – I decided to go out into the little town of Hebden Bridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebden_Bridge).
It was just after 1130 hours when I left the hostel with one aim in my mind – to take my peace journey with much love into the Calderdale area (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calderdale).
After walking down into the town of Hebden Bridge I went to the centre which is marked with a fustian knife sundial (http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMFWT9_Fustian_Knife_Sundial_Hebden_Bridge_UK). I sat down on a bench near there and looked at the shadow of the sundial on the hours, and the time was just a few minutes past the 1100 hours which is GMT, and not BST, and I stayed there for about a good two hours.
I managed to speak to a good number of people and I started with a wonderful rainbow brother Ralph (http://www.cam.net.uk/home/nimmann/dances/calderdale.htm). After speaking to each other for about 10-15 minutes, he was kindly offering me a meal and he did tell me that if I am going to be there in the centre for another half an hour or so, he would be quite happy to bring me some sandwiches, which he did very kindly bring on a tray, both food and drink from his home, which I really appreciated. I gave him more than twice my heart to heart hug. I have heard before I even got to the town about Ralph and his hug story, and he had brought his small yellow “free hug” sign to the square and as I was eating, I have seen he was hugging quite a number of people. Also he kindly introduced some of his friends to me while I was there, and he told me he has linked my weblog to his one and I think to his face book as well, all when he had gone back to his place to get some food. Also he told me that he has just been in a Quakers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quakers) meeting and he offered me to go to a singing combined with dancing event in a local church between 1600-1800 hours, which I told him if I was around at the time I’d be happy to come and join you, but later on I couldn’t make it due to my peace journey around the area.
After engaging and speaking to some more of the locals and non locals (maybe guests of the town), about myself and my peace journey so far, then I said goodbye to my wonderful rainbow brother Ralph and after a journey round the town, canal, river and railway, I headed up towards the old village of the Heptonstall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heptonstall), starting from the bottom of the tallest mill chimney in the town of Hebden Bridge.
After visiting the village, cemetery and the church I asked some locals about how to get to the next villages of Pecket Well and Old Town before going back to my final destination of the Hebden Bridge Hostel. As I was walking and leaving the village of Heptonstall, going down towards the Blue Pig Working Men’s Club at the bottom of the valley, I met the minibus driver from Reclaim The Power (RTP), and he straightaway knew me and called me from far, and then I met a few more locals as I was going down to the bottom of the valley and then crossing another bridge on top of the Hebden Water. Then I was heading up again, towards the village of Pecket Well, then I carried on to Old Town, of course on my way stopping a few times to look at the surrounding landscape and also the two eye-catching structures that had drawn my attention to them and that I wanted to see from close range; one of these was the wind generators (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_turbine), and the second one was called Stoodley Pike (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoodley_Pike). After seeing them from Heptonstall, I still couldn’t get very near to them from Pecket Well or Old Town.
If you look closely you can see Stoodley Pike, and further on the right there are some wind turbines.
It was a wonderful walk and great connections with the people and the nature around the wonderful little town of Hebden Bridge, and somehow the landscapes and surroundings were reminding me of my birth place, except the only difference was the geographical location and the surrounding area, and the landscape was about ten times lower than my original home place. I have to say I do understand that we might all have some childhood attachment to our birth place, but I believe that where your heart and love is happy, there should be the place you could stay and do what you think is good for nature and all her inhabitants, including humanity as a whole.
A place that I am staying in Hebden Bridge taken from Heptonstall side.
As I was thinking and walking towards my final destination, I managed to find a lot of natural blackberries, and then as I was thinking of other fruits, and as I entered the town again, I came across a house with some plums and apples on their doorstep which they were putting there for donations, and I looked around and didn’t see anyone to talk to, and so I helped myself as my body needed and then thanked those people, who were providing them to me, and I carried on, and just before the sunset (which you can see a photo of it below), then I managed to get back to my wonderful resting place, and I have to say, after been indoors for more than few days, I think I enjoyed every step of the walk around the area.
So, after arriving back to the hostel just after 1830 hours I managed to rest for a bit and then I start to prepare a simple and light Kurdish meal which is called “Shalamin”.
Since I have arrived in my new home and wonderful little town of Hebden Bridge, I was made aware by my sister that from Alchemy festival we had some “Shalamin”, because it came about during my first peace journey from London to Lincolnshire back in May (when I ended up in Leeds), that one of my brothers there had some of it, and he kindly cooked some for me, and gave the rest to me, so I left it in the Cotswolds place, then after I cooked some for my brother and Paul, then the rest came to Alchemy festival just in case if we had a chance to cook it, but there wasn’t a chance, and then it came back with us on 23/9/13 to Calderdale, and ever since I was planning to cook it but due to not enough ingredients it never happened till today.
So, finally I managed to cook it and all of us here in the hostel managed to taste and eat it, and I sincerely hope everyone enjoyed it, and now I am collecting ingredients for the third or fourth dish, and I am looking forward to cooking again very soon according to the available ingredients.
So we all helped each other to wash up and clear up then after our tea break and catch up with some of our daily activities we said good night to one another.
Today as I was having my breakfast in the lobby area I spoke to someone who is staying in the hostel and she is part of an International Voluntary Services group (IVS) invited by Treesponsibility (http://www.treesponsibility.com), and I was told there will be some more volunteers coming this evening and she is going to welcome them with some locals and I asked her if it is ok I’d like to come and welcome them as well, so she told me “not a problem” and if I go to the lobby at around 1730 hours we can go together and if she wasn’t around I should make my way to the rail station and be there by 6pm, and that was it.
The rest of the day I tried to write as much as I could of my backlog for my blog and I did quite a lot of writing, so late afternoon and early evening I came down and here we go, there were some more people from Treesponsibility and I spoke to them and they were quite happy for me to go to the rail station and welcome new people, and bring them back to the hostel, and because the hosts were a bit late, one of them asked me, while she is cooking for us all, I can go with the person I spoke to this morning, and go to the station and bring back the rest of the volunteers back to the hostel, and we did go and welcomed the new arrivals to the little town, and brought them back to the hostel.
Later this evening we all had a wonderful meal together and then we all helped each other washing up and cleaning and then we had our tea break with some chocolate which one of the guests and volunteers (Michael) brought us from Belgium, so after a short briefing by the host and the organisers of the tree planting group we all said goodnight to each other.
Today after waking up and having our breakfast we headed out altogether about nine of us, seven volunteers and two organisers in a minibus and a fairly new family estate car.
After a short stop in our host town we headed towards the bigger town of Todmorden (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todmorden), and after passing through the town we headed out into wonderful countryside and then uphill for about five minutes, then we arrived near to a farmhouse where is the tree planting area, that later we were told it is called “Sagar Lane”. The journey took us about 35-40 minutes, then after changing of our shoes and getting some planting equipment we started the preparation.
Some of us did preparation for protection of some trees which were planted before, and some of us cleared the ground and prepared it for the new trees to be planted, and after about an hour and half we stopped for a wonderful homemade soup and bread and then some tea.
Later in the afternoon we moved some new trees and other protection materials for those trees from the left side of Sagar Lane to the right side, and we started to plant some trees. By about 3pm when we stopped for our tea break we had managed to plant 100 trees, and then we carried on for another hour or so, and this time we managed to plant 63 trees, so as you know we managed to plant 163 trees which is about 20 trees per person. One of the organiser didn’t plant any and he was busy sorting other stuff out. We planted as follows: every three hawthorn tree, then one oak, rose or willow – so you tell me how many hawthorn trees per person?
It was just after 1630 hours that we start packing and coming back and this time totally in the opposite direction just for us to see the different scenery of the beautiful landscape of the area and after passing the old petrol station (I think more than 60 years old!?) in Kerbs, and then BlacksShawHead (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackshaw) area, we came back just close to Heptonstall village and then arrived back in our host town, at about 1730 hours and after light exercise with the chocolate loving Belgium person (Michael), we headed back to our rooms to quickly take a shower and head back to the town for our evening meal in a public house for a Tibetan spicy dinner.
In the pub I came across a few more people from the time of the RTP gathering, and also those who are going to organise and help with tree planting for the next day. Later some of us headed to the Heptonstall village and few of us went back to the hostel. After getting back to the hostel and hearing the news that one of the people who is helping the hostel had a bad back ache I didn’t feel good, then he was taken to Halifax after arranging an appointment and having some food.
Later on after having a bit of rest and saying goodnight to everyone, and then catching up with some more of my writing for the blog, I said goodnight to the universe and my surroundings.
There is a video similar to what we did today from last year’s group (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKTDzy3bY2w), and I hope that you’ll all enjoy watching it, and if you have a video or a photo of our tree planting today, please make me be aware of it, so I can link it to the blog.
A photo of us while we were having our lunch, and I am serving bread for their wonderful soup
Finally, I have to say it has been a wonderful and amazing spring and summer full of love and peace, connecting to so many wonderful people, and again I should mention I started to go to my first festival back in May in Lincolnshire and then ended up going to the same county in September, for my 18th festival!
It has been an amazing and beautiful peace pilgrimage journey for me, full of love and happiness. I believe we can all do a lot more useful things in the nature with each other without any repercussion to one another, just by being truthful to ourselves and one another. I’ll head down to London to celebrate a year of peace journey where I started from, and if any one of you would like to come along, I’ll be in the birth place of Occupy London from 15th to 23rd of October.
So may love and peace be upon all of you, wherever you are on the planet Earth.
your humbled Earthian brother