Kung hei fat choi! This traditional Cantonese greeting means "May you have great wealth!" and is expressed at Chinese new year often followed by Lai see dow loi, meaning "Give me me lucky money" ;-).
There are many new years celebrated around the world starting from October (eg Divali in India) to the ancient Babylonian new year, Akitu, celebrated at the first new moon after the spring equinox (i.e. around March). Our focus is usually on the solstice, but, hey, any excuse for a gathering of fun is welcome ;-) .
Here's a quick round-up at the beginning of this solar cycle ...
Thank you to everyone who joined our Walk in the Woods on 29 December. Niall, generous as ever, lifted our spirits with a shot of whiskey to toast the new year! Then, Richard and Jaspar, who had spent the previous day hacking at the brambles, led us all through the woods. It was a glorious day as the lovely photos from Milena on facebook show.
in the meantime, here are a few of our snaps scratched from a video
Although it is a quiet time of year, things have been a bit faster than usual as I finally got my bike out of the shed!! Jaspar's a great inspiration and a serious hot-dogger. You can see a ride through the woods (old man speed) here, and we'll post a couple more biking vids soon. Check your insurance and come on down for a reckless ride!
We've started the new season in the garden. Most of the plots are tilled, we have a handful of garlic to transplant (thanks Wilton Gardens) and sowing of greenhouse plants will begin soon. Logging is full on, especially with chilly weather. (Club members please ask about firewood.)
Our population of domestic animals has been volatile. Even though Poppy has moved on, it seems that a cat might be nipping at the poultry. He's certainly got a rat and pigeon so is adept at hunting. Hopefully they will get used to each other. Soon we will look for more chickens, ducks and geese ... And the place needs an equine since Buzz went to Fallon's yard near Ferns. Perhaps when Tymandra returns from Hyde Equine we'll be able to find a couple of friends to enjoy the Horse Field. And please get in touch for livery options.
There is likely to be restricted fishing again this year, but we will mow the path in the coming weeks (conditions allowing). We'll be open for day or season rods.
The "gun club" is more of a gentleman's walking club as members are committed to conservation initiatives and enjoy the walk as much as the hunt. And their hounds love to run!
Beyond the walls, Pam is busy sharing her passion for yoga around the country. As the only Shadow style teacher in Ireland recognition of her talent is growing. She's running a Shadow workshop in March and you can check out her class schedule here. She also leads the luxurious Lisnavagh Yoga and Sleep weekend (next one this weekend) which she helped create with Emily Bunbury nearly 10 years ago! I guess its long standing success reflects how much people get out of it.
We hope to continue developing education initiatives here. We have nascent plans for a more formal "school of life" which will be modelled on democratic schools with a home-school ethos and embrace the creative arts and sciences (eg music, art, food, craft, nature). A few people have asked about getting involved, so please let me know if you would like to get find out more, especially if you might supply or use this resource (eg teach/coach/guide or student).
In the vein of transformation, you might be interested in the report from our Vision of the Future event which is reported here (including video with Hazel Henderson, Oonagh Harpur and Ivan Konig). Also, our team at astraea are now editing the new year perspectives and prognostications which will be online in a couple of days. Please let us know if you'd like to be on astraea's mailing list.