Red moon over the sycamore tree


After grey, gloomy summer days, I looked inward for the sunshine and inspiration to move forward.

DSC_0002Out on our land, I am grateful that our baby apple trees are weighed down with an abundant harvest. Though I’d hoped to have our vegetable patch cleared and ready this year, I’m grateful to kind friends who have shared their produce and supplemented our meals. I’ve worked hard on Bramble Avenue. DSC_0007DSC_0008Metres of brambles have been cleared and a Pan grotto discovered as I worked two hours each morning. The sun came out to bless me. 11947900_1654664588125364_5441217376693406600_o(1)Lack of progress on the house renovations was also dragging me down so I ‘reclaimed’ a wooden unit from the kitchen and began sorting through folders and paperwork. Attempting to live and work in a small space is made easier when files are at hand. DSC_0009I’ve sorted dance folders and Wales folders but still have my writing to organise but one large plastic box has been removed from our bedroom, helping to clear the clutter.

I made a birthday cake DSC_0014

and welcomed my daughter and her boyfriend to Wales for a week. It was a chilly start to their holiday DSC_0017but the sun tried to come out DSC_0021and nothing could dampen my joy of spending a whole week with my daughter. DSC_0022I even managed a paddle. 12027079_1657883417803481_2711620859863796780_o

I donated clothes and toiletries to help the refugees and a van load gathered at our local health food shop, joined the Aberystwyth convoy.

This morning we were up at 2am to watch the moon. It was clear and cold on our hill top and I watched in awe as the milky way bathed the sky above our house in a swathe of infinite stars. Hugging my tea mug I watched the eclipse, the light of the moon disappearing until it was colour washed in red. The giant disc hung above the sycamore tree.


Watching the moon, I reaffirmed my place in this amazing universe and recognised the path I have chosen to be the correct one for me. If you struggle with depression, as I do, have a look at my non-fiction book Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles for 101 ideas to help stimulate focus in your life, thinking of others and our world as we each live our different life path. There are meditations, recipes and stories from my own experience which I hope will help you.


I still have work to do before the winter solstice but the endeavours I have begun have moved me forward. Full moon blessings to you all. Love and light xx

In search of the sun


Wales to 1 August 2014 005It’s been a wet, grey summer spattered with a few glorious days.

From the moment spring arrives and crocus takes her first breath, I use the momentum of new life to begin new projects and look forward to the sunshine. DSC_1234 I look forward to the prospect of hot, sunny days to fuel my passion and drive my intentions to fulfillment. Living with depression, this concept has served me well.

We had two hot days at the end of May 11053065_1610337169224773_4219450298485072431_n but Midsummer’s Day was a wash out when it should have been the peak of the sun. Four days of solid rain led to a sunny day for the Lampeter Food Festival 17005_1637467316511758_8560746038090504212_n

and the momentum of this fabulous dancing day carried me on to the Cardigan Bellydance Festival 11875606_10153165243553867_114847764_obut I’ve struggled.

We’ve made the most of every glimpse of sunshine, spending time on the riverbank and working on the land but I’ve found cold, grey mornings a real damper on motivation. On the days I’ve rallied, I’ve been writing and the third Standing Stone book, The Gathering, is finished and being edited. I’ve attempted to cook new food, create new recipes and put good food in to get the best energy out. It’s been hard work.

So now I need to get to December 21st, where the Holly King passes the crown to the Oak King and his strength uplifts and inspires me to look forward to spring.

At Mabon, 21st September, the day and night are of equal length all over our amazing planet. It is the time to think of and support our wonderful ‘world family’. Where people live in fear and without basic rights and needs, I shall support and give wherever I can.

As we wend our way to Samhein, a time of change and of choices and a time to look back as well as forward, I shall focus on the aspects of my life that make me smile. I shall surround myself with family and friends, indulge in dancing, sharing, cake and writing. I hope to bring the sun into my life and warm and brighten the days of others.

Wales to end June 2014 014

If you need help and inspiration at this time, Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles gives 100 ideas, used by me to enable me to live my life with depression, rather than suffer from it:

The Standing Stone book series is inspired by the beauty of Wales, allowing the reader to connect with the forces and elements of nature. It’s easy to lose sight of where we came from, who we are and where we fit in this amazing world but the Standing Stone brings people together, to support each other and to look within themselves to the beauty and power that lies within.

Standing Stone Home For Christmas Cover drop shadow

A life less sensible



Sensible has two definitions in the dictionary:

1. done or chosen in accordance with wisdom or prudence; likely to be of benefit.
2. (of an object) practical and functional rather than decorative.
My mother was a practical, prudent woman but whether by nature or because of living through WWII and the following eight years of rationing, I will never know. Either way, her parenting was of a very strict, sensible nature and I learned how to manage money from her. Living a ‘sensible’ life, however, did not sit well with me.
My first marriage was to a ‘sensible’ young man, training to be an accountant with his own car and with aspirations to own his own home….I was beaten on my honeymoon.
My second marriage was to a less ‘sensible’ man, who made me laugh and was kind and generous. We were friends first and it was the arrival of our first child that pushed us to do the ‘sensible’ thing and buy a home together. We got on well but, like many friends, we had different ideas about many things. His new job in the City boosted his aspirations to make money and though I tried to be the executive wife (I even bought the blazer!) after twelve years together, this relationship ended.
Now I was torn….I needed to be ‘sensible’ as three young lives depended on me being their rock and supporting them and yet, having been married the first time at nineteen years old, I longed for the pressure to be lifted. Meeting my present partner gave me times of bliss, laughter and naughtiness which helped me maintain my ‘sensible’ parent status, seeing the children through school.
Turning fifty was a landmark moment, a time a lot of women dread but for me, with a new, exciting adventure in Wales to look forward to and my children through school and University, for the first time in my life, I felt carefree. Antonyms of sensible include foolish and stupid but for me, carefree means not automatically taking the prudent option but sometimes just ‘going for it’!
This last weekend I partied in a yurt in a field on Friday night, dancing of course, before performing at the Cardigan Bellydance Festival on the Saturday.
On Sunday, I taught morning and afternoon workshops. On Monday, I barrowed logs, made up two boxes of kindling, cooked, baked, washed and cleared up after the weekend. None of this was ‘sensible’ but I loved every second! Today, Tuesday, I’m spending the day writing as my body gave me a nudge to say it needed a rest.
Organising a building site requires me to be sensible with resources and time and organising the household, the same but for the rest of the time, I enjoy a less sensible life….paddling in the sea on Christmas day, getting my first tattoes Wales 2014 020

Eight pointed star, one of the symbols of Ishtar

Eight pointed star, one of the symbols of Ishtar

Dancing with my friends in the sunshine…..11053065_1610337169224773_4219450298485072431_ntaking time to dress and make up for a performance….10556448_727027910700917_1801320681454343591_n

welcoming the sun and moon in the sky….11012386_10153650985507802_1147847422645631772_n ….drawing pictures in the sand and writing the books I care passionately about….books for women….m_DSC01109 about strong, fabulous real women….Wales to 21st June 2014 013books to bring magic into your life every day, books about the beauty of Nature and the part women play as the goddesses of the world….Standing Stone Home For Christmas Cover drop shadow….as they deal with real life (including all the ‘sensible’ bits that make others lives run so smoothly) while embracing the women they really are….DSC_1413

Let go your inhibitions and join me, living a life less sensible.

You can find out more about ATS® Belly Dance at

For links to all my books, please visit my author pages:

Love and light xx

How much juice is enough? Part 2


Into our second week of juicing and, after the busy and exciting Saturday I had, dancing with Tribal Unity at the Lampeter Food Festival, I’m loving it and really feeling the benefits.


The juice recipes in the book to go with the video ‘Fat sick and nearly dead’ are useful and inspiring. Set out for each season, to encourage use of seasonal and local produce, we’ve tried a number of the ‘summer’ recipes. The food recipes, however, are not to our taste.

DSC_1435These are the quinoa and bean burgers, using the pulp from juicing, coated in nutritional yeast, served on spinach with tomatoes. This was not a successful dinner as spinach was disappointingly tough and burgers inedible. The recipes feel like someone has put together a group of ingredients that are ‘good for you’ rather than any tasting having gone on with the creation of the dish. Cumin powder stirred into a mix and then the whole baked in the oven is really unpleasant and left a hot feeling in my chest all evening. So…..we resorted to our own food.

DSC_1436 My plate on the left shows home made vege burgers while Mike has goat’s cheese and spinach lattice, served with sweet potato, peppers, sweetcorn and spinach. We’ve continued to eat our own food but changed the proportions on the plate. At least half has to be vegetable and less than a quarter each of protein and carbs.

We are drinking a green juice and a fruit juice each day, sometimes adding one more and eating our usual veggie diet. I’m still not eating dairy and I do feel better for it. Here are our three favourite recipes, from the book, online and from my dance teacher, Deana.

Morning Green Glory

4-5 large kale leaves

1 large handful of spinach

3 romaine leaves

1 cucumber

3 celery stalks (which we are omitting following the head slammer reaction!)

1 green apple

1 lemon (peeled or it’s very bitter)


Deana’s Morning Wake Up

2 oranges

2 carrots

2 rings of pineapple (about a quarter of a pineapple)

half a mango

2 passionfruit

I’ve been leaving out the mango most days as have only managed to ripen one before it went mouldy, in two weeks! Passion fruit are quite expensive so some days, I’ve been adding a peeled lemon instead.


Beet Delight

2 red apples

1 large beet

1 large carrot

1 lemon

This recipe is supposed to have a small turnip in as well but doesn’t need it.

I think two or three juices a day, with a vegetarian diet, upping the amount of vegetables and cutting back on protein and carbs, is a good balanced diet for me. I feel satisfied after my meals and have plenty of energy for physical work on the house and dancing and my mind feels clearer and more focussed when I’m writing.

Happy juicing!






How much juice is enough?


My son Ed is twenty four and suffered from arthritis since the age of 12, culminating in him taking the strongest meds the hospital could give him for the past two years. When I spoke to him last, he had switched his diet from vegetarian to vegan and included juicing and was off all his medication. He said he felt like a young man again. I was overjoyed, of course, and on his recommendation looked into juicing and watched the video ‘Fat, sick and nearly dead’. I can’t begin to describe the film as I’d miss out too much but it’s a great watch.

My partner and I decided to take the plunge, bought a juicer and ordered the book of juices, recipes and advice that accompanied the video. DSC_1424

We had our final meal DSC_1426 and were ready to fast.

Some background….Mike and I are vegetarian. I make most of our food so we eat few processed and packaged items but, when we saw the video, we were surprised that, balanced against fruit and vegetables, we still ate too much. Our aim was to cleanse our systems and then change the balance so fruit and vegetables, be they eaten or juiced, were to become the major part of our food intake. This leads perfectly to the fruit and veg we want to plant and grow in our raised beds and greenhouse (when they finally happen!)

We tried detoxing while we carried on working…….we were mad! So my first piece of advice once you’ve watched the video, read the book and have your juicer set up is….WATCH THE VIDEO AGAIN! We realised that fabulous Joe Cross spent the first ten days with himself in a hotel room dealing with the detox and Phil was at a beach resort by a lake, but we only realised this on the second viewing. We missed lots of useful advice the first time around.

Not only am I a vegetarian but I eat very little dairy and am wheat intolerant. We don’t drink alcohol and have very few take-away meals. I teach dance classes while my partner lays and sands wood floors and together, we are attempting to renovate the Grade II listed house and byre that we live in and rescue four acres from thirty years of neglect.

Neither of us was carrying much fat so we attempted to juice fast and keep working with very little reserve….the first night I fainted, luckily in the bedroom and was able to get on the floor. So my second piece of advice is, be kind to yourself. For at least five days, give yourself time to adjust, rest…the video says all you want to do is curl up in bed but….it does get easier.

Nearing the end of the third day, Mike needed to drive to Cardigan to give a price for a wood floor and I was wrapped up in layers and a hot water bottle trying to get warm. We felt dreadful and made the decision to add some food at this point. Mike had eggs and in the evening, I made leek and potato soup (loads of leek, little potato;-)) with the broth I made from the vegetable pulp. On the fourth day, we had our fruit juice breakfast, green juice and took our Berries and Beet coconut water to the beach. Home made hummus, crackers, ryvitas, grapes and carrots for lunch followed by Beet delight juice and hot carrot spinach salad (v v hot!!), home made vege burgers and sweetcorn for dinner and apple crumble with nuts and seeds topping for our evening meal. We have continued to drink lots of water.



It’s day five today. Coconut water contains electrolytes to help with the dettox symptoms…tricky to know if it works as I’m not feeling great but, the Berries and Beet recipe is delicious!

I’ve learned a lot about the foods our bodies really need and what my body needs to stop it keeling over! Maybe we stopped too soon to get the full benefit of a detox but I’ve been shopping today so I can try the Quinoa burgers and Veggie meatballs recipes, and I’ve bought more kale and spinach. I’ve learned I can’t ‘eat’ cucumber or it repeats on me all day but has no effect on me if juiced. I’ve learned that I may actually be allergic to celery as after the first green juice, where I thought someone had hit me on the head with a sledge hammer, I reduced the amount to no avail until yesterday when I removed it and no head slam! While I’m drinking the juices, I can eat apples and oranges with no tummy ache. A delicate but necessary detail…instead of around five visits each morning, I’m now having a much more comfortable one or two.

Please join me next week for the next five days of this juice journey where I try to decide, how much juice is enough!



Why I write magical realism – women are heroes part 3


I watched a programme on Netflix the other evening. Stephen Fry was talking about his new book and he also talked about discovering Oscar Wilde’s plays and essays and then of the autobiographical books he read about Wilde. He felt the author’s were speaking to him and he not only felt a connection but felt inspired by what they wrote. When he writes, he ‘sees’ a teenager who may find something in his work that makes them smile or not feel so alone. It made me look even closer at what I write and why.

Before I was old enough to walk the two miles to the library on my own, my reading consisted of my brother’s books; James Bond, Lord of the Rings and Biggles spring to mind. Women in these stories were not the heroes, though Eowyn plays her part. Did these ‘masculine’ stories influence my writing? When I wrote my first novel (100,000 words, under the bed in a box) my hero was a female school teacher, coping with the death of both her parents by emersing herself in the plays and stories she loved and struggling with real life relationships. She was a hero in my eyes, maybe not a sword wielding righter of wrongs, but a woman coping with real life situations with compassion, humour and support from her friends.

The definition of magical realism is art, literature and film that encompasses different subjects but accepts magic in the rational world. I believe that an acceptance of this magic defines woman as hero. To face the challenges in our lives, we need to believe we can overcome them. With the help, love and support of friends, we are half way there but belief has to come from within and the magic and deities in my books give the reader permission to believe that anything is possible.

You are the universe and the universe is you. You are made up of the same components as the stars, trees and oceans. You are the goddess and the goddess is you.

These simple ideas allow us to immerse ourselves in the wonderous nature that surrounds us and take from it those things that will heal and balance our own lives.

I write about women who are offered assistance from a different plane of consciousness and who embrace the gifts offered because they know that this is part of an amazing support network. I tell the stories of heroes.


You can find all my books here:


I do hope you enjoy them and I look forward to reading your reviews and comments.




A new book…a new beginning


Today is launch day for The Standing Stone – Silence is Broken. This is the second book in the Standing Stone series. It’s longer, faster paced and features the Goddess Ishtar.

Ishtar, or Innana, came into my life over 15 years ago when I picked up a book about goddesses in the children’s library and was inspired to paint her, my first ever water colour. Since moving to Wales, she has been a constant in my life and with her support and guidance, I’ve embarked on a new spiritual and emotional journey.

When I stand beneath the vast skies in rural Wales, the stars from her belt shine on me, reminding me that I’m part of an amazing universe. On wet Welsh days when the weather changes from torrential rain to sunshine in minutes, the rainbow necklace at her throat gives me hope, showering my life with a myriad of colourful blessings.

As Ishtar, the warrior goddess, I carry her with me always.

Eight pointed star, one of the symbols of Ishtar

Eight pointed star, one of the symbols of Ishtar

She inspires me to dance and teach others, even if my classes are depleted. She inspires me to share my stories, even when my book sales are low.

Every day can be a new beginning with the goddess and today begins the life of a new story, sent into the world to be shared.

Embrace Ishtar in your life today.


Standing Stone Silence Is Broken ebook cover proof


Renovating our 18thC Welsh farmhouse and byre


We’ve called a halt to work upstairs under the new thatch as the sun is shining and outdoor jobs take preference.

11150930_1600818576843299_7145038719453612890_nThe river bank has been tidied. We’ve fished a wheel and debris from the river and had a good burn up so now Mike, my partner, can get the ride on mower from one end to the other. DSC_1414I’ve been busy with my trusty secateurs in Bramble Avenue and on the path down to our little ‘beach. The bluebells were far more abundant this year after we removed a few very low branches, allowing the sunlight in to more of the land.

We’ve paid for a man and his digger to aid with the next part of the byre reconstruction so this week, we are making clom..clay, sand, straw and cow poo. DSC_1418DSC_1419DSC_1420DSC_1421We’re desperate to make a liveable home here in mid Wales but the realities of living on a building site make life difficult, especially in this warm weather with a pile of steaming clom by the front door! (It is now double covered in thick plastic and old tyres so the smell is less noticeable!)

Unfortunately, the digger has broken so work is on hold but we hope to have enough clom for the byre and to finish the sides of the house by the weekend. Sadly, the pathway to the river is only just started but, hopefully, we will soon have a track we can walk or drive down on which we will line with our tree saplings and begin working back down the slope as coppice.

I missed the local farmers baling the hay in our field this year as I was working but the intricate ballet they perform with their machines is worth a watch, if you get a chance. Wales to 21st June 2014 016

Thanks for following our adventure in Wales…do look back at other posts to see how far we have come.

Summer Solstice…the build up


Since the new moon on Tuesday, life has gone from chaotic to manic…and I’m loving it!

Tuesday is always a busy dancing day, teaching a Beginners class at lunchtime and a Beyond Basics for two hours in the evening but this week, classes were buzzing and we’ve two more events in the pipeline where we’ve been asked to perform. The amazing thing is, we are not a performance group and most of my dancers have only been dancing for a year. Let me tell you our story…

Barefoot Festival 2014

Barefoot Festival 2014

I had been dancing with Tribal Unity for four years when we finally sold our house and prepared to set off for our new adventure in Wales. My wonderful ATS® Bellydance teacher, Deana Lawman, asked me if I would like to be Tribal Unity in Wales. I was overwhelmed and delighted to accept such an honour so from August 2013 to February 2014, from tent life, to caravan life to a house with no heating, I planned how to begin teaching ATS® Bellydance. I found a venue, advertised in the local free magazine, The Grapevine, and began teaching in March 2014.

First Tribal Unity Wales selfie

First Tribal Unity Wales selfie

I met the most wonderful bunch of ladies! I planned to talk to them about dancing at the Lampeter World of Dance Festival in October, just one dance to show everyone how much fun we have in class but they way laid my plan by asking if they could dance at the Cardigan Bellydance in August…and we did! 10603378_10202597850844530_906991781996694645_n Everyone had so much fun they wanted to perform again…and again and again! ATS® Bellydance allows you as the dancer to bring yourself to the group and before my eyes, a Tribal Unity family was born. From May 2014, my Mum’s dementia worsened and frequent trips to Essex were exhausting and painful but these wonderful women supported me throughout and we danced together, for each other. Indoors at the Cellan Beer Festival Dec 2014 to outdoors in the park at the eclipse in March, we have been there and danced.

11012386_10153650985507802_1147847422645631772_nWe’re now preparing for the Lampeter Food Festival on 25th July and the Cardigan Bellydance Festival on the 8th/9th August. We’re dancing at The LongWood Open Day on 6th September as well as two performances in October, also confirmed.

And we danced together to celebrate the Summer Solstice, welcoming back the Holly King as he takes over from the Oak King, bringing in the harvest and preparing the Land for the winter.10346537_1624424897816000_5432437501420269489_n

ATS® Bellydance is an inspirational dance form, combining influences from Egyptian bellydance, Kathak (classical Indian), Flamenco and African Tribal. This unique style of dance is lead by a leader who gives cues to her dancers so there is no choreography to be learned, just moves and cues. It’s hard work! Our bodies get into bad habits so muscle memory has to be created and that means repetition but when you have as much fun as we do, nobody seems to mind. For more information

Our house is coming on…we have a roof now! The new thatch is holding up well to the rain but we still need to finish the ends of the walls so they meet the roof so, we need clom…clay, sand, cow/horse poo and straw.


But first, we need a man with a digger and he has been booked for Friday and Saturday, firstly to dig out our clay (we’ve removed the battered shed and agricultural asbestos sheeting that was in the way…don’t ask!), mix with the straw we have left from thatching and poo we will collect from friendly farmer on Thursday night and secondly, to dig us a meandering pathway down to our riverbank. Last year we cleared Bramble Avenue so we could walk from one end of the riverbank to the other and this new pathway will mean easy access for the barrow and mower and a clear area to start working out from to plant our new trees (ash doing well, beech still a bit wobbly) for coppicing.

As well as all this excitement, I’ve been writing the third book in the Standing Stone series The Gathering, while editing the second book Silence is Broken, getting it ready for publication on 2nd July and guess what arrived in the post this morning?

DSC_1413I love it when plans start to come together after months, even years, of hard work. Staying focussed on what I believe, trusting in myself and sharing warm heartedness helps with those difficult days. Solstice Blessings to all my friends around the world.

Women of a certain age


As we learn and grow our bodies, as well as our minds, change before our eyes. I look for tips, advice and sharing on social media from other women, as we tread this path of change together. Knowing other women feel as I do really helps me, as I embrace my crone years, rather than dread them. Here’s a little of my story and the tips I use.

Pre-menopause symptoms began for me in my early 40s. By 45, I was suffering the ‘big heat’ most days. I loathe the phrase ‘hot flush’! It suggests a warmth that comes and goes as simply as a pull on the toilet chain! I suffered in silence, embarassed in the supermarket as my face exploded in sweat, running into my eyes so I couldn’t punch my pin to pay for my shopping. My friend and dance teacher, Deana, suggested fenugreek tea and though a little weird as you feel hot and prickly straight after drinking, it did reduce the length of any ‘big heat’ episode but then came the night sweats.

DSC_1181I suffered these for many months, often having to change the bed twice in one night. Sleep deprivation caused more ‘big heat’ during the day and I gritted my teeth, determined to find a natural way to help myself. Evening primrose didn’t work and black cohosh made me really ill. On a trip to the nurse at my doctor’s surgery for a smear test, she asked me how I was and I burst into tears. She was wonderful and an appointment with my doctor was made. I now take the lowest form of HRT there is which has almost eliminated the night sweats and makes the ‘big heat’ moments bearable.

I’m sharing this because I’ve always wanted to be a natural girl but, as in giving birth to my children, sometimes you have to go with what is best for your body. Night sweats changed my life. I could no longer function through lack of sleep and I changed into a growling, grumpy monster. Taking HRT at first made me feel like a failure as I was unable to cope with the perfectly natural changes rampaging through my system but now I treat my little pink pill as something my body is missing that it needs.

It seems to me that stress and diet plays the biggest part in dictating the hormonal balance in my body. We came to Wales to help alleviate the stress and since sticking rigidly to no dairy in my already vegetarian wheat-free diet, I feel really well. There will always be stressful times but recovering from them quickly and with new found energy also helps.

My skin has changed drastically and after applying moisturiser the other morning, I realised how tight it felt across my cheeks. After consultation with my lovely friend Sarah at Spellbound Herbals, I now use two of her herbal, hand made products and I’m loving the results. I highly recommend ‘Bright Eyes’ skin lotion and ‘Magic Fountain of Youth’ face and neck skin cream. Pop along to for a browse.

Finally, aches and pains. I regularly dance six hours a week and for the past five years I’ve been using Sarah’s ‘Sore Muscle and Ligament Injury Oil’ before bed. It’s wonderful! It smells gorgeous and you can feel the warmth of the herbs spreading into your muscles immediately. In the morning, I wake up pretty much ache free. I’m always recommending it to other dancers but it works just as well after a day in the garden weeding!

Wales to 1 August 2014 002I hope this sharing will help you on your impending crone journey and feel free to share. I look forward to hearing your tips and advice. Love and light xx