Just to ameliorate the effects of those last two rants, here's some nice news- I got back from Brighton and got a tentative e-mail from an old friend, who wasn't sure it was me, or if I would welcome contact.
Many years ago (maybe 13 years ago?) I lived in Auckland and I met a Scottish woman. We got on really well and had similar interests in spirituality, feminism, creative writing, politics, and at that time, the recovery movement I suppose you would call it- recovery from addictions, from abuse, from dysfunctional families etc. Self healing, therapy, twelve step groups, shamanism, women's spirituality work, witchcraft, that sort of thing.
We went through many amazing things- amazingly bad and amazingly good, and were witness to each other's growth and healing, sometimes helping each other out with magic rituals, shamanic journeys, tarot readings, and just plain listening and being friends. We explored all kinds of things! In many ways it was a difficult time but in others quite a wonderful time.
Anyway, as sometimes happens we had a massive falling out, which was a real shame. She went back to Scotland, and a few years later, I moved to Scotland. For eight years now I've wondered if she is still here, and if we will bump into each other, and if we will recognise each other if we do.
So, she somehow, at Samhain/Halloween last year, stumbled across my name on the Internet, I believe attached to one of my work papers. Now we are back in touch which is amazing- we have so much catching up to do!
That's some happy news anyway.