Jen Bottom

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  • in reply to: What a transformational expereince! #11804
    Jen Bottom

    Hi Tom, I’m glad you’re finding the course so enjoyable.
    as a small child I had a few violin lessons, but a combination of many factors (including a teacher who unfortunately didn’t want or have the time to teach a blind student) put me off.
    A few years ago I bought an old violin in a secondhand shop on a whim.
    Luckily I also managed to find an amazing violin maker and restore nearby who was very reasonably priced and it turned out that once the instrument was fixed up it wasn’t terrible.
    I’m having lessons as an adult learner and although I find it very challenging I am enjoying it.
    It might not be apparent in my final Submission for the course, but I am making progress and it gives me so much joy when I complete a note or two that don’t sound like dying fighting cats.
    Also I’m really glad I can give my Violin a second chance at having some sort of life if that makes sense?
    When I took it for some repair work it was pointed out to me that somebody had obviously loved it enough to have the neck graft it back on.
    This is despite it having a label and probably coming from a French factory around the turn-of-the-century.
    The fact that somebody had either the money desirable skills to do that makes me want to keep playing it for as long as possible and hopefully get to a standard that the instrument deserves.
    Piece and best wishes,

    in reply to: Bardic Journal #11799
    Jen Bottom

    Hi everyone,

    I’m visually impaired, so paper books don’t work so well for me.

    I did think about using Braille, but then I would have to store it all and I already have way too much Braille stuff from my Uni days etc.

    I use a note taking app, and have different folders.

    Currently I have the following:
    BDO, OBOD, Chaos Magic, Dreams, Heartwood (for the herbalism course I’m studying), Cornish (for the language learning lessons I’m taking with KDL).

    I do play music, but I haven’t made anything original.

    I run and co-host a couple of small folk sessions in Berkshire UK and have been working my way through a few instruments.

    I’m learning to play the fiddle, but I don’t practice as much as I probably should, so it’s taking a while.

    I do enjoy it though.

    Perhaps I’ll commit to recording something and posting it at some point.

    I did one small recording for my obod related Bardic stuff but it took a lot of will power on my part.

    Right now I’ll be happy if I can memorise some Cornish language poems to perform at the next grove ritual I am able to get to.

    I’ll stop rambling now before this gets even longer.

    Peace and best wishes,

    in reply to: Exploring what Ronald Hutton thinks about druidry? #11797
    Jen Bottom

    Reading through this discussion there seem to be three strands.
    1. Who were the druids based on archeological records and first hand sources.

    As far as I am aware, we don’t have much in the archeological record, and the sources were mostly produced by the romans, or others who may have been writing with the view of dis-crediting the tribes they were waging war against.

    That doesn’t mean they have no value, but it’s important to keep this in mind.

    2. Folklore and myth from areas that still posess, (or posessed at the time of writing) a Celtic language.

    Again we have to be careful how we utilise these sources, because they were written after the Iron Age Celts no longer existed in their pre-roman form, and there is sometimes a christian lens at play.

    3. UPG.

    UPG is great, but everyone has to remember that their UPG is not going to be someone else’ss.

    It’s very individual.

    For example I concentrate on Brythonic myth and archeology, so for me the statements about Druids coming from Irish deities and beings is not true.

    That doesn’t mean it’s not valid though, it’s just not my personal truth.

    Also, what someone decides is or is not a Druid, may depend on how much of a CR (Celtic reconstruction) angle they take.

    For example, you might say no one can call themselves a Druid, unless they work for a leader in the capacity of being their lawyer, judge on cases involving them, are their healer, or help them with divination.

    So to sum up, it really depends on who you’re talking to and what rules they are using to define ‘druid’.

    You could even use the meaning of the word (based on what we define that as today) to define what a Druid is.

    Peace and best wishes,

    Jen Bottom

    I agree that it is certainly good to be fairly confident you have “finished” a creative work before you perform it. Some people however may never feel that they have finished something though, so they may never perform it.
    I certainly felt like that when I recorded something for OBOD as part of my studies.
    It came out ok, but I could have recorded it 50 more times probably and still been finding things that could be better.
    Sometimes, some people do just have to get out there and do it at some point, though they may not feel the work is done.

    I think we all agree that it’s not great to be a jerk to someone who’s sharing their creations with others, but not everyone in the universe necessarily thinks that way.

    Also personally, I get very nervous when I’m playing the fiddle, so I do make mistakes, or don’t play the tunes as well as I can perhaps do when practicing alone.

    In summery I agree that if you want to go public with your barding, at some point someone will not give you the most constructive feedback, and you will need to be able to find ways to process that so you can continue creating and sharing it with a wider audience.


    Jen Bottom

    I run a couple of small folk music sessions.
    I really don’t like it when people who are “good” at what they do musically, come in and trash someone who is maybe giving their first public performance, or for what ever reason, isn’t considered as “good” as the other person.
    Even if you think something really sucks, it’s only going to go on fir a few minutes of your life, so you can put up with it, or get a drink, go for a walk etc.

    I try to be as friendly and encouraging as possible, because I myself don’t have a ton of musical talent, but I still enjoy what I do.

    I think enjoying being creative is the best part. After all, if you don’t enjoy it on some level, why do it?

    Also I’m learning to play the fiddle, so I expect I will post some fairly “bad” recordings here, as I progress.

    I do believe everyone can be a bard if they wish, but not everyone has the courage or opportunity to perform in public necessarily.

    That’s ok by me.


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