Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

Cheerful is as cheerful does right? Better to smile this early in the morning than frown and set my face for the day lol especially in this stormy weather! 3rd day now – I could totally do with a Johny 5 moment wake up call :|

Anyway Mum and I entered this great competition a couple of weeks ago, a very simple and straightforward design contest that a lot of people had fun with :-) I’d never designed anything for feet before but have always been an admirer of fun, soft, long socks especially in warm or fluffy material (and yes pom poms too ^^’ ).

Unfortunately out of only 4500 entries (yeah that’s not much when it comes to testing my luck :P ) we didn’t make the 30 finalists for voting but like with any contest there were so many cool and quirky entries and out of the finalists there’s the usual mix of greats and… Good luck to ‘em and congrats thus far :)

So since my tea is finished *looks at the pile of used tea bags* and I’m still lethargic here’s our what our entries looked like for the hell of it. Don’t laugh!






Note: Any length below the knee was eligible but the longer ones seem the most popular. Also these are just the rough presentation images, the smooth vectors & high res stuff is kept separately.

Penny Black, Black Tea, Tea, Hot Drink, Beverages

Penny Black, Black Tea, Tea, Hot Drink, Beverages

Advantages: Tastes midway between normal and premium brands, get multiple cups for bag or a pot

Disadvantages: No company info.

I came across these on the highstreet in 99p Stores (also online though with reduced ranges at http://www.99storesltd.com) so obviously they were 99p, a bargain for 100 bags/250g of Black tea and 100% Black tea according to the ingredients or in this case ingredient list (note: this is not China Black tea).

Whilst varieties of Black tea are the most commonly consumed teas they’re not usually referred to by colour and many think of Black as different to ‘regular tea’ so to me it stood out as unusual and piqued my interest. I often find a health/alternative food product among the supermarket brands in that store so it was worth a gander to see if it was actually better. It doesn’t specify what type of Black tea it is/where it was grown but then most don’t.

I opened with a reference to chai because Black tea is often or customarily the base of it, chai being a spiced & sometimes sweetened version though Black tea is enjoyed by neat tea (no milk and/or no sweetener) enthusiasts too. It’s also easier to find than oolong, more palatable and sometimes a more digestible alternative to Green tea (less bitter, can drink it on an empty stomach) and cheaper than White. (I don’t mean Green or White matcha tea which are stronger, have yonks of benefits & tend to be more of a cultural or lifestyle preference.)

Difference to ‘regular’ tea

I was actually looking for a brand a bit different to regulars like Typhoo (not a PG Tips or Tetley fan due to their animal experimentation history) so was thinking of Redbush which is made like Black tea though caffeine free (it’s a different plant) but then saw the Penny Black stack and decided to try it.

Animal experimentation for tea:




My first cup was a delight and every cup thereafter has proved consistent, warming and soothing. The immediate difference is the softer, smoother and deeper taste to regular tea. It doesn’t have the sharpness/‘edge’ or slightly piquant/tangy taste (though if you’re drinking Twinings you might think this is stronger since all their teas I’ve tried were mild and don’t resemble pure teas in my opinion & that of other health tea drinkers I’ve come across, I surmise they’re processed in a signature fashion). It also doesn’t have the aftertaste that can stick to the tongue and throat especially for those drinking ‘builder’s tea’.

That said in my opinion it’s just as suitable to drinking neat or with milk and/or sugar as regular tea is and via the usual blending methods whereas I find herbal and teas suited to neat or iced tea drinkers tend to need a different method of blending when using milk (and then it depends on the type of milk!) For someone who drinks a variety of plant based milks freshly made hot or left to cool first – that’s a real time saver and means less having to be made use of in cooking after failed experiments. It’s also a great alternative for tea and cake since the taste is more versatile and less likely to clash with your treat ;-).

Interestingly enough this is also easier on my stomach and less likely to irritate or cause inflammation than regular tea does for me (doesn’t bloat and for those that have any swelling in general, caffeine can add to it).

Why is it different if regular tea is Black tea? The drinks classically known as Tea rather than herbal, fruity or naturally un-caffeinated ‘teas’ all come from one plant (Camellia Sinensis) but cultivated in different ways and then the companies can process and/or blend those too which is all I can really say as to why this is different from the usual shop brands and why those taste/seem different to others marketed by the colour.

Difference in taste to other marketed pure Black teas I’ve tried

Black tends to be a decadent tea; velvety smooth, rich and depending on the producer, aromatic – though usually made fragrant with spice (think fully loaded garam masala style). Like ‘regular’ tea it’s a rich Autumnal Orangey Brown but sometimes more Reddish (though not Red proper like Rose tea).

I personally don’t think it’s velvety, as rich, deep or aromatic as purer or health marketed brands so I equate this to a more affordable version and perhaps better for those who’ve never tried Black tea – a sort of taster between that and regular tea. From my testing this means it doesn’t make as readily a base for added ingredients as the full strength version; I tried to make it like chai and wasn’t convinced, and everything didn’t dissolve as well which isn’t pleasant. That said its fine adding a bit of cinnamon, cardamom and/or my favourite liquorice.

Note – for those who have to pay attention to their sugar levels or the types of sugar they have; I’ve liked this with date syrup, haven’t gotten around to argave or rice, I don’t have maple syrup, White or Golden sugar so couldn’t say. It tastes grand with molasses and muscovado both of which bring out the richness in the flavour, if you want a caramel type taste go for rapadura. Demerara is fine but needs more than the previous three. I haven’t tasted it with stevia yet… A tip is raisins or dried fruit like sultanas, sweet currents or bit of fig for straight up fruit sweetening and a nice treat at the end – they can be had by themselves or as a way to use less sugar (bear in mind that dried food with preservatives like sulphur dioxide can subtly change the taste to those with sensitive taste buds in comparison to a neutral vegetable oil). Tasting nice with raisins also infers that it should taste nice for Sweet Freedom lovers. I haven’t tried this as a chocolate tea (simply by adding cacao powder).


I’ve noticed a difference in spread per bag and it’s tends to be 50/50. Sometimes as soon as it touches the liquid the tea/colour spreads out immediately and beautifully like an ink, whereas other times they need a fair bit of squeezing/squashing. They’re last well upto 3 cups but have a tendency to rip at that point – the box says 1 bag per pot which I can believe since it only gets handled once but it might not be strong enough in taste and I’m personally not a fan of reheating unless necessary. At the moment both Mum and I prefer Indian style tea aka little to no water so the bags are good value but I used to only drink neat herbal tea (pre-April 2014) and still do have homemade from foraged & the leftover premiums that I bought in bulk on clearance so can say the bags take less prodding in water and make a lovely clear tea.

I’ve found that these don’t really need to be left to brew.

Differences to Health Branded Teas

I can’t find the company website for these neither by postal address or name or other retailers selling them so other than the packaging I can’t tell what the company policies are regarding fair/community trade and product quality except for the recycling logos (the plastic film that covers the box is sadly not recyclable).

Due to their address; Penny Tea, PO Box 25, South Elmsall, Pontefract WF9 2YN – I’m thinking they’re part of/a supplier/wholesaler or small trader/company that buys in bulk and/or packages to sell to or on behalf of other companies. Yorkshire is known for high quality tea and and this is probably leftovers/scraps from one of those repackaged for cheaper retailers/outlets.

Fairtrade Tea

10% in 2010:


Still 10% in 2013:


Problems with the Fairtrade Foundation (though that shouldn’t stop exclusive supermarket suppliers ensuring fair trade, supporting other groups or making more co-operatives:


Health brands also tend not to use bleached bags; not all mainstream bags are biodegradable or easily biodegradable, and is something people with sensitivities can notice taste wise. I find this less rich and deep in comparison to more costly brands like Teapigs, Yogi, Pukka et al but it tastes nearer to Clipper’s level who provide ethical teas with more per box at more affordable prices than the aforementioned. Although the pricier ones tend to have more ingredients for interesting & unique blends whereas Clipper tends to focus on pure teas so it’s a balance of preference.

Eco Friendly Teabags?




‘Unfortunately’ loose tea has generally gone from being cheaper than bags to more expensive; the brands tend to be more premium quality and less dusty.

Remember though tea is tea or with increasing age any water based beverage – don’t drink if you won’t be near a bathroom sooner rather than later ;-)

These also don’t come individually wrapped ready for taking out e.g. to work or with cute little designs or fortune cookie style phrases but I find those to be quaint nuances per brand and a container or food bag is just as easy and less energy for recycling since you can re-use them for ages for dried items.

Other Benefits of

I won’t go into the dis/advantages of Black tea because then I’d have to compare it with the other types including Yellow and brick tea (where tea is made into blocks/bricks but the processing of can mean differences in the effects). Black tea has the most caffeine and least antioxidants out of them but is still overall seen as favourable to health and well being if taken in moderation not to mention the taste ;-).

Here though are a few other uses for the used teabags I keep that you might not have heard about (though unfortunately they tend to dry out and crumble faster than regular bags):

  1. Healer: Compress for bruises, blisters & itchy skin,
  2. Softener: Put them in the bath,
  3. Soother: Foot soak,
  4. Deodorizer: Kitty litter additive,
  5. Freshener: Ran out of sodium bicarbonate so put these in the fridge instead.

Bears Divided

Mum made the bears. Due to influence from other parties I was going more for the look below as a satirical take on the well known phrase. They stand together even closely but divided/not in harmony so ironically fall together. I put the writing over their shadow to show their unity in fallen form but it was too much to think about especially without having the theme explained. The direct approach above is better.


All this Is-is nonsense

Modern Egyptians are not ancient Egyptians. I consistently come across people who if you don’t specify the difference will claim the culture/history & modern representations/paraphernalia of as their own from the iconography to the eyeliner.

Now one of the major figures in the later pantheon has been attributed to, I’ll be ‘nice’ and just call them another ‘group’/grouping, further away and to anyone in a negative way that doesn’t totally disagree with them or doesn’t totally agree with those doing the mis-name calling.

Isis was a Roman-Egyptian goddess, a major one, a mother goddess whose schools (and no I don’t agree mystery schools, secret societies, hidden knowledge be they kohl wearing, sitting on mountains, or ‘everyday men’ at lodge parties) were the remnants of the unity all-is-one/source values at the time/place i.e. that of the divine mother/feminine/the galactic centre. She represented a creator, carer and saviour – those who loved her (and yes she was very popular) needed security and protection, those who sought her out and got initiated into hierarchies, well that’s an organized beast of elitism. She was paired with Osiris and later described as the mother of Horus – a figure used in much US symbolism. She was not an Egyptian goddess or the mother goddess proper, she was a later representation – it’s easier for invading/newer peoples to take dominance by not totally destroying what was there already but by incorporating it like missionaries in India dressing and parading Mary statues like Indian goddesses.

Isis came about at the later point of the goddess Aset of Kemet/Khem (pre Graeco-Egypt and meaning Black Land) many say they’re the same or that Isis was based on Aset, they have a lot of parallels and confusion with the demises of Ra and later Osiris doesn’t help and the motherhood of Horus but they grew apart as Isis was more Roman and later more likened to Demeter and Cybele. It really depends on the part of Egypt and timeframe e.g. Hathor is sometimes also called the mother of Horus. It’s so convoluted. Bat, Maat etc are former Mother goddesses proper. Isis has also been associated with Hathor and Western & Central Asian goddesses like Inanna, Ishtar, Astarte, Asherah, Al-lat etc though as usual there’s overlapping and differences in the stories, and the astronomical associations like with the planet Venus, the moon and constellations. She was later associated with Aphrodite. The Inanna (Anna)/Ishtar characters in part are representations of the primordial Daughter later in the ‘game’ called daughter goddesses (and making of the Dark Mother into an evil entity though she is shown as a sister in their story but later referred to by some as a Dark Mother figure) – so a big mish mash of Mother Goddess inspired/stolen culture juxtaposed into malefic systems with the likes of Anu/Enki/Enlil.

The A’s: Astarte, Asherah, Al-lat (all in the origins of Hebrew and Islamic culture) are more Isis like than Inanna/Ishtar so why not use their names then? Isis is more well known by name, easier to pronounce/spell/use as an acronym and easier to tie to those other people seen as similar in some way and lumped together (like how many don’t seem to realize there are loads of types of Brown people, a couple of major groups whose cultural hate for each other goes back further & is bloodier yet they’re both being put in the same group on sight/association – heck I used to get treated rudely by both anti-South & Central Americans and anti-Muslims in US airports and I’m neither – nor am I religious or give a crap about skin colour). Though as usual the use of branding is easily confused by trash talking and blurring the lines i.e. Isis was popular in the Roman empire but that seems easily forgotten nowadays. Her tradition later known as a cult was reduced or changed, like a lot of things/people, by later Romans who preferred the total devastation, hide everything before & criminalize technique. The ancient Greeks were master chameleons, pretenders of ‘goodwill’ like they were doing other people a favour (even by things like mass forced marriage i.e. controlling the gene pool) & loved that they could take on the grandiose nature of the Egyptian cultures and mix it with their own. They were more of the force them beneath and keep ‘em alive style – but both elite Greeks and Romans liked slavery, personal decadence, bloody entertainment and generally feeding/living off those around them – like any tyrant from anywhere.

It’s a tough one deciphering between goddesses and wannabe goddesses i.e. the tools. Most of the modern goddesses who are thought of as ancient by modern standards (I’ve used the word ‘ancient’ thus far for ease of understanding/introduction but I’ll stop that now to put cultures and systems as we currently know them into bigger perspective) are figures in a patriarchal framework and those who need them are between a rock and a hard place so settle since digging takes time and energy. The same characters (man, woman, child, other species) are recycled all over with different names & faces and when there are differences in attributes it’s usually due to local circumstances and/or regime changes. Many of the goddesses we know today are straight up degradations of older goddesses who are incorporated and demoted or representations/figures with superimposed identities from before i.e. avatars. The same goes for the males who were goddesses or added for the sake of public theatre/politics/religion, some are still known for their sex changing and gender bending ways. Many of these altered goddesses or later versions were from mafioso style families/pantheons rampant in religion worldwide and later omitted or masculinised or changed to consorts/figureheads or further demoted to saints with one major exception, Shakti-ism – get to that in a bit. Goddess culture came to be known as fertility cults, sex cults, with sacred prostitutes, ritual killing – all a bunch of bs, and things both obvious and harboured in patriarchal systems. Amazing how those systems have been so visibly anti-homosexuality and incest yet so many male gods and deities were at it with everyone/’thing’ and each other and many of their human counterparts aka the upper echelons saw mating with females as a chore but necessary to keep the bloodlines ‘pure’.

Modern priestesses, nuns etc in major systems where some feminine presence or iconography is still in use are not representatives of Mother Goddess/divine feminine culture, and chanellers of anybody/’thing’ are an issue. Not even Shakti priestesses are representatives proper, if you can find any let alone many brahminis (though according to modern lore there’s supposed to be a male and female practitioner for major rituals). Shakti-ism is one of the major parts of modern Hinduism and when I say modern I mean post-vedic mainly (though also post-diluvian) since most translations of the well known scriptures came from/were sponsored by other cultures e.g. British and there are scores and scores of scripture all throughout India not in English or common. It’s in modern Hinduism where the former almighty Shakti force is demoted to a branch and where the male triad plus 1 come into prominence; the manliest having a feminine name, the ganymede being his part-time lover and the other claiming the personification of Brahma (again feminine). Calling Isis the Mother Goddess (and then associating her with anti disciples) is like calling durga et al Lalita aka the primordial Mother Goddess, the ParaBrahma, MahaKali etc. It’s total crapola. Durga and friends are umbrella goddesses who’ve been added and shape shifted to fit. They’ve done it to an extent with Kali, the only primordial who survived into public consciousness but as a mirror of shiv(a), it’s claimed she is part of durga and basically a feminine version of shiv(a) but she pre-dates them. People include her because they’re scared not to – though again with her adjusted image it’s easy to confuse and attach things to her. Speaking of adjusted image – reptilian themes became prevalent in modern Hinduism. Parts of goddess culture also remain in parts of modern Buddhism but less obviously since they are no longer referred to as any of the many goddesses carried over from Hinduism and already made locals like Quan Yin (the Daughter, and Queen of Heaven – there was no king), later demoted to bodhisattvas, dakinis and then streamlined to yin as a ‘balance’ to yang. That yin/yang business is what’s been latched onto in the Western idea of Buddhism but much of the remaining in Asia think of women as inferior beings or at least practise it that way. There are parts in Hinduism and Buddhism that consider being female as an advantage/ahead on the road to enlightenment and spirituality but even their practise has been corrupted like thinking of the left hand as dirty/impure and feminine which doesn’t help with ideas about eating, going to the bathroom, palm reading or doing yogic practise that say women should do certain mudras on the left hand and men on the right hand.

I’ve written about various goddesses because it’s important to know they exist/ed. If the use of history continued in the same way even the modern female tools would be seen as relics of the past or forgotten, most not even incorporated or in this case further abused. The further forward (newer/later) in history we go the less history we have yet the further back we search the more history they had. Older Indians said Earth was over 4 billion years old, the older Lebanese said the crust was over 3 billion years old. They were right. The later religions allow for races and potential time periods before them yet don’t really talk about them (not in the obvious streamlined, mainstream versions anyway) or at least not in context with their interactions with other races, their lens is very focused. Why, because they don’t know or is it easier to say time began or really began or it’s only important to think of history from when they took over? Older people talk a lot more about beings from the stars, other planets and other Earth land and underground habitants – these allowed for other races in modern religions show them as the pantheons & divine hierarchies e.g. god and angels. The G in the compass and the square from a system rife with mixed symbolism are just tools eh. Some infer it’s sexual intercourse others say it represents the Goddess and/or nature, or nature and/or a personification of hence captured, caged and conquered. Many have called it Satanism due to goddess symbolism rather than the behaviour of those partaking, blaming the wrong parts in a twisted context because otherwise they’d have to acknowledge system similarities and what they want to believe can’t be bad. (Let’s get this straight, I had been told to worship Shiva from a young age, then I liked Kali but then went off religion early preferring to peel back layers, theories, times and let that lead me to comparisons, contrasts, lies, part lies and ‘truths’ (grammar marks used because I can’t be certain on those, I’d need to be near omnipresent for that and belief doesn’t come easily for the sake of it to me.) I talk about Mother Goddess culture because it’s important to know and because it’s there; hidden, trodden on, stolen from, convoluted but it’s there and has been throughout known past, it’s a culture that goes beyond tribe, it’s unwelcome and puts people on auto-defensive.) It’s really no wonder goddess culture and girls/women have been and still are a massive underclass, when allowed to be thought of as people with thoughts/feelings at all and not property of male members of the family who are aided by females disposed to tradition (remember it was only a handful of years ago in here that women could be legally raped by husbands because it wasn’t considered rape as they were property and were apparently always up for it and they couldn’t testify against husbands.)

The Earth Mother and Mother Goddess/Galactic Mother also have a blurred line, sometimes seen as separate, sometimes as one but either way not from the religions common now and prior to the ones people call ancient. Her/their presence goes back tens of thousands of years at least. The known remnants of Her are through the names Gaia, Dea, Lalita, Kali, Bala, Sophia. Though it’s easier and less racial to say Mother, Dark Mother, and Daughter (later known in a sometimes sexist way as Maid, Mother and Crone).

On a sidenote – I don’t dislike all later goddesses, I feel sorry for many in that the male family members loved raping them, human and non-human females. But I don’t like those that ordered/orchestrated the rape of other females or who were generally power hungry, treacherous pieces of crap that put me in mind of the idea of the Orion queens. That said I’ve never found a male deity I could like for being caring or nice, male characters from people and supposed other races yeah a few like anyone else but from the divine/’down there’ lot? No way.

Is(is) seems to be mainly an English speaking Western media term. If the actual group/s is using it now then it just adds to the nonsense. A misogynistic grouping using a major goddess name from a rival empire in its known and popular rival form as a straight up banner… That happens when people are using goddess belief/energy/culture whilst degrading and subverting it – oh wait they are patriarchal so they could be doing that but then they’d change the name again, or give it some hidden meaning (unless they’re going along with it for the overarching goal of goddess desecration but it’s looking like the name is going to be cut to IS – or is that only after the damage is done?). Why not use one of the many male or masculinised names. Funny how it fits in with the re-emergence/remembering of the Mother Goddess or divine feminine. Gotta drag the idea through the mud, but just in case use a ‘fake’/morphed identity (version linked to a prior character(s)/theme) anyway from one of the later goddesses that was superimposed on and background/story confused. (I knew a guy who has an ancient goddess based tattoo over his heart but would denounce and be scared of the goddess the shapes come from/are really associated with but wanted to benefit from anyway hedging his bets. That attitude describes the pack behaviour regarding goddess culture throughout history.) Does Isis have any link to the group (who are being publically denounced by many in the same areas and neighbours)? No, unless a figure associated with the former use of Isis is helping with the battle plans but that can be said of all ‘sides’. Just stop calling them a goddess already, a wannabe goddess maybe but still that’s too confusing. They don’t deserve the title and those of us who are interested in goddess culture even the his-story don’t need the extra helpings of shit to plough through for remnants of truth, growth & natural harmony. I don’t mean manure when I say shit, manure is important.

You want a link? Ok much earlier people would say the Great Mother Goddess (more than or including the Earth Mother) created everyone/body/thing including all the bastardos whether domestic or alien and all those who love the divide and conquer and control way of life. They weren’t made on purpose but an abnormality/mutation, not as some idea of free will to be f* ups. She’s different to the later interpretations that became masculinised and/or monotheistic in which it seems the creator wandered off somewhere, is disinterested, perhaps died, is an overlord, had a child that somehow wiped out all sin by being sinned against & then sin continued or perhaps started afresh afterwards hence needing another ‘coming’, or is everywhere yet ineffectual. Oh wait that link applies to everybody regardless of colour, creed, nation doesn’t it. Whoops how inconvenient and demonizing her is to everybody/one/thing’s detriment. Those much earlier people also believe/said she was taken advantage of, tricked, enslaved and violated by her own children/creation. Many modern people are thinking the same of each other let alone the Earth, non-human animals or a Celestial Mother; we ain’t one big happy family. Unlike the fathers from newer religions she gets angry out of fierce protective love, she doesn’t rape her children or advocate it, she doesn’t sleep around like some vampire ‘creator/parent/lover’ or impregnate and call it an honour, she’s not spiteful and is generous to a fault. What have we done with her, where is she? That’s the problem. Knowledge of her is being remembered/found but of course it’s being buried and shamed at the same time. Some speak of a ‘correction’, her correction of this situation, but that doesn’t mean a ‘reset’ or continuance. Mother goddesses in the various religions have consistently been seen as eternal whereas other deities even so-called and self proclaimed creator deities die, find another host or morph/clone. Egyptians and others ‘mummy’-fied (a pun) themselves albeit in different ways to ‘live forever’ (then there’s cryogenics and transhumanism) or maintain their individuality after passing on from this reality, to cheat yet be a part of source. Using Mother ethos whilst seemingly being jealous of her/wanting to be her hasn’t stopped.

Too much confusion and distraction, this is just a reminder – amnesia isn’t cool.

Mind over matter? So I tell myself… (Most of my art that I post here are just sketches but this one is for sale hence the watermark.)

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Whilst I appreciate the machinery in our daily lives which aids more than takes away or adds in stress/tasks to do and say thank you to them directly (yes I do that), there are two types that I can honestly say changed/enhanced my life; the laptop and netbook I’ve had in the past 14-ish years […]

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Whilst I’m not currently reading a book comprehensively i.e. one at a time consistently, I have finally just finished reading the draft script for the final and unproduced episode of Dungeons & Dragons (80’s popular cartoon, ‘D&D’). The script is available here: http://web.archive.org/web/20110720142026/http://www.michaelreaves.com/pdf/requiem_sec.pdf Reading it confirmed suspicions I had at the time; mainly: 1) I […]


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