I am delighted to say: I’m home. I have left China, and have moved back to Wales. I’m not in my native Glamorgan, rather in the old lands of Pwyll and Pryderi, the lands of the Demetae. I’ve bought an old house, which is very much a fixer-upper – I hope I can fix it up before funds run out, but we’ll see. It has a garden of a reasonable size, much plagued at the moment by bramble and bindweed, but even in my first few days here I’ve made some progress on that front. I have lots of plans for that garden.
Appropriately enough, I’ll now be able to resume, which is to say properly start, my OBOD Ovate studies. I received almost all of my Gwersi while I was in China, but it was impossible to study this grade there: unlike the Bardic grade, which I was able to do in my apartment and in hotel rooms, the Ovate studies are much more focused on the outdoors… and in China that can’t be done. There is always someone watching; the flora and fauna are different and I wanted to work with the natural world of my own Wales; plus, of course, any kind of ritual in public (and even in private, to an extent) is illegal in China, which is officially and attentively atheist.
This last issue led me to close this blog down for a while. I started to see articles about a clampdown on religious activity, and proselytisation by foreign teachers (I wasn’t a teacher, but I was in the education industry). I started to notice my blog stats showing visits from readers in China, which was new. My internet connection started to drop whenever I visited sites relating to Druidry, or to paganism more generally. Although I never discussed Druidry with anybody in China, I definitely began to feel that I had drawn the attention of the Burning Eye, so to speak. It seemed to me that there was increasingly a risk to my personal safety, so I thought it best to close the blog down temporarily.
Combined with a lot of things – particularly the sense that the Gods had summoned me home last year, which Covid had prevented – this was the last straw. Time to get out, time to come home.
And so here I am. For the moment, I’m just taking stock, and concentrating on my new home and garden… but I’ll still be blogging. I have many plans; we’ll see how many come to fruition.