Let me introduce myself

This was supposed to be about you.

And you turned the tables on me.

There I was wanting to know all about youand lots of you responded with requests for more personal blog posts, more about my life/boat/animals/etc… (as well as loads of other stuff.)

Well, okay! Rambling on about myself doesn’t sound too hard. I’ll be sure to keep posting blogs about my life.

Meanwhile, for those of you who are impatient, and especially for those who are new to Little Red Tarot, allow me to introduce myself properly.

Here are five things which are pretty key to who I am and what I’m all about.

1. I guess I should start with the animals.

Two cats, one dog. Here they are:

Emily (Ems)

Nine years old, total weirdo, super-loving, shy at first, suddenly turning to insanely affectionate when she knows you. Wakes me up every morning by clawing at my eyes. Brings in a LOT of dead/half-dead shrews.

emily

Jammy

Three years old, very chatty, haughty and vain. Acts like a pampered princess and always takes the credit for Emily’s prey. Has an incredibly cute habit of imitating Emily.

Jamila

Billie (Billie Bean, Tiny Dog of Love, Tiny Face, Wonky Dog, Willies, Willy Wonks etc)

Billie’s six, a labrador crossed with a sharpei. Emma’s had her since she was a pup, but I’ve adopted her too, as of two months ago.

She is the cutest dog in the world but eats anything and is a constant source of worry to me. She sleeps with me every nightand comes with me to work. Favourite game: fetch, but where she doesn’t give you the stick back and you have to chase her for it.

billie-2

2. I live on a little red boat.

She’s called Swallow and she’s a canal boat. Not a longboat (that’s what the Vikings had), not a barge (they’re huuuge), not a sailboat (those are for the sea), but a humble, 30ft by 6ft narrowboat.

swallow

It’s very basic and pretty hard work. But it’s amazing, too. She’s heated by a small stove where I burn wood and coal. Electricity comes from 3 domestic batteries (like car batteries) and from a shoreline hook-up. I fill up the huge water tank in the bow of the boat once a month, and water is heated by LPG gas from cannisters. I have a little portable toilet which I empty out twice a week.

The marina is in the middle of a public park. As I don’t have a shower I often find myself creeping across the park in the dark for a shower at the boatman’s hut.

new-islington-marina

Living on a boat enables me to own my own home and move it wherever I like – not that I do much moving. It’s a beautiful and challenging way to live – close to nature, aware of the movements of the water, surrounded by geese and herons and living in close quarters with other boaters.

It’s super cosy with all the animals here too. I work from home a lot but also out in cafes and bars in the city – cabin fever is a very real risk.

I write a little blog about renovating my boat here.

swallow-inside

3. I’m queer.

For me this is a political status and also a catch-all ‘caegory’ which means I don’t define myself by who I sleep with. I could fall in love with anyone of any gender and don’t have a ‘type’.

My life partner is an incredible woman named Emmashe’s a builder and a genius and the most beautiful soul I have ever met. Emma lives on a boat too, moored right next to mine – so we have the best of both worlds. It’s a bit like living together (‘whose bed shall we sleep in tonight?’) and a bit like having our own places (‘actually babe, I just fancy a night alone.’)

We met because, years ago, we both worked for the same straw bale building company, and bonded over a shared love of adventure, of experimenting and making crazy plans and *actually doing them*, of getting down and dirty with the elements, and of hot sexy sex with each other. Which is nice.

Emma-Appleton

Em’s in the States right now doing a timber-frame building apprenticeship at Hawk Circle.

I miss her like crazy…so often lately I’ve had the kind of day where I want nothing more than to crack open a bottle of wine and talk and talk with her. About life and what it all *means*. With her soft, wonderful voice and her unique take on the craziness that is being a human in this fucked-up, amazing world, Emma is a constant source of inspiration and joy to me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

4. I lost my best friend and my first love five years ago after a disasterous experiment with polyamoury.

After seven amazing years together, my partner and I felt we were too ‘comfortable’ and agreed to see other people – so I got my with best friend’s girlfriend and he got with my best friend. Not the easiest. I freaked out, didn’t deal, and behaved bady – ultimately losing both of them.

I don’t want to change anything about my life as it is right now, but I would still say that this situation is my greatest regret. I love them both very much and I wish we could make amends.

5. I’m a tarot reader and writer, and I also do web design to make sure my bills get paid.

Writing and tarot are my passions – I’ve always been writing something, whether that’s angsty prose, poetry, essays, zines or articles – so this tarot blog, started in 2010, is an awesome way for me to just write and write, about something I really love, with an actual purpose.

I feel like I’ve ‘found myself’ as a businessperson – after years of working in all kinds of jobs, setting up on my own was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love business planning and building relationships with clients working out how to make money whilst doing something I can put my heart and soul into.

And I love reading business books and websites – there are so many different approaches to being self-employed and I feel like I’m always working on figuring out my way. It’s such a fun process and so much amazing work, I can’t imagine my life any other way now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And here are a few more quickies…

I’m a vegan (ish) at home, a vegetarian when I go out, and a carnivore when I’m hungover.

I’m no clean-living girl. I drink a lot and smoke a bit and eat crap and am addicted to coffee and sometimes do other naughty things.

My very favourite thing in life is music. I can’t list my favourite bands and musicians here but I love shouty girls with guitars, joyful electronica, accordion music and feminist hip hop. I make a LOT of mixtapes.

I love photography – though I don’t make enough time for it in my life these days. I am stuck on 35mm film and still use a 60s Canon AE-1. You can see my photos here.

I’m a white-British, middle class, cisgendered woman and I’m 32 years old.

I’m Aquarius with Leo rising and Moon in Capricorn. Make of that what you will.

I was born and bred in Shrewsbury, Shropshire and I got two little brothers. Mum and dad alive, well, together… I’m know that I’m lucky to have had a really safe, secure, supportive upbringing.

I have a first class degree in English and American Literature and I’m dead proud of it.

My faves:

Book – The Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers
Tarot deck – The Wild Unknown and the Rider Waite Smith
Tarot card – Queen of Swords and Nine of Pentacles and Three of Wands
Film – Everything is Illuminated and Beasts of the Southern Wild
Song – Devotion by Indigo Girls
Website – Autostraddle
Colour – red!
Food – toast
Herb – rosemary
Person – Emma Appleton
Drink – cider
Season – autumn
TV programme – Orange is the New Black
Artist – Odion Redon
Place – Gaddings Dam (a reservior on top of the moors in Todmorden)
Thing to do on a Sunday – newspaper, coffee, sex

beth-maiden-autostraddle
So there you go, that’s me!

Nice to meet you!

Beth x

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12 comments

    • Beth says:

      Thank you! Readers asked for it – in truth it offends my British modesty to ramble on like this but I thought it was time to get over it… 😉

  1. Beth! I grew up in Manchester, NH (USA), and seeing those mills makes me think of home. Also, I just have to tell you how much I love your blog and how helpful it’s been while I play around with tarot. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Beth says:

      Sarah! From one Manchester to another I’m waving across the ocean at you 🙂 Thank you for your kind comments! xx

  2. Danielle says:

    !!! i also take film photos with an AE-1! (okay, well, i haven’t in a while, because i’ve been too broke to develop the film i have & buy more. but still!)

    • Beth says:

      Hey Danielle – ah, yay, AE-1 fans of the world unite! Yep, it’s so expensive. But worth it. Treat yourself to a film and have fun day out with your camera – you know you want to 😉

  3. Vayla Nightshade says:

    Hi Beth nice to meet you & your furry family. I love animals too,right now I have two rescue cats who are sisters. My doggie daughter Hera passed of cancer 4yrs. ago and I have not gotten another dog yet. I had her 10 yrs. and still miss her terribly and am afraid to have another heart break of losing another. My huband of 20yrs. says I have to remember they don’t live as long as people. I know he’s right and someday I may be able to find another dog to bring home and open my heart to. Love your blog and am jealous of your gypsy life style!

    • Beth says:

      Hey Vayla – gosh, I can’t imagine how painful it must be to lose a dog, though I’ve lost two beloved cats and that was awful. I still miss them both very much.

      I do hope you’ll find a wonderful dog to love as soon as you’re ready 🙂

      B xx

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