An old Blackthorn tree in spring blossom
The Photo: The Blackthorn (Prunus Spinosa) is prized for its lovely grained very hard heartwood for making walking sticks, Irish shillelaghs and as a shrub it creates an impenetrable hedge. Blackthorn has been long associated with witchcraft, and it is said that witches' wands and staffs were made using blackthorn wood. And its berries, Sloe, are used in making Sloe gin. Long ago Blackthorn was so common in the Cambrian Mountains that the castle and Barony were named for it.
The Blackthorn riding crop: I’ve had a riding crop made from Blackthorn heartwood by an aged craftsman who I’ll call ‘Garrick Ollivander’. Harry Potter fans will recognize the name as the owner of the Wand shop in the village outside Hogwarts. Mr. Ollivander lives in one of the Barony’s grace-and-favor cottages in the village close at hand having rendered services in making riding crops, walking sticks, crutches and charms for Edith my predecessor as Baroness.
Having a riding crop made is not quite like having a Wand fitting as the crop doesn’t have a personal relationship with its owner as a wand does. However, the length and thickness of the crop shaft should be proportional to the size of its owner and the grip should fit comfortably in the owner’s hand. Mine I use for play with my submissives during BDSM scenes when I’m training men as well as when I’m riding horses. I also use it to correct students during ballet class and when I’m teaching pointe while wearing ballet-boots I strike the crop against the heel cup of my boot when I’m displeased with the students performing a combination and the soft leather popper makes a wonderfully sharp crack which really gets my students attention. For more about Prunus Spinosa, see the article: HERE
Location Z disappears: Actually, it didn’t really disappear. We know exactly where it went. The last reported earthquake in the Scottish Highlands was a magnitude 3 centered near Fort William in July of 2014. So it doesn’t seem that temblor was the trigger for the massive slide that caused the top several hundred feet of the cliff on which Location Z was located to fall in to the valley to the north. Returning readers will recall that the north altar at Location Z was on the edge of the cliff and the standing stones to its north had already fallen into the abyss. Jack, Viscount Sandbach and one of my former lovers, whose father owns the land, had always said the location was safe. Apparently he was mistaken! Fortunately the slide occurred between celebrations so none of us were injured and since it occurred at night and fell into a forested area no one was injured in the valley where the slide landed. I give thanks to the Goddess that no humans were injured or killed!
I should still have time to find a suitable location to celebrate the Winter Solstice which I think will almost certainly be Blackthorn Castle since it would eliminate a good bit of travel and having to stay with friends, the long ride to and from the mountain top and changing into ceremonial garb on site in tents. Not that His Grace, the Duke of M**** hasn’t been a perfect host whenever I’ve stayed with him, but losing Location Z removes a great deal of the reason for going to the Scottish Highlands to celebrate the changing seasons. Although, changing the location of the ceremony will have little effect on the weather experienced, which is almost as cold and wet at Blackthorn castle as at Location Z. However, getting out of the weather afterward will just be a matter of going back inside the castle. From recent research in the Barony archives by a scholar who works in the Bodleian Library and is an expert on early Welsh texts, prose stories (The Mabinogion, the White Book of Rhydderch, the Red Book of Hergest and others) I’m finding that one of the oldest parts of Blackthorn Castle an east facing tower is said to have been built over a sacred Celtic site which may properly serve the needs of Aphrodite.
It’s amazing the ancient texts setting down the legends surrounding the castles location that my Bodleian researcher has discovered. She found them shelved in an alcove previously blocked by a medieval bookcase in the castle muniment room. The tower is a part of the castle that (so legend has it) hasn’t been entered in more than three hundred years since the 12 y/o son of the 18th Baroness fell to his death from its roof while hiding from a playmate and is said to haunt it. Well, hasn’t been entered other than gain access to repair the roof during which strange things happened with some of the materials being used. No one has wanted to go into it especially the cellars where the Celtic ruins form part of the foundation fearing both the ghost and spirits from the old ways. It would seem that being built over the sacred Celtic site the tower, which is on the eastern side so has a marvelous view of the sunrise, should be ideal. I’ll have to have the roof checked for size and safety and I look forward to inspecting it myself with Charles.
Circe’s Lair at Blackthorn Castle: Several years ago I started a small gathering spot in my club Naughty Pleasures in Las Vegas called Circe’s Lair, which was a private costume encounter club, giving women an opportunity to act out their fantasies with men by giving them so much sex it drains the men of their energy changing them from tigers to kittens. Rather like Delilah cutting off Sampson’s hair, but a club member’s weapon of choice is her vagina not shears. A talented woman with stamina could turn a man who thought himself a tiger in bed into an exhausted tabby during a single encounter.
This past February I approved plans to upgrade part of one of the newer wings of Blackthorn Castle to make a small getaway destination for aristocratic vanilla women who want to improve their sexual skills and I’m calling it Circe’s Lair. The modifications are complete and it’s quite lovely! The Lair when it’s opened for clients won’t be specifically to train them to exhaust men sexually, but should that happen more power to the women. It is an achievement devoutly to be wished! From what I’ve seen of young aristocratic British women many of them are vanilla and sexually naive so there should be quite a market for a course that teaches my seductive techniques and pelvic skills. It will be a combination of the Contemporary Sexual Health and Advanced Sexual Techniques courses I taught at St. Lucy’s in Las Vegas.
The Lair is lovely, very feminine without being the least twee. It has three suites each consisting of a bedroom, sitting room, large full bathroom and an encounter salle. On the ground floor is a very nice residential size enclosed and heated swimming pool. Not that their was a large amount of traffic at Blackthorn House in Belgravia when I trained women there, but having a student away from the delights of London should help focus her mind on her training. Tanaquil has agreed to send one of her French Dommes over to run the Lair and manage the male trainers and their female students.