Bixa

Bixa arrived yesterday. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Spring Song crossing the basin. It was such a foul day, sleet and wind, that I had given up expecting her. She was so wrapped up against the weather that I wouldn’t have recognised her, but I know the boat.

We put her straight into the dry dock, which was luckily still full of water from Sunrise‘s departure. At least then she was out of the weather.

I don’t think I had really realised what a warm, generous person she is. We sat together on Spring Song and drank sperit and talked about all sorts of things. She is to have an apprentice this Gathering and it means a big change for her, but she’ll be a great mentor.

We ate together on Day Bringer after Bixa had moved her things into the annex. I felt really honoured because she confided in me that she is Bethany Spencer, the novelist. I’ve always enjoyed her books.

This morning I worked with her to empty the dry dock so she could get going on her blacking. Hopefully I can find some time to help with the paint brush too. I’ve been in touch with the carpenter now to let him know that there will be work for him by the end of the week.

I don’t know how I’d feel about having an apprentice and I’d hate having to move out of my cabin. Even though the mentor’s cabin is designed to be more comfortable it wouldn’t be home and it means the loss of the work space.

Oh well, maybe there won’t be an apprentice for me when the time comes.

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Deliveries

– two kinds! I’ve had four more letters from Hemera this week. I had been trying to ignore them, but on Friday I’m afraid they added up to make me miserable and I inflicted myself on Fylan. She wanted me to go to the police, but I’m afraid that if they came here to investigate they might agree with the letters. She listened to me moan however and agreed to keep the letters. Now I feel a bit ashamed of myself for burdening her.

I picked up my leaflets from the printer on Tuesday. I’m really pleased with them and I’ve started delivering them in my lunch hour. It takes a bit longer than I expected. I can only manage about fifty in half an hour.

I’m hoping that Bixa will arrive next week and for a while I thought about waiting to discuss the open day with her, but then I realised that I would still want to go ahead even if she disagreed, so I decided that it would be hypocritical to wait for her approval. I’ve got about two hundred and fifty left now and I plan to finish delivering those this weekend. It should only take a couple of hours as I plan to keep thirty or forty to share with the Silberay.

A quiet week

Thankfully this past week has been quiet, ordinary really, with the exception of a few really nasty letters from someone calling himself Hemera telling me I would pay for my sin. I can only assume it is somehow associated with the cult. I put them in the waste basket and tried to forget them, but it has not always been easy.

I’ve definitely decided to go ahead with the open day and have draw up copy for some leaflets which are now being printed. I’ve paying to have 500 done. I can’t expect the Silberay to pay, given the current state of our finances. I just hope they will get behind the idea because I’ve offered boat rides, tours of the building and afternoon tea and I certainly can’t do it all myself.

Because of the threat from the cult I asked Fylan and Teg if I could practise entering their minds. I need to be able to do it without them noticing and although I used to practise that with Nemle it has been quite a while and I’m not as confident as I was.

At first I couldn’t seem to find the way of it and had quite a few slaps from both of them, but the skill has returned to me now.

They think I’m a witch!

I had a nice ordinary morning working with my clay, but then some men from the cult came visiting. They couldn’t see me at first because I was on Day Bringer, but I had to go out and challenge them because they looked very furtive, creeping around the administration building.

They started to chant “burn witch” when they saw me. I didn’t want to use mind control, that would just have confirmed their opinion of me.

Nemle would have asked me what I have learned so I’m trying to understand. I know I was frightened, terrified would be a better word, and I’m quite proud that I don’t think I let them see it. The hard thing is that it was all my own fault. If I had not shared Day Bringer and the water dimension with Toby and Susan it wouldn’t have happened, but probably Tippa’s welding would not have happened either. Now I’m so confused I don’t know what to do for the best. No, that’s not true. I do know what to do but I’m frightened to do it. In general it might not matter that most people don’t recognise or understand the Silberay, but here at the Harbour it is important that our neighbours know us.

I hadn’t thought about people seeing us enter and leave the water dimension. I suppose I haven’t had to before. If they don’t know why it happens it isn’t surprising that they fear it.

I’m determined to go ahead with planning an open day at the Gathering, but I’m also going to practise using my mind to suggest rather than control. I used to do it with Nemle, but more recently I’ve been practising combat and control rather than subtleness. I’ll ask Fylan and the old ones if they will help. I’m sure the possibility that they can slap me down if they detect me will appeal. (Maybe I won’t ask Blin though!)