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  • Sharon Tootill 10:58 pm on August 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Voyager   

    Homemaking Revolution 

    I stumbled across this blog post this evening and loved the sound of it and actually, as you know, my background is very ‘traditional’ but my heart pulls me in two seemingly opposing directions (career woman Starship captain/ homemaker, wife and mother), so I love the idea of successfully combining traditional homemaking with a healthy  and robust feminism.

    I have bookmarked this blog to read through properly later.

    Homemaking revolution – https://adventuresinthegoodlife.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/homemaking-revolution/

  • Sharon Tootill 3:45 pm on July 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Voyager   

    Surprise Pregnancy  

    Well this is truly a big surprise!

    After my youngest son Kim was born 13 years ago, I had a run of miscarriages including twins at 14 weeks and since then, 5 years of secondary infertility. I had assumed that I was not far away from menopause.

    I wasn’t expecting to be a mom again. I really thought it was too late, that it was outside the realm of possibility.

    But here we are!

    Chakotay has told me that I mustn’t get my hopes up, and although I’m thrilled (and slightly terrified!) I dare not get excited.

    So what has happened to suddenly increase my fertility so late in life? Two things have changed – 1) I gave up dairy and eggs in addition to meat, so I’m now eating a plant-based, vegan diet. And 2) My doctor put me on Metformin to help me lose weight. I haven’t actually lost any weight sadly but it may have corrected my hormonal imbalance just enough.

    I know it’s too early to start thinking about names – there may not be a baby after all, it’s just too soon to know if this will be a successful pregnancy. But favourites in the Chakotay household so far are: Jean-Luc or Luke for a boy and Annika (as in Hanson – Seven’s human name) for a girl. I’m not sure though I might have to veto that one!

    Wish me luck?

    • Valerie 6:55 pm on July 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Congratulations!! ❤
      I'm so sorry for your losses. ((hugs)) Here's to a healthy and happy 9 (10) months! 😉


    • The Smiling Pilgrim 9:12 pm on July 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply



  • Sharon Tootill 2:24 pm on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ABF, ANR, EP, Experience Project, , lactation, , , Voyager   

    Goodbye Experience Project 


    I have been neglecting my logs of late, partly because real life has been unbearably awful for a number of reasons that I won’t go into here, but also because I had got very distracted by a fantastic social media website I stumbled upon called Experience Project.

    I had only been on Experience Project for about a month, but it was the best (online) fun I had ever had, and it was, and still is for now, my absolute favourite place on the internet.

    I originally joined EP to find friends (preferable female, as I’m married so not looking for a partner) to chat about marriage, and there were literally hundreds of groups on EP, and it was a really nice, friendly place where you could be open and anonymous.

    Unfortunately, Experience Project announced this week that it is pulling the plug and its virtual doors will close on 21st April. I can’t tell you how sad and disappointed I feel about this; since, although I have Twitter and Facebook I haven’t enjoyed them for a while (and I hate facebook’s tyranny, what a bunch of bleepers), and there doesn’t seem to be anywhere comparable to EP to go to.

    RelateToThat seemed like the best of a bad bunch. I hope that, if they have a huge influx of new members migrating over from EP, the owners will make some investment and improve the site, as it’s not a patch on EP currently.

    I don’t believe the given reasons for EP’s demise, ie trolls and government demands and interference. Anonymity, until facebook came along and ruined everything, was a cornerstone of internet safety, and there is no way that ever site that allows anonymity will have to change. Every single forum that I know of or have ever been part of allows anonymity.

    No, I think it’s just a cowardly smokescreen for the fact that EP hasn’t attracted enough advertising revenue or supporter funding, and most importantly, the founder and owner has lost interest. I won’t say how disgusted I am that he did nothing to address the issues or ask supporters and members what we wanted or allow us to suggest solutions.

    But there it is. The announcement claims the website and data will continue to be there even though we won’t be able to post anymore. For as long as that’s true, my profile is MrsChakotay.

    I had originally planned to post a story in ever single group I joined (over 1000 at the last count) but that doesn’t look possible now, although I might have a good try while I still can. I am toying with the idea of using my EP group titles as potential topics for this blog. We’ll see. I won’t get bored or lost for ideas anyway.

    I’d like to thank all my lovely EP fans and friends for making my EP experience a good one (as an aside, I only really had one bad experience, and that was being judged and unfriended by a fellow Christian who wasn’t comfortable with ME being comfortable with MY sexuality, but I’m just going to laugh about that and let it be. Each to their own.). And so I’d like to invite you to join me on Twitter, Facebook, RelateToThat or here on WordPress. I hope we will keep in contact one way or the other.

    Yours, Kathryn.



  • Sharon Tootill 5:11 pm on March 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Voyager   



    I hope to develop this blog as a diary of moving to the country from the city, developing our homestead, and going back to basics.

    I would like to include topics such as cooking and home crafts, Bible study, marriage, childbirth, and godly womanhood, raising children, learning to live increasingly off grid, learning home skills and survival skills, prepping and suchlike. It is mostly a fantasy for me in real life, but I hope to bring it to reality.

    It will also be intermixed with a little bit of fantasy fan fiction/ role play around the topic of Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay being permanently stranded on the New Earth planet in the Delta Quadrant – based on a variation of the Star Trek Voyager episode Resolutions – when the crew fail to find a cure for their infection (a parasite which causes them to become ill if they leave the planet), and neglect to return to rescue them.

    Well, that’s alright. We didn’t want to be rescued anyway. We fell in love and started a family instead.


  • Sharon Tootill 4:27 pm on March 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , larp, RP, , Voyager   

    The Forest Dark 

    I confess I spend quite a lot of time on the internet, simply because my illness limits my activity and I can’t get out much. I have multiple twitter accounts, and (don’t tell facebook) multiple facebook accounts. You would hardly believe how much I dislike facebook, given that fact, but I really do. There is almost no control over what you see in your timeline and it’s not fun anymore. None of it seems all that fun anymore.

    The fact that I have so few irl friends here has meant that shutting myself off from social media recently has left me really isolated, and I’m probably not doing myself much good.

    But without a job to go to, and without young children to meet at the school gate, it seems nigh on impossible to make real-life friends at my age. We have been down here 5 years now, and I have one friend. One. And it has not been for lack of trying, believe me.

    If it were up to me, I would move home in a flash. But it’s not even an option. I am stuck in this beautiful, lonely place.

    “Midway upon the journey of our life
    I found myself within a forest dark,
    And the straightforward path had been lost in strife.” — Dante

    It’s one of my favourite quotes, one that I have felt affinity with for many years. (Although I still haven’t got round to reading the book. It’s on my list.)

    But perhaps I really do have a tendency to ‘glass half empty’, because I remember feeling like this before all the awful things happened to us, back when we were living in our own house, in the city.

    And I remember feeling that I was in a kind of ‘wilderness’ even when we lived there, surrounded by people.


    While I have been away from facebook and twitter, I have been indulging in a bit of Star Trek fan fiction fantasy (a bit of writing and role play). If you’re familiar with Star Trek Voyager, the scenario is that – in the episode Resolutions – Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay, infected with a parasite that only allowed them to live on the planet where they became infected, have to be abandoned there alone while the crew go on without them.

    In the series, a cure was found and they were rescued and resumed their journey home to Earth. But the fantasy is that the crew never return for them and so they live there on New Earth together, fall in love and have a family (in fact this is what the writer of the episode, Jeri Taylor, originally envisaged). Of course, I am Janeway and husband is Chakotay in my fantasy. All that’s missing is a tattoo.

    I like the scenario because, quite apart from the romance, I love the idea of being stranded alone, having to pioneer a homestead, grow our own food, make our own clothes, tame animals and raise livestock, and being completely free.

    So why do I hate it here so much in real life? I’ve had 5 years to think about it. The reality is that we don’t have any land, we don’t have a homestead, we can’t even keep chickens here. The country is no better than the city if you have no money. In fact, I think it might be considerably worse in some ways.

    And I am beginning to think that I don’t actually like people very much (although it’s probably just sour grapes. I’m pretty likeable, what’s their problem?! Nobody smiles, nobody talks to you – it really is the most unfriendly and unwelcoming place I have ever lived in, and the beauty doesn’t make up for that). There are far too many people around here to allow my fantasy of being alone, pioneering on the planet.

    So, a way forward? I can’t see us ever being completely happy here, even if I could make friends. I think that the only way to get happy is to get going and move away. I just wonder how far we’d have to move to get the kind of place we want and need at a price we can afford.

  • Sharon Tootill 3:25 pm on December 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , deceit, , Jennifer Lien, Julian Bashir, Kes, , Voyager   

    The Passenger 

    This is another one of the early, experimental episodes featuring aliens we never see again, and the story is unrelated to the overall mythology or anything else in the series.

    In summary: A ship arrives in distress, carrying a dying man – a prisoner who has committed atrocities in the name of science to find a way to prolong his own life. Somehow, although his body is confirmed dead, it seems he has found a way to transfer his consciousness into another body.

    To cut a long story short, it is eventually revealed that Vantika’s consciousness has been transferred to Dr Bashir and he proceeds to commandeer a ship and cause all sorts of trouble. I am rather fond of Siddig El Fadil but this sequence was a bit of really bad acting which made the episode unbelievable, which is a bit of a shame. I think he improves over the course of the series.

    [I thought it would be really easy to find a clip of Bashir acting badly, but I couldn’t find one and I don’t know how to do it myself… so in lieu of what I really wanted, here’s Bashir’s personnel file:]

    Compare this though with Jennifer Lien’s command performance in Star Trek Voyager in the episode Warlord where she is taken over by the consciousness of Tieran, a notorious murderous, villanous tyrant who has survived many lifetimes by body-jumping (it’s a very similar story in fact).

    Again, I thought it would be easy to find the clip that I wanted, but this is the next best thing, with a nice tune as well 🙂

    She was such an amazing actress, it is so, so sad that she has lost her way, getting into trouble and getting arrested firstly for domestic violence a few years ago (apparently the father has custody of the child) and then this year for ramming a police car and then later for indecent exposure in September – all signs seem to point towards mental illness of some kind, and I really hope she gets help and recovers, but I don’t know how likely that is in the US system.

    So, real life application? Just that people are not always what or who they seem to be, and even sometimes people you think you know and can trust turn out to be different that we thought. how well can a man ever really know another man? (Or woman, obviously.)

    Perhaps I’m cynical because I have experienced betrayal, lies and deceit more than once from people I least expected to behave that way. ‘Trust no-one’ seems a good motto until you realise that it’s no way to live. Relationships, friendships, are really what make life worth living, and if you never allow yourself to be vulnerable, you miss out on life itself. So don’t hide yourself away, folks. Go and get out there again, make new friends.


  • Sharon Tootill 3:13 pm on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , religion, , , Voyager   

    Emissary part 3 


    I wanted to come back to explore Sisko’s meeting with Kai Opaka because Bajoran spirituality is such a significant theme of the whole DS9 series, and likewise figures highly in my life.

    “Have you ever explored your pagh, Commander?” – Kai Opaka

    I was raised with a certain set of beliefs and ways of thinking, so certain and sure that our way of seeing the world was the only true one. Honestly I don’t know what I believe now, not with any absolute certainty anyway – whether any of it is true, or even that objective truth can be known.

    I prefer the term ‘spirituality’ to religion – being on a journey of discovery rather than arriving at the point of full knowledge and certainty. Having moved from a fairly fundamentalist Christian background, into Reform Judaism and back to Anglican Christianity through Messianic Judaism, I now view the whole concept of religion in a love-hate relationship, aware of the problems in organised religion, but also conscious of how good and useful and helpful spirituality can be, especially viewed as metaphor to help us understand and explore real life.

    “A Bajoran draws courage from his spiritual life. Our life-force, our pagh, is replenished by the Prophets.” – Kai Opaka

    Sisko’s relationship to religion is far more simple in a way – he is not and never has been a ‘believer’, and does not feel the need for any kind of ‘spirituality’ to grow as a person or any of that nonsense!

    But somehow, for me, living with an agnostic/ atheist/ sceptic has been my biggest catalyst for change. He has forced me to question my assumptions, modify my speech and behaviour (have I mentioned being a red-headed Celt? A raging ball of untamed fury?), in short, to become a better person. It is as though the Prophets have used him as their tool for shaping me.

    “Ironic. One who does not wish to be among us is to be the Emissary.” – Kai Opaka

    Sisko and Opaka argue back and forth about uniting Bajor, Sisko insisting that Opaka must do her part to unite the people, Sisko only seeing the one dimension, the practical side of avoiding civil war. Opaka on the other hand, sees things differently, looking at the root causes of hostility, and seeing spirituality as the answer.

    “You are correct that Bajor is in grave jeopardy, but it is the threat to our spiritual life that far outweighs any other.” – Kai Opaka

    But then she says something cryptic and insightful:

    “I cannot give you what you deny yourself. Look for solutions from within, Commander.”  – Kai Opaka

    This is repeated during Sisko’s Wormhole experience, by one of the Prophets in the form of Opaka, but it is never explained what is meant by it, unless it is to do with Sisko’s grieving process – he can’t really move onto anything else until he has resolved it.

    “I can’t unite my people till I know the Prophets have been warned.” – Kai Opaka

    This reminds me of the film Avatar, where Jake tries to communicate to Eywa the nature of the threat Pandora is facing and begs her to help them, to take sides against the invaders. Neytiri tells him that she doesn’t take sides, only protects the balance of life. It is the difference between a view of the Prophets being a ‘blind watchmaker’, who merely keeps the cogs in motion, oblivious to the creatures and their joys and pains, and the view of the Prophets as concerned, caring and inherently involved in our affairs.

    And then Opaka makes another cryptic pronouncement that resonates through the whole series.

    “You will find the Temple. Not for Bajor, not for the Federation, but for your own pagh. It is, quite simply, Commander, the journey you have always been destined to take.” – Kai Opaka

    I can’t speak for my Sisko. I would love to be able to share my journey with him. The idea that we are on separate journeys heading in different directions (and don’t get me wrong, I am NOT talking about heaven and hell here! Rather, I am talking about being able to understand each other. A marriage is primarily a meeting of minds and hearts. We can be as different as anything but still be ‘soul-mates’. Is that possible when a couple have a completely different worldview?

    The Tears of the Prophet


    “Nine Orbs, like this one, have appeared in the skies over the past ten thousand years. The Cardassians took the others. You must find the Celestial Temple before they do…Tradition says the orbs were sent by the Prophets to teach us. What we have learned has shaped our theology. The Cardassians will do anything to decipher their powers. If they discover the Celestial Temple, they could destroy it.” – Kai Opaka

    Memory Beta, the non-canon database which includes references from Star Trek novels, lists the orbs:

    Orb of Contemplation
    Orb of Destiny
    Orb of Memory
    Orb of Prophecy and Change
    Orb of Souls
    Orb of Time
    Orb of Truth
    Orb of Unity
    Orb of Wisdom

    And then the tenth orb: Orb of the Emissary

    STO also mentions a new Orb known as the Orb of Possibilities.

    And then there’s another, alternate list:

    Orb of Contemplation
    Orb of the Emissary
    Orb of Peace
    Orb of Prophecy
    Orb of Realms
    Orb of Thought
    Orb of Mystery
    Orb of Time
    Orb of Wisdom

    I love the idea of Orbs from the Celestial Temple, and I love the idea of the Wormhole (or the Ocean in my case) as the Celestial Temple, or for me a spiritual entity. There are few people, atheists included, who could fail to be moved by the awesomeness of the Ocean. It is inherently ‘spiritual’ as something larger and more powerful and outside of ourselves.

    But the idea of something concrete and tactile – not necessarily as evidence of the Prophets but rather as a way of connecting us in some real way to the Prophets – is so appealing. It is why, I suppose, that religions use physical objects, such as crosses, prayer shawls, rosary beads, and historical relics, why Chakotay uses his Medicine Bundle to enter into the zone. We’re not good at faith only as a metaphysical exercise, we need something to touch, feel and see.

    “The Orbs represent a tangible, tactile, physical proof that there is something beyond Bajor with a power greater than ours, a power to shape reality, to destroy, and to create.” – Vedek Solis Tendren, DS9 novel, Cathedral

    I might come back to these at some later point as there’s lots of potential for exploration. And needless to say, spirituality will undoubtedly be a recurring theme for me as this blog evolves.


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