K.O’d By Cauliflower…


Honestly. In the almost two years since I’ve given up smoking, my body seems to have become horribly temperamental. I have accepted with what I hope is good grace, my middle-aged body’s inability to do certain things any more – like leaping up steps two at a time without a cacophony of knee clicks and back crunches… or staying up beyond half past ten without succumbing to watery eyed yawns and next morning grumpiness.

No. What grieves me is the never-ending list of foods I appear unable to tolerate, that previously did me no harm whatsoever. Like garlic – raging indigestion. Pickled onions – pretty much the same. Chocolate – this is quite upsetting… a headache and increased tooth sensitivity, but a very special headache of the variety where you feel like ratchets have been inserted at the corners of your eyes and are slowly being tightened with every breath you take. (Should have been a torturer for the Spanish Inquisition, me.)

And of course, there’s cheese. Formerly a favourite, now it is to be avoided the way a vampire avoids garlic… I am aware of all these things and have taken steps to avoid them, even going to the lengths of running past the cheese counter in our local shop.

Things were ticking over nicely – I cut these trigger foods mostly out of my diet as that seemed most practical… I hadn’t accounted for my mother. With ninja-like stealth she surprised me with a cauliflower cheese. I wasn’t aware she was making this dish, but it would take a braver woman than me to tell her I couldn’t possibly eat it. It took me twenty years to tell her I hate Brussels sprouts.

I thought I could handle it. After all, it was more cauliflower than it was cheese. But no. I made it home, but then spent the next twenty four hours in the grip of a cheese-intolerant headache and stomach upset.

So. Beware the cauliflower. It may look innocent enough, but when in combination with cheese, it’s a lethal, incapacitating weapon.

Down. But Not Out…

29695020_222825435129538_3206200624131604480_oAnd essentially I find I am alone. It’s a difficult thing, depression, and something that has been with me for a good part of my life. I don’t talk about it much, or write about it, because it’s just there. Sometimes it’s not.

My mother understands the concept of depression, but doesn’t quite “get” it. She knows I had awful night terrors as a child but cannot relate to the vague, underlying sadness I have that simply will not go away, despite being told:

For God’s sake cheer up Samantha!”

My partner knows I have depression, but doesn’t quite understand its shifting nature, how I can be fine one day and then “down” the next and I really just want to be left alone until the spasm passes.

My older son, to be honest, is a source of sadness and pain, but his is not a story to be told here. Suffice it to say, I feel he’s lost his way and is taking help from all the wrong quarters.

Alex is doing very well – his school years were not kind to him and although he coped well at college and achieved his goals, university has really become his element. I am so pleased for him – how could I not be – he’s made it.

I don’t feel like it’s “empty nest” syndrome, not at all, not with four cats and everything else. Just that this is where I begin again. With me. Just me.

And set my paper boat afloat again on the River of Life.


Gold And Goodbyes.


Strictly speaking, Gold is a mineral, not a crystal, but it still has its place in the world of healing and therapy. It is said to inspire knowledge, encourage spirituality and bring true understanding of the physical and spiritual self so they can be united and complete.


It is traditionally a symbol of wealth but is also said to encourage generosity and compassion, a mineral made for sharing and caring, not hoarding. Gold can also be associated with purity and development.


Gold can help with the balancing of the heart chakra and its purity is also credited with the ability to preserve thoughts and information which can be accessed at a later date. It clears negativity from the chakras and aura and is a lovely way to connect with higher energies.

Physical examples of gold’s ability to endure can be found in the jewellery and relics of Roman..Saxon… Egyptian times…however far you care to go back, and it is a wonderfully positive mineral to have about you, wear, or use. It has a lot of positive associations – a golden handshake, golden years and so on, and who isn’t happy with the gift of golden jewellery.


We recently had to say goodbye to Lucky the budgie and it actually upset me a lot more than I anticipated. You see, we’d had him for nearly ten years – my little dog Lulu found him when we were out walking the dogs (A Lucky Save), Walter, my beloved old cat knew him, he’d watched Charlie grow from kitten to princess and was distinctly unimpressed with Ting and Tooty – these animals were and are all part of a long golden chain linked by love.

Animals that I have known and loved and the privilege to share my life with, spanning forty and more years, from Walter to Tibby, his mother, to Mogwai, Ginger and Ming my Burmese, then Snoopy, my very first cat. Not forgetting the dogs… from Lulu to Rebel to Rowan to Rosie to Shadow and Wolf, then Nikki and Bruce… all the way back to my mother’s first dog Beauty and cat, Peppy…


A roll call of the faithful, their love still shining as bright as any gold in a chain of love that carries us through our days and helps us if we lose our way. So, although goodbyes can be sad, treasure them like gold as we forge a new link in our lives.


Love always xx