Mice And A Slice?


Alex bought me this wonderful piece of Merlinite (as featured in the main picture) when he and his partner recently went to Bristol for the weekend, a possible location for them after university.

Now, I must say I’ve never actually been to Bristol but it sounds a lovely city, bustling and vibrant, right on the River Avon and just over the way from Wales. Alex found some amazing crystal shops and of course just had to go and investigate…

I’ve written about Merlinite before – it has a strong connection with travel and Wales, both physically and spiritually, as it can take you back to Arthurian times. It is actually part of the dendritic (to do with trees) Agate family – see the tree like pattern within the slice – and as such has a strong connection with elemental Nature and Mother Earth.


This piece has a wonderfully soft and subtle feel to it, like fine porcelain, and the patterns within provide a great path for meditation and mind walks… it opens your mind to the spiritual and allows you to witness the dark magic of Dawn times here in our world so you can bring it into a balanced co-existence with your own current physical and spiritual life.

It can summon and manifest good luck and intentions… although I wasn’t aware I had put the intention out in the Universe that I required mice. One day, a couple of weeks ago, when I was feeling particularly rough, I got up at about 5 o’clock in the morning and went downstairs for tea, painkillers, antibiotics etc…

As I was sitting blearily clutching my tea, wheezing and snorting, Lily shouldered her way through the catflap meowing in that strangely mouth-full “Look what I’ve got” way that announces she’s caught something.

My reaction times were a little slower than usual as she made it to the front room. I sat up, slopped my tea down, seized Lily by the scruff of the neck and administered the “cough it up” tap to the back of her head.

Obligingly she spat a soggy mouse out at my feet. It glared at me, plainly not pleased to be seized by the Demon Huntress and dragged away from his mousely business –

“’Ere do you mind – I’ve got customers waiting!”

Location location location… 

In one smooth movement I leant forward, pushed Lily away and scooped him up in my hands. Slight problem, I needed both hands to unlock the kitchen door, so I dropped the mouse into a cup and clapped my hand over the top of it.

I opened the kitchen door and ran out into the garden with my cup-a-mouse… Lily followed me. Ting was already outside –

Mum! Mum! Whatcha got? Ooh we’re running are we?!”

Tooty emerged from the hedge:

Oh no! What have I missed?”

Then of course Charlie, who’d been having a private moment in the front garden came to participate in my impromptu procession….

Morning prayers! Great idea – I’ll just follow along…”

So. There I am, running round the garden in my glittery pyjamas (yes, I have glittery pyjamas – they seemed like a good idea at the time) and fluffy pink dressing gown flapping behind me like wings, hands upraised with an offertory of rodent, coughing and roaring as the sun is gently rising over my garden, chased by four cats.

Just another day…. Nothing special. Really.


Rhyolite… And Really Naughty Cats!

35348030_256724055073009_6555514871440474112_nRhyolite is actually another member of the Jasper family, its alternative name being Leopardskin Jasper and derived from its intricate pattern of spots and rosettes, like a leopard’s fur coat.


It has a directness about it that enhances our spiritual state but also encourages self-acceptance. It’s another crystal that brings emotional balance and stability, especially if you are prone to extreme mood swings.

Rhyolite brings its owner the ability and confidence to deal with tricky situations with calm and compassion in order to reach a quick solution. Who says a leopard can’t change its spots? This crystal paves the way for change and progress, removing doubts and obstacles from our past lives to show us a clearer way forward.


Rhyolite is a useful crystal to help with healing skin conditions as it fortifies our natural resistance. It teaches us how to be happy within our own skins and also aids communication with the Animal Kingdom, on this plane and the spiritual.

Hmm…sometimes it doesn’t matter how often you ask, or how politely you phrase it, if a cat decides she’s going to do something – well, it’s going to happen. Simple. My girls have been absolutely full of hell this week, and yes, really quite naughty! I don’t know if it’s the sunshine, but the offences have ranged from opening other peoples’ letters, chewing the corner completely off the wardrobe door and beginning a new patch of wallpaper shredding. Mind you, Charlie’s back is healing nicely and if ripping wallpaper is the therapy she needed to stop over-grooming… what can I do…?


Charlie has also invented a new compulsory game that all the cats have to play… basically it involves her hiding, being very quiet, and then when an unsuspecting victim passes, she leaps out – “Brrr-RRP!” scares the living daylights out of them and we all have to run away. I shudder as Ting rushes up the stairs in fright, streamers of carpet trailing from her claws…

Ting… in meaningful conversation with the fish… 

Another recent favourite is disconnecting my partner’s speaker system, done with stealth and cunning as the wires are pulled out of the back so when he goes to play his music there is nothing but a faint hum…

Minor misdemeanours really… and not such much naughtiness as joyful expressions of normal cat behaviour. That’s what I say anyway, and then they can do something so unexpected… While I was ill, I managed to summon enough strength to put some bedding plants in, thinking a little gardening would be good therapy.

As usual, all the cats were watching me as I feebly scraped holes in the compost, pushing in petunias and coughing over geraniums. After observing me carefully for about five minutes, Charlie very sweetly brought me half a chewed leaf to plant…



My mother’s freshly-made seeded bread

Looking back at this midpoint in my life, it’s funny to see how many markers are set in childhood, at least for me. By this, I mean how memories, smells, associations, images and even sensations like touch are ingested in early life, remembered both mentally and physically, and how they continue to have an emotional effect in later years.

Brioche…with onion rolls on the right

When I was a little girl, we used to live in a village- a medium sized one, as it had its own little church and school – but most importantly, a bakery. Just across the road from our house, where it had been for years…

Fig and walnut, sweet and rich…

I don’t know if it’s still there, I hope so, as it was the genuine article, big old bread ovens, kneading counters and proving trays, a real step back in time.

Cheese and tomato flabread

And of course, the smell… that wonderful, evocative smell of bread baking, yeasty and warm, soul soothing and body nurturing.

Wonderful artisan breads, thank you Alex for use of your photo

It was such a treat as a little girl to go carefully across the road with my mother and sister to collect the bread, choosing the great warm pillowy loaves, crisp and still holding the heat of the old ovens.

Wholemeal…still warm… 

Then, at home, watching my mother break them open to reveal the complex textured inside, a miracle of tiny bready caves conjured by yeast, warm water and flour. A childhood memory layered with taste, smell and feel…

A machine made cheese and onion loaf

This love of bread has stayed with me, and I am fascinated by the different varieties you can get nowadays…so essentially this is a food porn post… just look at that butter… melting…


(I’m) Back… And Bacteria


An interesting couple of weeks… not! Whatever I had became bacterial… I felt no better – in fact, distinctly worse – so I returned to my doctor.

As I sat in his room I couldn’t help but let a tear roll down my face (I hate being ill) as I miserably wheezed and spluttered at him.

Oh, that’s often the case with these bacterial infections,” he said cheerfully.

What?” I thought – overwhelmed by images of wriggling green rod-shaped single-celled organisms flooding my already labouring lungs…

I left the surgery, clutching a prescription for industrial strength antibiotics, of the tetracycline family no less, and some steroids to chase away the maracas-playing demons that seem to have taken up permanent residence in my chest cavity.

So, a little better then, despite the battalions of hairy wrigglers that marched in to colonise my body without so much as a by-your-leave or even wiping their feet… As you may have guessed, I hate being ill. I have a couple of physical issues that I chuck the usual painkillers and physiotherapy at, but having a germy sickness gifted to you and trying to get rid of it is something I don’t deal with very well.


I can only put it down to the fact that when I was a little girl I had really bad asthma, so I suppose I associate the weakness of being ill with being a helpless child again, unable to control and unable to understand why my body wouldn’t behave without rendering me breathless, wheezing, aching, condemned to sit quietly in bed.

As a result, I learned to read quite early in life, giving me another much loved source of entertainment – no mobiles, computers, etc…I remember Alex asking me whether television had been invented then and replying somewhat indignantly – and being generally watched over by my cat Snoopy and the dogs. However, times and medications change, although asthma is a frightening condition if not controlled and on average, according to statistics from www.asthma.org.uk three people a day still die from this.

But now, I have set about vanquishing my unwanted and unwelcome bacteria (the friendly ones can stay) with ginger, turmeric, thyme, sage, steroids, antibiotics, cough medicine, throat sprays, crystals and cats… (Hypochondriac? Me? Not at all…) I think I feel better. Although Charlie is still giving me funny looks when she hears me breathing …

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Chest Infection…


I know exactly when it’s going to start… a delicate wheezing like a mosquito trapped in my upper respiratory tract, a distant burning sensation in my chest, just behind my breastbone.

Then, the spread… a sickly sheen of sweat that slithers across my brow and collects along my ribs – I wipe it away and am instantly left freezing cold and shivering. Needle trolls take up residence in my joints and ply their craft, red hot sparks of pain grinding and crunching every time I move.

And the cough – oh the cough. A convulsive hacking, mucus bubbling, throat burning, lung rattling retch of pain that leaves me breathless and clutching my chest.

A brief respite – hunched miserably in the shower, letting the warm water run on my aching back and the steam ease the clench of infection from around my labouring lungs.

Heavy and tired… body like leaden sand… so tired you feel like you could dissipate molecule by molecule and sink into the floor.

Then sleep – pressed upright, feverishly waking every so often to cough and thrash and when morning comes, feeling strangely light and pressed out, dries and cracking and baked in pain.

Thank goodness for the beneficence of Aunty Biotics… her calming touch soothing away the pain, mopping up the mucus and restoring me to something like myself…