In Sickness…Theirs…And In Health…Mine….

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I don’t know how the present weather is affecting the rest of the country, but here in the East Midlands, the rain has not only flooded the surrounding farmlands and countryside, but also seems to have created a fetid fug of soup like flu symptoms that just seem to be trapped in the bowl created by our natural geology, just circulating endlessly…

Now. Don’t get me wrong, I am not unsympathetic to people who are ill… but I do feel quite strongly they should keep their germs to themselves. It started with a hat trick of grandmas… my mother, a confirmed and dedicated smoker, generally has a smoker’s cough, but on this particular day it seemed a little more…vehement than usual.

You’re going to be ill, aren’t you,” I observed, with trepidation.

My mother is a retired nurse and a Yorkshire woman to boot, consequently she is as stubborn as hell and the worst patient ever.

No, don’t be – hrgghhh! – stupid Samantha – bleughhh-ahh!- I’m fine!”

The dogs laid back their ears and retreated to the kitchen. I did likewise.

Then my partner’s mother had the flu jab and promptly caught flu. I had just run home from getting off the bus, contemplating how to add an extra flourish to my run away with a squat, or a forwards roll, perhaps, when-


What do you mean?” I enquired, more than a little alarmed because she is getting on a bit and has had a few health problems.


I decided this necessitated further investigation and trotted round, curbing an arbitrary impulse to attempt a vault over the gate, and ran upstairs to have a look at her.

Are you all right?” I enquired cautiously, poking my head round the door.

Hrrhhha wahhggrr!”

Ah. Let’s sit you up a bit…”

I helped her sit up and her chest eased a little and I sent my partner back to our house for eucalyptus oil.

A cup of tea, essential oil inhalant and a laugh later, I am very pleased to say she was looking a lot better.

Then, although not known to me personally, I heard that Alex’s partner’s grandma was ill too – I spent some time with the Wishing Tree in my garden, asking for help and healing from the Appropriate Places.

Then I went to my mother’s yesterday for dinner, we were watching “Countryfile” and I asked her for the television guide so I could check something. She sneezed in it, closed the pages and offered it to me.

No, I’ll let you keep that,” I said politely, as the dog sneezed in Mum’s face, triggering another coughing fit.

I returned home to be greeted by the mournful face of my partner, mouth breathing, wheezing and coughing… I thrust paracetamol, honey and echinacea at him, seized my sage and thyme infusion and ginger capsules and fled upstairs.

So. I have been taking powdered ginger in capsule form for about a month, I gargle with sage and thyme infusion, have a spoonful of honey every day, a pack of sanitising wipes to hand and I have anointed myself liberally with patchouli and lavender essential oils, hoping that their overpowering scent will fox any particularly persistent germs.

Just in case though – I have my lovely doctor on speed dial…


On a serious note, friends, look after yourselves in this season of illness, and I hope you’ll join with me in wishing my wonderful friend Jean at The Canadian Cats all the very best for a speedy recovery back to full health. Get well soon, Jean, love from all of us here xxxx

Kiwi And Kindness

32281376_239602350118513_1081264003952410624_nSome crystals I return to and write about more than once, particularly the ones that have had a lasting effect on me and have become personally special. One of these that has become a habitual pocket rock is Lotus Jasper, also known as Kiwi Jasper. The white version of this stone is known as Sesame Jasper – but for writing and alliteration purposes I will refer to it as Kiwi Jasper…

My partner bought me my first piece of Kiwi Jasper in a mixed parcel of points – a wonderful crystal stew of Mookaite, Dalmationite, Opalite…but the delicate green of this point caught my eye. Since I’ve had it, I’ve never taken it off, and it’s one of those crystals that have become essential and part of me – like brushing my hair.


Then, one day, Liz just happened to have just the one palmstone of this wonderful jasper. There are lots of varieties of jasper which can be used for different purposes but generally it is known as the supreme nurturer.


Kiwi Jasper has a comfort to it, a gentleness and love that I was drawn to and it’s a very popular stone for use in healing or spirit work. It enhances the connection to Mother Earth and the universal grid of Love, a nurturing and sustaining stone that brings peace and tranquillity.

Kiwi Jasper will cleanse and align the chakras, absorbing negative energies, whilst uniting and balancing all aspects of your life and bringing calmness and resolve to help you deal with any situation.

This is the green of true Love to soothe anger, calm tension and dissolve grief. It balances the heart and sacral chakras and I love it… I asked Liz whether she could perhaps get some more and I was delighted to see a nest of my special favourite at the next Well Being event. I quite firmly believe that favourite crystals are just like cats and chocolates… you can never have just one. I told everyone about this lovely stone, the key words being Love, harmony, balance.


I met a wonderful gentleman at the shop, shortly after purchasing my palmstone, tested it with his dowsing rods. I didn’t know you could do this but apparently it works like a barometer of the crystal’s pure intent. Something like that. My palmstone was quite high and the man then showed me how to re-progamme it… then I was talking about it to a lady at the event and I mentioned what a kind vibe it has and how it never seems to need cleansing.

She put her hand over mine as I held it and said:

It’s because it works in harmony with you – the Yang to your Yin… “

Kiwi Jasper brings emotional strength and awareness; with the awareness of Love comes the awareness of balance. We must give and receive in equal measures to achieve a happy state of wholeness.

I have found with age, I’ve learned a little about kindness, one of those indefinable qualities that can be hard to pin down. I don’t mean everyday kindnesses like washing up without being asked… more the sort of kindness that is linked with understanding.

For example: my mother is an almost-obsessive tidy upper and cleaner of her house – it’s a matter of pride, or so I always thought, especially since she has two large dogs. However, the other evening when it was just us, we talked…as grown up women, and the subject of cleaning arose. She told me that she cleans the way she does so I know she’s still capable and I won’t make her give up her house and put her in a home.

I was a little taken aback. I’ve never doubted her sensibilities or her physical capability and I was almost hurt by her even thinking I would do such a thing. Instead of taking offence, though, I tried to understand and reassure her that would never happen…(who would bake me bread then?)

So in conclusion then I suppose what I am saying is that although Love can be limitless and infinite, to be truly kind, you need to have the understanding too. Balance.


Amazing Older Ladies… Part 1


When I was born, my father’s parents were delighted. I was the youngest grandchild and only granddaughter, and my grandparents were devoted. My Nan sewed tirelessly, believing that elegant sewing is part of every lady’s upbringing; dainty little dresses and crocheted cardigans.

My Grandad was a sensitive, very intelligent man, at times a little highly strung, but loving, warm and supportive. My Nan was a lady in the true sense of the word, immaculate and strong and her pearls of wisdom and sayings still enrich my life now while my Grandad has left me with a love of music hall, variety acts and theatre.


My grandparents met when they were 16 and 18 and were very rarely apart. Devotees of healthy living before it was fashionable, they both lived into their 90’s. I miss them still. This is a little of their story in my Nan’s own words from a letter that she wrote to me when she was 90.

When I was 15 years, my mother had my younger sister, June, at 48 years old. We were in the throes of building a larger house and although we had help, my father said that he would pay me a proper wage to look after my sister: “Your mama and I will still go to the theatre and dancing so you will be in full charge…”

I also went to private tuition for short hand typing and book keeping. When June was 2 years old, I was 17 and worked for a building company (my father’s firm had financed them.) This was in 1934 when Bricklayers were paid 1/7d an hour, Labourers 1/2d… riches indeed.

At 16 years I met Grandad at a Football Dance, he played for Wolverhampton Amateurs on Saturdays. A reasonable footballer, he was a rotten dancer, but he was always fun to be with.

Grandad was a metallurgist and when he had qualified he was a Member of the Institute of Metals. He met an American who asked him whether he would like to learn the technique of putting glass onto metal. I used to type all his notes about Bessemer furnaces and took a job at a rolling mills.

When Grandad was 21 years old, he bought a plot of land for £100 – a lot of money in 1937, where we built our first house, and then we were married in 1939. While we were on honeymoon, war was declared and Grandad tried to enlist for the navy, but when it was discovered that he was a metallurgist, he was involved in Ministry work for parts of bombers.

EPSON MFP imageNan, in later years, with my father

After the war, Grandad helped rebuild factories in Holland, France and Italy – an awful lot of travelling. When he had to go to the States, he used the Queen Mary, or the Empress line for Canada and oversaw his final project in Mexico at the age of 70.

He could talk on his subject ‘Vitreous Enamelling’ for hours and never need notes and lectured far and wide, South Africa when Apartheid was in full swing and invited behind the Iron Curtain. He was given a doctorate but wouldn’t use it.

He always said that he had no regrets, he had a very busy but enjoyable life, from school to business, and was very tired when he died at 92 years. I miss him terribly and know that I always will.

Although I didn’t see my grandparents as much as I would have liked in later years, both Nan and Grandad had an impact on how I view the world… I secretly fancy myself a somewhat better seamstress than I actually am and I know a surprising amount of music hall songs off by heart…

img_5773My Nan’s favourite flower, and a scent that always reminds me of her…