Amagreen And Awards

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Firstly I would like to say a great big thank you to Jean, Shoko and Kali at The Canadian Cats, Binky and Granny at AngelsWhisper and Nicolle, of Stories of A Highly Sensitive Introvert, who nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award and the Black Cat Blue Sea Award. I am truly grateful for their kind thoughts – please go and visit, if you don’t already know them, lovely ladies, all of them.

So. As this is a combination post, I thought I would choose a combination crystal… Amagreen. This fascinating crystal is a new one for me, so I must thank and credit the wonderful www.healing-crystals-for-you.com for the information I am relaying back to you, for as I said, this is a new crystal for me too.

So far, I have found it to be a pleasant and calming stone, with a wonderful balance of purple amethyst, white quartz and green prasiolite. It releases a loving energy filled with compassion to encourage emotional healing. It can also be used to help awaken psychic abilities.

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The green element – prasiolite – is connected with the heart chakra, while both white and purple are connected with the higher head chakras; so it is a wonderful combination stone that promotes deep love and empathy; but also emotional intelligence and how to use it.

This brings me neatly to my nominations from The Canadian Cats and AngelsWhisper – wonderfully sensitive and caring ladies, and good friends who were some of the first people to befriend me here, on WordPress.

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For the Blogger Recognition Award, you have to tell the story of how your blog began, I did that here. As a post-script to that story, I am currently learning how to continue the blog – not the writing aspect, but the actual technical side – gulp… – as I am not the most computer literate person in the world, and my son has always taken care of that side of things for me. However, he is writing me careful, step-by-step instructions on how to publish a post etc. to prepare me for when he leaves for university in October.

As part of the procedure for the Blogger’s Recognition Award, you also have to give two pieces of advice – well, they also remain the same. Essentially: interact. Answer comments, talk to other people, visit other blogs. I’ve made some really good friends this way. The second piece of advice is: be nice! I can’t stress that enough, there is very little point in being unkind, or unpleasant, that’s like acid indigestion. You will just rot away from the inside out. (An additional piece of advice would be make sure you’re computer literate…)

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For the Black Cat, Blue Sea Award. I must thank Nicolle for nominating me – her questions can be seen here and my answers are:

  1. What would you like bloggers to do more of that they aren’t doing right now?

    To be honest, I don’t really know, the blogs I follow are high quality, and easily accessible, so just keep on doing what you’re doing!

  2. Tell us four things about yourself, one of which is not true, and see if we can guess…

    a) I have a secret passion for Justin Bieber

    b) I was persuaded to start an Instagram account by Gary

    c) I’m a natural brunette

    d) I have over 40 pieces of Rose Quartz

  3. Describe a perfect day that balances all the things you love.

    My perfect day… hmm… a decent night’s sleep – uninterrupted preferably, by having to remove live rey from the house thoughtfully brought in by Lily. Then sunshine would be good, and just basically relaxing with the cats in the garden! (I’m so boring…)

    I’m not going to nominate any specific blogs, so I will throw them both open to anyone who would like to have a go. And, thank you, as always, to anyone who’s been kind enough to stop for a like, a look, or a subscribe.

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Ice Cream…? And Music!

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I always say this… but this time, and after Sunday’s post, I definitely mean it… we will be going award free here at Crystal Cats. I have really appreciated everybody who has thought of me, and as a collector, I have been privileged to receive at least one and sometimes more of the WordPress tags and nominations that go around, for which I will always be grateful.

But here… William, of A 1000 Mistakes offered me ice cream (I’m so shallow) to participate in this music tag, as created by Life In A Blogshell, so how could I refuse…Thank you William – please go and visit him for a great blog and music and the history behind the songs…

For “The Shuffle The Music Tag” just put whatever device you use to listen to your music on, and press the shuffle button, and write a little something about the first fifteen songs that come up, what they mean to you, their history, whatever takes your fancy. Then nominate seven or more people to participate, obviously letting them know.

Here we are then – this is my go at the Shuffle tag…. And I warn you now I have somewhat eclectic music taste!

1. “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones

One of my earliest memories as a little girl was seeing the last of the American troops returning from Vietnam, on an English children’s news programme, and this song, among others is inextricably tied in my memory to the troubles of that time.

2. “I Love My Life” by Robbie Williams

Everybody needs a bit of Robbie in their lives – this was the second song released from his eleventh studio album, written to encourage positivity and hope. Love you Robbie!

3. “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” from “Jesus Christ Superstar” music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Tim Rice, sung by Yvonne Elliman

I saw the film of this amazing rock opera for the first time when I was about seven and was totally blown away by the music… thus beginning my lifelong love of music, theatre and the musicals. It actually came to my home city on tour, and although the actress playing Mary did a creditable job, no-one has ever matched the soaring splendour of Yvonne Elliman’s rendition.

4. “Pompeii” by Bastille

No idea what this is doing on my phone; to be honest, the first time I listened to it was for this tag. A pleasant enough tune though.

5. “Empire” by Shakira

Ah yes, I have my son to thank for this one… he likes her. Me? I’m not so fond, considering she lost me a bet of £10.00…

6. “Wonderwall” by Oasis

Mad for it! This song was released in 1995, some years after my student days, but I will always remember being in Manchester for the birth of Britpop, and even now, this is still one of their most popular songs.

7. “Somewhere Only We know” by Keane

This was popularised by Lily Allen and the John Lewis Christmas advert, but its poignant lyrics struck a note with me during its initial release in 2004. Just listen – and feel.

8. “Symphony No.25 in G Minor, K. 183” by Mozart

Another film reference… “Amadeus”, a magnificent epic – somewhat glamorised – about the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, released in 1984. I went to the cinema to see it and was at once captured by the eloquent beauty of Mozart’s music. “Too many notes!” Never!

9. “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus

The first song that made me feel like a parent… when I saw the video to this, I thought: “What on earth is her father thinking, letting her do a music video dressed like this..?” However, it’s a great song, actually, and I should think that her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, is justifiably proud of his beautiful and talented daughter.

10. “Especially For You” by Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue

Cheesy? Oh yes. Wonderful? TOTALLY! I loved Jason in “Neighbours”, followed his music career with interest and was over the moon when he came to my home city on tour with “Priscilla Queen Of The Desert”, playing Tick. Kylie? Oh, she’s all right too…

11. “Baby’s On Fire” by Die Antwoord

I have my son to thank for introducing me to this South African Zef hip hop rap-rave group, Ninja and ¥olandi Vi$$er. They also starred in the film “Chappie” and are actually pretty cool…

12. “Grace Kelly” by Mika

Flamboyant and fabulous – to me, this song is about the confidence you can have in just being yourself.

13. “The A Team” by Ed Sheeran

The lyrics to this song are just hauntingly sad.

14. “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” by Baccara

Oh I love this song! A real “feel good” hit from the ‘70’s – I vaguely remember my father dancing to this, for some reason, and I was overjoyed when the song made a reappearance on the Dairy Milk advert, with the lovely Brendan Gibson playing the boogeying boss… chocolate, a spinning office chair, a nice man and a good tune – recipe for a great advert!

15. “Take Me To Church” by Hozier

A line of this song stayed with me: “I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife…” an almost-love song, but very dark… banging tune though.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this wander through my music… my nominations are: The Canadian Cats, Angels Whisper, Ella, Caz, Lady Joyful, GarfieldHug, Gillyflower and Gary. A truly wonderful group of people I am delighted to call friends… it’s over to you!

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Biscuits And Blogging…

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I don’t often do awards or tags now, not because I am ungrateful, or can’t be bothered, but because I am actually quite shy and not great at talking about myself…despite the fact that I have a blog which generally includes some of my mindless witterings!

However, the lovely Gillyflower has nominated me for a Liebster, and although I was touched and pleased to receive the nomination, I had every intention of refusing it.

Until I saw The Question.

That’s right, just the one, and it just so happens it concerns an issue I feel quite strongly about.

Oatmeal biscuits with raisins? Or without?”

Now. As you may recall from previous posts, biscuits form quite a large part of my diet and in my opinion they should be accorded the dignity of a separate food group in diet classification. To me, they are the ultimate in comfort food, largely responsible for my weight gain since I stopped smoking, and an imminently practical source of energy as they are easily transportable and easily consumed absolutely everywhere from the bus to the shower… I am so skilled in the art of biscuit consumption that I can eat an entire packet in bed whilst remaining completely crumb -free..

To address the second part of The Question: “Or without?”

Without raisins! Of course! And always!

This is akin to the Jaffa cake/biscuit classification row of last year that raged throughout our county… The actual word “biscuit” is derived via mediaeval French – “bescuit” and Latin “bis” and “coquere” , roughly meaning “twice cooked”, because of the process of making it. No mention of any fruit, raisin or otherwise…

The traditional definition of a biscuit is: “A small baked unleavened cake, typically crisp, flat and sweet.” Still no mention of any raisins… and it wasn’t until about the 18th century variations like bourbons and garibaldis were introduced, the latter containing examples of the aforementioned dried fruit…

So then. Biscuits with raisins are relatively new additions in the timeline of Man’s diet… and in my opinion, a betrayal of the old times when we would crouch over our smoking hut fires and slap a bit of left-over bread dough on the embers.

My answer, then, my friends, is:

BISCUITS ARE BISCUITS.

The addition of anything other than perhaps chocolate (in chip or coating form) would render a biscuit into something else altogether, a hard porridge, perhaps.

And biscuits are of course, best consumed with tea (never dunked) … a subject worthy of a post all to itself. Anyway…do excuse me…

More tea, Vicar?”

Oh yes please, and perhaps a nice biscuit with raisins…”

Get out.”

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Seriously, thanks to the lovely Gillyflower, please do go and check out her blog – I know she’d love to see you! Feel free to take up the Liebster nomination to help spread the word about other blogs! Also, I feel we must give her the credit for the creation of a new tag, born of the Liebster but very much her own…please pick it up, people as I nominate you all for the “With? Or Without?” tag…

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The Blogger Recognition Award

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I would like to thank Mrs. Craft for nominating me for this award… she has a wonderful blog that I thoroughly enjoy – do go and have a look.

RULES…

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog

2. Write a post to show your award

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers

5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to

6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created

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How it all began…

I’ve always enjoyed writing; even as a little girl I enjoyed writing fantastical stories then I moved on to torturous, angst-filled poetry in my teens.

Then Life got in the way as I got older and other than letters to relatives, I didn’t really bother. Then a couple of things happened… I hurt my elbow and had to dictate my letters to my son. He was laughing as he typed and suggested that I should at least consider writing again.

Roundabout the same time my son’s friend and mentor has the Copper Staple, and accepted a couple of my pieces to appear on the site. I was tentatively encouraged, and thought: “Well, if I don’t try, then I’ll never know.”

And here I am. (Having first had my son explain to me in great detail what a ‘blog’ actually was, and how to do it, I’m still learning, to be honest, and not quite as quickly as I’d like – he goes to university hopefully in September!)

Piece of advice #1…

BE NICE:

I don’t just mean polite, or pleasant, and no just on WordPress either. You may not always agree with what a person has written, you may want to pick fault, or criticise. Just stop. Have a minute’s thought, and if you still really want to say your piece, phrase it in a way that is constructive and encouraging, that others can learn from. Passing on a little piece of niceness will improve your own day as well… a ripple of positivity.

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Piece of advice #2…

TALK:

In ‘real’ life, I am actually quite shy. However, on WordPress, I have found enough confidence to ‘go out’ and talk to people. So. Comment on peoples’ sites – be nice – reply to other peoples’ comments. Go and look at things you wouldn’t normally… take time to talk to people and get to know them. Trust me – you’ll make some wonderful friends, I know I have!

Oh dear… now I have a problem… You see, not only am I also quite shy, I’m also horribly indecisive… I follow some wonderful blogs, and have some wonderful subscribers too… From the spiritual and philosophical, to the foody, to the feline, to the crafty.

How can I nominate an individual blog when I think you’re all FABULOUS…

Here… to everyone who’s taken the time to stop and have a read, a look, a like or a subscribe. Step up and be recognised for being wonderful people and part of a wonderful community. Thank you… Always… xx

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Oh How Lovely! One Lovely Blog Award

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I would like to thank the truly lovely ladies Shoko, Kali and Jean for nominating me for this award. Please visit their blog, Canadian Cats, for humour, art, entertainment… well what more can I say, they’re just lovely!

Now, I must confess, I’m a big fan of the word ‘lovely’, but sometimes, ‘nice’ just isn’t enough… here are my facts:

  1. I love cats. Oh. That’s not particularly random is it? Ah yes, I currently have thirty seven pieces of Rose Quartz… how’s that?

  2. I love a good cup of tea, a cure-all for most ills, my brand of choice at the moment is Yorkshire Tea.

  3. My favourite colour is white, a wonderful choice when combined with varying shades of cat hair and muddy paw prints.

  4. The John Lewis Christmas adverts generally make me cry…

  5. A lot of adverts generally make me cry… I have been told I am over-emotional!

  6. My favourite vegetable to eat is asparagus (with a lightly poached egg and toast…)

  7. My all time favourite band is The Rolling Stones… amazing music for an era I really wish I’d been a part of.

_mg_8131A lovely view over the lake in the grounds of a local stately home

The rules are:

Thank the person who nominated you

Post 7 random facts about yourself

Nominate 7 blogs…

Let your nominations know how lovely they are!

This is where I have a problem… I’ve been here before… WHO do I nominate… All the blogs I follow are lovely. I love them all for different reasons and they are unique for the ideas they express, the talents they show or the friendship they offer…

Listen, to all of you who have been kind enough to stop, and have a read, a like, a subscribe, thank you. Take away a share of loveliness with you… to say thank you, as always.

_mg_9917My lovely cat… on my lovely clean sheets, with her lovely dirty little paws…

Real Neat Blog Award

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I was nominated for this award a couple of weeks ago by the wonderful Alex of Brian And Lily, I must thank her for this and her kind words. She’s one of my earliest friends on WordPress, so please go and have a look at her blog and meet the adorable Lily and Brian, her dogs. Alex (great name!) writes a wonderful blog full of details about life with and caring for her dogs.

Questions… I nipped over to Whippet Wisdom (another of Alex’s nominations and a great blog too!) to borrow the logo and questions for this post.

Here are the rules for the Real Neat Blog Award:

  1. Post the Award logo on your blog.
  2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  3. Thank the people who nominated you and link to their blog.
  4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like and link to their blog.
  5. Let them know you nominated them by leaving a comment on their blog.

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  1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?That’s hard to answer as it seems to vary from day to day… The UK, the States and Canada, but I’ve also had visits from Singapore, Israel, Finland, the Philippines, Cape Town… all over really and all wonderful places that I aspire to visiting one day
  2. What is your favourite sport or exercise?I do a lot of walking, myself, as I like to observe, take note, pass the time of day with whatever happens to be out and about. Not really one for sport. My games teacher at school once gave me this report: “If Samantha were to put as much effort into participating in games as she does in avoiding it, she’d probably get on quite well.” Apparently that won a prize in the staffroom for the most original report.
  3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2016?Starting this blog and entering the wonderful world of WordPress. I have met some great people that I am truly pleased to call friends.
  4. What is your favourite quote?I’ve answered this question a few times… the answer is still the same: This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.’ 14th Dalai Lama. I love these words, a great philosophy to live your life by.
  5. What was your favourite class when still at school?English. I love the vagaries of the English language. From ‘through’ to ‘thorough’ to ‘rough’. It has been used to write some of the most beautiful and memorable pieces of literature, yet remains quirky and individualistic.
  6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?
    To ride a bike. Still haven’t learned – too afraid of falling off… and I have a feeling it would have been a useful skill…!
  7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?I always wanted to learn to play the piano, it struck me as an elegant sort of an instrument.

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My questions:

  1. Sunshine or rain?
  2. If you were a herb, what would you be?
  3. First thing you ever cooked or baked?
  4. First pet?
  5. What country would you like to visit and why?
  6. What one piece of advice would you give to your 16 year old self?
  7. Favourite drink (alcoholic or otherwise)?

My nominations:

  1. Ella
  2. Chic-Soles
  3. Paperpuff
  4. Sasha’s Journey
  5. gillyflower
  6. Chloe Douglas Blog

As always, these nominations are a mark of appreciation. There is no pressure to accept of course, either.

And to everyone who’s been kind enough to stop and have a read, a like, or a subscribe –

THANK YOU VERY MUCH! xx

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Some lovely autumnal photos, taken by Alex Marlowe


Versatile Blogger Award

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What a lovely surprise! Two nominations for the same award on the same day by two different blogs! Is that random… Consequently I must thank Xenia and her wonderful whippets Pearl and Eivor of Whippet Wisdom and Ella May of Testarossa for thinking of me and nominating me for this award. Please go and have a look at both of these blogs; Whippet Wisdom for beautiful photos and uplifting words and Testarossa for a wonderful combination of fashion, thoughts, travel and student advice!

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The Rules For This Award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.

  2. Share the Award on your blog.

  3. Share seven random facts about yourself.

  4. Tag up to ten bloggers with less than 1000 followers and let them know they have been nominated.

As I had a double nomination, I thought it only fair to provide not seven, but fourteen random facts about myself…! Likewise with my nominations… here goes with fourteen random facts about me… sometimes I wonder myself…

  1. I have a Kindle and a Nook, but still prefer a physical book.

  2. I can fold a table napkin in the shape of a water lily.

  3. Never been stung by a bee.

  4. I’ve lived in a haunted house.

  5. My sign of the zodiac is Cancer.

  6. I hate mushrooms.

  7. My grandfather was a metallurgist…

  8. When my son and I saw ‘Hachi’ at the cinema, we couldn’t leave for half an hour after it finished because I was still crying.

  9. I used to smoke Windsor Blue cigarettes.

  10. I always carry a notebook and pen in my handbag.

  11. I can make meringues.

  12. I played lacrosse at school (although to be honest I spent more time hiding behind the gym…)

  13. I have had four black cats since I was a little girl.

  14. My phone is really annoying me at the moment. It needs to be careful in light of the fact Christmas is now not far away…

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Now. This is generally where I come unstuck… my own nominations for other blogs. I started my own blog on 26th March of this year and during that time, I have come across so many wonderful blogs and lovely people I am hard put to choose specific nominations… I have met so many people I am pleased to call friend, how do you choose?

So, here it is. Some blogs I would like to mention specially like Brian and Lily, PaperPuff, Lady Joyful, Garfield Hug’s Blog, gillyflower – oh dear it’s turning into a list, so many talented people in many different areas… yep. Can’t do it.

YOU ALL DESERVE THE VERSATILE BLOG AWARD!

Thank you as well, as always to everyone who’s taken the time to stop and read, like and subscribe!

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