Points And Predators


I met a lovely lady the other day when I was helping out (playing with all the pretty crystals) at Lizian’s. You really do meet some interesting people… I was pawing my way through the stacked up boxes and I came across some wonderful crystal points, smoky quartz, rose quartz, amethyst, clear quartz…


My partner had previously bought me the above crystal point online the week before, a very special piece, just full of rainbows… I also like to collect the different shapes of crystals so this sent me off in that direction. Anyway, this lady was showing me the different formations within these various points. Obviously you can read these sorts of things in books, but to have someone actually show me made it all crystal clear…if you pardon the pun…

Most crystals form points which can be natural or artificially shaped and these are popular for use in healing – directed away from the body they draw energy off, while pointed inwards, they channel energy into the body. There are also wonderful things to be read within and around the shapes of crystal points. Some look as if they have had lines carefully etched into them. These are called Lemurian crystals and are said to retain ancient information which can be accessed and used to help with healing.

Manifestation crystals look as if they have another tiny crystal or shape locked within them, while Cathedral crystals as their name suggests, are like the spire of the building, with smaller points around it. A Tabular crystal has two flat, wide sides so energy flows freely along it and can be used to help with communication. Record Keeper crystals have small triangles etched into their facets, which are said to hold ancient information to help us grow and evolve. It takes time and practice to achieve the correct state of mind to use them… but personally I am entranced by the beauty and sheer happiness that’s contained within these points.


Of course, being predators, my cats have their own sets of points which they use to great effect. Lily is the only cat who consistently catches and brings in prey though. Sometimes it’s dead. Other times… not. The “not” times always make for an interesting evening as Lily generally chooses the hours between twelve and three to return with her little gifts. I am usually asleep (for optimum inconvenience) while Chris is having his last cup of tea.

Brrp! Br-me-OW! Brrp!”

This is Lily’s special call, not dissimilar to a mother cat calling to her kittens. This particular evening I was just teetering on the verge of the Land of Nod when –


I leapt , quite agilely, considering the time of night, out of bed and rushed downstairs to begin the Rodent Rhumba…

Chris went one way, I feinted the other, Lily danced between us both until sh dropped the mouse, unhurt. It made a dash for the corner for the rug in the hallway, whereupon Chris had a brainwave and opened the front door. The mouse saw the opportunity offered and darted outside. I returned to bed, Chris, to his tea.

Perhaps half an hour later –


Cursing cats and mice, once again I leapt out of bed and ran downstairs.

IT’S GONE UNDER THERE!” Chris said, pointing under the unit.

I adopted my best mouse catching pose – on hands and knees with a prayer in my heart – and as he began to move things away from the unit I was poised with container to retrieve the recalcitrant rodent. A small fat mouse shot out from the newspaper and I slapped the container over it.

Chris put it outside and we went to bed, having first cautioned Lily in the strongest of terms.

Peace. Quiet. Till about 4.00a.m. Then –

Brrp! Me-ow! Brrp!”

Again… I leapt smartly out of bed and put the landing light on. No Lily. In fact, she’d been asleep in Alex’s room, sulking. Instead, an eager Charlie looked up at me. She had very bravely caught and killed – a fluffball!

The fearsome furry face of a real predator!

Pancakes And Protests.


I do love a pancake. And despite my mother’s protests, Pancake Day – or Shrove Tuesday to give it its proper name – is a tradition to which I firmly adhere.

I remember when I was a little girl and my mother had to work, my sister stepped (wo)manfully into the breach to make sure I was not deprived of my seasonal treat. Batter mixed, oil smoking slightly in the frying pan, my sister poured a measure of gloopy liquid in and I watched in awe as she proceeded to fry a picture-perfect pancake.


Buoyed with success and imbued with the confidence of two weeks of cookery lessons, she grasped the frying pan firmly by its handle and prepared to flip… The golden brown circle rose… and rose… and rose into the air… and stuck. To the polystyrene ceiling tiles. Of course, the dogs had been watching the entire proceedings with great interest and turned their eager faces upwards to follow the pancake’s progress. With a timing so perfect it could have been scripted the runaway pancake chose that moment to unpeel from the ceiling and flop over Damask, the Great Dane’s face. A dogfight ensued as the other dogs decided they wanted to share…

However. I persevere with pancakes. Part of the returning me to boarding school ritual involved stopping on the M1 motorway services at the Little Chef…

Please Dad – I don’t really want to go back -”

Rubbish. We’ll stop for a Jubilee Pancake and you’ll be fine.”

This was a thicker, more American style pancake that was served with cherry pie filling and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Delicious.

My mother hates making pancakes. I can’t. I haven’t even attempted them to be honest. So I am forced to resort to wheedling…

Mu-um…pleee…aseee…look pancake mix! Plee…..aaaasseeee!!”

Oh for God’s sake Samantha! Why do we have to go through this every year..”

But I LIKE pancakes! And I never…” (cue trembling lip)


I got my pancakes. And very nice they were too… this year I had salted caramel spread on them…

With thanks to Alex and friends for the use of their pancake photos as I forgot and ate mine…

Anti-Social Snacking…


It’s funny how your tastebuds change and develop as you get older. As I have mentioned in other posts, I do have a sweet tooth which is often my downfall, although I do have a fondness for certain savoury snacks.

My lost love….

I used to adore pizza, all melting cheese and spicy tomato, until one day, unaccountably, my usual pizza left me with such awful indigestion simply nothing would quell it. I have, since then, isolated the culprit – cheese. That’s actually quite upsetting as I am quite fond of cheese… the creamy texture of mozzarella… the savoury bite of Cheddar and the delicate crumbly flavour of white Stilton with apricots. I would be better off swallowing napalm really, considering the intestine-torturing, gut-wrenching fiery pain cheese now wreaks upon me.

Dragon fruit…interesting

Likewise garlic – I am very fond again of the multi-layered oniony flavour, my partner? He’s not so keen as it does tend to linger. And linger. However, at this new point of love and understanding in our relationship, when we were out shopping the other day, he recalled my fondness for a certain potato snack… let’s call them…”Ogre Nibbles”. In particular, I like the pickled onion flavour.

Chinese Quince…no thanks…

I only really eat pickled onions once a year, at Christmas, when, for some reason, they seem to constitute an integral part of the festive fare, even though we never eat them at any other time. For me, they present an irresistible temptation, the fragrant was of pungent vinegar across my palate… followed by the choking, crunchy onion. So then, to find this masochistic taste sensation in a crisp was something I had to try and share…much to my partner’s horrified and fascinated distaste.

A rainbow of colour and texture!

The delectable crunch, the spicy burn… oh yes, something to be savoured and shared with people, whether they want to or not. A charming side effect of these starchy snacks is that they linger and permeate. I was amused to see my partner lean in to kiss me after I had consumed a packet – then reel away, horrified at the oniony stench.

Manfully, he returned for another try… so here it is:

Love Is…Kissing Someone Even If They Smell Like They’ve Bathed In Finest Malt Brown Vinegar!

Coffins And Coughs…


I was on the bus the other day, gazing vacantly out of the window as you do, when I caught sight of a funeral parlour’s window display. The dramatic backlighting stood out even more brightly, as it was a dull morning, shining splendidly on a glittering pink… coffin. Behind, a white one, shoulder to shoulder with a sleek black model and the traditional mahogany…

I recently watched a programme where a lady pre-ordered her coffin and paid for it to be entirely covered in Swarovski crystals. There is moey to be made even in death…I didn’t know that coffins are actually the customary slope shouldered ones you automatically associate with Halloween; while caskets are the long rectangular box shaped ones.

On my way to visit Alex at university, I was intrigued to see a signpost for a Natural Burial Ground. Of course I had to look this up, but effectively, it is exactly what it says it is. Consider this – every year, thousands of gallons of embalming fluid are seeping into Mother Earth as people are buried and embalmed in the usual way, slowly poisoning her. Formaldehyde is one of the fluids used during the process and is in actual fact a carcinogen…likewise, look at the consumption of endangered hardwood trees just to make coffins, while cremation undoubtedly contributes towards air pollution.

On the other hand, with a natural burial you are wrapped in a shroud made from natural fibres, without your body being treated by any chemical preservatives and so on, and then you are returned to the arms of Mother Earth, where you can be naturally re-absorbed, broken down, resuming your primal state. Having looked at it…it does have a certain appeal….

Apparently, now that I’ve given up smoking my life expectancy has increased. I must confess, though, I kind of miss my nicotine shield….germs and illnesses courtesy of other people seem to come and go without as much as a by-your-leave…I’ve only recently got over the most horrendous bout of pharyngitis that made me cough and rattle like beads in a box and left my chest feeling like a rampage of rhinos had been Riverdancing on my ribcage.

As I sit on the bus during these winter months the variety of coughs you hear is practically symphonic… the dry, high tight-chested cough of the asthmatic… the hoarse bark of the bronchitic and the slapping wet rumble of the dedicated smoker with an incipient chest infection brewing…

The irony is that in all my years as a smoker I never once suffered from the eponymous “smoker’s cough”… and I don’t intend to have a crystal-encrusted coffin either. I told Alex just to put me out with the recycling and give the binmen a fright…!


“Never Apologise – Never Explain!”


Or so said John Wayne… and various other people…So, of course I fully intend to do both.

First, the apology. Sorry for my lack of response here on WordPress, but it’s been an absolutely BLOODY few weeks. I’ve missed you all, my friends, but thank you for bearing with me.

We’ve had a fair few traumatic events here at CrystalCats which set off a severe bout of depression… something that I have had for a long time. I tend to visualise my worries as balloons and I’ve clutched this particular set to me for a while. Sometimes they have threatened to carry me off, but generally, on the whole, I cope.

I was going to go into vast, exhaustive detail about what happened; but on reflection, it really isn’t my story to tell. Suffice it to say, after a lot of emotion (and tears from me..naturally) my partner, Chris, myself and our son are united now, in a true family spirit of love and honesty.

There’s still a bit of work to do, but I am getting there. Doubtless I’ll find more stuff to worry about, and yes I will probably get tired… and weepy…

But sometimes, you just have to let stuff go.


Happy Christmas 

Just a quick post to say thank you to all my friends on WordPress. Thank you for your support, kindness and friendship. Thank you to everyone who has been kind enough to stop for a look or a like…

I’m very tired and having a bit of a break now, but from all of us here at CrystalCats, love and good wishes. Enjoy the magic of Christmas and your families, friends and loved ones. And love. Always.



When I was a little girl, there were certain levels of behaviour from my sister and I. We were not exactly of the generation “Children should be seen and not heard” but as the up-and-coming young veterinary surgeon my father expected my mother to keep an immaculate home, maintain a full-time job and fully appointed social calendar and keep us two presentable and well-mannered.

We absorbed these lessons as if by osmosis – we were never told to “mind our p’s and q’s”, or remember to say please and thank you, we just did. Those were the days when you could be socially mobile… it was just on our local news that the East Midlands is considered the worst place to live in the country. Apparently there is no social mobility… not surprising considering the state of the public transport system… I had to wait an hour for a bus the other day…

Anyway, my sister and I learnt impeccable manners – you could take us anywhere and we would fit right in, the perfect daughterly accessories to our aspirational father. One week, he came home from work and excitedly announced that one of his friends from university was visiting for the weekend. He was well-respected in the veterinary community and my father could see advantages to renewing their acquaintance over a weekend of hunting, clay pigeon shooting and delicious meals cooked by an attentive wife.

And us. The slightly unpredictable element of children. Even my father’s dogs had beautiful manners – they were to be trusted…

The momentous weekend arrived, as did my father’s friend, rolling up our driveway in his Jaguar. We all gathered on the patio to greet this pal from my father’s university days, and out he stepped, neatly bypassing a welcoming head butt from our pet sheep. He was a big man, tall, heavily- built and muscular, towering over my father and his

respectable 5”10’ …

James! Good to see you! Come inside, here, I’ll help you with your bags!”

Full of effervescent bonhomie, my father pulled what seemed like an awful lot of luggage for a mere weekend out of the car.

Once inside, dogs greeted and drink in hand, my mother showed James to his room, and left him to unpack and change for dinner.

She returned downstairs to make the finishing touches, fresh flowers on the table, silver cutlery gleaming, the rack of lamb beautifully done and presented and the Black Forest gateau gently chilling in the fridge, awaiting a final dusting of grated chocolate.

Dinner’s nearly ready, if you’d like to come downstairs,” she trilled sweetly.

My father emerged from his study and my sister and I joined him from the living room as slowly, heavily, footsteps were heard from the guest bedroom. They… clomped somewhat hesitatingly, down the stairs and into the hallway. James. But not James as we’d met him…

This James was wearing a nice ruffled blouse. With a pink A-line skirt. And some chunky beige heels. And makeup. A little over-enthusiastically applied, maybe, but the full complement of eyeshadow, blusher, lipstick and mascara.

In his booming voice, he declared:

I rather thought I’d enjoy being Jennifer for the weekend. You don’t mind, do you?”

My father went a little pale. My mother let out a hoot – quickly stifled. The dogs stared. My sister and I said – absolutely nothing. Not a dicky bird.

My father waved his hand vaguely in the direction of the dining room so Jennifer could precede him, while my sister and I followed. I don’t think we had ever been so quiet or well-behaved at any point in our lives previously, up to that particular moment, and we both went on later to be expelled from our respective schools.

My father managed to make awkward small talk as he and Jennifer reminisced about battles fought on the rugby field, Jennifer throwing back his head and roaring with laughter, the foundation cracking at the corners of his mouth…

My mother spent a lot of time in the kitchen that weekend, I seem to recall, with the company of a bottle of whisky – medicinal, of course, every so often, making strange whooping and giggling sounds, like she had a hyena trapped in there with her…

The rest of the weekend fades into distant memory, really, other than remembering my father looking quite… weary, by the end of it. He must, however, have shown James/Jennifer a very good time, since the following year he was appointed president of the British Veterinary Association…!