“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.


The Show Must Go On


He closed the door of the flat behind him, pulling it gently to for the last time until he felt the lock click. He sighed, as he closed the door on years of memories too. The love and the pleasure, the happiness of learning one another, the likes and dislikes, the simple joy of finding that other person that made his half whole.

He took a step away from the door, and looked up into the sky, dark and lowering with the threat of rain and the colour of an old bruise. He shifted his backpack so it sat more comfortably on his aching shoulders and hefted his case down the steps, stopping one last time to look up at the window, the window into his past, his happy memories of love and closeness and belonging.

The grey, faded curtains remained resolutely closed, closed like an unreasoning mind, shut to explanation, not at home to trust.

He started to walk away, and, as he did, a light rain began to fall, bringing with it echoes of accusations and questions, the tears, the tantrums. His heart pained and his soul weighed him down, failed expectations biting at his heels like the mad dog of despair.

Ahead, a solitary ray of sunshine made a gleaming appearance through the clouds, coyly peeping at his destination. The theatre.

With every step, the sky brightened and the clouds receded. His heart lifted, as did his step. By the time he reached the stage door, the early evening had warmed and dried.

The backstage scents of body, costumes, old makeup welcomed him. He opened his dressing room door, the door to his future and switched on the light.

Sitting at his mirror, he carefully applied meticulous layer after layer of foundation, blusher, contour, eyeshadow, then outlining a pair of lusciously generous lips, filled in with rich opulent purple. He glued outrageously false eyelashes and with every layer, every sparkle, every glittering false nail his heart healed.

Finally, he stepped into the crimson crushed velvet gown and checked its fall around his hips and stockinged legs, leaning towards the mirror to fluff creamy blonde curls around his sculpted cheekbones.

Drawing one last sigh, casting aside his cares with a flick of his gown, he stepped out. Out onto the stage and struck a pose.

House lights down – stage lights up and –

Hello-oo Dahlings!”


Thank you Alex for the use of your lovely photo

It was cold. So very cold. The bitter, biting dry cold where the sky was icy bright blue and the very air sang and sparkled with ice crystals.

The little one waited, huddled in the scant shelter of a dark hedge.

The cold was intense, so cold it made your teeth ache and your bones snap. And still the little one waited.

Night came. Someone was near, watching and sad, filled with worry for the little one who waited but whose spark was now very frail. Hope was nearly gone, abandoned before Life was even really started.

The Watcher could bear it no more and stepped down, down from the dark, down in the singing cold as the stars spun in their icy waltz, down in the bleak night to appear before the little one.

She scooped her up, gently, feeling the little life left in its delicate shell and cupped in her hands, and breathed warmth and life into the little one.

Not very far away, a woman lay, sleepless in the dark and the cold, sleepless in the night while tears froze on her cheeks, warm in her bed but cold in her life. Suddenly she thrust back her duvet and thought she would look out into the calm dark, see if it would ease her pain.

She slipped on her dressing gown and went downstairs to open her door into the night, and there on the step lay a little scrap, a tiny thing.

The kitten looked up at the woman and meowed, faintly, hopefully. She bent down to pick her up, and as the little one purred so the frost in her heart began to thaw.

The Watcher returned to her place and told Him what she had done. He smiled and was pleased for although some may be lost there is always Hope.

“Per Ardua Ad Alta” ~ Or Basically When You’re Feeling Down, Just Look UP

UP 4

I’ve heard quite a few variations on the translation of this Latin motto, but the one I like the best is “Through struggle to the stars”…

This, to me, means although you may be weighed down with the care and worry of your life, just stop a minute. And look. Look UP. A lot of the time we are rushing through life looking at our feet and literally casting our gaze downwards.

Look UP and the actual physical action of turning your eyes upwards can lift the spirits as you notice something new…

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When my son was little, I always used to say to him “Look!” and point out things that I thought might interest him, something different. I’m pleased to say that he’s carried this forwards into his growing UP life as he is now a keen photographer with a good eye and uncanny ability to interpret my shouts of “LOOK! Quick! I need a picture of that…”

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He’s been kind enough to take the majority of the photos I use on my blog, and I’d like to share a few more… for the purposes of looking UP.

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These trees… lifting their arms heavenwards into the light, letting in warmth and positivity, returning negativity to Mother Earth where it can be recycled…

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Architectural details are another thing that fascinate me, and here where I live there are some wonderful examples of buildings created by the architect Watson Fothergill who designed over a hundred buildings in the Gothic Revival and Old English vernacular styles, here in the early 20th century, red brick fancies that hark back to an earlier time in the city.

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I was so pleased when I saw this wonderful glass interior dome of the Council House, designed by T.C. Howitt in the Neo Baroque style and completed in 1929.

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And look! Two wonderful gargoyles, just perched on the corners… hmm… might find a use for them…

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And of course, I had to include these angels, for their symbolic value and traditional association with “UP”… and because the pictured crystals are uplifting and joyous.

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Try it. Physically, lengthen your spine, square your shoulders – it opens your rib cage and frees up your diaphragm so you can breathe- and just look. UP.

Bank Holiday Story…

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This is a little story that I wrote that was initially accepted by Copper Staple. I thought I would post it for something to do… (typical Bank Holiday weather)

Crystal spheres have a mysterious reputation throughout history, being used for scrying, telling fortunes and predicting the future. I don’t do any of these. But the featured picture is a Clear Calcite sphere, a crystal for strongly amplifying your energy, as well as being very strongly linked to the mind and helping us access memories…

The Look

The woman was happy enough with her life. Every day she got up at 6am, prepared her simple breakfast of yoghurt and fruit, then left for work.

Her job was undemanding, yet fulfilling, in that she had a steady wage that was sufficient for all her bills. She did what was asked of her at work, and just that. She offered no suggestions and made no attempt to work on her own initiative. Why should she? She did as she was told and what was expected of her – no more, no less.

Every Sunday she ate a dutiful dinner with her parents, usually an over baked chicken, greasy roast potatoes and cabbage boiled until the fight had gone out of it.

Her mother, grey and worn, always seemed pleased to see her, but she never said a word. Her father accepted her presence as part of her daughterly homage and treated her to lengthy lectures on politics and how the world would be a better place if there were more people like him in it.

And so it continued.

One day, she ventured into the city centre, somewhere she usually avoided as she found the noise and busyness intimidating. She enjoyed half an hour in a discount bookshop where she bought a simple recipe book and a philosophy for beginners manual.

Holding her purchases carefully, she made her way outside, where people were just starting to gather and throng. Couples with linked hands, herds of teenagers, giggling and screaming. The sad and the lost, cans of beer and carrier bags gripped with fury at the world.

And then… and then… a sudden upswelling in her heart. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up in awareness, her blood pounded in her ears. She turned and her eyes were seized by those of a man, barely her own height, but with stature, poise, magnetism.

They drew her in, those dark eyes and spoke to her of a centuries-old love between them that had been found and lost so many times in the telling it was older than time itself. A link, a connection, so strong that the very air between them seemed to sparkle with it. His dark eyes called to her with relief and love, calling to her to leave and come now, straight away with him. A yearning, a love, a beckoning.

Big Issue please?”

The moment was broken and lost. She turned desperately, seeking the eyes of the one who knew her, but he had gone.

She returned home, and cried, a little.

She never saw him again, but she never forgot him. In time, she married and produced the children that were expected of her.

And so it continued.

Yet always, in her heart, she nursed a secret hope that her soulmate, her kindred spirit would find her again. Perhaps not in this lifetime though.

She never forgot him.

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My personal favourite crystal, Rose Quartz, renowned for being the stone of unconditional love, opening the heart to receive and emit compassion…

Copyright © 2016 Samantha Murdoch