Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Archive for the tag “The spirit of flying”


The times we are currently in has given me writer’s block so I thought I’d write love-letters to my favorite podcasts.
There is something about the NOCTURNE podcast, that makes it perfect. Not every episode, but often enough for it to be remarkable. I don’t remember where I found it, but I’m guessing a writer friend may have mentioned it. That’s how it usually happens. 

When the few introductory notes of Nocturne plays and the crickets in the background join in, it plucks at my souls strings, makes my stomach contract, and tear up in recognition of a kindred spirit, somewhere out there, are others like me. It connects with something deep inside, as if a beacon has just called out, and like a homing pigeon the compass within rights itself towards it. 
It makes me long for some undefined togetherness; that moment feeling more like home than any place I’ve ever been.

It’s like the best drink when you’ve been crawling through the desert for days; I want to reach out; to pick it up and drink it down, absorb it, breathlessly, before it evaporates or turns into a mirage. It is a drop of an elixir from a home I have yet to define. A handwritten letter from your best friend from another world.

I too have felt that hour, the ones during the night; that belongs to me, where the world has no claims on my beingness. The hour when my being relaxes, and mind does not race. Such a rare break from everything, and it is always too short, never long enough to be restorative; Not in a world where you have to keep in step with humanity.
It is the hour of being, of beingness, when no one is going to interrupt and accuse me of not doing enough by their definition; enough to find the next gig-job, keeping house, or in other ways try to make claims on my time.. When the veil is at it’s thinnest, and everything else…is near but not quite possible.

The darkness is a fuzzy blanket I wrap my soul in to stay sane. Which in itself is bizarre, given the dastardly deeds that take place under it’s cover.
Whatever I do at that hour, is for me, and me alone. It does not require justification. It is to nourish my soul. Not thinking of ways to improve my situation, life, or being; my mind forever searching for whatever clue I might have missed, crossroads where I took a wrong turn.

A reluctant city-dweller, I long for the darkness you never get in a city, a place where the herds gather for false safety in numbers, to earn their pennies to pay for the cost of living. There is no going for a walk after dark where I live if you want to stay alive. But we have a roof, and if I sit down I am shielded from the floodlights. Often accompanied by a cat – or two – sometimes by one of the neighborhood opossums. There I stay, sometimes for hours; watch the sky and the stars, planes and bats, trees lit up from afar, a strange reverse silhouette effect, trees that have managed to grow in this concrete jungle. Sometimes their leaves rustle at the hint of a breeze. Never still enough for a real candle, and always the traffic in the distance.

To listen for yourself, here are two of my favorite episodes.

Candle Hour


Artwork by Robin Galante

For the love of books

I love to read!  I also love writing and sharing my love of books with others.

Readers of English books like myself have come to take for granted how inexpensive the huge selection of books available to us have become.

When I was growing up this wasn’t the case. There was however a small library near the village where we lived that opened up for a couple of hours every week. My mother acquired a library card and since I was the only reader in the house, I got the whole family’s allowance of eight books per week, least my brother wanted something now and again.

When I visited the library where we live now it was in many ways like stepping back in time. It mostly had romance novels, a selection of encyclopedias and the kind of books my high-school library offered to help with homework and assignments. Equally/also/likewise bookshops are rare because books here are Expensive, especially those translated into Spanish.

A few years ago I bought two books for my husband (who also loves to read) that cost 450pesos and 600 pesos! Now ask yourself this: Would you save and spend almost a weeks earnings on a book? Probably not if you have a family to feed.

For the love of books introduce your friends and relatives to the joy of reading! Reading is like discovering whole new universes at your fingertips. The choices are endless! Now with smartphones and tablets becoming less expensive, people are discovering ebooks as an alternative to playing games. Feed your mind!



The Paperback is OUT!

At long last THE PAPERBACK OF THE SPIRIT OF FLYING IS HERE!!!  And what a long strange at times completely exhausting trip it’s been!
My labour of love – I hope you enjoy reading it.

Currently available in the UK on Amazon:
And in the USA

Phineas the thumb-cat inspects the very first copy of the bookbook!

Phineas the thumb-cat inspects the very first copy of the bookbook!

Introverted adventure to Malinalco

I recently went to Mexico’s quirky capital, D.F.– Distrito Federal – on business and decided to tag on some writing time and make it a two in one, just for me. Going on my own was not the original plan, it just happened that way.
I’d forgotten how enjoyable and liberating it can be travelling on your own; doing what I want when I want, no one to take into consideration, no wondering if your companion is bored, or being bored myself with other peoples choices. No fears over missing out; I can relax in the evening with a book back at the hotel room, rather than feel irritated and overloaded in a bar; a compromise to a travelling companion who thinks we should go out; it’s what people do on holiday isn’t it… No packed days of stuff that you have to do or fit in, just a couple of ideas and see where I end up. A lot of cosy bookshops and cafés then…!

Random cafe in Mexico City

Random cafe in Mexico City

I’ve been asked a lot how I found out about Malinalco, or Mali as the locals called their picturesque little mountain town. Happenstance is how. I was in a hurry so I ran into the bedroom, grabbed my Mexico travel book, threw it on the kitchen table in passing en route to the toilet… Out of curiosity looked I looked where it had opened when it landed, read it and thought that sounds good, why not head there? So I did and it was lovely. Truly beautiful.
During the week it was a tranquil, relaxed haven with Wednesday market being a film-makers dream. So much so it felt out of integrity to take photos of all the traditionally dressed up traders with their wares and handmade crafts, come from all the little villages and towns around for the day.
Roll around Friday and the week-enders arrive; hotels and guest-houses fill up, the amount of shops and restaurants triple and the town centre becomes party-central until the wee hours of the morning. Time your visit to suit your recharging needs.

2014-08-20_17-34-53_116Going away to write did not work out quite as I had imagined for a variety of reasons. I missed my husband and the cats yes, that was expected.

Part of me wanted too much to explore to be disciplined. Where we live there is little or nothing I haven’t already done countless times, so being in a new and beautiful setting with wild rambling walks and culture at my fingertips, I wanted it all; Inspiration, experiences, nature, exercise. Though I wouldn’t consider myself a nature person, I do like the absence of other humans and the company of trees and other pretty greenery. Add to that an Aztec temple, museums, and lots of craft shops.
To just lock myself in a room (which I chose specifically because it had a desk instead of a tv) or sit on the balcony, felt a bit like ignoring a buffet when you’re starving – dumb and counter-productive. It also made me feel too weird and judged, though I don’t expect anyone actually took any notice.2014-08-22_10-29-55_164

There was also the old pressure stalking me, ready to pounce… Others may hunt down all the sights for great shots to show friends back home, and to sustain themselves whilst saving up for their next adventure. I’ve realized I travel in search of spiritual connections, in the hope of encountering soul family. I look, I search, even though I know the futility of it all. I can’t help myself. My fear is what if “they” are here and I miss them because I didn’t “make the effort” and “push myself”.
That fear drives me on. I wander aimlessly, perusing, observing, smiling, trying to relax, be approachable. While part of me wants to scream at my soul creator come on, darn it! Something, someone. Make my effort worthwhile! Someone approach me for a change, strike up a conversation. We don’t have to become bff, just ten minutes of meaningful conversation, a connection, a spark of light and glimmer of hope at the end of a solitary tunnel, that the loneliness (not to be confused with solitude) won’t last forever. That it’s not the life sentence I’m beginning to fear.

For someone as introverted and highly sensitive as myself it is a truly horrible pressure to force yourself to “go out and meet and talk to people” because I think I should, but I have yet to find another way to make friends. Noone’s ever come knocking on my door saying “I heard you were in town, I’ve been expecting you. Want to go for a coffee?” and turned into a fast friend.
Just because I’m introverted does not mean I don’t want friends. It just means I’m not interested in what I call extrovert-fun; the bars, clubs, noisy shopping malls and crowded parties. It could mean walks, coffees, lunches, small groups or one on one.

View from the Aztec Temple

View from the Aztec Temple

Lastly it was the am I getting x pesos worth out of this day, x being the cost of the basic hotel-room and food etc. It goes something like this; if I’d been filling notepad after notepad with pages and pages of inspired prose of the kind that barely needs editing, then yes. Heck yes. As it were, I got some good character studies that no doubt will come in handy later when fleshing out the population in my current novel with personality traits and quirks that make them fascinating characters. But nothing near what I had hoped for.

When I started writing Andino Andina the writing flowed. It was a magnificent stream of inspiration and consciousness a writer – any writer – dreams of. Writing at it’s most enjoyable. I wrote for hours, not even pausing to eat, until my hand was all cramped up after some seven hours that I had to continue with my other hand, which is considerably less easy on the eye.

Knowing I only had enough funds for a few days and not producing “enough” to justify the expense to myself, I booked my ticket back home.
I then asked myself what I needed most; more culture nourishment or more nature (both being in short supply where we live) and decided on another 24 hours in DF, rather than listening to another night of bad karaoke while trying to focus and squeeze coherent sentences out of my pen somehow.
It turned out to have been a wise choice. I spent hours in the hazy sunshine topping myself up with the delicious coffee and warm atmosphere at the Mono Azul, watching the hang gliders high above, before catching a colectivo to the bus station in a neighboring town and bus back to the big city.

Coffee at Mono Azul before leaving Malinalco

Coffee at Mono Azul before leaving Malinalco

And that is where I met some truly lovely people; on the microbus, among them the flyers I’d been watching from below, making their way back up the mountain for another flight. It was wonderful to be really seen, in the moment. I have a honest interest in flying of any kind and if I go back I’ll definitely consider a tandem. They in turn showed a genuine interest in me and my writing. We didn’t swap email addresses or anything; it was not one of those meetings. But I came away with a smile on my face that lasted, even in the pouring rain, for the rest of the day.
Or maybe that was the sweet, wild strawberries I’d filled my thermos-flask with and shared with the hotel porter and the cleaner 😉

Until next time,

Real questions & real answers

“Questions are infinitely more interesting that answers; you can get any number of answers from just one question…” (Liz Rosales)

Here’s a link to the questions Christina Salerno of Living Quirky asked yours truly

Can you tell I’m rather chuffed (read excited) to get asked real questions by a real person 😉 especially since Quirky is one of my favorite words!

Seasons changes and personalities preferences – perhaps

I’m back from a short break in Mexico City – the quirkiest capital city I’ve ever been – and surroundings, which offered a welcome break from the relentless heat of the last four months where we normally live.  With summer holidays coming to an end and my favorite season here in the northern hemisphere approaching I thought I’d share another excerpt from “The Spirit of Flying”  while I work on setting my “new” laptop up so I can share some more recent writing and photographs from my travels.
If you like it, follow the link at the end to my website and there’s a link to buy the book and at the same time support (with no cost to you) the translation into Spanish just by using my link when you go shopping on Amazon for whatever your heart desires.  Enjoy.

Imminent Completion
The words can not describe the feeling
It is not of end-completion. It is end-of-a-cycle completion.
Like turning over an hourglass,
but instead it’s more like Gaia going to bed,
bolstered up by feather-down pillows and duvet with a good book.
All before returning to one-ness in a womb-like and restorative sleep,
before doing it all again.

Every autumn this delicious feeling
the stresses of summer:
of getting as much out of it as possible,
the parties, the bbq’s, get a tan
all in a short few months.

Then, with the change of seasons
from extroverted summer
to introverted autumn.
For a short transitory while
the temperature is just right
the air is crisp and fresh
like my own head clearing after a head-cold.

Nature brings on the spectacular finish
to the abundant extravaganza of summer
painting most of the vegetation
using a palette of flame colours
turning trees into giant fire crackers.

The colours of the sunsets changes too
ever so slightly towards cooler hues of winter.
The difference between a colourful cocktail with clinking ice cubes
and a steaming mug of hot tea or coffee
perhaps topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.
Of browsing a great second hand bookstore
as opposed to shopping for a beach wardrobe.

Not yet cold enough to light a fire
that crackles and brings its own magic to a room.
A hearty soup replacing the salad.
The harvest is in safely and
it’s all coming together for crafty evenings when the wind howls
and can chill you to the bone.

For a short few weeks
the state of nature around me
resonates with my own being totally.
Even with its wild storms
blowing away not just old leaves
but sadness, disappointments and the depression
that hovers on the figurative porch
waiting for someone to accost.
Bringing with it freshness, preparing the ground
with a blanket of leaves for the rest that we call winter.
Patting us on the back, of a job well done.

Inside candles replace flowers on the dresser and altar,
pyjamas and instead of fans in the bedroom.
Autumn is dancing with me in a slow waltz
intimate and delicious
to music only we can hear.
There is nothing more to prove
nothing more to be done
but follow his gentle lead
Soon enough winter will follow
with shorter days, grey clouds and cool lemon sun
and rest me in it’s embrace
So just for now
let’s keep on dancing…

Summer is ”needing” to go somewhere, do something
if only for its own sake
to have something to talk about.
Spring is like a hyperactive toddler
when mum wants a lie-in and to wake up slowly at a delicious pace.
It wants to do this and do that, all at once…
not luxuriate in the peace and comfort for a few minutes before getting up.

Winter is a night flight, in a smallish aircraft
where the Stewardess closes the door and the cold out
warm air fills the cabin
and all the low hum of conversation among the passengers
mix with the scent of coffee coming from the galley.
For a few hours we need to do nothing but relax,
read a book or magazine or even take a nap
before we land at our destination
where the hustle and bustle of returning to the ordinary world
and rejoining our busy lives once again.
Continuing on our journeys
to home, hotels or places of work.

Late autumn is restfull, undemanding
and at the same time inspiring;
new projects, new hobbies, expansions of the mind.

The Spirit of Flying is a bit like autumn to me
a sense of oneness and imminent completion
of no time, no goal
of being for no other reason than existing complete in the now.

I am one with the wings, or with the helicopter
and we just ARE.
Of all the fulfilment of a child’s hopes for Christmas being right there
wrapped in a silk scarf if you so wish
and then realizing you feel complete in yourself.
Where being turns to IS-ness
time has no meaning because it no longer exists
it is not a vacuum but a state so rich
there is nothing anyone could possibly add.
Bliss – the state with no opposite.
Weightless in space
at no specific point
here, there, and everywhere.
Nowhere else I want to be
nothing to accomplish
remember to do
but exist.
No longer confined to a body but eternal,
an eternal return.

(30 October 2012)

Here’s the link:

The Oilskin Coat at Luccombe

Another sneak peak from my forthcoming book “the Spirit of Flying”, enjoy.


One evening, just as autumn was beginning to turn to winter, I’d spent the evening drinking (de-caf) coffee with a couple of close girlfriends and was driving home late at night. We used to get together for a girlie once a week and since I was the only one with a car, we usually met at either of their houses.

It was about 2am and I wasn’t particularly tired. My mind was multitasking as usual; writing a to-do list for tomorrows day off work and playing with designs for the gem stones that had arrived in the post earlier in the day. The very familiar road was empty but I was still driving quite slow. It was only drizzling but the temperature was close to freezing and there were lots of leaves on the road.

I’d just turned the corner coming down towards Luccombe Chine when I saw a figure beside the road. He (or she) looked about 5’10 and dressed in an old fashioned oilskin coat. Nothing unusual about that, they are rather popular with some country folks and on an evening like this the fashion police were certainly not out on patrol. How odd, I thought, I didn’t know there was a gate in the fence there? Who’d be out walking in the middle of the night in this rather foul weather? Someone who’s lost their dog perhaps.

As the figure began to cross the road, I was surprised s/he took no notice of the headlights of my approaching car. I applied the brakes and slowed down to let him/her pass safely at a pace that wouldn’t cause him to startle and slip. He stopped in the middle of my lane. Drunk? I wondered and slowed down further.

When I was less than 20 yards away s/he just faded, right where s/he had stood in the middle of the road. Huh? Oh. Yay. I’d stopped to give way for a ghost. Ok. I chuckled to myself. At least I didn’t have to feel bad for not wanting to pick up a hitch-hiker on an isolated road in the middle of the night… I then checked the fence as I drove past. Of course there was no gate in it.
Oilskin Coat

It’s autumn, my favorite season of the year, I was hoping this would be a more fun post but in 9 days we’ll have nowhere to live. We got the notice last week: they want us out. For being 2 weeks late with the rent. We looked at some other places today, more money for less space. We are open to receive help.  Please feel free to share. Thank you.

I set up this fundraising today:

My latest painted offering just in time for Dia de los Muertos, the feline equivalent of La Calavera Catrina, Mexicos grand dame of Death, Let me introduce La GATARINA! Original for sale too, 24x34cm.
La Gatarina 300

And of course you can still pre-order my book, check out the last post for details.  Much love x

Sneak-peak; The Spirit of Flying

Here’s a little taster from my forthcoming book  The Spirit of Flying; realitales softly spoken. If you like this blog I can almost guarantee that you’ll love reading the book.

Please if you feel so inclined, consider pre-ordering by emailing me.

The Spirit of Flying - realitales softly spoken. Temp. cover. Art by the lovely Anja Lüder.

The Spirit of Flying – realitales softly spoken.
Temp. cover.
Art by the lovely Anja Lüder.

In search of the Spirit of flying; a letter to you, the reader

The mists are the place where this world meets all the others. The worlds you once knew, the ones you more often than not got told did not exist, until you talked yourself out of seeing. Unless you are a bit like me and refused to let go….

You refused to let go because the mist held an allure like nothing else. A muffler of noise, it also offered a welcome break that the (often) harsh and loud ”real world” could not compare with.

The “other worlds” tempted this walker between worlds with a magic of its own, offering ever changing perspectives and views of the once familiar. A multi faceted world that shifts its focus from an every day experience to a world perceived through the Third Eye and the Heart, if you let it…

Flying fills me with a kind of longing I don’t know how to explain or satisfy. Longing for a place I have never seen this time around and do not visually remember; for beings I have not embraced in this lifetime and know not consciously who they are.

Aeons ago if you think linearly, yet a short hop of a flight if you use your heart. Somewhere out there it still reverberates like a plucked string, singing a note that resonates with something so deep within my soul I have yet to find it. It whispers through years of frustration, built up over a lifelong and at times frenetic search, so far mostly in vain. That’s when the tears come once more, hot and despondent.

I’m twisting and turning myself inside and out.
Because flying still feels unattainable,
representing that which is out of reach thus keeping it so.
That which I believe I can never have.
Unless I figure out why I want it so and
what it truly represents to me.

The spirit of flying I need to define
in a way that at least I can grasp.
I have gone through the dictionary and the thesaurus too
the combination lock of this equation
stays firmly locked in place.

Then I’m dreaming…
I’m soaring!
I’m on my way!
Unlimited freedom of movement
excellent overview
me and my flying machine
together as one
Everything is in it’s place as it should be
trimmed and primed
I’m weightless and focused
here and there, all at once
spinning the thread that connects the two…

Life after Miaowser

Been drinking a lot of tea recently, the English soother of all ails.  Only it does not seem to do much.  I’m not coping very well with losing my best friend.  It could be the horrific circumstances that like a tape-loop keeps rerunning endlessly whenever I’m not actively engaged in other things.

It is not at the times when we feel the most lonely we miss someone the most and that we cry; it’s when we feel them near, their presence, their love.  I learnt that last year.

One of the times when I sat outside with said mug, diluting it’s contents with my tears, looking at the flowerbed where Miaowser used to hide and play, and where she now rests beneath the same blooms, I had the idea of writing an ebook.  I felt her spirit nearby and the title “Love is all that matters” appeared in my mind.  So that’s what I’ll try to do.  I’ll make it free to download for anyone who has ever loved and felt lost and left behind by their loved ones departure.  I’ll add a donate button at the end, then people can make a donation to Miaowsers Fund if they feel so inclined.
The book won’t be ready in a hurry.  I’m far too churned up and raw a mess for that.  Word by word, page by page.  Maybe that will exorcise the terrors of her last hour with us.

So I asked her, – what would you like to help fund, Kitkit?  Veterinary care for those who can’t afford it?  Food for feeding strays?  Homes for all cats?
– I’d like a fund to look after you.  Came the quiet answer.
Oh. my.  That was so unexpected I knew it was true.  Oh Miaowser, I cried.  I miss you so much.  A fresh wave of tears flooded my eyes and I was enveloped in the love behind that statement.
– Of course I am here!  Do you remember back in 1998 after Solveig died; hearing her say “I can help you more from where I am now than I ever could incarnate”, or words to that effect?  It’s a bit like that.  I have to go now, but at the same time I am always with you.
– I know Kitkit, I know.

After Miao departed I’ve had bloodcurdling nightmares when I can sleep at all.
I don’t want to be sad forever.  I don’t want to be depressed.  I don’t want the nightmares to continue indefinitely.  These are not judgements, they are preferences.
I know out of our love a different connection that defies time and space will be forged, and in a different way we will meet again in the dreamtime.  But I’m not there yet.  The grief is still raw as can be and often overwhelming.

Understanding might be overrated but personally I have found that I can accept almost anything If I understand why.  I would like to see someone Miao loved, to help me understand and move forward once more.  When she heard her voice she’d almost dance around the kitchen looking so radiant and excited.

Thus I’ve tentatively taken the steps to set it up.  If you go to “Other ways to connect” you’ll see newly added “Miaowsers Fund” and a donate button that will take you to paypal if you click on it.

There IS life after Miaowser.  I just have to find my way there.

Milou and the flowers

Milou and the flowers

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: