Today I might be buying my first gold sovereign.  A friend told me about an auction that has some sovereigns for sale.  He suggested that quality is very important when buying old coins as collectables and suggested that I follow the on-line link to fill out a request for a quality report.  I happily ticked the right boxes for 10 of them and got a telling off by the auction house.  They suggested 5 reports maximum.  I explained that I was a complete novice and needed the most collectable and the best condition and so they narrowed it down for me to two of the five.

The first is the oldest and only shield back coin in this sale.  A Victorian coin 1863.

The 1896 Victorian coin is, I am advised, in the best condition.

This was very helpful and has given me a bit more confidence in the sell on value of my purchase.  I am not sure how much added value the extra 33 years will give the earlier coin, or the fact that it is a shield back.  Given that the guide prices in this auction are the same for both I would imagine that I should go for the better condition coin.

I had of course had visions, after reading my book on Gold Sovereigns by Michael A Marsh of starting my collection with a modest and fairly rare George IV sovereign.  Needless to say that there are none in this auction.  The coins are all common I think and so I have made my mind up to stay at the low end of the guide price of 200-250 pounds. Ha ha we shall see!

If I don’t end up at the auction at least watching the prices unfold at the end will give me an idea for future bidding.

This is all about getting started and gaining experience.  And of course the fact that Jupiter, bringer of luck is in my sign right now!

Yours with sparkly bits

Gemma x


Oh Lordy, my path is now down the yellow brick road.

Hi all,

I made a decision at the end of the summer, to discontinue with my website for a while.  I have building work to manage, my Naturopathy course to complete and my youngest is entering that final year before she starts school.  It would be so easy to be swallowed up by my commitments and miss out on our final year of being together full time.

So I ended my year deciding not to continue doing much more than I have in the last year.

All that changed when I started to delve a little deeper into our financial situation, both personally and looking at the world stage.

I read a few books and one in particular:

Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach

has been instrumental in motivating me to do something about those niggling doubts that I have about our financial security.

One of the things that David Bach suggests in his book is getting up earlier to work.  To create those extra hours in the day to get more done.  This is not about nose to the grindstone, this is about jumping out of bed to make your dreams happen.  So I have been diligently setting my alarm clock half an hour earlier each morning and getting to bed earlier and earlier to bring about this change.

Anyway the upshot of all my nosing around in things financial, is to work on my Wealth section for a while.  The Wealth pages to date, have had the attention that my finances get in real life right now.  It is time to dust them down and I have decided that all this apathy and head in the sand is about to change.

I am about to become an investor.  For many reasons, mainly an on-line presentation that I watched by Mike Dillard who has formed The Elevation Group, I have decided to invest in gold.  For my own ethical reasons, namely that mining brings about connotations of slave labour and poisonous extraction chemicals, I have decided to buy only gold sovereigns.  I see soveriegns as antiques and collectables, if I buy only the old ones I can kind of tell myself that I am creating no further demand.  Shady, yes but for now this is what I have settled on.

In the short time that I have been considering making a purchase, I have contacted a local coin dealership that has been around for a while and got an idea of prices.  I have also been given the name of someone in the school playground who has been home investing for a while. He has been really helpful and has suggested a further meeting with someone else who he says has also the thoughts that I have on the world economy and who has taken the step of investing in gold sovereigns.  So now it seems I may have a mentor…how did that happen?  I say thank you universe!

Now with extension work happening, swallowing up the cash now would seem like a really stupid time to be buying gold.  Having read a few chapters by Bach however, I am convinced that I must start now.  He uses an example of a 14 year old girl who invests 2,000 every year for 5 years.  She places her investment in a 10% interest account and does no more saving after this but leaves it in this high interest account until she retires at 65.  At which point this initial 10,000 investment is worth over 1 million.

There are of course a few flaws in this plan.  My first question is how on earth can you guarantee 10% any where?  The answer is of course that you can’t.  But hey it might be worth trying.  Google this question and there are many ideas out there, none guaranteed of course, but the lesson that I am starting to realise is nothing ventured and all that.

My other problem with this kind of investment is that she started at 14…I wish!  But this is the point that Bach makes later: it is the cumulative effect that is so important.  He also shows how much we should be saving and at what age to achieve the same figure (although still with that almighty 10% interest rate).

I guess that what has been triggered in me is action.  If we sit still and do nothing then we can sit back and watch inflation take us down.

Another way to look at it is that my first move into investment will be to start aking savings.  All the money that I invest is going to be found from current income.  So to start this I am going to look at The Budget Planner on

If you wish to follow my path then keep watching my Money pages as I explore all of my ideas and put them into action in the coming months.

Of course it is especially timely when looking to money matters that we remember to be grateful for what we have, every day.

Wishing you all an abundant 2013

Gemma x

Vaccinations, Whooping cough and the Fabulous Castor Oil

Having recently decided that my three year old had whooping cough, I proceeded to castor oil pack her liver and chest at lunch time and then again that evening.  I kept her off dairy and lightened her intake of fats and oils and then repeated this a few days later, but by this time nothing of the whoop remained and little of the cough was there too.  It has been an amazing recovery.

Having watched my three other children spend the customary 6 weeks with the disease I am now doubting myself.  Did the unmistakable ‘whoop’ that I heard on several of her severe coughing fits mean for certain that she had the disease?  I am sure that they didn’t call it ‘whooping cough’ for nothing.

The castor oil is surely liquid gold…I have had so much success with this unassuming bottle in other situations that I don’t know why I am not letting it claim to help cure whooping cough…at least in this case.

For more information on Castor Oil Packing, have a look on my website.

Anyway with all of this resurgence on whooping cough right now I thought that I’d introduce a link that seems to comprehensively include everything that I would agree with on the subject of vaccinations:

You may need to cut and paste.

Needless to say I refused my doctors offer of a preventative vaccine or the antibiotics to help with the cough.

Elderflower Cordial

I was intensely happy when Zoe, my 11 year old daughter asked me to get her some ascorbic acid so that she could make some elderflower cordial.  It was something about those creamy, lacy leaves, the nostalgic idea of warm balmy picnics despite the all elusive summer, the fact that she was swapping her vampire novels to do something highly creative, the idea of foraging something from the garden and the fact that I’d had the recipe for years but never got round to it, that made me very happy indeed that she was up for some seasonal creating.

My enthusiasm tempered somewhat when I noticed; how much sugar? Mother health heckles up, I was yo yo-ing between summery floral overtone with keynotes of blossom and why the heck can’t she just drink water? Smelling the fragrant blooms, I also realised that they did indeed smell of urine, as my husband pointed out.

Instead I brought into my mind images of Bach flower remedies, innate healing properties – (surely?) of elderflower, and gentle images of subtle infusions of loveliness and surely some sort of high vibrational frequency and banished my motherly up-tightness.  It was delicious afterall.

However on going to my brother in laws, clutching the ascorbic acid that he requested after selecting his own nodding head of elderflowers to make his own syrupy nectar, he let slip his apprehension about making this old wives recipe for fear of the cyanide poising that he was putting himself at risk of?

Heck that threw me into overdrive…there is me worried about my daughter’s sugar levels, yeast overgrowth and depletion of minerals and had rather neglected to understand the very real additional possibility of cyanide poisoning!

I have since Googled it and am reassured that the elderberry and apple pies that we make lovingly in the winter are fine because the berries are cooked.  I have also seen it mentioned that it is both cooking and ‘steeping’ that render the cyanide unproblematic.  However does ‘steeping’ mean boiling gently? as in some recipes, or does it mean just leaving immersed for a few days as in my daughter’s recipe?  Need to know more.

My brother in law insisted that thorough preparation by removing the flower heads from the stalks is necessary.  I also read of several people who have had serious vomiting issues from shop bought dried elderberries and also from making fresh fruit smoothies with the berries.

I have seen plenty of recipes with beautiful photographs showing the heads with stalks intact immersed in sugary water.  However similar to porridge, no longer being prepared adequately through lack of soaking…I am aware that modern ‘rushed’ methods of preparation can lead us astray.  I shall look up some more and it is certainly food for thought.

I don’t have my science head on at the moment but will look up the why’s and wherefore’s at another time.  In the meantime, sugar aside Maude Grieve offered elderflower infusion  as a “good old-fashioned remedy for colds and throat trouble” A Modern Herbal.

A whole host of other reported benefits have also been attributed to this commonly growing tree including:

  • alleviating constipation
  • herpes simplex (fever blisters)
  • treating ear infections
  • reducing fever
  • boosting the immune system
  • stimulating circulation
  • general healing
  • rheumatic problems
  • reducing inflammation
  • soothing the respiratory tract

There is also a “The Little Cyanide Cookbook”:

Because of it’s unique molecular structure, this compound releases cyanide only at the cancer site, thus destroying cancer cells while nourishing non-cancer tissue…

Cyanide in minute quantities and in the proper food forms, instead of being poisonous actually is an essential component of normal body chemistry.  Vitamin B12 for instance contains cyanide in the form of cyanocobalamine.


By June de Spain

So for now cyanide aside and ice cubes a plenty.

Some Thoughts On Protein

I am always asking my husband to cut down on the amount of animal protein that he eats.  When he asked me again why at the weekend, I came out with some comment about acidity, a need for sodium in vegetables to neutralise it sort of reply.  But I realise that this needs more explanation and I have found out some really good points about why protein is brilliant and completely necessary, but only in very small amounts.

I took the following information from Correlative Urinalysis:  The Body Knows Best by M.T. Morter.

  • Yes when animal product protein is assimilated it has an acidic ‘ash’ residue; that is once it has been digested what remains has a low pH. Our blood must be maintained at a pH of 7.4.
  • The acids produced from protein include sulphuric, nitric and phosphoric.  These must be neutralised using food or body reserves from vegetables.
  • If the sodium used to neutralise these acids is depleted through continuous over consumption of protein, then the body will resort to using the next most alkalising mineral – calcium.  We can now understand from this how we can develop such poor teeth and osteoporosis.
  • As the alkalising reserves are used, the level of acids and protein rises and this causes congestion at a cellular level.
  • Protein depletes energy rather than provides it. Protein can be converted into glucose for energy through the process of glyconeogenesis but is not a direct source.
  • Protein is a stimulant.  In large quantities it can keep you stimulated for hours.  The stimulation may keep you feeling good, but it consumes your energy and will leave you depleted.
  • Do we really need all of the protein that we take in?  A baby will double its birth weight in the first two years of it’s life.  If we assume that we do as nature intended and give a baby only mother’s milk for the first year or so we can see that mothers milk is only 1.5% protein.  The milk is of course perfectly designed to provide all that is needed for a baby to grow and thrive.  Yet only 1.5% protein.  Certainly something to consider when we look at our diets of around maybe 10% or more for many people in the West.
  • In his book The China Study, T. Campbell makes the observation that rats, when fed a carcinogen will only develop cancer if, in addition protein consumption is also increased, to over 10%.  A diet with less than 10% protein and the cancer does not form, despite there being a carcinogen present.
  • He observes that the diseases of excess in China are prevalent in clearly defined geographical areas.  These locations are the developed cities that have adopted he Western diet and diets reveal that protein has been greatly increased.  In Western diets we see a significant increase in the following:
  1. cancers of the colon, lung, breast, leukemia, childhood brain, stomach, liver,
  2. autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis
  3.  coronary heart disease

The message is always always, more vegetables, more vegetables, more vegetables.  Raw, juiced and vibrant or steamed, stir fried or made into soup.  Get them down you.

Interestingly, how much protein do these vegetables provide?  There is a scale but 1.5% or thereabouts!  It seems that maybe after all (if we look back to breast milk) mother knows best.

Making raw saltless sauerkraut

In an attempt to increase my veggies still more (get a few more raw ones in and green leafy ones at that);  I have taken the advice of Paul Pitchford author of Healing with Wholefoods.  He gives in this book a recipe for Raw Saltless Sauerkraut.  My sister in law is Romanian and queen of all things pickled.  She suggested that you needed both salt and water to properly preserve cabbage.  She tasted it and said that it had indeed worked – indeed without either.  Now do not get me wrong I would not stretch to ‘delicious’ but from a person who doesn’t even do pickled onions very well this ain’t half bad.

Why Sauerkraut?  Well, by slowly upping your daily intake of this cabbage concoction you are:

…regenerating the intestines.  It harmonises the digestion by balancing the secretions of the stomach, helps in the formation of enzymes and vitamins, strengthens the action of the pancreas, and improves the digestion of fats.  Raw saltless sauerkraut also helps maintain the acid-alkaline balance of the body, strengthens the nerves and the immune system, and stimulates blood formation.  Its numerous benefits help to rejuvenate the whole body.

As so many people are coming to realise now, the gut is where it all starts.  If we can get the balance right here, if our digestion is strong, our immunity is strong, our food is broken down efficiently then we have less allergic response, less bowel issues and constipation and our energy, instead of being spent on all these things, is left for us to enjoy, heal, smile or whatever else we might want to do with it.

Now Paul recommends 25 pounds of vegetables; mainly cabbage but with optional added carrots, beets, celery, garlic, herbs or seaweed.  He suggests that this large quantity generates the best fermentation.  However I did the scaled down version and am still really pleased with my two white cabbage head version.

My friend Mel has had a go at this too and she rates herself as a ‘shredder’.  I drew a line at this despite all that possibility for putting good vibes into my leaves.  No, I put mine through my juicer, without the metal gauze screen.  It came out a bit more pulp than shreds but saved a whole heap of work and tasted just fine.  I juiced a bit too to start with because Paul reckons that the wetter the better.

Then I put it all into a large ceramic bowl (the kind of size that I would use for making pastry).  I had reserved about six of the outer leaves from the cabbages and placed these over the pulp to cover them.

I then placed a small plate over these and stuck my fruit bowl over the top.  Now the fruit bowl serves a few purposes here.   It weighs the leaves down to keep the cabbage compressed and submerged in the liquid and this helps with the all important fermentation process.  It also gives me somewhere to put the fruit bowl on my rather sparse work surface now I have a rather large bowl sat on it (I’d be in danger of forgetting it if I stuck it in a cupboard) and the aromas of my citrus fruit may do something to mask the smell of rotting cabbage…who am I kidding?

Anyway, seven days later and you can tuck in (take off the rotting leaves first and discard anything that you decide might be a bit unsavoury).  Don’t do what I did and eat a small bowl full…my belly blew up like a balloon and I spent the evening trumping like a good’un.  Just a teaspoon at a time.

Lordy am I feeling good a few days in.  Although that could also be the kefir, the raw juicing or the kelp powder that have all become part of my regime in the last couple of weeks.  But those are for another day.  So too are the photographs of my sauerkraut…One day I’ll get the camera out.

Gemma x


The Green Parent Magazine

Hi All,

I’m sorry that I haven’t kept up the blog more regularly.  I have been juggling many balls!  One of them I am pleased to announce is my journey into journalism.  Well I won’t get ahead of myself but I have just had a article accepted for The Green Parent Magazine.  I think that it will be in the February / March issue so look out for my article on Purple Bracelets and A Complaint Free World.

I have recently taken up the morning practice of 20 minutes meditation followed by 10 rounds of sun salutations combined with a further few yoga poses specifically aimed at my umbilical hernia/stomach muscle issues from pregnancies.  I am then writing 3 pages of A4 as per ‘The Artists Way’.

Before you write me off as someone clearly ‘possessed': I am seeing a powerful transformation on many fronts: my energy, my insight and ideas and my inner peace and calm.  Need a bit of an energy shift? Then take up the winter beating challenge – get some flax oil and yoghurt down you when you eventually get to breakfast time (as per my health pages), plenty of water and then get yourself up early in the morning for this routine.  It feels very much as though you have done a day before breakfast! (but still with the energy to do another one!)

I have also been busy at a grass roots level.  When my website went down I took it as a sign to spend more time getting through my course and getting myself qualified. (although I do not think that I need a piece of paper to say that I suddenly have all of this knowledge).   So I have been giving consultations with a very gentle message of change.  The same that I give here about looking at hydration and making dietary changes before considering supplements.  However it has brought to my attention that what is needed; is a holding hands approach to making lifestyle changes.  I have a big plan in my head which I hope to bring about through this website.  I aim to write a book on nutrition with three breakdowns: An easy not too scary and certainly no sauerkraut as per my friend Vicky’s request, a more moderate but open to a few more suggestions path and a complete nutter hard core version for those who want to make changes and now!  So look out for the introduction coming soon in my health pages.  I will be presenting a bit more about how I plan to get this off the ground and how I will format it.  Then I will be looking closely at oils and water again and ways of getting flax oil down you and your little ones! Then a whole ‘diet’ chapter with loads of recipes and plenty of ideas that you may not have tried before.  This will have a very carbs focused intent to begin with, as I have made huge inroads in my understanding into how I feel we misuse this part of the food pyramid and ways that we can better digest them (something that I feel is responsible for many issues that we face today).  I also aim to make some menu plans.  Yes this is going to be big so bear with me as I have other things in the offing too.  I hope that it will grow month by month into something very usable.  Finally a look at supplements.

I am not sure yet but maybe I will keep it separate under another heading ‘The Book’ until I come up with an amazing catchy new title that hasn’t been used before!

Over and out x

Come to life

Well the year is just beginning, the moon is wafer thin and it seems a poignant time, to celebrate all this newness with the launch of my new website.  Welcome to all of you, I hope that you find here everything that you need, to come to life.

Much love Gemma xxx