Get Back Behind that Sink and Nurture Your Children!

I have just listened to the BBC 5 Live radio phone-in regarding the issue around taking your children into work. This has been raised after Scottish MP Kirsty Blackman took her children to a Westminster committee hearing, apparently unable to find appropriate childcare at short notice during the Scottish summer holidays, which start earlier than in England and Wales. I am quite pleased that she did this, because clearly she did it to raise the issue of childcare and working parents, although I am angered by the response on this particular radio phone-in show.

My anger was raised largely by the women on the phone-in, or least one older lady who said that we should not expect to have a career and children at the same time. How old-fashioned is that view? Seriously, this country is still stuck in the Victorian times! I am currently building a freelance writing career, because for all the childless years I spent applying for jobs and begging for work experience (none of which were successful), I had always planned to have a career set up before I had children, so that I could fit in all the necessary nurturing and care that would come with babies and toddlers.

British PNR by Catherine Green

Of course, life is not so neat and easy, as we all know, and for reasons beyond my control, I found myself embarking upon my career at the same time that I was pregnant with my first child.  Does this mean I should abandon all hopes of having a career because now I have my little darlings to consider? No, I bloody well shouldn’t! A career is important to me, and so are my children. Surely I should be supported to develop both in order to raise my daughters with aspirations and achievable goals. My husband works in a job that is physically too dangerous for children (he’s on a waste management facility), so he could never take them into work. We have to fit around that. Which means I cannot get a job working for someone else, because we cannot currently afford the childcare that would be necessary for me to do said job.

Which leaves me stuck at home, tied to the kitchen sink, trying desperately to do my writing work, build my client list for freelance jobs, and give my children the time and attention that they need. We cannot afford to go on holiday or daytrips without financial help from our parents. My husband’s wage barely covers the household expenses. And we don’t qualify for any state benefits, apart from the regulation free 15 hours of childcare during term time. So, my school summer holiday will not be a productive one. I have to keep my children entertained at home, or in the park. And, oh look, here comes the rain again. Crafts, anyone?

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My Summer Holidays with Kids – week #1

The first week has flown by and now we are back home from a visit to my Mum, who lives just over the border in Staffordshire, but who is largely housebound due to a chronic medical condition. I took the children last weekend and my husband left us there while he returned to work and home. Our dog had to stay just up the road with Grandma, because he does not tolerate my mum’s dog.

My Summer Holidays with Kids SpookyMrsGreen

We finally got the summer sun!

It all went a bit pear-shaped in the end. Both my daughters were ill with what I refer to as “end of term exhaustion.” There were tears and tantrums, a few minor accidents, and I did not manage to do any of the work on my computer that I had planned to do. I did a few jobs for my Mum, we managed to meet up with friends once, and there was some playtime in the garden and paddling pool.

SpookyMrsGreen on holiday

I sneaked a cheeky glass of prosecco while the children were playing!

All in all, it was quite a stressful start to the holiday, but there is a very big upside – after 5 years of borrowing my husband’s car when he is not at work, I now have my own car again, hooray! It came about very swiftly as a chance opportunity arose, and suddenly my long summer holiday alone with children does not seem quite so daunting. At least now we can go out for a drive when we get bored!

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A Healing Boost with Trinfinity8

I am very privileged to meet a lot of wonderful, inspirational people during my travels on the mind, body and spirit scene when I exhibit at festivals and events. I meet many great healers and practitioners, and experience all sorts of different tools, meditations, workshops and more in my pursuit of spiritual ascension. One such tool that I am currently exploring is Trinfinity8. It is a computer based system that uses a specially designed fractal resonator to tap in with your deep brain functions, and to release your higher self from its boundaries.

Trinfinity8 Rosemary Douglas Events

When using Trinfinity8, you sit before a laptop, and hold a crystal rod in each hand, which is the wand that directs energy where it needs to go. I had a session with this at my last mind, body and spirit event. Settling into my seat, I held the crystal wands in my hands and allowed their energy to flow into me. Breathing deeply, I focused only on the sounds of the Trinfinity8 program that played through headphones, and I closed my eyes so that I could fully immerse myself in the sensations. If you choose to keep your eyes open, there are a series of beautiful images that play on the computer screen, to assist in your healing meditation.

Chris Quartermaine Trinfinity8

I had to smile when I moved deeper into the session and sensed an angelic healer guide coming forward in my mind. He manifested as a small, round-faced man with a moustache and glasses, quite old-fashioned in my imagination. He stepped forward, shook his head, and tutted at me.
“My, my,” he said in my mind, “We have not been taking care of ourselves, have we, Mrs Green?”

Trinfinity8 Therapy

Whoops! This was a time when I had been running myself ragged trying to be wife, mother, housewife and businesswoman all at the same time, along with many other challenges. I knew instinctively that I needed some self-care, but I was still putting it off, telling myself I was too busy. During my Trinfinity8 session, I received a boost of energy and a light form of cleansing, but I know it will take a lot more to help me personally, based on recent escapades. I certainly felt better for it, however, and I like the way it works. It is hard to describe, so I simply recommend that you try it for yourself. Our next event is in Northwich on July 30th – 31st. See you there!


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Steampunk Adventures in Crewe

Way back at the end of May, I took my eldest daughter to the Crewe Steampunk Convivial. I almost missed the event, since it coincided with the weekend when I exhibited at a Rosemary Douglas mind, body and spirit event. Who knew there was so much to do in Crewe? Anyway, we caught the last day of the Crewe Steampunk Convivial, and I am very glad we did. We saw some huge steam engines, as you would expect. We saw lots of people around the town dressed in their Victorian explorer finery. We saw the performance arena, the brewery tent, and the indoor Steampunk market.

Time Travelling Tea Tent

One of our favourite experiences that day was an encounter with the Time Travelling Tea Tent. Walking through the grounds of an old, abandoned church, we saw the tent as we rounded the side of the building. We then saw Dr Davis and Lady Barnes, enjoying a cup of tea in the sunshine. It was fabulous! We met Horatio the busy Hamster, who provided power for the various machines and technology. Dr Davis showed us his new invention, the Windle, that is designed for reading on holiday. I thought it was rather special!

Steampunk Windle

Lady Barnes showed us around the installation, and explained that the couple spend their days travelling through time and space, drinking tea in all sorts of strange locations, and meeting all sorts of strange creatures on their expeditions. If you ever see the Time Travelling Tea Tent when you are out and about, I encourage you to take a look for yourselves. It is a delightful curiosity!

Hamster Time Travelling Tea Tent

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We Did It! We Survived our First Year at School!

The day has arrived. It is officially the End of Term, and the End of the School Year for us. Twelve months ago I was an emotional wreck as I watched my eldest daughter graduate from preschool, attend her last Rhymetime session in the local library, and all those other milestone events that cropped up in our weekday social circles. It was horrible! I thought that once all that was over, I would be sorted. I could not be more wrong. The emotional torment continued as we moved into a new routine.

We did the school run five days a week, come rain or shine, walking every day. If the weather is dry, the dog comes with us, if not he stays at home. He is a fair-weather pup! I experienced all of those wonderful events that come with school: the first Christmas performance, the Christmas fair, the Summer fair, the Sports Day, and a few others at odd times. My daughter went on her first school day trip, on a big coach, without Mummy. That was traumatic! And she has grown up so much during the past twelve months. Now she is able to read sentences by herself, she can write and spell lots of words, and she can work with numbers. She even surprised me by looking at our living room clock and reading the time correctly one evening.

We Survived the First School Year

I wasn’t sure what to expect from our first year at school, despite all the advice I received from my friends who already had older children in the system. A part of me wanted to hold on to my daughter, keep her close and safe in the home, but I knew that she needed some independence. We needed a break from each other. It wasn’t just for her. I need a break too, and that’s not a bad thing to admit. Sometimes I feel we put too much pressure on ourselves to be the model parents, doing everything correctly, according to what everybody else says. Well, it doesn’t work that way. I am very glad that my daughter is thriving at school. She is excited to move into Year 1 in September, and she is happy to be preparing for our summer holiday.

For my part I am ready for a lie-in, such as we get with young children. Next week we are off to my mum’s house for a break. She will entertain the children, and I will try to relax and unwind after a very challenging few months. We have the prospect of my younger daughter’s third birthday in August, and a family holiday to look forward to. All in all, it should be a wonderful summer. Now all we need is some sunshine and warmth, and no more rain! Happy Summer, my parent friends. We did it!

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The Emotional Journey of Parenting through School

My eldest daughter has just about completed her first year at primary school. In September she will officially be in Year 1, and all of a sudden I realise what a monumental occasion this is. I mean, her reception year took some getting used to, what with the regular school run, all the events I had to attend, getting used to homework and reading books, and everything else that comes with school. But now she will be entering into “proper education.”

Today I found a letter in her school bag that was headed “Welcome to Year 1.” It gave details about what we should expect from her next year at school, their expectations for homework and reading development, and other important points. And then it hit me. I started blubbering! There I was, standing in the middle of our living room, reading this letter, and the tears welled up, and I got a lump in my throat, and it all went horribly wrong.

My baby is growing up! She is moving into her second year at school, and before we know it, she’ll be leaving. The years are flying by too fast! All of this is not helped by the fact that at least half a dozen children from my younger daughter’s preschool are moving up to primary school in September. My toddler has almost finished her first year at preschool, and now half of her friends will be disappearing, and she will have a whole group of new friends to make as the next wave of babies grow up into toddlerhood. It never ends!

And the final nail in the coffin for this week of emotional turmoil comes from my next door neighbours. My friends’ daughter has just decided which high school she wants to apply for, and she has had her first taster days at said school, so she is now preparing for her final year at primary school, where she will be the oldest student in that place for a year, because her birthday is right at the beginning of September. All of this stress was totally unexpected, and yet I should have known, being an empath, that this would happen. Have a fabulous Summer Holiday, my parent friends!

June Morning Sky

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My Spiritual Journey: Guidance from the Dragonfly

This time of year is proving to be one of heightened emotional stress and upheaval, as I navigate the highs and lows of sending my children to school. My eldest daughter has almost completed her first year at primary school, and my youngest daughter her first year at preschool. Both are very happy in their institutions, they are surrounded by friends and familiar faces, and I am happy with their development. But I am also exhausted by the monotony of the routine.

Summer Parent Challenge #TheGoodStuff

Every day for five days we get up, argue about lunches and school uniform, what to have for breakfast, and whether my girls will actually go to bed when I tell them to at night. Then we walk to school. Presently my toddler is at preschool for two and a half days in the week, and the rest of the time we are together constantly. She is very demanding, and I am also attempting to potty train her, which is not going very well at all. My husband is still working ridiculously long hours in his all-consuming day job, so I feel very much like a lone parent most of the time. And then I find myself consumed with the emotional stress from my fellow mum friends and their individual journeys with their children.

As if that stress were not traumatic enough, I am still frantically working away at my business, writing new novels, writing short stories, writing blog posts and articles that I can either pitch to publications, or publish online as appropriate. I am planning new projects, reaching out to new people, and basically expanding what I do in an attempt to earn some regular money that I can save for family holidays and a new car (or campervan). While I am spending so much time working on my computer, my house is falling into neglect, the dust grows thicker, toy mountain threatens to topple, and I desperately need to clean my bathroom. When will it all get done?

Spiritual Guidance from Dragonfly

I don’t know. And all of these worries, thoughts, plans and challenges were circling in my mind as I walked to school with my toddler to collect her big sister yesterday. The weather was bleak. The sky was grey and heavy, threatening more rain. My energy felt clogged and sluggish. I had neglected myself, as well as my house. Suddenly, a blue blur flew past my face. I followed the creature as it settled on a large wet leaf on the plants at the side of the pavement. It was a beautiful, blue dragonfly. It remained still on the leaf as I approached, and it waited while I took a photo. It spoke to me.

“Do not beat yourself up,” said Dragonfly, “Appreciate your current experiences. Accept them, and move on. Everything is as it should be.”

Later I Googled the shamanic meaning of dragonfly, and this is what I found: The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world, symbolizes change, and change in the perception of self realisation; and the kind of change that has its source in emotional and mental maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.

Enough said! Thank you, wise Dragonfly.

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Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson

Today I welcome author Suzanne Rogerson with her new book Visions of Zarua. 

Two wizards, 350 years apart.

Together they must save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past.

An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.

Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master Kalesh dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.

Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.

The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?

Visions of Zarua is available to buy in the following places:
About the Author
Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.
Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.
She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.
Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Find Suzanne in all the usual places on social media
Follow Suzanne on her latest blog tour, where you can see snippets from the new book, and catch up on her previous work.

Visions of Zarua Blog Tour 2016 Schedule
Mon 27th June betweenthelinesbookblog Promo Post
Tues 28th June rosieamber Review
Wed 29th June bookwraiths Indie Wednesday feature, Guest Post & Giveaway
Thurs 30th June aliasfaithrivens  Review & Interview
Fri 1st July TheTattoedBookGeek Novel extract & Promo Post
Sat 2nd July teripolen Promo Post
Sun 3rd July alinefromabook Review & Promo Post
Mon 4th July barbedwords Review & Post about Varina and her favourite recipe
Tues 5th July baubtaub Review, Interview and Giveaway
Wed 6th July shelleywilson Promo post
Thurs 7th July jenanita01 Review
Fri 8th July spookymrsgreen Promo Post
Sat 9th July thehappymeerkatreviews Review & Promo Post
Sun 10th July Lucciagray Q&A
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#New book The Vampire of Blackpool

A big thank you to Olga for hosting me and my new book on her blog!

Just Olga

#New book The Vampire of Blackpool by Catherine Anne Green (@SpookyMrsGreen) #Paranormal eerie and spooky, with a British touch

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My Spiritual Journey: Finding the Best Tarot Readers

Best Tarot Reader

The world is a scary place right now, especially here in the UK following the political debacle that we have all witnessed. Some of us are seeking guidance and answers, and I can recommend the best Tarot readers to help you make sense of the world, and of your place in it at this time.

I used to be a professional Tarot reader a few years ago, but I found the work was too emotionally demanding while I was still in the grip of new motherhood. Perhaps I will return to the profession in later years, I don’t know. I do occasionally ‘play’ with my Tarot cards at home, although I have to say that for any big life decisions or queries, I would seek help from another Tarot reader. The best way to work out a problem, identify a pattern of behaviour, or to find a glaringly obvious answer, is to seek the advice of somebody who is removed from your personal and social circles.

A good Tarot reader will know what you are looking for. They will not simply tell you what you need to hear. They spent many years studying the Tarot, learning about the intricacies and the meanings behind each illustration on those 76-card decks. A Tarot reading is not taken lightly by anybody who reads for a living. They appreciate the mysterious magical forces that operate within the Tarot, and the energy that comes through and manifests in answers and resolutions. The cards are designed to work intuitively with a Tarot reader, and will connect their mystical energy with that of the client during a reading.

Sometimes a Tarot reading will throw up a whole new set of challenges and instructions. Sometimes it will give away very little, and perhaps this is because the person asking questions is not ready to hear the answers that are inevitable. When you seek advice from the Tarot, you must be prepared to have your insides ripped out for inspection, to have your darkest desires and deepest insecurities brought to the surface, and then you must be ready to act on the necessary course of action that will enable you to heal and move on. If you are not ready for this, then you are not ready for a Tarot reading. By all means, go ahead and ask. But do not be surprised if you feel disappointed with the response.

The Tarot cards know when you are serious about fixing a problem or reversing a negative pattern of behaviour. And they will give you the brutal truth about how to set yourself straight again. Similarly, if you are an experienced receiver of Tarot card advice, if you make it a habit to have your cards read frequently, and you are becoming familiar with the images and figures on those cards, your reading will be different again.
Best Tarot Reader Decks

There are many different versions of the Tarot available. The most popular Tarot cards to study with is the Rider-Waite deck. Their images are clearly defined, and each card is labelled so you know what you are working with. They are very user friendly, and I still use mine regularly for this fact. They look simple, but they work on an incredibly deep level. If you wish to attempt a reading with a more complicated Tarot deck, then you have your pick on the market. My current favourite is the Gilded Tarot. These beautiful cards are sensual and colourful, with a very opulent and decadent feel to them. They are very good for readings about romantic relationships and your relationship with your inner self. They also reveal insights about your life partners, and your soul mates, even if you are currently single in daily life. Your partner is out there, somewhere, and often the Tarot can assist you in how best to attract that partner into your life, or how to find them as you go about your business.

Some people prefer to work with Tarot decks that hold darker energies, often referred to as the “shadow self” entities. I have a vampire Tarot deck that does just this, and again it is very beautiful, and very different to my Rider-Waite and my Gilded Tarot. The images on my vampire Tarot cards are Gothic, in shades of black and grey with splashes of red here and there, and glimpses of pale skin. They reveal our most sensitive core, those parts of us that we keep locked away from the rest of the world, that we dare not show, lest we make a fool of ourselves in public or appear weak to those who would seek to ridicule us. The vampire Tarot, and other similar decks, are not to be used when you feel emotionally fragile.

It might all sound very complicated, quite unnerving, and maybe even a little scary, especially if you have never had a Tarot reading before. Or perhaps you have had a Tarot reading and it left a bitter taste in your mouth, and you came away believing that you had been tricked somehow. The truth of the matter is that the reading you received would have given insight that you were perhaps not ready to receive at that time. The Tarot reader might have decided to give you the raw truth in order to gauge your reaction, or because they were guided to do so with your best interests in mind. We never know what will be revealed, or what memories will be dragged to the surface, but we do know that every Tarot reading is unique and very special.

Eventually you may find yourself interpreting the cards along with your Tarot card reader. You will be able to notice the answers, to focus on the most important cards in a spread, and to learn from them. The Tarot is a beautiful and mysterious entity, weaving magic and mystery into mundane life. Your best Tarot reader is waiting for you to explore that magic. Go and get them!

Images used by miradeshazer and glegle under Public Domain CC0

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