Meltdowns and Mummy Time

Life is very challenging for my five-year-old daughter. She has been busy at school, her little brain is growing and filling with knowledge, and her body is doing the same. We cannot keep up with the amount of food she needs at the moment, despite her being the smallest child in her class! But the worst part is the tantrums. She loses the plot at least three times every day, and last night was the worst for a while. She screamed because she didn’t want to go to bed, she screamed because we refused to read a bedtime story when it was way past her bedtime, and she screamed when I took her out of her sister’s bed and put her in own. In between those times she just kept crying. She was howling like a wolf at one point, and it’s not even the full moon. I resorted to sitting on her bed with her head in my lap while she screamed, until I got fed up with that tactic and just left her to cry it out. She ended up back in her sister’s bed having a story.

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I think that tantrum was borne out of exhaustion. We had visited Beeston Castle near our home, making use of our English Heritage membership, and she did a lot of walking for such a small child. We walked the perimeter of the castle grounds and climbed the steep hill to the old ruins. Then we clambered and stumbled over the ramparts, enjoying the views and marvelling at the skill and determination it had taken for the people that built the castle. Our girls loved exploring and imagining how it must have looked when it was an active fortress, and we had a great time listening and searching for what we thought were a couple of woodpeckers up in the trees in the castle grounds. We were so busy exploring the old caves that we missed the half-term nature crafts that were on offer, but it didn’t matter, because we had lots of fun. Now the week of half-term holiday stretches ahead, and I think it will be a long one. I cannot wait for a free weekend when they go to Nanny’s house for a sleepover!

Mummy Mondays SpookyMrsGreen

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Step into the Shadows

This week I have been reminiscing about my ghost hunts. Since I moved house, I have not communicated with Spirit as much as I used to, and it feels strange. I have been busy with other activities, but the ghosts are restless, and they are calling. It is time for this shadow walker to step back into the shadows. But how do I set about it?

Watermillock Bolton Ghost Hunt

My first thought was to book onto an organised ghost hunt with a reputable company, like the Haunted Houses team, or Mysteria events. But a quick look at their schedule leaves me feeling deflated, because the venues that I want to investigate are booked on dates when I am busy with other commitments. I don’t know how to find a local venue that I might investigate alone, and I wouldn’t want to do that, because I know that Spirit can be very dangerous if you don’t treat them with respect. I would never hunt on my own. I need to find a partner. Where are the lone ghost hunters of Cheshire? Come out, come out, wherever you are!

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Valentine for the Witch

When he left, I opened the bag to see what had been delivered. There were a couple of books ordered for customers from specialist suppliers. I found a pile of junk mail, some bills, and finally something that looked like a Valentine’s card. Telling myself not to be such a girl, I tried to ignore the rapid thumping of my heart as I ripped open the envelope. The card was white with a vase of pink roses printed on the front, glittered for effect. It didn’t feel like something Jack would send. It looked garish and dated. I opened it up, feeling a strange sense of dread. There was a message inside, printed by hand in blue Biro. It read, “Happy Valentine’s Day Jessica. See you tonight, my little witch.

I gasped. There was only one person who had called me ‘little witch,’ and she was dead. I destroyed her myself several months ago. I felt sick, picked up my phone, and called Jack. He answered almost immediately.

“Hey, Jessica,” he said, “Missing me already?”

I had to smile at his joking tone, but my heart skipped a beat as I looked at the card in my hand.

“Hi Jack,” I replied, “Um, yes of course, but there’s something else. I just received a Valentine’s card in the post. Did you send me one?”

There was a moment of silence, and at first, I thought the line had dropped out. Then Jack spoke, his tone suddenly serious.

“No,” he said, “I have never had cause to celebrate this particular occasion. Do you know who sent the card?”

I shook my head and then remembered I was on the phone.

“No,” I said, “But what’s worrying me is the message.”

I relayed the message to Jack and waited for his response.

“It can’t be Emily Rose,” he said in a strained voice, “We watched you kill her.”

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Romance in the Real World

“I bet you are missing Liz now,” Karen said, looking vaguely around the shop, and smiling at me, “How is she doing, and the baby?”
“They are well, thank you,” I replied, “Yes I am missing her. It feels empty around here.”
Karen nodded.
“She has taken well to motherhood though,” she said, “I saw her in the supermarket last week, and she is the picture of health.”
“Oh, she loves Amy,” I said, “Although she is missing the shop as well.”
“And you, I suspect,” Karen added, winking conspiratorially, “No chance of a baby with you and your boyfriend any time soon then?”
I laughed, embarrassed, and shook my head as my body ran hot and trembled suddenly.
“Oh no,” I said, shaking my head vigorously and trying not to spill my coffee, “Not a chance. Jack is far too busy at work, and I have to keep this place going. Besides, we have only been together six months!”
Karen sipped her coffee and inclined her head towards the salon.
“It makes no difference Jessica,” she replied, “My Jenny has only been with Nick for a year and we are preparing for a wedding and a baby.”
I smiled and nodded. Karen’s daughter was twenty-two and worked at her mother’s hair salon. She was four months’ pregnant and her boyfriend had proposed soon after they had announced their new baby. I wasn’t sure if they actually loved each other, or if they were doing it to please the family. I think Nick worked as a builder, or a joiner, something like that. Everyone was normal and down-to-earth. Not like me.

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Magic, Monsters and Mercs Giveaway

Come one come all, it’s time for some high fantasy. Give us your dungeons, your dragons, and your dastardly villains!

Magic Monsters and Mercs Giveaway

“Look out!” Damian shouted as something appeared behind me.

I leaped round just as a female fist slammed into me. Falling back onto the grass for a second time, I saw Damian fighting with another vampire. It was Elaine. Snarling, snapping, she punched him and flung him across the cemetery.

“Damian!” I shouted.

Then she turned her attention on me. I was sitting on the ground, stunned. She was just as beautiful as I remembered. And just as deadly.

“Hello, Hannah,” she purred, “After all these years, you still take my breath away.”
I swallowed nervously.

“You don’t breathe,” I said.

She laughed, and the sound sent shivers down my spine. I tried to stand up, but my legs refused to work. Elaine offered a hand. I stared at it. The skin was white in the glow from the moon and the backdrop of streetlights. I was alone, in a graveyard, with an old, powerful vampire. This was a very bad situation.

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Imbolc Sunshine

This is the season of Imbolc, early February, when winter still holds the Earth captive, but Spring is beginning to awaken. I am delighted to find a large clump of beautiful snowdrops at the bottom of our garden, and more growing in other borders. We have a sprinkling of purple crocuses brightening the dull ground, and some other green shoots that I am hoping will reveal daffodils, but I am a very amateur gardener at present, so I cannot be certain. Our garden needs some attention, with overgrown grass and dead plants in the flowerbeds. I will work on it when the weather allows and will take great pride in doing so.

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As I walked beside the canal earlier this week, I realised that the ducks were sitting on top of a sheet of ice that covers the water. Although that day felt mild, and there was no frost, the canal is still cold and sheltered in places, so the ice is thick and solid. It is not solid enough for human weight, of course, and my dog has come close to falling in a few times, clumsy animal! But the ducks seemed quite happy on the ice, some of them were even fast asleep with their heads tucked under their wings. I wondered if they were stuck to the ice, but then one lifted its leg and stretched its body, as if to tell me they were fine, and I could continue my walk in peace. Imbolc blessings, my friends!

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The Bloody Valentine Giveaway

Glancing at my daughter, who gazed at me and grinned when I made eye contact, I returned to my task. I removed two handguns from the drawers, found two clips of bullets, and retrieved my holsters. Placing them on the table I stared down at them for several long minutes. Stroking my fingertips along the leather and over the shaped metal of my weapons, I shivered with anticipation. I was anxious, yes. I was also excited. I missed the thrill of the chase. Motherhood was a whole new world to me, and one that was both exhilarating and boring. I ached to be back at work. I needed the drama. Looking at Rosie, I began to strap the holsters to my body, underneath my clothes.

“I’m doing this for you, kid,” I told her grimly, “For you, your sister, and your daddy.”

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Happy 60th Birthday, Mum!

Today is my Mum’s 60th birthday, and I want to share a little message of love from her children – this is from me, my brother and my sister:

Mum, we love you more than we can ever express. You are our haven, your home is our safe space, the place we come to when we need a cuddle and a bit of reassurance. You have always been there for us, to support, nurture and care as we grew up and faced life’s challenges. You helped us through many difficult emotional traumas, and you never stopped smiling. For you, there is always a way to resolve a problem. You never give in. You simply find a way to resolve it, or to accept it as necessary.

happybirthdaymumspookymrsgreen

Your grandchildren absolutely love spending time with Nanny, getting up to mischief and playing silly games. Mum, despite the physical challenges of your disability, you are always there for us and them when we need you, and you make the effort when it counts. A sleepover at Nanny’s house is the best kind of fun, and my girls are counting down to half-term when they can come and stay again during the holiday. We are excited to visit the Hobbycrafts show tomorrow (weather permitting), where you can indulge in your love for fabric crafts, I can stock up on pretty papers, and my eldest daughter can try some new craft projects.

Thank you for always being there, Mum. Happy 60th Birthday. With love from Catherine, Ian and Emily xxx

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I Want to Grow a Witchy Garden

When we moved house last summer, we inherited a fantastic large garden. It has established trees and shrubs, a rockery, a strawberry patch, and all sorts of other hidden delights that I am excited to discover as the season turns. We moved in June, during the summer heatwave, so most of the plants had already died off and I struggled to save everything. Now I am discovering that new shoots are growing, we have a large clump of gorgeous snowdrops at the bottom of the garden, my strawberry patch is scattered with beautiful purple crocuses, and I think we may even have daffodils or narcissi growing, but I’m still learning.

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Last week I visited a garden centre and purchased a selection of plants that are now sitting in my greenhouse until the weather improves. I want to grow edible plants and those that I can use for natural magical spells, part of my witchcraft. I have wanted to do this for many years but never quite got around to it, being good at procrastinated and finding other diversions, as we do. Anyway, now I have no excuses. I have a huge garden, a big greenhouse, and some time to devote to the project. I just need to learn and experiment, trusting in my process and accepting that it won’t all come naturally straight away. I think I am about to become one of the Great British Gardening enthusiasts! It might even inspire me to do some proper cooking, who knows? The possibilities are endless.

Witchy Wednesday SpookyMrsGreen

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Junior School Challenges

My eldest daughter moved into Junior school last September, and she is finding the work much more challenging than she did for years one and two. Her friends have also told me that they have to work hard, and they found it difficult to adjust to a new routine in the classroom. They all love to learn and grow, but they do find it exhausting, and it seems to manifest in physical ways. Many of them have experienced the regular seasonal sickness bugs that travel round school, and we succumbed to it as well back in October. There are lots of arguments and tantrums, efforts to avoid PE (for both my children), and general lethargy about getting up for school in the morning.

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My daughter, for example, has been suffering with tummy aches for the past few months, on and off. We have visited our GP and were referred to the local hospital for a consultation, where the doctor couldn’t find evidence of any underlying medical condition. They have taken blood and we wait for the results. Personally, I think the tummy aches are related to my daughter’s mental health. We have established that she might have similar personality traits to her dad, namely anxiety, and we need to ensure she is supported so that it doesn’t become a serious problem. All I can do is talk to her about anything she finds difficult or worrying, reassure her that she is doing a good job, and keep in contact with her teachers to ensure we monitor the situation and stop it from progressing. It is all part of the learning curve for me as a parent, and we take each day as it comes.

Mummy Mondays SpookyMrsGreen

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