Welcome everyone Sandra in Spain - FlamencoI’m Sandra Piddock, and I’m a freelance writer, dividing my time between Spain and the UK. I’ll write about anything that interests and/or challenges me, and I like to focus on the lighter side of life whenever possible.. Read more
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Sandra Piddock

I'm 62, and I'm a freelance writer dividing my time between Algorfa on the Costa Blanca in Spain and Bigbury Bay in Devon. I write about anything that interests and/ or challenges me, but I'm happiest when writing about all things Spanish.

Visualisation/ meditation for clearing and healing across all timelines

Meditations and visualisations are excellent for many things, so it’s a good practice to set aside some time each day to meditate. Whether you use a guided meditation by someone else, or just create your own scenario to quiet your mind and maybe do some inner healing or energy clearing, you will feel the benefits, so give it a go.

Yesterday, I was messaging my friend Pam Goodall, who leads the spiritual circle I sit in, and I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, as I seem to be getting one infection after another just lately. We were talking about the new ascension energies coming in for 2020, and the need to clear stuff from this life and past lives, and between us, we started visualising what would turn into a beautiful meditation.

It was a moving, powerful experience, which I’d love to share with you all. I have been thinking about writing my own meditations for a while now, but hadn’t got around to it yet, for various reasons. I’m really pleased with this one, and I feel motivated to write more .

Meditation is an excellent way to focus your mind, clear it of chatter, meet spirit guides, angels and loved ones, or simply relax. You don’t need special equipment or music – just a quiet, comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed Switch off your phone, or leave it in another room where it won’t disturb your sacred space.

Make sure you are neither too warm nor too cold, and have a glass of water handy. It’s best not to drink alcohol before or soon after meditation, as some intense feelings can come through, so keep a clear head. Also, don’t eat a big meal just before a meditation or visualisation. You will feel sluggish, and therefore won’t reap the full benefits of the experience.

Use this script, or anything you are drawn to. It’s a good idea to record it on your phone or another audio device, so you can play it back to yourself, rather than having to refer to the script and lose focus.

I found I felt lighter, happier and more at peace after going through this visualisation. I hope you enjoy the experience too. Love and blessings.

Healing and clearing across time meditation script

Close your eyes, relax your body, and see before you a big golden sphere of Christ consciousness. Step inside, and allow this golden light to open, clear and cleanse your 5D chakras. Start with the Earth Star, beneath your feet, the Root, at the base of your spine, the Sacral, between the Root and the abdomen, the Navel, at the navel, and the Solar Plexus, between the navel and the heart.

Now open the Heart chakra, at the heart, the Higher Heart, just above the heart, the Throat chakra, at the throat, the Third Eye, in the middle of the forehead, and the Crown chakra, on top of the head. Bring the light of Christ consciousness into your Causal chakra, a foot above your head, the Soul Star, two feet above your head, and finally the Stellar Gateway, three feet above the head.

Feel yourself connected, Earth to heaven, heaven to Earth, totally connected, totally protected, totally safe. See before you a beautiful purple staircase, with gold trim on the edge of each step. It’s not steep – it’s a gentle, gradual climb, and at the top of the stairs is healing and clearing, and alignment with your Higher self. Feel the atmosphere around you – calming, nurturing, loving, healing – as you glide effortlessly up the stairway.

At the head of the stairway, see before you a giant, emerald green pyramid.  It’s a Healing Pyramid, and as you approach, the door opens and Archangel  Raphael’s Healing Angels greet you to escort you in. There are many large emerald beds, and you are invited to lie down and make yourself comfortable. The bed feels soft and welcoming, although it’s made of crystal. Relax, and bathe in the restorative atmosphere of gold and violet light.

Archangels Raphael and Zadkiel stand at the head of the bed, and Jesus approaches the foot. His golden light of Christ consciousness enfolds you, and you look up, and see another bed overhead, similar to the top bunk in a set of bunk beds. In it is your Higher Self, and your own bed rises, so you can blend with your Higher Self in love and perfect alignment.

You feel lighter and lighter, and your bed circles around the Healing Pyramid, before heading to the open door. You see a long line of people outside. You can’t see their faces, but you know they are people from your past, present and future lives, and you know you that you – and they – must sever any and all energetic chords so you can all heal and move forward.

Call on Michael to help you with this, and observe as, one by one, the chords are cut, and the people in line are able to move into the Healing Pyramid to access their own beds, and their Higher Selves.

You float serenely across the night sky on your emerald bed, and notice the numbers 2020 picked out in stars beneath you. You thank Raphael, Zadkiel, Michael and Jesus for their love and healing, and descend into the star pattern, feeling joyful and light as you return to your body in the present moment. It is done.

Luna inspires me to poetry!

Luna rolling in the grass, rather than digging holes in it!

There have been lots of laughs with Luna since she came into my life on 23 July 2019. Coincidentally, it was the 70th anniversary of my parent’s marriage, so I knew that she was going to be a permanent fixture in my life, even though I was only supposed to be fostering her short term.

I was still grieving the loss of Paddy, my 5 year old rescue dog, who had been killed in front of me just 4 months previously. I really wasn’t ready to adopt again, but Luna needed urgent help. She’d been found on the streets of Almoradi, near my home in Algorfa, covered in ticks, malnourished and carrying the scars of old injuries. She was a mess, and so was I. It felt like we were meant to be together, so I bit the bullet and adopted her,

In late October 2019, I had to come to England to sort out some personal stuff, and of course, Luna came with me. It seemed as though she was coping really well with all the changes she’d faced in such a short time, but in December, I injured my knee. I wasn’t able to give time to her training and exercise, and things got a bit out of hand.

My daughter, Elizabeth, stepped in to help, and being the Dog Whisperer she is, she soon brought Luna into line, As I was still out of action with my knee and persistent infections, Luna developed a really close bond with my friend Glenys, who is our host while we are in England.

Glenys finds this both touching and exasperating, as Luna seems to have a knack of being exactly where Glenys wants to be, a split second before she gets there. There have been a few near misses for both of them, and Luna was particularly persistent on Sunday. Eventually, Glenys had had enough, and she flounced into the lounge and announced:

I feel like I’m in a nursery rhyme – Mary Had a Little Lamb. Luna’s following me everywhere today!

We both burst out laughing, at the thought of Luna as a lamb, and then the creative right side of my brain kicked in, and I was inspired to write the poem below. There’s a bit of poetic licence in there – Luna is my dog, not Glenys’s, and she hasn’t dug a hole in the lawn. Yet! That was one of Paddy’s tricks though, and remembering it helped me with the rhyme pattern. Enjoy.

Glenys had a ruddy great dog, its fur was ever so black,

And everywhere that Glenys went, the dog was at her back

It followed her into the kitchen, when she was fixing lunch,

Hoping she’d drop some grated cheese, so the dog had a cheeky munch.

It followed her into the bedroom, and bounced all over the bed,

Leaving muddy footprints everywhere, and big scratches on Glenys’s head,

It followed her into the garden, when Glenys did the weeding,

 It dug a great big hole in the lawn, and then it all needed re-seeding.

So if, like Glenys, you have a big dog, with fur that’s the colour of coal,

Teach it how to stay, without delay, so your lawn doesn’t get a great hole!

The Red Knickers Report 2019

Here we are again at the end of another year, so it must be Red Knickers Report time already. Before we get going, let me make a confession – as long as you promise not to report me to Trading Standards, because, dear readers, as I write this on New Year Eve 2019, I am knickerless. Well, not 100% knickerless, but the thing is, I’ve been so ill since December 3 – (more of which later) – I haven’t been out to buy the new red underwear which, according to Spanish tradition, should be worn on Noche Vieja (NYE to English speakers) to ensure good fortune in the coming year.

Before anyone rushes to correct me, yes, I know the underwear should be gifted to you, but it’s okay as long as someone actually ‘gives’ you the red knickers. In my book, when the lady on Zoco Market pops them in a bag and hands them over in exchange for my Euros, she’s giving them to me. Anyway, as a single, virtuous – well occasionally virtuous anyway – female, I have nobody to give me one. I mean of course, a new pair of red knickers. If you supposed otherwise, kindly wash out your mouth with soap – this is a family friendly blog, thank you very much!

So then, technically, this should be the Black Knickers Report – oops, letting my secrets slip here! However, it doesn’t have the same ring to it, and it might attract even more cyber wierdos than have shown up this year, wanting to be Facebook friends, then asking me to marry them or sleep with them pretty much as soon as they’ve said hello. I suppose they think I should be grateful for their attention, but strangely, I’m not.

If you’re a new reader – or even if you’re not – you may want to read the 2018 report before going further, since I’ll be referring to it now and then throughout this post. I said at the beginning of that post that 2018 had been a bad year, but in 2019, I really found out what a bad year was! To paraphrase Charles Dickens’s famous opening line in A Tale of Two Cities, ‘It was the best of years, the worst of years.’ In many ways, it was the worst year of my life – and there’s been a lot of competition for that honour, I can tell you. Yet in other ways, it has been a year of blessings, and I am grateful for what 2019 has taught me about myself, about others, and about life itself.

I’m going to get the bad stuff out of the way first, but I won’t dwell on it, because it’s gone, and while most of it won’t be forgotten, I’m not a victim, I’m a peaceful warrior and a survivor. Many of you know that my beautiful dog Paddy passed in March, aged 5, but only a few people realise that he was stabbed in front of me, as he defended me from a traumatic attack. He literally died so I could live. That’s all I want to say about it here – it’s neither the time nor the place for a full explanation.

During the incident, I broke a bone for the first time in my 67 years on Planet Earth. I must have liked it, because just a month after my finger had healed enough for me to drive again, I broke two ribs in a nasty car accident that wasn’t my fault, and my faithful 14 year old Ford Fiesta finally went to the Great Scrapyard in the Sky.

I missed the hat trick of broken bones in December, despite my best efforts. It was really sunny – rare in most of England at that time of year, I know. I didn’t see the kerb in front of me, and landed with a wallop on my right knee, dislocating the patella, but thankfully not damaging the cruciate ligaments, so another couple of weeks should see me back behind the wheel of my Peugeot 1007.

Nevertheless, 2019 has been better for me health wise than 2018 was. I’ve separated from my husband, and his health has continued to decline through the year. I’m sad about that, because although we are now apart, we had almost 30 happy years together, and I’ve forgiven him for the events that led to our separation.

Many friends have asked how I can possibly do that, and I say you can forgive the person or the situation, without condoning the deeds or words. In fact, forgiveness is a gift to yourself more than the other person, because it allows you to move forward in grace, unrestricted by blame, bitterness and the baggage of the past.

Learning to forgive – really forgive – has been one of my many blessings in 2019. For the second year running, my spiritual development has amazed many people – especially me! The fledgeling mediums event I talked about in last year’s report went really well for me. For the first time, I actually saw a person in Spirit as clearly as I can see Glenys now, sitting opposite me with a Baileys in her hand as we both wait to see in the new decade. I did consider just going to bed before midnight, and then I thought no – I want to be certain 2019 has gone, never to darken my door again.

I’ve not spent much time in Spain this year, due to a number of things beyond my control, but I was there when the Gota Fria struck in mid September. I was lucky that there was no damage to my apartment, other than a lot of water which came in under the door and through the window I forgot to close before leaving for a motor home rally in Javea. It was quite a drying up operation, but friends just a couple of miles away, near the river, saw their homes washed away. It was a terrible few days, and some people are still not back to normal even now.

I was chatting with friends in my local on La Finca, Chandelier the Showbar, and the owners – along with many other businesses in the area – were talking about doing a fundraiser to provide immediate help to flood victims. I’d had a couple of their legendary vodkas – which must be the reason I offered to do oracle card readings and donate all the proceeds to the flood fund.

It was a bit of a gamble, as until then, all I’d done were one to one readings via Skype, email or person to person, and I blame the vodka – and Rob the barman for the industrial size measures. However, since I did 20 readings, and got everything spot on for everybody, I suppose you’d call it a Good Thing. I also raised €135 for the fund, and got myself a brand name.

Gareth and Matt own the Chandelier, and when I offered to do psychic readings, Matt said, ‘More like psycho readings!’ Honestly with friends like that, who needs enemies? Anyway, that merry night saw the creation of Sandra, the Psycho Psychic, and everyone seems to like it. It does have a certain ring to it, and it’s also pretty descriptive of me, according to my ‘friends.’

Talking of friends, again, they have come up trumps for me, in England, in Spain and also on social media. Glenys has excelled herself again, and it’s been truly inspirational to know just how much people care about me, and what happens to me. I’m not going to mention names, because there are so many, and I’m bound to forget someone. You all know who you are though, and I am so lucky to have you in my life.

One of the best things that happened to me in 2019 came when I was at my lowest ebb. It was July 22, and I’d just come back from a really enjoyable day with friends and their dogs. I was nursing broken ribs, so I wasn’t driving, and after they’d left, I felt so down because I had nobody to share the day with. I was living alone for the first time in my life, I was in pain, and I was still mourning Paddy’s loss.

I sat down at the computer, ready to book a flight back to England and my family, even though I knew it would set me back months. As it booted up, I saw a notification that a friend had tagged me in a post, so I clicked on that before I loaded the Easyjet page. And there she was – my lovely Luna – a beautiful two year old crossbreed dog who had been rescued from the streets of Almoradi, the neighbouring town to Algorfa.

My friend was asking if I could foster her until she was well enough to be rehomed, as she was in a terrible state. You can read all about Luna’s story, and our journey together, here, on her very own Facebook Page. As a Spiritualist, I don’t believe in coincidences. Luna was sent to me for a reason, and she came to live with me on July 23, which was the 70th anniversary of my parents’ marriage in 1949.

It’s not been an easy journey for either of us – she’s carrying a lot of baggage from being abandoned 3 times in her short life, used in fights, and battled several infections caused by tics and malnourishment. However, with lots of love, perseverance, and the invaluable help of my daughter Elizabeth, we’re slowly making progress. She hasn’t replaced Paddy – no dog ever could – but she is helping to heal my heart, and starting to believe that she has finally found love and stability. We’ve got a lot to look forward to together, going into this shiny new decade.

Paddy is often with us from spirit though, comforting me, advising Luna, and playing little tricks on us. When we visited Glastonbury for the Spring Equinox in March, I took along Paddy’s favourite toy and a photo of him, along with my two favourite crystals, and blessed them at the top of the Tor.

As a thank you for this, Paddy surprised us in a local church by appearing as we sat in the pew for a moment. Then he ran around in the church outside, which spooked Gizmo a bit, so we asked him to announce his presence in future. Bless him, he has obeyed me on this – which is more than he did most of the time down here on Earth!

For the first time in my 67 years, I spent a day on a film set in Murcia. It was a tough job, watching big, beefy boys baring their rippling muscles as they fought it out in a warehouse, but somebody had to do it, and it happened to be me. I’m really looking forward to seeing the thriller State of Prey some time in 2020. Many of my friends are in it, and my good friend Rai’s beautiful boat – which is older than the Titanic – plays a cameo part in the action.

The upside of being in England so much this year is that I’ve spent a lot more time with my children and grandchildren than I normally do. It’s been a joy to see the children developing and doing so well at school, and my eldest grandson’s partner graduated as a staff nurse, so all my lovely family have had some really special moments in 2019, along with the the inevitable setbacks.

The great news is, they are all optimistic going into 2020, and so am I! It’s a new decade, and it’s time to turn the page on the past and look forward to a great future with my family and friends, doing what I love most. I want to do more with my psychic gifts, so I shall be studying and working with Spirit as much as possible, to deepen my connection and brush up my skills.

In February, I have been invited to work on the platform for the first time as a working medium, along with my good friend Ricky Whitemore, who is one of the most talented spiritual and trance mediums I have had the privilege to meet. It’s a charity event, and I am proud to be involved in this effort to raise money for the Intensive Care Unit Secret Garden at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth. It will be good to give something back for the excellent care I’ve received there over the years.

And in other news, 2020 will see my first book published. It’s already started, and now I’m feeling better, I’ll be working hard to get it finished and published as soon as possible. No more procrastination for me now – 2020 is the year things start moving for the Psycho Psychic, and her Luna-tic sidekick. Watch this space, and a very Happy New Decade to you all. Love and blessings from Luna and me.

Clearing Lower Energies From Your Space

As we head to the August full moon, the energies suggest that we clear stuff that no longer serves us and drags our vibrations down, ready to replace the low, stagnant energies with something more positive. Full moon is a time for abundance, but in order to bring in the good, we have to release the bad energies – whether coming from ourselves, from others, or from situations.

I have something I really need to release right now, and I was meditating on it this morning when I was given this exercise. Although it is initially a gift to me from Spirit, they know I like to share anything that helps me grow and learn, so here it is.  

Are you dealing with a particular issue that is allowing lower energies into your space? Think of a sentence, or even just a word, that sums up what you need to release. Mine is ‘I refuse to allow those who do not serve my highest good to disturb my inner peace and steal my joy’

Now get a large sheet of paper. draw a big pink heart on it, and write your sentence in big letters inside the heart. Take up all the space, so that your issue is literally enclosed and touched by loving heart energy. In the two mounds at the top of the heart, write your signature and the date on the left side, and the time on the right side.

Here’s the twist – choose a coloured pencil or pen to help you to release what you need to, and also amplify the blessings you will receive once you have cleared this energy block. Working with colours can be very insightful, and very therapeutic spiritually as well. As with most colour related practices Spirit give me, it’s based around red, blue, green and yellow.

In my case, I wrote my sentence in red, and not just because it is my favourite colour! Red is for courage, strength and empowerment, and I need courage and strength to work through this particularly challenging release. The empowerment follows successful release, which will help myself and a very good friend to eliminate an ongoing negative impact in both our lives and move forward in joy.

If it’s a healing situation, for yourself and/or others, choose green. It’s a colour to help you deal with the stresses of the modern world in all its manifestations, whether related to work or personal life. Your reward is balance and harmony, and a feeling of renewed energy.

If the situation is centred around communication or trust, then write in blue. It’s the colour of clarity, communication and peaceful reconciliation. Your reward is peace, tranquility, and physical and emotional relaxation.

Is something or someone stealing your joy? Maybe you have a personal block that is preventing you from moving into the creative and abundant state of being we all deserve to experience. Write your sentence in yellow. Yellow gives you the confidence and self esteem you need to move through this situation and live your best life in happiness and joy.

Once your paper is ready, call on Archangel Ariel, the Angel of Abundance to help you. Invoke Ariel by saying, ‘Archangel Ariel’ three times to form a strong connection, then inwardly or out loud, whichever suits you best, say these words:

Archangel Ariel, I call on you in humility, love and grace to help me to release and transmute any negativity in any shape or form that is preventing me from moving into abundance and joy and living my best life

I use the cleansing power of fire to return this energy to the Earth, so that from it, love may rise like a phoenix and embrace all those who have been affected.

It is done

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Now hold the paper over your heart centre with the words facing inwards. Take three deep breaths in through the nose, holding each breath for a count of three before releasing through the mouth..Imagine white, cleansing clouds of air entering your body, and black clouds of negativity leaving it, getting lighter on each exhale.

If, after three breaths, you are still visualising very dark smoke, take three more breaths, and then three more if you need to. The aim is to visualise those black clouds turning to grey, and maybe even white, because that means you are actively releasing negativity, even though you may not feel any different.

Finally, hold the paper over a fireproof dish or container, light a stick of white sage incense, and before the flame goes out and the incense starts to smoke, touch the stick to the bottom corner of the paper to set it alight. The cleansing flames of white sage will begin to transmute the energies in the paper.

When it has burned through, bury the ashes in a corner of your garden that you can see all the time, or that you walk past regularly. Visualise the remnants of the paper turning into the vibrant pink light of unconditional love, and imagine that light reaching upwards and outwards like the branches of a big tree, and filling you with light and love. Now, visualise opening your heart centre to send that love anyone involved in the situation, or even just the situation itself.

Do this every day for a week. If you still feel you haven’t released most or all of your emotions related to the sentence on the paper, you can repeat the practice again. Releasing is like peeling away layers of an onion – sometimes, it’s fairly easy, at other times, you have to work a bit harder to achieve the outcome you want.

I did my releasing exercise yesterday, and I feel so much more settled and motivated today. I’ve done a bunch of stuff around the house – probably as much as I’d do in three or four days normally. I’m tired now, but it’s a good tired. I feel I’ve accomplished something important with this release, and I’m ready to move forward in love and joy. Let me know how you get on in the comments. Love and blessings to you all.

Lo Crispin Old Boys trounce Algorfa Young Guns!

On a hot June Morning, the moment everyone – well almost everyone – in Algorfa had been waiting for arrived. The Mayor, Manuel Ros Rodes, challenged the Lo Crispin Walking Football team to a match against the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) to kick off the annual Fiesta Fortnight.

While Algorfa’s finest – or rather those who could be persuaded to show up on the promise of a barbecue – battled it out on the pitch, the WAGS (wives and girlfriends) from both sides encouraged their teams to give of their best. And although the players outnumbered the supporters, what the WAGS lacked in numbers they made up for in decibels.

Lo Crispin’s captain Mike Cooper – aka Cooperman – was awarded the honour of refereeing the game. It was a big ask, given the budding Neymars who threw themeselves to the ground at the drop of a hat, and the general flouting of rules by kicking the ball higher than regulations allow and the sheer speed of the ‘walking’ pace. Still, it was a compliment to his refereeing skills that Cooperman only elicited the occasional comment of, ‘árbitro, ¿dónde están tus gafas?’ (Where are your glasses, ref?). And nobody questioned his parentage either, so all in all a Good Show by the Ref.

After a hard-fought game and some very bad acting in the penalty box, the Lo Crispin men emerged the victors, beating the much younger Ayuntamiento side by 6 goals to 2. I mentioned to temporary Captain Red Ray that it must be a change for him to be associated with the winning side, being a Manchester United supporter. Tears filled his eyes, and he said my remark was way below the belt. If only Ray had been the drama coach, the lads may well have picked up some extra penalty shots, because it was a pretty convincing performance.

Chatting to Cooperman at the post match barbecue, his pride in his team’s efforts was palpable. This was the third match between the Lo Crispin boys and the Ayuntamiento, and the second victory for them. When you consider that the Ayuntamiento side had two players from the local league team, and the minimum age for the Lo Crispin lads is 55, it certainly was a creditable performance.

Lo Crispin Walking Football team practice every Monday and Thursday from 10.00 am in the Algorfa sports stadium, as well as playing in matches around the southern Costa Blanca. Check out their Facebook Page for more details, or drop into the Lo Crispin Tavern to find out more. If you’re not yet 55, ask if you can be a guest player, like young Josh – 15 – who played a blinder. It’s all about having fun in the sun with our Spanish neighbours, and you’re guaranteed a good time with the Lo Crispin lads. See you at the next prestige game.

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The Universe Has my Back for Sure!

The spiritual path is not a walk in the park. Yes, you are advised to get close to Nature to be in tune with the Universe, so you may indeed be walking in the park – or on the beach, or in the woods, or the mountains. You get the picture I’m sure. What I mean is, it’s only through facing life’s challenges head on that you can learn and grow.

Wednesday, 13th March 2019 was the challenge to top all challenges, after two years of constant physical, emotional and spiritual obstacles. Each time, my faith was tested, and each time, I meditated, asked for help from the Upstairs Team and acted with love and a desire for the highest good for all concerned. However, for a short time on that Wednesday evening, I really felt as if the Universe was just laughing at me, rather than having my back.

On that day, my beautiful friend and constant companion – my 5 year old Spanish rescue dog Paddy – was killed in front of me, as he protected me from a traumatic, ongoing situation. This is not the place to go into more detail, but Paddy’s story will be told when I am ready to fully honour my four-legged hero – who died so that I might live my best life.

I was also injured during the events of that fateful night, and two months on, I am still recovering, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. But I now feel that I am finally turning the corner, and it all began 10 days ago. I am guided to tell you what has been happening to me, and it’s not so that you will all say ‘Ah, poor Sandra, we must send her lots of love and healing.’ Don’t get me wrong – all love and healing is always gratefully received, but the point of this article is to demonstrate that, even in the darkest of times, the love and support of the Universe is there for every one of us.

Most Mondays, I attend a Development Circle with the fabulously spiritual Pam Goodall, of Ki Changes. Pam is really big on forgiveness – as we all must be if we wish to grow and move on from the past. Forgiveness is difficult at the best of times, but I was finding it really impossible to forgive myself, for unwittingly placing Paddy in danger, or the person who killed him. So I followed Pam’s advice, and sent love, healing and forgiveness to the whole situation during my daily meditation.

I was on the bus doing this, and then I heard a loud voice saying, ‘And remember, Paddy needs forgiving, for putting himself at risk.’ It was so loud, I looked around the bus, startled, to see who knew so much about a situation I had only talked about with close friends and family members.

Everyone was just chatting or looking at their phones, and I realised the voice was actually one of my spiritual guides, showing me the way to move on. It was obviously not a subconscious thought of my own, as to me, as I said a couple of paragraphs ago, Paddy is a hero who needs no forgiveness as far as I am concerned. Clearly, the Universe knows better, and sees the bigger picture, so I did as I was told.

Just a small detour from the story here – it just struck me as funny, so I have to share. How is it that we will argue with friends and family members we have known and trusted for years if they suggest we do something we’re not happy about, or does not sit right with us? Yet a strange, disembodied voice from we know not where says ‘Jump,’ and we ask ‘How high?’ but I digress …

The next day, I was looking for something to read, and I decided on The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. Why this particular book? I really don’t know. But I am so glad I did. As I started to read this accessible book, and work on the exercises in there, I literally felt lighter. Gabby is a no-nonsense kinda girl – she doesn’t muck around. You can implement the prayers and feel the energy shifting as soon as you open the book.

When I arrived at Circle last week, everyone saw and felt the difference in me, and I have worked on forgiveness and surrendering the outcome to the Universe every single day since I picked up the book. Thank you Gabby, and thank you Universe for being there when I needed you most, because what has happened in the last couple of days is nothing short of miraculous.

Regular readers have noticed I haven’t been writing much for some time. It’s been all I could do to keep my various Facebook pages going, as the events of the last couple of years have really stifled my creativity. Yet here I am, writing an article now, because Spirit asked me to. I had no idea what I was going to write when I started, but the words have just flowed.

A new friend on Facebook contacted me to say she dreamed we had met, so would I please do a reading for her? I’ve avoided doing too much stuff for other people, in case my energy is not up to the task, but it turns out she lives locally, so I am obviously meant to get on with helping others.

The same day, I found a new outlet for my writing. It’s well paid, and I can choose my own topics, so it will help me get back in the writing groove. And after years of fruitless endeavour, I finally have a promising contact at a major national newspaper. I haven’t been commissioned yet, but it’s on the way – I know it.

Finally, this morning, I was asked to serve Spirit at a church near me. It’s an honour, as I am very much a fledgeling medium, and it may not happen immediately, but it really seems that the Universe Has My Back, well and truly. It’s all about the energy!

Image credit: Photo from my own deck, The Universe Has Your Back, by Gabrielle Bernstein.

This card from The Universe Has Your Back deck by Gabby Bernstein, sums up this article perfectly!

The Red Knickers Report 2018

It’s that time of year again – the eagerly awaited review of the year, which I call the Red Knickers Report, due to the Spanish New Year custom of wearing red underwear for luck in the coming year. Whether it was because last year’s red knickers came from Sainsbury’s instead of Spain, or it was because they were reduced, they obviously haven’t worked their magic. I thought 2017 was a bad year – as you can read here, if you haven’t already seen it – but it was obviously just a tough training session for what was to come in 2018.

The first real indication that maybe 2018 was picking up where 2017 left off came at the end of January. We’d taken Paddy for a run by the Ermita in Algorfa, and he spotted a rather attractive lady dog on the other side of the road. Not being one to waste a chance – even though he has nothing to back it up with –  he dashed across the road, straight into the path of an oncoming car. We thought that, like the Monty Python parrot, Paddy had become ‘An ex dog, and had ceased to be,’ but it all ended well, as Paddy himself explains in this guest post.

That was a bit of a bad move, letting him loose on the keyboard, because he demanded another guest spot in July when Gizmo was getting on his nerves a bit. Then, of course, Gizmo demanded the right of reply, so there was a bit of Dog Wars going on for a while. Paddy and Gizmo may be very different in size and temperament, but they really are the best of friends, and spending a year together has given us a lot of laughs, at a time when we needed them most.

‘Spending a year together? How did that happen?’ I can hear those of you who are still awake asking. Well, I can’t actually, but it makes a good link to the next bit. You may remember I spoke about Tony’s health in last year’s review, and sadly, it’s continued on a downward spiral. We came over to the UK in May for a 6 – 8 week visit, and we’re still here as I write this on the penultimate day in December. Not only has Tony’s health been very poor, I’ve had a shaky time of it too, culminating in being rushed into hospital with pleurisy in August.

Things are starting to settle down for me now, but Tony still has a lot to deal with, so we’ve been staying with Glenys, my very good friend and Gizmo’s Mummy. I really can’t thank her enough for everything she’s done for us this year. There are friends, there are good friends, and then there’s Glenys, who has gone way above and beyond the call of friendship. She’s a true Earth Angel.

Normally, our visit to the UK is during the hottest time of the year in Spain – July and August – but we brought the trip forward, as my daughter in law was due to celebrate a big birthday in June. However, we were devastated to receive a call from my son in Shropshire to say she’d passed away from sepsis after apparently making a good recovery from surgery. As you can imagine, it’s left an enormous gap in the family and in our hearts, although I’m really proud of the way my son has dealt with everything since that terrible day in April.

My younger son also had a health scare in June, when he was taken into hospital with a suspected heart attack. It turned out to be a viral infection of the pericardium, and it’s taken several months for him to recover fully. Thankfully, there seems to be no lasting damage to the heart, and he’s enjoyed a very boisterous Christmas with the family.

For the first time since 2007, we’ve spent Christmas in England rather than Spain, and we’ve had a good time – although we haven’t had as many evenings out as we would have had in Spain. Our health and the exorbitant price of eating and drinking out has seen to that. However,  it was good to be able to hit Morrisons for the Christmas Eve bargains – you don’t get Yellow Sticker Fever in Spain, as the store buyers there seem better at getting the ordering right. Or maybe they don’t mark stuff up so much in the first place.

You may be thinking by now that 2018 has been a very challenging year for us – and it certainly has. However, one way or another, I’m going into 2019 with a smile on my face. One friend remarked that ‘If it wasn’t for bad luck, you wouldn’t have had any luck at all, Sandra!’ While I can see where he’s coming from, I don’t agree with that. Luck implies you have control over what happens, and clearly we don’t. I do have control over my reactions to events  and people though, and that makes it possible for me to look forward with optimism.

Two things have stood out as great positives in a year of physical and emotional challenges. One thing is the support and love of friends all over the world – those I already know, and those I have connected to, heart to heart and soul to soul, although we have never been in the same room together. The other thing is the way my spiritual journey has progressed.

One thing I’ve noticed is that almost everyone who comes to spiritualism doesn’t get there because they just fancy trying something new. They want to find a way to cope with the terrible things that life has thrown at them, because they want to grow stronger, rather than buckle under pressure. When I knew I would be facing an extended stay in England, I set about joining a development circle and finding a Spiritualist Church where I could develop my own powers, attend workshops and see good mediums at work.

The lovely Alison Wynne-Ryder has given me such enthusiasm for working with Spirit and the Angels, and 2018 was the year I was certified – although most people who know me think that should have happened years ago! Having completed Level 3 of Alison’s excellent Psychic Development Course, I now have the piece of paper that says I can call myself a Psycic Intuitive and/or Clairvoyant. I also have the strong desire to use my gifts to help others heal and gain comfort and guidance from the Universe, so I am every excited about strengthening my connection with Spirit in the coming year.

June 2018 saw me give my first psychic reading by Skype for a friend in England, and it went better than either of us could have imagined. You can read about it here, if you’re interested. I’ve also taken my first steps in communicating with animals, and I’ll be progressing that further by doing a course with the lovely Maureen Rolls in February. I contacted Maureen in October, when Paddy seemed to be affected by everything that was going on around him, and she was able to communicate telepathically and give me a lot of helpful information. Within days, he was back to his normal, happy self. We don’t just talk to dead people, you know!

On 12th January, I’ll be taking another giant step on my spiritual path when I take part in a Fledgelings Evening of Mediumship in Plymouth. Basically, I’ll be working on the platform with other mediums-in-training and – hopefully – bringing through messages from Spirit for members of the audience. It’s exciting and scary at the same time, so wish me luck!

Another positive move for 2018 was to gradually shorten my trademark long hair. I had no intention of having anything other than a trim back in February, but as I was discussing the upcoming appointment with friends on a motor home rally, and they asked what I was having done, a voice in my head said ‘Cut it short,’ and it came out of my mouth before I could stop it. I thought – rightly as it turned out – that Spirit were telling me it was time for a makeover. I feel so much better, more confident, and everyone says I look younger too. I did it in stages – from a bob,  which Alison Wynne-Ryder saw in my future before I even thought about it – to a pixie cut in September.

It’s easier to look after, more modern, and my hair is in better condition than it’s been for many years. My new ‘do’ has brought about a change of attitude, and put a much-needed spring back in my step. I don’t think I’ll ever go long again, but hey, never say never!

So, although I’ll be glad to see 2018 bow out, there’s been a lot of lessons and laughs, along with the trials and tears. As a result of his near-fatal accident, I’ve been much stricter with Paddy, and it’s a joy to take him out these days. I don’t have to wonder if I’ll end up on the deck, or if he’ll behave when he sees other dogs – I know for sure I won’t and he will. I also won my first-ever photography competition, and although I’ve not been able to concentrate much on my writing this year, I’ve developed my photography skills in my down time.

I’ve learned to be much more calm and patient, because getting worked up doesn’t solve anything, and it doesn’t help your state of mind or your stress levels. If you can’t change it, don’t worry about it – just trust that all will work out for the best, because it will, whatever you do. And if someone is after a row and you don’t feed their anger, it’s much more effective and satisfying than getting into a slanging match.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and it’s certainly true. There have been times this year when I’ve honestly thought I wouldn’t get through things, but guess what? With a little help from my friends, Spirit and the Angels, and a good helping of Sandra’s Special Stubbornness and Will to Survive, in the words of Elton John:

I’m still standing better than I ever did,

Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid.

I’m looking forward to 2019 with joy and anticipation. Yes, there will be more challenges, but whatever happens, I know I can deal with it, and I know I can’t be beaten. There are good things waiting for me, and for everyone. Wherever you are, I wish you a magical New Year, full of love, happiness, health and joy. It’s what we all deserve, and it’s there for the taking. Never let anything dull your sparkle. Love and blessings to you all.

Other great end of year round ups

Here’s more great reading from my blogger friends for inspiration and information in 2019:

Mrs Mummypenny

Compliments of the season – any season!

One of the most inspiring quotes I’ve read in a while.

‘Compliments of the season’ is a phrase that’s bandied about a lot in December, isn’t it? I’ve used it myself on occasion, although I do try to be a bit more original. It comes in handy when you’re dealing with someone you don’t know well, and you’re not sure if they celebrate Christmas or not, but two posts on Facebook got me thinking yesterday – shouldn’t compliments be available for every season?

The first post carried the legend, ‘Be an encourager – the world has plenty of critics already.’ I liked, shared, and commented, and thought how very true this is. The newspapers, TV and social media are overflowing with criticism of everything and everyone, but how much actual encouraging stuff do you see? Not all that much, because when people do post the good stuff, they often feel the need to say something like, ‘Here’s something positive for a change,’ or something similar. And good news doesn’t sell papers, unless it’s a royal wedding or baby.

I was still pondering this when another meme showed up on my newsfeed. This one really spoke to me out loud, because it mirrors my own feelings exactly. It went like this:

If you look for something to criticise, you will find it. If you look for something to compliment, you will find that, too. Your choice.

It’s definitely a choice you make. I don’t mean you should glide through life always being happy about everything – that would be extremely irritating for everyone around you. Nor should you habitually accept poor service and bad behaviour rather than risking offending someone or ‘causing a fuss.’ I can, and do, criticise – firmly, fulsomely and fervently – when it’s necessary. I won’t tolerate bad service, rudeness or bullying, and I will state my case and ask for appropriate action from the offender or offenders, whether it’s Tracy at the local bar having a bad day and taking it out on the customers, or big corporations.

However, I don’t go looking for something to complain about, whether I’m shopping, eating out, buying something nice or heading off on holiday. It’s all an adventure in this thing called life, and I expect to enjoy myself. I find that I pretty much always do, because I’m looking for a good time, and if that’s what I get, I compliment the people involved.

Going back to Christmas, I was stunned a couple of years ago when, just after the festivities were over, I called into our local butcher to tell the staff just how much we’d enjoyed our free range turkey crown, Aberdeen Angus beef joint and smoked gammon. The manager was taken aback, because I was only the second person to go in and say how much we’d enjoyed our meat, whereas theyd had complaints that this or that wasn’t right. Some of the complaints were justified, because when you’re serving thousands of customers over a few days with thousands of kilos of meat and other stuff, there’s bound to be the odd thing that slips through the net.

However, sometimes, the complaints were that the joint was not big enough, the turkey was too dry, or even ‘Little Johnny didn’t like it.’ All of these issues were not the butcher’s responsibility – the quantity of meat, the cooking methods, and Little Johnny’s latest food fads are down to the buyer, not the seller. It’s as if some people are looking for something to criticise and someone to blame, because Christmas wasn’t everything they’d thought it would be. It rarely is – because life in general is neigher perfectly good, nor perfectly bad. It is what it is, and you can’t change it.

However, you can change your outlook, and you can change your reactions. Look for the good things, because there are plenty of them there, if you look with joy and love for life. Babies, children and dogs live in the now, and enjoy the moment, and all that comes with it. Be more baby, be more dog.

For some time now, I’ve made sure I pay at least one sincere compliment every day. If I can’t do it in person – which I prefer – I’ll do it on social media. And if it’s been a particularly busy or trying day, and I get to bed and realise I haven’t paid anyone a compliment, I’ll tell my dog Paddy what a good boy he is. Even though I do that lots of times a day, it’s pretty much automatic – I do it without thinking about it. Actually considering why you want to say something nice is good for the soul, because it reminds you of the beautiful person you’re talking to, or the lovely thing that just happened. Conscious compliments are the best compliments of all – it’s too easy to just say something nice because you think it’s expected, or because somebody else just did, and you don’t want to be left out.

Sincere compliments are given with no thought of the feedback you may get – they come from the heart, and are all about the person you are complimenting. You want to say something nice to make them feel good, not you. And if they seem awkward about accepting your compliment, maybe that’s just because they’re not used to hearing nice things. So pay them another compliment, and make their day.

Sincere compliments take just a moment to deliver, but they can have a lasting impact on lives. People who feel good about themselves want to spread the love, and they’ll be nice to others, because they remember how you made them feel when you said they had a wonderful smile, or you enjoyed their song on the karaoke, or whatever it was.

Compliments of the season? Let’s make compliments a feature of every season, shall we? Starting now.

Play Review – Benidorm Live

I’m a big fan of the ITV sitcom Benidorm, which has been running since 2007 – the year we bought our own Place in the Sun. I spend a lot of time in my apartment in Spain, which is about 90 minutes’ drive from Benidorm, and although some of the comic situations are exaggerated for effect, there’s a lot of truth in it.You’ll see more mobility scooters in Benidorm than in the rest of the Costa Blanca put together, and the resort is the karaoke capital of Spain. Benidorm is a place people either love or loathe, and personally, I love it. I go to the old town several times  a year on a day trip, and in the days BP (Before Paddy), we often enjoyed an all inclusive mini break in Benidorm with friends.

When the Benidorm Live stage show staged its official world premiere at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth recently, I decided to head along with a friend to see if the Solana Hotel staff were as funny in real life as they are on TV. And since many of the principal cast members started their careers in live theatre, and are therefore used to working with audiences, the atmosphere was electric right from the start.

I wondered how the company would manage to come up with a stage set that would successfully encompass the Solana Hotel reception area, the poolside, the Blow & Go Salon and Neptune’s Bar. However, set and costume designer Mark Walters went one better and came up with an effective revolving set that covered all those areas and also Solana Manager Joyce Temple-Savage’s office. The basic set is modelled on the opening credits of the TV show, and with each change of scene, the set spins around, and the cast and stage hands bring on any necessary props.

Several of the main characters from the TV series are in the stage show – Mateo (played by Jake Canuso), Joyce Temple-Savage (Sherrie Hewson), Jacqueline (Janine Duvitski), Liam (Aiden Gillen), hairdresser Kenneth (Tony Maudsley), and entertainment organiser Sam (Shelley Longworth).  The story line centres around a couple who are staying at the Solana because they were double booked in a more up market hotel in Altea, and a visiting undercover hotel inspector. Fair play to writer Derren Litten for managing to fool the cast – and the audience – right to the end, with a couple of red herrings, and a lot of hilarity on the way.

In fact, there were so many brilliant one liners and running gags, it’s difficult to remember them all, and the ones I can remember aren’t really suitable for a family friendly blog! Mateo is his usual supercillious self, mocking the English holidaymakers while trying to get the females of the species into bed. Jake Canuso is even hotter in the flesh than he is on screen, and he can dance too. He started his career as a dancer before moving into acting, and he’s also a good singer.

There are a number of song and dance routines, ably led by Asa Elliott, a singer on the Benidorm cabaret circuit who has appeared regularly in the TV series. All of the company acquit themselves well in song and dance, and to be honest, the musical numbers are a welcome relief for the chuckle muscles. Never mind laugh a minute, it’s practically laugh a second!

All the cast were excellent, but for me, Adam Gillen’s Liam stands out. His comic karaoke number is so bad, you need to be a really good singer to carry it off, and his performance brings laughs, sadness and pathos in equal measure. Benidorm Live is a real ensemble performance, and all the cast interact with each other well for maximum comedic effect. For once, predatory gay hairdresser Kenneth is the pursued rather than the pursuer, when Jacquiline’s friend Gay Derek takes a shine to him.  A wardrobe malfunction with Derek’s trousers led to some extra, unscripted hilarity.

If you like Benidorm, you’ll love Benidorm Live. It’s well-written, well acted, fast paced and really, really funny. I saw the show on Thursday, and my sides were still aching by Saturday. The show is touring the UK until April 2019, so check out the dates here to see if Benidorm Live is coming to your area. Tickets are selling fast, so don’t hang about. And give Matteo a hug from me while you’re there!

Note: The images displayed in the slideshow are my own, taken at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth on 25 October 2018. They are not intended to spoil enjoyment or give away the plot, merely to give a flavour of the show.

The Mystery of the Algorfa Quartz

It’s great to be back in Spain, even for a short while, so I’m catching up with as many people as I can. Close to the top of the ‘Must Visit’ list are Therese and Mike at the Centro Rural de Algorfa. I arrived at just the right time, because the lunchtime rush had eased, and Therese had time to sit and chat for a while. As is often the case, when we get together, the talk often moves to crystals. Therese is an enthusiastic crystal user, and like many Irish ladies, she has a touch of the psychic about her.

I was showing her my latest purchases from Antisha Angels in Playa Flamenca, and also the beautiful healing wand Glenys bought for me. If you’ve never been there, you should. What Tony and Pat don’t know about crystals isn’t worth knowing, and he’s got stuff for cutting crystals and repairing them too.

This was when Therese mentioned that she had a large clear quartz crystal from a quarry local to Algorfa. Soon after the Centro opened in 2015, a Spanish workman brought it in, and Therese fell in love with it and displayed it in one of her glass cabinets, where it could catch the late afternoon sun.

Therese wondered if Tony could make her and myself a quartz point from the stone, which was actually a mix of clear and smoky quartz. She also thought it would be good to take some more points for a couple of friends who are also into crystals, so I agreed I’d take it when I go back to Antisha Angels on Friday. I’ve already given away a couple of the things I bought to people who needed them more, and basically, that is the heart of crystal work. A crystal that has been gifted and blessed with love and healing for the recipient will always be more powerful than anything you buy for yourself.

So, we took some photos of both of us with this magnificent crystal. and then we started to look more closely at the strata in the rock, and wondering just how many years – or hundreds or even thousands of years – each layer represented. When Therese had first shown me the crystal, I’d said I thought there was a natural division that was happening, roughly in the middle, and she agreed. I’d tried to wiggle the stone a little, but nothing happened, so I thought the division would happen when Tony went to work on it. We both hoped this beautiful, natural crystal wouldn’t shatter, but obviously, we know that crystals will do what they need to do, with or without our intervention.

Therese took the crystal from me, and as she did, it separated into two almost identical pieces. We both saw this as a sign that the crystal didn’t want to be taken away from Algorfa, and that it wanted to stay with us. Therese put the brightest half back in the cabinet, to carry on attracting sunlight and entrancing the customers. I handled the other half, feeling so privileged that the crystal had clearly demonstrated what should happen to it.

Being a natural, unprocessed crystal, there was a lot of dust and sediment all over the separated half, and it was depositing itself all over my hands, and the table where we sat. From an environmental health point of view, it’s not good, so I took it into the loo to give it a wash and brush up.

Now, if you’ve ever been to the Centro, you’ll know the decor is a little on the green side, to reflect Therese’s Irish origins. And this theme is continued into the toilet, with a bright green litter bin. When I started running water over the crystal and it gave off a green glow, I thought it was a reflection from the bin, so stood between it and the sink. It didn’t make a difference – in fact the crystal glowed even greener, and the whole room had a green glow. For a moment, I wondered if I was turning into the Incredible Hulk, then I realised that Archangel Raphael was infusing the crystal with his healing green ray.

I quickly dried it off, so I could show it to Therese, and a couple of other crystal-loving friends who’d arrived for lunch. However, by the time I got to the table, the crystal was back to normal, although significantly cleaner, allowing the smoky tones to shine through.

I placed it on the table, and we all tried to hold it. There was so much energy, all we could do was just hover our hands over it for a few seconds. It was a truly remarkable, mystical and mysterious experience, but it didn’t end there – oh no!

When I got back to Piddock Place, I did the mandatory Wednesday listen to Rai Woods’ Country Rodeo on Big FM Radio, then took myself off to the bedroom to write this post. Well, that was the idea. I’ve had a bit of a creativity block recently, with things that have been happening physically and emotionally, but I was full of ideas, and wanted to get it written while everything was still fresh in my mind.

My new crystal had other ideas, though. Because I couldn’t bear to let it out of my sight, I took it into the bedroom with me, and placed it on my bedside table. I wrote the first paragraph or two of the post, then started with a brain fog. I couldn’t think straight, so I decided I must be tired from all the excitement of the crystal and the heat. Trouble was, I couldn’t sleep either. I felt sick and dizzy, and totally out of sorts.

Eventually, it clicked – the crystal’s energy was just too powerful for the room, and for me, at such close quarters. So I returned it to the lounge, in line with the front door, went back to bed, and slept for around 9 hours. I woke this morning feeling more energised than I have for the whole of this year. and seeing I was taken to hospital with pleurisy less than a month ago, that’s a pretty positive result. And I can feel the crystal’s energy following me around the house. Isn’t the Universe truly wonderful?

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