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.

Book Review: Ghostly Echoes by Mai Griffin


Mai Griffin is an artist and author who is based in Javea, on the northern coast of Spain’s Costa Blanca with her daughter, Gaile Griffin Peers, also a writer. The ladies are also involved in publishing. I met them for the first time in 2017 at a writing conference in Velez Blanco, Andalusia, where Mai gave me a copy of her novel, Ghostly Echoes, to read and review.

Life got in the way, so it was just a few days ago that I finally picked up the book to read. The main characters in the novel are Sarah Grey and her daughter, Clarinda – Clarrie for short. Sarah is a gifted psychic, but doesn’t like to brag about it, and Clarrie is also blessed with the gift, but sees it as more of a curse and tries to ignore it. However, as experienced psychics and mediums know only too well, if Spirit want to work through you, they won’t be ignored.

Sarah sometimes works with Alec, a Police inspector and good friend, giving him insights into difficult cases. In this book, the first in the series of ‘Grey’ books, a child is kidnapped, another child and a young boy die, and in the course of the investigation, a trio of unrelated murders are solved as a bonus.

Mai Griffin is a master of storytelling, elegantly weaving a multi-faceted tale spread over a number of years and locations, including Wales and Spain. There’s just the right level of suspense as the story unfolds, and the reader is quickly drawn in. It’s an overworked phrase, but I really couldn’t put this book down. All the characters – on this side of life or the afterlife – are well crafted and engaging, with a couple of notable exceptions. The reader just knows these men have ‘dunnit,’ just not how or why, and that’s just a small part of the overall picture.

There’s a nice balance between fast-paced action and reflection, and what really sets this book above other ghostly tales is the way the spiritual angle of the story is presented. As a psychic herself, Mai has excellent insight into the way Spirit work, and how mediums bring messages to the living. She cleverly illustrates how those who try to use this special gift for personal ends can come unstuck when ego comes into the equation, demonstrating beautifully that not everything is always as it seems, on both sides of life.

As well as being a rattling good yarn, Ghostly Echoes gives interesting insights into the world of spiritualism, and debunks many of the myths perpetrated in other novels and on screen. Sarah and Clarrie are ordinary people with extraordinary talents. Life hasn’t been kind to them – they are both widows – but they’ve found inner peace and fulfillment in their new lives.

Mai Griffin writes with an authority and humour gleaned from almost 90 years of experience of life and its idiosyncracies and synchronicities. As a bonus, even the book blurb is hilarious. Ghostly Echoes actually started life as Deadly Shades of Grey, long before the last three words were preceded by a number and given an altogether different meaning.

There may be no spurious sex or sado-masochism within its covers – Javea’s not that sort of place, and Mai’s not that sort of lady – but Ghostly Echoes has much more going for it. It’s a well crafted tale, with just the right balance of humour, action, authenticity and reflection to satisfy the most discerning readers of crime fiction. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

How to get the best guidance from psychics and mediums

Me with my spiritual mentor, teacher and friend, the Quirky Medium, Alison Wynn-Ryder. One of the most talented mediums and psychics I know

I regularly see evidence that lots of people don’t fully understand how the world of Spirit works. Furthermore, they are unsure whether a medium is good, bad or indifferent. The situation isn’t helped when some mediums talk themselves up into something they most definitely are not. To get the best guidance from psychics and mediums, there are a few things you should consider.

Each of us has psychic ability, but whether we are aware of it or know how to use it is something else. There’s a school of thought that psychics are made and mediums are born, but I dispute that, and so do most people I know.

There is a distinct difference between working psychically and working as a medium, but both of these intuittive aspects of spiritual work can be enhanced with training. This article explains the difference much more clearly than I can, but in nutshell, psychics work mainly with the living, drawing on guidance from the other side of life, while mediums actually blend with the energies of those in Spirit.

All psychic work is based on energy. In fact, the Universe is all about energy, because even inanimate objects have an energetic vibration. It’s tuning into these energies that helps psychics and mediums to bring you information and advice that is readily available to you, as long as you know how to access it .

In psychometry, the energies of a piece of jewellery or another personal possession can reveal a lot about the owner, and it’s also possible to do a psychic reading from a photograph. Mediums and psychics who work with law enforcement agencies can connect with the energies of items belonging to missing people or murder victims and provide evidence that is impossible to glean from other sources.

So, there’s a lot that mediums and psychics can do, but what can you expect from a reading? More importantly, how can you tell if the practitioner is genuinely gifted with psychic abilities? Those seeking help from the world of Spirit are often traumatised and/ or vulnerable, so it’s important that those they seek help from are well placed to deliver it.

Someone who talks about ‘their’ gifts, without listening to what you need from your reading is motivated by ego to some extent. We do not decide to work with Spirit – we are chosen. And we are mere channels for everything that comes through. The Upstairs Team are the ones calling the shots and directing the action. The psychic or medium you connect with should not be on a power trip – your reading is all about you, not them.

Another misconception with mediums is that they can call up the spirits of loved ones to order. No medium, however well connected to Spirit, can guarantee to bring through your father who passed a few weeks back, or Great Aunt Agatha, so that you can thank her for leaving you all her worldly goods.

In fact, we can’t guarantee to bring anyone through, because Spirit will not come through for a third party just to say hello. It takes a lot of energy to speak through someone else, and they will only come through with an important message that they need to pass on. Spirit can – and do – visit loved ones often, and you may sense them around you, even if you don’t consider yourself to be psychic.

Some of the information may be trivial, rather than jaw-dropping, and that’s usually just to confirm your loved one really is around. I had a gentleman come through for someone in the audience at my first demonstration of mediumship, and I had difficulty pinning him down to a member of the audience, as he’d passed some time ago. I asked for an up to date confirmation, and he told me about a friendly disagreement about how carrots should be prepared for cooking. From that, the right person was able to take the message, even though she had never known the messenger from Spirit in life.

Working with Spirit is so much more than just ‘Talking to dead people,’ although that’s a common misconception. It’s about helping the living to deal with their challenges and make the best choices for themselves and those around them, but a lot of people are sceptical about this.

When I was attending psychic development training, my husband was very sceptical, and always had a sarcastic remark ready for me to come home to. One day, he asked if I’d been talking to my father, who passed many years before we got together. ‘Yes, I have,’ I replied. ‘He’s really looking forward to meeting you next week.’ There were no more silly remarks after that, and my husband was very subdued over the next few days!

That anecdote wasn’t just to make you smile – although laughter raises the vibrations. It links neatly to my next point. No psychic or medium with any integrity will deliver bad news. Spiritual work is about upliftment and easing worries, not causing more stress or heartache. All genuine messages from Spirit are positive, so you won’t be told you have inoperable cancer, or that Uncle George won’t be coming to your Christmas party because he’ll be with the Angels by then.

That doesn’t mean to say it’s all sweetness and light. If you need a warning from Spirit, you’ll get it, but the medium or psychic will deliver it in a positive and empathetic way, so as not to cause further distress or worry. For example, you might get a message that the pain in your chest needs investigating, so get it checked out so you can get the right treatment. You will only receive information that is in your best interests.

Having a reading from a medium or psychic, whether one to one or at a demonstration, should be a positive, fulfilling experience. If you know what to expect, and if the practitioner is working with humility and love, it certainly will be. Go to your reading with an open mind, and prepare to be amazed!

Image credit: Rai Woods, November 2016

Review: 2020 Biddy Tarot Planner

I’m really enjoying reading oracle cards, for myself and for other people. I love the way so much information comes through, and the illustrations on the decks are inspiring and beautiful. Until now, I’ve been a bit nervous about reading the tarot, although I love it when friends read the cards for me. I’ve felt somewhat intimidated by all the traditional meanings – oracle cards are much more flexible, and there are less of them to shuffle!

2020 will be my year of action, when I venture out of my comfort zone, try new things, and strengthen my connection with Spirit. This is my year to master the tarot, and I’m thinking outside the box, because that’s how I rock! I really need to get familiar with all 78 cards in the Major and Minor Arcanas, so when I saw the Biddy Tarot Planner, I thought it looked like a fun way to learn more about the tarot, and also about myself.

Brigit Esselmont – aka Biddy Tarot – is an Australian lady with a unique, refreshing and enthusiastic approach to reading and interpreting the tarot. She makes it accessible to anyone, and the planner is a great way to connect with the cards, and also to learn spreads and how to read them. You’ll get to understand different ways to connect with the prevailing energies of each month, taking in astrological and planetary influences, moon cycles, crystals and rituals. It’s not all about the cards: using the planner encourages personal growth through regular spiritual practice.

I didn’t discover Biddy Tarot and her planner until just after New Year, when I was looking for ways to boost my tarot knowledge, so I have only been using the planner for around two weeks, However, the difference in my understanding of tarot, and myself is already marked, so I have great hopes for the rest of 2020.

There is lots of space for journalling about your daily life, intentions and reflections, your summary of 2019, aspirations for 2020, and plans for achieving your goals, learning lessons, and releasing negativity to align with your best life. You’re encouraged to reflect on the lessons of the past, interpret the cards you draw, and apply these insights to your daily life to bring more positivity and abundance into your life.

As I was late to the party, so to speak, I wondered about doing the early January spreads and exercises. A quick message to the Facebook Support Group, to which all tarot planner users have access, soon reassured me that the spreads weren’t cast in stone. Therefore I could go ahead and work with them when I wanted to.

A few days ago, I decided to work with the 12 card New Year Spread – which can also be done on your birthday, if you prefer. I was just blown away with the results. From not even attempting to read the tarot previously, in two weeks, I was able to interpret the cards without even looking at the guide book.

The way the planner is set out, there is a box where you can write your findings for each of the 12 cards. Each card has a particular meaning, such as ‘Lessons learned in the past year’ and ‘What empowers you in reaching your aspirations for the year.’

In each case, I connected with the energy of the card and wrote down my insights. Then I looked at the card, to see what else I could glean, before checking the information for each card in the guidebook of my chosen deck, ‘The Good Tarot’ by Colette Baron Reid.

The ‘Lessons’ card suggested I’d learned to step back from people who didn’t want to be helped, and that I was stronger than I thought, so I could do anything I set my mind to. I turned over the card to discover it was ‘Strength’ from the Major Arcana, which indicated that I had dealt with challenges with courage and perseverance, and nothing could beat me. This was confirmed in the guidebook, so I was really pleased with my intuitive skills.

Basically, the book confirmed what I’d gathered from the spread on all 12 cards, giving me a positive and insightful reading for 2020. I was really impressed. After just two weeks of drawing a card each day, setting intentions and reflecting on how the events of the day had mirrored the insights of the card, here I was, doing an accurate 12 card reading for myself.

In September, I was reading oracle cards at a charity event, and one sitter’s husband said, ‘Fancy letting a deck of cards rule your life.’ As I explained to him through gritted teeth, cards don’t rule your life, but they can enhance it by giving you insights, guidance, hope and encouragement. The 2020 Biddy Tarot Planner is giving me insights, guidance, hope and encouragement as I begin my journey with the tarot, and it can do the same for you too. Check it out and see what you think.

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!

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

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

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