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The Arnold’s go to Prague

A couple of years ago it was decided that instead of buying Grandma a Christmas present we would travel to a European city and have a few days away, last year we went to Berlin, this year Prague.

We drove to Grandma’s the night before, Martin as always equipped for travel, had his supply of clear see through bags as we were only taking hand luggage.  He explained to Grandma that all liquids must go in the bag and taken out when going through security.  Great, all sorted, I took one of Grandma’s clear bags and she had a bag with a lipstick and face powder, so far so good.  We arrive at Gatwick and go through security, Martin and I glide through, Gma gets pulled over, her luggage held back.  Half an hour later the security guard was still pulling cosmetics from her bag, I was waiting for a cricket bat, rubber chicken, kitchen sink etc. to appear, as it turned in to a scene from Air Plane!  Oh Christ I thought here we go, as Grandma walked away from security she was twittering something about … well I am an old lady I need A lot of cream ha ha, bless her.   The 9a.m. flight was fine, all on time, but I have to say Martin and I were stunned when ordering a coffee Grandma ordered a Heineken, they say to watch the quiet ones!

We arrive in Prague, the car was not waiting as it should have been, then bloody Gustuv turns up and piles us in to a van with other people, did you hear me OTHER PEOPLE!!  It was supposed to be private hire, well he was not getting a tip.

The Hotel was stunning, Unitas was full of history. A baroque church next door, where you can hear the chant of the convent a place where its history tells amazing stories of the Jesuits, the Grey Sisters of St. Franciscus, Communist Secret Police who took over the building with its infamous prison. The president Vaclav Havel and H.R.H. Prince of Wales have stayed at the Hotel.  Well if it is good enough for them …….  The energy was powerful and peaceful.

Prague is a walking city, and every corner you turn there is something else of interest, as you may know I do love to shop, but this time it was to the dulcet tones of Grandma saying ‘where she gone now’ lol.  Needless to say my spending was well under control!

The next day we took a bus tour of the City.  The guide as lovely as he was, was cross eyed, now, I am not making fun but it was very distracting when he said to look left and his eyes went right.  I found it hard to look at the sights as I was quite fascinated by him.  Our Fit Bits recorded 17000 steps on day one, we decided to rest with a drink at the Easter market, bursting for the loo it got quite complicated when I ended up in the restaurant kitchen and could not find my way out.  The Easter Market was lovely, lots of colour and noise, a real buzz about his place.

Friday it rained so we went on a boat trip, there are many Russians in Prague and they don’t queue like us Brits or have a sense of humour it seems.  An elbow fight commenced with me and pushy man as I was not giving up our spot.  Martin laughed as he said the determination of me nearly pushed him in the river, well that would have been a shame lol.   We came off the boat to pick up the bus, only to have our crossed eyed guide waiting for us, honestly you couldn’t make it up, now we all had the giggles.

One negative about Prague was the food, nothing was hot, and the choices were a bit odd, I ordered a coffee in a restaurant which was almost cold, so I took it back,  the barista look at me as if he had scrapped me off his boot as I complained, and he duly stuck his finger in my drink (I have to admit I thought oh f*ck please don’t give it back to me) but I held my stare, he agreed it was cold and duly made me another cold one, and before you think it, no I was not that brave to take it back a second time.

Our last night we had dinner at an Italian, the only real decent meal of our stay, we got a bit tipsy as Grandma and I almost got run over by a car backing in to a space, can I put on the record I saved Grandma from death! We walked to the Astrological clock as it struck 9p.m. (yes we are stop outs) the 12 Apostles moved around the top of the clock looking down on us, then everyone cheered, well not us, they need to get out more.

Prague is beautiful, in fact one of the nicest Cities I have been to, the people are lovely, the place is stunning and the beer and wine is cheap.  The Churches and holy buildings dot around the city, which is interesting as apparently 60% are non-believers or atheists, I know that because the cross eyes tour guide told us.        If you get a chance GO, you will love it.


Review: The Wisdom Seekers Tarot by David Fontana

Published by Watkins £14.99

The first thing that struck me about this deck is the quality, beautifully packaged and designed with a vibrant orange theme, it certainly stands out from the crowd.

On opening an 80 page booklet it provides a good amount of information about each card. Also pages are dedicated to a brief history on Tarot, the definition of what minor and major cards are, and at the back of the book, example’s of spreads with clear layouts for you to try.

The cards themselves have small white borders with orange backs, each card design is  colourful and whimsical.  In my opinion these are aimed more for a beginner to intermediate level.  Although the cards look quite simple, they are based on traditional Tarot with a modern twist, as you look deeper in to the voice of the card, you begin to notice small details which may not be immediately obvious.   I love the idea of choosing one card and working deeply with it, something new always springs to mind.

They are lovely to read and you get a good flow of energy when using the cards. If you prefer cards with a lot of depth then these may not be for you, but in my opinion they are a good addition to any collection.  If you are a beginner then I would highly recommend these, and they are a great price for the quality of cards, packaging and book.    


The Tarot Coloring Book by Theresa Reed

Over the last couple of years colouring books for adults have flooded the market.  I know  this because I have had quite a collection given to me as presents, but the luxury of spending a couple of hours of colouring is quite a way down on my list at the moment.  Anyway I digress.   This lovely book popped through the post a few days ago for review, I was pleasantly surprised at the information contained in this book setting it miles ahead of other similar books.  Each of the 78 Rider Waite images has a page of information broken down with upright and reverse meaning plus ‘Notice of Symbols’.  I have chosen Temperance as my example, Theresa brings our attention to the meanings of the feet, water flowing between the cups, the path and the colours used in the traditional Rider Waite deck.

At the back of the book she has some great ideas for readings, including quick interpretations, spreads and layouts.

This really is a lovely book, great for beginners but a lovely idea for anyone who loves tarot.   Theresa really has put a lot of thought in to this book, it is more than ‘just a colouring book’, you will learn plenty about the tarot and hopefully get a few hours relaxation colouring in!

Highly recommended

£16.99


Bangkok - Temples, Buddha's & Feeling Blessed

Visiting Thailand has been on my wish list for as long as I can remember. Martin seriously pulled it out the bag as a surprise Christmas present.  I could not believe I was finally going.   Even the 11 hour flight was easy when I found meditations on the in-flight entertainment, this was going to be a good week!

DSCN0265We arrived at the Shan-gri La hotel, to be greeted by committee of people all in traditional Thai dress, each had hands clasped in prayer position and bowed deeply to welcome us, I do admire those who come off a long haul flight looking like they have stepped out of a spa, not me, I looked like I had been dragged through a hedge backwards, they must have thought the Arnold’s are in town lowering the tone! The hotel was breath taking and they could not do enough, our luggage disappeared already  in the room by the time we had checked in.  When we arrived in our room, the window overlooked the River of Kings, wow, we had not even done anything yet and I was already overwhelmed. That evening we took the water taxi from the hotel for a Thai meal in a traditional restaurant, I had the Imodium’s at the ready but all was good.  With a 7 hour time difference we fell in to bed exhausted, day one had gone too quickly, tomorrow we begin the adventure of a lifetime.  

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Tuesday we took the water taxi to Wat Po, the home of ‘Phra Buddha Saiyas’ more commonly known as the Reclining Buddha. The river taxi in itself is an experience, the Thai people are so tiny yet have mouths the size of foghorns, and in case you don’t hear them shouting that ‘the boat no sink’ someone thought it a good idea to give them a whistle.  I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say there must have been a million people on the boat, well maybe a slight overestimate, but you could not get a piece of paper between us, and then more people continued to get on, the London tube has nothing on the river taxi!  The Reclining Buddha was huge I have read much about it but when you see it for real it is breath-taking, It is 46 Meters long and 15 meters high.   After seeing this amazing sight Martin was even more overwhelmed when he discovered sherbet ice cream, more about Martin later!

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From here we went to the Grand Palace in Wat Phra which housed the Emerald Buddha, something strange happened here, I became very emotional, I had no control over this at all, I had an overwhelming feeling of being very blessed, but very much thinking of my family and friends back home, I said a silent prayer and just immersed myself in this peaceful spiritual energy. Later, back at the hotel I had a foot massage with the lovely Thai masseuse who was set up for business around the pool, digest this piece of information because it becomes funny later on!   Later after midnight, jet lag is in full flow, we are wide awake sitting on our 12th floor window seat watching the lights and boats on and around the River of Kings working hard through the night. The lights shine brightly.  Bangkok does not sleep.

DSCN0217   buddha worshipgblack buddha

Wednesday we went to see more Buddha’s, each one more spectacular than the one before.   I never get tired of Temples and Buddha’s.  That afternoon we got the sky train to the shopping centre, as a seasoned shopper I know the prices of most things.  How much do these people earn? I kid you not double UK prices, I really thought everything in Thailand would be pennies, I came back with a packet of wet wipes. We ate in a local Turkish restaurant that evening, a scruffy café where the food was excellent. It is very late and still 30 degrees.  

DSCN0198Thursday we got the water taxi to Wat Arun, a dinky little place full of temples, and a place where many Buddhists Monks live and pray.  I loved seeing the monks walk in their orange robes. Martin and I strolled along the pathways, beautiful flowers scented the air, nooks and crannies everywhere, as we walked along one particular path, I saw a red door slightly ajar with the word ‘meditation’ on it, I pushed it quietly open and glanced in to see monks chanting in quiet mantra, it was serene and moving, I stood silently at the back just watching, unbeknown to me, after what seemed like a minute, Martin followed me in with as much grace as a clumsy Mr Bean, the noisy bastard got his camera strap caught on the door handle, nearly strangled himself, then as he unhooked himself fell through the door, with a loud whisper (like that made a difference) of ‘oh shit’, all he needed to complete the moment was to fall on a drum kit and he would have finished the job. We quickly left, and we walked back up the path at speed.

DSCN0207Now we are in a giggly mood as we see a few market type stalls selling clothes, Martin sat on the wall and watched as I went in to have a look.  The Thai lady said ‘its ok I have big to fit you’ if she said it once, she said it a hundred times, seriously she was that close to getting a smack in the mouth, she then got a tape measure to show me how big she could get. I kid you not she saw me the size of a marquee, no I protested, that is too big for me ….. ‘no it not, you big lady’ was her reply.  Bitch! We left without buying.     We made our way back to the hotel for a few hours round the pool. Martin has been getting leg cramps for some time, the massage place around the pool where I had had a lovely foot massage a day earlier was still there.  After much persuasion, he agreed to have one if I went and booked it. The tiny Thai lady was not there, a man in his white uniform sat on a chair wearing sun glasses and appeared asleep, I stood there, nothing, I nudged him on the shoulder, with a sarcastic tone of ‘sorry to wake you’, …. Yes speak, he said. Anyway, Martin had his foot massage and came back and told me the masseuse was blind……..  no he wasn’t, I said, he was asleep anyway how do you know that?   Firstly he fell over my sandals and secondly he had blind man glasses on and a white stick on and thirdly he WAS BLIND …..  and …. it is normal for a masseuse to hit you with a stick?  Well he nearly had to call an ambulance for me, I laughed and laughed, poor Martin, his first and last experience of a massage.  All week beautiful Thai girls and he got a blind man who hit him with a stick and charge him ha ha ha ha ha ha.   

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Friday we went to see the Golden Buddha, the taxi driver had never heard of this national land mark, (it is like saying Buckingham Palace), anyway stupid taxi driver dumped us in China Town and told us to get out and drove off.  We did not know where to go, they speak very little English. We did eventually find it after walking miles and it was well worth the effort.  To complete our Thai experience we decided we would get a tuk tuk back to the hotel. 

tuk tuk mantuk tuk

We negotiated with the driver and off we went at 90 miles an hour, in the middle of a very busy highway Martin screamed NOOOOOO STOP, the tuk tuk driver hit the brakes and I am shouting what’s wrong????  His bloody Westgate Cricket Club hat had blown off and was being run over by cars, oh god it was funny, Martin got out of the tuk tuk, dodging cars to rescue his grubby hat, thankfully retrieved now all is well in the world again. The tuk tuk driver thought it hilarious which made it even funnier.    That afternoon I went for a walk alone, bought silk dressing gown ended up with full body massage in a very dodgy ‘parlour’ I think we will leave that story there.  That evening I said to Martin I was fed up with Thai food and we realised we had only had it once lol, but we found an Italian restaurant on trip adviser, it was the best ever but cost small fortune!  Our last night we went  out back door of hotel and found a million  bars and restaurants we did not know were there all at half  price … who knew.  

DSCN0256 Saturday, our last day, we went on long boat to floating market and got drowned with water as the miserable git of a boat driver hit the waves at speed, he kept shouting at me and Martin in Thai, we had no idea what he was on about but put it this way he blew his tip! We saw the city from the river, where old Sian meets new Bangkok, poverty and money entwined in one great city.

Our short time in Bangkok was wonderful, it ticked every box I had,plus more, we laughed, I shed tears of overwhelming emotion, the Temples touched my soul and I will never forget my time there, I will go back in a heartbeat.  

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Tarot Collection for Sale lots of OOP!

  • The Witches Tarot Ellen Cannon Reed SOLD Edition 2000 used /Good condition, little wear on box  £     55.00
    Dark Angels Tarot Dark Angels Lo Scarabeo 2010 cards excellent box well handles but good condition  £     15.00
    Universal Goddess Tarot Universal Goddess Lo Scarabeo 2006 Cards excellent box worn LWB front cover slightly screwed  £     10.00
    Tarot of Jane Austen SOLD Lo Scarabeo 2006 Cards excellent box worn LWB front cover slight damage  £     75.00
    Tarot of the Millennium Millenium Lo Scarabeo 2000 excellent condition  £     50.00
    Pearls of Wisdom  (Roxi Sim & Fullbrite) Pearls         SOLD 7th House 2007  cards excellent box slight damage  No lWB  £     50.00
    Tarot Afro American Afro American Lo Scarabeo 2007 as new slight damage on corners of box  £     10.00
    Secret Tarot Secret Lo Scarabeo 2004 cards excellent box worn/slight damage  £     12.00
    Night Sun Tarot Night Lo Scarabeo 2014 Cards as new box slightly worn  £     12.00
    Tarot of the Cat People Cat US Games 2004 Cards excellent box edges slight use  £     15.00
    Tarot of the Mermaids Mermaids Lo Scarabeo 2003 Cards excellent box worn  £     15.00
    Tarot of the Sweet Twilight Sweet Lo Scarabeo 2009 Cards excellent box slight damage  £     15.00
    Tarot of Eternity Ramses Eternity Lo Scarabeo 2003 Cards excellent box slight wear  £     15.00
    Deviant Moon Tarot Deviant US Games 2008 Cards excellent box slight wear  £     30.00
    Celestial Tarot Celestial US Games 2004 Cards good box edges slight use  £     15.00
    Roots of Asia Roots AGM MUller2001  cards good condition box damaged  £   500.00
    Tarot of Casanova Casanova Lo Scarabeo 2003 Cards excellent Box good  £     20.00
    Tarot of the Thousand and one nights Thousand Lo Scarabeo 2005 Cards excellent box good  £     25.00
    New Century Tarot (Eichelmann) New US Games 2003 cards worn on edges box damaged  £     12.00
    Tarot of the Moon Garden Moon US Games no LWB cards excellent box damaged  £     10.00
    Gothic Tarot (Joseph Vargo) Gothic Monolith Graphics 2002 cards excellent box corners slightly worn  £     20.00
    Tarot of Druids Druids Lo Scarabeo 2006 no LWB cards excellent box damaged  £       5.00
    Dragon Tarot Dragon US Games 1996 Cards good box very worn  £       8.00
    Tarot of the Elves Elves Lo Scarabeo 2007 Excellent condition  £     15.00
    Lord of the Rings Lord US Games 1997 Cards excellent LWB & Box slight damage  £       5.00
    Karma Tarot Karma US Games 1983 cards excellent box slight damage  £     15.00
    Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Thoth AGM Muller 1986 Cards excellent box very damaged  £     30.00
    Key to the Kingdom (Meeuwissen) Key Pavillion Playing cards sealed  £     65.00
    Morgan Greer Morgan Morgan Press 1979 Blue box Cards excellent no LWB box worn  £   100.00
    H R Giger Tarot SOLD 22 major arcana and large book excellent condition box corners worn  £     70.00
    Ansata Tarot Ansata AGM muller 1985 arcana excellent condition  £     50.00
    Justice League Tarot Justice DC Comics no LWB cards excellent inside box slight damage  £     75.00
    Dragon Mystique Dragon Mystique Mystic World Ent 1976 Excellent  £   100.00
    Tarot Oriental de Paul Iki Oriental JM Simons 1978 cards excellent box very damaged  £     50.00
    The Eroti Tarot Erotic Lo Scarabeo 2000 no box cards and LWB good condition  £     40.00
    Tarot of the Old Path Old Path 1995 Cards and LWB good box very damaged  £     10.00
    The Baroque Bohemian Cats Tarot SOLD Magic Realist Press 2012 cards in large box no book  £     75.00
    Bohemian Gothic Tarot SOLD Magic Realist Press cards excellent no box or book  £     75.00
    Fantastic Menagerie Tarot SOLD Magic Realist Press cards excellent no box or book  £     75.00
    Victorian Romantic SOLD Magic Realist Press cards excellent no box or book  £     75.00
    Baba Studios FairyTale Tarot Fairy Tale Magic Realist Press cards excellent no box or book  £     75.00
    New Orleans Voodoo Tarot Voodoo Large book and cards, book cover very damaged no box, cards excellent  £     35.00
    Large Lunatic Tarot Lunatic Great condition cards only  £   120.00
    Jeu de Tarot de Tahiti Tahiti 1979 good condition box worn  £     65.00

Collection Feb 2017 2Collection Feb 2017 1

Can take photos and offer more information on any deck. Please email info@tarotconference.co.uk for more details.  Please note P&P added


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