Saturday, 10 October 2015


Reader Rachel talks about her style choices… and how she has learned to blank the negative comments!

Rachel-Lee says:
The alternative scene has become more accepted in recent years and more popular in the media. Celebrities have joined in on some of the fashion statements, like the tattooed Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga and Katy Perry with her colourful hair… but this is a fashion trend I have been following since the age of thirteen. Over the years I have had an array of piercings and every hair colour imaginable. My favourite shoes were a beat-up pair of Doc Martens and my wardrobe was almost devoid of colour.

I'm now twenty-two and I have seventeen piercings and thirteen tattoos. I still love my Doc Martens and still wear mostly black, and at this moment my hair is blue and purple, but that could change! Looking this way has it's downside… people think it's OK to make various comments, like 'You'll never get a job looking like that'; 'What does your boyfriend think?'; and 'You'd look so much prettier without all those piercings.' In school, I had to wear plasters over the piercings. I got sent home once because my trousers were too baggy and were classed as a 'health and safety risk' and I was frequently made to go to the bathroom to wash off my eyeliner.

This all sounds very negative and for a while this bothered me. At seventeen I took out my piercings, dyed my hair brown and wore maroon tea dresses for a year. This changed my perspective… I realised I no longer felt like myself. The comments and stares stopped, but I also stopped smiling when I looked in the mirror and I was no longer excited when buying new clothes. I realised then that the most important thing wasn't the acceptance I got from others but the acceptance I had for myself.

Now I am older, I know that the negative comments from others were nonsense anyway. For example, I've had the same job for two years and they celebrate me for my work, not my looks. I have a boyfriend who loves the way I look and calls me pretty every day. I have amazing friends who like me for who I am. People are entitled to their opinions and if they think I'd look prettier without piercings, fine - but I love them, and it's my choice. People will always judge you; for how you look, how much money you have, how smart you are. It's a human instinct, how we classify things on a daily basis… but that doesn't mean you should let your opinions impact negatively on on others. Just because you think they look scary, or like a bad person… well, that doesn't mean they are! And if you are on the receiving end,  never let these judgements hurt you. As long as you can look in the mirror and smile and feel like yourself, everything else will come to you in time.

Cathy says:
I think Rachel-Lee's style looks awesome - and I also agree that others can be far too quick to judge people. Would YOU ever dare to follow an alternative style? And do YOU agree that following your own heart is an important part of growing up and learning to be yourself? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Thursday, 8 October 2015


Skye Tanberry has been looking at that crystal ball again… will her predictions for OCTOBER ring true for YOU? Read on and see!

You sometimes worry about which choice to make, but this month is different… things are looking good for you. A perfect time to achieve the things you've always dreamed of!

Plan carefully this month… the more you prepare, the better things will go. A project at school is looking good, but go easy - jump in without thinking of others and you may find yourself making a BIG mistake.

Romance is in the air, but there may be setbacks ahead. Don't despair… the path of true love never runs smoothly, and if you're determined things should still work out. Eventually!

There may be a problem in your life that's been bugging you… but now is the time to face it and take action. Friends, family or even a trusted teacher can help you to get things sorted, so don't suffer in silence!

You are a real dreamer, but this month is all about facts and figures. Hard work is needed now to allow your creativity to bloom later… trust me, it will be worth it!

You're always friendly, open and trusting, but sometimes others take advantage of this. Don't be deceived by a friend who isn't all she seems… she may be motivated by jealousy, and that is something you don't need in your life.

Team work is the way forward right now… listen to other people's views and ideas and learn to compromise. This is the way forward, and it'll make you popular, too!

A friend may be struggling just now, and perhaps behaving oddly. Try to be there for her and give her space to talk… but if she needs adult help, don't be afraid to ask a trusted teacher for help.

Snuggling in with a hot chocolate and a good book is all you want to do this month. Why not jazz up your bedroom to make it extra cosy ready for winter? Family matters may get a little wobbly, but resist the temptation to wade in - things will sort themselves out eventually.

Plans may come unstuck this month, but that's OK… it's a sign that you may need to take a different track. Trying something different may open up a whole lot of new opportunities!

An unexpected discovery will change your views on someone close to you. Don't be too quick to judge - get all sides of the story before you decide how to react.

Things have been a little rocky lately, but don't panic - you're heading for calmer waters now. Time to relax and enjoy life a little… there is plenty of fun to be had for you this month!

Cathy says:
Does your horoscope sound accurate… or is it way off? COMMENT BELOW to share your feedback and let us know whether Skye is on the right tracks!


Reader Jessica explains how breaking a leg caused a whole lot of problems for her this summer…

Jessica says:
Breaking my leg was a real pain! I was on a school climbing frame and slipped in between two pieces of wood… my leg got caught and fell forward and basically bent the wrong way. I heard  a massive snap and I knew I was in trouble… it was broken, and badly. I broke my leg three weeks before the summer holidays and so I missed lost of things at school… I was supposed to have the lead role in our school play, Matilda the musical, but that didn't happen. Once school broke up, it got even worse… my family couldn't go on holiday because of me… it would have been too awkward. I couldn't do any activities either, so we all ended up staying at home a lot of the time. I felt quite bad that my family were missing out on a proper holiday because of me, but they didn't blame me at all. I guess these things happen.

I was due to get the cast off halfway through the holidays. I went along, thinking this was what would happen, but I was given an x-ray as the leg was still very tender and painful. Surprise surprise, they put me back in a cast and sent me off for another three weeks! This time when I went back, the x-ray was looking good and the cast came off - but I was given a leg brace to wear to support the leg. Arghhh! I still have that on now, and at least I am walking again… the brace comes off on Monday and I'll be back to normal then. Whatever normal is!

The moral of this story is… don't break your leg in the school holidays!

Cathy says:
Oh noooo! I used to imagine that breaking a bone would be quite exciting and cool, but I've changed my mind now! Have YOU ever broken a bone? COMMENT BELOW and tell is more! 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015


Reader Abbie has a dilemma for Honey Tanberry to solve this week on DREAMCATCHER's regular problem page. Will YOU agree with Honey's advice? Take a look and see…

Abbie says:
This is the year I choose my options for GCSE and I know that I want to take art, French and textiles… plus whatever else my teachers feel I will do well in. Obviously, English, maths and science are compulsory anyway. We were discussing this at the weekend and out of nowhere my dad announced that I can't take art because it will lead me nowhere, and that textiles isn't even a 'real' subject. I honestly thought he was joking because he knows how much I love art. My dream career is to be a fashion designer, or a fashion illustrator. Dad seems to think I should take economics and business studies and then do a law degree. I can't think of anything worse - this is his dream, not mine. I would be hopeless at those subjects and I have zero interest in being a lawyer. Mum won't stand up for me, though I think she is sympathetic. I can't see the point of school at all if I am going to be made to study subjects I loathe.

Honey says:
I think your dad needs a little bit of education! Who do you think designs the world we live in? The clothes, furniture, houses, textiles, appliances, cars, posters, books, films, computer games… even our toothbrushes and household cleaners are designed by people with an art background, and they get paid for it, too! Not everyone understands that creative subjects are a huge part of what makes Britain great, but your art teacher will know and can help your parents to see the possibilities. Art is a hugely flexible subject which can lead to all kinds of future careers. Talk to your teacher and make sure your dad knows how strongly you feel about this. The days of parents forcing us to study certain subjects or follow their choice of career are long gone. This is your life, and you only get one shot at it - speak up for what you want and what you love, before it's too late.

Cathy says:
I did an art degree and have also been an art teacher, and I know that it can be a subject many underestimate. I agree with Honey… Abbie should enlist the support of her teachers and get this sorted out. What do YOU think? Is Honey's advice spot on, or would you add more suggestions? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Monday, 5 October 2015


Want to break out of those old routines and do something new/ silly/ fun? We have all the ideas you'll ever need!

1. Invent and bake the coolest cake ever made… and share it with your best friends!
2. Re-design your bedroom… on a shoestring… then start making it look awesome!
3. Go to visit an elderly relative and ask them to tell you about their childhood… write it down so you don't forget!
4. Make a film of a typical day in your family!
5. Write the first chapter of a book… who knows, it could be a bestseller one day!
6. Volunteer at your local animal rescue…
7. Dig out the family photos from years gone by… and put them into an album!
8. Research and draw up your family tree!
9. Hold a clothes swap with friends to revamp your wardrobe!
10. Teach yourself to knit!
11. Get together with friends and work out a dance routine to your favourite pop track!
12. Take a long walk in the countryside with your camera… then come home and write a cool blog about what you've discovered!
13. Paint your nails and add glitter sprinkles…
14. Wear odd socks for the whole day…
15. Pack up a bag of tinned and packeted food to hand in to the foodbank… most good supermarkets have a collection point.
16. Hold an afternoon tea to raise funds for your fave charity!
17. Swap books with a friend and read something you'd never have tried otherwise!
18. Pick a bunch of flowers for your mum!
19. Take your dog for a walk through the park… or better still, a run! You'll both get healthy!
20. Catch a falling leaf - and make a wish!

Cathy says:
Are YOU planning to try any of these? COMMENT BELOW to tell us which ones appeal the most!

Sunday, 4 October 2015


Reader Daria has autism, a condition which makes her a little different from most of her classmates. Find out what that means and how she copes…

Daria says:
Autism is a condition which can really divide a person from the rest of the world. Many people on the autistic spectrum feel weird or different, but so what, they are both great things to be! Each autistic person is individual, and I for one love being 'different' and 'interesting'. When the weather changes, so do my moods… I get especially uncomfortable when there is pollen in the air, so I don't go out much then. I do like to go to the beach in summer though!

One thing that is very important to me is to be appreciated when I do something good. Even small things, like folding my clothes or brushing my teeth. These things may not mean much to you, but they do to me, and to be acknowledged when I do these things really matters. I also like everything around me to be in good order… I hate it when I find something is out of line. I am always trying to fix things in the house that aren't quite right or aren't in order. What also annoys me is that people do not see things the way I do. They sometimes think that what I say to others can be rude or abrupt, but I don't see that. I don't mean to be rude and always think that what I have said was acceptable.

I like to stick to a routine because it gives the day a structure. I wake at 6.30, shower at 6.31 which takes ten minutes, then at 6.42 I go and make breakfast. That takes seven minutes and a minute to get back from the kitchen and make sure everything is where it should be. I triple check my backpack, which takes eleven minutes, and then watch my favourite TV show at 7.00… this kind of routine carries on for most of the day and helps me feel more secure!

Autism has never held me back and it never will. One day I want to travel the world and become famous and do other crazy things. I know people will try to drag me down and hold me back, but I am confident I can get past that and be who I want to be.

The awesome illustration for Daria's blog post is by reader Skye… thank you!

Cathy says:
Daria's account of being on the autistic spectrum is fascinating… and enlightening. I am pretty sure that Daria will make her dreams happen, too! Do you know someone who is a little different from the crowd? Or are YOU? COMMENT BELOW to tell us more...

Saturday, 3 October 2015


Would you ever have a tattoo? Readers share their views on skin and ink…

Maya says: 
I don't mind tattoos - I believe people should do whatever they want with their own bodies. I'm fine with other people having tattoos, but I wouldn't do it myself as I probably wouldn't be able to handle the pain!

Alisha says:
I'm not so keen on tattoos. Small, private ones are OK but the big, all-over kind I find a bit scary!

Nicola says:
I LOVE tattoos… honestly, I think they look beautiful. Sadly, I am scared of needles, so I wouldn't get one myself, but I wrote a story about a boy who lost his girlfriend and then became a tattoo artist as he wanted something in his life to be permanent.

Violet says:
Got one, want more. They are a good way of expressing yourself and commemorating special events/people/pets. I love them… I want lots! I have so many designs planned, including two half-sleeves, and all of them mean something. One day, I will be able to prove my age to sceptical tattooists. One day…

Saffy says:
I love them. I have three so far, all on my back, two small ones and one bigger one. I'd like to get more eventually, but they're expensive!

Kym says:
I don't have any and don't plan to, but I have friends who are covered in them and I don't have a problem with that. It annoys me when people start on the whole 'why should I cover them up for my employer' rant, because when you get a job you are representing your employer and not yourself… but that's a whole other can of worms!

Hazel says:
I'm not a fan of tattoos, and it's a pretty safe bet to say I will never get one! I know some people like them and I love some of the beautiful designs, but imagine when you're eighty… it is not going to look good with wrinkly skin! Tattoos are permanent, even the smallest ones, and they hurt going on too. I think you have to really, really like them and know that they will go with your style of dress for years, or at least be easy to cover up. A definite 'no' from me, but if you like them and think you'll like them when you're eighty, then go ahead!

Scarlett says:
I like tattoos - my mum has three - but I am not so keen when people have a whole 'sleeve'. One or two images seems more meaningful, as you can't always see what a whole arm of images is meant to represent. I hope to get a tattoo one day to symbolise my love of music, but I think they hurt and I am not looking forward to that!

Awesome artwork by reader Claire… thank you!

Cathy says:
I don't have any tattoos, but find them fascinating… and I have friends (and a son!) who have been inked. Perhaps they're just a permanent statement of who you are and what matters to you? Would YOU ever take the plunge? COMMENT BELOW to tell us why - or why not!