Who Am I? Part Twenty Eight


So, I made it to Swindon against all the odds. On the Saturday I set off to serve the new venue near Banbury. It was out in the sticks all on its own next to a busy “A” road, but I found it OK. I forged a very good relationship with the centre and would serve it again many times in the future. My trip to Copenhagen was also very successful and gave me a much-needed cash injection. On my return to Wales it seemed that there had been a bit of a blip with the caravan, but it wasn’t a problem as Carol and Bruce let me stay in a spare room in the house until things were sorted. I returned from another trip and found the caravan in situ; it was to be my home for about a year. Living there wasn’t without its teething problems, but on the whole, we all got on very well. Carol and Bruce were also quite flexible and they would let me use the house to conduct healing and meditation sessions. Things continued to bobble along; I was serving the churches in the Ceredigion area, continuing to work in South West England and still getting the odd client here and there. However…

I mentioned very early in this series of posts that Spiritualism had never really resonated with me. I carried on serving the churches because I felt that a power far greater than me wanted me to engage in this work. But as time went by I continued to feel more and more isolated from this religion whose churches I was serving. Yes, I met some lovely people and there was always the few venues that I really looked forward to serving. But generally, I found the churches and centres to be very negative places, and at times, demonstrating mediumship was like having my teeth pulled with red-hot pliers. Something felt like it was going to give; I started to feel that my time in Wales was done. I didn’t bank on what followed next though.

At about the same time that I moved to Wales, my brother decided to move to Spain. He lived up in the East Midlands anyway, but our mother was quite upset about this; one son moving to Wales and the other moving to Spain. There was a very deep bond of love between me and my mum, but on a physical level, she was an extremely difficult person to be around. She was unbelievably negative, so I very rarely asked her how she was, because I knew that she would only start moaning and reel off a list of ailments. I’d always visited her fairly regularly, but could never stay in her company very long because of the negativity. She originated from the North of England; a place called St Helens (near Liverpool), and had lived in a village called Rainford later in her youth. She had kept in touch with people up there, but as she got older her visits back “home” became less and less. By 2004 it had been some years since she had been for a visit; part of the problem was that she could never make a decision so she would spend months procrastinating, “shall I go or shan’t I”? She normally travelled by coach and would be met at the other end by my Uncle Philip, her half-brother. Unfortunately, her mobility was not what it was and she was getting frailer, so at some stage I offered to drive her up there from Swindon and pick her up again when she wanted to come home. She finally decided that she would go at the beginning of October and stay for one month.

The time came and I set off for Swindon. I stayed overnight at my mum’s place and the next day we left for Rainford. We had only gone a few miles when my mum started to display some very strange behaviour. She had seemed fine the night before and that morning, but I noticed that she asked me a question, which I answered, but within just a matter of minutes, she asked exactly the same question several times more. At first I just remarked, “you just asked me that”! But when it continued to happen I feared the worst. However, I felt that it would do my mum good to be back where her heart was for a month, so I thought no more about it.

At the end of October I drove up to Rainford again. I just knew that something was amiss. Sure enough, at the first opportunity my mum’s friend, Yvonne, proceeded to tell me how her and her daughter were extremely worried about my mum. She related to me things that could only mean one thing; my mum was in the early stages of dementia. She again displayed strange behaviour on the journey back to Swindon. The problem was; I lived in Wales, around 170 miles away. Thankfully, Sue was able to keep an eye on things for me, but I knew I had to get my mum moved. She still lived in the maisonette and struggled with the two flights of stairs. I’d found a place for her in a lovely sheltered accommodation complex a couple of years before because I could see that her decreasing mobility was going to present a problem, but she was having none of it and refused to move. So, I was gobsmacked when after finding a bungalow for her, just a few hundred yards up the road and close to the shops and doctors surgery, she agreed it would be best to move. This is another episode that I wrote about extensively in my book, The Amazing Journey, so I’m only going to touch on the main points here.

Sue was amazing, she checked in on my mum when she could; they had become best friends a couple of years previously.

The time came to move, so once again I drove up to Swindon. I conducted the move virtually single-handedly. At the last-minute there was some God-sent help from Sue and another friend of my mum’s. Unfortunately, once the move was complete her mental health plummeted. Sue kept an eye out, but she had her own life to lead. The only thing I could do was move back to Swindon. One of Sue’s sons, Justin, very kindly let me stay at his flat; rent free! He only wanted me to contribute towards energy costs. At some stage my brother moved back to the East Midlands from Spain; his move was not related to our mother’s condition.

As the situation worsened, she started wandering off, she was also continually phoning the police saying there was someone on the roof; and this was just the tip of the iceberg. The bungalow was in sheltered accommodation, but it was not a care home, so there was minimal support from the warden. The next door neighbour was aware of the situation and also kept an eye on things. But, the whole situation was exacerbated by the fact that my mum also had bad arthritis in her hands and was not able to lock her doors at night. Drastic things call for drastic measures, so I went to the GP’s surgery and explained the situation. An appointment was arranged that same day at the hospital and my mum never returned to that bungalow. She had only been in there a matter of weeks.

She was admitted to the psychiatric hospital, where it took five months to assess her properly. During this time she had a fall and fractured her hip. There followed a comedy of errors where she was backwards and forwards to the general hospital because of infections; she was also on the receiving end of some appalling treatment in this establishment. Eventually, her assessment was complete and I was able to find a residential care home for her. It was a great place (The Orchards), with great staff, in Wroughton, just outside Swindon. At last, there was now some stability. Throughout this whole nightmare process I received no help from family, but Sue was an absolute saint. It will never be forgotten.

Now that I was back in Swindon I started to expand my network of churches and spiritual centres to serve. Sue and John Geis would give my telephone number out whilst on their travels, and I also contacted the venues I’d served before moving to Wales. I started to get busier again.

I’m going to end this post by sharing an amusing story with you. I was at Justin’s one morning. He had gone to work so it was just me in the flat. It was one of those mornings where you want to rant at the universe! I was doing my meditation and railing off to spirit that I needed more money to be able to function, and, “what are you going to do about it”? I quickly forgot my meditation rant and drove down the road to the big supermarket for a few things. When I came out again and went back to the car I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. I didn’t even notice anything when I was getting into the car or when I put the keys in the ignition. However, just as I was about to turn the key to start the car, I noticed something flapping about under the wiper blade. It was a five pound note! I got out of the car very gingerly, thinking it was some sort of candid camera stunt. I had a quick look around to see if anyone was watching me, then I took the note from under the wiper and threw it into the car. I drove back to the flat perplexed. A free fiver no less… “but is it real”? I asked myself. “There’s only one way to find out”, I thought. So, on my way to visit my mum that afternoon I stopped off at the supermarket again. My intention was to buy a bunch of flowers. After all, I could only get arrested if the money was counterfeit! Then I would just plead ignorant. Sure enough, the money was fine, so I was able to not only recognise the symbolism of the cheeky spirit gesture, but get my mum a £5.00 bunch of flowers…

 

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Who Am I? Part Twenty Seven


If all goes to plan this post will bring us up to April 2005. I’m going to start by relating something that happened either before I moved to Wales, or just after. that concerns my friend Sue. Before I knew her, Sue had experienced breast cancer, and soon after we met, she acquired lung cancer. She had major surgery that meant having a lung removed and she was told that she would be laid up for at least six months. However, only two weeks after having the operation, Sue was up and about and leading virtually a normal life again. Things went along normally for a few years and then she got a cough that just would not go away. She was at the spiritualist church in Swindon one night, when an extremely stupid and unprofessional medium told her, in front of the entire congregation, that her cancer had come back and that she would need another operation. This sent Sue into a panic and when we were discussing it some little time after the medium had so irresponsibly gave her that news, she said to me, “I just can’t face another major operation Richard”. But Holmsey had a brain wave!

I reminded her that just because there may be a need for an operation, it doesn’t mean it has to be a conventional operation. I suggested making an appointment to go and see Stephen Turoff in Chelmsford. Sue was in agreement and I phoned to make an appointment. In the meantime Sue had indeed been given a diagnosis of throat cancer. She was even given a detailed description of the type of strain she had. Then unbelievably, she received information from the hospital saying that for some reason they’d had her samples analysed by a third-party who decided she didn’t have cancer after all. This panicked her even more because she still had the cough and she knew her body, which was telling her there was definitely something wrong. I drove us to Chelmsford on the required day and went in with her when she had her operation. As I said in my previous post about Stephen Turoff, his operations are normally very quick, but this one seemed to go on for around four minutes. At some stage, he grabbed his scalpel and cut her throat. He did not use anaesthetic and there was no blood; just a tiny red mark that was gone the next day. When he left the room to carry out his next operation, I said to Sue, “did that hurt”? She said, “he cut my throat didn’t he”? I said, “yes”. She said, “it didn’t hurt, but it was very uncomfortable”? Just prior to leaving the room, Stephen said to Sue, “now go and enjoy the rest of your life”. She has been free of cancer ever since.

So, there I was living in Wales. I plodded along acquiring the odd client here and there, and just about keeping my head above water. Certain people were a godsend to me at this time. Mainly a man named John Rigby. He ran The Sacred Hands Spiritual Centre in Llandysul. He was a great bloke and seemed to understand what I was trying to achieve. I served the centre as a medium, but John also let me use the premises to run workshops, at no cost to me whatsoever. John also introduced me to my friend, Sarah Thomas, who I am still in touch with today. I got to know Sarah and her husband Kev very well, and some years later after I was back in England but visiting Wales to serve the churches, they would let me stay at their house in Pennant. Speaking of Pennant, that was where Carol and Bruce lived who were going to let me live in a caravan on their land. John Rigby had been a very unwell man for all the time I knew him, and he finally left this life a couple of years back. I will never forget him or his kindness.

Now, the next part of this sort of “round robin” post, I dedicated a whole chapter to in my book, The Amazing Journey, but there was no way that I could write an account of my time in Wales and not mention this. Remember, at the end of the previous post I mentioned a roller-coaster? Well, hold on, this is it!

Hold on…. My lovely people…. A confession…. This part of the story is so incredible that I need to write a lot of detail to give you the full picture. I have therefore decided that it will save me a lot of work if I simply copy and paste a large slice of Chapter 6 from The Amazing Journey. It does mean however that this post will end in February 2004 instead of April 2005, but when you’ve finished reading I think I can safely say that you will forgive me. Fasten your seat belts….

Because of the hilly nature of the land, during times of inclement weather you could be driving along the road and all could be fine, but a few hundred metres further down you could be driving in a blizzard, and then a little further on it would be fine again, and so on. On the Wednesday the weather seemed to be OK and at some stage I went down into Lampeter. As I was driving back to the house however the snow started coming down. The distance from the bottom of the hill up to the house is approximately two miles and under normal circumstances it’s only a few minutes’ drive. But when Keith came in at around 7:00 p.m. he said that it had taken him the best part of an hour to get up the hill because his car had been slipping and sliding. I was a bit worried now but nonetheless I packed some of my things into the car, and decided to leave the remainder until the morning.

I woke up at 07:00 a.m. and looked out of the window. There was a very restricted view from my room but it didn’t prevent me from seeing that the snow was still coming down and that what little I could see outside was a complete white-out. Now I was really worried! I asked the angels for a sign that all would be OK and got back into bed. I got the sign I asked for; it was indicated to me that all would be well, but being human I had more than my share of reservations. I couldn’t get back to sleep either; my mind was working overtime. I knew that things must be bad outside because, even though you don’t get much traffic up there during the course of any day, you do get the odd early morning delivery van and the post van at around 08:00 a.m.

I had a look outside and there were no tyre tracks at all; absolutely nothing, not that I’d heard any vehicles anyway. I looked at my car and all I could see was a kind of vague car shape completely covered in thick snow. I decided to carry on as best I could and proceeded to clear all the snow from the car before packing the rest of my things into it. My understanding was that I should wait for a sign and then just go. At 10:30 a.m. I got the sign but hesitated as I was not sure in my worried state that it was not my imagination. Within minutes I got the sign again as if in confirmation. I then had further confirmation when I heard the sound of a car engine. I looked out and saw a 4×4 Range Rover-type vehicle go past. “What a result”, I thought. I could simply aim my wheels into the tyre tracks of the 4×4 and all would be OK. It was now time to leave.

I had no choice but to drive in the direction I was facing because the narrowness of the road coupled with the thick snow made it impossible to turn around anyway. It was 0.6 of a mile up to the T-junction that would connect me with The Roman Road. The wise Keith informed me that I would be OK once I got up to The Roman Road because it would have been gritted. I said “bye for now” to Keith and aimed my wheels into the tracks left by the 4×4. I had only driven a few metres when I realised I could be making the biggest mistake of my life. Once I set off I couldn’t turn around so I had no choice but to keep going. The car was sliding, the engine was revving and the wheels were turning quite rapidly, but the car was moving, seemingly at minus miles per hour; progress really was that slow.

Looking back, there was one particularly amusing moment at this stage, albeit that I wasn’t laughing at the time as I was already building up to a state of panic. Although it was fairly remote up in those hills there were a few other houses dotted around at various intervals, and I remember passing neighbours both on the left and right hand sides of the road. Both the woman from the house on the left and the man from the house on the right stared in complete and utter amazement at this car that was moving so slowly it may as well have been in reverse, being driven by some lunatic. They both had looks of sheer bewilderment on their faces, obviously trying to fathom out what I thought I was doing.

0.6 of a mile is no distance at all, and normally it would take a couple of minutes at the most to reach the T-junction. But these were not normal circumstances. The narrow road is very windy in places and separated from the fields on either side by walls made from something similar to Cotswold Stone. The car edged its way round a slight bend and the houses were out of sight. I was now driving in a blizzard, still extremely slowly and all I could see was white. Everywhere I looked nothing but white. I started to get scared; I also started to think that I would get stuck, and thoughts such as “I might miss my flight” raced through my mind. Working at the centre near Banbury and the trip to Copenhagen were so important to me it was unthinkable that I might get stranded. Every now and then the car would skid towards a wall and I had thoughts of horror that my lights would get smashed. I called out for Baba to help me, and miraculously, every time the car skidded towards a wall, it stopped centimetres before impact. Little did I know that the fun was only just beginning.

At approximately the half-way point there is a real hair pin bend in the road. As the car went around this bend, it skidded and stalled and ended up sitting diagonally across the road. By now I was really panicking. I got out of the car to assess the situation, I was a nervous wreck and kept calling out to Baba to help me. I got back in the car and started it up. I put it into gear, gave it a few revs and to my amazement I was on the move again. I skidded a few more times along the way but eventually, after what seemed like an entire age, I made it up to the T-junction. This is where things started to get interesting.

My master plan was to turn right onto The Roman Road, which would have been gritted (I know this because the wise Keith said it would be so), I would then follow the road down into the village of Cellan (pronounced Keck-Lan) where the roads would also have been gritted. I was then going to drive through Cellan, up to the main A Road and turn right into Lampeter where I would nip into the library and use the facilities before setting off for Swindon. Unfortunately, things very rarely go according to plan in this world. As I said, I was already a nervous wreck, but I found to my horror that The Roman Road had not been gritted (what happened Keith!?!!??). I had to turn right, it was pointless turning left, but I knew that at some stage the road down into Cellan became very steep and my brakes would be useless in the snow.

When I first turned onto The Roman Road it didn’t seem too bad, but it wasn’t long before I was skidding again. Along this stretch of road there were not only stone walls either side, but at some points there were also ditches. I continued to call out for Baba to help me, and as before, every time I thought I was going to hit a wall or go into a ditch, the car stopped in the nick of time. When I got to the steep part of the road I just gripped onto the wheel for dear life; it was at this point that I learned the meaning of white knuckle ride. I was screaming for Baba now, literally, and I continued to hold onto the wheel for all I was worth. The car skidded, and even though I’ve known for ages that you are supposed to steer into a skid, what did I do? I can’t believe that I steered against it, but that’s what I did. The inevitable happened. I screamed some more and the car stalled again with the back-end appearing to be in a ditch.

I can’t remember if I got out of the car at this stage but I do remember starting it up again and putting it into gear. As before, I gave it a few revs, eased off the clutch and the car just started moving. Unbelievable! My heart rose as I thought I recognised a land mark through the whiteness that told me I was near the bottom of the hill. But it sunk again just as quickly when it appeared to be not so. As it turned out it was only the whiteness playing tricks on my eyes, and my heart rose again when I realised I was virtually at the bottom of the hill. “Nearly there”, I thought as I tried to gather myself for the last stage of the journey. I turned left along the road through Cellan to find that it also had not been gritted. Luckily, this road was wider, it was on the flat and there were also passing places.

There was also the added bonus of the snow no longer falling on the lower ground. Unfortunately, regardless of the passing places the snow still made it very difficult for two cars to pass each other. However, this road was busier than the mountain roads, therefore the problem was more with slush rather than snow and there was still an element of skidding. But to my amazement, every time I encountered a vehicle coming the other way, I was perfectly placed to pull into a recess. About three-quarters of the way through the village my heart rejoiced as the road was suddenly clear. I got to the junction and found that the busy A road in and out of Lampeter was also clear. I turned right into Lampeter and by the time I parked the car I was just about starting to return to some kind of normality, but nonetheless, I was trying to get my head around what I’d just experienced and wondered if it had actually happened. I just couldn’t believe it. It defied all human logic that anyone would be able to drive a car down from those hills in those weather conditions. When I spoke to Keith some time later he said he’d been snowed in for a number of days.

I did what I had to do in the library and set off on my journey. The road was clear and all of a sudden everything was rosy again. I’d driven a couple of miles out of Lampeter when something else quite amusing happened. I was driving along minding my own business when all of a sudden a voice in my head, that was as clear as a bell, said “you should have seen your face, it was a picture”. At first I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but I saw the funny side of things and had a chuckle to myself.

My route took me through the Brecon Beacons, and as I was approaching this most beautiful part of the world, the snow started coming down again. I suppose this was understandable as I was once again on high ground. The good thing was that there was a fair amount of traffic on the road and I just tried to keep my wheels in the tracks of the cars in front. There was a fair amount of slipping and sliding and the journey through the Brecons was very slow, but thankfully I reached the low ground without any problems. As I got further and further towards England the snow became less and less. Then just beyond Monmouth it was no more than a bit of sleet, until finally, as I neared Ross-On-Wye there was no evidence that even so much as a single snow flake had fallen from the sky. This just contributed to the strangeness of the day. I couldn’t stop reflecting on the morning’s events and still couldn’t quite believe what I had experienced.

Stay tuned folks, I’ll be back before you know it…

 

Who Am I? Part Twenty Six


A typical scene in the area above Lampeter where I lived.

My room was upstairs in the main house, which was an old farmhouse. There was a tiny attached cottage and a separate wooden cabin where the landlady lived. There had been a female tenant in the cottage, but things had gone to the dogs between the tenant and the landlady. There was a clash of personalities, but the tenant continued to live in the cottage for months amidst the awful atmosphere, until eventually moving on. I said to the landlady before I moved in, that if things didn’t work out I wouldn’t hang around like the previous tenant, I would move out immediately. Little did I know that the scenario would rear its head so quickly! However, an amusing little story for you, which demonstrates the strange ways in which spirit work.

Soon after I moved in the landlady placed an ad for another tenant to occupy one of the other rooms in the house. Enter Keith… She had advertised for a non-smoking vegetarian, however, Keith smoked like a trooper and ate meat like it was going out of fashion. He came up to the house to have a look, and for reasons known only to the Gods, he was offered the room. The first night he was there, he went out into Lampeter and came back with a kebab. You couldn’t make it up; I don’t think the retreat ever once saw a morsel of meat until Keith moved in.

Another typical scene high up in the hills above Lampeter.

I wasn’t really happy at first, having to share with another bloke, but me and Keith hit it off. He was about 17 years younger than me, and thanks to my experience with having the entities attached to me, I was able to see that he was a troubled soul. He’d had quite a chequered life, having once been a squatter in Hackney, London and having gone through his drug period. We were chatting in the kitchen one night and he told me he was getting voices in the head, and they were telling him that his ex-girlfriend was from outer space and that she had killed herself. I knew straight away what it was and I was able to explain to Keith that I could help him. Thankfully, he was open to what I was saying and at the first opportunity I contacted Sue and John in Gloucester. They told me to tell Keith to be in the house at a certain time on a certain day and they would perform the rescue work absently. Just as we did when I used to sit with them, they did the work in one of the development groups. Keith never looked back after that. Over the years he obtained a couple of university degrees, which enabled him to become a social worker and mental health worker. I was really pleased for him, but I haven’t seen him in years. However, I digress…

It wasn’t long before I realised the harshness of what I’d let myself in for. That winter seemed endless and the nights up in the hills were long and dark. Of course, I’d visited during winter before, but only for a few days at a time. To now be actually living here was a different barrel of monkeys. I thought that all I needed to do would be to put up a few posters here and there and place a few ads, and the work would come flying in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. I made contact with the few spiritualist churches in the area, and so I was reaching a wider audience, however, you cannot earn a living by serving spiritualist churches, and for practical reasons you cannot have the same medium serving every week. Ironically, the bulk of my work was still in South West England. So, I’d moved to West Wales, but I was constantly backwards and forwards to the South West of England.

Another thing that I eventually found out was that even though this area above Lampeter was an area of outstanding beauty, it was also rife with negative Ley lines. It was no wonder that most of the people I encountered living up there had deep-rooted psychological problems; and that included my landlady. Ironically, most of them also worked professionally on a one-to-one or group basis with people who had problems of one sort or another, and yes, my landlady was an NLP practitioner, amongst other things! I will be the first to admit that I was not entirely innocent in things turning sour at the Court of Circles, but there was an incident that occurred one Saturday afternoon. I had a bit of a run-in with the next door neighbour who lived about 100 yards away. I’d gone out onto the quite narrow road outside and collected some twigs for kindling. After I got back inside the neighbour came to the door and accused me of stealing her twigs. She said I’d collected them from a stretch of road that was owned by her (this wasn’t true, it was a public road). She also accused me of climbing on her wall; this was also not true. I’m afraid I was less than polite, although I refrained from using bad language.

About a month later the neighbour crossed paths with my landlady and related this ridiculous story to her. My landlady believed the neighbour and that was the end of my stay at the Court of Circles. I decided I couldn’t live under these conditions and gave one month’s notice. She wasn’t happy, and there was an incident a few days after I gave her my notice of leaving, where she was screaming at me from across the kitchen table. It was all pretty dark stuff, but things were rolling in my favour. I’d got to know Keith’s mum and stepdad, and there was a music venue in Tregaron where we would sometimes go on Friday nights. This was before the smoking ban, but it was a non-smoking venue, which was really good. I went there this particular evening; it was only a matter of two hours after I’d been confronted by my landlady over “the mysterious incident of the stolen twigs”. I was telling Carol and Bruce what had happened. Bruce said they were thinking of installing a caravan on their land, and if I wanted I could rent it from them. I didn’t need asking twice.

In the meantime I’d been booked at what was a new venue for me, near Banbury, and I’d also been asked to go to Copenhagen to run a weekend meditation workshop, and do some private readings and healing. I’d taken to teaching like a duck to water, and my development group in Trowbridge had been very successful; in a way it was a shame that I had to leave it. But the feedback I got from the people who sat with me was great and I know they missed working with me. So things were looking up. Now, I will just say, that this period is going to run into yet another post because it will be much too long otherwise. So, I think part 27 is going to tie up all the loose ends bringing us up to April 2005. The roller coaster is about to gather speed!