Who Am I? Part Twenty Nine


The Orchards Residential Care Home, Wroughton. Where Mrs H received great care.

We were now approaching the end of 2005 and there had been yet more adjustments to my living situation. For various reasons Sue had to sell her house, so she moved into her son, Shaun’s, house, and he went to live with his girlfriend. Also, a friend of Shaun’s needed a favour regarding somewhere to live, so Sue asked me if I would move into the spare room in Shaun’s house while Shaun’s friend moved into Justin’s flat. In the meantime, a couple known to myself and Sue, who lived in the town of Cirencester, approximately 11 miles from Swindon were looking to let out a flat. It was a very strange situation, but the upshot of it was that they did not want any rent; the person going in there simply had to pay their own bills. They had offered it to Sue, having empathized with her situation, but tempted as she was, Sue didn’t want to be 11 miles away from all her family and grand kids etc. I very cheekily suggested that she should drop a few hints to them in my direction; to which Sue replied, “I’ve already thought of that”.

The situation was strange indeed. The house in Cirencester had been converted to accommodate a “granny flat” on the upper level. The lower level was essentially still a house, albeit without an upstairs. The granny flat had been occupied by the lady of the house’s mother, who had died. The elderly lady had lived a long life and the end had been somewhat inevitable, however, the daughter had found it impossible to get over her mother’s death and continued to be affected by it. As a result, the elderly lady’s possessions had never been cleared out; all the furniture and ornaments etc. were exactly how they had been when the flat was occupied. All this didn’t bother me, and thanks to Sue, I was duly offered the flat. Apart from having to pay the bills, the only other condition was that I couldn’t shift any of the old lady’s things around; everything had to remain the same. I moved in on the day before Christmas Eve 2005, and in the early hours of Christmas Eve the flat was duly christened by my first out-of-body experience whilst in occupancy.

At first this was an incredible help to me. For around four months I felt as though I had some stability; and I’d not felt that for years. I got on well with the owners and I even ran a development group in the flat every Thursday night. However, things that seem too good to be true generally are…

I’d met the owners through one of the spiritualist churches that I served and they’d invited me around to do some private readings. It transpired that they had readings roughly every 10 days; it must have cost them a fortune! The reason being that the lady of the house’s psychological well-being was not very stable. She was unable to accept that her mother had died, so in an effort to appease her, the husband was constantly booking mediums in the hope that they would bring the mother through. I eventually realised that the mediums who told them what they wanted to hear were invited into what I called “the inner sanctum”. This meant that they would be periodically invited round for a meal and to carry out readings. If a medium was booked and didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear, they were never invited again. I think that when they let me have the flat they thought they were going to get “messages on tap” from the departed mother. Unfortunately, I don’t work like that.

Apart from in the early days, I have always been a very disciplined medium. I do not go around with spirit jabbering in my ears all day. The only time I’m tuned in is when I’m working. When I get called to time, my mediumship cuts out and stays cut out until the next time I am required to work in a professional capacity.

Everything was going swimmingly well until around early April 2006. I thought I was imagining things at first, but as a few weeks went by, I realised that the lady of the house was no longer speaking to me. I knew that something was just over the horizon, and sure enough, before we were half-way through May I was told that they wanted their flat back. At first it was very amicable, I was told that there was no rush and to take my time. But as the weeks went by it was made obvious to me that I was over-staying my welcome. Eventually, I signed up to the housing association in Cirencester, and in what seemed like no time at all, I had a flat in a converted Baptist Church in a village called Avening, roughly 10 miles away. I was in this flat for almost two years; it was a period that again represented a rather strange time in my life.

I completed my move from Cirencester in August 2006. At first everything was fine, apart from the lack of windows and natural light in the flat, it wasn’t bad, and I was thankful for a roof over my head. But at the tail end of 2006 the nice neighbours upstairs moved out, and a not so nice neighbour moved in. It then became apparent, mainly due to the old church having a grave yard on the grounds, that there was a problem with entities. Sue and John Geis sorted out the entity problem for me; there was one very comical moment when I was in the grave yard trying to act inconspicuously, before placing  a programmed quartz crystal into a strategic position in the ground.

2007 was a mixed year. I wasn’t happy at all living in Avening, but on the plus side I was able to get a job as a support worker, within walking distance of my flat. This supplemented my income, and I was also covering a lot of miles with my spiritual work. My out-of-body experiences had been fairly consistent since the onset in the late 1990s, and Sri Sathya Sai Baba continued to reach out to me across time and space. Another thing that happened was that at some stage it became apparent that Mrs H’s physical health was deteriorating, and The Orchards would soon no longer be able to provide suitable care. I needed to get my mum moved into a nursing home, and after a bit of hassle, I managed to get her a place in a home just off the Oxford Road in Swindon. The home itself wasn’t very nice and it seemed that the owners were only interested in making money, but the staff seemed to be really good, which to me was the main thing.

So, my mum was in her new residence and I was getting busier; I also got fed up with the support worker job in Avening, and I got another support worker job with another company that got me out and about more. 2007 transitioned into 2008 and I would soon be on the move yet again….

 

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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 Four


Just prior to moving into Sad Steve’s place, another friend of mine, Rob, approached me and said he was looking for a lodger. I told him that I was looking to move, but after we agreed that I would rent a room from him, he had big problems in his personal life and it all fell through. However, it would rear its head again before long. So, I was doing well in the spiritual development group in Gloucester and I had moved into Sad Steve’s house. So far, so good.

Another friend of mine, Jacqui, that I knew from working on the call centre, had left the company, taken her kids and moved to Swansea to do a university course. Jacqui was a single mum and I’d always admired the way she took life by the scruff of the neck every time it tried to batter her down. We had got on well and kept in touch, and we had arranged for me to go and visit her; it was during the time in the UK when we have three bank holidays in quick succession, but I can’t remember which particular one it was. A day or two before I was due to set off, I had a phone call from John Geis. He asked what I was doing on the coming Saturday at around 11:00 am. I said I was going to Wales; why? He said he wanted me to come to the centre because they “wanted to bring me on spiritually”. I thought, “how convenient”, I had to drive right past the centre on my way to Swansea. I felt rather pleased with myself; I was obviously doing so well in the group that they wanted to elevate me to new heights. Well, it wasn’t quite like that…

When I got there I was ushered into the healing room, where I saw four chairs arranged in a circle. There was John, his wife Sue, and another lady who had been going to the centre for a long time. We sat around in a circle and John laid it on me. There had been a healing workshop at the centre a few weeks previously, and a lady that I’d worked with during the course of the day had told John and Sue that she’d felt something really negative around me. John and Sue have ways of investigating these things and they proceeded to tell me that I had several negative entities attached to me. They also explained the implications and went on to say that in all likelihood, they had been there for many years. It explained so much. This would have contributed greatly to the terrible depression that I experienced; it explained not being able to get to sleep during my darkest times, it explained the intensity of the pain I experienced and it also explained how my mood could change so quickly. These are all classic symptoms of entity attachment. People who don’t understand the concept of having entities, either attached to a property or a person, tend to call these things poltergeists or evil spirits.

It seems I’d been summoned in order that John, Sue and the other lady could carry out what we call “rescue work”. In other words, they would remove the spirit attachments and send them back to the light in order that they too could carry on their spiritual journey. Religion tends not to understand this kind of thing and still employs the extremely cruel and outdated method of exorcism. Exorcism simply invokes horrendous energies that chase the “stuck” soul away. Exorcism does not guide lost souls back to the light, so all that happens is that they end up somewhere else and have to start all over again. Normally, if an entity is in a house and causing ructions, it’s not because it’s evil. It’s simply trying to attract attention because it needs help. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but that is a story for another day. It was an interesting experience, which once commenced, was over quite quickly. This was yet another step forward.

Some weeks later it emerged that there was another stage of cleansing that I had to go through that would finally allow me to leave my old sad self behind. This was something that came along unexpectedly and it wasn’t very nice. We were sitting in our development circle one Tuesday night, and during one of our meditations, I had the most horrific experience. It is not relevant to go into details but I can explain the concept. Imagine that a motorbike has revved up and driven away. The bike is soon out of sight, but you can still hear the engine in the distance, and even as the sound of the engine fades away, you can still smell the exhaust fumes. Well, that is the same principle as what I experienced. I’d had a lot of inner “stuff” dissolved via a combination of the operation in Chelmsford, the removal of the entities and the discipline of attending the development group and my own meditation regime. However, the exhaust fumes of my past were still hanging around; and it was the dissipation of these exhaust fumes that gave me the very unpleasant experience during the meditation. But the blackness from the cesspit that had formed within my soul was now gone forever. I was free from my past.

Before long I started to go out with Sue and John when they were serving Spiritualist churches. I would do the reading, if it was a Divine Service, and also one or two mediumistic messages. Come June 2002 I was out on my own. Then by the end of 2002 I was asked to run a development group of my own in Trowbridge. I was suddenly extremely busy. I was working full-time, sitting in the development group on Tuesdays (except if I had a church booking as a medium), I was running my own group every other Wednesday and I was serving churches at weekends (although it was not every weekend). It was still a very busy life, and in march 2002 another change was instigated.

I was at work one day at the utility company when the phone rang. I was surprised to hear that it was Rob on the other end. He wanted to know what my living situation was. I told him I was living at Sad Steve’s and how it was driving me up the wall. He apologised profusely for what had happened before and said that things had changed and he was looking for a lodger. His relationship had broken up (again) and he wanted someone he knew and trusted. Rob and I knew each other from the gym, we had become friends through our common interest of being fans of Chelsea FC. I accepted his offer. It was again very cheap, although not quite as cheap as Sad Steve and there would be none of this “no visitors after 9:00 pm” rubbish. Living at Steve’s had served a purpose, but it was now time to move on. Living with Rob was not without its problems and in October 2003 I was on the move again. Watch this space; we are heading for some incredible times…

 

Who Am I? Part Nineteen


When the fertilizer hit the fan at work I found that I still had a job, but not the one I’d been doing. It is not relevant to go into too much detail here so many years after the event, instead I will simply relate the main points. The marketing division was unrecognisable from that day in mid December 1998, when the “Swindon crew” rocked up in Reading for the first time. There had been many comings and goings, new jobs, but mainly for people with specific qualifications and young graduates. It was apparent that I was a fish out of water; at one point I was turning up for work in the knowledge that I didn’t really have a job. It was clear to me that I did not fit into the model of the division and that I was on borrowed time. Things got quite intense when I put up resistance to what was happening to me. It didn’t go down well that I was fighting my corner. I remember it being a terrible feeling, working in a place where I didn’t actually have a job. It was also obvious to all my workmates as well, but in the corporate world there is no room for sentiment and it was all about self-preservation. I could see that Gary and Huw were not comfortable with what was happening to me, but Gary had a position of great responsibility and had to get on with his own stuff. Huw as well; his job changed drastically and he was flying, but I will always respect that through that difficult time they remained friends.

Things eventually came to a head when my stubbornness won me a battle. However, it did not win me the war, because I turned up for work one day and the stress of everything had finally taken its toll. I sat down at my desk and had a pain above my eyes. I had not been myself for months; I’d not been sleeping well, drinking every night and with the realisation that I was now a “dead man walking”, having irritated management even more by winning my little battle against them, I had nothing more to give. I was spent. I was told to go home and I would spend six months off work with an acute stress related illness…. And it was the best thing that ever happened to me! Meanwhile…

The open circle became very frustrating. I was like a caged lion, hungry for knowledge of the spirit, and I wasn’t going to get it in a spiritualist church. But, while I was off sick I encountered Sue and John Geis; they ran a spiritual development centre in Gloucester. I got chatting to John at a charity clairvoyant night at Swindon Town Football Club in September 2000. I’d met him before when he’d been working at the church. John’s wife Sue was one of three mediums working that night and I, along with my friend (also called Sue) were helping out with the teas. We were chatting and out of the blue John asked me if I would be interested in developing spiritually. I didn’t need asking twice and I gave him my number. Hold that thought…

We were now into the new millennium and me and Sue, the graphic designer, were history; we had split for good around April 2000. I was off work from early September 2000 to March 2001, and that was a crazy time for me. I was full of anger and hatred towards those at work who I considered were responsible for my plight. The negative emotions festered within me and I became more bitter with each passing day. At first Huw kept in touch, and when Gary was in town we would meet up. But I became a very difficult and negative person to be around and eventually the phone stopped ringing.

It was just me, in my flat above the hairdressers, with my booze, my hatred and my anger. I hadn’t felt like this for a few years, but in that time of misery, every now and then, out of the blue, the phone would ring and it would be Sue. It was probably at this time that I realised what I’d lost. It was apparent that Sue Crewe was an exceptional human being with a heart of gold. She was genuinely concerned about me; even though she was now in a new relationship with a man she would eventually marry and have two lovely children with. She still thought about me and made the time to get in touch. I am eternally grateful for that. meanwhile….

It was around 1999 that I started having strange experiences in the early hours of the morning. Hold that thought because I’m going to elaborate in the next post.

There were some very significant events during my time in the grip of my self-made hell. I’d started trying to meditate. It was my own version but it suited where I was on my journey. I’d also got to know of a book called, “Discover Your Psychic Powers”, by an author called Tara Ward. Not the sort of book I would read today, but very significant indeed back then. It was one of those books that gives you exercises to do. I remember one day I was reading a particular chapter, and there was an exercise that was about forgiving those who you perceive to have done you wrong. The hackles went up and I put the book down in disgust. I wasn’t going to forgive anyone! It must have been a few months later (as I’m quite a slow reader) that I came to a passage that said, “please refer to the exercise on page …”. I leafed back through the book and to my disgust I saw it was the exercise about forgiving people. Once again I shut the book in a defiant mood; there was no way I was going to forgive those b*#*##*!!!!!!!

A few days later something inside me felt that if I was encountering this exercise twice, there must be something in it. I felt that someone, somewhere was trying to tell me something. I decided I was going to give it a go, but it took me a couple of days to psyche myself up, such was the depth of my anger and hatred. The time came and I sat down to do the exercise. I remember that I kind of put my own spin on it. I did a meditation, in which I divided all my “enemies” from work into two groups, men and women. I visualised that I encountered all the men one by one in the street. I greeted them, shook them by the hand and wished them well on their way. I then visualised encountering the women, greeting them with a friendly hug, producing a bunch of flowers from behind my back and giving them the flowers as I wished them well on their way. It wasn’t that difficult. When I’d finished I stood up from my seat and to my amazement I had the tangible experience of feeling something rising up inside my stomach. I realised years later that this was my kundalini rising after so many years of being stuck.

The next significant thing to happen was that in between the Christmas and New Year of 2000/01 I got a phone call out of the blue from John Geis. He said he was starting up a new closed circle in January and would I like to participate. It was manna from heaven for me and I snapped up the chance. But that wasn’t all! He said that before the circle begins there is a chance, if I want, to attend a meditation workshop at their centre. I jumped at the chance to do this as well, and what a choice it was. In all the time I’d been going to the spiritualist church I’d never had any proper guidance with regard to meditation. But in the space of a few hours on this particular Saturday I experienced an explosion within my being of epic proportions. I’d never experienced anything like it in my life and my new adventure had begun.

I’m so glad to have been able to write two blog posts in such quick succession, as my chronic fatigue has not been very kind to me since my return from Nepal. Thanks for your patience!

Who Am I? Part Seventeen


This is the building on the Kembrey Park Industrial Estate (known as “Cherry Orchard”) where I worked for the utility company in the Corporate Accounts Dept.

1998 was a pretty good year. As the months went by I decided that I wanted to move on from the call centre and I watched the staff notice board closely to see what other vacancies came up. I saw a job advertised in Corporate Accounts and went for it. I was successful in my application, so after two years on the call centre I was on the move. It meant I would be working in a different building but on the same site. My feelings were that I wasn’t getting any younger, and having wasted my education and early working years, I decided that this was my last chance of building a career. I was now dealing with my own designated list of commercial customers. On the surface it seemed ideal, but some of the accounts were an absolute mess and of course, there were accounts that were in dispute. So, it wasn’t all plain sailing but it was better than having customers screaming in my ear.

I was settled in the flat and had a very close female friend, Maggie, who I spent a lot of time with. We’d been friends virtually since I started working full-time, and became very close during 1997. We went on holiday a few times together and in the summer of 1998 we became an item! There was 15 years between us, but Maggie was very mature for her age and we had some great times together.

Another change happened as the year was drawing to a close. Within the same office as the Corporate Accounts team there was the Key Accounts team. It was a very small team of two customer agents who looked after the biggest customers. These were the big corporations whose bills would be for hundreds of thousands of pounds, or even in excess of a million pounds. As well as the two customer agents there was three key account managers who were not office based. So, the agents would have their designated customer accounts to administer and the account managers would be on face-to-face terms with the customers “out in the field”, as they say. One of the agents was taking a team manager’s job and I was asked if I would like to take her place in key accounts. I agreed to move, but I only had to move a couple of feet as the girl I was replacing sat opposite me! Things appeared to be going swimmingly well. I had more stability within myself; and sinking into the depths of darkness seemed to be a thing of the past. The job might not have been the best paid in the world, but I was now earning more money than I’d ever earned in my life. I’d also developed a taste for red wine and Gorse Hill was a bachelor boy’s paradise with several supermarkets for buying my booze and a plethora of restaurants and fast food joints.

Me and Maggie had a good thing together but we were not joined at the hip. We would go for long country walks and meals, and during the time we’d known each other we visited the Lake District, Cornwall, Devon, the Peak District, Wales, Northumberland and the Isle of Wight to name just a few of the beautiful places our travels took us to. We both also liked our own space and sometimes we would not see each other for a week to ten days. Life was good and as we entered December 1998 I was given another opportunity. The manager of Corporate and Key Accounts approached me; I had only been in my new position for a couple of weeks, and he said that the industry was gong to go through drastic and exciting changes in the coming years. In line with these developments the organisation was forming a new Customer Marketing Division, which would be based in Reading. He said that I was under no obligation to move, however, the key account positions would be moving to Reading to form part of this new all-singing-all-dancing marketing division. He painted a rosy picture of sexy new jobs, with salaries to match, and gave me the impression that all else would be swept aside by this incredible tsunami of positive change that was going to engulf the industry. I was tempted, very tempted; and also excited, but commuting to Reading presented an obstacle. An 80 mile round trip every day! It would cost me a fortune in fuel.

A few days later I went to the spiritualist church and the medium came to me with a message. He said, “you are hesitating about something. You have been offered a golden opportunity”. I will never forget those words, “golden opportunity”. Had I known then exactly what that meant I might have declined the offer of the new position in Reading. But I was only thinking in worldly terms and on Monday morning I told the manager I was up for it. It’s a funny thing in life, that the soul’s definition of things is completely different to the human definition. As it happened it was a golden opportunity that I don’t regret, but it took me to a place of great pain first in order that I could free myself from the self-imposed shackles that had been holding me back for years.

It was agreed that the company would provide me with a rail warrant for the first six months. After that I would have to fend for myself, but I intended to use that six month period to nab one of the sexy new jobs that were being created. It all happened really quickly, two weeks before Christmas in 1998 I started the new job in Reading. The writing should have been on the wall from the off. Our Customer Services Director at the time, a lady called Jane May, took us all out for a celebration lunch to launch the new division. At that time there wasn’t that many of us, but the bill still came to £950, which was mainly for wine! Jane was a very nice lady who was always warm and friendly towards the staff, but soon after the official launch, she went off sick and we never saw her again. We were now into the early part of 1999. But I will finish with another little anecdote from the tail end of 1998.

I was still involved with the theatre productions put on by John Williams. Towards the end of 1998 he’d organised another night of theatre in Highworth. He gathered a group of actors together and we were to put on an extremely truncated production of Macbeth, to take place about two weeks before Christmas. John became the butt of the group’s jokes and it was obvious that the dynamic was not as it should be. To cut a long story short, the performance was absolutely awful, and it remains to this day the last time I ever set foot on a stage. I had made up my own batch of fake blood to use in the production, and in the dim light of the stage during the crucial moment, I’d managed to spill most of it onto the boards. On top of that the evening had ended with a distinctly icy atmosphere between John and the actors. He phoned me up a few days later; he wasn’t happy! He said he’d been given grief by the people who ran the community centre because of the fake blood all over the stage. He also expressed his general displeasure. A few months later I bumped into him in a supermarket in Swindon. There was no animosity between us, but it was the last time I ever saw him and my theatre days were over.

Soon my life would change forever!

PS See you when I get back from Nepal…

 

Who Am I? Part Eleven


You may or may not be surprised to hear that I’m off on my travels again in a couple of days time. Back up to the Scottish Highlands for about a week, so I wanted to write another post before setting off.

One good thing that came from my time living back in London with my mum and then moving back in with her after she moved to Swindon, was that in spite of the difficulties I had with her negativity, it gave us a chance to have some proper chats. It was during these chats that I learned the sordid truth of all the goings on within the family when I was a kid. However, I also gained an understanding of why my dad had been the way he was. Apparently, his mother had been a very beautiful woman who had died when he was only about five years old. He’d idolised his mother, but it wasn’t only her death that had affected him. His father, my Grandad Albert, had married again; ironically to a woman named Elsie, which was my mum’s name. She was a matron in one of the London hospitals and was a very ferocious woman. My dad and her clashed and he also had a very volatile relationship with Albert. I remember that they would fall out and not speak to each other for ages. In fact, when Albert died no one bothered to tell my dad; he found out around three months later during a phone call. It was always an awful experience for me as a kid when we went over there for visits. But finding all this stuff out gave me clarity as to why my dad had been so emotionally barren. It wasn’t that he didn’t love; he simply didn’t know how to express it. I could also see that he had simply lived his life in accordance with the understanding he had at that time, as do all of us. Big respect old boy!

So, back to the late 1980s. I started going to the Spiritualist church on a regular basis and I also had an idea to start my own business. I found the church to be not very welcoming, it was rather cliquey and run mainly by elderly people who appeared to view me with suspicion. I remember one particular incident. It was announced at the weekend that during the coming week there was to be a games night in the church. The idea was that people could have some “fun” in a less formal atmosphere and get to know each other. It sounded good to me so I went along. It turned out to be a bit of a farce; Only around seven people turned up, including me, and with the exception of one woman who was aged somewhere in between me and the older ones, nobody spoke to me. Even if I was interacting with them during the “fun and games”, they just looked at me in ways that suggested they didn’t think I should be there. I didn’t let this put me off and I made enquiries about doing their spiritual healing course. One thing I decided was that I wanted to follow-up on what Mr Dowding had told me about developing my healing gift.

Trainee healers were not allowed to put their hands on patients until deemed ready by the lead healer. So, apart from the written element of the course, I was allowed to sit in during healing sessions but I was only permitted to observe or send out healing thoughts. I was doing well with the written work; I was about one-third of the way through and had gained good marks up to that point. Then an incident occurred that caused me to walk away; and I stayed away for around five years. As I’ve already mentioned there is a lead healer; this is something that is synonymous with Spiritualist churches. I had a private nickname for our particular lead healer, which was “The King of The Healers”.

I mentioned to the president of the church that I’d been doing really well with the written work and had gained good marks. In view of this, I asked if it would be permissible for me to now just hold the patient’s hands as they received healing from one of the trained healers. The president said this would be fine so, feeling rather pleased with myself, I was looking forward to the next healing night. The time came and I thought I’d better mention the holding hands thing to the lead healer instead of just steaming in. When I did so, The King of The Healers had a mini-meltdown because he had not been consulted. In hindsight I was not aware of the protocol and had acted in complete innocence, but nonetheless, the lead healer appeared to have a massive ego; hence my nickname for him, and added to the general bad atmosphere in the church, I decided that I no longer wanted any part of it and voted with my feet. I was still quite a young man at the time and my impression was that as long as I sat in the congregation and kept my mouth shut all was fine. But because I wanted to get involved I was perceived as a threat.

As for my business venture, it was great experience, but sadly, it was doomed from the start. Back in those days there was a thing called “The Enterprise Allowance Scheme”. It was a government-run scheme that encouraged people to start up their own businesses by paying them £40 per week for the first 12 months. However, it was a bit of a Catch 22 situation; well it was for someone like me who was skint! In order to be eligible you needed to have some cash to put into the business. So, the natural thing is to ask the bank for some money… but the bank won’t give you any money unless you have some of your own to put in. Holmsey cunning was needed, so I asked my mum to lend me £2000, which I put into my bank account. I then said to the bank, “look, I’ve got some money”! The bank then gave me a business account with a £2000 overdraft facility. I was then able to approach the Enterprise Allowance Scheme and qualify for the £40 a week. Soon as everything was in place I paid my mum her £2000 back. I had the idea of selling second-hand vinyl from a market stall. I soon learned that you couldn’t earn a living by only offering the public stuff that you yourself liked.

The murky world of market trading was another real learning curve for me. It was soul-destroying at times. Long hours and quite often not even taking enough money to cover my daily outgoings. When I realised I couldn’t make a living by selling second-hand rock albums, I started selling cassettes and pop merchandise; I also started selling the type of music that people actually wanted! I have to chuckle when I look back on this period. Some of the markets where I traded attracted elderly people who wanted to spend 50p on anything other than what I was selling, and young single mums looking to buy cheap disposable nappies. I would be there selling Guns n Roses and Sex Pistols T-shirts and albums by popular “easy listening” bands such as Black Sabbath and The Who! Eventually I did come around to the idea of changing my sales and marketing strategy!

It was a real cut-throat world and I encountered a few dodgy characters along the way. Two things that I found though, and this seems to have been the case everywhere and with everything I’ve ever been involved in. Firstly, I didn’t fit in. I felt very uncomfortable around some of the people I had to associate with; and at this point in my life I still didn’t understand why I always felt different. Secondly, through all the darkness and murkiness of this period (I was well and truly on the downward slope by this time), there was someone who always looked out for me. In this instance it was Bill, who was the market Toby* for the council-run market in Marlborough where I plied my trade on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Bill had a family fruit and veg business and was one of two fruit and veg traders at Marlborough. He knew I was struggling, but I think he admired what I was trying to achieve as a one-man-band. I didn’t have a pitch, but he always made sure I got on. He had a word with the mobile butcher who let me pitch up at the side of his butcher’s wagon. Also, if any of the traders were sick or on holiday Bill would let me have their pitch. All I had to do in return was let him and the butcher have a free cassette from time to time. He never took any money off me because the pitch fees were already paid. I salute you Billy boy!

What little profit I made went towards keeping my old Citroen on the road by way of petrol and maintenance costs. I’d already started to think that maybe it wasn’t going to work and that I should look for a career change, when I did something incredibly stupid.

Carol’s sister and John were having a christening do in the church hall just up from Carol’s house. It was around ten months since we split and I’d bumped into John and her sisters on various occasions and had been invited. I was apprehensive but decided to go along. Carol was there and I did not go into the main hall where she was, choosing instead to hang out at the bar and chat to her sisters, her kids and John as they flitted in and out. Eventually, Carol came out to speak to me. We got on surprisingly well. Unfortunately, I allowed myself to get too involved and before I knew it, we were not only seeing each other again, but I’d moved back in with her. What followed wasn’t very nice, but I’m going to finish this post by sharing what happened when I had my first experience of the sustained presence of spirit around me.

I think this was the first time or one of the first times I took Carol to London. We were just outside the back door one evening in Gladstone Avenue and I felt the presence of spirit around me. I don’t know if I’d felt it before but this was unmistakable. I told Carol what I could feel and she said she felt it too. She was used to this kind of thing and told me it was my dad. The presence seemed to stay for quite a long time and it got stronger and stronger. In the end it got so strong I panicked and it stopped immediately. Carol said he’d deliberately increased the presence gradually as he had not wanted to frighten me. As soon as I started to panic he drew back.

*For the uninitiated, the word “Toby”, is market trader speak for the person who is in charge of the market. The Toby collects the pitch fees and controls who’s on and who isn’t.

 

Guest Writer


This is the first time I have had a non-author as a guest writer on my blog.  However, my latest guest nonetheless has a story to tell.  She requested that I use a pseudonym as she wished to remain anonymous, therefore I will now hand you over to Mary.

A Visit From Rob

In the summer of 2007 my husband passed to Spirit.  We had no children and I have no living relative so his loss really did mean the end of the life I had known. Overnight my companion, best friend, playmate and all the memories of 30 years disappeared and when it became apparent I could not expect any support  from ‘close friends’, I plunged headfirst into a loneliness and despair from which I had little expectation of ever emerging again.  My isolation was absolute.  I received no communication from the outside world for  months on end and as this state of misery  persisted found I had little will or energy to try and change things.  No one ever warns  just how exhausting the process of deep grieving is.

Evenings seemed to get lonelier as time passed. To shorten them I went to bed earlier and earlier.  But I could not sleep and the radio on low volume provided a level of companionable sound in an otherwise silent house. Whilst listening to a radio play one evening I became aware of the weight of a comforting arm around my shoulder and I lay for some while, completely still, scarcely breathing, lest the spell be broken.  But the spell did break and the weight seemed to dissolve and, for once, I slept deeply.

For many days I considered what had happened.  My heart said it was Rob but then I dismissed that idea as a fancy.    I was unsettled. Eventually I got the idea to seek out a reputable medium.  That interview was so comforting and uplifting that I started to attend my local Spiritualist Church regularly in the hope I would get more contact from my husband.

I waited two full years but no contact came. During that time I had got to know a few people at my local church and one evening one of them told me that I was waking on the stroke of 3 a.m each morning and that when this next happened I should rest on my elbows and make quite sure I was fully awake. I would then feel pressure on my leg. He could not say more except, that according to his Spirit Guide, I could expect something special.

On 28 October 2009 I awoke at 3am.  Mindful of what had been said I sat up in bed. I was definitely awake. The room was dark and chilly. I pulled the duvet up around my bare shoulders  and looked again at the time.  Four minutes had passed. I lay still for a bit longer and then felt a gentle pressure on the outside of my right calf.  I was stunned. Not knowing how to react I rolled over towards the centre of the bed and slid my hand under  the other pillows and there to my amazement Rob appeared to be laying beside me but on top of the bedclothes.  He was fully dressed in a sports jacket white shirt and golf club tie, navy trousers and highly polished shoes. He had his eyes shut and he looked beautiful. He had his usual outdoorsy tan but his skin had another quality, which I have no real means to describe to you. His skin had a silky, pearly quality as if subtly lit  from within. The effect of this light reminded me of white under ultra violet light but a gentler effect and not so stark or glaring. All this was clearly visible during the small hours in an unlit room in late October.

We talked but I do not remember seeing his lips move or hearing any sound.  It went thus:-

Me:   What are you doing here ?  Why have you come ?

Rob:  I was sent.

Me:    I am OK.  You don’t need to worry about me.

Rob:   I watched that film Ghost with you the other evening,

Me:   Yes Patrick Swayze died of the same thing as you and they are showing his films.

Rob:  I watched that other one with you too….Dirty something or other. Didn’t like it

Whilst we had this very mundane conversation Rob remained flat on his back whilst I was leaning on my elbow looking at him.  Over his abdomen I could see Bessie, my dog, asleep in her basket. She had not stirred.  I could see the time on the clock radio at the other side of the bed from mine. It was 3.20am. I could see the rest of the room clearly and in detail as if it was the middle of the afternoon.

Then Rob got up from the bed and walked around it towards the window. I made a note of his height against the cupboard door. He seemed to be looking at the curtain pole as if there was something wrong with it. The roller binds were pulled down. They are not blackout blinds  and I observed that it appeared to be as daylight outside which enabled me to see his face and for the first time I saw him with his eyes open as he turned towards me and gave me a very loving smile which was full of support and understanding. Whilst I watched him he simply melted away.

I was now laying on my back having watched Rob walk around the bedroom until he departed.  My clock said just 3.40am. The room had gone back to dark.  I was aware of how smooth my hands felt. Rubbing them together I noticed they made no noise. They felt as if I had used the very best of hand creams.  Then I realised my fingers and parts of my palms had the same light I had seen on Rob’s skin.  It was all very overwhelming emotionally and I chose to sleep and think about it all in the morning.

On waking everything that I remembered seemed like a dream. It was as if the act of sleeping had altered my belief that all this had actually happened. Had I dreamt it all ?  My first instinct was to get up and see what was wrong with the curtain pole and yes there was a mark just where Rob seemed to be looking.  Then I arranged pillows to check the sight line to the dog and the other radio alarm. Yes that all checked out too. And his height against the cupboard door measured correctly.  I needed a long walk to clear my mind.

On return I decided to speak to the medium who had for warned me.  And yes he already knew from his Spirit Guide I had received my night visitor.   I will add that neither before nor since this occurrence have I ever dreamt of Rob.  I am told this is because I would choose to stay with him and not return to live out the rest of my life.   What passes between us during my sleeping hours will never be remembered by me. Over two years after his visit and nearly five years after his passing I have never yet dreamt of him.

Mary