I think the utter craziness of my life can be summed up via the events of the two trips to Copenhagen I made back in 2004. It first came about because I was working one night at a spiritualist church in Oxfordshire; this was during July 2003 before I moved to Wales. There was a Danish lady, Annie, in the congregation whose company had an office in Oxford and she was temporarily assigned to that office. She approached me after the event and asked if I could go to her house and do some private work. We arranged a date, and one Saturday morning I ventured over to Oxford. We ended up doing meditation and healing, as well as the private reading. She asked if I could do the same for a friend who would be visiting, and we arranged that I would go back within the coming weeks. The ladies explained that they had engaged the services, on many occasions, of a lady medium from England to go to Copenhagen and carry out private readings etc. At the time this sort of thing wasn’t very common in Denmark. They went on to explain that the lady was now getting older and she found it quite difficult to make the trip, so would I be interested in going. I didn’t need asking twice, and it was arranged that I would go to Copenhagen during the first week of March 2004; you may recall my snow shenanigans? Well, I made the second journey roughly six weeks later. Annie was back in Denmark by this time and I stayed in the basement flat of her amazing house for the duration of both trips.
The crazy thing was that I was just a bloke who was technically homeless (I had to leave the Court of Circles and at this point there was no caravan in place at Keith’s mum and step-dad’s place) and I virtually didn’t have a bean to my name. Many of my clients in Copenhagen however, lived in a world that I could only dream of. One man owned a management training company and a publishing company. Annie’s friend, who I did the reading for, had some sort of high-powered job and another lady was a director of one of the largest recruitment consultancies in Denmark. During a break in the workshop I ran during my first trip, I was chatting to a lady who casually informed me that she was a lawyer at the EU Headquarters in Brussels, and her day job was as a lobbyist at the Court of Human Rights AND, she had come home specially for the weekend so that she could attend my workshop with her mother. Annie herself was a director of a big company and has extensive experience in clinical Oncology. She has since changed jobs, but to give you an idea of the kind of work she does, during my second trip, she got up one morning at “silly o’clock”, drove to Copenhagen Airport and caught a flight to London Heathrow. She then got a taxi to Oxford and attended a two-hour meeting; after which, she took a taxi back to Heathrow and caught a flight to Copenhagen. She got back home at 11:00pm that night; and these people were coming to ME for guidance? You most certainly couldn’t make it up. To quote Madness, it was..well.. “Madness”.
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.
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!
I inadvertently gave you false information in Part Fifteen; I remembered after posting that I did not go to the doctors straight away. I don’t know why, but my recollection of other events indicates that I actually left it until around October/November time before going to the doctor. I was kind of enjoying working full-time again, in an environment that wasn’t only very clean, but also completely alien to what I was used to. I’d never worked in an office environment before and I’d never worked with computers before. More good news followed in November 1996 when my job was made permanent. Being a fully fledged employee meant that I was earning more money, so things were looking up. However, I had regularly pondered what Whitey had said to me that day in college, and I came to the conclusion that I had to do something. I was prescribed some tablets at my own request, and of course, you were not meant to be drinking alcohol whilst taking them. I tried to be good, but my version of being good was only having a couple of pints of beer in the evening; sometimes I would exceed that. Then something happened that caused me to take drastic action.
I was well settled into the job and I got on great with most people in the organisation. It was approaching Christmas time; I would guess a coupe of weeks before. The company hired out one of the nightclubs in the centre of Swindon on an evening when they were not normally open, so it would have been a Monday or Tuesday. This was to be our Christmas do! Because of the alcohol thing with the tablets, I decided in my wisdom that I would stop taking them a couple of days before the party, get hammered with my work mates and then start taking them again afterwards. Anyway, I don’t think I really had all that much to drink, compared with what I was used to, but I woke up the next morning with the mother of all hangovers. I’d experienced hangovers in my time but this was ridiculous. Luckily, I didn’t have to start work until mid-day. I somehow managed to drive in but it was still a horrendous experience trying to do my job. What I haven’t mentioned is that I worked on a call centre trying to placate angry customers. That wasn’t what it was supposed to be, but because of the utter contempt that the company seemed to have for its customers, that’s what we were doing a lot of the time. It was a such a relief when I finished my shift that evening.
A few days later somebody told me some of the things I’d been doing on the night of the party. I was horrified; more so because I had no recollection whatsoever. I happened to mention that I’d been taking happy pills but had stopped taking them a couple of days before so that I could have a drink. The same person explained to me that those tablets take several weeks to leave your system once you stop taking them. I decided enough is enough. I got the tablets and flushed them down the toilet and then simply got myself by the scruff of the neck and sorted my head out. It worked! In a short time I was no longer suffering with depression. Now, I realise that this sounds a little bit too simple, but it isn’t the last word on the subject and I will return to it as my series of posts draws to a conclusion.
1997 brought with it more changes. I’d realised that my relationship with my landlady was becoming somewhat strained. The first 18 months had been very harmonious, but I was now approaching the four-year mark and I thought it best to jump before being pushed. One lunch time I took a stroll into the Gorse Hill area of Swindon, and as I walked past a hairdressers, I saw a sign on the door that said, “flat to let”. I went in to make some enquiries and before I knew where I was, I was moving into the flat above “LA Hairport”, in Cricklade Road, Swindon. This was great for me, it was a big change from my tiny room in the house in Penhill. I was also without a car again, having run my previous car into the ground, and the flat was around 10 minutes walk from work. Since leaving college I’d kept in touch with John Williams and he continued to get me work with the murder mystery company he was involved with and also another company that he’d set up himself with another lady. John also put on theatre nights in the town of Highworth where he lived (just outside Swindon), which he got me involved with. This wasn’t paid work but I just loved performing. He also got me into The One-Act Play Festival, at Swindon Arts Centre. On top of all this I joined a theatre company.
Head To Toe Theatre Company was based in Swindon. Although an amateur group it wasn’t the kind of namby-pamby amateur dramatics that you find in most villages and towns up and down the country. Head To Toe specialised in some of the darker works of Shakespeare and the productions tended to be extremely intense and powerful. The only thing was that it was quite a close-knit group; some of them had known each other from school days, so I was always a bit of an outsider. A couple of them were unreliable too when it came to turning up for rehearsals and there was of course the bickering that you always get when creative people are gathered together. I played George, Duke of Clarence in a production of Henry VI Part Three, which is the play that charts the rise of Richard, Duke of Gloucester as he murders his way to the throne to become Richard III. It was a fantastic experience but it turned out to be the only play I did with them as I left the following year having become fed up with the childish behaviour.
I ventured back to the Spiritualist church from time to time, mainly to avail myself of the spiritual healing. I’d managed to give myself knee ligament damage in both knees due to excessive use of the treadmill in the gym. At the time I didn’t know it was knee ligament damage because I hadn’t been to the doctors. But amusingly, I would go to the church on a Saturday or Sunday night, have healing and then go to the pub. I would then walk home from the Old Town area of Swindon and then wake up the next morning wondering why my knees were hurting!
1998 brought more changes; in fact life was leading me to places I never knew existed.