Saturday, 23 September 2017

On Track

Yes indeed. Back on track after a fab week on the sunny island of Kos; not a cloud to be seen and temperatures in the mid-30s Celsius - not bad for September. I'd never visited Kos before but I'm not surprised it's the fourth most popular destination in Greece after Crete, Rhodes and Corfu.

Situated in the Dodecanese and within touching distance of Turkey - which is why this year's earthquake, centred on the Turkish city of Bodrum, caused such damage across the strait in Kos Town - the island has a lovely relaxed feel to it, and more bicycles per head of population than Beijing. There are thousands of bikes for hire and miles of cycle-tracks in the towns and around the coast. Because Kos is relatively small (30 miles long and six wide) and relatively flat, cycling is a popular way to get around, making the island a bit like the Netherlands only with palm trees and permanent sunshine. Most squares and beaches and many tavernas are equipped with cycle-racks - all very eco-friendly.

Add to that the stunning scenery (example below) and the unfailing friendliness and hospitality of the locals, and I can understand why Kos has one of the highest revisiting rates. I certainly hope to go there again (though perhaps not sixteen years in a row, like one couple we met).

Aghios Stefanos beach (from this happy snapper's holiday portfolio)

Such friendliness has its basis in filotimo (φιλότιμο) considered to be the highest of Greek virtues, essentially a way of life. It literally means 'doing good' but really encompasses walking in right paths (on track!) and showing kindness and respect to all.

The island's most famous son, one Hippocrates (460 - 370 BC), who is often cited (with justification) as the father of modern Western medicine, exemplified filotimo and he and his students favoured an informed and holistic approach to their profession. He is credited with inspiring (if not coining) the Hippocratic Oath, the code of ethics that still binds doctors today with a duty to preserve life. Among the many aphorisms attributed to Hippocrates are these:

"Make a habit of two things - to help, or at least to do no harm."
"If we can find the cause, we can find the cure."
"Bad digestion is the root of all evil."
"Let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food."
"Wherever the art of medicine is practised, there is also the demonstration of humanity."
"Everything in excess is opposed to nature."
"Walking is man's best medicine."
"Health is not merely the absence of disease, it is the balance of mind, body and soul."

all clearly advocating the benefits of self-awareness, getting on track and walking in right paths.

Koan badge of honour (from this happy snapper's holiday portfolio)
Natives of Kos are known as Koans and the students and successors of Hippocrates were sometimes known as the Koan school. As I lazed on one of the island's beautiful beaches it occurred to me that Koan is a homonym and I started thinking about koans, those cryptic sayings beloved of Zen Buddhists, like "Imagine the sound of one hand clapping" that are used to provoke thought or contemplation and designed to lead the student to greater awareness and a realisation of the interconnectedness of all things.

Inspired by the sound of one wave lapping, I decided on today's poetic challenge - an effort which takes as its point of departure some of Hippocrates' most famed quotes and recasts them in koan-like form. (Well, I tried.)

Life is short, the learning is long.
How can its lessons be learned young?

Breathe with your eyes,
Measure with your heart,
Feed with your soul -
And if you founder, consider the whole.

Balance is of the essence,
Let nature show the way
And accept that doing nothing
Is sometimes sound remedy.

Talking leads to diagnosis,
Walking yields the best prognosis,
Thriving comes from symbiosis.

When everyone is a doctor, who is the sick man?

Thanks for reading. Happy trails, S ;-)

Friday, 22 September 2017

On Track

As you all know I do a lot of hillwalking and in order to keep myself up-to-date I took a refresher course in intermediate map reading about two years ago. Then some time later whilst exploring the Bleasdale Fells, and it being an unexpectedly fine day I decided to 'test' myself with some off track walking. This went alright until I was taken ill, with what I thought might be a tummy bug. I literally staggered to a path I saw in the distance only to be thwarted by the limit of the accessible land. Something that I was not used to as Scotland has no such restrictions, except in the shooting season. So a very high barbwire fence and gate barred my way to a track that would have taken me the one and a half miles back to my car. Instead I had to take back bearings and return whence I'd come . All in all I was seven hours out that day and feeling pretty rough. When I returned home a friend phoned to ask if I'd heard that our tap water was contaminated....of course I had been drinking water from home...probably even more so as I was concerned about getting dehydrated with being ill. I had been in a no win situation!

So from then on I told myself to stay on track. After all there are perfectly adequate tracks in most areas. I needn't deviate from them ...need I?

Fast forward to a recent trip to Eskdale and a walk from the wee train station to Eel Tarn. I met an elderly couple following a leaflet purchased at the station. A mini booklet by non other than Wainwright himself. We walked companionably all the way to the Tarn in deteriorating weather, following the guide book. Which surprisingly, was fairly accurate given the year the walk may have been published originally. All went well until we tried to find the 'well defined path, marked by large stones with white crosses painted on them'. The path disappeared within a myriad of  'ways' in lush well-cropped grass not well trampled in any one area. Plus we found only one large rocky outcrop with a very faint cross on it. We discussed possible routes and decided to take that which appeared the clearest. By now it was absolutely pouring with rain and the mist had descended. We came to a ruin, but passed it to the left ...and the booklet said it should be on our right! A  break in the mist allowed us to see, below us, the very road we wanted leading to The Woolpack Inn. But no way down, no path. I asked the, by now weary, couple what their further plans were and they wished to catch the 4 o'clock train back. So I opted to return with them along the route we'd used getting there, as we knew this way .

The following day dawned bright and sunny and so I left the campsite at The Woolpack Inn and found the track leading to Eel Tarn from that side. It was clearly defined, if a bit boggy in places...until that is  I got nearer the Tarn. Then the path merged into the lush green sward along the water's edge. However I spotted the large outcrop rock and picked up the path after about a quarter of a mile or so. I then spent some time scratching crosses on rocks in an attempt to assist other walkers who might also be following the guidelines in the  purchased leaflet

Thus it was that I didn't quite stick to my resolution and perhaps I never will. Sometimes the need to make my own tracks overwhelms me.

The poem I've chosen this week was written sometime in 2014, but I don't know exactly. I found it written on a piece of paper inside a map.

  Take Me
  Take me to the hills,
   Let me walk o'er moor and peak,
   Tread my feet on heather and peat.
   Face to the sun and feet on the good earth.
   Resting, slow breathing in the goodness -
  The life-giving essence of the mountains.

   Take me to the valleys,
   Let me walk o'er lush green dales,
   Walk the length of all the vales.
   Face to the sun and feet on the good earth.
   Deep breathing and relaxing on the verdant grass-
   The life-giving essence of the glens.

   Take me to the woods,
   Let me walk through oak and pine trees.
   Breathe in the aroma of all these.
   Face to the sun and feet on the good earth.
   Striding forth through the overhead canopy-
   The life-giving essence of the forest.

Thanks for reading, Kath

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

On Track - One More Time To Live

The school holiday of Christmas 1971 was a time of worry and uncertainty. Exams were looming ever closer which led to thoughts of that distant thing called ‘the future’ and planning for it by staying ‘on track’. I wasn’t sure what track I was supposed to be on, or what the future had in store for me. I wanted to write. When I was brave enough to say it out loud, I met with raised eyebrows from nearly everyone except my English teacher who recognised my potential, gave me lots of praise and used my work as an example to the rest of 5 alpha. I was bright enough to appreciate that a good, all round education was a sound starting block for anything so I did my best, and hoped for the best. It was down to me. The holiday was a good time for revision and in order to offer support to each other, friends and I gathered regularly, usually at our classmate, Ian’s house. He lived central to everyone and his mum didn’t seem to mind her front room being taken over in the afternoons by half a dozen or more lads and lasses sitting round the coal fire drinking the endless pots of tea she made for us. After a brisk walk in freezing fog to get there, it was lovely to feel welcome. My home was a place I felt the need to escape from.  My mother had passed away a few years earlier, my father had quickly remarried and the whole dynamic of our family had changed. Being amongst friends was the best way to spend any afternoon.

This group revision didn’t last very long before the lid on the radiogram was lifted and the LPs came out. The Moody Blues album ‘Every Good Boy Deserves Favour’ was king of the turn-table.  My favourite track, ‘One More Time to Live’ written by John Lodge was the beginning of side two. We’d try to sing along, but never got the words right. Practice makes perfect. Years later, it was included in a Moody Blues concert and I was spirited straight back to those happy days. The album is one of my most played CDs and track 6 is always repeated.

This time last year I was in Shrewsbury and slowly coming back down to earth after meeting John Lodge on his solo UK tour. It was a delight and a privilege. It meant so much.


No poem, just a gathering of my thoughts.


I’m waiting to retire

I’m waiting to re-locate

I’m waiting to settle down

I’m waiting for harmony

I’m waiting for the baby

I’m waiting to get back on track

    With the novel I’m reading

    With the novel I’m writing

    With the poetry in my head

I’m waiting for my time, to come round again.


Thanks for reading, Pam xx

Saturday, 9 September 2017

For In That Sleep...

...of death, what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil
Must give us pause - there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.

Those lines are from the famous 'To be or not to be' soliloquy as spoken by the famous Hamlet in the play written by the famous Shakespeare of course. More of which later.

First, I want to tell you about Thursday evening, because a funny thing happened on the way to the Dead Good Poets open mic night. We arrived at the venue (a very pleasant bar in Lytham St Annes that has been our regular haunt for some several months) only to find it all shut up and with a sign saying 'closed due to illness'. There had been no fore-warning, which in these days of global connectivity was a bit of a surprise. Hurried mobile phone calls to the owners bounced straight through to a message box. A bunch (a declamation? is there a collective noun?) of disconsolate poets and their entourages milled unhappily on the pavement outside. Expectation and disappointment mingled in the air; plus, it was turning cold and wet. What to do?

Fortunately for us, a nearby Greek taverna was experiencing something of a quiet Thursday evening and we cajoled them into giving us a performance space in the back half room of their restaurant, in return for our trade (much Mythos, Demestica and meze was consumed). Poetry At The Greek, of necessity, was different from anything we've done before - interesting to perform with the strains of bouzouki music in the background - but a great time was had by all and a huge thank you goes to the staff of Flame Greek Taverna for being so accommodating. Flame is well worth a visit, good people, even when there is no poetry on the menu. By a spooky slice of serendipity, Adele and I are off to Kos next week for some mid-September Mediterranean sun, so this was an excellent taster.

Back on theme with a bump, Hamlet's dilemma (good Greek word) about whether or not to commit suicide hinged partly on his fear about what form a possible afterlife (if any) might take, the worry being that it might be worse than the life he was living; (i.e. Hell might welcome one who took his own life).

Many of the world's major civilizations and religions have propounded the belief that death on this earthly, temporal plane is not the end. The Egyptians believed in reincarnation as do Buddhists; the Greeks in recycling (with memory wiped clean), Christians in Heaven and Hell (and resurrection). You know all this stuff and I'm no authority on the subject, so I won't tread on ground I'm not sure of.

Suffice it to say that no one knows for certain what may befall hereafter, if anything. Many believe and as many are sceptical. My own father, a devoutly religious man, told me when he was dying that he had no fear of death as he looked forward to meeting his God and being reunited with my mother (who had died nearly 20 years earlier). I was happy for him in his unwavering conviction. I'm sure it gave him strength to face that particular rite of passage; I'm not sure my mother would have been so happy (because of the snoring - but that's another story).

Accounts from 'flatliners', those who have 'died' for some minutes and been resuscitated, often retell an experience of going down a dark tunnel towards a bright light, but clinical evidence suggests it is an entirely temporal, physiological manifestation, an effect of the brain shutting down as it is starved of oxygen. If you know me, or have been reading the blogs for any length of time, you could probably hazard a guess that I would hazard a guess that once the spark of life has died there is nothing left of us or for us as entities. Our metaphorical sleep is of necessity a dreamless one.

I didn't feel inclined to write a poem on the subject of death/afterlife but I do have one about the living dream state of sleeping beauty (in what I assume must have been a coma), inspired by this rather fine painting.

Sleeping Beauty
She's going through a bad spell,
Sweet Cicely,
Bewitched, benumbed, benighted
Beside a brackish inky stream
Upon a bed of crushed spring flowers
Deep in the haunted dell
Of thwarted desire.

Who'd be a Sorcerer's daughter?
Such a thankless lot.

Sweet Cicely promised her heart
To one of whom her father disapproved.
She chose defiance and lost.
Angry magic has her in remorseless grip,
Immobilised; the retribution
Of parental ire for wishes crossed.

Such unnatural cruelty
Visited upon a favourite daughter
Might be expected to abate in short order
Excepting this:

For in that sleep her dreams are still of love
Of the bold soul who'll have the power
To break sorcery's rigid hold
And free her from the tyranny
Of comatose repose
Upon the forest floor
Before the rotting leaves of autumn
And harsh winter frosts
Blight this golden flower.

As an aural bonus, not so much an inspiration, more a complement, here's a beautiful Jimi Hendrix song born out of a dream. Play it loud: One Rainy Wish

Thanks for reading. Have yourselves a good couple of weeks, S ;-)

Friday, 8 September 2017

What Dreams Are Made Of

Good evening. Well, I've taken all day to come up with some ideas for this week. If truth be told it's the first opportunity I've had to sit and reflect, as once more my life is topsy turvy. I have few days to myself, and those are packed full and pretty hectic.

I have vivid dreams every night. Sometimes I remember those dreams and other times they've disappeared into the ether. I often awaken feeling weary because of the depth and intensity of my night time 'sojourns '. At least twice a month I awaken with tears in my eyes because of the reality of my dreams. So I have to cast these depressing thoughts aside. Sensible really, for as the days progress I forget that which upset me.

It's strange that sometimes I return to school or college days...."Help, I haven't done my homework!" What a nightmare! My parents often feature too. They remain young and active .I am a child again.   My favourite dreams are in colour, often featuring flying. So that must be why I so enjoy flying and would like to participate in other ' flying'  type sports.

In my dreams I am skating again. I'm jumping, spinning, gliding...and it feels so, exhilarating and perfect!

At one time I'd write down what occurred in my dreams..but not any more. Sometimes I have marvellous ideas inventions. Now I often do recall these. They say " Sleep on it." And that's true. Problems may be solved, questions answered. Morning brings a new light and a new day. No good dwelling on dreams, for that's exactly what they are...they are not real: despite the reality of the dreams. Let them remain dreams.....

Today's poem was written a couple of years ago.

I Had The Key

I had the key - so privileged , so lucky
To have the key
Safely in my jacket pocket.
The key to the back door,
And I could go alone
      For I had the key.

Once inside the smell hit me-
Quite unique, distinct, never forgotten.
I'd switch on the overhead lights--
Clank, clank, clank.
To see the mist rolling, rising
From the stark, cold surface.
      For I had the key.

Fastening my boots tightly
I'd step onto the virgin ice.
Practice, practice, practice to perfection.
Figures of eight-changes of edge.
The mist parting as I glide.
My feet barely visible as I moved.
      I had the key.

A record on the turntable.
Making tracings this way and that.
Living the music, loving the moment.
A jump here, a spin there, a spiral.
Blades crunching, breaking the ice -
Virgin no more,like flying!
       I had the key.

And now I dream of jumping-
Two revolutions for a double Salchow,
One and a half revolutions for an Axel.
I see myself soaring in slow motion
Arms tucked in, body upright,
Landing on a running edge- perfect !
      Yes, I used to have the key.

Thank you for reading this, Kath.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

What Dreams May Come - For Branwell, With Love

I can’t remember much of last night’s dream. Vivid though it was, it faded into nothing by the time I was ready for the day and I blamed it on the amount of chocolate I’d eaten just before bedtime. Dreams are nothing more than wishes, it is said. Hopes and dreams of both the attainable and the unreachable, we can only wait and see. I would love to retire to my chosen place in Scotland, eventually.  If that dream doesn’t come true, I’ll have to cope with a compromise and increase my regular visits instead.

Patrick Branwell Bronte couldn’t cope when his hopes and dreams came crashing down to shatter his heart and soul. My interests and studies of the Bronte family have brought me to believe that Branwell, as he was known, was every bit as talented as his sisters but never approved of his own efforts.  I wish he hadn’t obliterated himself from the family portrait he painted.  His lack of self-approval led to unsuccessful career appointments and eventual self-destruction, after the love of his life, Lydia Robinson nee Gisborne let him down. She was the wife of his last employer, the Rev. Edmund Robinson, a sick man close to the end of his life, who sent Branwell packing when he discovered what was going on. Such ‘goings on’ is shrouded in the uncertainty of whether there was an affair, or if it was Branwell’s fanciful infatuation. When Rev. Robinson passed away, Branwell expected to be reunited with Lydia, but it was not to be. According to Rev. Robinson’s Will, she would be cut off without a penny if Branwell was back in her life, so she distanced herself, married someone else, yet regularly sent money to Branwell. He was a broken man, haunted by unrequited love and seeking solace in alcohol and opium.  He was further disturbed by Lydia calling out to him in his dreams. He died aged 31, of tuberculosis aggravated by alcoholism and laudanum addiction.  For me, Sally Wainwright captured his character, and his sisters, perfectly in her drama To Walk Invisible.


I wrote this poem about him a few years ago.

Patrick Branwell Bronte

Poet and artist, your fallen talents go to waste

And are trapped within the torment of your mind.

Forbidden love, so heavenly to taste

Now haunts and disturbs; no beauty left to find.

The call of temptation and no wish to be chaste,

But to be drunk on the perfume of bodies entwined.

Oh Branwell! Your vision clouded by opium and gin

And the burdening weight of adulterous sin…



Branwell wrote this sonnet for Lydia –

Lydia Gisborne

On Ouse’s grassy banks - last Whitsuntide,

I sat, with fears and pleasures, in my soul

Commingled, as ‘it roamed without control’,

O’er present hours and through a future wide

Where love, methought, should keep my heart beside

Her, whose own prison home I looked upon:

But, as I looked, descended summer’s sun,

And did not its descent my hopes deride?

The sky though blue was soon to change to grey-

I, on that day, next year must own no smile -

And as those waves, to Humber far away,

Were gliding – so, though that hour might beguile

My Hopes they too, to woe’s far deeper sea,

Rolled past the shores of Joy’s now dim and distant isle.


Also by Patrick Branwell Bronte, The Doubter’s Hymn


Life is a passing sleep

Its deeds a troubled dream

And death the dread awakening

To daylight’s dawning beam.


We sleep without a thought

Of what is past and o’er

Without a glimpse of consciousness

Of aught that lies before


We dream and on our sight

A thousand visions rise

Some dark as Hell some heavenly bright

But all are fantasies


We wake and oh how fast

These mortal visions fly!

Forgot amid the wonders vast

Of immortality!


And oh! When we arise

With ‘wildered gaze to see

The aspect of those morning skies

Where will that waking be?


How will that Future seem?

What is Eternity?

Is Death the sleep? – Is Heaven the Dream?

Life the Reality?

Thanks for reading and may your dreams come true, Pam x 

Monday, 4 September 2017

What Dreams May Come

I have always been fascinated with the idea of dreams and what they actually mean. Sigmund Freud an Austrian neurologist believed that dreams were a reflection of our unconscious mind.

Surprisingly the meaning behind my dreams (according to the internet!) is normally spot on.

Recently my dreams have involved calm water which supposedly means tranquillity, new beginnings and self-renewal. I am starting university, I am in a new relationship and I am pretty darn happy at the moment!  Coincidence?

Then there is the idea of following your dreams…. No not the one about dancing naked in a sea of snakes.  Following your goals, aspirations and desires. The great thing about life is that you never know where your dreams will take you. It’s wonderful to have dreams, but I think we need to remember to live in the present. Modern society constantly rams unrealistic ‘dreams’ down our throats. Buy this diet pill to get your dream body. Wear this perfume to find your dream man. Purchase this car to live the perfect life.
Blue Eyed Perspective
How quickly your life can change.
New emotions arrive,
They come and go like the tide.
Friendship becomes love.
Love, becomes friendship.
One new person can change your world,
They can make you feel like the luckiest girl.
They cause your barriers to come crashing down,
With one sound,
With one word,
“You are not a nerd”.
Suddenly your heart flutters in your chest,
And you can only guess at what comes next.
I guess, we never truly know.
But I know this…time flies by.
It stops for no man.
But we can stop fearing the constant…
Tik Tok Tik Tok…
Instead we should dance,
To the rhythm of our own clock.

Thanks for reading my blog and poem, Helena Ascough.

Saturday, 2 September 2017


One more sparkling sunny summer Saturday in the jewel of the north, seagulls are spiralling happily, tomatoes are ripening on the vine and there's not a cloud on the horizon... except that I won't be going to watch my beloved Seasiders playing at home (as the ethical boycott of Blackpool FC by thousands of fans continues) and - oh, there is a weekly blog nagging to be written, all about ESP or extra-sensory perception.

I'm afraid I don't give ESP credence, being of a sceptical and rational nature and never having experienced it personally or even seen the remotest shred of credible evidence for it.

I don't believe in fortune-tellers, mediums or psychics. ("Is there anybody there? Knock once for yes and twice for no.") I don't believe people can see into the future or predict what is going to happen - except in the sense that anyone with intelligence can extrapolate and hypothesise.

I do believe that some people are more perceptive than others, some are even "hyper-sensitive" - but that doesn't equate to extra-sensory perception. As far as I'm concerned, this whole field is littered with a trail of charlatans and mountebanks, clever and cynical tricksters preying on people's gullibility, willingness to suspend disbelief and sheer want for ESP to be true.

I also believe in lucky guesses, coincidence and probability, the latter of which have sound bases in mathematical theory. Sorry if that sounds boring. (In reality it's quite fascinating.)

Having challenged the veracity of ESP, I heartily approve of it as an imaginative/literary device. You can't beat a good tale involving supernatural powers of perception - but never lose sight of the fact that we are doing nothing more than indulging in the thrill of a tall story.

There's no poem this week. I feel as though I've done enough damage already. I hope the prose passes muster.  Excuse me a minute, someone just knocked at the door - twice...
                                                                                                                                         ...but when I opened it there was no one there!

Thanks for reading. Keep an open mind, Steve ;-)

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

ESP - gift or a curse?

It doesn't matter whether you were raised under the eye of organised religion, were nurtured by a hippy earth mother or have a sound scientific background, at some time in your life you will have come to question your own belief in ESP (Extra Sensory Perception).  Psychologists have devised scientific experiments to try to prove or disprove the fabled ability to predict future events. 

From biblical prophets advised to prepare for impending doom by an unseen God, to Nostradamus who predicted virtually every natural and man made disaster that has ever or will ever happen, right through to Derek Akorah who claims to commune with the dead while visiting Britain's spookiest residences, we are all curious. We are all eager to know what lies ahead.

People, (especially women),  are drawn to have their fortune foretold by a gypsy for a small fee. Some venture into the realms of the supernatural seeking advice from Tarot cards or spiritual mediums. The death of a loved one can be devastating and it is perhaps understandable that vulnerable people often seek answers from those who might exploit them. Perhaps I am too cynical but if someone offers to speak to your dead relative when holding out their hand for payment, I would smell a rat.

Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle actually popularised spiritual medium-ship, publicising his own adventures and experiments with table-tapping and glass moving. During WW1, so many young men were killed that many bereft people turned to spirtualism to bring comfort. Tales were rife of the spirits of dead soldiers coming to sit among the living as the nation tried to cope with the enormity of the loss: Almost every family had lost someone to war by Armistace Day in 1918. Jeremy Deller tried to capture the effect with 'We are Here' , his 2016, living memorial to those killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme a hundred years earlier. It was a wonderful piece of street theatre in which I was honoured to participate.

Well then - do 21st Century Britons believe in ESP? We watch a heck of a lot of sci-fi. We read loads of dodgy information on the internet and we are entertained by movies like The Sixth Sense by M Night Shyalaman and The Others (starring Ms Kidman) in which people who don't know their post-mortem status, walk among the living. We have all seen Derren Brown, controlling people's minds on TV or perhaps on stage. He is a very intelligent man who has perfected manipulative techniques that could convince almost anyone that he has the power of second sight, that he can read minds, predict future events. 

I like to tell people that I recently discovered that I am psychic - because it says medium on the label in my panties. That one always gets a laugh but I use it as a deflection. If I ever told you the truth...

Extra Special People

I believe we all have power to see
when travelling transcendentally.
I often venture – it sounds absurd
to witness events that have not occurred
I have, in the past, witnessed a crime
as if watching through holes in space and time
and journeyed to places unknown to me
to help right a wrong and give testimony.
I can’t intercede in my dreaming state
but my statements usually resonate.
I once approached, over someone’s shoulder
watching him observing a murder,
he shuddered, looked into my face afraid,
as if I had walked on top of his grave.

I once levitated, roused from sleep
by a child in white standing at my feet,
she beckoned to me but I wouldn’t go,
I was only nineteen and I didn’t know
what reason she had to visit me -
her attention,  a frightening novelty.
An angel, a spirit,  hallucination,
a figment of my imagination?
From that day, others appeared
and gradually I conquered my fears.
Sometimes I hear them but I am aware,
and when I see them, they like to share.
Often they ask me to clear up a mess,
bring others to justice and help them to rest.
Once or twice in lucid dreams
I’ve known exactly where I’ve been,
I note the signposts I am shown,
guided to places I’ve never known.
I dreamed I won twice on the lottery -
the very next week it happened to me.
On a sunbed, I had a flash premonition
showing a three vehicle collision,
Sadly the car in the middle was mine,
I couldn’t avoid it, I didn’t have time,
at the moment of impact I derived, 
that I was certain to survive.
I think I went back to a safer place,
my spirit set free by a moment of grace,
released from the wreckage without a scratch
amazing fire-fighters who saw the crash.
I once saw things, told people straight,
but now I wait, I cogitate,
if you knew what lay in store you, 
you might rearrange the things you do,
and cause a time anomaly,
impacting on others easily.   
I wouldn’t profit from ‘propheteering’,
I don’t do spiritual engineering,
but maybe if I saw a friend,
who could avoid a sticky end,
I might be moved to help them out,
I might just tell them to 'look out'.
But be careful – if I call on you,
it might be with the boys in blue.
I see dead people too.

Thanks for reading.  Adele

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

ESP - Second Sight

My mum called it ‘second sight’. She had inherited it from her mother and grandmother. It has come down the generations to me, though mine differs from theirs. The first time I encountered it was at our hotel on Central Promenade. I was a young teenager making myself useful by helping, or possibly hindering, the receptionist.  I was sent to fetch my mum to attend to a guest, a woman who was in great distress. I ran upstairs, along the corridor to our private rooms and found my mother on the settee, waking up from a nap. Before I had chance to speak, she said,

“Her son drowned in a boating accident. I just dreamt it.”

What struck me most was the calm, matter-of-fact way that she said it as she stood up, smoothed her skirt, popped her shoes on, combed her hair and checked her lipstick, all in two seconds before she was out of the door. Sadly, that’s exactly what had happened and the poor lady had just received the terrible news.

I am told that my great-grandmother sometimes dreamt names that matched horses in forthcoming races. I don’t know how lucrative it was for her, but it hasn’t come down the line to me, though I’m not into horse racing.

From an early age I knew that my Nanna could see absolutely everything and she knew what everyone was up to. Her eyes looked like she could see right inside a person’s thoughts. With her, everything and everybody was safe. Things came to her in dreams and sometimes she would sit, deep in thought then tell you what you wanted or did not want to hear, never less than honest and nothing ever ‘wrapped up’. I adored her.

I don’t tend to dream things, I just know, usually out of the blue. My sister was in the early stages of her second pregnancy. Very randomly I told her she was having a daughter and she would be born early, a bit poorly but she would be fine. I could even pin-point the date to either 31st October or 3rd November, which didn’t mean anything at the time.  My niece was born by Caesarean section on 31st October, 1988, spent a short time in the Special Care Baby Unit and has grown up into a beautiful young woman. My daughter was born on 3rd November, 1994.

There was an avalanche in the Alps at a time when people I knew were in the area. I was sure I’d heard something on the radio news, but it wasn’t on the next bulletin, no mention of it on teletext and nothing on the TV news, until the next day when it actually happened. The same thing happened with an earthquake.

I don’t know if it’s connected to ‘second sight’ or an entirely different phenomenon, but I have had ghostly encounters. There are many, but what always makes me smile is the Most Haunted episode featuring The Old Hall in Sandbach. We lived there for a short time when my father was licencee. I hated that move to Cheshire and I’ve mentioned it, not by name, in previous blogs. Yes, it had ‘occupants’, we quickly became aware, but none of our ghosts matched any of the findings in the programme. Strange.

     I found this poem. I can really relate to it.
    Conjugal Telepathy
    Have you ever noticed when you’re talking with your spouse?
    No matter if you’re out with friends or wandering round the house,
    That when you have a thought you think is worthy to express,
    You’ve scarcely uttered half of it before your thoughts digress,
    And you have quite forgotten what it was you wished to say,
    But there is no need to panic for your spouse will save the day,
    And without the need for prompting, and indeed without a pause,
    Your partial thought’s completed, with an extra thoughtful clause.
    My friends to whom I’ve spoken, and I’ve spoken to a few,
    Have noticed this phenomenon, and so perhaps it’s true,
    That when you live together an extended length of time,
    The need for speech reduces and there's more accent on mime.
    So perhaps there is no worry when your mind begins to go,
    For even out in company, no one really needs to know.
    There is a great incentive to always keep your cool,
    When your spouse's intervention stops you looking like a fool,
    For even if the utterance is not what you would say,
    It is best to grin and bear it and pretend so anyway.

                                                                           By Ian Smith

Thanks for reading, Pam x