52) Back to blogging …. at last!

IMG_0006I’m back!

It’s been a long while since I wrote my last blog which was way back in December last year.   I had no idea at that time that it would be another ten months until I would be able to write another one.

My health has been ‘delicate’ for 18 years due to an array of autoimmune illnesses.  During that time I’ve had ups and downs and, occasionally, when I’ve been really lucky, I’ve had a few weeks here and there that have almost been normal.  Unfortunately I had shingles last summer and gradually the effect on my immune system took its toll.  Every bit of me went downhill, not in a huge rush, but slowly and insidiously, until Christmas last year when I became an energy free zone.

I’m not going to prattle on about the whys and wherefores of living with a chronic illness, that, I am sure, would bore the pants off anyone.  Suffice to say,  I have the opinion, that whilst I have an illness, the illness does not have me!  I am still me, hidden maybe under a tired and weary exterior, but inside I am still a vibrant spirit, and as far as I am concerned, still capable of doing absolutely everything.  I just have to get my body to agree!

So, what has been happening in my life in the intervening months?  I was fortunate to be cared for by my wonderful husband Simon, who has the amazing knack of looking after me whilst not being at all smothering .  He gives me my own space, which I desperately crave, especially when I am housebound for any length of time.  He has, when my energy has allowed, taken me out with my electric scooter to beautiful accessible places always with wonderful views.  Many times we have sat with a picnic at the top of a hill somewhere overlooking the beautiful English countryside as the sun goes down. Just breathing in the fresh air, watching spring lambs prancing and playing really made me feel alive.

I have wonderful supportive friends who popped over for visits, or if I wasn’t well enough for that, would call and we’d have a chat on the phone.  Kay, a very dear friend, usually came over at least once a week and gave me healing which I am sure helped and certainly lifted my spirits.  Suzette, another friend, would  come and collect the ironing and then bring it back all beautifully pressed a few days later and I’d have the added bonus of more healing when she visited.  Through emails, phone calls and good ol’ facebook,  I would keep up with everything going on in everyone’s lives so I didn’t feel cut off, which is easy to feel when you are unable to get out and about.

My twin, Tina, has a new carer, Sharon, who strangely enough, is also a very spiritual woman.  I have been unable to spend whole days with Tina since being so ill, so it was wonderful that Sharon would bring her over for an afternoon every other week or so.  It was lovely to be able to spend time with Tina and a real delight to get to know Sharon too, who I would most probably not have met if I hadn’t been so unwell.

I mustn’t forget to mention Maddie, our gorgeous Tibetan Terrier, who has been my side, and I mean literally, by my side, through these difficult months.  She is such a sweetheart and has been my shadow, both during the day and the many long nights when I’ve been unable to sleep.  So many times I’ve been incapable of almost anything apart from listening to music and she has happily sat quietly on my lap or beside me.  I am sure she must have been so bored, but she possesses such a happy little character that you’d never know it.

Unable to venture out very much at all, my poor little car, Fuzey, has been patiently waiting on the drive, desperate to get her engine revved up again and feel the wind in her hair. I’ve been calling her my cobweb car because she has several of them on her wing mirrors, which doesn’t delight me at all as I’m not super happy with many spiders around me. I’m still not well enough to drive very much but I did have her professionally valeted recently, just in case!

In the UK the government has bought in new legislation to help the country to save money.  Part of these new rules is to try and send as many sick and disabled back to work, or at least, along for interviews where they can ‘learn’ to be able to work.  A very small proportion of chronically ill people have been placed in the support group, which is the group that accepts it is unlikely you will ever be able to work again.  Although none of us would ever wish to be given that label, unfortunately some of us have to accept that our bodies will not recover or repair enough to enable us to work.

In the midst of my ‘downtime’ the dreaded government stamped brown envelope arrived.  To add to the incredible frustration of having a body which wouldn’t comply with my demands, I had the hassle of going through with having my incapacity benefits re-assessed.  Very few people I know have had their claims upheld and they have all been going through the most dreadful worrying times.  On top of trying to muster enough energy to get myself out of bed for a couple of hours a day, I had no option but to complete the endless forms because they have to be returned within a set time.  Finally I managed to finalize the forms and post them off before collapsing in a heap for several weeks.

During the spring I managed to get out of the house just three times in three months and one of those outings was to meet my good friend Jane Easlick.  We met for lunch at a very lovely pub just two minutes from my home.  Jane is a fantastic medium and healer and although she works full-time she always makes time to help and support others through her gifts.  I asked her if she could offer me any advice where my incapacity claim was concerned.  At the time I had sent in my claim form and was waiting to hear the outcome.  She thought for a little while and then said that I may well have to ask them to reconsider my claim and then that I would most probably have to appeal the outcome of that decision.  She added that I should send a letter from my doctor with my appeal which would then make all the difference, and, she said, that before my case ever went to the tribunal, she was positive they would over-turn their initial decision.

I was a nervous wreck about the possibility of having to appeal, and hoped Jane was wrong, but sure enough they phoned me just a few weeks later to advise that my claim had been assessed and they had placed me in the group that had to attend interviews.  I was stunned as I was barely able to function, never mind attend any kind of official interviews.  I explained this to the lady and she told me that I should ask for a re-consideration, which I did.  A few weeks later I received a letter stating that they had not changed their decision and I could now appeal. My goodness, even more paperwork followed, and with Jane’s words running through my head, I approached my doctor and asked her for a letter in support of my claim.  I sent the letter along with the appeal forms and waited.

Two months later I received another letter from the department advising that they had over-turned their decision and that I was now in the support group.  I am always amazed by the accuracy of the information that spirit give, and this was certainly spot on.  Well done Jane and your wonderful spirit team!

So now, with the assessment behind me, and several months of hard work resting, I am hopeful that I might be able to start functioning again, even if just for a couple of hours now and again. I am sure some of you might have queried the phrase ‘hard work resting’ and it does appear like a misnomer, but quite truly, it is so difficult to do nothing.  Everyone seems to dream of a time in their life when they can rest and relax, but they usually expect to fill their time with something which gives them pleasure.  I have had to work hard at doing virtually nothing.  The difficulty is that when I feel I have just an ounce of energy it is so tempting to use it.  When you’ve been powerless to do anything for months on end it is so tricky to accept that you still have to rest. What I have learnt over the years is that I have to save my energy and try a build up a deposit so that I can gradually increase my activity levels without taking one step forward quickly followed by two steps backward.

So, to begin with, whilst trying to gently ease myself back to my normal levels of activity,  I am planning to start writing my blog again.  Just once a month to begin with, after all, I mustn’t over do it,  but, it’s a plan, and I am so looking forward to writing once more.

Jane Easlick:  http://www.thatsthespirit.co

49) The Power of Music

Lyrics – To Where you Are – sung by Josh Groban

Who can say for certain
Maybe you’re still here
I feel you all around me
Your memory’s so clear

Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You’re still an inspiration
Can it be
That you are my
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn’t faith believing
All power can’t be seen

As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
‘Cause you are my
Forever love
Watching me from up above

And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave

Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for a while
To know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

I know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

I attended a weeks mediumship course at the Arthur Findlay College in Stansted several years ago with my friend Trudie.  As always it had been an emotional time with most of us receiving wonderful messages from our loved ones in spirit, and most of us also giving messages to other students.  Being a medium and giving such messages can be quite overwhelming at times when you know the impact that it may have on the recipient.

It had been a fantastic time where we had all moved forward leaps and bounds, both in our links with spirit and in our confidence in feeling at ease enough to stand and give demonstrations to an audience of other students, who are normally our harshest critics!

My tutor that particular week was the very wonderful Janet Parker.  She is an extremely spiritual woman and whenever I have been blessed with being in her class I have always felt that she gives each and every one of her students as much support as possible.  I don’t think many people appreciate the challenges that we mediums put ourselves through when we attend these courses.  It is not as if you can revise to ensure that you manage to maintain a link with spirit, or that you can practise on your own, or that you can read manuals.  It really is just a case of putting yourself forward to serve spirit in the best possible way you can.  It is a case of learning to allow your mind to become still  so that you can connect to spirit without all the day-to-day activities, planning, worries, and the general hum drum taking over your thoughts. You have to be totally trusting when you open your awareness to make contact with spirit.  Sometimes you may hear spirit, or feel them, or see visions in your mind’s eye, and you have to  give the information you are given without adding your own thoughts or ideas. It is quite a discipline to learn.  It is not until you try to do this for hours on end that you realise how difficult it can be to overcome all the nagging thoughts that suddenly rush into your head and scream to be heard!

Being in such a spiritual environment does seem to bring out the very best in my mediumship.  I am sure that spirits are drawn to the place like moths around a light bulb.  There is never a shortage of loved ones who are trying to get their messages conveyed through the students and it really does make the courses so worthwhile.  The tutors guide you gently towards achieving the very best mediumship you can manage and offer tips and ideas to ensure that you develop to your highest potential.

This particular week was very special as on the very first night I had received the most exact and  evidential messages from both my parents through one of the tutors and then also throughout the week from several of the students. I had been going through a very tough time in my personal life and really felt  the messages that I was fortunate enough to receive showed that I still had my parents around me, still loving me and supporting me and offering their advise.  Each reading I had received had contained different evidence that no-one there could have possibly known.  I felt incredibly blessed.

As the week came to a close I felt sad that I would be leaving.  Not only would I miss the teachings and the practising of my mediumship, but I knew it was unlikely that I would be in a position to receive any further communications from my parents for quite some while.  Janet, and Paul Jacobs, another tutor, had organised a closing ceremony in The Sanctuary, a beautiful church attached to the college where spiritual services are held on a regular basis. It has a fantastic uplifting atmosphere and I’ve always loved being there, you can almost feel arms wrapped around you as you walk in. They told us that we weren’t allowed to attend until 8pm as they had some preparations to complete.  Trudie and I hadn’t really given the evening too much thought as most final evenings are nice, but not anything out of the ordinary.

When we walked into the Sanctuary, just after 8pm, we were greeted by the most wonderful vision of beautiful materials and oriental rugs laid on the floor running down the centre of the church. Incense sticks were burning and candles flickered in the darkness. Hundreds of small unlit tealight candles had been placed on the materials and chairs were placed either side running the length of the Sanctuary.  There was a  hush of anticipation as we students all filed in quietly, taking our seats whilst gentle music was playing.

Trudie and I sat next to each other about midway down the room.  Janet and Paul both gave a talk about the week we had just experienced and thanked spirit for their participation in our teachings.  Janet then instructed the students sitting at the end of the rows to light a candle for each loved one they had in spirit, then the lighter was to be passed to the next student, then the next etc. By the time it came to Trudie and I most of the candles were already lit and the Sanctuary looked absolutely amazing.  I lit candles for my Mum, for my Dad, for my brother, for my friend Janet, and not wishing to look greedy, lit another jointly for all  my aunts. uncles and grandparents in spirit.  Trudie too lit candles for those she had loved and lost, including her cousin Robert whom she missed so much.

When all the candles were lit Janet asked us to close our eyes. She asked us to give thanks to our guides and loved ones for helping us through the week and for allowing us to experience the love from spirit  that we had all shared. Whilst our eyes were closed, and we were sitting in the candle light, Janet put on the music, To Where You Are, performed by Josh Groban.  I had never heard this before and was lost in the beautiful words that meant so much to me.  I couldn’t help but start crying, both because of the joy of knowing my loved ones were so close and also because of the pain and loss at realising that I can’t always reach out and touch them, speak to them, or hold them as I once did. I felt around in my pocket for a tissue and all I had was an old crumpled one.  I thought it would have to do, and then I realised Trudie was crying too, she whispered to me “Do you have a tissue?”, I only had the one, so I tore it in half, and there we were, the two of us, holding hands and using half a tissue each to mop our tears.

Whenever I listen to this beautiful song, as I often do, I am taken straight back to the Sanctuary, to the love and connection I felt with spirit, to the knowledge that I know how very fortunate I am to have my loved ones in spirit still so close to me …. and then, when the emotion becomes almost just too much to bear …. to the old crumpled tissue that my friend Trudie and I shared!

48) A Walk on the Wylde Side!

Over the years I have been to see many mediums giving demonstrations.  Some have been ok, some have been so dreadful it was an embarrassment for everyone, and some have been very good.

A few weeks ago I was told that Mandy Wylde would be giving a demonstration of her mediumship at Woolston Spiritual Centre, a newly opened non-denominational centre near Southampton.  I had met Mandy only a couple of times at another spiritualist church I attended a couple of years ago.  I was introduced to her by another friend, Jane, and she had told me that  Mandy was a very good spiritual healer and a medium, but I had never known anyone she had carried out a reading for.

A couple of a my friends were going along so I decided it might be a nice way to spend a summer’s evening.  My friend Annette and her husband Colin had opened the centre a few months before but as I had been unwell I hadn’t managed to go along and see everyone, so it would also be wonderful to catch up with some old friends and see the new centre.

All the way there my tummy was churning, which is something that happens whenever spirit are close to me.  It is a familiar feeling if I am sitting for spirit or in any kind of development group, but not normally when I am going to see someone else give a demonstration.  I told my friend Niki that my tummy felt very odd and she said that it might mean I was going to be given a message.  I have been to many demonstrations over the last few years, but so rarely received a message from any of my loved ones in spirit that I didn’t really consider that this particular night would be any different.

As soon as Mandy stood up I really thought I was going to be sick, my stomach went totally ballistic and I thought I might have to leave the hall because I felt so dreadful.  Then, seriously, every single hair on my body went on end, I had the biggest whooshy feeling I had ever experienced.  Mandy started talking and said she had a woman in spirit with her and was talking about a house fire.  I knew we had a house fire when I was very young so I kept listening to the evidence she was giving.  Then she went on to say that this woman had arthritis, which again Mum had suffered with.  I was still wary of putting up my hand because I would absolutely hate to steal someone elses message, but then  Mandy said she could hear a song being played that she knew was important to both the woman she felt was with her, and the recipient.  The song was Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue’ sung by Crystal Gayle.  My goodness, I was struggling to hold back the tears.  When I was younger I had quite a good singing voice and Mum had specifically asked me to record myself singing this song.  She carried the tape around with her for years and always made her friends listen to it whilst they were travelling in the car. Immediately I put up my hand.

Mandy went on to give me the most wonderful evidence that she had my Mum with her, evidence that none of my friends even knew.  It was the most beautiful heart warming message and Mandy conveyed exactly the personality of my Mum.  She even talked about a discussion I had been having earlier that day, which there was no way in the world she could have possibly known about it.  It was amazing.

She then went on to give other messages to several other people in the hall.  Each of them was delivered with respect, kindness and a real sense of who they were.  She managed to lighten the atmosphere when required with funny anecdotal evidence but was also able to give the most touching messages.  It was a real pleasure to spend the evening watching her demonstrate and I could have happily sat there for much longer. The hall’s atmosphere was fabulous, everyone was laughing and smiling, some were crying with joy and gasping at her incredible accuracy. She gave names, relationships, addresses and really unusual information. I have to say it was the very best demonstration of mediumship I had ever seen.

A couple of weeks passed and another medium was due to hold the Sunday service at the centre, but had cancelled for some reason and so Annette asked Mandy if she could step in.  I hadn’t planned on going along at all, but as the weekend went by I really felt that I must go.  I wasn’t exactly sure why, but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t go.

It was another lovely summers evening and the atmosphere of the hall was warm and inviting.  There are large windows along one wall and the sun was shining in as we all sat there waiting for the evening to begin.  I couldn’t believe it when yet again my tummy started churning and I kept praying that it would stop.  To begin with Mandy gave a wonderful reading and address about a man who had been struck by lightning and had medically died but who managed to survive and could remember being dead!  It was fascinating, especially the enormous changes it made to his whole life.  So often I have sat through the most long-winded boring addresses and just been waiting for them to finish, but this was really interesting.

We sang a couple of songs and then Mandy stood to give her demonstration of mediumship.  She gave several excellent messages to different people and after a while I could see from the clock that it was almost time for her to finish.  I wondered why my tummy had been churning so much, having secretly hoped that maybe I would receive another message, but I didn’t really dare hope that would happen.  I had already enjoyed the evening so much so was thinking that we would be going home in a minute or two.

Then Mandy started physically describing a man who sounded very much like my brother, and again I was covered in goosebumps, but didn’t put my hand up until I had heard more.  Mandy then talked about his personality, which was quite unique and she said he was telling her the name Ray – which was my brother’s name.  I just knew it was him, so excitedly put my hand up.  Yet again Mandy gave me astonishing evidence and even more wonderful was that my aunt had come with him, and Mandy gave the most wonderful unequivocal information about her too.

I realised then why I had been so keen to go along.  I felt so blessed that in a matter of just a few weeks I had received messages from both Mum and Ray. I am sure that a bright future lays ahead for Mandy.  She is such a good medium that as word spreads she will certainly be in great demand!

Comment emailed to me by Mandy Wylde:

 Dearest Tisha,  

I am moved to tears after reading your journal, I am so thrilled you felt so much peace and love on the two occasions you came to Woolston Spiritual Centre.   Some months ago I asked spirit,  “put me where you want me to be”,  I guess they did.  I love giving evidence from the spirit world to bring love and comfort, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings,  much love xx

47) Mixed Blessings

Sword 01

There have been several instances in my life where being aware of more than just our physical lives has sometimes felt like a double-edged sword.

When I was in my early twenties  my ex and I lived in Twickenham and we would often drive along Richmond Road to Richmond.  One day we drove past a truck with a lift attached to the back.  I have no idea what they are called, but they have a small cage which normally has one or two men in it whilst they carry out maintenance to the street lamps.  As we drove towards the truck I could see a film in my head of the cage being hit by a double-decker bus.  I felt sick in my stomach and without realising it had let out a very loud “oh my God”.  He asked me what the problem was and I told him what I had just seen in my head.  He kind of tutted and said it would be fine.  It was quite a long road and before the road went to the left round a bend I looked out of the back window back towards the truck.  I could see a bus coming along and then to my horror it hit the cage.  I gasped and shouted “oh no, you have to stop” but my ex was in busy traffic. He said that as the road was busy there would be lots of people to help.  I think he expected me to just carry on as normal but I just couldn’t. 

In August 1990 I was working and living in Okehampton, Devon.  Working so close to home meant that I could go home for lunch and give myself a welcome break from the pressure of my work.  I remember one day so very well.  I had sat down to eat a sandwich, put the television on and saw that the lunchtime news was giving information about a missing little girl.  She was only eight years old and very strangely had been taken through an open window of a caravan whilst she and her family were on holiday in Bridport, Dorset.  As I watched I felt so worried for her and concerned for her family. I doubt that anyone can imagine how it must feel to know that your child has been taken and you have no idea where she is, or even whether she is dead or alive.

Oddly, as I watched the footage of a line of police officers scouring the local fields for any evidence, I had another movie playing in my head.  I could see the little girl in a derelict house with a young  man and she was frightened and crying.  Most importantly she was alive.  I felt the man was mentally unstable and that concerned me more than anything.  Then, just as suddenly as the ‘movie’ had started, it stopped and I was back to watching tv again. I was quite taken aback and really thought that it was just wishful thinking.

There was a part of me that thought I should do something about the pictures I had just seen, but the logical part of me disregarded the nagging voice in my head, and so I put it to one side and went back to work.  Throughout the afternoon though I kept seeing the same movie over and over again, and no matter how I tried to ignore it, it just wouldn’t go away. Finally, by the time I had finished work and went home I was beginning to think I was going mad.  I was sure that by now they would have found the girl and as soon as I got indoors I put the tv on to see the evening news.  Again, they showed the police looking for her, and yet again in my head I was shown the house she was in.

I had a lurching feeling in my stomach as if I had just been given some bad news. I realised then that I couldn’t sit and do nothing and so I decided to phone my local police station. I had half expected them to tell me not to waste their time, and was in fact already wondering what else I could do if that was the case. Much to my surprise the man who answered the phone listened patiently and told me they would send a detective to come and see me. Even more surprising was that he arrived only about ten minutes later.

As I opened the door a wave of embarrassment came over me, I told him that he most probably would think I was totally crazy  but I just knew I had to do something and didn’t know what else to do other than phone the police.  He was actually very nice and told me that having been in the police service for a number of years nothing surprised him anymore. He asked me to describe the house and the young man I had seen and also asked if I could draw the house for him.  I tried my best to explain everything in the greatest detail I could, I  managed to draw a rough sketch of the house and signed a formal police statement. As he left I literally prayed that someone somewhere would take notice of the information and that they would start to search houses for the little girl rather than looking in the countryside for a corpse.  I really felt that time was running out and that they had been looking in the wrong place.

I hardly slept that night, and again, first thing in the morning put on the tv to see the news.  The little girl had still not been found.  I felt I had no option but to drive the 65 miles to Bridport.  I was hoping against hope that I would somehow be able to spot the house, and if I did I had planned to then inform the police.  I drove around for hours, but didn’t see any houses like the one I had seen in my vision. I sadly and wearily drove back to Okehampton. A huge part of me felt I had let the little girl down and I was becoming concerned that the video I had seen in my head seemed to have gone away. I just prayed that nothing dreadful had happened to her.  I was glued to the tv all evening and  there was still no news.

Again I had a restless night.  I was puzzling why I could no longer see the pictures in my mind and also wondering if I had somehow imagined the whole thing.  At last the morning arrived and the first thing I did was put the television on.  Still no news.  I went to work, struggling to stay awake and to stay calm but with my tummy continually churning, which I have learnt over the years is a physical response I have when spirit is close.

Thankfully that day the little girl was found, safe and well.  I was absolutely amazed when they showed the house on the tv and zoomed in – it was exactly the derelict house I had described to the police. Also, as I had told them,  she was with a young man who was later found guilty of kidnap and imprisoned in a secure mental health unit. I now wonder if my visions had stopped because I had done all I could.  I doubt if I will ever really know.

As expected I never did hear anymore from the police on this, but I do hope that my statement made them realise, for the future at least, that it is worth listening to information from mediums.

After  this event I seemed to go through a couple of years where many times, especially when a child went missing, I would be shown the most sad and often harrowing scenes but I was not given any further information.   I would also watch tv interviews of families where children had gone missing and know instinctively who was responsible, but with no evidence to back it up I couldn’t contact anyone.  I just knew that there was nothing I could do. On each occasion my ‘knowing’ was proved right. Eventually I asked my guides not to let me have  information if there was no action I could take to help  and thankfully those kind of visions stopped. 

On the plus side, when I was learning to drive in deepest Devon, many of my lessons were on very narrow winding roads. Very often my driving instructor would comment on my sixth sense as I would often be happily whizzing along for miles, then I would just know to slow down and pull over, and sure enough a car would always come the other way. I had several lessons with my good friend Jeanette and she became really spooked by my unusual awareness. On so many occasions I would know exactly what other cars were going to do, even if their signals and road position indicated otherwise. One time we were behind queuing cars at traffic lights and I was supposed to get in the empty right hand lane to turn right, but I held back. Jeanette told me to move forward but I insisted that the car at the lights, indicating left and with his wheels already pointing in that direction, would be pulling across in front of me. Jeanette laughed and just thought I was being daft. Sure enough though, as the lights changed, the car in the left hand lane suddenly swung to the right and tore off at great speed.

Almost thirty years ago I had a wonderful spiritual reading, by telephone, with a medium I had never met. Straight away she asked me if I ever felt ‘cobwebs’ on my face as I was driving. I said yes. it was quite normal for me, and she went on to explain that it was a sign that my maternal Grandfather was with me. She told me he was a lorry driver in his life time and he was looking after me. She knew nothing about me, but she was right, he had been a lorry driver, and since that time whenever I feel ‘cobwebs’ on my face I say thank you to my Grandfather. This has happened so many times, and still does, I really feel I am so fortunate to have him watching over me.

Over the years I have learnt to trust spirit and the visions I have which have rarely been incorrect.  I have sometimes wondered if my life would have been easier had I not been so aware, but in reality I wouldn’t change a thing.  My connections with spirit have made such an enormous and positive difference to my life and hopefully, at times, have helped others along the way too.  If through my awareness, even  just a few people have been touched by the love of spirit and the knowledge that our lives, right now, are only part of our souls journey, then I feel truly blessed.

45) The Glass Man

My Dad was  a research scientific glassblower.  He had trained after he returned from serving in the war and after many years as an apprentice went to work for an oil company in their refinery. 

As a young girl I was mesmerised when I would spend hours with Dad in the garden shed as he made all different objects in glass.  He would normally be making atomisers by the dozen, something he did to help pay for the very old car he and Mum had managed to buy.  It was always going wrong and to pay all the garage bills Dad would take on extra work in the evenings and on weekends.

In his shed  he had shelves filled with glass of all different colours and would make small ornaments for us.  He’d ask us what we’d want and we’d excitedly shout out cat or dog or horse and within minutes the glass would be transformed into funny little characters.  Even with his large hands Dad would craft the most beautiful intricate glass furniture for our dolls house and tiny glass coat hangers for our dolls clothes.  It was always like magic to me, watching him heat the glass in the flame and then with various tools he would pull it into different shapes, sometimes blowing into it at the same time.  It was wonderful and I loved our time together in the shed and the strange smell that only a glass blowing room has.  For fun, Dad would blow very fine glass bubbles, they would waft up into the air and were so fragile that you could put your fingers through them and they would virtually disappear.  Dad made beautiful gifts for friends and relatives and everyone would be in awe that he had made them in the shed.  If he had not had the responsibility of a family and the need for a regular income I am sure he would have preferred to spend his time creatively rather than working with all the technical glass blowing at the refinery.

When I attended a spiritualist church in London many years later, there was a young man, Martin, giving his very first inspired talk. You could tell he was extremely nervous and I had even seen him pacing up and down in the hallway before he had to take his place on the platform.  He needn’t have worried at all as his talk was very good.  You could tell that the congregation was hanging on his every word and you could have heard a pin drop. 

I noticed his aura expanding whilst he spoke and could see a vague outline of what appeared to be someone standing to the right side of him. I turned around and looked behind me to see if it could be a shadow or a play of the light, but everyone was sitting down and there were no obvious light sources.  The medium on the platform was sitting to the left of Martin so I couldn’t see where this could be coming from. As he continued speaking I noticed an odd movement to the right hand side of him.  There was a white-painted handrail with railings beneath which ran along the length of the platform and Martin was standing behind them and occasionally leaning on them.  To my absolute amazement I could see the outline of someone leaning on the rail far to the right, and the more I looked the more form the shape took.  Eventually I could see it was a man, a little taller than Martin, and surprisingly, he looked as if he was made of the glass bubbles that my Dad used to make.  He was shiny and transparent! It seemed an age that he was there, leaning on the handrail looking at everyone.  I kept blinking to clear my vision because I just couldn’t really believe what I was seeing. When Martin sat down the man was no longer visible and the service went on as normal.  However, when Martin stood again to say the closing prayer I could clearly see the man again.  It was an experience that I know I will never forget.  I spoke to Martin afterwards and asked him if he was aware of anyone standing near him but he said he wasn’t.  I did very much feel that this may have been a spirit who was there to assist him.

As time went on, and as I saw various mediums working, I began to see more and more outlines on walls behind them which would gradually form into ‘glass’ people.  Often it would be quite vague but sometimes I could make out distinct features, even clothes that were being worn and very often the medium would then give that as a description of the spirit communicator.

When I had been away from my mediumship for several years it appeared that this ‘gift’ of seeing spirit on walls or ‘glass’ people had all but disappeared.  I was chatting to some friends last summer and saying what a great shame that was.  Then, much to my surprise, when I attended a local spiritual workshop I was sitting watching another medium demonstrate when I began to see the familiar outline slowly appearing on the wall behind her.  I was thrilled!  As we worked that day the visions became clearer until I could actually use the vision as the basis for one of my readings when I was called to stand up and demonstrate.  I saw a ‘glass’ man leaning on a very old country gate and could see the countryside around him. Strangely I was also shown the most massive womans breast, which took up most of the wall, and I knew that he was connected to someone who had breast cancer. I was fortunate enough to be told his name, which is something I always ask for but don’t always get. I described him and the connection to the breast cancer and gave his name and immediately a woman could accept him and my communication with him strengthened. I was so grateful that I was able to give the recipient a good message from her loved one.

I often think of the ‘glass’ people I have seen and having spoken to several other mediums it does seem quite rare and I do wonder if watching my Dad making his glass bubbles all those years ago somehow stirred that gift in me.  Thanks Dad!

41) Whooshy!

Goose bumps provoked by a fresh breeze. Photo ...

Goose bumps provoked by a fresh breeze. Photo taken in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a very young girl I was always aware of energies around me because, when they were about, I experienced head to toe goosebumps.  I would happily be walking down the stairs and then suddenly …. whoosh … there they were …  and I would be terrified!

From when I was 9 years old we lived in a typical 1930’s semi-detached three bedroom house in Twickenham, outer London.  When Mum and Dad first bought the house it was very dowdy and when we arrived I thought it was really spooky.  Full of dark colours and with drab curtains hanging at the windows, I wasn’t at all impressed.  I’d have given anything to go back to the modern houses we had lived in when we were living in Essex before Dad had been transferred from Shell Haven, near Southend, to the Shell laboratories in Egham, Surrey.  Mum though was thrilled to be living back near London and her relatives, and Dad was really happy as his transfer was also a step up the career ladder.

My twin sister, Tina, and I had to share the back bedroom which was decorated with wallpaper that was supposed to be ‘stone-wall effect’.  Why anyone would ever want that in a bedroom I had no idea.  It was horrid! Mum and Dad had the large double room overlooking the green at the front of the house, my brother Ray had a small single room and we all shared a pretty awful stark and very chilly bathroom.  Downstairs was a sitting room with a dark wood panelled dining room at one end and a fairly small kitchen with a walk-in larder.  There was no separate loo and no central heating.  In the kitchen was a very old coal-fired boiler which I gathered heated the hot water and the only other heating in the house was a coal fire in the sitting room that seemed to emit more smoke than warmth.  The back garden faced north-east so it was never bright and sunny. All in all I wondered, even at that young age, why on earth Mum and Dad had bought this awful dreary house.

Within a short time of moving in Mum, Tina and I were very busy decorating.  Yes, you did read that correctly! My Dad, bless, was no decorator, and unless you wanted your wallpaper hung upside down or with the pattern mis-matched, and drips of gloss running down the doors, you didn’t ask him to help. Ray was far more interested in being out and about with his friends, so it was up to us girls to get stuck in.  Mum  was a dab-hand at everything d.i.y. and from when Tina and I could just about walk she had taught us all she knew.  She had so much patience and would spend hours teaching us how to prepare surfaces for painting, how to hold a paintbrush and put just enough gloss paint on so that it covered but did not run.   There she was with her beautifully manicured nails and her exquisitely styled hair, full make up and happy as a sandboy, she’d be up and down ladders, painting, wallpapering and even stripping and painting furniture.  Mum was fantastic with colours and her interior design flair soon brightened every inch of the house. All the dark wallpapers had gone replaced by bright light modern colours.  It was a total transformation and the neighbours kept popping round to ask Mum’s advise.  She missed her calling there I think, she should have set up in business and she’d have done so well.

From the moment we moved in I felt that there was a lot going on spiritually speaking.  Both Tina and I were becoming more and more aware of energies in our bedroom at night.  I would get myself under the covers and not dare to peek out because I just knew ‘someone’ was in the room and would be covered in goosebumps, no matter the actual temperature.  Stupidly I had thought that now the house was brighter I would feel more at ease.  I suppose thinking about it now, why would the colour of the wallpaper or the curtains make one jot of difference to a spirit!

What didn’t help either was that Dad would often go upstairs and sit on his own in the bedroom he and Mum shared.  If you walked past the door you could hear him having a one-sided conversation (not that Tina and I would ever stand there and listen intentionally!).  It was all very odd and  if we asked who he was talking to he would make some excuse not to answer.  It was only many years later that he told us that he would be talking to his twin sister Mary, who had died when he was five, and he also had regular chats with his Father-in-law, Ray (Mum’s Dad), who had passed to spirit before Tina and I were even born.  Mum was  exploring her religious beliefs and spirituality and  among other religions that she dabbled with, was off to spiritual meetings and circles whilst we lived there, so no wonder the house was busy with spirit energies!

I remember one particular Saturday afternoon.  Dad was sitting watching sport on the tv and I was going to go upstairs to collect a book to read.  As I went to go up the stairs I was suddenly covered in goosebumps and I froze, I called to Dad and explained that I had gone all whooshy.  To try to put me at my ease he explained that if there was anything on the stairs, our dog, Belle (a beautiful Saluki) would know about it.  He went and brought her out from the sitting room.  She too froze at the bottom of the stairs and with her heckels up began to growl. Dad said she had picked up on my fear and put  her back in the sitting room and went and got Perky, our cat, who was curled up by the boiler, and put her on the bottom of the stairs too.  There was no way she was going to go upstairs either! She quickly ran back into the kitchen. Dad walked up the stairs with me and as we almost got to the turn near the top the hairs on every inch of my body were standing on end and I was what I now term ‘mega-whooshy’.  As soon as we reached the landing the feeling began to subside.

The bathroom was very busy, spiritually speaking, I often felt ‘someone’ was in there, even in the bath I would be going whooshy!  Looking back I suppose I should have asked who it was, but at such a young age I never thought to do that. All of the family saw someone walk into the bathroom on many occasions and we also used to see the towels lifted off the towel rail, which became quite a common occurrence!  I soon learnt that the best way to deal with all the odd feelings I had was to imagine a transparent bubble surrounding me that nothing could penetrate. No-one ever told me to do this, it was purely instinctive, and throughout my whole  life it is something I  have often done without even really thinking about it.  I always feel amazingly safe in my bubble of protection.

Over the years in Twickenham the whole family saw and felt spirit energies both in the house and just outside in the garden.  Sometimes just one of us would experience something but often it would two or more of us at the same time.  We would all be sitting eating our lunch in the dining room and often see someone walk past the french doors, which was impossible as it went nowhere.  To begin with Dad would go outside to see who it was, but after several sightings we all just took it as ‘normal’ and would acknowledge whoever it was and carry on with our meal. I always knew someone was about because I would experience my whooshy feeling even before anyone else said anything.  I didn’t mind too much when we were all together, but I didn’t like it at all when I was in the house on my own, which I would try to avoid as much as possible.

Since that time I have learnt that when I feel the whoosh it is my very own spiritual radar working.  It has never been wrong.  It works in many different ways now.  I suppose as I’ve grown older,  it has been fine-tuned.  If I am giving a demonstration of spirit and am not sure who the recipient is, it has come in very handy.  For example, say I have an elderly gentleman trying to connect with someone, as I start giving evidence I am never sure who it is for.  If someone tries to accept the message and I don’t experience the ‘whoosh’ I know the message is not for them, but the moment the right recipient acknowledges the spirit, from my feet up I feel the ‘whoosh’ rushing right up through my body, and I know it is right.  It’s also very useful when I have been sitting in church, or in a circle, and someone tries to place a spirit reading with me.  They may say ‘I have your Dad with me’ and if I feel nothing I know they haven’t, but if I feel the whoosh I know they have.

As most of my friends are mediums or healers, we do have some, shall I say, rather strange conversations at times.  We chat about our experiences with spirit and some of them are really quite incredible, and some are almost unbelievable.   Many people, I am sure, had they been eavesdropping, would think ‘what a load of rubbish’, and I must admit on occasions I have found some things hard to swallow.  Even as I am sometimes recounting some of the wonderful and weird occurrences that I have been witness to, or been involved with, I am sure others must just have at least the slightest inkling that I am exaggerating!   I have sat listening to the most amazing stories and have been covered in goosebumps and just know that what I am being told is true.  I feel I am so fortunate to have my own lie-detector on board and what is even better is that I can show people too!  It doesn’t matter, even if I’m sitting in warm sunshine, if I get the whoosh, I am covered in goosebumps.  It is a wonderful way of proving that I am receiving a ‘signal’. At other times friends will ask my advise, and if they give me alternative solutions to their problems I will feel the whoosh when they mention the correct course of action for them to take. The whoosh then becomes like spiritual shorthand.  As I said, it has been fine-tuned, and I can’t imagine my life without it now.

I was sitting chatting to two friends, Niki and Sharon, last week and we were discussing how, after we had passed into spirit ourselves, we would be able to give the kind of evidence  to a medium so that our friends and loved ones would absolutely know it was us. For Sharon we said that she could say she had an affinity with wolves, had a phoenix tattoo and enjoyed karaoke.  That would certainly be Sharon! For Niki, we all agreed on the description of big hair (Niki naturally has lots and lots of very curly hair) and her favourite saying which is ‘I don’t know’.  I think we would know that was Niki without too much of a problem. For me, I had to laugh, Sharon said there was just one word that would guarantee it was me.  The word? Whooshy!!

39) The Afterlife Monologues

Simon and I went down to North Devon a couple of weekends ago.  I used to live there and sometimes feel a real longing to drive along familiar country roads and walk along a typical sandy Devon beach and feel the fresh sea air on my face.  I have a friend who lives just outside Barnstaple, Susan Roberts, I have mentioned her in my blogs before.  She set up and runs the English Psychic Company, and she was my first real teacher of mediumship.  She ran a tight ship and accepted nothing but the best.  My evenings in her classes were a mixture of trepidation and relief.  She set such high standards and expected nothing less of us, her pupils.  She wouldn’t even accept you on a course until you had passed a test to prove that you had some potential, and that was nerve-wracking in itself.

I first met Susan after my Mum had died and I had heard her (Mum, not Susan!) talking to me in the loo, always late at night.  The first time it happened I thought it was my imagination, but immediately as I thought that Mum told me it wasn’t.  I came out of the loo and didn’t tell anyone what had just happened as I was sure they would think I was crazy.  The following night, just before bed, again in the loo, Mum talked to me again, I told her that I was sure she was a wishful thought and again she told me she wasn’t.  Well if you are real, I said, make the lights go on and off.  To my utter amazement, the lights flickered!  You have never seen anyone move so fast out of the loo! This happened for several nights.  Nothing at all in the daytime, but come my last visit to the loo, there would be Mum.  I didn’t see her, but I could feel her presence, her warmth and love, and I could hear her voice, definitely hers, not mine, but inside my head.

During the day I was so sad, missing my Mum so much, but feeling quite mixed up knowing that in the evening there would be this very odd form of contact.  I tried to reason with myself that the whole thing was just too bizarre and to be honest I often felt that I was losing the plot.  It was a secret I kept to myself.  Part of me dreaded going to the loo because I was quite afraid, but another part would be looking forward to the comfort that I felt every night knowing that Mum was ok and was still around.

After a week or so I decided I really should do something about all of this.  Ever since I was a very young child I had been aware of spirits, of energies around me, of knowledge that from my earthly life I shouldn’t’  or couldn’t have known, but this was very different,  I had never had an ongoing communication with someone who I had known and loved  before.

I had met a spiritual healer, Liz Gilmour, at a local spiritual fayre a couple of years before and had kept her business card in my purse.  I felt sure that she would know of someone locally I could go and see to try to find out what was going on.  I rang Liz and without telling her any information at all I asked if she knew of anyone who could communicate with spirits. Without hesitation she recommended Susan Roberts.  She told me that Susan had an excellent reputation and was very down to earth.  I rang Susan straight away  and made an appointment which was for a  week later.  She asked me to bring along a photo of the person I would ideally like to get in contact with, but she said she couldn’t always guarantee that that person may communicate.  Apart from that she didn’t ask me anything else at all. Part of me was so excited to be seeing a professional medium and the other part was absolutely terrified.  I had no idea what to expect and kept feeling the biggest butterflies in my tummy every time I thought about it.

Eventually the day of the reading arrived and with an enormous amount of trepidation I went along to see Susan.  It was such a relief to be welcomed by a ‘normal’ woman who immediately put me at my ease.  She showed me into her sitting room which spookily overlooked a graveyard, I remember thinking how funny that was.  I showed her the photo I had taken along and straight away Susan told me it was a photo of my Mum who had died three weeks before,  She told me about Mum’s illness and how she had died.  Then, much to my amazement, and laughing as she told me, she said that Mum had been talking me in the loo! Everything Susan told me was absolutely accurate.  I skipped out of her house and driving home felt so uplifted and positive totally knowing that my Mum had been chatting to me.

I had no idea at the time that I would again be in contact with Susan within a few weeks.   My brother Ray died totally unexpectedly just six weeks after my Mum.  He was only fifty and was found in his bed at home.  At the time we had no idea how he had died or what was the cause of his death.  I spoke to Susan just days after Ray died, as again I was sure I could feel him close to me.  She gently started to explain that it was most probably too early for him to be able to make contact, but as she spoke I could sense her hesitating.  She asked if a red tricycle meant anything to me.  It certainly did.  As I said yes she started receiving more evidence from Ray.  She told me exactly how he had died and most importantly for me, that he had felt no pain.  She told me that his heart had literally just stopped.  That he was here one minute and gone the next.  Just like that.  No pain at all.  I was so relieved as I had been concerned that he would have been distressed.  Sure enough when we received the results of his autopsy it confirmed that his heart had just stopped and that his passing to spirit would have been instant.

Over the years I have been fortunate to have met several wonderful mediums who have given me the most fantastic evidence and messages from those I have lost.  I do think that if I hadn’t met Susan at such a difficult time in my life I would have been very doubtful, but she was so accurate with everything she said that she gave me confidence to explore the amazing world of spirit both as a medium myself, being able to give comfort to those missing their loved ones, and as someone myself so pleased to hear from those I love who are in spirit.

I have absolute confidence in Susan and when she told me that over the years she had been contacted by several spirits who wanted their experiences of death  heard by a wider audience, I could appreciate why they had chosen her to tell their stories.  She had written their stories exactly as she heard them, and over a long period had built up quite a selection.  Spirits contacted her from all walks of life with very different stories to tell.  She decided to bring the stories to the stage and called the production The Afterlife Monologues.  Several of her students took the roles of the spirits and spoke in the first person, recounting their memories.  I was intrigued and was so sad when I was unable to attend the first time it was on at a theatre in Devon.  It was by pure chance just a couple of months ago that I asked Susan is she was thinking of putting on another production.  She said that one was planned for the end of March.  That was wonderful news!  I could go and walk along the beach, see some old friends, and go and see the Afterlife Monologues all within a long weekend.  I booked the hotel straight away and Simon booked the time off work.  We were so lucky with the weather.  Our journey from our home in Hampshire was just beautiful.  We stopped by a field of new-born lambs, watching them running and playing, then found a country pub where we enjoyed a fantastic lunch on a sunny roof terrace. It couldn’t have been better.

We met Susan at her premises and sat near the back so that we could see everything.  The stories from the spirits were just incredible,  The readers were amazing and bought the stories to life.  You really felt they were telling their own experiences.  When we spoke to some of the readers in the break they said that they could feel the emotions of the spirits whose stories they were reading, which was certainly conveyed to us in the audience.  Simon, who I had thought may find it all a little boring, actually really enjoyed the evening.  Afterwards when we were sitting having a drink in the bar in the hotel he was asking so many questions about spirit.  Far more than he ever has in the years we have been together.  I believe that the moving and realistic way in which the experiences were bought to life really made his mind open up to the reality of our ongoing lives in our spiritual form. I do hope that one day Susan will make a dvd of these stories so that an even wider audience can experience these for themselves.

I do think that one thing that so many of us find so hard to talk about is physical death.  It is a subject that many people avoid as they say it is depressing and also of course many find the whole thing terribly frightening too, which is understandable.  It is though,  the one thing that we all know for sure will happen to us at some time, yet most of us are totally unprepared for it.  We are also unprepared for the death of a loved one.  It is almost taboo to talk about such things unless you are talking to an insurance salesman or a solicitor who is drawing up wills.

I know that when my parents and my brother all died within less than four months I wouldn’t have been able to cope without the certainty that their spirits, their souls, still existed.  It was largely thanks to Susan and her spiritual communications that I could manage to get through those dark days.  I was talking to her after my Dad had died, telling her how very sad I was and how much I missed him.  She told me something I will never forget.  She said that whilst we are all so upset here for losing someone we love, at the same time there are massive celebrations in the spirit world as that person is being reunited with loved ones who have passed before.  She said to imagine that my Dad was on a ship, leaving the shore, waving to me as he went, but when the ship completed its journey, he would reach another shore where his Mum and Dad and his brothers and sisters would be waiting to greet him.  I thought of that many times over the years, knowing how pleased Dad would have been to see his family and in particular his twin sister Mary again, knowing how much he missed her throughout his life.

We had a wonderful time back in North Devon.  I did manage to walk along my old local beach and enjoyed feeling the warm sand between my toes, breathing in the crisp clear air.  We drove down many winding country lanes, shared lovely times with old friends and Simon took some great photographs.  What a great mini-break we had, and how delighted I was to have been able to see the Afterlife Monologues.  I know the stories and experiences of those spirits will stay with me always.

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