Friday, 30 November 2007
"I'd like to send this to arrive as soon as possible, please," I told the lady behind the counter at the post office, nearly apologising for disturbing her intellectual conversation with the girl next to her about in which pub they should meet that night.
"It'll have to go Registered Post then," the woman said, rather put out as she found herself lumbered with a customer. She took the envelope from me, turning to re-start her conversation with the colleague who sat thinking hard about times and venues. At that point, I must have had a trial senior moment as I asked her to repeat the cost of the transaction. I had heard her say something about money but wasn't sure if she was telling her friend how much she would have to spend on the "it'll be a laugh" night out.
"£4.30." She did not bat an eyelid. Her head turned once more to carry on making those all important plans.
"Sorry?" I said, slowly coming out of my trance.
She looked at me. Her face was aghast at my difficult question.
"Well you want it to get there A.S.A.P. don't you?" she asked, rudely.
"Well, yes," I replied, beginning to lose patience. "But that's a bit expensive. It's as light as a feather!"
"Doesn't matter," she continued, "that's the cost." Right then. That's the cost. We have no choice in the matter. The post mistress had made the decision for me. After all, the life and death decisions that she had made that day had mainly involved which outfit she would wear, which colour to paint her nails and whether to have her hair up or down.
She started pressing buttons on her machine. I hoped her nails would break. Her colleague looked at me strangely. As far as I knew I had not grown another head nor had I gone cross eyed or had half the big mac I had just scoffed stuck between my teeth, but I had felt myself go a different colour. A similar shade to my hair; crimson red.
"I'm not paying that," I suddenly said out of nowhere. Boy, was I proud of myself. "Can you change it to first class, please."
I had used my manners throughout. I had not raised my voice. The woman and her colleague now stood on the other side of the counter, perspex and scales separating us and can you believe it, they both shook their heads in disgust. The woman who served me, miraculously spared her manicured nails and slammed a few more buttons, changing my transaction to first class which cost me the grand total of 48p. And, no doubt, the envelope will land on the recipient's desk on Monday morning when it will probably not be looked at anyway. If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is bad manners, especially in a customer service environment. There is just no need for it. After telling the farmer about my bravery in front of the sour-faced nail creature, he asked if I had remembered his cream crackers.
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
He sat in his high back leather chair, his hands resting on the desk's surface as he talked to colleagues in his office. He held meetings at his desk. He promoted staff, hired and sometimes fired. One day he cried at his desk. He had the gruelling task of making some of his employees redundant, near to the end of his physical life. This sentimental piece of old furniture caught his tears as he cried for the families whose lives he had just destroyed. His energy seeps from the drawers, from the little brass key he held as he locked away his working life each night. His signature is faintly engraved as he carelessly signed a letter without protecting the surface of the desk. Whenever I look at the desk, I see him. I see him laugh, smile, frown and cry. I see him eat his sandwich and drink his tea. I see him.
The desk is too heavy to move with drawers intact. Therefore it was necessary to remove the eight drawers in order to maneouvre it down the stairs from my bedroom, passed the mirror of a thousand faces, then up a second flight of stairs to the opposite side of the house. But as I removed the last drawer at the bottom of my beautiful desk, I noticed some papers, neatly collated and seemingly hidden underneath the drawer itself. I took the papers from their den, my heart racing as I realised I had found something that had possibly been placed in hiding by the previous owner of the desk; my dad.
I looked at the papers. Amongst correspondence and subsequent drawings was a piece of A4 lined paper, covered in my dad's distinctive handwriting. He wrote mainly in capital letters. It was how I first learned to identify his writing. For one Christmas many years ago, I found a letter supposedly sent to me by Santa Clause himself. However, I was to discover that year about legends and myths as I realised the letter had been sent by none other than my own dad. I was disappointed as a child but have since understood that my dad cared enough to reply to my pleas to Santa.
I held the priceless piece of paper in my trembling hands, running my fingers over the ink. He knew I would one day find those papers. He knew I would treasure them like I treasure him. The pedestal I created during my childhood years is stronger and higher than it has ever been. He continues to guide me with his devoted promises. My sister has her own wonderful memories of him, my brother does too. I have his desk. His love. And his presence.
Monday, 26 November 2007
The lounge is piercing. I pull my gown tightly around me, wrapping myself in extra warmth. I switch the television on, a little company to assist me as I try hard to beckon sleep. But I cannot settle. I feel uncomfortable while sitting rigid on the sofa. The cat has not joined me. Her watchful gaze followed me as I left the bedroom, yet she was happy to remain at her original post. Perhaps she felt no need to assist me on my search for warmth. Her body, her fur coat was enough to soothe her tired mind. I, however, have no fur coat, my body is aching from cold and my mind feels overwhelmed by thought. Yet I do not know what I am thinking. I do not know why I feel emotional. My heart races, my palms perspire. I can feel tears stabbing the backs of my eyes then a drop escapes, leaving me bemused.
The lounge door closes. My head immediately turns as I have a sharp intake of breath, relief washing over me. I have been joined. I have been drawn towards a forceful energy creating a wealth of emotions as I once more reach out my hand, this time to the soul who stands before me, his blue eyes drowning me in their intensity. His beautiful smile helps me to feel at ease. I have warmed. The room no longer pierces my skin with its chill. A rush of heat burns through my chest, my eyes close, tears flow in a bid to escape this highly charged sensation.
My cries have become a heart-warming sob. I cannot seem to prevent this powerful emotion. The television continues in its quest to comfort; it fails. Noises scream from the pictures which move about before my eyes. They do not register with me. All I can hear, the only thing I feel is the soul who has encouraged me to leave my bed. The soul who now cries with me as we remember the promises we made to each other many years ago. Our pledge of unconditional love as we sat on my bed when I was twenty years old after a difficult time which had finally come to an end. My dad held me in his arms back then, his cries emitting around the room, his tears falling upon my dressing gown. He almost gave up what he had achieved throughout his life, just to keep me warm and loved. My dad has proved once more that he lives on, through me and with me. And neither of us will ever break that vow.
Friday, 23 November 2007
The farmer has kindly fixed a BT (oh no, not them again) socket to the wall in the room which is going to become my office. I have tacked the wire to the wall and he is currently wiring it in for me. Neither of us are confident with such matters, however, if anything goes wrong, I can at least blame him. This means, in the very near future I will be able to move my desk and computer into my new office. I can set up my books and make it look like a room where one does lots of work. I had an idea for my book last night, at 2.30 in the morning to be precise and should my PC have been installed in its new place I would have switched it on and started writing. As it happened, I rolled over and went back to sleep. I envisage some activity in there once I have got myself set up. It has been used by many members of the family as a bedroom, including Jim. I only hope my lady of the stairs will change direction when she gets to the mirror and turn right instead of left. I would hate to miss her.
Thursday, 22 November 2007
When I heard this news I panicked. I immediately feared for the safety of my daughter. And the safety of children everywhere. Why these re-incarnated pieces of shit are being let back into our society has confused me to the hilt. I know everyone has a job to do and I know some people are able to find it in their hearts to give paedophiles another chance but does a leopard really ever change its spots? Can we honestly say that we would be happy for one of these deformed insects to live amongst us, in our village, just down the road, even next door? Would we ever be able to trust them near our children?
We know his car. We have his description. We even know part of his car registration. He is pathetic. His mind is obviously so twisted that he finds young children exciting in a sexual way. What is wrong with him? What is wrong with them all? What has gone wrong with our society? Our school, safe as it is, is now on police watch along with all the others in this area. Our lovely little village school with our beautiful children and our amazing staff, now have to endure thoughts of fear. When I was told about this low life my first thoughts were not very nice. They involved a very large sharp instrument.
I am not blind to the fact that this scum is indeed walking the streets, have probably walked past me and my beautiful daughter on many occasions. I do wear my rose tinted glasses but not as often as I did before I gave birth. But I am living in a real world. A world which most of the time we can enjoy, we can laugh in. But a world that some of the time is corrupt. A time that we fear.
We still do not know what happened to Madeleine McCann. Many theories have been put forward yet nothing has come out of finding that beautiful little girl. Wouldn't it be nice if we could let our children just play outside. Go from house to house without fearing for their safety. This pervert will be caught. The police know him. Yet they have to catch him. Then interview him. Then take him to court. Then watch him walk free on lack of evidence and watch the whole process begin again.
If I caught him, I would set a hundred parents on him. Then I would watch as they brandish their sharp instrument. And give him another chance, another go at making a life for himself, rehabilitation, counselling, forgiveness? Bollocks to that. His, in fact.
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Perhaps it is a change in the temperature but I have been feeling unusually cold of late, desperately trying to get warm by wearing thermals, two pairs of extremely thick socks, jumpers and a fleece. I read on the Internet yesterday that some people wear hats and gloves to bed in the dead of winter. Thank God I will not be alone, although what the farmer will think when he sees an Eskimo lying next to him upon his early night promises, I just do not know. But I am sorry, hanky panky and all that jazz will just have to wait if I am to stay warm.
On a serious note, for the past few weeks I have been feeling a rather strange sensation in my right foot. It has been permanently cold. Not to touch, however, just a feeling. I have, as usual, worn two pairs of socks and kept myself warm. I also wear slippers in the house, as my sister will vouch, she usually buys me a pair every year to add to my other six. But the slippers I have been wearing seem to have made the matter worse. My foot stays cold. There has been no pain, or tingling, or even pins and needles. Just cold. The left foot has been fine. I recently bought myself a pair of boot slippers which have definitely made a difference, they are quite hard to get on but once they are on, the heat seems to come flooding back. All sorts of things have been going through my head and I have almost turned into a hypochondriac. But the one thing that I really thought about was circulation problems. Having never suffered with this previously I was not sure if I was right and so went to the doctors on Monday morning, Wikopedia on one side of brain, saw dust on the other and sat down in the chair.
"I haven't seen you for ages," the doctor said. Good start.
"I have a very cold foot. Poor circulation." Where did that come? Who was the doctor here?
"Take your shoes and socks off and let's have a look at both feet." How long did he have!
Trainers were undone, I can not stand to pull shoes off feet without untying them first. Top layer of socks removed, folded neatly and put in respective shoe then second layer of socks removed and joined in respective shoe with respective sock. Thermals and jeans pulled up only slightly so as not to display neglected bristly legs. His face was a picture. I could see the speech bubble appearing over his head as he was thinking, "bloody hell, trust me to get this one."
Fortunately my feet were clean. He held them in his hands, one at a time. Stroked them; prodded them; caressed them. Usually, I never let anyone touch my feet, ugly that they are I just feel embarrassed about their repulsiveness. He tested my reflexes, sitting back suddenly as I nearly caught him in his fruit basket. However, the doctor was doing a good job so far. He wasn't saying very much and I wondered if I should start a conversation but before I thought of anything intellectual to talk about he opened his top drawer in his desk. Fumbling about amongst suspicious looking instruments and a set of keys he finally brought out his little prick.
"Can you feel that?" he asked, "how about that?"
"Yep, can definitely feel that." The Wikopedia had clouded over, dust had once more overwhelmed my fuzzy brain.
"And this foot?"
"Yes, I can feel it."
An instrument that looked like a tuning fork was then pressed against my ankle bone, rather too hard as I let him know and then he finally put his tools away and sat back in his chair. He smiled. He was quite happy with his diagnoses of nothing. Then came the job of replacing the two pairs of socks and putting on shoes which had to be tied. I heard the tap run as I undertook this time consuming task and a hand wash pump dispenser being dispensed. I wondered if he might have been thinking about his lunch. I do hope the socks I wore were clean and not ones which the farmer had stuffed back in the sock drawer last night after removing them from his own feet.
Sunday, 18 November 2007
Of course, most of the people who are asked for their life story in the few minutes of which we are being served will obligingly respond and often care enough to ask the smiling child, "what is your name?" It takes twice as long to shop due to these necessary interviews which take place in every establishment we visit and I usually end up spending twice as much money when walking past the hopefuls shaking a charity tin. However, I smile and let Amy get on with it. She is, after all, showing initiative and I would never stop her doing that. Her interest in hair dressing over the last few months is beginning to make me wonder whether this would be the ideal career for her to aim towards. Having the confidence to approach strangers with soul searching questions, perhaps I could encourage her to start asking people where they are going for their holidays.
So this leads me to tell you about our rather embarrassing encounter in McDonalds on Sunday. A chicken nugget Happy Meal with sweet and sour sauce was tempting Amy to the delights of the fast food (in Berwick perhaps not) restaurant and as I was desperate for the loo I decided it would be better to eat in. We usually eat in the car if I am ordering a Big Mac which is my favourite as I prefer to eat it in private, however, I was not having anything this time so in we went to answer nature and feed a hungry child.
I went into the end cubicle. Amy went in the middle one. A lady came in the toilets after us and went into the one at the other end. "Are you okay, Amy?" I asked calmly. "Yeah," she replied. Then I cringed. I could feel my body tightening up. How I wished at that moment I had gone into the same cubicle as Amy which is what I usually do. For the lady on the end, God bless her, began to play the National Anthem as she answered her own call of nature. I knew what was coming.
"That lady just trumped!" Oh. My. God. Thanks Amy, I thought and hurried to find something in my head to say which would save the poor woman from any further embarrassment. I stayed in the cubicle. "Are you okay, Amy?" I called. "Yeah. Did you hear...." "YES. Hurry up, please." The woman was through that cubicle door faster than a child at 'Toys R Us'. I heard water run and then the hand dryer and eventually the door creaked open and phew, closed again. I opened my door and had to almost peel Amy from the toilet seat as she sat in a complete fit of giggles, unable to pull up her trousers and sort herself out. We washed and dried our hands and made our way to the counter where I obsessively looked around for the Berwick Symphony Orchestra, wondering if she was watching us.
Does this look like a contented dog to you? Spoilt rotten. Probably the reason why she never does as she is told, unless of course she wants to.
"Sit." In one ear, out the other.
"Stay." In one ear, out the other.
"Biscuit." In one ear, sits, stays, looks at you with eager eyes.
"Sparky is going to make a canny working dog." Words said straight from the dog trainer's mouth. "When she has a litter, save one for me."
We are quite confident that we have a wee corker on our hands. She has a beautiful coat, fluffy and shining and eyes that would melt an iceberg.
She adores Amy. Like all dogs, as I described briefly in a previous post, she rolls over at Amy's feet, ears back, tail wagging, love pouring out for her beloved "human sister" as Amy refers to herself. She is still not too good on a lead, prefers to be running loose, ignoring me as I scream after her. She is already showing signs of being a great working dog. The sheep are there to be rounded up, Sparky is there to do the job. I think Molly feels quite put out sometimes as she watches in surprise while Sparky brings the sheep home.
I am trying to talk the farmer into having a cocker spaniel, a gun dog. Unfortunately, I know very little about these dogs so if anyone wishes to enlighten me I would be happy to read. Some people have children to make their family complete. We have dogs. I love them. All of them.
Saturday, 17 November 2007
Friday, 16 November 2007
8 things I'm passionate about
1. My daughter’s welfare
2. My husband (in a passionate way!)
3. My animals; Molly & Sparky, the dogs; Jess, the cat; Chi-Chi, the pony; 22 hens and about 700 sheep.
4. My farm
5. The Spirit World
6. Blogging (!)
7. Writing, particularly my book about a paranormal existence
8. Wearing slippers in the house. Much more comfortable and saves standing on anything sharp.
8 things to do before I die
1. See my daughter grow up
2. Have my book published
3. Fly over the Grand Canyon
4. Buy a house in the Scottish Highlands
5. Persuade my husband to take me out
6. Get back in shape, preferably down to a size 14
7. Have a conversation in French
8. Stop biting my nails
8 things I often say:
1. For Heaven’s sake
2. Not tonight, I’ve got a headache
3. Do you need any help?
4. Amy! (in a loud voice), what are you doing?
5. The dog’s just weed on the floor
6. You’re joking?
7. I’m cold, I’ll put the heating on
8. Clear off, I’m busy
8 books I've read recently
1. Ghost Huntings with Derek Acorah
2. Meet and Work with Spirit Guides
3. Never Say Goodbye, Pat Matthews
4. David Wells Medium
5. Gordon Smith Medium
6. The Argos catalogue
7. Freelance Writers Handbook
8. Jack & the Beanstalk
8 songs/pieces of music I could listen to over and over
1. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face sung by George Michael (our wedding song)
2. Because You Loved Me, Celine Dion
3. Nimrod, Edward Elgar
4. Adagio, Tomaso Albinoni
5. Time to Say Goodbye sung by Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli
6. Cavatina (The Deer Hunter)
7. Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven
8. Everybody Hurts, REM
8 qualities I look for in a best friend
4. Strong shoulders
6. Understanding, particularly towards Amy
8. Good conversation
And there you have it. It is so easy to lay oneself bare by using a keyboard and a monitor. You lot know more about me than my own mum. I think I am supposed to tag eight people but I want to tag everyone. So in that case, rather than have someone wish they had been tagged, I invite you all to have a go. It's great fun and if you want to give crap for answers that is entirely your choice.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
This extract is taken from Chapter One. Camilla, the main character, settles into her new home of which she has inherited from her grandmother.
I had finished familiarising myself with my new home, it was time to set up my reading room and begin my work. A small room downstairs sufficed, red velvet curtains already hung at large sash windows. The carpet would need replacing in time and perhaps the fireplace would need to be rediscovered but its atmosphere felt perfect for visiting spirits. I positioned a small square table in the middle of the room. Two chairs facing each other, currently unoccupied. A lace table cloth draped in heavy splendour, of old fashioned appearance, found amongst a chest of antique fabrics. I placed my Crystal Ball upon pewter stand in the middle of the table. A large candle holder with ivory candle adorned the mantle, alone and eager.
Perfect. All I needed now was people to grace me with their excited presence, looking forward to finding out which loved ones were able to bare their soul. I sat in that room for a while. Meditation came easy in such calm surroundings. Taken to a world of vivid imaginings, my mind’s eye was able to distinguish between our earth plane and the plane in which our spirit friends now had no choice but to reside. Lush green grass, morning dew still evident as sheep feasted upon blades and cud; a stream, gently flowing, carrying fallen sticks over rocks which had embedded over the years; blue skies; a yellow sun pointing her rays at poppies and wheat in the fields beyond.
I sat, flat-footed against the floor, my shoulders back and my hands resting on each knee. I could not hear a thing. I could not hear the water in my imaginary stream, or the birds which chatted in their wake. I knew something was not right. The calm was upon me as a storm brewed in my head. I needed to come out of my meditative state, find reality once more, ask why I had been presented with this unwelcome feeling.
As I lifted my feet from the floor, moving my head to see the Crystal before me, the picture appeared, clear and instantly visible, my mind’s eye drawing in to understand what was about to happen. A broken heart. Tears. It was all too predictable; too corny. I had seen broken hearts before, many times. But there was no one else in the room. I could feel no spirits beside me, I could find no explanation for a broken heart. I dismissed it. Put it down to the Crystal being in new surroundings; my own surroundings being new to my self.
As I opened the blue velvet cloth in which to securely return the Crystal, I wondered if my ears were deceiving me. I could hear the faint sound of a woman crying. It was so faint I could only just make it out and had I have been able to hear other sounds in the room, I would most certainly not have heard this one. The woman sobbed as the sound became more distinct. Covering up the Crystal, the sound appeared much clearer; a haunting cry for help.
“Who are you?” My words prompted the sobbing to stop. “Spirit. Come forward.” I looked around the room. I hoped a sign would appear of an astral presence; anything; tapping, knocking, even poltergeist activity. I was eager to know whether my reading space had been appreciated by my spirit friends.
“Please give me a sign.” I made some suggestions. “Perhaps knock on the table. Maybe you could push the candlestick from the mantle.”
It was clear after fifteen minutes of patience that the crying woman either no longer felt comfortable in her communicative encounter or she simply did not have enough energy to answer my calls. I hoped she would return, maybe she would realise she was able to draw from my energy and communicate with me in confidence.
That evening, the sun made her beautiful descent beyond the hills, lighting up the once blue sky with fire opals in abundance. I wondered how God could have created something so intense yet allowed our neighbours to shed blood in battle. I wondered about God often. How some of us walked amongst the spirits, made friends with another dimension whilst others laughed, unable to understand their astral cousins. I thought about the world so breathtaking yet abused by destructive hands, buildings of such captivating interest yet at the end of their existence as they lay destroyed by religious anger.
The television switched on by itself that night. It had often performed that highly amusing trick in my previous home but since I had moved here, it was my own hands that had brought it to life. However, this time it had decided not to wait. Perhaps there was something worth watching, something I would find interesting.
It switched onto a channel currently showing a film. A romance starring well known actors yet one in which I would have chosen to avoid. I gave the film the benefit of the doubt and made myself comfortable. The remote control lay next to me, waiting with bated breath as I found it impossible to take it in my grasp. I did not want to sit through this film. I wanted to watch a documentary which was due to be shown on the other side. I would find it more interesting, romantic films were not my thing.
The sound increased. I found myself surrounded by voices, but not just romantics who were now looking into each other’s eyes on the magic screen. The walls around me had started to speak. Women’s voices, children laughing, men asking questions. I could hear a dog bark. The room had found life. Still unable to reach the remote control I had no choice. The picture on the television began to fade as new imagery presented itself to me, two new faces, radiant with bliss. But one of the faces was beginning to look familiar. The hair colour; the brown eyes; the long profile. It was me. I did not recognise the other face; a woman’s features, quite beautiful, elegant perhaps.
Spirit had appeared. An eager soul releasing energy insisted that I look into my own future. The voices and the dog’s bark waned. I could hear nothing. No sound came from the box before me. Just faces; mine and that belonging to a stranger. Who was she? Why was she appearing with me? I needed answers, I had questions which I suspected were not going to be answered during that visit.
“Who are you?” I asked. A faint knock came from the opposite corner of the room.
“Mother?” She did not visit me often, yet I knew she was able to. I had not mourned after her death. She had been deteriorating over many years of suffering from an excruciating illness and we all felt at the time that her passing had been a blessing. Still, after twelve years, I felt she had not forgiven me for a lack of respect. We had so much catching up to do yet she made it hard for me when she refused to visit.
“Please give me a sign. Tap on the window. Is that you, mother?”
The faintest knock I could hear once more. It was as though she was with me. Yet she did not know if she would be welcome or not. I wanted her to communicate with me, tell me about her journey from the earth plane.
“Knock louder, mum.” I requested, becoming a little impatient with her modesty.
She did. It was a much more distinct knocking, hard against a table. My captor had released me from the chair and I was able to sit on the floor by the table in which I believed her to be near. I sat, crossed legged on the floor, resting my palms on the table top. Still no sound. The woman’s face on the television had become melancholy; my own face appeared to be fading. I was feeling cold. So cold. The heated radiators seemed to make no difference. Something touched my head. Unseen hands stroked the top of my head, running fingers carefully through my hair. Spirit was above me, guarding me from a future I had yet to unveil.
©Copyright CJ 2007
Monday, 12 November 2007
I thought I would mark this occasion by showing you a photograph which was taken of Amy and me last summer. It was published alongside an article I wrote for our local paper about Autism. I wanted people to see how hard yet how rewarding it can be to have a child with special needs. My intention to make people think before they judge seemed to hit the spot as I am still approached today by members of the public about how their views have changed towards these special individuals.
"When is granddad coming?" a little girl asks, wide eyed and innocent.
"Soon, I hope," I reply, with honesty.
"Will he shake hands with Jim?" the child continues.
"I expect so," I say.
"Granddad is so handsome," announces the child.
"He is," I agree.Amy sees her granddad in Heaven. She looks at his photograph sitting on the piano, his smile melts her heart while his eyes bore into hers. She strokes his face and tears trickle down her cheeks. Amy does not remember her granddad. He passed when she was eighteen months old. She does not remember the day he and grandma took her to visit her great-nana or the days they looked after her at their house, nurturing her every need. She does not remember when granddad gave her a bath, holding her tiny frame against his arm, doting on his first granddaughter. She does not remember the day he passed. When she sat in her pram at Wigan Infirmary being looked after by her Auntie while I sobbed, unable to see him as he lay motionless in a cold and dim lit room.
Yet she knows him. She knows how much he loved her during the eighteen months in which he was able to hold her. And she knows how much he loves her now, as he guides her through her childhood years.
Animals have a sixth sense. They are able to detect human kindness. And human pain. They know when a person is cruel or uncharitable. They know empathy; they know Amy. She loves animals. She has no fear. Mia, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, overwhelms anyone who approaches her. She jumps up at everyone. Her owner, Amy's godmother, finds it difficult to control her. Mia has never jumped up at Amy. She shows only calmness while in Amy's presence. She rolls over at Amy's feet, begging for a tender touch. People find this fascinating to watch as Amy takes it in her stride, having no fear of this boisterous creature.
Large malteser eyes search your soul. They entice you into a depth of intrigue, prompting you to listen, to hear, to learn. Amy's eyes lock into your own. She does not find it hard to make eye contact as is the case with most autistic beings. She draws you into her world until you can not help but surrender to a child's perception of our existence. She tells you about the angels which surround her. Three angels, pictures of which she draws regularly, in matchstick fashion.
"Too loud," she says, her hands cupped tightly over her ears. "Stop singing," she insists, her eyes closed as she mentally drowns out the sound of my voice. Unable to sit in a room with a group of people, listening to music and loud noise, she holds her head in her hands, rocking back and forth. Unable to let me brush her hair properly, pain being inflicted with each stroke. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" she often asks me. "Of course I am," I reply. She smiles and carries on with her drawing of a beautiful angel.
"Let us go outside and watch the moon," she suggests. "I want to see my 'bedtime' star." I hold her hand as she leads me to the back door. The moon shines in a dark sky, tiny stars twinkle, beckoning our eyes to their elegance. "There she is, mummy." A child's arm points to a star, the one which sparkles more brilliantly than the rest. I feel confident she will sleep now as she returns inside, tears having filled her chocolate eyes, yet a smile adorning her face.
I have just described to you a child with autism. I have also just described to you a Crystal Child. These children have many other wonderful qualities some of which are often seen as ADHD (Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder) or ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). It is often the case that these children are diagnosed with Autism. It has been said that once children have received this official diagnoses, their gifts as a Crystal Child can be lost amidst the support in which they receive. I know this is not the case with Amy. Because of my own sensitivity to a paranormal world, I have been able to recognise her growing gift. Amy is, without doubt, autistic. For that reason I will fight for her throughout my life. And if I were able to diagnose her further, she would be known as "The Crystal Child".
There are many books available which describe Crystal Children in detail.
Saturday, 10 November 2007
When my dad passed, my mum gave away all her decorations. Everything went. She could not bear to see them. Christmas had been a wonderful time in our family home. My dad switched off from his demanding job and gave us his undivided attention. They had a huge monkey tree in the front garden and he would spend hours arranging clear fairy lights every year, cursing and muttering then standing back and admiring. "What do you think?" he would ask. "It's the most beautiful tree I have ever seen," we would reply. The first Christmas after his passing I remember my brother arranged the fairy lights as we could not stand to see that monkey tree look so cold. But the lights did not seem to sparkle. The tree remained cold as did the house.
As the years have passed and our family have learnt to live with my dad's physical absence, my mum has accumulated some new decorations particularly after moving into her new house a few years ago. But her refusal to have a Christmas tree remains. She still can not bear to see a beautiful Christmas monument, lit up and gracefully presented, for fear of remembering that adorned monkey tree guiding the way to a warm heart. I shall offer my artificial tree to my mum, she does have a place in her lounge where it could go.
Three black sacks sit on the lounge carpet. Each one is full. Each one contains presents for three children. The boy can not wait to tear the paper off each one, how many selection boxes will he get this year. The toddler looks on, marvelling at each sack, her eyes shining as her hands reach in. The girl ponders. How did Santa manage to get all these presents from his sleigh to the lounge carpet without making a sound? He must be truly magical. He has even had time to leave a note; a thank you for the mince pie and the glass of milk. She can not contain her smile any longer, the presents are too tempting. Paper chains, coloured candles, hanging foils and home made ornaments scatter about the room. Wrapping paper torn into shreds, chocolates and colouring books, games and teddies awake from hibernation as each child eagerly reveals a present within.
We used to have a green artificial tree in our childhood days. My dad would put the coloured fairy lights on it first before we were allowed to decorate it with anything and everything. We did not have expensive ornaments to hang from each branch. Our tree had no frills or garden centre riches. But it did have tinsel. Silver and red and different coloured baubles in which the elegant fairy lights would reflect. Our tree had robins. Little feathered birds with soft red breasts. It had a fairy on the top, home made. My mum used to love decorating the Christmas tree. She would stand back and ask our opinion. "What do you think?" she would ask. "It's the most beautiful tree I have ever seen," we would reply.
Friday, 9 November 2007
I need to get on. Just like every one else. But you see we have a problem. My darling husband, who, I might add, I adore, seems to think that the work I do is a "hobby". Therefore, my time could be more productively spent in the kitchen. Whenever I remind him that he is getting more like his father every day, he grunts and tells me "rubbish." The farmer is not a chauvinist pig by any means. He just assumes and believes and assumes that I believe that my partnership in the farm business is more important than my "hobby" on the computer and this "past-time" project of which I have committed myself to, i.e. writing a novel, can wait.
Do all men get grumpy with age? Do they become less mellow as their bones become less supple? Do they complain more? I sit at my computer, sometimes feeling guilty for using my brain instead of my limbs and I start to think about my Miele vacuum cleaner standing idle, the yellow marigolds which could be put to use or the Mr Muscle which needs a massage. And then I think, "I know, I'll employ a cleaner." Can I afford a cleaner, I ask myself. Can the farmer afford a cleaner? Absolutely. Maybe that is the answer. I can get on with my writing, the farmer can get on with his moaning and the cleaner can get on with their cleaning.
But I still have the problem of the farmer not taking my writing seriously. He reads it occasionally. Sometimes he pulls his face, other times he likes what I have written. Most times he walks away asking me "what are you doing today?" Dare I answer that? Can he not see what I am doing today? Just fulfilling my "hobby" I guess you could say. He huffs a lot and puffs a lot, sometimes I think the house may fall down. He then tells the dog off, puts on his coat and closes the back door on his way out. It usually slams shut but I like to think it was a gentle pull.
Of course as some of you are aware, my Internet connection has been up and down like a whore's pants the past few weeks. I have no idea what is wrong with it, neither do British Telecom. Another engineer is supposed to be coming here at some stage today, however, as Joe and Moe are due any minute followed by glamour-puss I may as well give up now. It is particularly frustrating when I have one of those writing spurts only to get stopped in my tracks. I need an office. I need to move this computer and all my books to a room in this house that is of no interest to anyone, especially the farmer. Which leads me to another problem. The two rooms in which this is a possibility once belonged to Jim; my late father-in-law who refuses to leave. The man who once said, "I will only leave this house in a wooden box." Anyone know where I can get one?
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
It is a memory I will cherish. It is a memory which has brought a tear of sentiment to my eyes, reminiscing about the moments of purity, the softness of skin, the pitch of a lasting call. She is adorable, beyond a shadow of a doubt. She is my family and should I be able to choose the people that grace my presence with ties, Precious will be the first on a substantial list.
My sister and I talked. About everything. We always do. We live an ocean apart and I miss her, dreadfully. She has her own life as I do mine and they are very different. But we have similar family traits; there are things we do that remind us of our parents. Bea is a good mother. She has spent the last two years doting on Precious who has in turn been the perfect daughter. Her favourite word of “okay,” is uttered in complete innocence, a child’s answer in place of “yes”. Her beautiful blue eyes remind me of my dad’s. They shine, melting ice and capturing hearts. Her wispy golden hair falls softly, clipped back to reveal the prettiest face. Tiny white teeth sparkle as cherry lips curl and an angel’s laugh cheers you with infectious sound.
God has indeed bestowed a wondrous gift upon my sister and me. Two children, perfect in their individual way. Two little girls, almost six years apart, played together these past few days; learning to share; to protect; to love. Our time has come to an end; the toys have been put away. Banter has ceased, conversation has been postponed. But there is one thing that will always remain; the feelings we have will only grow. We look forward to the next time when our souls will sit side by side in comfortable silence whilst our brains tick over as we discover further evidence of our mutual love. That time should be Christmas. Our most favourite time of the year.
Bea has the ability to experience a presence from a Spiritual realm. She chooses to keep an open mind. She has, however, been fortunate enough to encounter some mild activity during her stay in this house. She slept in the guest room. A room of peace and a relaxed atmosphere. A family room. The room in which I have heard children play, the rocking horse moving to their actions. The door often closes, the light switches on, taps and knocks can be heard from a window that has since been boarded up. Bea reported the door closing after her, she heard someone say “hello” to her on the stairs, she had corner-of-the-eye moments while in the hall, by the stairs.
What I did not tell my sister for fear of causing her to feel uneasy was that I had a visiting spirit one night after she had gone to bed. I moved to sit on the sofa, rest my legs whilst watching the TV. I could feel a presence near me. A draught blew across my face, resting by my ear leaving the front of my face feeling icy cold. Imagine an open fridge. Now imagine you have put your head inside. My heart raced. I lifted my hands to feel my cheeks but my hands felt rough, not the usual smoothness from a feminine touch. The visitor was male. The lamp light flickered, dancing shadows manifested around the room as my heart slowed down, calmness once more overwhelming me.
I feel my own visitor was alerting me of his impending presence of which my sister would experience the following night. Perhaps she is still open minded. Maybe she even believes a little more. I hope so. For I want her to feel the love which dominates my life so often. This house holds secrets, many of which I have yet to unveil. But most in which I am honoured to be a part of.
I was quite sad as the farmer and I drove back home from Newcastle Airport after leaving Bea and Precious to travel home. Knowing the pleasure I have had from my sister’s visit and the wonderful closeness I have felt towards my niece has left me remembering how blessed I am. An ivory fleece pyjama suit had been washed with the previous load, mixed in with Amy's clothes. I swear I could smell clean golden hair which my hands had stroked the night before.
Monday, 5 November 2007
Until Wednesday, I have my sister here so I will try to access my internet when I can. After then, I will be back. And I can only apologise in the meantime for neglecting all you lovely people. I will try to get a blog out at some stage as there have been some strange goings-on in my household recently but for now, take care.
Friday, 2 November 2007
We finished our meal then retired to the lounge for relaxation and an old English cuppa. The hour was 9pm, past bedtime for a little girl. Tucked up and warm, I made my way downstairs to rejoin our friends. At 10pm, both the farmer and I interrupted the cheerful banter as we looked at each other. “Amy?” said the farmer. “Must be,” I replied. I rose from my seat excusing myself to find out why our daughter had got out of bed an hour after first settling and was now stood at the top of the first staircase, shouting, “Mum!”
All was quiet in the hall. No child stood on the landing. I ascended the stairs. Peeped round the corner which led to Amy’s bedroom. Her door was securely fastened. Should she have gone back to her room after calling for me then closed her door I would have heard it. All doors in this big old house are heavy and noisy as they are being open or shut. I continued up the second flight of stairs which leads to Amy’s room. Standing outside her bedroom door for a few seconds, listening intently with my ear almost pressed against the wood, I could hear nothing.
I carefully opened the door. The creaking of hinges and the sound of the door knob as I turned it emitted loudly. As I looked towards Amy’s bed all I could see was her beautiful hair, falling softly upon pink flannelette pillow. I moved further into the room. I could now hear her gentle breathing. Bending over the bed to get a closer look at my rosy cheeked, exhausted little girl, I realised she was fast asleep. Even the sound of the door opening had not been enough to wake her. I stroked her silky skin and kissed her forehead before whispering three little words as I backed away.
Before I went back to our friends in the lounge I turned the light off in the guest room. “Goodnight,” I whispered. “Ssshh,” they whispered back.