I hope everyone is well and that those reading from the British Isles are enjoying this fabulous UK weather. I arrived home yesterday afternoon (Saturday) having done seven days - twelve hours a day on a college course in Essex and have been so lucky with the weather. There was an added bonus of no TV, no newspapers and just a luxury half hour in the morning listening to Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2 on my mobile phone in my bedroom.
My residential course was held at the magnificent Arthur Findlay College housed at Stansted not too far from the international airport set in many acres of its own grounds. The fanciful name of a hard but hugely enjoyable course was 'The Spirit, the Psychic and the Artist.' There were students from around the world. On my course were a Dane, an American, Dutch, German, Scot, Englishman (Lancastrian to boot!) and three Yorkshire folk. They all spoke superb English which put me to shame.
Other nationalities at the college doing other interesting psychic courses included Irish, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and probably more I have forgotten - forgive me. In simple terms, I learnt to enhance my skill or ability to communicate with spirit with the additional difficulty of learning to draw the faces I saw. I can't give you an example of my work because we gave our pictures of other's loved ones for them to keep!
The college itself is housed in a magnificent hall which has gone through a number of transformations to be the place it is today. The first Hall was said to have been on the site as far back as 1216, the land being owned then by Baron Mountfitchet, the same Baron who owned Runnymeade where King John was made to sign the Magna Carta. The present house with a curious mix of dynastic styles was probably substantially completed by around the 1870s.
James Arthur Findlay MBE, JP, was a retired Glaswegian stockbroker, a contemporary and friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He came to Essex in 1923 looking to retire and fell in love with the hall and bought it and the 400 acres of agricultural land that went with it, for just £8,800! Findlay himself wasn't a Spiritualist, but he did investigate the subject very thoroughly and wrote a number of books on the subject, many of which are still in print today. The Hall was given up during the war as a hospital, but returned to the Findlays when hostilities had finished. He bequeathed the house to the Spiritualist's National Union (SNU) in his will in 1964 and they own the house to this day and run it as a college for the advancement of psychic science.
We weren't allowed to take photographs inside the college, but I've reproduced my picture of the outside of the house and snapshots of just part of the grounds which don't really do it credit. I can't speak with my wife about the course, she doesn't believe in what I do although she agreed for me to go and although she doesn't support it, she doesn't stand in the way of my psychic/Spiritualist work. My profound love goes to Shirley Ann and Barry who are my mentors and very good friends for their encouragement and support.
The special and very talented people on the course were: Sharla, Ans, Paul, Ann, Karin, Thomas, Stefanie, Barry and Shirley Ann and me. The class tutor was Su Wood and her other fellow course tutors were Stella Upton and Lynn Cottrell.
I have learned so much from these dedicated tutors, great and inspiring teachers all.
I've spent Saturday afternoon and most of today, Sunday, cutting the grass and planting out my flowers which had survived the stewardship of my dear wife who doesn't know the difference between a weed and a cultivated plant. The hot weather had encouraged a phenomenal amount of blanket weed in the pond, so that had to be dragged out. Between us we've built a garden bench and the best surprise of all, my wife had completely redecorated the kitchen while I was away - it looks brand new, amazing what a lick of paint and a deep clean can do.
The flowers in the garden are fantastic, everything is green. the wildlife is so active - everything is good right now. I just have to look forward to work tomorrow. But another fortnight sees us away into the sun for ten days, so lots to look forward to.
Home made salad tonight - yummy.
I hope you have a great week in front of you - enjoy. Click on any of the above pics to enlarge them.
The art of living -
Is forgetting and forgiving.
History of Stansted Hall by courtesy of SNU - ISBN 0902 036 157