Monday, 31 March 2014

It's What's in your Soul that Counts

I’ve been fortunate to have had a week off work taking a break. The weather has been reasonably kind for the time of year and it’s been nice to see the daffodils out and spring manifesting itself in so many ways not least of which people starting to feel better.

I’ve been helping a friend decorate her flat. Now I am not a decorator. Never have been, but I can slosh some paint around and I am an average DIY-er so I can put things on walls and a proud moment came after I laid a vinyl floor and it looked spot on. I took a bit of a methodical approach to this never-before-done task and it turned out well. My knees however did suffer!

However after three solid days, I’d had enough. I paid a visit to York with my friend Linda and went to Hornsea, just on the East Yorkshire coast to the Freeport, a small shopping centre on the site of the former Hornsea Pottery site.

I have achieved some good things this week and that includes spending a small budget on a new set of clothes. 

On Saturday night I went to see medium Derek Acorah do a demonstration at the beautiful small Plowright Theatre in Scunthorpe which is in Northern Lincolnshire, a town famous for its steelworks and less famous for its football team.

My followers will know I am a psychic medium of small skill however, seeing someone with big skill is always interesting. Mr Acorah is a fairly ordinary bloke. A family man with a background as a professional footballer a few years ago, he has had a rocky ride professionally as a medium because of his association with a television programme doing psychic investigations. I think, not to put too fine a point on it, lost his way a little from an outsider’s perspective and perhaps his reputation among some suffered as a result.

However, above all, Derek is just a decent, hard-working, nice man who is now going back to what he does best, plying his trade doing public demonstrations to small audiences (the Plowright has about 500 seats) as a very good journeyman medium. My assessment of the demonstration is that he gave audience members a lot of evidence about them that he could not have possibly guessed through cold reading, cheating or any other method and this came through having been delivered with compassion to those he gave readings for along with is gentle humour, occasionally laughing at himself.

I have been to many mediumship demonstrations over the years and I have never had a message from spirit publicly. Frankly, there are more people that need compassion and hope and their faith restored than I.

None the less, it made me think about my faith again as experiences often lead me to do. I don’t think my faith can be found with a label or readily pulled off the shelf. I guess that my idea of a divine being is unlike most people, other than a few Spiritualists perhaps because the thing is, it’s personal to me, to my personality, my experiences and how I can cope with the logical side of modern day life and living as well as the less tangible but equally as powerful spiritual way of life.

The problem in the UK however is that the current Government doesn’t want too many people thinking for themselves and esoteric subjects are becoming isolated and frowned upon. EU legislation states apparently that mediums and psychics must always tell their client or audience that their work is for entertainment purposes only. My insurers tell me that this is what I have to do when I work.

This is a gross insult and a slap in the face to me personally as it attacks my faith by minimising it and implying it that it is a sham to titillate audiences with. This upsets me deeply.

Of course there have been mediums and psychics who have been fraudulent and taking advantage of unsuspecting and vulnerable people. This is a despicable act and the law can deal with such people. Yes, the public deserve protection. However, the idea that what I believe in in my heart is just entertainment is abominable. The high churches across the globe despise psychics and mediums for their faith and beliefs. Why because it challenges that with which the grater populous of the world has been controlled and brainwashed with for years.

Now let me say before you storm off in high dudgeon, that I wholly respect an individual’s belief system no matter what that may be. You have one, good for you. If you have faith, then join the club, so have I. What upsets me is the establishment belief system that impresses itself upon people and uses legislation to tell people what they can or can’t believe in and this of course cuts across a whole swathe of beliefs, faiths, religions, cults etc.

For now what I would say without prolonging the argument is believe in what you believe in, have faith because to have faith and belief is the future, but leave others to believe in what they want to believe in. Some faiths damage people, that’s what they set out to do, others do damage unwittingly and indirectly as this blog will reveal in due course, but what’s important is how you feel, how you conduct yourself in society and what lies within your heart and soul.

So, on a lighter note, enjoy your week, look forward to spring setting itself in in the weeks to come and make it a positive week too! Smile

Chat soon


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

St Andrew's Dock, Tired and Lonely

Just a few remaining supports from a long derelict jetty, sentinels to times past

I had the opportunity the other weekend while the sun shone to spend some quality time with my middle son John as he comes home to visit now and then. We have a love to chat about eclectic subjects and we have a love of history and photography and what can be done that’s different with this wonderful media.

Son John taking a photo of me taking a photo of him - nicely framed - except someone's stolen the metal frame for scrap!
I’m not arty or anything, but I try not to be a simple snapper either. I suppose I am fortunate to live in a pleasant part of the UK next to the countryside in East Yorkshire and the city/urban life too, so there is a bit of choice and a bit of history to get my teeth into as you have discovered on here if you are a regular reader.

The dock basin, all silted now with the lock head at the top.

Living close to one of the countries busiest and dramatic rivers, the Humber helps to provide decent subjects and there are some disused docks and dock buildings from yesteryear that have not been developed which, for the photographer and the feral pigeon is fine, although I have to say that the more derelict the buildings get that surround the docks the worse it starts to look and does nothing for image of the area either. 

One of the many derelict buildings on St Andrew's Quay, once a home to a proud and busy shipping company (a friend's mother cleaned the boadroom there 50 years ago and grand inside it was!) Modern Hull docks and a ferry in the distance
If my memory serves me right there are eleven dock of various kinds not including dry docks and piers etc., in Hull which are either in use, derelict or filled in but nonetheless are still easily recognisable as docks. Perhaps this is testament to the city of Hull’s place in the import/export trade going back to the 13th century. With Hull being the only port allowed in Yorkshire to import and export legitimate goods, wine and wool became its staple business.

Fisherman's line caught on this pillar
Trade in cloth, lead, iron, tar, fish, whaling etc., meant that the Haven containing riverside wharves (at the confluence of the river Hull and the Humber) was just too small to cope plus of course the tides play havoc with the trade so in 1773 the Dock Company was founded and docks started to be built and the rest as they say, is history.

So the derelict St Andrew’s Dock was the subject of our pictures that day in beautiful sunshine and bitter wind. Opened in 1883, it handled fish and Hessle Road, adjacent to the Dock was renowned for its link to the fishing heritage of the port. It closed in 1975, some of it was filled in and a retail park built upon it and the rest just silted up and the buildings slowly ran to ruin.
In 2013, the charity 'St Andrew's Dock Heritage Park Action Group' (STAND) selected a design for a memorial to the 6,000 Hull trawler-men who lost their lives in the fishing industry, to be sited next to the Humber at the dock entrance and although vitally important, it looks a little lost tucked away between the lock gates and a derelict building. I lost a Great Uncle, Stan, an engineer aboard the Hull trawler Ross Cleveland which sank in 1968, so it does have meaning for me as one part of my family, my father’s side come from the immediate area and had links to the fishing industry.
A great day, enjoy the pics for what they are and enjoy the week ahead.
Chat soon

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Northumbrian Delight

Sunset from Holy Island Causeway

My internet is now restored, albeit via a dongle in an area that has poor reception and following two phone calls to my service provider who admitted the local mast had a data reception fault on it, it is now working to a reasonable if somewhat slow standard.

Life is tootling on. I’ve just returned from a long weekend away in the beautiful countryside of Northumbria. I’ve only ever been there previously for work purposes and literally stayed for the day in Newcastle and returned without seeing the city or the countryside. However, for the sake of the need for relaxation, I decided to stay in the countryside at a place call Lowick half way between Berwick upon Tweed and Alnwick and adjacent to Holy Island.

The causeway to Holy Island as the tide drops to allow traffic to pass to and from the mainland.
The countryside is indeed beautiful and not as rugged as I imagined. The Cheviot Hills to the west were covered in snow and although the weather was cold, I was lucky and got plenty of sun although showers were never very far away and that did provide for some spectacular sky-scapes at times.

On the first evening I went to see the causeway to Holy Island and it was a shame because my itinerary did not allow for a visit to the island itself. The area is alive with seabirds of every kind around the causeway and as I arrived the tide was just going out allowing a few cars to start to cross to and from the island.

On day two I travelled to Berwick upon Tweed for the morning, English yet with a population of people with Scottish accents although officially it is called north Northumbrian, a mix between a Northumbrian accent and east Scottish accent.) . The town is lovely and in need of investment in parts, but there was a bit to see, the beautiful river Tweed and the defensive walls that surround it. Unfortunately the Barracks were closed for the season as was the town hall. I never quite understand this because there are still visitors, even in the depths of winter and early spring who would want access. I once went to Whitby Abbey in February and found the same inconvenience.

The Tweed taken from the Royal Tweed Bridge
Berwick has ‘changed hands’ many times between the Scots and English over the years and may even have been at war once with Russia. According to Wikipedia, the story goes as follows: 

“The story tells that since Berwick had changed hands several times, it was traditionally regarded as a special, separate entity, and some proclamations referred to "England, Scotland and the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed". One such was the declaration of the Crimean War against Russia in 1853, which Queen Victoria supposedly signed as "Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, Ireland, Berwick-upon-Tweed and all British Dominions". When the Treaty of Paris (1856) was signed to conclude the war, "Berwick-upon-Tweed" was left out. This meant that, supposedly, one of Britain's smallest towns was officially at war with one of the world's largest powers – and the conflict extended by the lack of a peace treaty for over a century.” Oh if only that were a true story.

The afternoon was spent in Eyemouth just north of the border in Scotland. This was a lovely little working port and again very quiet. There were seals in the harbour and the people were friendly (no jokes about Scottish independence please!)

The memorial at Flodden Field
On the way back, a visit to Coldstream for a cuppa and the site of the Battle of Flodden Fields in 1513 where there is an isolated and eerily quiet memorial on a hillside to the dead in this last famous (military) battle between the Scots and the English near a pretty but tiny village of Branxton.

The casualty figures are astounding with around 1,500 English dead and between 5,000 and 17,000 Scottish dead and James IV was killed in the battle, becoming the last monarch from Britain to suffer such a death.

Bamburgh Castle in beautiful early spring sun
The third day was spent travelling and between Lowick and home there were short sightseeing visits to Bamburgh Castle, Seahouses, a gorgeous little seaport south of Bamburgh and Durham as well as a flying visit to the magnificent Antony Gormley statue of the Angel of the North.
The Angel of the North. Male or Female? (In my view, neither)

A great weekend in lovely last winter/early spring weather.

Great to be back

Chat soon