20 May 2011
Stranger at the Football
Echoing the words of Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, "There are no unnatural or supernatural phenomena, only very large gaps in our knowledge of what is natural."
Further to my previous post.
On a cold Scottish day seven years ago I was sitting in a near empty hospitality venue of a large Football Stadium. With little interest in the football being played outside I was feeling decidedly bored and actively counting down the endless minutes until I could go home.
Little did I realise that I would soon be jolted out of my apathy by the strange words of a man I had never seen before.
As I was peering out of the large window, looking for clues on the appeal factor of grown men kicking a ball from one end of a snowy pitch to the other, I heard a male voice behind me make a funny comment about the crowds in the stands.
I turned around and responded with a laugh. I’d never seen him before.
He was middle aged, portly and had one of those kind gentle faces with the beautiful skin and ruddy cheeks that many lucky Scots seem to have.
After some small talk, he asked me if I would mind if he sat down beside me. He then told me not to be alarmed or think he “was some sort of kook” but he had a message for me from my grandmother and she was very keen that I pass on her “love to Margaret”.
I looked at him alarmingly. Oh yeah, he was indeed some kind of kook. Nonetheless, just to be sure, I asked him to repeat what he had just said.
One, because I was hoping that his thick Glaswegian accent may have confused me. Two, that he might be absolutely blotto, and three, he had picked the wrong person because both my grandmothers had been dead for at least five years and were buried 12,000 miles away in Australia.
He then said very slowly and very quietly, “Your grandmother Elizabeth, the one who wore her long hair in a bun with an ornate comb, wants me to pass on some messages to you. She is quite insistent that you pass on her love to Margaret because she is sick.”
At this point I feared my boredom levels had caused not only my eyes to glaze over but my mind to follow suit. If it was not enough that I was stuck inside a football stadium I now had to contend with a man who clearly had a few problems with a love of football not being the only one.
I turned around hoping I could attract the attention of the hospitality staff to see if they could rescue me from this lunatic but they were all busy putting jugs of beer and wine on tables.
He continued on and said that he did not want to scare me in anyway but he had just come to watch the football but my grandmother really wanted him to pass her messages on to me. He said, “she is a force to be reckoned with”.
Right, I thought, my dead grandmother is going to a Scottish premier league football game on a Saturday afternoon and starts nagging a complete stranger picked out of a crowd of thousands to come find me in a large football stadium and pass on her messages to me. Bloody. Likely. Not.
Of course I glossed over the fact he knew the names of my sister and grandmother and how she wore her hair and that my sister was very sick. Sure, my dad's mother was a force to be reckoned with and a real matriarch of her family but surely everyone’s grandmother is called Elizabeth, right?
He then asked me how my ankle was. Ten years earlier I had been in a bus crash and had hurt my ankle badly and still had problems but there are no obvious signs. I asked him how he knew about my ankle and he said my grandmother wanted to give me some proof that it really was her.
He went on to say that she wanted me to be careful of my charm bracelet as the clasp was loose and there was a danger it might fall off. The bracelet was significant to me because she had given it to me and I wore it all the time. Three days earlier it had fallen off and I was not wearing it that day.
He said my grandmother was laughing about the trouble I had with my door key but he was unsure what that meant. It was true. For some bizarre reason I had trouble opening or locking the front door of our house much to the annoyance of my then partner. He often had to get out of the car and lock the house because I could not do it properly. No other keys were problematic just the front door key. Apparently it was my grandmother’s hand at work.
And just to put the fear of God into me he also told me that there were two other spirits hanging around too. One was a man called Ferdinand and he was wearing an old bush hat and had a beard. As it turns out it was my father’s grandfather’s name, not a very typical Australian name that anyone might guess. And the other was a boy who he said “looks just like you”. Now that made me cry.
I was getting very uncomfortable.
Thankfully our conversation was soon interrupted by rowdy football supporters pouring into the room after the game. He said he still hadn’t told me everything and left his contact details in case “I wanted to know more”. He walked off and I closely watched him looking for signs of mental instability, drunkenness, wings on his back or a halo above his head.
Nothing. He looked like Mr Joe Average, football punter.
In the end I decided it was all too bizarre and I would not bother contacting him. I also decided not to tell anyone for fear of being accused of imbibing in too many gin and tonics or being a little crazy as well.
However, a week later, I changed my mind.
After mulling over our conversation for several days I decided I wanted to know what else he had to say. I paid him a visit at his bookshop and bought a friend along as a witness. He told me that he was born with the ability (or disability perhaps) to be able to communicate with people who have passed over (to where exactly I am not sure but I am hoping for my sake not football stadiums). He tried to explain it to me, several times. I did not understand it then and I do not understand or really want to understand it now.
He was the most unlikely looking clairvoyant, psychic, spiritualist or whatever the correct term is that I could ever possibly imagine.
He gave me a lot more information and then told me that my grandmother was crying about something that she was not happy about in my life and went on to say that she could see someone was not treating me well. It was a warning to me that I never understood fully at the time and unfortunately I wish I had taken what was said to me a bit more seriously.
I never saw this man again but did learn that he was quite well known for his psychic abilities in the UK.
When I eventually came back to Australia I had another chance meeting with a clairvoyant, another unlikely looking candidate, who explained that, my grandmother was my spirit guide. A guardian angel of sorts I guess. She too also gave me messages as well which still to this day are unravelling.
I cannot explain any of it but I do believe he was communicating with my grandmother and that she really was trying to look out for me. Now rather than try to understand it or make any sense of it I just accept anything is possible. In the same way that I accept football or anything else I don’t quite 'get'. It happens and some of us are into it and some of us aren’t and some of us have far more knowledge about it than others. It just is what it is.
And no, I have never been to a clairvoyant since because if my grandmother needs to find me she clearly will. She always was determined and never let anything get it in her way!