Daniel’s Secret Journey Episode 4

Recovering from his surprise, Daniel thought that, if it was good for a cat, it must be good for him. He had to try to use what was available anyway; so treating the shelves as a ladder, he managed to squeeze through the window, following the cat and jumped down to the ground.

“Thank goodness I found my way out,” he thought.

Running down the hill in the twilight on his way home, and thinking about his adventure and of the cat that unknowingly had saved his life, he felt an immense gratitude towards the feline:

“Thank you, cat, for showing me the way out,” he said out loud.

Daniel wondered if the haunted reputation of the old castle was a rumour spread by the smugglers to keep people away from it; or perhaps not. Maybe the castle was haunted after all. It was a bit too much to take in all at once, and he needed to sleep on it all. He had to decide what to do with his discoveries; whether he should keep it a secret or tell someone about it, but then again, he wondered who on Earth should he tell?  

It was not long before he bumped into the Vicar. The latter was on his way to choir practice. And as soon as he saw Daniel, his first question was:  

            “How is your school project coming on Daniel?”

Without blushing, he promptly reassured him:  

“Oh, it’s coming on fine. It just takes a bit longer than I thought to get it all together.”

While waving goodbye, the Vicar said:

“You are welcome to come to the choir practice Daniel, and you know where to find me, if you need me.”

Glad to see the Vicar go, Daniel responded with a loud:

“Thanks Vicar.”

Singing in the choir? He wondered if the vicar was being sarcastic, the vicar knew very well that he was tone deaf. Even the vicar’s own singing of the versicles on Sundays had brought him many a wince, and a few pained expressions from the more musical ladies of the choir and congregation.             

He continued on his way home when he heard a shout:

            “Hey! Where you’ve been lately? You never seem to be around these days.”

The question was coming from behind him. It was Les Howell, one of his best mates, who came running up behind him, as they were both heading in the same direction.

“Oh, I’ve been up the tower scanning the village and looking at the layout of the cemetery, if you really want to know,” said Daniel with a smile.

“You know what, Daniel? You’re weird. You’re always disappearing when we play hide-and-seek. We all wonder where you go?”  

“To tell you the truth, Les, I don’t even try to hide. I can’t help it if you can never find me. See you next time,” said Daniel with a smirk, not wanting to give anything away.

Without looking back, and giving Les a chance to reply, Daniel went straight into the pub.

One morning, while Daniel was stacking bottles in the public bar, Joan remarked to Mother Creck:

            “Daniel will come to no good spending all his time in that cemetery.”

“Oh, leave him be, dear,” said Mother Creck, winking at Daniel, “there are worse places than the cemetery, where he could spend his time.”

“Hmm, I never thought of it like that,” said Joan, but as she always wanted to have the last word, she could not stop herself to warn her son with:

“You just watch your step my boy.”

Daniel had always known there was something odd about Mother Creck. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but he was happy to have her on his side. She was so different from the other gossiping women of the village; she seemed to have an inner understanding about so many things to do with the world of nature; she was often called in to assist when there was a birth in the village, when the expectant mum had not gone to the Cottage Hospital. Everybody knew that Mother Creck was a good healer; she seemed to have natural remedies for almost all ailments.

            Some people would reckon she was a witch, and that she was cooking up her spells in the old shed down her garden. The door of the shed was secured with a thick padlock with the manifest intention to keep away all little hands and prying eyes. Occasionally strange smells would be coming from inside, but then, nobody knew what mixtures Mother Creck was concocting anyway. Whether she was a witch or not, was no problem for Daniel. He did not care; he knew now that he could rely on her for help. That was more than could be said of his mother, who would tend to fly off the handle at the mere suggestion of anything out of the ordinary.

Joan had great confidence in the abilities of Mother Creck and had consulted her for some warts on her hands. Warts were not exactly the nicest adornments when serving the public. Unfortunately, Mother Creck, although she had many gifts, could not cure warts, and referred Joan to an old man who lived on his own in a cottage on the outskirts of the village. His name was Silas Green.

On a free afternoon, Joan went up to see Silas. She took Daniel along for courage.

With his unkempt silver-grey hair, a beard stained with nicotine, a tanned weather-beaten face with more wrinkles than a walnut, and two big piercing blue eyes; Silas was well named for he looked like the Green Man of the Forest. He was a man of few words who never smiled.

            “Missus … Daniel.” was all he uttered when he let them in.

“Mr Green,” said Joan and Daniel.

Joan held out her hands.

Looking at her hands, Silas took out an old penknife from his pocket. It was stained black.

and must have been used to clean his pipe. Then, from a basket, he took a last year’s apple, yellowed, wrinkled, and dry, cut the apple in half, counted the warts on Joan’s hands and rubbed them with the one half. The other half he gave her, growling:

            “Ate ’un!” meaning ‘eat it,’ in plain English.  

By now, Joan was really convinced she had been the victim of a huge leg pull, but not daring to refuse, she started to nibble the filthy half apple. The piercing eyes of Silas were following every bite, making sure the fruit would be eaten completely.

“They be gone in two weeks,” was all he said, showing his visitors to the door.

The way home happened in silence. Joan, not believing in the reality of what had just happened, she was fuming inside to have been taken for a fool and muttered untold curses under her breath. Daniel, on the other hand, had been fascinated by Silas’ performance.  

            Two weeks later, and to Joan’s amazement, all the warts had gone. They were never to come back. Mother and son had witnessed the same ritual but perceived the outcome very differently. For Daniel it was the proof that supernatural powers exist. To Joan it was the happy ending of a beauty flaw she had grown ashamed of. She was, of course, incredibly grateful to Silas for his help; she made sure the old man would never be without his fill of strong cider. He liked the rough stuff.

In a short space of time, Daniel had met, not one, but two people he could confide in and get answers to his many questions that were swirling around in his young head. He now knew who to ask about all the thoughts, dreams and visitations that were filling his life, as another world of secrets was opening its doors to him.

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GREETINGS

We Greet you as always in Love and Happiness.

Tis the season of goodwill to all.

It is so sad that the way we greet each other has changed in order for us to avoid the ever mutating and dreaded plague after taking all of the Vaccines on offer, the reason changing its name which by any name does not smell sweet and can spell disease and possible death. Even the storms that batter us change their names just to confuse us and come at us from a different direction wreaking havoc in their wake.

Any Plague is sent with lessons in its portfolio. Lessons to teach mankind how to live safely and that includes how to greet one another as the spread of cases demands. It is no good blaming the government and we cannot blame the Pandemic which changes its Name and Face day by day but greets us in the same way.

How to do our bit: I remember, one of those metal signs hanging in the kitchen of the Civic Restaurant which my mother managed. It showed two hands washing under a tap with the words, “cleanliness prevents disease.” And that was in the 1950s! Nothing changes and history does repeat itself if the causes and reasons are different but remedies to slow the spread make absolute sense.

It brings to mind: The one lesson of History that mankind never learns is the lesson of History! Communities in the past survived the Plagues by isolating themselves from the rest of the country. Doesn’t that ring a bell, not the tolling bell that rings for thee! Knowing it will one day ring for me, as it must ring for all, but the ring of memory. We have greeted and shared information and intelligence with the rest of the world in order to stave off the present Covid plague and yet there are still areas at war and committing Genocide in the process when one would have thought that Covid was enough to cope with on its own.

The French way, along with other cultures to kiss on both cheeks is difficult while wearing a face mask or shield and it was banned. All this to try and prevent passing on the Plague to one another even if asymptomatic, not showing any symptoms. The simple but necessary remedy of washing hands is welcomed by most in the West but many are in areas where water is cut off by war or periods of drought and it becomes difficult if not impossible. Floods would be welcomed in places where drought for years has devastated the land, flora, and fauna, humans also, and in those lands obliterated by fires triggered by lightning, folks would welcome rain. Who could doubt that Global Warming is REAL?  

As a trained Healer I feel so helpless when I wish I could greet everyone in need with a hug and channel the Grace of the Divine so, I could only send it remotely which of course is also possible if requested. The personal experience of our greatest friend in Frome needing help and in the depth of Covid lockdown all I wanted was to greet him and give him a hug but that was not possible due to the regulations to keep our distance. He ended up in hospital before I could greet him one last time, nor even to say goodbye and he sadly passed away. His family have become friends which is wonderful as we greet them and share memories of a wonderful human being.

In our home we greet all food and drink with reverence asking for divine blessing and offer it as our gift, with prayer as our sacrifice to the Divine. We greet and bless each other with the sign of the cross and wave to passers-by with ‘All Right?’ or ‘Morning!’ and  a special greeting to other drivers with a wave who make way for us to pass through often crowded streets with cars parked on both sides. Of course there are those who believe the road is theirs and rush towards the gap where gender makes no difference.

To show respect and greet others who we may not even know in a respectful and generous way to all we meet is a simple way of acknowledging people as our brothers and sisters. It is amazing how a simple smile which takes less muscles than a frown is returned with a similar smile. Those less fortunate than us may not recognise this need but it would help to strengthen the bonds that are surely there even though they may not reveal themselves.

There is strength in difference whether that is of different colour, different religion, different language, fitness, or disability. However hard the current challenge to humanity appears to you we are all in this together. And we need to respect others whose challenges may be different to ours but challenges, nevertheless.

People are slow to ask for help having been coping on their own for many years, pride gets in the way. We must be the ones to act first when we see a need, as it is the little things that can make such a difference and mean so much. What better way of greeting than mowing the lawn for someone unable to do it anymore or taking them a hot meal when they have no power to cook due to one of the storms?

It is proposed not to cancel celebrations at this time of year but like many others we are conscious of the need to be selective whom we greet  with a touch of the elbows, fists, a hug or a kiss. This puts a responsibility onto our personal shoulders to exercise wisdom in the way we greet and mix with others. So much has been left to the judgement of the individual when offered the jabs and our family have grasped that responsibility seriously and taken full advantage of the offers when they arrive, which seems the only sensible way forward to protect each other and even the unborn children for the prospective mothers to be vaccinated. We wish that all our readers will be able to take advantage of all such offers.

With Love, Health, and Urgency to stick to the advice and plant trees, with health and Happiness, Hanukah & the Angels

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Daniel and the Secret Journey Episode 3

Way overhead was a large round hole, about forty feet high, cut right through to the hill above.

“So, that was where the light came from,” he said to himself.

The village was located on the border with Cornwall, and there had been some mining for tin and copper in his grandfather’s time and before; at least so he had been told. The mine was now closed, and everyone had been warned to stay away from the old workings. The access was supposed to have been filled in, to prevent anyone entering.

            So the tunnel could indeed be part of the old mine, and there was the opening to another tunnel, with its roof supported by timber props, on the far side of the stream, but fallen stones were disguising how long that tunnel was, and he guessed that that was part of the move to stop people going into the possibly dangerous old mine workings. Admiring the rushing stream through this cavern, Daniel had always wondered how the stream could suddenly have disappeared underground further up the valley and come out again down towards the beach. Here was the answer, and he wondered if he had stumbled on the old water supply to the mine?

            He remembered that a timber fence ringed with barbed wire surrounded a hole in the ground, on the hill above the village, and here he was, standing right beneath it. Looking all around him his attention was drawn to the numerous imprints of footsteps on his side of the stream. Far from it being deserted, the place seemed to have been visited often and maybe even recently. The great number of footprints left in the mud, seemed all quite recent, and with cigarette butts scattered all around, confirmed Daniel’s suspicions. So, he was not the first to have discovered this tunnel; others, whoever they were, must have been interested in it and might possibly been using it frequently as well.

Time flies when you are enjoying yourself, and it was time to get back in time for supper and to help his Mum. He was reluctant to go and would be itching to come back soon to find out the mystery of the tunnel to set his mind at rest. He retraced his steps and got out through the tomb. Meeting no one in the churchyard nor on the way to the pub, meant that nobody would be any the wiser about his finds. Leaving him wondering why it was connected to the tomb at all.

The following day could not come too soon, and it was an impatient Daniel who rushed to the Church, knowing he would be able to meet with the Vicar. The Reverend John Black had just arrived to open up the church and the village hall for a parish meeting. Daniel caught him at the Lych Gate.

            “Good morning, Vicar. Could I go up the tower, please?”

“Now, why would you want to go up there, Daniel?” asked the reverend Black, while raising an eyebrow.

He knew Daniel from Sunday School how playful the boy could be, and he was wondering what mischief he was up to now.

“I’m doing a project for school. It’s about the village and I need to see the layout of the old streets.” was Daniel’s little fib.  

The Vicar was only too happy to oblige. He was himself very keen on the history of Kinston.

“Fair enough, Daniel, that’s a good enough reason; but you be careful up there,” he said as he unlocked the bell tower door, adding directly, “and don’t forget to lock the door when you’re done, and pop the key into the hall on your way home.”

“I sure will. Thanks so much, Vicar,” said Daniel while running up the stone steps.

            Getting up to the Belfry, Daniel disturbed a flock of roosting pigeons, while a family of bats, hanging from the timbers, who often accompanied him on his twilight journeys, were too sleepy to be bothered by his presence at that time of day. Then a rickety timber stair to climb and finally he went out onto the flat roof of the tower. There was a magnificent view of the cemetery down below, and between the yew trees and the overgrown graves, he recognized the top of the old tomb. It was indeed much bigger than anything around.

By the position of its roof, it was easy to see the direction of the tunnel. There was no doubt, it was pointing towards the hill, in the north of the village. On top of the hill stood the ruins of a castle. An old stone house was attached to one side of the inner wall and was easily visible. The house had been boarded up and as it was said to be haunted; no one in the village would even consider going up there.

            The gates to the castle yard had disappeared a long time ago, so nothing prevented Daniel from having a good view of the place, and now that he knew where the tunnel was heading, Daniel felt a bit disappointed; it was not overly exciting, if going up to the old castle was the only reason for the existence of the secret passage. More investigation would be necessary; there had to be another motive for its obvious use. There was no time to lose; locking the tower door, giving the key back to the vicar, and Daniel couldn’t wait to go back to the tomb again as soon as everybody had left the parish hall and the Church.

As he had become more familiar with the tunnel now, he decided to follow the stream downhill, following the flow. He was wondering where the other users could have gone in that direction.

After a short walk along the slippery edges of the stream; Daniel noticed that the height of the tunnel kept decreasing right down to where the stream disappeared over a waterfall, with a head height of only about five feet at the end, and with a water drop of some fifteen feet to the pool below, it was well camouflaged, surrounded and virtually hidden with shrubs and undergrowth. It was there that the stream was coming out of the hill, about four hundred yards from the beach with the pool overflowing down to the sand below.

The gap from the roof to the water was so small, that it was difficult to imagine that anyone could use it to enter or get out of the tunnel. However, the presence of more cigarette butts and the marks of footprints in the centre of the path, pointed to the fact that there had to be another exit. Where to? He was determined to find out.

            He retraced his steps in the tunnel, in the opposite direction upstream. Suddenly, the path stopped and there was no way to go any further without having to go in under water.

This seemed quite strange. Shining the torch all around, he noticed that, on the left, hidden from view when facing uphill, there was another tunnel. It was very narrow and seemed quite short; an almost vertical flight of stone steps started just inside the entrance.         There was no sound in the tunnel except for the murmur of the trickling water and of course the ever-present rats.

            With determination, Daniel started up the steps. Expecting a slippery climb or at least some debris on the way, he was amazed to find it all perfectly clear. It was a fairly easy way up, but then, on the top of the stairs one more surprise lay waiting. A short corridor, and around a final bend, an iron studded door. Whoever was using this hide-out must have been either very careless or sure that nobody would ever find it, because the door was not even locked. Turning the handle and pushing his way in, Daniel discovered a room with a low ceiling. It had no windows, except for a small grille covered opening at high level.

            Against one of the walls was a stack of wooden crates of different sizes. One of the boxes had been opened and bottles were sticking out. Giving the bottles a closer look, he saw a label reading ‘Cognac’.

“Oh, wow!” he exclaimed out loud, recognising a brand he had seen in his mother’s pub.

“Yes,” he thought, “this has to be a smuggler’s cache. It all begins to make sense.”

Shining his torch around, he noticed another door. It opened to a space that had, obviously, been used quite recently. Half burned candles on a table, with the remains of bread and cheese, a half bottle of wine and a deck of playing cards. These were all signs to him that this was a regular meeting place. The room was sparsely furnished, with the table, three chairs and an upturned wooden crate that must have been used as a stool, and that was all.

In a corner, a very rudimentary wooden staircase seemed to lead to an upper floor. Creeping up the stairs, Daniel found himself in an old kitchen with one of those old-fashioned black iron cooking ranges; wondering, at first where he was, he suddenly thought that this had to be the kitchen of the old house, on the side of the inner Castle wall. He clearly remembered seeing it from the Church tower.  

            Knowing that he had been lingering for quite a while, he knew it had to be getting late. Whoever the present-day or night users of the place were, they might be back soon, and it was time to find a way out. He went over to the boarded-up window of the kitchen and looked out through a crack. It was already dark outside, in the village, far below, the lights were coming on. He was right, this was the old stone house. Trying to see how to get out of it, was now his urgent priority.

Going back the same way he came in, was out of the question. The risk of meeting someone was too great. Obviously, he had come up to the kitchen from the cellar and there had to be a door into the house or at least a back door out of the kitchen.

            There was indeed a doorway, but it had been bricked up. This was likely the main entrance into the house; there was still an old well head in the corner of the room, which must have been the original water supply to the house from the stream or a well below. Just by its side, there was a door that must have led to the yard, which was facing away from the village. Unfortunately, that way out was boarded up as well. Daniel was getting desperate. Where else could he find an escape route?

            Next to the kitchen, there was a pantry with its solid black slate shelves to keep the food cool. A sudden gush of cold air caused Daniel to notice a window above the shelves which he picked out with his torch; a rusty wire mesh with a large hole in the middle was allowing the air in. As he walked towards it, there was a loud shriek and a large black cat jumped from one of the shelves and disappeared through the hole in the rusty mesh.

With Love, David

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Daniel’s Secret Journey Episode 2

Daniel’s mum Joan Windsor was a busy publican and single mother who had to leave her son on a very loose rein. Whereas other young mothers would call a phase of their child’s growing as say, the terrible twos, that had never been the case with Daniel, but now that he was beginning to make his way in the world outside of the pub; Joan appeared to be losing control, and she often looked upon the current phase as the terrible tens, not that that was to last since he seemed to be growing up so fast.

            There was not much a lad of ten could do to ease his mother’s workload; apart from helping to fill the shelves with bottles of beer before the pub would open. One of Daniel’s favourite jobs was to stack the skittles on the league nights, when teams from other villages would come to play against the Kinston Knights, the pub’s very own team. Daniel had never known his father, and he knew that questioning his mother about him would be too sensitive a matter. Mother and son had decided not to let this hushed subject interfere with their lives. Across the street from the Pub, lived an older lady, who everybody called Mother Creck. She would come to help Joan with the cleaning, and her son Ed, when requested, would come to put the barrels of beer and cider on the jib at the back of the bar.

Apart from the hours spent at school, Daniel was very much on his own. He was not bored, happy in his own company, but craved to do something important, if he only knew what? Mother Creck found out he had been trying to write poetry and kindly leant him some books on the subject; thinking that that might inspire him and give him a purpose to his life, as it was obvious, he needed help. As time went by, Daniel had begun to favour the secret place he had discovered. There was a strange feeling there, that he liked. The cemetery, around the church, lay at the highest point of the village, meaning there was no danger that anyone could overlook what he got up to, in his secret place. He would now regularly spend whole afternoons at the old tomb, sitting in the sun, reading, and thinking. It had become one of his favourite secret hideaways.

Neither cold nor heat seemed to matter to Daniel; an invisible cloak seemed to have been put around his shoulders to protect him. Really, this was his haven of peace and tranquillity.
One day, overcome with curiosity and wondering what secrets the tomb could reveal, Daniel decided to see if he could open the gate again. Well, at least he was going to give it another try. After all, he would soon be twelve and he felt much stronger than when he attempted it before. Firstly, he gave the gate a good shove and was able to shift it a little, to discover then that a rusty old chain and a padlock were barring his entry. Thick ivy had hidden this new obstacle. Once, the overgrowth of weeds had been cleared away, Daniel started to look for a way to get rid of the obstruction. He knew what he would need to break the chain or open the padlock and he knew exactly where to find the right tools.

            So, one day, while Dan, the blacksmith, had gone to the pub for his liquid lunch, Daniel went to the forge and borrowed a hammer and chisel. Dan would certainly not be back soon for he liked to pour out his heart to Joan over his pint of beer, and that always took some time. Breaking the rusty chain was no easy task. Daniel hit his own hand more often than the chisel, but he was not discouraged. He had decided to enter the tomb, and nothing would stop him. In comparison with breaking the chain, smashing the padlock proved to be a piece of cake. After a couple of hits, it gave way and sprang open. A good shove and Daniel was able to squeeze through the opening, and into the tomb.

The place was lined with coffins, dusty and covered in cobwebs, arranged all around the room on stone slabs. Peering through the darkness, Daniel could just make out that, at the far end, some masonry and quite a few stones had fallen down. It crossed his mind that the place was obviously so old that he hoped it was not going to collapse around him, but if he wanted to investigate further, he would need a light of some kind. Next time, he would have a torch with him. For now, getting the hammer and chisel back to the forge was his priority. Dan would soon return from the pub and would certainly notice if some of his tools were missing.

            Dan was a great bear of a man, but he was a gentle giant with a heart of gold. Both Dan and Uncle George, on the farm, had offered Daniel to work with them. There was plenty of work in the village; so many men had gone to war and never came back. Not fancying either, Daniel had other plans about his future. Well, not exactly plans, but at least he knew where he wanted to be and that was out of doors but doing what was the question, he still had no answer to; except that it had to give him some freedom. For sure, being only twelve, he had plenty of time to think about it. One afternoon, after school, Daniel returned to the churchyard and, this time, he had remembered to bring his torch. Before entering the old tomb, he looked around, making sure nobody was watching him. He had to be careful because lately, the grave digger had been around more often than ever before. There had always been a shortage of space in the graveyard, but now, after so many had died during the war, the decision had been made for older graves to make way for the new ones. One by one the oldest grave’s headstones were being put against the outer wall and new graves were dug for those who had recently passed over.

It was pitch-dark in the tomb, but now, with the aid of his torch, he could at least read the names on the coffins. Brushing away the dust, he noticed that they were bearing the same surname, Mayce. This tomb must have been a family vault. Deciphering the surnames was less difficult than reading the rest of the inscribed information. The coffins were old, and some had started to deteriorate.

            Barely legible was the name of Bea … Mary … Gert … Mayce. She was, so the coffin revealed, a Princess of Devon, and the year she had died, was 1260.

Surprised, Daniel, noted that 1340 was the most recent date a coffin had been brought into the vault, so it really was old and much older than he had at first thought. An interesting discovery, maybe, but Daniel was more fascinated by the fallen stones in the back of the tomb, and especially the opening leading to an old arched doorway. Clearing away the fallen stones, he found the entrance to a tunnel, which was blocked almost to the roof with more rubble and rocks. But now it was already late and time to get back home for supper.  

Thinking about his recent findings, once home, Daniel uttered the name “Mayce” aloud and noticed that his mother was surprised.

            “Does that name mean anything to you, Mum?” he said.

“Why are you interested?” Replied Joan.

“No reason, only I noticed that name on some old gravestones in the Churchyard and, as I don’t know anyone by that name in the Village, I wondered if you knew who they could be?”

“You’ll come to no good, Daniel, playing in that cemetery. Why don’t you go and play football with all the other boys?” she said, with a sigh in her voice.  

“You know I hate football, Mum. I am far more interested in the history of Kinston. I like to go discovering things outdoors.”

Joan gave her son a look of exasperation, but decided to tell him what she knew about the family Mayce, anyway:

“Well, years ago there was a very wealthy family called Mayce in our village. They had such a bad reputation that everybody was afraid of them. I think the family died out. As far as I know there is no one left by that name, here nor anywhere else.”

“What did they all die of Mum?” asked Daniel, suddenly very inquisitive. He was getting the peculiar impression that his mother was trying to avoid his questions.

“Oh, I don’t know, Daniel. I only heard they were a thoroughly bad lot. They probably got what they deserved. Now finish your supper and stop your questions. There is work to do.”

With these words, Joan put a stop to the conversation. Daniel guessed that his mother did not want him to go to the cemetery any longer, but he knew he was going to ignore her warnings. The answers he received had in no way satisfied his queries, and now, more intrigued than ever, he was ready to find out what the “secret” was all about.

The very next day, not wanting to postpone his investigations any longer and as soon as his chores were done, Daniel managed to slope off to the tomb. Cautiously, now armed with a small spade he had found in the garden shed; he was able to remove some of the rubble at the top.

In no time at all, he managed to make a hole through which he could get into the tunnel.

His trusty torch handy, Daniel started to make his way down the underground corridor. There was a strong smell of damp moss, and large toadstools were growing on the walls of this long forgotten underground pathway leading to goodness knows where. First it went down for a while and then began to slope upwards. Here and there water was dripping from the roof of the tunnel. There was also the sound of running water in the distance; and now and then a squeak, surely made by rats, he thought. The path had become quite steep and slippery. Having gone along the tunnel for about two hundred yards, Daniel noticed some light shining through the darkness further up the tunnel.  

He quickly switched off his torch, and carefully edged along the last few yards until he was standing on the bank of an underground stream.

David with love

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WINDS

The warning of the Winds of Change came through the Angelic link what must be forty or more years ago if memory serves.

So far, we have been lucky in our new Somerset home these three years, not that we do not like the winter wonderland but only at a distance these days as the ice can prove a real hazard to those like us who may experience occasional loss of balance especially on a slippery surface. Hence the use of the Shepherds Crook third leg to steady us on unfamiliar or slippery surfaces. The only ice we enjoy comes in a box and has to have a raspberry ripple through it.

So, what of COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland?

The leaders who attended have come and gone along with their outrageous motorcades spewing CO2 but the bin clearance strike in protest lived on with smelly plastic bin bags littering the streets of Glasgow. Equally what leaders will resort to with elections in the offing in the coming months and years boggles the mind.

Thankfully I have never been politically minded. Many expected too much from getting 190 Nations to agree on something as fundamental as cutting there use of any fuel for cooking, heating, and travel. What has been achieved is route map for the future and a positive outlook for future such meetings held every year in the future.

The investment in industry and consequent tax revenue made by major polluters almost precludes them from making any reduction in CO2 output. I would not have the job of the negotiators left to come up with a deal. The negotiations are left to those in the back rooms now to sort out what their countries are willing to promise and compromise on, then the waiting game follows to see it they will stand by their word.

Apart from a return kick up the proverbial by Boris to encourage commitments. In the meantime we must do what we can to help those having lost everything due to climate change or when their country has been taken by force. The new powers do not have the infra structure to feed those who have not managed to escape before their takeover was complete. They look to the rest of the world to feed them and in effect to bless their insurrection.

We feed our feathered friends all year round and having tried all bird seeds on offer we have found that the favourite for all the finches, sparrows, collared doves, and pigeons and of course our lovely garden guardian the robin that bless us with their presence are sunflower seeds. The finches being messy eaters the rest try their best to clean up after them on the ground below.

When the cold winds do blow

and we may have snow.

What will our Robin do then poor thing?

He’ll fly to the barn to keep himself warm

and tuck his head under his wing,

Poor thing.

In case you hadn’t noticed more than many Winds of Change are afflicting us on Planet Earth right now wherever you are in this fractured world where tempers are short and easily frayed as more and more of our co-habitants are going extinct as we speak.

I believe, if we are not careful and this applies mostly to the powers we have voted for, have taken by force, or have assumed power and to every family, group, and sect we should all practice the virtue of kindness to each other in this sisterhood and brotherhood of humankind for there is no doubt that tough times are ahead even if we consider that they are here already.

I would not wish to be the prophet of doom and as some would have us do all we can to repair the damage we have created to sour this beautiful planet. I believe that there is only so much we can do as the state of the Earth is a combination of forces and winds that blow through the cycles of natural change, cosmic and planetary, the latter down to our own careless actions without any idea or recognition of the consequences.

The high-level Jet Stream winds of change that govern our changing weather patterns seem to be standing our seasonal expectations on their heads in response to our actions, with huge fires in some countries with the opposite of torrential rains causing devastating floods in others. These are the obvious signs of change, and unbalance which we have to wonder if there is a message in these opposites of which we should take notice. Like, this is what we have to a major extent caused by our actions to date.

You will be aware of the opposites that swing your moods from one moment to the next. The most obvious opposites would be light to dark, left and right, happy to sad, yin and yang, optimist to pessimist, and the list goes on.

Imagine a pendulum anchored from the middle of your forehead that swings sideways forth and back continuously. The object for us all is to find balance between all of the opposites which we may experience. When balance is achieved the pendulum comes to rest in the centre. Physics tells us that the power of the pendulum then rises to the anchor point, the third eye, and we experience perfect peace.

We have experience of working against nature believing that we humans are more powerful than nature herself. For example when we change the course of rivers, then nature decides to revert to the original course causing chaos to our pathetically selfish plans in the process.

Despite the warnings of the enlightened few from royalty to science and beyond to do what we can to reduce the effect of climate change which I believe will only delay the inevitable. Angelic messengers are saying that in tandem with our efforts to reduce the obvious we should also not reduce our explorations in space to find a planet for our next home, for rest assured we have all but exhausted what we have extracted from this planet and as it heats up our human frames will not be able to stand the new higher temperatures and extremes such as glaciers melt, oceans rise and swallow coastal and island communities.

When we do find a new planet to plunder perhaps, we will understand how to live with her instead of against her, treating with respect, our new home.

On our present home planet the winds of change are so obvious in the changes that have affected the whole world due to Covid-19, teaching all who doubt the effectiveness of the vaccines and that climate change is real and not fake news. To say it is wrong to vaccinate the young, who may not suffer as badly as us old ones, but can carry the Virus to others is misplaced.

Anyone with any sense has recognised the need for everyone to be vaccinated and that those issues require our immediate action to stop our plundering of the planet and to reverse our actions to date wherever possible and as if the evidence were not enough to put our unfounded fears and misgivings behind us and take advantage of the proven efficacy of the vaccines to protect everyone.

With Love, Health, and Urgency to plant trees, Hanukah & the Angels

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