#1 Stockard Channing held sway
Grease is the word it may seem. A rather bizarre and totally random breadcrumb today. My son (the budding thespian as previously blogged), has been appearing in his school play this week. We went to see him last night and he was magnificent, a fearless and superbly executed performance from a mature young actor only 12 years old. His performance aside, the wifey and I were both in violent agreement (yes these synchronicities, albeit rather rare, do also take place…) that the stand out performance (including an incredible vocal) was from a girl who played the character Rizzo, played by Stockard Channing in the film.
What was a coincidence was about an hour later, one of my friends (known affectionately as “Totally Random Man”) posted a link to a picture of Stockard Channing to the Half Man Half Biscuit (Wirral based rock/folk band of awesome genius) fan page on Facebook, as it was her 70th birthday.
What was becoming ridiculous was that after we had picked up my son from his evening performance, we retired rather exhausted to our bed, and before we turned in watched an episode of The Good Wife, who pops up as Alicia Florrick’s mother? Yes you guessed it, Stockard Channing…
#1 Pussy galore
For some reason I still haven’t quite fathomed, I decided to push my still-wheelchair-bound daughter up the hill to school in a force 8 gale, carrying her homework and also her golden zimmer frame. Easy pickings for an octoped perhaps, not homo erectus (which I must have resembled by the time I got to the top of the 45 degree slope in hurricane winds). On the way up, we passed by the church on the corner of our road where my wife and I committed to our never-ending story, which we do most days (go to scholl, not getting married). Today, as we did, I saw a black cat sitting in the middle of the path way to the church door, staring. Staring right at me, it’s eyes not leaving mine until I lost the stare-out competition upon reaching the soon-to-be crossed road.
A short while later, I got back to the house and collected the refuse from all of the internal bins and transferred them to the outdoor ‘wheelies’ as it was collection day. As I opened the door, sitting right next to the Jeep was a black cat. I don’t believe it was ‘the’ black cat, but a black cat nonetheless. Stranger, I stared at it much in the same manner, and it reciprocated as its predecessor did, with aplomb. I turned my vision for only a split second to lift the lid of the wheelie bin, and on turning back the cat was gone. Odd. I even looked under my car. Nothing.
Continuing on with the cats theme, my son came home from school with a bit of a glum look on his face. I asked him how his day went and to his disappointment, he found out that day that the summer play (of the performing arts group he attends) had been chosen by the artistic director. Cats. Of course it was. He went on to show me one of the songs he would have to sing and already you can see that his heart just won’t be 100% in this one. I recalled that there was a quite a famous song in the show called ‘Memories’ by Elaine Page. ‘Wow, was she in it?’ he said, ‘I didn’t realise that she did plays, she doesn’t look old enough’. Confused, I said that Elaine Page must have been 60 odd, he thought I said Ellen Page (she of Inception fame – another breadcrumb reference). What rounded off a truly feline-frenzy day was that evening, as I read on the BBC news feed that Ellen Page had declared her sexuality to the world and came out as a lesbian. Not Elaine Page, coming out at 66 a bit late in the day…
#2 Yeah I’m the Taxman
After my successful ascent of ‘Mount Atherton’ and dropping the little one off at school, a random thought popped into my head dating back to 2009. When we all returned from Malaysia I recall filling in a lot of tax forms through Deloittes most user-unfriendly web portal. I remember getting several notices saying that I was missing one form in particular, although the system gave me all green ticks. Over the years I have had several terse emails reminding me penalties and the like, all of which I wholeheartedly ignored. I guess I must have been thinking about that missing form in particular in light of the corporation upcoming bonus transaction to the account of yours truly.
Mid-morning, busy working away trying to get everything done before my week of with the family, I get an email. From Deloittes after I think years of nothing. It detailed (in a much clearer and precise fashion) a request for information in lovely little bullets, dictating what I had to put in each box of the form. I quickly sent a note back asking why it was after all this time I needed to complete it, and the most welcomed of responses stated that my employer and I are due a rebate for the last 6 months of 2009. Result! My rebate may be 68p, but it will be my 68p.
I tried to daydream of the winning lottery numbers for that evening, but alas it appeared that I was all out of breadcrumbs for that day…
#1 My anathema
First day of my holidays, yay. Hmmm perhaps not. Weather was pretty shocking truth be known so I decided to clean the house for the week, do the shopping and act as a stand-in carer for my wife as she was attending a college course on hot stone massage. Not sure what had been in the air over the last week or two (and in particular today), but a greyish cloud was hanging overhead. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, whether it was me or whether it was her or whether it was external forces at play. Nonetheless we had ‘several words’ on the way to the college, which left me with a feeling of melancholy. I quickly put that aside and got on with my household / carer duties, but something was still niggling at me. There was still an atmosphere when I picked her up, and quickly after getting back to the house and pulled my hiking boots on and took the dog down to the beach and gave him a good run out, but whatever was hanging over me was still there. My mood was as black as the clouds above, a feeling I’d not had for quite some time, one of those dread feeling back to the dark days of 2012.
I avoided the customary new age podcast on this day. Dark days require moody vibes, resonating tunes, liberating lyrics. One band that has all of that in abundance in Anathema (Liverpool born and bred, which I have a very tenuous personal link to). On approaching the crest of Mount Atherton, I casually glanced up at the sky which had been covered in grey pillows all day, and as I did so a small slither of sky opened up before me and revealed the orange glow of a helio-sphere 92 million miles away from our little blue dot. At that exact moment (whilst listening to Untouchable Pt 2 from the album Weather Systems) the line ‘I had to let you go. To the setting sun. I had to let you go. And find a way back home’. It was a sign for sure, of what though, I wasn’t sure.
On listening to the song and seeing the vista before me, there was an immediate respite from the gloom, so I took this as a sign to go back and talk to the missus. That I did and the mood was lifted. Later on in the evening, she was trawling through her Facebook news feed and found that those previously close to me (now ex-communicated not through my choice) were having a family get together that afternoon, under monochrome cloudscapes. That was the sign…
#1 Dogs of War
Many people know that I’m a kid at heart and can spend days on end creating and destroying and creating again, animate and inanimate objects made of Lego. I recently took the family to see The Lego Movie and decided that our first trip of the week would be to the Lego Discovery Centre in Manchester. Being out for most the day, Charlie our pooch was destined for a day of solitude. After getting ready, I told the significant other that I was going downstairs to have a dog-of-war with him (actually a tug-of-war; he has a ‘Linus’ type blanky which he plays with from time to time, dragging it from room to room, and every now and again I pull one end as he pulls the other). I looked in each room upstairs, no sign of him. I did likewise downstairs, still no sign. The last room of the house was the kitchen, I crept in and there he was under the breakfast bar, watching me creep into the room, his blanky in his mouth already, waiting for war, knowing I think that he was about to be left on his own for several hours…
#2 Holding back the ears
After leaving Charlie behind, on went the Apple Maps app, postcode dutifully inserted. We made our way without incident to the M56 motorway and half way down it, my son asked us to turn the radio down as he had found a particularly amusing anecdote on the web. The channel of choice that day was Smooth FM (and English radio channel which plays a lot of Tamla Motown, various hits from the 70’s and of course smoothies tracks as the name suggests), and currently playing was ‘You make me feel brand new’ by The Stylistics. So as instructed, I turned the radio volume down to zero and he ran through the funny, and it was.
After he had finished, it was time to turn the volume back up. As I reached for the dial, everything slowed down, almost to a stop. I knew what was about to take place. I looked up to see that I was in the outside lane of the motorway and inside me were two heavy goods vehicles, one overtaking the other. In an instant, I had total recall of an incident relayed to his readership by new age theorist Anthony Peake. I’ve pasted in his words below from a forum posts many years ago as his diction is far superior than mine:
The M62 motorway links Yorkshire with Lancashire. This freeway goes through some pretty barren moorland and weather conditions in late November can get quite bad (remember the movie ‘American Werewolf In London’? – I am sure that the ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ pub is located not far off the M62).
Anyway, I am driving along in pretty crappy driving conditions. Rain and hail are blasting down and the traffic is both heavy and fast. I have my Archos MP3 playing away through the car stereo. Now for those who do not know the device, Archos players are “super ipods” with massive memory storage. For example this machine contained over 14,000 MP3 tracks. Now when driving long journeys I have the Archos on random play. With a 1:14,000 probability the chance of any one specific track coming up is remote in the extreme.
As I was driving along a lorry comes out in front of me with a load of crash-barriers on the back. They looked fairly securely tied so I was happy to drive a short distance behind it. Suddenly a new track comes up on random play. It is ‘Round of Blues’ by Shawn Colvin. Now there is a history to this particular song. Way back in 1992 I had first heard this track on a free CD that came with a UK music magazine. From the first few bars I knew that this song would be important to me in some strange way that I could not describe. a few days later I bought the album with the track on it (Fat City). For some strange reason that I only now understand I said to my then (common-law) wife that this was the song I wanted played at my funeral. As the words came out of my mouth I remember thinking ‘where on earth did that come from’. So strong was this feeling that I continued mentioning this over the years. When I met my present wife I again found myself stressing this self same instruction. I remember once playing the song to her so that she would remember it.
So you can imagine my shock when this track suddenly appeared on my car stereo. I knew it was a warning. For some reason I put my breaks on and moved my car from the middle lane into the slow lane (my car at the time was a beautifully responsive Mazda RX-8 (as if you wanted to know that) so I was swiftly out of the way of the lorry in front. A split second after I moved, with Shawn still singing away, the barriers detached themselves and crashed down onto the motorway, landing exactly where I would have been. I would have hit them at sixty miles an hour. There is no way I would have survived. Fortunately because I moved no cars were close enough to be involved and the traffic easily negotiated itself around the obstruction.
If this is correct then the very last thing I would have perceived in my last life would have been the song ‘Round of Blues’. It is as if I had a deep past-life memory association with my death and that song. This is why the message of Fat City equals funeral. But this saved my life this time “round” as well because I knew that death was close!
But do you want to know what has really just freaked me out – I recently looked up the lyrics which I have never really done before. I more enjoyed the tune and its bouncy guitar sound. What I just read made my blood run cold:
Here we go again
Another round of blues
Several miles ago
I set down my angel shoes
On a lost highway
For a better view
We lost a lot today
We get it back tomorrow
I hear the sound of wheels
I know the rainbow’s end.
Scary isn’t it – just how relevant are the words “Several miles ago I set down my angel shoes on a lost highway” and “I hear the sound of wheels, I know the rainbow’s end”.
It wasn’t that my family and I were in any immediate danger from the two goods vehicles, nor that any Audi/BMW was about to plough into the back of us at breakneck speed. It was simpler, but no less of a shock. My wife and I have this long running radio feud, in that whenever R.E.M or Morrissey comes on the radio, she has the right (I have this clause embedded in our pre-nup) to do a pretend yawn accompanied by a pretend stretch, allowing her outstretched fingers to turn down the volume on the radio to zero, without me noticing (she has never succeeded). I have the same agreement with one band in question, the band I loathe the most.
So imagine my surprise as my outstretched fingers turned the dial clockwise to reveal my precognitive revelation that not only would Mick Hucknall be ear-achingly crooning a the top of his voice, but he would be doing so to the very track I hate the most and correctly predicted, ‘Holding Back the Years’. In an instant, the whole of my being filled with a wave of energy, recognition of the precognition, and every hair stood to attention. I was officially freaked out…
#3 The Magical Quest
So to Legoland. After the tricky M56/M62/M602 evil junction was successfully manoeuvred, the domes of the Trafford Centre came into view. Car parked, Starbucks Coffee in hand we joined the queue and waited patiently to enter. The wife had already dropped hints that it would be a shame to come all this way and not to have a look around the shopping mall, and although she never came out and said it, inferred that it would be a nice gesture for me to postpone my reiki session in the evening. Granted, it would have been nice to have a shop and perhaps dine out with the, so I gave this some serious thought and pondered sending my reiki ‘mistress’ (the feminine of master of course) a message.
Further down the line 10 minutes later and a familiar face came into view. If I ever there was something to persuade me not to cancel my session in favour of ‘Sketchers and Steak’, the face in the crowd made my mind up for me. H was on my reiki course last year (along with seven others) and she spotted me and we spoke. I keep bumping into her in the strangest of places, out of town shopping malls, at the beach, down on the farm and now Lego Discovery Centres. We chatted for a short while and I told her that it was so odd that today of all days in such a remote location, that I bump into her.
Taking that as a sign, we left the Trafford Centre (after Sketchers but not Steak) in ample time so that I could drop off the clan, and make my way to my ‘mistress’…
#4 Yes the universal’s here, here for everyone
See Reiki Diary: Level 2 (Part 1) for more details on an entire cacophony of coincidence…