I wasn’t sure what a reading was. I’d had an experience in Otley that I called a séance, although it was just me and the medium. So I signed on for a reading without knowing what to expect. There were five of us … the hostess in her therapy centre … an experienced medium and teacher, a man of fifty-odd … and two women around fifty who were trainees under the guidance of the man. There was nothing distinctive about their appearance … no robes, no beads, no head-dresses. The agenda was for a trainee to have a go at ‘reading’ me. Then I would report to the group what she got right and what she got wrong. I was given a pad and a pen. The man led a ten minute guided meditation after which the trainee and I adjourned to the attic. Our host in her studio, my medium, and the others were strangers to me.
She had wide-apart eyes with attractively careless brown hair. We sat facing each other across a small table. She began with an air of excitement: I started working on you this afternoon and a woman came to me who was so thrilled that you’re doing this she could hardly get the words out. She came to me again during the meditation.
Ah, I thought, it’s what I’d done before – what I was mistakenly calling a ‘séance’. A reading is contacting the departed who have a close relationship with the client. (Why is it family rather than friends?)
My reader asked me if I knew who the departed woman was. I said there was a short-list of three. The reader continued: She says you’re open, warm, generous, helpful, honest, and loyal … but if someone crosses you, all hell breaks out. (I could buy into that: thank God she steered clear of the seriously bad stuff.)
She’s showing me that she wore a big hat. I shook my head, Big hair? I shook my head again. She’s telling me you love to travel. (Yes) And that you enjoy the planning. (No – Anthea does that.) She’s concerned about your loneliness. (I’m a recluse apart from Anthea.) There’s been a family upset recently. ( Not an upset – more’ interesting news’.) Running helps you escape stress. (I’m never stressed and I power-walk.) You suffer with knee trouble. (Not since James at his cheese stall told me to wear elasticated knee wraps.) She says your career involved the entertainment industry. (OK.) And she’s worried that you’re not eating properly. ( I realise now that it’s my old granny in Heckmondwike – we loved each other. I’m a veggie and that would be ‘not eating properly’ to her.)
I’m getting a white van and a fire. (No white van but I love log fires.) I’m getting a name. She paused, frowning with concentration. Edith? (You’re very close … Ethel.)
A dog is sending you love.
I was very impressed and reported the above favourably to the group: If that’s what she’s like as a trainee, god help us when she qualifies.