Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Sunday 18 May 2014

The Happy Medium

I met a medium yesterday. She told me I had a nice bottom.

No... seriously... I literally mean that.

I was in my favourite boutique with the husband, the dort and the boyff, trying on jeans. Yes, I know I don’t need another pair of jeans, but I don’t have a pair this pale and washed out or this skinny, so two birds and all that. Anyway, I stepped out of my cubicle at precisely the same time as the woman in the cubicle next to  mine pulled back her curtain. She was a tiny, black haired woman at least a decade older than I am, and possibly closer to two decades older.

I kid you not, basically the first thing she said was that she envied me my arse.

I do have a pretty decent backside, as it happens. She had a magnificent embonpoint. We bonded.

We were in the boutique for a couple of hours. Did I mention it’s my favourite? I tried on a couple of things and so did the husband and the boyff. The woman and her husband were also there for most of that time. Both also shopped.

She was clearly a massive extrovert.

I was alone with her downstairs in the women’s section when the couple left.

“Your daughter’s a performer,” she said.

“A dancer, mostly,” I said. And we talked some more.

Finally, I asked her what she does. She was friendly, outgoing, fascinating, and she had referred, very vaguely to ‘clients’. I had the impression she might be in PR or some kind of entertainment management.

“I’m a professional medium,” she said.

Oddly, I was totally unfazed.

This was very much the sort of person who seemed to be exactly who she was: a what you see is what you get type. She didn’t strike me as remotely dishonest.

The house I live in... Both the houses I live in are haunted. I’ve seen people: two of them. I regularly see a man in a hussar’s uniform, and a tiny little woman in a pinny. We also regularly have apports, by which I mean the mysterious appearance of objects that were not previously there. Mostly these are of coins, of all ages and sometimes of foreign currencies. On one occasion, we had an apport of a couple of dozen keys on our kitchen floor, in the middle of the day. The floor is bare boards, and it was terribly noisy, as if they had been dashed there from a height.

I don’t actually believe in things paranormal... Not really. OK, so I can’t account for the things that happen or the things that I sometimes see, but there are reasons for them, right? Of course there are. There are also more things in heaven and on Earth...

Derek Acorah
NOT my idea of a Happy Medium
I’ve seen plenty of mediums on the telly. Frankly, most of them weird me out. They generally come across as sleazy con-merchants, or as faintly smug or superior. I’m not a fan of the exploitation of the emotionally fragile or the grieving. They should be supported and helped to cope with their situations rather than be given some utterly vain and ridiculous hope of speaking to the dead.

Making a living out of any person’s sadness or grief seems particularly unpleasant to me.

I didn’t feel this way about Brenda, though. Whatever, whoever she is I doubt she’s conning anyone, because she doesn’t appear to be conning herself. 

This woman was an open book. She was feisty and brittle and vulnerable, and just a little bit angry with the World. Or, at least, that’s how she seemed to me.

Whatever, whoever Brenda is, she clearly believes that she’s a medium. She clearly sees and hears the things that she hears and sees.

I told Brenda what a pleasure it was to meet her, because it was. Other than recognising that the dort is a performer, if she saw or heard anything about me and mine, she didn’t volunteer any information about it, and I didn’t ask.

I cannot think of a single event that might occur in my life that would induce me to seek succour from a medium, and I would try to persuade anyone seriously considering visiting one that seeking the love and support of friends and family and giving themselves time to heal might be a better first option. Of course, in the fractured society we live in, friends, family and time are not always there. 

In the twenty-first century we should, of course, consider making an appointment with our GP when faced with depression. And grief counselling is also widely available.

I suppose a great many people see mediums, especially in theatres and on the tv, for the sake of entertainment. That seems crass to me, because there are more things in heaven and on Earth.

In the end, where any service is sought out, it will be provided. Sometimes, for their own reasons, people seek out mediums. It’s a pity that, too often, those reasons will revolve around loss and sadness, and the people seeking help will be at their most vulnerable. 

I imagine that those who find Brenda probably fair better than most.

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