The Green City of Europe
Water parks surround the city
21st Cathedral being built as if it's 14th century Gothic
14th century Gothic cathedral with 21st century modernisations
Ken Follett from Wales
Vitoria, the capital of the Basque Country in Spain, is beautiful. Encircled by snow-capped mountains, the centre was built over rivers, and the airport built over lakes! Surrounding the city are interlinked parks, waterways and gardens, to enhance quality of life. The massive medieval city center is pedestrianized, with cherry trees in blossom. Even the trams run on grass. No wonder Vitoria was voted the 2012 Green Capital of Europe.
Unusually, the city has two cathedrals - the old Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria built in the 14th century and the new Gothic styled Cathedral of Mary Immaculate due to be finished in the 21st century!
Prince Charles would argue the new cathedral should have modern designs, and the old cathedral replicate old designs. The intriguing and sad things is, the new cathedral is being built like an old one, and the old cathedral restored like a new one. :-(
Global experts study the old cathedral's "deformations suffered due to previous restorations".
Gosh - you should see the deformations being suffered during current "restoration"!
For example an old rotten staircase was recently replaced with modern open stairs of polished wood and steel. Already it's showing signs of age! Within 50 years, it will deteriorate and look ugly and outdated.
After climbing this out-of-place wood and steel modern thing, you then climb a wonderful ancient staircase, proudly claimed by the guide as original. Horrid. Why not rebuild the other staircase like the original?
The new 21st century cathedral can have the new modern staircase!
I 100% love awe-inspiring unusually designed modern skyscrapers, such as London's spectacular "Gherkin" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30_St_Mary_Axe
And check out the amazing London views from this stunning new building, the "Shard". http://www.theviewfromtheshard.com/
But also I truly love artistic ancient architecture. If old buildings are not restored as the original, what can we show generations to come?
At least the cathedral gains big income. Visitors pay over $10 to don a safety helmet for a guided tour. That's about $2 million a year for the past 10 years! "Restoration" doesn't look like it'll finish this century. There's too big an income.
The famous Welsh writer Ken Follett http://ken-follett.com/biography/
was fascinated when he visited the cathedral, and used the cathedral for a plot in a book. The cathedral was so grateful, they built a life-size bronze statue to him.
Perhaps some good can come from old-to-new architecture...
At UK's Stansted airport, before going through X-ray, I stood by a table where passengers left non-allowable liquids. Since a terrorist tried to destroy a plane in mid-air by mixing chemicals together from bottles in his hand luggage, all liquids must be 50 ml maximum and fit in one small see-through plastic bag.
So perhaps it was not surprising that a man rushed over, placed two brand-new boxed jars of anti-wrinkle night cream on the table with receipt, and rushed to the X-ray. Maybe he had no space in his plastic bag, I thought. But I do. They look expensive and will make good presents.
As the saying goes, 'God giveth'.
Through the X-ray, in W H Smiths duty free store, one book described latest Ebook publishing methods. At £6.99 you can always learn. At the till, the assistant said, "Sorry, we can't take card today."
"Could you take plastic instead?" I joked.
"We can't take card today," he repeated seriously.
"It was a joke," I smiled. "Card and plastic are different materials. So I asked if you'd take plastic instead of card."
"I never joke with customers. The last time I did, the guy took it the wrong way and I ended up with this." His brow creased into a deep frown as he pointed to a scar near his eye.
"That's awful." I replied, sending healing energy for his obvious trauma. "I always joke."
"You're kind," he said, without smiling. He scanned the price of the book as healing energy soaked into his being.
"It's your lucky day," he said suddenly. "You get this book for free."
I accepted, puzzled. Was the £6.99 book really free that day? Or had he given me the book for being kind about the being punched? Or had healing his trauma with energy had an unexpected consequence?
Whatever, as the saying goes, 'God giveth'.
Waiting for the plane, early morning frost outside was replaced by glinting sun. The cold airport lounge heated up. I placed my warm knitted jacket over my luggage to buy some water. When I turned back, the jacket had gone, stolen.
Oh well, I thought, I hope someone needs it. The value of the anti-wrinkle creams and book was about the same as the jacket. God giveth and God taketh away.
Synchronicity is a number of uncommon things that happen unexpectedly in fast succession. Uncommonly this week, four people with books inside them unexpectedly popped from their covers to portray to me their plots.
It's said everyone has a book inside them. The problem is, most cannot plan a book, let alone write or publish. They stumble in their darkness of lack of writing knowledge, perhaps starting to write, then stopping when they realize they have no writing training. They fumble with lack of ability to plan or self-critique. I used to. It's normal.
It's not normal though for four people to open their hearts and trust someone with their book ideas. It's an honor. It's always an honor to be trusted, but to be trusted with seedling works of art is more so, because of natural fear of theft of copyright.
So due to copyright, I can't explain the books' detailed contents. Interestingly though, all four books are on healing cures, from different angles. As my passion is to cure problems doctors can't, I was excited to help.
My previous blog mentioned two prospective authors - a healer and a born-again Christian. I met both this week.
The healer's natural gifts are powerful. He told stories of instant cures, of a long-term sick girl in a bar cured in seconds. Her entire face looked different after, like a different child. Her parents thanked him profusely, as he dealt with the queue of interest in the bar. That's how it is with instant cures of tough conditions. Troubled, pained expressions are smoothed and calmed in moments. He told wonderful stories, excellent material for a book. Doctors don't have answers to everything. The world needs to know such cures are possible.
I met the born-again Christian again on Sunday. He also told marvelous stories of how Jesus helps his healing gifts. One of his gifts are to see. For example, seeing black spots on arthritic knuckles, praying for the blackness to go, seeing it leave, and leaving the woman cured. He wants to write how Jesus heals through him. Doctors can't help everything. The world needs to know such cures are possible.
On Saturday, Janice said now is her time. Her healing and therapy centre in Barbados has recently taken off. She used Reiki to cure a local doctor of a long-term condition. The doctor was so shocked she didn't have to suffer any more, the doctor asked Janice to teach her Reiki. Janice mentioned other cures she's achieved. "Has any healer in Barbados," I asked, "written a book on their healing cures?" They hadn't, so I suggested Janice be the first. "If now is your time," I suggested, "it's time to write a book of your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual cures. The book will give you credibility with other doctors." Doctors can't help everything. The world needs to know such cures are possible.
The fourth book was from Mark in Mexico. "It's amazing the cures we get for ADHD children," I said. "Your PhD research with my therapies showed 90.9% success within three weeks. Surely there's no better therapy for ADHD in the world." Mark agreed, and will write a book with me, showing parents how to help their children. Doctors can't help everything. The world needs to know such cures are possible.
So I'll support four authors with books on their version of healing cures. The point it, they do work. There are countless research studies showing how effective healing is. In doctors' surgeries, healers help 72% of patients doctors can't help.
Doctors can't help everything. The world needs to know such cures are possible.
A snapshot of a day can never do a lifetime justice, but hey ho, here's a snapshot of my day today.
So much happens most days, it's easy to overlook events, and be too "matter-of-fact". Today, an email written to a friend explaining my day today seemed appropriate for this blog. Lives are about helping others...
So here's three "helping others" things for today...
1. Help for poor people
Today I'm clearing cupboards, drawers and wardrobes etc to give stuff to poor people who can't afford things. So far, there are five full sacks of very nice things that I don't really need. I usually advertise on a site called "Freegle". Poor people post free ads for what they need, and richer people post ads for nice stuff to give away free. No traders, just free giveaways to help those in need. I've given away £1,000's over the past few years. It's not all mine. Sometimes a tenant leaves one of my properties, but doesn't take their belongings. So I give it to poor people. Last year, one tenant left roller blades, Rayban sunglasses, and other quality goods that filled 35 sacks!!! It was worth lots of money, but hey, I like giving to help poor people. You should see people's happy smiles when they get something nice for free that they could not have afforded to buy.
2. Help for sick friends
The rest of today I'm helping two friends who are unwell. One has depression, the other has pain from an injury. Sometimes, I'd rather help others than be helped myself. For example, if I have a flu, I just get over it myself. It's comforting and warming to accept help, but I'd rather no-one worries themselves over me for minor things. But if someone else is ill, I'm there as fast as possible, and as long as needed. My deep desire is to help others, or relieve their suffering. So if someone's ill, they can rely on me to support or do whatever they need to make them comfortable and help them return to good health.
3. Help for hopeful authors
Readers will have their gifts that can help others. As one of my gifts is writing, this evening I'm attending a writers' group. It's a professional group, for existing or potential published authors. I've invited a man I met recently, who said many people suggest he write a book on his scientific and mystical ideas on life, the universe and everything.
I've offered to help him write his book. Normal such charges elsewhere are £1,000 for guidance from start to finish, to £5,000 - 20,000 if the book was written for him. But he's a poor guy, doing house clearances with a van, so I'll help him for free. I hope his book will make him lots of money to help his life, and give him prestige and other benefits.
I've invited a second man to the writers' group too. We met at a local church. After the service he said he wished to write a book on his 'strange' experiences of healing through the power of god. Such as when he placed his hands on a sick person to pray, and the person suddenly shot about 10 feet away from him, as if pushed hard. But he hadn't pushed at all, let alone hard enough to push the person 10 feet backwards. The person was cured. I've offered to help him write his book too. No charge - we met after he'd prayed in church!
Both men's books combine science and mystic experiences. Right up my street! When we have a gift, and opportunities to help others knocks at our door, we should answer the calls for help. If they work 2 hours a week for three months, their books will be ready for a publisher's decision.
I don't usually moralize on these blogs. But just for today, could you help others in three ways?
1. Could you give something to poorer people?
2. Could you help someone, a little more, who you know is sick?
3. Could you use one of your gifts to help someone in need?
All this might seem a lot of work. But it doesn't take much time if you work fast, and don't waffle when helping or teaching someone. Then everything always seems quick and easy.
Well, there you are. A little about my day :-))
How about yours?
As a child, I sang in Canterbury Cathedral choir, not regularly, but when 'regular' choirboys were ill or away. If you imagine the song, 'The Snowman' (Walking in the air), that was my voice. It was a fabulous time, with echoes in from the Cathedral heights lasting a number of seconds. Descant echoes move your heart and your hair. But then my voice broke...
It felt good to be part of a choir again. After 3 days of practice, we sang Christmas carols at Midnight Mass. We're due to sing again twice on Christmas Day on stage in the theatre, and on deck around the main pool. Nice feeling for us all, to get applause from our 3,000 audience. Singing your heart out is one of the blessings of being human, especially in a choir where better singers drown out your voice.
Today will have a happy ending - I've arrived in Odense, Denmark, Hans Christian Anderson's fairy-tale city. If you enjoy reading of fairy tale lives, humour and variety, these blog posts are written for you! Today, as you will discover, really is the first day of the rest of my life...
Examples of strange tales you might expect from this blog...
My fairy tale life started when born 80% disabled and doctors said I wouldn't make 'old bones', or even teenage years. From that moment, my stubborn fairy godmother and guardian angel set to work to prove the doctors wrong.
Joyful childhood fairy tales could be told of me singing in Canterbury Cathedral choir, playing piano, table-tennis, and snooker. Mystical fairy tales can be told of me aged 7 suddenly knowing healing methods to stay strong and alive. And horrid fairy tales could be told of the special boarding school for ‘delicate’ children where some classmates may have died, then a private boarding school where we wore black gowns and square mortar boards and childhood naughtiness wasn’t stopped by thrashings from the headmaster's bamboo canes.
Despite often being hospitalised twice a year, I became a professional photographer in Germany, a UK government business consultant, vice-president of the Speakers' Society, enjoyed dangerous black run skiing, played international chess, and so on. Being 80% disabled had wonderful benefits. I had a brain to achieve excellent careers or hobbies, but always ended in hospital deciding what to learn next!
Like in a fairy tale, one day I expected to go into hospital, but unexpectedly met a wonderfully weird woman. She put her hands on me, and almost in a wave of a magic wand, I was cured.
Decades later, I’m like the wonderfully weird woman. I’ve developed ‘magic’ cures for many conditions doctors cannot help; cured thousands of patients; constructed an anti cancer programme oncologists are dying to see; teach 63 psychic subjects; been complementary therapy tutor for UK prisons; taught thousands of students; pioneered effective therapies for 15 psychological conditions; lecture on angels and soul paths; and have written over 20 publications. I’ve co-presented a daily mystical TV show, and worked internationally with doctors, academics, governments, and three royal families. And so on. Nothing is more important than anything else. Everything is intended to relieve suffering, improve lives, and help our needy world.
If we give ourselves unconditionally to help others, God gives back without being asked. So God-given wonderful adventures include climbing the foothills of Mount Everest to give money to headmasters to re-build 8 dilapidated schools, driving atop hot sand dunes in the Sahara Desert, cruising near blue icebergs in the freezing Antarctic, trekking through equatorial forests, and visiting cities, islands and mountains galore. Imagine the contrast of finding an undiscovered pyramid in a Mexican jungle, with gigantic gold monkeys, and being gourmand secretary of a little society called ‘Chocoholics Unanimous’...
As in a fairy tale, one shouldn’t only experience goodness, love and fun. Balance should be in all things, otherwise how can we truly appreciate beauty and love?
These few adventures are exactly that – just a few of my fairy tale adventures. I’m told I go where angels fear to tread. But it’s just that the Gods guide me to the right place at the wrong time!! I simply accept with unconditional love, and see no reason why they shouldn’t continue the fun.
Today really is the first day of the rest of my life. I was only based in England to try to help my daughter, despite our tough personal circumstances, and despite doctors saying for decades my health needed warmer climes. But at last I've rented out my amazing home on the beach, and given up all work. It’s time to write as I travel, to share love and healing with other parts of the world, and perhaps to find love too.
Come and enjoy with me, fairy tale adventures along the way. Everything will be true, but you may not believe anything. And that’s exactly how life is in this weird and wonderful world.