31 May, 2011

The Classic Coincidence Involving King Edward VII

King Edward VIIHere's one of the classic coincidence or synchronicity story examples. It involves the British King Edward VII.

Edward VII liked to think of himself as a bit of a sportsman and especially indulged in fox hunting with horses and dogs - something of which I personally disapprove. Before he became King, and was the Prince of Wales, he was seen on various hunts and often with an actor called Edward A Sothern.

To show his friendship with Sothern the Prince, as he was then, gave him a gold matchbox to affix to his watch chain. The actor always carried this with him.

One day when Sothern was out on a hunt he was unsaddled from his horse and the gold box was lost, despite several searches.

As he couldn't find the matchbox he had a duplicate made, at his own expense. This he later gave to his son, Lytton Sothern, who was also an actor.

Lytton later gave this duplicate box to a friend called Labertouche. Hope you are still following this!

Many years later, Lytton's brother George, who also enjoyed fox hunting, was on a hunt. Afterwards the farmer, whose land he had ridden across, presented George with the gold matchbox - he had found it that very morning when plowing a field. This was some 20 years after it had been lost.

George thought recovering the box in this way was very striking - and not just because it was a matchbox! So much so he wrote to his brother Lytton and another brother about the incident - who happened to be travelling in America at the time.

When the letter from George was being read the actors were travelling on a train with another actor, Arthur Lawrence. They repeated the story to Lawrence.

To their astonishment Lawrence got out his a watch chain in front of them and on it was the duplicate golden matchbox given to him by Mr. Labertouche.

Okay, a bit of an involved story but quite a coincidence.

Recent Coincidence Stories:
The Crete Coincidences And What Is Really Important
The Coincidence During The Battle Of Crete
67 Not Out Readers Coincidence Stories - 14

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30 May, 2011

On The Road Again Coincidences

On The Road by Jack KerouacSince returning from holiday I've been saying that I have itchy feet and would like to be on the road again.

I went to a car boot sale and while there spotted a paperback of a book I read as a young man: the classic On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I dug in my pocket for 25p (about 35c) and bought the book. I thought it would be good to read it again from a somewhat older perspective.

On The Road had impressed me years ago. The book synopsis describes the story:

"Sal Paradise, young and innocent, joins the slightly crazed Dean Moriarty on a breathless, exuberent ride back and forth across the United States. Their hedonistic search for release or fulfilment through drink, sex, drugs and jazz becomes an exploration of personal freedom."

Just the read for a young mind!

Thought no more about it and then today read that they have now made a movie of the book, and this should be released towards the end of this year.

So a bit of a coincidence I thought: seeing the book and then reading that it had been made into a film.

My wife came in, having popped out to the local shop for a couple of things. She had with her a bottle of red wine, which she had free with some sort of voucher coupon. I looked at the bottle and there on the back was the name Jack Kerouac again! The reverse label stated:

"American novelist and poet Jack Kerouac, whose first major novel On The Road was autobiographical and based on his travels around America, was once a brakeman on the Coast Starlight railroad."

The wine is a Starlight Coast Petit Verdot from California.

So three links to Jack Kerouac and On The Road.

Since I bought the paperback I started to read the book again, but somehow it no longer has the appeal. I'm not sure if I'll even bother to finish it. Sometimes, perhaps, it's best not to revisit things but to retain the version already stored in your memory instead.

But I shall drink the wine!

P.S. I put the radio on, after finishing this post, and Willie Nelson was singing On The Road Again! And that's before I've drunk any of the wine ...

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29 May, 2011

The 1939 Boy Using A Mobile Phone

1939 mobile phone
Surely not. The small boy in the left foreground of the photo looks like he's on a mobile phone! How come he looks a bit different to the other spectators, with their hats and coats, in this 1939 picture of a football (soccer) match at Dean Court, Bournemouth.

The photo is from a 1939 brochure called 'Bournemouth - Britain's All Season Resort' and hasn't been altered.

Perhaps the boy is phoning the future with the bad news that the Bournemouth team are 2-0 down.

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28 May, 2011

We Have All The Time In The World

Kri-Kri Island Crete
Sorry, but I'm going to mention Crete again today.

I wrote about how there were three signs that persuaded me to holiday in Crete with Karin, my wife. Afterwards I did a post about some Crete coincidences and what I saw to be the meaning of our Crete visit. But now I realise there was something else too.

While on our holiday both my watch and my wife's watch stopped. The batteries must have run out. I've since put new ones in and they are both okay again now.

Bit of a meaningful coincidence that this happened?

I think so because I remember the day mine stopped and we weren't too sure of the time. Both of us felt hungry for some reason. We didn't normally bother with lunch as we had big breakfasts and also much too much at our main meal in the evening. But this particular day we felt a bit peckish.

We were near a small cafe so while my wife sat in the sunshine I popped in to get a couple of cheese and salad baguettes. The proprietors turned out to be from Holland and they said I would have a wait a while as they had a couple of orders to do before mine. Everything was freshly made.

I got talking to the woman as she worked preparing the orders and she started on about time and how relaxed it is in Crete compared to when she visits her home in the Netherlands. We agreed it was a different way of life on the island as everyone was so much more laid back.

Now normally I don't like waiting in a queue, or being in traffic jams, or getting delayed for anything. Probably a lot of us are like this, but on that day I felt suddenly that the world had been lifted from my shoulders. I was quite happy just to sit and relax and wait until my food was ready.

When I got back to Karin I said something like, "Sorry for the delay," but she wasn't the least bit bothered and seemed to wonder why I even mentioned it.

It's now that I realise that one of the lessons of the Crete holiday is to chill out - if that's the right expression - and not to get worked up about time, how long things take and generally being time bounded during the day.

I remember my dad saying, when I was rushing about and in a hurry over something, "You've all the time in the world, son."

Dad was right we do have 'all of the time in the world.' I wonder why we don't always realise this?

On one of our Crete walks, where we had no real idea where we were heading, we noticed a small cave in the cliff side as pictured below. We found that there was an opening at the back and we could walk through the cave and have our own private balcony overlooking the sea and Kri-Kri island - that's the view in the photo at the top of the post.

A Crete cave
We sat there looking out to sea, the island and the blue sky and time really wasn't important. We were in harmony with our surroundings - perfect! Who needs watches and time? We have all the time in the world.

(Kri-Kri island is uninhabited except for about 70 goats and is off the north-east coast of Crete.)

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27 May, 2011

The Mysterious Crete Goddess Of Myrtos

Goddess of Myrtos
Goddess of Myrtos
I'm back to writing about Crete again today, this time with a photo of the Goddess of Myrtos from the Minoan period.

Minoan JugI get excited about stuff like this because of it's age, to think that this civilisation existed some 4000 years ago - amazing! I only wish that I'd been allowed to hold or touch the Goddess, but it wasn't possible.

If we glance quickly at the photo above we'll no doubt think it's some sort of boring clay pot, but if we look more closely it's actually a woman holding a pot - and the woman is the goddess.

Okay, to our eyes she looks a bit strange with a very long neck, spindly arms and a bell shaped bottom half to her body. But she's all woman: breasts, pubic triangle and so on and she's holding a spouted jug, which is in the correct style from that period - 4000+ years ago.

The head of the Goddess of Myrtos
Archaeologists found the Goddess of Myrtos on Crete at Fournou Koryfi - an ancient Minoan site, now destroyed but with parts still visible.

The Goddess is said to be a libation vase which would have originally stood on an altar, maybe a domestic one.

Here's a few more relics from the Minoan period.

Minoan chest or coffin
Minoan pots
Minoan period Crete
Archealogical site on Crete
Crete is an interesting place!

More on Crete:
The Mysterious Skull With A Golden Wreath Of Protection
Eerie island Of Spinalonga, A Sunken City And A Mermaid
With Visualisation Everything Is Possible

Photos: © M.Perry 2011

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26 May, 2011

The Mystery Of The Borrowed Car And The Robbery

moving with a carKarin and I were out for a walk this morning and got talking to another couple we sometimes meet. Al told us a story which happened to his friend - the outcome of which, is unlikely to be a coincidence.

Al's friend always parks his car in the road outside of his house and has done so for many years. The other week he woke up, looked out of his bedroom window and the car was gone.

He wasn't sure what to do so he did the obvious and contacted the local police. They came round and went through the motions of completing a stolen car report. Just another statistic for them but he was rightly annoyed and upset.

That day he managed to get to his work by bus and follow his normal routine - other than not parking his car outside of his house.

The next morning he looked out of his bedroom window and there was his car! He rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn't dreaming, dressed quickly and went downstairs to his car.

Everything looked fine, no damage and when he opened the car door he saw a note stuck on the drivers seat. Along with this were two tickets to the Hall of Cornwall - this is a theatre and playhouse in Truro which hosts all sorts of shows throughout the year.

The note, included, read:Note from car thiefBut this isn't the end of the story.

A couple of weeks later Al's friend took his wife to the Hall of Cornwall on the night for which the tickets were dated.

The tickets were perfectly genuine and for good positioned seats. The couple enjoyed the show and thought about the man who had 'borrowed' their car and how he must have been a genuine sort of bloke. They made their way home in the car, which was running well, after an enjoyable night out.

They got home, opened the door and ... their house was virtually empty!

Thieves had taken everything of value from electrical goods to furniture to personal effects and jewellery.

So was it a coincidence that this happened on their night at the Hall of Cornwall?

Probably not.

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25 May, 2011

Eerie Island Of Spinalonga A Sunken City And A Mermaid

Island of Spinalonga
Spinalonga Crete
I'm writing about Crete again today and our trip on a boat to the island of Spinalonga, which also happened to take in the sunken city of Olous - and also a mermaid!

Our destination of Spinalonga is now an uninhabited island but has been previously used as a leper colony. It's an eerie place with all of the buildings now deserted, including a Venetian Fortress dating back to 1579. The fort was used to protect the port of Elounda.

Venetian Fortress At Spinalonga
Fortress at Spinalonga Island
But first Olous, the city now beneath the sea.

Olous city walls, CreteI was actually a little disappointed as I had been told that when the sea is calm, the walls of this ancient city can still be seen beneath the waves. I must have gone on the wrong day as all I saw from the boat was, well, the sea. My wife and I did go walking, however, on another day and saw walls visible above the sea level.

Olous (or sometimes Olus) goes back to the Minoan era which is around 3000-900 BC, so we are talking about a city some 3000 or 4000 years old. Records estimate that the population was around 30,000. The residents worshiped the gods Tallaios, Zeus, Apollo and Vristomartis.

As to why Olous disappeared there are two theories: either a severe earthquake - which seems the more likely to me - or perhaps a landslide. Either way the date of this happening was around 780 AD.

Tunnel and gate leading to town on Spinalonga
Tunnel and gate leading to town on Spinalonga
Moving on to the island of Spinalonga. There is a theory that this was made by the Venetians by cutting away the nearby peninsula and thus creating an island. The island was then used as a fortress to protect the now sunken city of Olous and also Elouda in later years.

Uninhabited shops and houses on Spinalonga
Uninhabited shops on Spinalonga
Deserted houses on Spinalonga
A resistance movement operated here in the late 1600s and early 1700s and it was not until 1715, 46 years after the Turkish conquest of Crete, that the fort finally surrendered.

In 1903 Spinalonga was turned into a leper colony with horrific, prison-like conditions. In 1957 the colony was finally closed leaving the island uninhabited with the town and fortress in ruins.

Views on and from Spinalonga
Spinalonga, Crete
View from Spinalonga Crete
The lagoon and area surrounding Olous and Spinalonga is very peaceful and there is a Cretan legend that Britomartis, a mermaid goddess, frequents the waters even today. She was thought to have been the daughter of Carme and Zeus.

Britamartis means, in the Cretan dialect, sweet maiden or sweet virgin. She was also known as Diktynna, a mountain nymph.

Never managed to catch a glimpse of the mermaid but I'm sure she was out there somewhere. Probably a little shy!

See also: The Mysterious Skull (From Crete) With A Golden Wreath Of Protection

Photos: © M.Perry 2011

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Crete

24 May, 2011

Death Is Nothing At All

Winifred Perry 1939
Having been away on holiday it gave me lots of time to think. My mum kept coming to my mind, she died a few years back. This reminded me of a poem about death I found in her purse - where she knew I would find it. It was handwritten and I had no idea at the time who it was by. I have since learned that it was written by Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, Canon of St Paul's Cathedral, London.

As I felt I was meant to find the poem I included it in her funeral service. Today I felt that I should publish the poem, perhaps it is meant to help someone with their loss.

Death Is Nothing At All

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away into the next room,
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we are still.
Call me, by my old familiar name.
Speak to me,
in the the easy way you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
What is death, but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh
at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

It also got me thinking about how many people we all are. The photo of my mum at the top of the post shows her in 1939 and the one below is on her 80th birthday. Her smile was the one thing that remained constant.

Winifred Perry 80th birthday
Our loved ones are always with us.

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23 May, 2011

The Bizarre UFO Mystery And a Man Found Dead

UFO picture
A bizarre true UFO story with a touch of coincidence involving a policeman.

May, North of England:

A coal miner, Zigmund Adamski - a Polish exile - sets off to the local shop for some provisions. The shop is only about 60 feet from his home but somehow he managed to disappear.

Those who knew him felt this wouldn't have been intentional. He was a quiet man committed to his wife Lotte, who was confined to a wheelchair.

Five days later Adamski's body was found on the top of a coal tip, in a coal yard at Todmorden 20 miles from his home. The police have no idea where he had been or what had happened to him. There were many puzzling questions:

(1) How could he have got to the top of the tip? The smooth sides proved that no one could have climbed up without disturbing the coal.

(2) Why was he half naked? His shirt was missing and his trousers were torn to shreds.

(3) How come his body was spotlessly clean? This was despite the dirty surroundings.

(4) How could he disappear for five days without someone locally seeing him?

There are no real answers but the first police constable on the scene, PC Alan Godfrey, believes he saw a 'flying saucer' just prior to the body being found!

PC Godfrey described the UFO as being the size of a bus and was hovering about five feet from the ground. He went on to say that the bottom half of the vehicle was spinning and he could see windows in a dome at the top.

When asked why he didn't report this immediately to his Police HQ his answer was that his radio wouldn't function and he didn't want to be ridiculed by other officers. He only reported the UFO after the body was found.

Rumours spread through the neighbourhood of creatures from outer space. These weren't helped by the coroner's findings. Adamski was shown to have died from a heart attack but parts of his corpse had been burned by some unidentifiable corrosive substance. Also found on his skin was a strange ointment that appeared to have been used on Zigmund's burns. This could not be identified by forensic scientists.

At the Inquest on the death of Zygmund Adamski, Mr James Turnbull the coroner stated, "This is quite the most mysterious death I have ever investigated. As a coroner I cannot speculate. But I must admit that if I were walking over Ilkley Moor tomorrow and a UFO came down, I would not be surprised. I might be terrified but not surprised."

But this isn't the end of the mystery, lets move forward six months.

November, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, England:

Police Constable Alan Godfrey, the policeman mentioned above, was driving in his police car through the countryside following reports of stray cattle. It was in the early hours of the morning when he saw before what appeared to be a large vehicle on the road.

It wasn't, however, a normal vehicle but a large dome-shaped object hovering over the road. PC Godfrey tried to get help but again his radio and phone both failed to work.

He later had hypnosis regression back to the time of the incident. It appears that Godfrey was taken on board the UFO, or whatever it was, and was subjected to, what he described as, a medical examination.

Alan GodfreyFor Alan Godfrey (photo left) this was a turning point in his life. He left the police force and took up a new role as a speaker at charity fundraising events. He said of his experiences:

"I wish I'd never seen the UFO, particularly because of the effects on my children. It wasn't easy for them having a policeman as a father but when he's a policeman who saw a UFO its even worse."

Footnote: The mystery remains but there have been many claimed UFO sightings in the Pennine Hills around Todmorden. It is regarded as one of Britain’s UFO hotspots.

See other UFO stories

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22 May, 2011

Ants In The Pursuit Of Happiness

Pursuit of Happiness graffiti
In principle I suppose I don't approve of graffiti but sometimes it can be amusing or even meaningful and artistic.

I saw these graffiti, or maybe it's street art, examples in Crete. The first is on rock face steps which have the legend 'This way for Pursuit Of Happiness'. The ants have certainly taken this message to heart. There is a constant stream of them crossing the words - as can be seen by the enlarged section of the photo below. They are even taking their young with them in pursuit of happiness!

Ants with their eggs in pursuit of happiness
But some street art is a bit classier as these two from someone who signs as Gouro. Both found on walls in Crete.

Street art by Gouro in Crete
Crete street art
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21 May, 2011

With Visualisation Everything Is Possible

Lake Voulismeni Agios Nikolaos Crete
I've published a few blog posts about visualisation in the past including one about how to get car parking spaces using the mind. While in Crete recently I put visualisation to the test again to try and create pleasant days, where everything was as Karin and I would have wished.

I mentioned previously in my post about Crete coincidences where we always managed to get table 24 in the hotel restaurant we were staying at. There was a little more to it than this as before going for our meal, or on the way to the restaurant, I visualised getting this particular table - and it worked! Every time I did this we got our favourite table.

Another example was our favourite seat by Lake Voulismeni. At the end of the day, and before going in for our meal, we liked to sit looking at the lake and talking about our day. There was only really one seat and that was often occupied until, that is, I used the same visualisation technique. As we walked slowly around the lake towards the seat over and over again anyone sitting there would get up and move on just before we reached 'our' seat! I didn't have a 100% result with this but it worked enough times to say that we beat the odds.

The photo at the top of the post was taken from the seat. Being Crete, of course, it's no ordinary lake! The story is that the lake is bottomless - if that is the right word - and the Goddess Athena used to bathe in the lake. We didn't manage to catch her at her ablutions though.

Maybe that was because Lake Voulismeni has changed somewhat. In Athena's day it was a fresh water lake but in 1870 a small canal was cut through to the sea and the local harbour. And they now say that the lake is only 64 meters deep, so not quite so fit for a Goddess any more - but we still liked it.

The photo below shows the lake and the canal at the far side leading to the harbour underneath the bridge.

Lake Voulismeni Agios Nikolaos Crete
But getting back to visualisation, over and over again I've proved to myself that this works. I wonder sometimes why I don't use it all of the time. I think it's because I(we) tend to get too immersed in everyday negativity pumped out by the media. While in Crete, as I have written previously, I didn't use a computer, watch television, read newspapers, answer phones and so on. I therefore had the freedom to think and create for myself.

The point I suppose I'm making is that if we can get the table we want in a restaurant, or a seat by a lake then we can actually get almost anything we wish for - providing we believe that this is possible.

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20 May, 2011

The Mysterious Skull With The Golden Wreath Of Protection

skull with gold wreath
I photographed this skull with a gold wreath while in Crete. It was discovered while excavations were taking place and is believed to have been that of an athlete.

Gold Roman ringIn the second large photo below a coin is also shown which was found inside the skull's mouth. This is a silver tetradrachm from the Cretan city of Polyrrhenia from the period of the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37AD).

The coin was placed in the mouth of the deceased as Charon's fare for passage to the underworld.

The ring was found in the left hand of what is believed to have been an athlete. Though not very clear the stone has a picture of a female hanging a shield, or trophy on a column - indicating his prowess in his field.

The gold wreath indicates the deceased's success in athletic contests and also alludes to posthumous deification. The wreath has also a supernatural side in that it offers protection from demons.

For some reason I feel that the athlete would be proud that his skull, wreath and ring are on display some 2000 years following his death - a form of immortality.

2000 year old skull with golden wreath
However some bones and skeletons I think should be left in peace - see photo below.

3000 year old Minoan skeleton
To me these bones have an element of sadness about them. They are very ancient, from the Crete Minoan period, and could well be several thousand years old. Some things though should perhaps be allowed simply to rest.

See also: The Crete Coincidences And What Is Really Important.

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