Sunday, 3 August 2008

Broomsticks optional

I have mentioned somewhere - not sure if here in these blogs - that my maternal grandmother was widely seen as a witch. We are talking about the start of the 20th century when spiritualism was seen as another branch of religion. Grandma was, apparently, recognised as a gifted medium and seances were frequent. How she fitted this in with her 'day job' as Matron of an Army hospital I cannot say. Matrons were no soft touch in those days and I assume an Army variety would be enough to scare anyone without the benefit of talking trumpets and ectoplasm

I think the term 'witch' rather than 'medium' came from her children. Certainly, my aunt and uncles had no fond memories of the spiritualist times and only very very rarely did I ever get them to talk about them. They did seem to think their mother had a gift rather than her being a fraud or trickster. It was just that they would rather she had kept her light under a bushel. My own memories of her revolve around being asked if I could 'see' someone sitting in a chair - I never could. What she was good at was what we called 'putting the mockers on' something. I would be off to play, she would not wish me to do that, I demurred. She would say "If you go out to play, you will fall down and hurt your knee" I regarded this as do all 6 year old boys. Five minutes later, Dettol and bandages were the order of the day. Some scars I still bear. Other recipients of mockers would be sunny days. I would suggest ducks, bread and nearby park. 'Oh no. It is going to rain in a bit' - even without looking at the bright and cloudless blue sky. If we stayed indoors - no rain. If we did get as far as the park - the monsoons came to East Ham. I never saw the 'witch' side but certainly accorded her far more respect than any other little old lady who came into the life of a young lad.

Well, it seems she may have had no bits of fey from her native Southern Ireland. No insight or contact with those who had gone before. Just a cold reader. I have a problem with this though. I cannot associate the cold reading with scarred knees and wet woolies at the park. You make up your own mind.

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Late explanation re an Old Granny from my youth. 

Look up telekinesis  or get involved before scoffing too loudly

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