Welcome everyone Sandra in Spain - FlamencoI’m Sandra Piddock, and I’m a freelance writer, dividing my time between Spain and the UK. I’ll write about anything that interests and/or challenges me, and I like to focus on the lighter side of life whenever possible.. Read more
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Sandra the Psycho Psychic!

Why the Psycho Psychic? Because a good friend came up with it as a joke, and it seemed to say it all. I love life, but never take it or myself seriously. Some people find that hard to handle, and think I’m crazy. Maybe I am!

Since I qualified as a psychic intuitive and clairvoyant a couple of years ago, Spirit have been amazing, allowing me to help so many people with messages of love and guidance. I want to share my experiences with you here, and also demonstrate how you can tune into your own psychic ability to enhance your life and heal yourself and others physically, emotionally and spiritually. Love and blessings.

Are your crystals ready to be charged by the Blood Moon?

Some of my crystals charging in the light of the full moon

Since I first got really interested in the healing powers of crystals, I’ve amassed quite a collection. I already knew it was important to cleanse them of other energies before using them, but I didn’t realise how important it was to charge your crystals, especially if you use them regularly, or need some powerful healing energies from them.

While crystals can be charged by intention, or under the sun or the moon in most cases. you’ll get a beneficial boost of energy by charging them under the full moon. As it happens, the full moon on Friday 27th July is very special – it’s a Blood Moon, accompanied by the longest lunar eclipse of the century. There will be a lot of emotions flying around, but it’s a good time to clear out anything that doesn’t serve you any longer and make a new start, or take your life journey in a different direction.

Don’t worry if you can’t see the moon from your corner of the world – it’s still there, and the energies are all around. And if you forget to put your crystals out on 27th, or you’re away from home, the energies on the nights either side of the full moon will still charge your crystals and amplify their powers.

You don’t need to put them outside to gain the benefits of full moon charging either – put them on a window sill indoors, especially if the weather is unpredictable. Some of the softer crystals such as selenite are water soluble.

I like to put my crystals on narrow sandwich trays on the conservatory window while I’m in the UK, but in Spain, I

A full moon not only charges crystals, it can be very energising for people too!

usually put them on the table in the courtyard. It’s really down to your own preferences, and local conditions at the

time of the full moon. There is really no right or wrong way.

Another thing I like to do is make it special by conducting a simple ritual. I don’t work from a routine, I just do what

feels right at the time. A couple of months ago, I was feeling very lethargic and a bit ‘down in the dumps.’ Not  depressed – just not happy. I know that selenite is linked to the moon, so I decided to harness the moon’s energy, using my selenite wand.

I always cleanse all my crystals before putting them out – even selenite, which is self-cleansing. I use white sage incense, because I love the smell and find it very relaxing, which is important for any sort of energy work.

When I stood outside, I took a few deep breaths, and looked up at the moon. Then I felt compelled to hold the selenite wand above my head with both hands, with my arms at full stretch. I inwardly asked the moon to energise the selenite, and through it, to also energise myself.

Some more of my crystal collection, ready to be charged under the full moon

Almost immediately, I felt a bolt of energy hit the wand, then travel down my arms, through my body, and through the soles of my feet into Mother Earth. I felt at one with both the moon and the earth, and I was filled with the strangest feeling. I felt both relaxed and full of energy, all at the same time. I thought to myself, ‘That’s it, I’m not going to be able to sleep now.’

How wrong can you be? I had the best night’s sleep in months, and ever since then I’ve slept really well pretty much every night. I woke up refreshed and ready to face the day, and my mood had lifted overnight. I’m not sure what happened that night, but I do know I’m still feeling the benefits today.

Friday’s blood moon is likely to signal the end of one chapter and the beginning of another phase of spiritual development, so there may be some difficult choices to make for many of us. Trust in the power of your intuition, your crystals and the Universe, and enjoy this special occasion as you move forward on your spiritual journey.

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My first Skype reading – and it went really well!

Mrs Mummypenny – aka Lynn James. A good friend and my first client for a Skype reading.

I’m really proud of myself – and not a little bit amazed – at how quickly my psychic powers seem to be developing. I’m also getting more and more into using crystals, for myself and for others. At times it can get a bit overwhelming – such as when Lynn James, a friend and fellow writer, asked me to give her a Skype reading, as she was facing major business and lifestyle decisions, and she wasn’t really sure which path to follow.

Lynn is the creator and owner of Mrs Mummypenny.co.uk, an award-winning personal finance and lifestyle blog she started five years ago. It’s now so big that she works on it full time, and has many corporate and personal clients. She’s also writing for newspapers and magazines and making media appearances on tv and radio, spreading the message about getting debt under control and living the life you want to live.

Lynn is also into crystals, meditation and spiritual development, and has asked me to write a guest blog post about using crystals and meditation to help clear  your thought processes, reduce stress and progress your business. You may think spiritual stuff has very little to do with business and PR, but it’s surprising how many successful and aspirational people are using the power of the Universe to help and guide them in their daily life. Even Richard Branson is a keen advocate of meditation and mindfulness, and if it’s good enough for him, then it’s also good enough for the rest of us!

I was happy to advise Lynn on crystals, and suggest suitable meditation techniques, but I was rather reluctant to do a reading, especially as I’d never done one before! During my psychic development training with my friend and mentor Alison Wynne-Ryder, I’d done mini readings for fellow students and another medium, and I was pleased with the messages I was able to bring through, but a full Skype reading? That was a step too far – or so I thought!

I offered to put Lynn in touch with a more experienced psychic reader, but it was me she wanted, so I asked the audience – or rather my other psychic teachers and good friends  – how to go about it. Fiona Surtees, Alison and Tricia Lee, assured me that I would know what to do, and said I should ask the Angels and my spirit guides for help, and to bring through messages to help Lynn. It all sounded so easy, but I was terrified, and it was only my strong desire to help Lynn that carried me through.

I prepared by meditating the night before the reading, and calling on Archangel Zadkiel for help. He’s the one to help with connecting to the Divine, which is what you need to do if you want to progress along your spiritual path and help others with psychic readings and messages. In case you don’t already know, you can call on the Angels and Archangels at any time and they will help you, although they won’t chip in and sort stuff without being asked, as we all have free will, and they won’t mess around with that.

As we connected on Skype, I chatted to Lynn for a few minutes to relax us both, and also to find out what she hoped to gain from the reading. The most successful readings are those where the client has a specific purpose in mind, and tells you what they want from the reading. That helps to bring the right messages through. It’s no good turning up for a reading and being vague about it. Yes, it’s fine to hope that Aunt Mabel will come through with words of wisdom, but Spirit and the Angels don’t waste their energy by just popping in for a chat and a cup of tea. They can’t have the tea anyway, and when they come to us, they come with help, advice and comfort, not just to discuss the weather or the latest football results.

I was pleased to have some messages which I instinctively knew were for Lynn, even though they came to me in my sleep, and as we talked, I got more messages coming through. I was actually doing a ‘for real’

Myself and my friend Denise receiving our Spiritual Development certificates from our tutor, mentor and friend Alison Wynne-Ryder.

psychic reading, and I was loving it. A couple of times, Lynn looked quite shocked, and I asked what was wrong. It turned out that I’d told her things that she hadn’t told anyone else, not even those closest to her. When she asked how I knew, I admitted that I didn’t, but my Upstairs Team did, and they wanted me to pass that knowledge on to help her with her decisions.

Another thing she remarked on during the reading was that at times, I looked very much like her mother, who is in Spirit. That explained a minor mystery to me, because I felt a presence, but didn’t recognise who it was. Clearly Lynn’s Mum was showing herself in a way her daughter could accept and understand, and it brought a lot of comfort to her.

By the end of the reading, Lynn looked and felt happier and more relaxed. She said she had a lot to think about, but she could now see her path more clearly. As an added bonus, she went on to have the best night’s sleep she’d had in months. Neither myself nor anyone had told her what she should do – nobody on Earth or elsewhere in the Universe can do that. However, the messages I’d channelled for her had helped to clear her thinking, so her mind was no longer whizzing around like a hamster’s wheel at top speed.

Both Lynn and I felt both relaxed and energised after our Skype session. It’s a difficult sensation to explain, but it comes from knowing for sure that the Universe has your back, and that whatever life throws at you, you can deal with it, with a little help from the Angels and Spirit. My spiritual development teachers all say the same thing – don’t just talk about it, and read about it, get on and do it. And you know what? They’re right!

Image credit: Lynn James

How Beryl proved to me that there is definitely an afterlife

Me back in the late 1970’s, when ‘Beryl’ made regular appearances on New Year’s Eve.

When I was 16, my father died suddenly, and a few days after he passed, I was sure I saw him at the bottom of my bed. When I told my Mother about it the next day, she said it was wishful thinking. That seemed to be confirmed on the day of the funeral. Back in 1968, it was customary to have the open coffin on display in the front room, so friends and relatives could pay their respects before leaving for church, and much against my will, I was told I had to say goodbye to Dad. I was convinced he was breathing, although he was so cold. I could actually see the ivory satin going up and down, and again I was told it was wishful thinking.

That seemed a logical explanation – I was definitely a Daddy’s Girl and I wanted him back with me. I tried to put the episode out of my mind, but 50 years later, having developed my psychic powers somewhat, I realise Dad was sending me the message that though he wasn’t physically with me any longer, he would always be by my side when I needed him.

For the next 9 years, although I thought of Dad a lot, I pretty much convinced myself that he’d gone, and all I had left were memories. However, on New Year’s Eve 1976, I received proof positive that there was indeed an afterlife. With my husband and two children, I was moving from our house in Wolverhampton to start a new life in Telford, Shropshire. We had to vacate the house on New Year’s Eve or  pay another month’s rent, so we called in my brother in law and a rented van to empty the place of our possessions.

My brother in law had always said he sensed a presence in the house, and was glad we were moving out. However, we disregarded his concerns, as he had a few ‘funny ideas’ – that is, things we didn’t agree with. I was not so open minded at 25 as I am at 65, but then I hadn’t had the life experiences to know any better.

It took several trips to empty the house, and my husband went along to help unload. The children were with my mother in law, so I was alone in the house for an hour or so. I was working away downstairs, cleaning the rooms that had been emptied, when I heard the doors of the fitted wardrobe in what had been the children’s bedroom banging. I cursed under my breath, thinking our dog or one of the cats must have got trapped. I was on my way upstairs to free them, when I saw the dog and all three cats in the garden. I called them in, but as I opened the patio doors, they ran to the bottom of the garden and refused to come in. That was enough for me, and, cold as it was, I sat in the garden with them until my husband and brother in law returned.

I told them what had happened, and they agreed we needed to get out of the house as soon as possible. I’d stripped the beds, but had left the bedding on the landing in a bundle to be pushed in wherever it would fit. Feeling much happier now I was no longer alone, I went upstairs to collect the bedding. Although all the radiatiors in the house were warm, and there were no windows open, it was very cold on the landing, and a feeling of dread crept over me. As I started to descend, a woman walked through the door of the children’s room and brushed past me on the stairs. Although she was beautiful, feelings of anger and hatred emanated from her, and I did the only sensible thing – I threw the bundle of washing down ahead of me and legged it to the van.

My husband and brother in law quickly finished off indoors, and managed to coax the dog and cats into the van. My eyes were drawn to the upstairs window, and there was the woman, no longer angry, just looking very sad to see me leave. I thought she must be sorry to have frightened me, but I was frankly glad I didn’t need to go back to that house.

We told my mother in law what had happened, but she was very sceptical, and put it down to me being exhausted because of the move and having too vivid an imagination. I wanted to believe her, but later that evening, at a family party – remember this was New Year’s Eve – my husband noticed teeth marks on my left hand. He said I must have been worrying about my experience, and chewed on my hand, but there were two problems with that – I hadn’t been chewing my hand, although I couldn’t stop thinking about the afternoon. Apart from that, the teeth marks were small, like a child’s, and definitely didn’t originate from my mouth.

Fast forward a year, and we were happily settled in our new home in Telford. Again, it was New Year’s Eve, and again, we had a party to enjoy in the evening, once the chores were done. I was working away in the kitchen, cleaning the floor while a stew bubbled away on the stove. It was cold outside, but lovely and warm in the kitchen, with the stove going and the radiator on.

All of a sudden, the room became icy cold, and our dog George, who had been sitting by the stove, willing the stew to be ready so he could check it was fit for human consumption, started barking and fled towards the garden. I thought maybe my husband had returned from the park with the children, but there was nobody there, and the door was closed, so there was nothing to account for the sudden chill in the kitchen. Or maybe there was …

As I went back to the sink, I glanced in the mirror, and there was the reflection of the lady I thought I’d left behind in Wolverhampton. I was startled, but this time I wasn’t scared, because there was no animosity about her. In fact, she seemed to be asking me for help, but I didn’t think there was anything I could do for her, so I just said ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. Please leave, as I don’t want my children to be frightened.’ She gave me a hug, then left, and the room was back to normal. When my husband came back, I told him what had happened, and we decided that as the spirit had followed us, we should give her a name. I can’t remember why we thought Beryl was a good idea, but Beryl she became!

Beryl returned the following two years – 1978 and 1979 – for brief visits, then we didn’t see her again until New Year’s Eve, 1986, just a couple of months before we moved from Telford to Cornwall to manage a holiday park. She didn’t seem very happy, and seemed to hold on to me, as if she didn’t want me to leave. I just said ‘Hey Beryl, you’ve followed us once, you can follow us again if you want to, as long as you don’t scare away the holidaymakers.’

I thought she’d taken me at my word,  and was keeping well away, because I didn’t see her for about three years. In the meantime, we lost the job, our marriage broke up, and we faced several other serious problems. I was at my lowest point when I met the man who would become my second husband, and soon after we moved in together, Beryl came back. This time was different, though. For a start, it wasn’t New Year’s Eve, it was summer. And she didn’t come to my home, she joined us on an evening out at a local club. A friend who was with us sensed something, but I actually saw her, and she looked happy and waved to me. That was back in 1990, and she hasn’t appeared to me since.

I’ve thought about who may have been, and why she followed me around for so long, but I really have no idea. I don’t recognise her from

Our dog George, who was most unimpressed by the ghostly goings-on!

the many old family photos I have, and since she never gave me her name, I have no way of tracking her down. Maybe she was a trapped soul who needed help to cross over, and thought I was the one to help her, or maybe she was a harbinger of change, as she only seemed to appear when my life was about to change radically. When she appeared to me in 1979, I was already pregnant with my youngest child, although I didn’t realise that at the time.

From my current standpoint of having some knowledge of things spiritual, I’ve more or less come to the conclusion that maybe Beryl appeared to me in order to prove that there is another world beyond this earthly life, and also spark my interest in preparation for my personal spiritual journey. I will probably never know in this lifetime, and it doesn’t really matter. Everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t recognise it at the time. Being naturally curious, I would love to know who she was, and why she shared my life for so long, but I certainly feel privileged that she chose me to appear to. I only wish I could have helped her – but maybe I did, in some small way. I certainly hope so.

It just popped into my head, honestly!

My new look – as advised by Spirit!

In the early days of my psychic development, something that I at first found disconcerting, but now find absolutely magical, is the way messages from Spirit, whether for myself or others, just pop into my head from nowhere. It happens mostly when I’m not even trying to make a connection or ask a question, and according to Alison and other experienced mediums, that’s a sure sign the message is comming from outside, and not from your own internal thought processes.

It’s only when you recognise how Spirit works that you realise that you’ve probably been receiving messages all your life, and just thought they were ‘lightbulb moments.’ In a way they were – it’s just that the light came from another dimension! Actually, the idea for this article just ‘popped into my head’ last night, and I started writing, then got stuck, because I don’t want this category to be just about my experiences and what I’ve learned, I want to be able to help others recognise how Spirit and the Angels are working with them, and use that information to develop their own abilities. So I did the sensible thing and left it alone, and as soon as I went back to the post this morning, I just knew how to explain it.

If you think this sounds far-fetched, or that it’s some hogwash I’ve come up with to make the post sound more exciting, well, that’s your privilege, but any psychic or medium worth their space will tell you that guidance comes in all forms and at all times. My teacher Alison Wynne-Ryder, who is also a well-known writer on all things spiritual, often says she’s been guided to write something, or to change the content of a lesson, and it becomes clear very soon why this needed to happen. As well as writing course content, articles and books, Alison writes her own guided meditations and poems, and  more often than not, the basic idea changes.

It’s easy to fight that and stick with your original idea, especially if you’re good at what you do, as indeed we both are. We are good writers, and we know our trade, but if you trust the messages you’re given, the end result can be so much more rewarding for you and for those who will benefit from the changes. This article is a vivid verification of that. My original idea was to tell you about several of my ‘popped into my head’ moments, and although they make for interesting reading, that’s about all you’ll get from them. However, I’ve now been guided to give more explanation of how it all works, so you can recognise and profit from your own similar moments.

The trouble is, some people have entirely the wrong idea about how messages come through from Spirit. You don’t need to be sat in a circle in a darkened room holding hands, or go into a trance, or call on your guides and the Angels to get the information you need. If you are open and receptive, you will receive what you need, when you need it, whether that’s inspiration for a creative project, an answer to a difficult question, or a solution to a worrying situation. Just trust in the Universe, and believe in yourself.

Now, briefly, I’ll tell you about two of my recent ‘lightbulb moments,’ and how they have affected me. The first came when I was chatting online to a Facebook friend who was having difficulty accepting the breakdown of his relationship, and was in despair and lonely. I don’t know this guy well – I’ve only ‘spoken’ to him online – but I found myself telling him that he would soon go out with someone he already knew, and that there would be questions involved. He pressed me for details, but that was all I had, and he said it was most unlikely, as none of the people he knew had ever figured on his romantic radar.

A week later, he contacted me with the news that he was going out with his neighbour, whom he’d known for 3 years, but never thought of romantically. They’d met in the corridor as he was on his way to his regular quiz night. She’d just broken up with her boyfriend, and said she needed to take her mind off things, so asked if she could go with him to the quiz night! I was a bit concerned that maybe he had made things happen, but the approach came from her. As he was telling me this, I got the message that this would not be a long term relationship, but that they would part on good terms and remain friends, and that is exactly what has happened. They realised they didn’t have a future together, but it gave them both the confidence to get out and meet other people.

How did this benefit me? Well, I was having a bit of a crisis of confidence, because although I was doing quite well with psychometry, mediitation, visualisation and other things, and had sensed loved ones around me, I didn’t believe I’d ever be able to do readings for other people. This proved that I could, and in fact two days after this confirmation, Alison asked us each to do a mini reading for a friend of hers we knew nothing about. I managed to identify 6 things – two past, two present and two future – which the lady was able to take. The ability is there, I just had to trust in it, and myself.

The second incident seemed trivial, but turned out not to be. My friend Glenys and I had booked an appointment with my hairdresser, and we were talking about it to some other friends, who encouraged us to make a pamper session out of it and have manicures and pedicures. Then someone asked me what I was doing with my hair, and I replied, ‘Just the usual trim to get rid of the split ends.’ Suddenly, there was a loud voice in my head saying, ‘Cut it short, Sandra.’ It was so clear, I assumed someone in the room had spoken, but the voice wasn’t familiar, and I couldn’t say for sure if it was male or female.

I’ve had long hair for at least the last 20 years, and I’ve never considered going short, so I tried to push the idea out

The ‘old’ me, before my transformation

of my mind, but I got the message again during the night, and again a couple of days later. I discussed it with Alison, and a couple of trusted friends, and they said as I’d been given the message three times, I should trust it and act on it. Alison even visualised the style I would end up with, and I am absolutely delighted with it.

The transformation in my hairstyle has also brought a transformation in my attitude. Everyone says I look younger, and I am more feisty, and they are right. I’ve been dealing with an ongoing situation which has sapped my energy and brought me very low at times, but if you look good, you feel good, and I find I have a lot more strength than I thought I had. It’s the reverse of the Samson-Delilah dynamic – cutting my hair has increased my emotional strength, whereas Samson’s makeover robbed him of his physical strength.

It just goes to show that messages from Spirit come in many forms, and if you go with what you’re given, the rewards can be amazing. Love and blessings.

‘Is There Anybody There?’ Oh yes!

Me with my spiritual mentor, teacher and friend, the Quirky Medium, Alison Wynn-Ryder

I’ve always been very interested in ‘The Other Side,’ for want of a better description. In fact, way back in 1977 I had my own encounter with a very different kind of spirit to my usual vodka and cloudy lemonade, or brandy and soda! I’ll tell you more about that in another post, but this is an introduction to my personal psychic development journey.

That encounter convinced me that there are indeed more things out there in the Universe than we can possibly understand, and for many years, I’ve wanted to learn more about the afterlife, reincarnation, the angels, and all the other beings that we can’t necessarily see, but can sense or just believe in. The time never seemed right though, and when I did meet psychics and mediums, there seemed to be something stopping me from connecting with them. Maybe it was because the people I encountered back in England seemed to have a sort of ‘showbiz’ quality about them which made it difficult to develop an empathy and trust, or maybe it was just because I hadn’t met the people who were destined to help me on my psychic path?

I don’t suppose I’ll ever know for sure, but when I came across Alison Wynne-Ryder almost three years ago, I finally felt ready to develop my psychic abilities and expand my spiritual knowledge. It was all about Divine Timing, because everything happens when it’s meant to happen for your highest good. It’s not always easy to believe that, especially when something bad happens, but if you can accept that it won’t always work out the way you want it, you’ll be so much stronger, calmer and happier. I certainly am.

I first came across Alison when she appeared on a local radio show, and I was so intrigued by what she had to say,  I resolved to meet her as soon as I could. I finally met her in November 2016, when I attended one of her psychic development ‘taster’ workshops, and interviewed her for my No Ordinary Expat series on the Insiders Abroad website.

Alison and I connected immediately, and I decided to join her Psychic Development Course in February 2017. Fast forward to today, and I have completed the three levels of the course, made some fabulous new friends, and developed my psychic abilities to a level that has astounded me. Alison is not surprised, however – she says as soon as she met me, she knew I had the ability to connect with Spirit, and in doing so, help myself and others.

Here, I will share some of the most magical moments of my psychic and spiritual journey. Whether you believe or not, I hope you will enjoy reading these posts. They’re very different to my usual stuff, but I feel by sharing my experiences, I may encourage others to explore their own psychic abilities. As Alison told me in her interview, we all have that ability, it just needs to be recognised and developed in the right way, and at the right pace for the individual. Love and blessings to you all.

Knickers to Monday!

Me with my spiritual mentor, the Quirky Medium, Alison Wynn-Ryder

Monday is one of my favourite days, because it’s  my Psychic Development Group with the lovely Alison Wynne-Ryder, aka The Quirky Medium. Whether you believe in ‘that sort of thing’ or not – and I certainly do – there are some things that have to be put down to synchronicity, as they’re more than mere coincidence. Monday was no exception. We were all nervous about doing our first-ever psychic readings, and Alison tried to prepare us and relax us by relating a funny story from one of her own readings.

She explained that we should always pass on any information that came to us, however irrelevant it may seem, because somebody will be able to take it and make sense of it. Of course, sometimes it may be inappropriate, or even downright rude, but it has to be passed on, because it’s given for a reason. This particular message – and those of a sensitive disposition should look away now –  was ‘Smelly Knickers!’ Being  a well brought up Northern Lass, Alison was understandably reluctant to transmit this to the lady sitting with her, but she knew she’d been given the phrase to bring help or comfort. With a bit of cleaning up – which of course  is necessary with knickers, particularly those of a pungent persuasion – Alison delivered the message as ‘Knickers.’

The lady in question was shocked, stunned and staggered in equal measure, and it wasn’t because Alison had an obvious obssession with underwear. It turned  out that the lady’s brother had passed away some years before, and they’d sometimes debated the existence or otherwise of an afterlife. The two had agreed that, if there  was indeed a place where they could communicate with each other after death, they would have a key phrase so that they would know it was a genuine contact from the spirit world. The phrase they agreed on was … ‘Smelly Knickers!’

You may be wondering where synchronicity comes in here, and I’m about to explain it – or at least try to! Earlier in the day, my husband, myself and a good friend had been invited to the boatyard in Torrevieja, where a friend of ours was repairing and repainting his boat. Older than the Titanic, and still very much seaworthy, the beautiful craft had saved the lives of countless people before it came into our friend’s possession. She’d served as a lifeboat, and was one of the flotilla of boats that rescued soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940. Now she was having a bit of pampering, and we were going to see the progress before she was returned to her berth in the nearby marina.

My friend – who shall remain nameless for reasons which will quickly become apparent – has lost a lot of weight over the last two years. So much so that the knickers she was wearing were now rather loose. The

The beautiful boat that caused dignity problems for my friend

nearer we got to the boatyard, the nearer the unfortunate underwear got to the pavement, until there was nothing my friend could do other than slide behind a convenient advertising board, step gracefully out of them and consign them to the bin.

Problem solved – or so we thought. What we hadn’t considered was that a boat out of the water cannot be accessed without the aid of a ladder. And for safety reasons, somebody has to stay at the bottom of the ladder while others ascend.  My friend’s discomfiture was not helped when my boat-owning friend said he’d stay at the bottom of the ladder and try not to peek at her (non-existent) knickers! I salvaged the situation by following closely behind her, so we crossed that hurdle safely, with her dignity more or less intact.

After a pleasant interlude admiring the original teak fittings of the boat and sinking a cold beer or two, it was time to descend the ladder again. My friend was doing quite well, until there was a bit of banter between the boat owner and his assistant. The assistant said ‘No peeking at her knickers on the way down!’ My other friend replied, ‘I wouldn’t dream of looking at her pink knickers with white spots on!’ The assistant then delivered the killer line: ‘You’re a liar – she’s not wearing any!’

At this point, both myself and my commando friend collapsed in a heap, because both men were right. In the nearest bin to the boatyard, a pair of overstretched knickers waited patiently to be collected by the municipal cleaners. They were pink, and they were decorated with white spots. Work that one out if you can!

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