Aurora, my gorgeous Irish Setter springs to her feet, she has been sleeping on her rug in front of the roaring log fire.  Aurora runs towards the conservatory and with great excitement welcomes Joan, who has just arrived.  “Morning lovely,” she says, patting Aurora on the head.  “What herbal tea am I getting today,” she says, smiling at me.  “How about Flowers of the Forest?”  “Great” replied Joan as she heads towards the large armchair beside the log fire in the lounge.  Oh, I see Mr Crow is still visiting you, he’s perched on the window ledge still staring in.  “Yup, I’m used to him being here now, I love him, but Aurora doesn’t,” I laughed.  Steaming hot drinks in hand, I join Joan in the lounge.  We talk about what we’ve been up to in the last week, until Joan asks about the gypsy I met, a few years back.  I’ve been looking forward to hearing that story” she adds.

“Oh, yes, the gypsy.  Well, the kids and I went on holiday and ended up in Wheyms Bay.  On our travels around the town, I noticed a red tent with a sign saying Gypsy Crystal Ball Readings.  I felt drawn to have one and so entered the tent, where I found an elderly lady, dressed in brightly coloured gypsy style clothes.  The gypsy sat behind a small round table which has a deep purple velvet cloth.  A large clear crystal ball sat on a stand in the middle of the table. The whole atmosphere and staging looked so authentic.  I was fascinated. The old gypsy lady told me so much about my life and even told me that Ramon had bought a new burgundy colour car.  I did not know at this point that he had.  Anyway, my reading over, I left the gypsy and headed outside.  However, I began to wonder about my future, and what if anything I should be doing.  So, I went back into the tent and said to her that I wanted to know something that I did not already know.  The gypsy smiled, “I knew you would be back” Struggling to understand what I wanted to know, I am stuck for words.  The gypsy sensing my plight asked me what I loved doing.  I named a few things, but she kept shaking her head.  “What is it you’ve always wanted to do?”  Still, I had no idea.  Then the gypsy asked me what I loved doing as a child.  I was beginning to become more and more confused.  At last, she said “you used to write poetry” Stunned for a moment, my mind went back to the times when I used to write poetry and send my stories and poetry off to different magazines, like the Bunty.  Anyway, the gypsy continued and told me that I would write a book.  You will get help writing this book, by someone you have helped, I see a dog and a cat, but it’s your second book that is the one to watch, there is a connection to America and abroad.  The story for your second book will begin mysteriously, it will not be in your control rather a journey of considerable significance to you and others. I have to say, Joan, that I loved the idea of writing a book but well the idea that I could write a book was at that time so farfetched to me.  I was bottom of my English class at school and now knew I had a form of dyslexia.  My belief system was so engrained and conditioned by the experience of underachieving at school that I could not comprehend how I could write a short story far less a book.   Anyway, a couple of years later, while on holiday, I had a vision of a large black notebook with different coloured sections.  I immediately went out to the shops, and in the first shop, I found such a book.  Anyway, back at the hotel, I spent the next two weeks at the coffee shop by the pool, writing out my life story.  When I returned home, I put the book away in a cupboard and forgot all about it, until nearly a year later.  What happened next was that I was running a course on treating animals naturally.  I use aura drawing to find out what is wrong with the animal then use different natural healing treatments.  I even landed in numerous newspapers because of this work.  Anyway, a lady called Midi attended my course.  Midi was in the process of writing her book How To Treat Your Dog And Cat The Natural Way.  After the class, Midi asked me if she could photograph Aurora and Mr Pink my white and ginger cat with a pink nose, to use for the front cover of her book.  I of course agreed and so followed a photoshoot which lasted for a few days.  Midi offered me money for the shoot, but I refused.” 

“Aura Drawings, that sounds fascinating, can you draw mine?” “Of, course Joan, we need to organise a time for that. Anyway, about six months after my course, Midi telephoned me, saying that she was at a crossroads and knew she had to write another book but had no idea what the subject was.  Immediately I remembered the journal I had written my story in and told her about it.  Midi said that she had previously ghostwritten a book for someone but had no intention of ever ghostwriting again.  She added that because I had been so kind letting her photograph Aurora and Mr Pink, she would read what I had written and offer me an honest opinion on the content.  Midi collected my journal the next day and called me the following morning saying she had been up all night reading it and loved it. Let’s do it, she said. I could hardly believe it. That was the beginning of Dark Storm Golden Journey and what a journey that was. It took us a year to write and complete, but almost immediately, Main Stream Publishers accepted and agreed to publish the book.  Finally, after a lot of soul searching, fun and laughter the book is published, and the reality is that the gypsy had been right all along.”

“Oh, so what about the second book, Alison.  “I’ve no idea about that Joan, no idea at all.” 

“And you said there was some guy who randomly picked you out and offered you a reading at a car boot sale?”  “You know what Joan, look at the time, are you free next week and I’ll tell you that one.” “What are you doing about your plans for Akong, Alison?” “Oh, they are coming along Joan, are you heading down to Samye Ling anytime soon”? “We could go there next week, and you can tell me more stories” laughed Joan.  Thе mystery соntinuеѕ… look out fоr раrt 7 tо find оut mоrе…