Behold - I refuse to write about SNOW. Mainly because I imagine Canadians and Swedes snickering at our complaining about a miserable 10cm for the past two weeks.

Snowbound as I am here in Cheesetown, I'm putting up a ghost story. Call it something for the long snowbound days and nights...

Sometimes when I write here, I am economical with the truth; mainly to respect feelings and privacy of other people who didn't ask for their existence or comments to be PUBLISHED.
But I never lie.
And I'm not lying now. This is a true story. It happened to me, and you can chose to believe it or not.

Many many many years ago, when I first moved down to London, I was sharing a house with a small neurotic Gujarati. Sas was a small, gin drinking, chain smoking Indian, with a long term white boyfriend, who had led her parents to believe that she was a small teetotal, clean living virgin.
Her parents wanted to arrange a marriage. You can see the problem.

Many gin soaked nights were spent whilst Sas considered her options. Finally she decided that the most sensible option was for her to see a fortune teller. The fortune teller would solve everything. I had no idea how a fortune teller is meant to resolve all this, but, whatever, it's a free day trip down to Rochester with Sas. We will see fortune teller, see Rochester, see pub, solve all problems.
And yes, I'll see a fortune teller too, to keep her company.

First sign of trouble was when we arrived at the fortune teller's shop. Fortune tellers don't have shops where I come from, Their fame means you don't need to advertise. But here we are. Second sign of trouble was when it became clear that the "fortune teller" was actually a spiritualist.

OK. No. I do not do spiritualists. Without getting technical about this, there are a hundred reasons why it would be wrong.
But we're here. And Sas wants me to go first.
So I'm in a small room, with a woman I KNOW is a charlatan. And if she expects me to give her any help whatsoever, she has another think coming.

The fishing questions start. Do I know a James?
Everyone knows a James!!! Pfffrt. No the name means nothing to me.
She sees a Mary here...
Pffft. Yeah right. Mary. No the name means nothing to me.
There is a woman here with a strong accent.
Yep that would be because as a Glaswegian in the south of England, I've got one. No, that rings no bells.
My "spiritualist" is getting a little bit ratty after twenty minutes of this. "Look, you need to give me some help here" she actually says that.
I am getting ready to get out of there when she suddenly comes out with the goods.
"OK. I see a man. His name is Bill, and he's standing on the other side. He's standing, holding a child by the hand. And he has a message for Nan. He wants her to know that it's OK. Everything's OK now, and he wants to say sorry."


In the pub later, Sas and I held a post mortem on the fortune telling session. After hearing how the fortune teller had resolved nothing for Sas, I considered whether to tell her or not.

The "spiritualist" had managed to give me the name of my dad, who'd died the previous June, with a message for "Nan", my mum. Oh yeah, and Bill and Nan had had another kid before me, who died in infancy.