An Appointment With Death
Before I tell this story, I need to explain a bit about my background. I grew up in a scientific family, with a father and two brothers very much on the science rather than arts side of the seesaw. At school I was guided into science from the age of 13 and ended up studying engineering, just like my brothers. Since then, most of my working life has been in aerospace, surrounded by people who deal in facts and figures. In short, I had zero experience in anything spiritual and before this experience would have derided it as hairy fairy claptrap.
After leaving the aerospace industry behind in 2003, I chose to work as my own boss and started a health clinic business with Nicky my wife. She provided various treatment skills, including Physiotherapy and I provided the business background. Aware that I knew little about the health industry, I took myself back to college at Stafford for a year and subsequently to London for two and a half years, studying Chinese Medicine.
It is here my story unfolds.
My course work in London required many weekends and I soon got into the routine of travelling early Friday evening to London by train and then getting the tube from Euston up to Tufnell Park, where I then walked down Tufnell Park Road and stopped off at a clean and well-stocked shop halfway down, to get some tea, which I would eat at a fairly basic B&B.
This particular Friday, I was going to be unable to leave at my normal time due to work commitments, but I would still have no problem getting to the B&B at a not ridiculously late hour. That afternoon I mentioned to Nicky that I had had a vision a couple of times of being stabbed, which I put down to an overactive imagination and thought nothing more about.
I was keen to do some revision on the train, but this got interrupted by the stabbing image getting more and more frequent, to the extent it really started to spook me. I was in an interesting quandary as on the one hand, my scientific background told me it was just my mind stuck in a loop and couldn’t possibly be real. On the other hand, I was spooked, and any thoughts of studying went out of the window as fast as the scenery rushing past. By the time I made my way down to the Northern line platform at Euston I was contemplating going back up and getting a taxi direct to the B&B. It was my stomach that overruled that, as I needed something to eat and anyway, I was overreacting, wasn’t I?
My short tube journey to Tufnell Park, acted to intensify the feeling that I was going to get stabbed that night. As I stood at the corner outside the tube station, I forced myself to focus on getting something to eat. The later journey time meant that my favourite shop would already be closed, so an alternative was needed and there on the other side of the road was my saviour. Not as appealing as my normal haunt, after all I had seen it many times before and always written it off, but needs must, and it obviously sold food. I crossed the road where I had never crossed before.
My earlier impressions of the shop were fairly accurate, I bought up and decided that it would be my last visit. Outside I turned left and stopped to consider my walk to the B&B, which was about 5 minutes away. Next along from the shop was a GP’s Practice and between the two was a driveway to the back of the corner buildings.
I can only describe what happened then was like being overwhelmed by an intense surge of fear. I was instantly terrified and just wanted to get away. My senses were on full alert, and I was convinced that my visions were about to come true. I walked straight down the centre of the road, keeping maximum distance between me and any perceived danger points, like dark alleyways. It was difficult not to run, I was in full fight or flight mode, cortisol flooding my system and my heart racing.
I made it the B&B and couldn’t get into my locked room soon enough. I collapsed onto the bed to calm down, unable to face any food or fluid and went through multiple phases of relief. Eventually, I tried to make light of the whole experience and lent heavily on my upbringing and decided that I had been an overdramatic idiot.
After a fairly fitful sleep, I was relaxed. I convinced myself the whole thing had been imagination gone wild. I needed to get to Camden Town, and this meant retracing my steps back to Tufnell Park tube station.
As I got to the tube station, I looked across to the GP surgery and corner shop. The gap between was cordoned off by Police tape. An unlucky soul had been murdered there the night before. He had been stabbed.
I have no memory of having any kind of similar experience to this before this event. It’s not impossible though, because nearly everybody I knew would have laughed in my face if I had suggested such a thing. It’s highly likely that being married to Nicky, observing her skills and listening to her beliefs, has opened a door in me that I didn’t even realise existed.
I cannot rub out this experience. It happened. Why did it happen to me? Who knows? But without a shadow of a doubt, I picked up on a stabbing more than eight hours before it occurred and from more than 100 miles away. I have no idea how this happened.
Has it happened again? Only once and nothing so significant, although it could have been. Nicky and I regularly drive to Norfolk and not being keen on the boredom of motorways and the A14, we have created a very nice cross-country route, which takes us through some very pretty countryside and allows us to stop halfway at a nice pub in Corby Glen. The route takes us across the A1 and through Colsterworth, famous for being the birthplace of Newton. One night we approached a crossroad in Colsterworth, with the road on the left being concealed behind houses. Although we had right of way, I braked hard suddenly before the junction and shouted to Nicky a car was going to come straight across in front of us. Seconds later a car shot out from the left and went across the road in front of us, travelling at a speed that would have caused a serious accident if we had been in the way. We would have been if I hadn’t braked.
I can’t explain any of this and no doubt many would try to fob it off as a couple of made-up stories, because they would have no basis to justify belief. I understand and sympathise with this, after all I would have done exactly the same before these experiences.
My view is that the life that most of us lead, the information we are given, the environment we are provided for most of us all provoke disbelief of anything intangible.
It is only the rare personal experiences of the tiny few that allows a different perspective to be even considered.
For me, I cannot possibly return to the majority belief. Will any more events like this occur for me? I don’t know. I will be disappointed if they don’t.
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