Writing Creatively With Spirit

A journey of psychic discovery

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Too hot to handle

Never on Sunday by Penny Dixon

Never on Sunday by Penny Dixon



I had a call from a friend to say a friend of hers bought Never on Sunday but found it too hot to handle. I always knew it wouldn’t be for everyone. It is meant to challenge! Could you handle it? Check it out here.


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Countdown to Cameroon – 2 days to go – Making peace with the mosquitoes

Monday 16th September 2013

Is time speeding up? Why are there suddenly so many things to do that I hadn’t thought of before? Not things to do with the trip, other things that are must-dos before I go.

2013-09-13 22-17-58.687Had to turn down a night out in Manchester tonight on account of these things that have come out of hiding.

A friend who has recently gone out to Liberia to work called me this morning to warn me about mosquitoes, and to let me know that taking quinine is a good deterrent to being their main meal.

This whole mosquito thing is making me think. Is part of this trip to give me an opportunity to face my fear of mosquitoes?  You see, an essential part of shamanic practice is a recognition that we all have a right to be here, and that the universe is in perfect harmony if we treat each other with respect.

If I am entering the mosquitos’ territory the least I can do is to let them know I come in peace. I’ll ask them if it’s ok to share their space and hope my politeness will elicit and affirmative. I do hope they say yes.

I’m being told so many horror stories about mosquitoes and malaria that it reminds me of when I was going to Guyana for the first time in 2011. Lots of people kept telling me about how corrupt the place was, how I needed to be very careful, and not to trust anyone as most people were out to rob you or rip you off.

I had given in to the fear by the time I arrived, relinquishing my belief that if I expect the best from people and approach them with love instead of fear, that I will be OK.

Anyway, I lost my purse within hours of arriving. The general acceptance of everyone was that it was either stolen, or if lost would never be seen again.

I remember sitting down calmly and asking to be shown what losing the purse was about. To cut a long story short, against all the odds, the purse was handed in at the hotel reception. It still contained all my cards and money. I knew then that it was a warning for me to return to my approach of love and trust. Other people’s experiences need not be mine. It was such a rare occurrence that I did radio and TV interviews about it, and the press ran an article on it.

Got my Euros today and my two bags are packed. Amazing how much electrical cables we travel with these days!

Off tonight for a last supper with a friend who’s just returned from Ghana.

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Countdown to Cameroon – 3 days to go – Chilling

Sunday 15th September 2013

Yesterday I had a blog enquiry about why I’m going to Cameroon. Although I wrote a reply to the post (Countdown to Cameroon – 5 days to go) I thought it would be helpful to refer back to the blog of June 14th where I first wrote about my reasons for going.


See also the video of the first time I got the news of my ancestry.


Since then a lot has happened. My interest in Africa has rocketed, especially African spirituality. In the last few weeks I’ve read four books on African Spirituality, three by Malidoma Patrice Some and one by Vincent Ravelec et al.

I’ve learned a lot about volunteering abroad, process as well as cost. Some of it was frustrating, some exciting. I’ve had times when I’ve questioned whether this is such a good idea after all, but there was never a serious thought that I wouldn’t go.

Now I’m only three days away. It actually feels more like two because I have to be at the airport for 4.30 on Wednesday morning. It became more real when I started communicating with the project directly. It’s fantastic that the director shares my sense of humour, and I’m beginning to clarify some of what I’ll be doing when I get there.

I had a call from the travel agents, Dial-a-Flight, that I booked my flight with. Jed were reminding me that I’m travelling on Wednesday (as if I’d have forgotten). He answered  my questions about baggage allowance, which will mean a little reshuffling. Although I’m allowed 46kgs in a total of two bags/cases, no piece can be more than 23kgs. I was hoping to take one large bag as heavy as possible and a smaller one. Now I’ll have to take a slightly larger one and decant some things out of the big one. So much for my advance packing!

It was my intention to have another go at using the web cam to record a blog today, but had to do some work in the morning, and I was determined to fit in a gym session. By the time I arrived for my reflexology and massage late afternoon I was more than ready to drift off into oblivion while the therapist worked her magic to balance my energy and loosen every tense muscle in my body.

After that, all I wanted to do was sit in front of The Big Bang Theory for hours.

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Countdown to Cameroon – 4 days to go – Finding my prince?

Saturday 14th September 2013

I had a long on-line conversation with the project coordinator last night. He said he was working late. I asked what the time was there. 8.27 p.m. he said. I check the time on my laptop. 20.27. Did that mean we were in the same time zone? I did a Google search for time in Cameroon. 8.29 p.m. (same as it was on my laptop by then). Yes, a new and important fact to discover. No jet lag.

He said he will be coming to meet me at the airport and not to be too concerned about the long journey. After landing at 4.30 on Wednesday evening we should be at the project by 12 noon on Thursday. He said the Cameroonian county side would be worth the trip.

He seemed very excited that I was bringing a video camera. I said not to be too excited as I didn’t yet know how to use it properly. I also found myself telling him that I’m quite good at writing publicity material which could be helpful for fund raising! WHAT! I’ve never done any fund-raising in my life!

Water bottle carrier

Water bottle carrier

Today a friend lent me an inner bag for sleeping bags. I didn’t even know such things existed. She also lent me a water bottle carrier. I could immediately see another use for it. What do you think? Picture it around the waist with the pouch hanging down the front.

‘Whoever this fits I will be happy to get to know better…’ I said.


Countdown to Cameroon – 5 days to go – The calm before the storm

Friday 13th September 2013

Legacy of the Black Gods - In Time Before Time by Paul Simons: Nebu Ka Ma'at

Legacy of the Black Gods – In Time Before Time by Paul Simons: Nebu Ka Ma’at

By the time I went to bed last night I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself for being so organised. I’m more or less packed, I’ve printed off all my paperwork, re-checked the flight details, and accepted and packed a mobile phone and some pens donated by one of my sons for me to take with me. (Nice replacement for all the ones I found that still don’t work and therefore not worth taking).

As far as my work goes, I was as up-to-date as I could be at this stage; and the book I’d ordered Legacy of the Black Gods – In time before time arrived. I thought it might be a fitting holiday read. Obviously hoping I get some time to read.

Was it all going too smoothly? Was that why I created the drama this morning of a shower that wouldn’t turn off? Brought in the tension and anxiety of not knowing where the stop cocks were for the water? ‘Why am I creating this?’ I asked myself in the midst of rushing around the house.

Then I sat and thought logically about what needed to be done, cleared my head of panic and found the stop cock – in a place I’d looked previously. My reminder? Anxiety and panic clouds the answer. Water represents emotions. When emotions are running out of control clear thinking is not possible. Calm brings clarity, as does ‘please ancestors, show me where the stop cock is.’

The problem has now been resolved. I’m going to savour the time I have left and keep it drama free. My plan is to catch up with a few friends who I’ve been putting on hold during the preparations. And to work out how all the audio/visual kit I’m taking with me works. Also going to do some more research into Cameroon and how it sits in all respects in An

I’ve put editing of Love is Not a Reward on hold for the time being. I’m trusting it will all get done in divine timing.

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Countdown to Cameroon – 7 days to go – Mapping the way

Wednesday 11th September 2013

A few weeks ago I did a shamanic journey in which I was told to always carry a cloth map (among other things) with me. I pondered this for a while and did a bit of research. I discovered that silk maps were made for the armed forces in both the UK and US during World War 2, but they were of specific places to help pilots and others negotiate their way out of enemy territory. There were no world ones.

World map

World map

I found a few world maps on beach towels but they were too large to consider popping into my handbag. A tea towel would have been fine but I couldn’t find any, and so I forgot about it as other things quickly rushed in to fill the space. That was until a few days ago when I had one of those Amazon ‘would you be interested in this’ emails.

It was for curtain fabric with the world map on. Doing a quick reccie on delivery dates I realised that the guaranteed date was the 17th, a day before I flew out. I ordered it. Lo and behold it arrived today. I am exceptionally pleased with it. It’s lightweight enough for me to carry in a largeish handbag, and will fit easily into a rucksack.

I’m not sure yet of the significance but I trust that all will be revealed in time. I’m totally loving this spiritual journey.

Citronella oils

Citronella oils

As mosquitoes generally want to be friendlier with me than me with them I thought I’d get some insect repellent. In the spirit of natural remedies I headed to Holland and Barrett to find citronella oil. Oh joy! They had a buy one get one half price sale. I’ll mix it in with my home-made body lotion (cocoa butter, olive oil and aloe vera gel) to make a cream that I can apply all over. Mossies – be warned!

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Countdown to Cameroon – 8 days to go

Tuesday 10th September 2013

An angry and disheveled bull

An angry and disheveled bull

I picked up my new glasses, had a makeover in House of Fraser and went to the dentist for a check-up. I’m not sure what happened to the bull at the Bullring, but he looked like he was getting over a hard night, and there was something he was less than happy with.

Original Volunteers (OV) rang me in response to a voice message I left on Friday. I think the project coordinator answered whatever I’d called them for but I found a few more questions.

In his email the project co-ordinator suggested that I would be expected to teach English and IT, also to engage in fundraising. English is fine. Not sure about the IT and fundraising is not my forte.

I discussed with OV what I’d actually like to do, i.e. oral history, story-telling and writing workshops. They thought those things would be very much appreciated. So, I may well be writing stories for African children while I’m away, as well as getting them to write their own – and hopefully learning loads from them.

On another note. I need to pick up a couple of locks for my suit cases because I’ve been advised that ‘things can get slotted out from cases without locks.’ Normally I don’t bother with locks, but as I’m taking gifts for the project I guess it’s probably best to take advice on this occasion.

I’m hoping to have everything sorted by tomorrow so that I can relax a little before setting off. After all – I don’t want to arrive tired.

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Countdown to Cameroon – 9 days to go – All my bags are packed

Monday 9th September 2013

Yes, would you believe I’m more or less packed? I wanted to see whether all the things I have to take would fit into my large suitcase, and whether there would be any room left for any donations from the wish list.

Me and the bee

Me and the bee

I found quite a few things in my loft that were suitable. I’m so pleased I didn’t throw out the photographic printer paper when I did my clearout a few months. And there was a stationary box that’s been there for about eight years now. Amazingly the elastic bands are still as strong as they were back then, and the staplers and staples still looks brand new. I even had branded Selotape.

Alas, the 60 pens I found don’t seem to be working. I’ve propped them on the radiator to see whether warming them up will make the ink flow. It’s been a few hours now and nothing seem to be happening. Any ideas on how to encourage ink flow in reluctant pens?

I ventured out to buy a couple of printer cartridges but got stumped when the guy in the shop asked me what region the printer was bought in, as there are, apparently, different zones for cartridges. I could only hazard a guess that as the project directed us to a UK website that it was OK to buy Europe based cartridges. So many things to learn!

And did everything fit? No, of course not! At least not in the one suitcase I was hoping to take. I’ve started a small one which currently still has space. Although my allowance is 46kgs spread across 2 bags, I’m hoping to not have to carry that much. Still, it depends on donations.

I went to A Course in Miracles (ACIM) study group tonight. I was asked to tell my story of how I discovered/remembered my purpose. When I mentioned that it entailed working with men and boys, and that I’d been working with a few pastors who may well be in a position to positively influence others, one of the group said he’d been doing a lot of that work and would like to get into it again. This is happening so much now. I got a surprise ‘happy birthday’ sung to me because I’m going to be away on my birthday.

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Countdown to Cameroon – 10 days to go – Project wish list

Sunday 8th September 2013

An idea lives on

An idea lives on

I got the wish list from the project coordinator today. I wish I’d received it earlier. There are lots of school materials needed including stationary and computer software and hardware.  I know quite a few teachers whose schools had clear outs at the end of last term. AAGGGG!

I know its short notice but if you have anything from the list, live near me and would like to make a small donation I’d be happy to have it.






Computers (PCs and laptops) There are not enough computers available each of the staff and volunteers to use.  By having more computers, this would greatly boost office productivity.  Please only consider this if you have a spare, new or old lap top that can be donated to SEREP.  We can send it to our partners for any volunteer coming out to bring it or them to us.  This removes postages costs.
Computer Monitors We do not have enough monitors to match the number of CPUs that we have.  Therefore any PC monitors (preferably flatscreens) would be most useful, as they are very expensive in Cameroon.
Keyboards Some of our keyboards are outdated, with broken and or missing keys.  Therefore new keyboards would be most appreciated.
Computer Mice The computer mice we use are very old and fragile.  New computer mice (preferably laser) would be less susceptible to damage.
Blank CDs These are useful for additional storage space, and can generate income to cover operation costs.
CD pens These pens are vital for day to day office use.  We have a very limited stock of these, and they are extremely difficult to purchase here.  THIS IS SOMETHING SEREP URGENTLY NEEDS.
Computer Software


 For use in the NGO’s CYBER Café and for training of the orphaned and vulnerable children.  We would greatly appreciate educational software which can be used to help teach our many students.  This may include encyclopaedias, educational games, management programmes and other advanced computer software to name a few.


We also greatly appreciate antiviral software.  Computer viruses have proved a big problem, damaging previously donated hardware, and diverting financial resources away from our other projects.  THIS IS SOMETHING SEREP URGENTLY NEEDS.


If you have particular software in mind and are unsure about it usefulness, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Printer cartridges for HP deskjet D1560 and F2280

 Photosmart printer catridges for the above printers. 


For desktjet 15560

21 c935a Black

Colour 22

Universal refill

Can be useful



We currently have Three printers in  the office, which cover in-house operations and the cyber café.  As a result, ink has become a precious resource, and proves to be extremely expensive in Cameroon.  We understand that compatible cartridges are much cheaper in Europe.  These can be found from retailers such as www.cartridgeworld.co.uk.  We would also appreciate ink cartridge refill kits, as this allows us to re-use existing cartridges, and to possibly generate income from offering the service to other people.

We really have a lot of difficulties with printing ink as it is very very expensive.   Acquiring even empty new catridges for these printers to be refilled using the universal refill ink is still very much appreciated.  (more information on request)

Printers The printers that we have at the office, are out-of date and very expensive to run.  We would greatly appreciate a new printer with scanning and photocopying facilities.  Such printers are difficult and expensive to source in Cameroon.  These printers would also be cheaper to run, cutting down costs.  Our research indicates that Epson Stylus and Officejet printers tend to be economical in terms of purchase costs, ink costs and longevity. Of course any good printer is appreciated.
External Hardrives An external hardrive would prove a useful piece of equipment to store all of the data in the office, freeing up computer space, and USB flash drives for other purposes.


Cardboard Folders For safe storage of documentation.
Plastic wallets Help easy identification of documents
USB / Pen drives These are also difficult to get hold of in the area, and the organization are only using ones previously brought by volunteers. We need USB, Pen drives etc.
Printer paper and photo printing papers We offer a printing and photocopying service to locals, this brings in a

small income for the NGO.  We have a photosmart printer which can print photos.  Volunteers would not more pay to print local pictures while Cameroon in THIS IS SOMETHING SEREP URGENETLY


General office Stationary We also appreciate any general office stationary you are able to bring with you or donate.  Such products are very expensive in Cameroon, and usually faulty.  This will help to keep expenditure down, and ensure that more revenue is directed towards our projects
Paper transfer This is used for printing staff and student uniform and workshops et c.
Tracing paper We use this for preparing stencils for screen printing.


School Stationary Any stationary for the school is welcome for example; books, colouring pencils and colouring pens, as well as normal pens and pencils.  Many of children are unable to afford such necessities, and are always extremely grateful of any gifts that SEREP or its partners are able to provide
Exercise Books Exercise books are vital for any child in our schools, and we are always in need of these to help support our orphans and vulnerable students.
Educational Books In Cameroon, books are considered a luxury, with many adults and children unable to access them.  Any books, either fiction or non-fiction are greatly welcomed.  We would also appreciate educational textbooks for our school, books on English language and grammar, as well as classic English literature books. Books thatcan facilitate learning.

Any general stationary you can get your hands on  post it’s. or you can come along with  i.e. staplers, cello tapes etc. Additional stationary like these are difficult to get hold of in the local area, although can easily be bought with volunteers as they arrive.


Finally the lone Digital Camera for the NGO got bad. Any second hand or new Camera can be very useful.


We also appreciate any other gifts of your choice which might have not been mentioned here.  If you have any questions about items you would like to bring, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.


The charity would also greatly appreciate any financial donations, which can be put towards our local community projects.  We realise that many items on the wish list are expensive to fund individually.  Therefore, depending on the item, SEREP may be willing to partially contribute to the cost of these items, if a volunteer is able to bring it with them.  This may only be possible if we are given notice well in advance of purchase and transportation.  Alternatively if you are able to fundraise towards one of these items we would be most grateful.

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Countdown to Cameroon – 12 days to go – Calling Cameroon

Friday 6th September 2013

Cameroon High Commission - London

Cameroon High Commission – London

I ditched an opportunity to work-out at the gym today in favour of getting my eyes tested, and ordering another pair of glasses to replace the three that I’ve lost.

After the usual battery of tests, with a fair degree of explanations as to what she was testing for, the optician asked ‘is there anything you want to ask me?’

‘Yes,’ I replied. ‘Has anyone ever reversed their deteriorating eyesight back to 20/20 vision?’

She looked a bit puzzled for a moment then gave me a mini lecture on the effectiveness of laser treatment to correct long sightedness. ‘But everyone over 40 will eventually need reading glasses. It’s inevitable.’

‘Only because someone has not yet found a way to do it.’ I said.

‘Really?’ her look said.

‘You know, a bit like when everyone thought the world was flat – then someone pointed out it was round and everyone had to rethink their certainties. Or like the four-minute mile. It couldn’t be done till it could.’

‘Well, that would be interesting,’ she said with that ‘I only come here to test eyes, not to engage in philosophical discussions,’ tone.

I wonder if that’s why she forgot to do my field test. Maybe she couldn’t wait to hand me over to the sales assistant quickly enough – to relieve me of my pounds. Could be she knew the cost of the lens would soon silence me.

Anyway, back to Cameroon and my preparations for the journey. Today I tried to call the project coordinator to introduce myself and to ask what would be helpful to bring with me as a gift for the project.

After many attempts I got through to his mobile – which was switched off. Maybe the email I sent instead will meet with better luck.

Yesterday I read a blog by a previous volunteer. Africa-in-Miniature. She was there this time last year. The account of her experiences was very enlightening. I’m beginning to feel a little excited now.