When I got back to Cambridge things were still much the same. I had made up my mind that I would go bankrupt or I might just be able to avoid it. In fact the latter was the case. I had three assets I could sell: my piece of land, my Kings Parade shop and my Glasgow shop. Within one year I sold two without any difficulty, but I was unable to sell the Princes Square shop.
This was a time of great trial. Bob and my children were very supportive and I kept myself busy in my Cambridge shop that was now doing very well. At the same time I was finishing my training in psychotherapy with the National College. I had several good diplomas to give me credibility. The worst time for me was when I was in bed at night. I often woke up in the small hours feeling anxiety. I made myself a cup of tea and went back to bed. I was so fed-up with this no-man’s land I was in, that I did something that gave me back my self-belief.
I went through everything I had achieved and surprised myself how creative and determined I had been. We would never have come to Cambridge if I had not taken the important step of opening my Trinity Street shop, which was a great risk. All my children had benefited from the move. They all came with us and now, they are still here and each of them established in what they wanted to do. I am very proud of them. They said that I had set them a good example in taking risks and always looking ahead with plans for what I could do if something went wrong.
I sat down and wrote a list of everything I had done and I was amazed at it all. I told myself that I had always managed to get out of difficulties because of my temperament, my fighting spirit and the vast range of knowledge and experience that I had accumulated. No-one could take that away from me.
This was important. From then on I slept much better and accepted the situation.
Within nine months I had sold my piece of land and also my Cambridge shop as a going concern and. I had a few thousand pounds left over so I did what I had always wanted to do, a trip round the world before I settled down to a new career.
Bob again said he would keep an eye on the Glasgow shop and I had found a reliable manageress to run it. I flew to Australia in June. I was sixty-two years old and very fit for my age. The plane stopped at Singapore on the way. I had enough time to get some feeling of its atmosphere.
Margo, the friend I met in San Diego, was waiting for me at Melbourne Airport in the pouring rain. In my ignorance I did not realise that June was winter to them.
Margo’s motor was designed to drive on rough roads, somewhat like a Jeep. It was dark so I did not see very much. Finally we arrived at a large house in the open countryside. Outside there were two or three fixed caravans for guests. She led me to one. She explained that I would have to leave the caravan every day to wash myself. There was no supply of water as I was accustomed to. All the water was collected from rainfall. Everyone had to take no more than three minutes for a shower.
This was a very new experience for me. I had to remember to take towels and soap. There were a few emus wandering about. One day on my way to the shower, an emu ran up to me and snatched my face-flannel out of my hand. I was terrified! Seen so closely they look enormous and they have very sharp eyes. He obviously thought it was a piece of bread. I don’t need to say that I made no attempt to get it back.
There were a few women living in the house. They were an entourage of Margo’s healers who helped her in her work. They used Reiki and other kinds of hands on, such as Seichem. I was there to help as the only one who was a hypnotist. One day she asked me if I would go out with her to visit a young man who was dying of Aids. He lived in a small house with his partner who was taking care of him. He was young, in his twenties I thought, and he looked very ill indeed. Margo introduced him to me, told him I was a hypnotist and asked him if he would like me to use it on him. Yes, he was pleased if I would.
I asked him what had been his favourite outdoors activity when he was well. He told me that what he liked best was riding a mountain bike. I asked him to describe such a trip. I listened carefully so that I could remember what he said and I used my magic camera to fix a picture in my mind. I sat beside him on the edge of his bed and I held his hand. Don’t ask me how I do it. I don’t know. But I go into a trance myself as I talk and see visions and it always seems to have a strong effect on anyone who wants to accept it. In my mind’s eye we were riding side by side on bicycles. His eyes were closed but his face was alight with pleasure. He had clearly taken it all in as though he was really there.
One of the things I like most about hypnosis and hands-on is that I get as much pleasure from it as whoever I am working with. He thanked me warmly when we left. He died a few days later. We went on several visits during the six weeks I stayed there. I heard many an interesting story about the work done by this group.
Whilst I was there I went to Perth which I loved: a beautiful city and a wonderful museum of Australian art. On the way back I stopped at Adelaide to visit a relation of Margo. He read my palm and told me I had a new career in my future. At the time I didn’t know what he meant. It was not for some years before I realised I was a writer and always had been.