Tag Archives: Travel

Ancestral messages delivered via involuntary altered states

This is what the sky looked like in Scotland much of the time we were there. It was windy, rainy and cold—not a good combination for an oncoming head/chest cold.

Almost immediately upon arriving in Scotland to begin the hunt for my ancestors, I caught a cold. Between adverse conditions and taking whatever cold/flu meds I could find in a country where I didn’t recognize the brands (no Nyquil or Sudafed*), my head was in an altered state for this journey.

My first reaction was panic, and then rage. I had been saving and planning for this trip for years and now it was about to be ruined. I had a schedule to keep, ancestral sites to visit and research to be done. Ain’t nobody got time for that. On top of that, the weather felt frosty, in spite of it being June, and I just couldn’t get warm.

I live in Arizona and, at home, summer means temps over 110 degrees. It was unseasonably cold in Scotland—the highs during most of our visit were only in the 50s, with thick clouds overhead, lots of rain and frigid winds. We were camping on the coast in a little town called Saltcoats, so the wind was gusting off the Firth of Clyde, adding a biting chill to the air.

I packed for the kind of summer I remembered from growing up in Indiana, where the average summer temp would be around 70, expecting that to be our experience in Scotland. But even the heavy sweatshirt I bought in London to wear under my jean jacket, once I realized I had underpacked, wasn’t enough to keep me warm.

This tiny bunk is where I slept and shivered with fever during our trip. I had a stock of nasal spray, tissues, ibuprofen and plenty of liquids tucked away in a corner near my head, along with a copy of Michael Caine’s book, Blowing the Bloody Doors Off, which I picked up at Tesco, in London.

As my teeth chattered from the fever, lying in my bunk in our camper, I was terrified. What if this gets worse? What if this goes from being an annoying cold to a full blown sickness, the kind that one needs to see a doctor or die? It can happen. I’ve been that sick in the past and I know what it feels like. This felt like it could turn into that.

Where was the nearest hospital? Where could I find a doctor if I needed one? What if that happened while I was a stranger in a strange land, stuck in a camper that had come to feel like a prison?

After all, we couldn’t drive it anywhere. Not only had Jeff accidentally put unleaded gas in the diesel tank (long story, but suffice to say in the UK, the unleaded pump is green, like diesel is in the States, and the nozzle fit in the tank, also unlike in the States where they’re different sizes) and we couldn’t drive it until we had it drained and refilled. And even if that weren’t a situation, he was still learning to drive on the “wrong” side of the very narrow roads and needed me as a co-pilot, and I was thoroughly unable to do that. We were immobile.

This is the view of Saltcoats from the bridge over the ScotRail train track, between the campground and the beach. Our camper is on the right and to get to any of the stores, which are mostly on the left side of the photo, is about a one mile walk. Surprisingly, being so close to the track wasn’t an issue. The trains were whisper silent.

The town itself was about a mile away from the campground so if we needed anything, we had to walk. I was in no condition to do so. Jeff would have to walk by himself and be gone for a long time, leaving me alone. So yeah, I was scared. Feverish and scared.

While I lay there shivering and half out of it, I received my first message, this one from my great-grandmother Helen: this is what it felt like for them, to get sick. Any illness was potentially deadly. And it was cold in their houses, up there in Scotland, in the days before electricity. This inability to stay warm was part of being sick for them.

Helen had 10 children, and only four lived. She knew the gut-wrenching terror that a fever could cause. She watched her babies die and then died, herself, at the young age of 38. Early death was a reality for them.

In modern times, if we’re privileged enough, we can pop a pill or go to the health food store for bone broth and echinacea tea (which I couldn’t find locally, either). Maybe we visit the local Urgent Care center, or even the Emergency Room, but at least we have these luxuries (those of us who can afford them, that is).

I also heard, loud and clear, that there was a reason I was sick. I had intended, planned and requested my ancestors’ help for a specific type of trip. I wasn’t just in Scotland to sight-see, I was there to walk in their footsteps, to pick up as many psychic impressions as I could and that couldn’t be done without being in a slightly altered state. I wasn’t so out of it that I was tripping, just enough to tilt my reality and allow for information to enter that would have otherwise been blocked by my rational mind.

See that brick building way in the distance? That was the bathroom/shower building. That’s how far I had to walk, in my weakened condition, to use the facilities because we were not using the camper toilet/shower. If I wasn’t sick, I might have grumbled occasionally about the long walk, but I was sick, so it became an issue. I realized, though, that this was part of it. My ancestors didn’t have indoor plumbing. They would have to walk to the community privy. Yes, even when they were sick.

Add to the illness the appearance of dark, cold and stormy weather, which was weirdly frightening. Also, we were so far north, and so close to the summer solstice, that the days were 17 hours long. That’s a lot of daylight for someone not used to it. Even though it was mostly cloudy, it was light when I went to sleep and when I woke up. I was definitely outside of my comfort zone and very open to feeling the echoes of the ghosts of the past, throughout the rest of the trip.

Fortunately, a few days after we got to Scotland, my brother Mike flew in from the States to meet us and hang out for a week (staying at a local B&B, with a rental car), and he’s a seasoned enough traveler to have brought Sudafed and Nyquil with him. He gave good advice on traveling while sick, and kept me well supplied and able to push through while feeling like crap.

Thank God, I didn’t end up getting desperately ill, but I did stay sick the rest of the time. I ended up going to my doctor a week after getting home, as I had developed a sinus infection. But I’m on the mend now and finally able to sit down and write a blog. I’ll be sharing more, in upcoming days, about the continuing series of synchronicities and messages I received from my ancestors.

(* I did eventually find Sudafed at a Boots pharmacy, once we were in Glasgow, but I couldn’t find it in Saltcoats.)

Also, here’s you another dug (dog, in Scottish)— this one was always tied up to a camper between ours and the bathroom:

That was one ferocious beast, barking its head off every time I’d walk past.


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Setting foot on ancestral land

This flag attached to the ceiling of the Tam O’Shanter Inn in Ayrshire, Scotland reminded me that I was in the land of “Freeeeeeeeeedom!!!”.

I knew, when I set off for Scotland, that I would come back changed. I knew that some “ancestral healing” would occur, because that was my intention. And, boy, did I get it … in spades!

For the first time, I set foot on Scottish soil—the land of my mom’s dad, and his folk for as far back as I can trace. I went because I’m that serious about  genealogy and because these people have a fascinating story. But mostly I wanted to figure out why my mom—who died last year—was chronically depressed, because she passed it on to me and I had to know: Did she inherit the gray gloom from them? And, did I have to inherit the gloom from her?

It makes sense that an inherent miasma of woe was passed down through this lineage, considering what happened to her own dad, William (called Willie, as a child—in his homeland, that’s pronounced “Wullie”).

On the right side of this photo taken in Coalburn, Scotland, there used to be a coal mine. My great-grandfather and his son Wullie, my granddad, used to walk to work down this road. I walked in their footsteps.

Wullie had a hard childhood, working in the coalmines as a teen, and then losing both of his parents before he turned 19, right after emigrating to the States and leaving everyone and everything he knew behind.

No wonder he couldn’t show love to his own kids, when he eventually had them. His ability to feel must have been blown to bits after his mom died of cancer and was buried on his eighteenth birthday, and his father was killed in a mine explosion just a few months later, leaving all four of their children orphaned in a strange land.

(Image Source) This photo was taken days before the March 8, 1924 explosion at Castle Gate Mine #2, in which my great-grandfather was killed. For all I know, he could be in this photo.

Wullie could have died alongside his father that day—he should have been in the mine, but was laid off because work was slow and he didn’t have a family yet. Men with families to support were allowed to work that day.

So, let’s add survivor’s guilt to an already very full plate. It’s no surprise that he was unable to connect emotionally with his children or his many wives, leaving my mom hurt and resentful through the end of her days.

If you want to talk about passing down depression, this is a pretty good place to start. Mom, even though she had a good life by normal standards, was never happy. No matter what she achieved, or what gorgeous possessions she surrounded herself with, she just couldn’t be happy for herself, or anyone else. In fact, many of us wouldn’t even tell her our own good news because she’d always find a way to look at the dark side and pee in our Wheaties.

I have a tendency to look at life the same way and have, therefore, been as deliberate as I can to instead view things in a positive light. In spite of these efforts, I have always been tortured by depressive thoughts. No matter how much I accomplished, no matter how nice a home I created, it just wasn’t enough to feel okay. That’s all I wanted—to just feel okay, and that’s not a very high bar. Even so, I couldn’t do it.

It didn’t start with my mom or Wullie, though. I experienced things in Scotland that showed me that they were just cogs in a very large wheel. I could write a book about how this trip has changed my outlook (in fact, don’t be surprised if you see it fictionalized one of these days). But because this is a blog and needs to be kept short, I’ll just say that these past few weeks of being put through the ancestral healing grinder have been truly transformative. I’ll tell more about it in the days to come, but this is enough for now. The story needs time to unfold.

I’ve been home less than 24 hours and my house feels both alien and familiar. Yes, this is the same place I’ve lived for a long while, and these are the things I’ve collected over the years, but I’m seeing it all like a hologram through prismic lenses.

Right now, I’m struggling to fit back into my old life without losing any of the expansion I’ve attained. It feels like trying to force myself into a pair of favorite shoes that I’ve grown out of over the past month. I loved those shoes, but my feet are bigger and I can’t wear them anymore.

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thanket.

So, I’m stretching those shoes as I reminisce, unpacking my souvenirs and showering with the remains of the travel-sized soaps and shampoos. I’m hanging up the Rabbie Burns plaque that we bought in an antique shop in Ayr, and finding a place for the rock that I picked up in the parking lot at Stonehenge. I’m eating the last of the chocolate Weetabix that I brought home, and drinking my morning tea from the cup I bought in London on our first day there. This is all helping to assimilate old me into new me.

I’m changed. I’m more multidimensional. I’m bigger on the inside. I’m deeper and richer, and somehow … happy. So, the healing begins.

Stay tuned for more and here’s you a pair of Scottish dogs (or dugs, as they pronounce it there):

 


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Bucket List accomplished: Blackpool Tower, done!

I made it! It wasn’t even scary!

I did it! I accomplished most of the details of my Bucket List event, visiting the Eye of the Blackpool Tower, in Blackpool, England. Some of the specifics weren’t possible, but I’m okay with that!


For example, I wasn’t able to do this at sunset to watch the sun go down over the Irish Sea, but that’s only because the Tower closes at 5:30 and the sun doesn’t go down until 9:38.

I also didn’t dance with Jeff in the Blackpool Ballroom, although we did have tea and scones, which was one of the things I wanted to do while we were there. We didn’t dance because, hoo buddy, the people who were out there dancing obviously keep Arthur Murray in business. These folks were serious about their ballroom dancing and our clumsy fumbling about would have just gotten in their way.

But before we visited the Ballroom, we hurried to the top of the Tower before the weather made it difficult (it’s been rainy all week and a major storm is expected here). I was truly surprised by how not scary it was to walk out onto the glass floor and look down, as long as I waited until I was well out there before looking down. Otherwise, it really wasn’t bad at all.

Below is a photo I took of the Comedy Carpet, which is installed into the ground below the Tower. I mentioned in a previous blog about psychic dreams that I have had about this years before it was even built. I didn’t have any of the spooky feelings that I had last week when I was being flooded with memories of dreams, but perhaps that’s because I already knew where this was, and the other dreams were of a town I hadn’t seen yet in online photos.

If anything psychic happened today, it was a strong intuitive hit from either a past-life or picking up a ghost of a memory from some woman who was in the Ballroom during World War II.

Every time I looked at a certain spot on the ornately painted ceiling, I was washed over with sorrow as this woman felt the loss of a man she loved who had either been killed or was fighting overseas and she feared for his life. It wasn’t clear exactly what the situation was, but the sense of despair was palpable. It felt like she was sitting in a spot very near where I was and she was trying to “keep calm and carry on”, even though her heart was breaking. When she would feel herself tearing up, she’d cast her eyes upward to keep from crying. There was something about this view, looking at the same spot she gazed upon, that brought that feeling home to me.

On a lighter note, though, here are some fun and random pics from today. We had a marvelous time and I hope to make it back here again someday.

The famous Wurlitzer organ in the Blackpool Ballrom, which rises up from beneath the floor of the stage.

Standing directly below the Tower, you can see the Eye (the glass floor).

I don’t think I need to say anything about this one.

It’s kind of hard to see, but those are pictures of a Rod Stewart impersonator in the windows.

This one goes to eleven.

Finally, here’s you some Blackpool dogs:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

 

A Visit to the Queen of the Fairies

I know that I’ve been talking a lot about riding to the top of the Blackpool Tower as a Bucket List event, but there is another one I’ve been quieter about, and that’s the one I accomplished today. Today I visited Janet’s Foss in Malham, England, the fabled dwelling place of the Queen of the Fairies.


“Why?” you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

My first novel (a metaphysical comedy which was originally published in 2009 as Be Careful What You Witch For! and will be re-released later this summer with a new ending, under the new title of The Poppet Master) includes a character who comes from here. She’s a fairy named Aethelwyne Eglantina, but the stupid human who she’s been assigned to assist calls her by the embarrassing name of Twink.

In Book 1, we don’t know much about Twink or where she comes from but in Book 2, which is still in the works, we discover that she’s from Janet’s Foss. And, although I’ve done extensive research about the spot and there are lots of gorgeous photos of it online, there’s nothing like an in-person visit to give one a real sense of the look and feel of a place.

The photos I’ve seen online simply don’t do it justice and, I’m quite sure, neither will mine, but I’ll share a few anyway.

Janet’s Foss is a waterfall about a mile outside of a quaint village called Malham. Jeff and I are staying at the Buck Inn, just to take a break from being in the camper, to take a real shower and sleep in a real bed.

The walk to the Foss is breathtaking, even if it was cold and windy, with a hint of rain in the air. I took a bazillion pictures, and here are some of the best to give you an idea of what it looks like on the way there:

There it is, in the photo above, my first view of the waterfall. You can just barely see it through the trees. It literally took my breath away.

And there it is, in all its glory. It’s much higher and impressive than the pictures show. Best of all, as we were leaving to go back to the Inn, I saw these:

And, of course, before I go, here’s you some dogs, playing in the pond at the foot of the Foss.


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

The Magic of Music

David Morrissey as Ripley Holden, in the BBC miniseries, Blackpool.

Followers of my blog know why Blackpool, England is on my Bucket List, so I won’t repeat myself. We’ll be there in a couple of days, and today I had a powerful reminder of how I made this happen — the power of music. 


See, once I decided that I wanted to make this trip, I became obsessed with the movie soundtrack. I played it almost non-stop, to the point where Jeff begged me to knock it off, so I wore headphones or only played it when he wasn’t home.

In fact, I even added several of the songs to my walking playlist, to listen to while I power-walked to get in shape for this trip. I would go out and pound the pavement in time to the music and, while I did that, I would fantasize about what it would be like when I was walking in England.

So today, while we were driving north from Glastonbury (we’re spending a couple days in Yorkshire before heading to Blackpool this weekend, while I do some research for an upcoming novel), I was searching for some music on my laptop to play over the camper’s bluetooth radio but couldn’t find any of the music I downloaded for the trip … except for the Blackpool soundtrack.

Interestingly, Jeff was okay with listening to it, so we blasted it as we drove through the rain up the M6, seeing signs for Blackpool along the way. As I listened to these well-loved songs, I remembered what it felt like to be wishing, hoping, praying … manifesting with all of my heart … and it sunk in: it worked!

I felt like I was in a house of mirrors, peering through the looking glass at younger me, the one who was so desperately trying to figure out how to accomplish this difficult goal. I sent her lots of good thoughts, lots of strength, and plenty of knowing that, “It will happen. Don’t give up.” Because here I am, in England, less than 48 hours away from my first in-person sighting of the Blackpool Tower.

No wonder I’ve been having so many psychic dreams about Blackpool and England over the years. My current self is sending messages back in time to my younger self. Well done, me!

And here’s you a dog, listening to music:

Image source


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

 

Gorgeous Glastonbury

Ever since I first read one of my all-time favorite books, The Mists of Avalon, about the Arthurian legend of Camelot, I’ve wanted to visit Glastonbury, and today that’s just what we did. I can’t tell you about it better than the official websites can, so instead I’ll mostly post pics today.


Jeff and I climbed the Glastonbury Tor and then visited the Chalice Well, before spending the day in the funky little town center.

The Tor corresponds to the fabled Isle of Avalon, although it’s no longer surrounded by water. We camped at the foot of the Tor at a beautiful campsite, with a view of St. Michael’s Tower right out the front door of our camper.

To get to the top, you have to first climb up a steep back road that eventually brings you to a gated field full of sheep, whose job is to keep the grass cut. They do an excellent job and mostly ignore the humans walking through their meal.

Except these guys. They weren’t thrilled with our presence and scampered away.

Fortunately, there are a few resting places on the way to the top.

It’s a heavy duty climb, but doable, even for old farts like us. In fact, we were soon joined by a tour group of people much older than we are, so we quickly stopped moaning about how hard it was.

Even so, it was a real accomplishment!

By the way, that’s our camper down there.

We climbed down the other side of the hill and then visited the Chalice Well gardens, which are exquisitely beautiful. This blog is already getting too long, so I won’t add any more photos … like yesterday’s blog about Stonehenge, my photos are of the same things that others have posted, so I’ll leave it at this photo of the Well.

Also, if you go in to town, check out Knight’s fish and chips shop. It’s really good!

Before I go, here’s you a cover of a book about the Dogs of Camelot:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Days 2-4: Psychic overload, London town and a ghostly cemetery

What a whirlwind these past few days have been! I haven’t had time to blog so I’ll try to fit a lot into a little space. First, I’ll tell more about seeing places I’ve been dreaming about for years, without knowing at the time where they were.


After finally making it to our campground in Edmonton, north of London, after a monstrous first day, we spent the next day wandering around the local town of Enfield — we didn’t have it in us to go to London for sight-seeing, as we originally planned. We waited until Friday to do that, after we recovered a little.

There’s nothing fancy about Enfield, it just happens to be a mile or so from the campground so we drove to the nearest grocery store for extra supplies and then walked around. In the process, I was bowled over by an overwhelmingly constant feeling of deja vu from all of the precognitive dreams I’ve had about this place.

There was nothing remarkable about any of these places, and the dreams I had about them weren’t at all exciting. I just vividly remember dreaming about them. I must have driven Jeff crazy all day, saying over and over, “Oh my God, there’s another place I’ve seen in my dreams!” Here are just a few of them:

Every one of these places brought back such powerful memories that I felt almost sickened. I was really weirded out by the end of the day. No idea what any of this means, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever find out.

The next day, we hopped on a double-decker bus into London. I took far more pictures than I could possibly share, but here are the highlights:

It’s bigger on the inside.

I’m not sure what he’s doing to that poor goose, but he’s been doing it for many years.

St. Paul’s Cathedral, where the old women sold bird food for tuppence a bag.

Big Ben, under construction.

This morning we headed west, bright and early. It was a much different experience driving today, leaving London, because the highways are as wide as American ones, unlike the painfully narrow city streets of London, which were built hundreds of years ago for horse-drawn carriages.

Today we’re at a campground near Stonehenge. We wandered down a lane nearby and found a gorgeous olde church that was built in the 1300s and its adjacent cemetery. I took a few pictures, cuz who can resist a charming English lane, an olde church and a grave with a rainbow ghost?

 Tomorrow, we’re off to Stonehenge and then Glastonbury, before we head north. Blackpool, we’ll see you next weekend!


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Money … tickets … passport … holy water

We’re leaving tomorrow for our trip to the UK so it’s crunch time! Do I have everything? Money? Tickets? Passports? My sanity?


I’ve been planning this trip since 2013 and it feels like a lifetime. But now that we’re less than 24 hours from departure out of Phoenix, we’re zooming through time at the speed of light and if that isn’t enough to bend the time/space continuum, I don’t know what is.

It’s not just the physicality of what we’re doing … money, tickets, passport … that’s looming large. It’s the psychicality (is that a word? it is now!) that’s blowing my mind.

See, there’s a lot going on here. I’m not just going to fly across the Pond for the first time, I’m going to achieve a Bucket List event — visiting the glass-floored “Eye” of the Blackpool Tower. But even more importantly, I’m also doing research for two books, including genealogy research into a witch trial in my family’s past AND doing what I can to break the resulting curse.

Although I’m ecstatic that we’re going, I’m also on the verge of empathic overload. Those of you who have at least one foot consciously in the psychic realm will know exactly what I’m talking about. For those who don’t, I probably already lost you when I wrote about breaking curses.

But, for those of you who are still with me, I’m what some would call “overly sensitive” to the thoughts and feelings of others. It’s easy to sometimes lose track of where I end and the “external” world begins. So, therefore, all of what I’ll be doing over the next few weeks is a little overwhelming.

But I’ve learned, from many years of experience, to just put one foot in front of the other. And for today, that means … money, tickets, passports.

Before I go, here’s you a traveling dog:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Bucket Lists are scary as hell

Anyone who’s been reading my blog for any length of time knows that my biggest Bucket List item is to visit the Blackpool Tower in Blackpool, England. Well, it’s FINALLY  about to happen and I’m freaking out!


I’ve been yearning for this since 2013 (and having psychic dreams about it for far longer). It’s taken years to materialize, no matter how much “Law of Attraction” work I’ve done. I realize now that there were some very good reasons for it to take so long.

In “New Age” speak, it’s because I didn’t vibe with it yet. I get that—I understand that “like attracts like” and I wasn’t “like” this yet. But understanding that didn’t make the waiting any easier.

Turns out there were things I didn’t know yet—important information that I needed before heading off on the second leg of the journey, to Scotland.

For example, I didn’t yet know about the Scottish curse on my family, or what to do about it (I’ll talk about that in another blog). I also didn’t know a lot of the things I’ve recently discovered in my genealogy research which I can only follow up on when I’m there, where the original records lie. If I had been able to make the Bucket List trip back when I first conceived of it, I would have completely missed out on my chance to easily visit these places.

The Blackpool Tower, on the coast of the Irish Sea.

It’s also clear now, when I look back at my original reasons for wanting to do this, that my motives have changed entirely. I didn’t realize then that the Blackpool Tower was merely acting as an antenna, drawing my undivided attention to the UK, but for much different purposes than I ever could have known back then.

However, the most important thing at this stage is my “Duh!” realization that Bucket List items are hard to attain—unlike everyday life—because they scare the crap out of you. I’m not big on facing fears head-on, hence the long delay.

The view, straight down, from the “Eye” of the Blackpool Tower. The Comedy Carpet is to the right, and the Irish Sea is just beyond that.

For some unknown reason, I’m drawn to the Blackpool Tower (which is similar to the Eiffel Tower) to ride to the top, step out onto the glass floor and look down at the Comedy Carpet. Then, while I’m up there, I’ll watch the sun set over the Irish Sea.

Have I mentioned that I’m terrified of heights?

I’m also afraid of flying across the ocean. I’m afraid of driving on the “wrong side” of the road. I’m afraid of being in another country, on the other side of the planet, and not having everything I need. The list of things that cause me crippling anxiety goes on and on.

And yet … I persisted.

I think the reason I’m finally able to go is because I’ve finally matured enough to do this. I have all of my research ducks in a row and I’m go for takeoff. I may still be terrified, but I’m now actually looking forward to facing these challenges.

I better be, because we’re leaving in a little over three weeks.

FINALLY!

Here’s you a scared dog:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Ancestry search reveals the beginning of a story

I didn’t know my mom’s dad. Her parents divorced when she was a teen, and I only have a vague memory of meeting him once when I was a kid. All I knew about him, growing up, was that he was born in Scotland and he was an engineer who worked at the Nike missile sites in Norway during WWII.

Because she never talked about him, and he didn’t seem interested in us, I wasn’t very curious about who he was. I concentrated all of my genealogy research on my dad’s side of the family, and was able to unearth his ten long-lost cousins. I am now in contact with cousins all over the world, people who look just like me, who I never knew existed!

But now that I’m planning a summer 2014 trip to Scotland, where my grandfather was born, I thought I’d do a little research on Ancestry.com to see if I could scout out any locations to visit while I’m there. Oh boy, did I find some stories!

I’m still putting the pieces together but, from the looks of it, just his lifetime alone was a heckuva tale. He was born in 1905, in Dreghorn, to a coal-mining family. Ancestry.com searches have given me actual locations where they lived, in various “Miners’ Rows” in Dreghorn and the surrounding villages around Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.

Never having been there, the phrase “Miners’ Row” meant nothing to me. I had no frame of reference. My husband’s parents were also coal miners’ kids, but they grew up in America. Their lives were hard–I’ve seen the movie Coal Miner’s Daughter, and I’ve visited Elkhorn City, KY, where his dad grew up–so I expected to find that my grandfather’s life wasn’t a cake walk. But here in the US, life was easy compared to the conditions in turn-of-the-century Scotland!

Here is a description for Six Row, which Ancestry.com listed as one of his family’s addresses (from the Scottish Mining Website):

“There are two water-closets for each row placed immediately in front of the houses and two washing-houses. There are also very filthy cesspools in front of the doors. The brick tiles on the floors are very much broken up, and holes inches deep are to observed everywhere. The walls of the houses are very damp, and the partitions do not appear to have been plastered. There is one ash-pit for every two rows. A well with gravitation water is placed in each row. There are two washing-houses for each row, but the floors are so sunken and broken up that the women complain that they have to stand to the ankles in water when doing their washing. The condition of the roads into these rows is abominable.”

I found this photo on an Ayrshire history site (ayrshirehistory.org.uk). It seems to be a fairly representative photo of the miners rows back then.

So I guess it’s no surprise that the entire family packed up and moved to the US in the 1920’s. Things didn’t get much better for my grandfather, because within two years of moving here, his mother died of cancer and, a year later, his father and uncle were killed in the famous Castle Gate Mine explosion in Utah.

I don’t know why my grandfather wasn’t there that day. My mom thinks that it may be because he told her that his parents didn’t want him to be a coal miner–they wanted a “better life” for him. However, just two weeks before the explosion, the mining company cut down on their work force and laid off many men who had no dependents. So that could be why he wasn’t there. In any case, he and his sisters, according to the records I found, were taken in by his mother’s brother, who was killed in a car accident in 1944.

The irony is that, if I follow his family tree backward into history, he is descended from royalty on his mother’s side of the family (by about twenty generations). The Littlejohn branch takes us backward to the Stewart/Bruce lineage!

At this point, that’s about all I know about him. I can’t wait to get to Scotland to walk the same ground as these people about whom I only know the stories of their deaths. I look forward to learning about their lives.