Archive for December, 2008

Coincidence, serendipity, or what?

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Coincidences and unexpected meetings in everyday life deserve documentation, if only to cast nasturtiums [pace Tom Stoppard] at the rule, posited by Henry David Thoreau in Walden [1854], that ‘the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.’ Well, even if they don’t, I intend to document this particular one. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin….

Yesterday morning I went to my local station to catch a train for London. As is frequently the case these days, the waiting room/ticket office was closed. So a rag, tag, and bobtail army of grumbling commuters soon wove its way through the station car park, intent on squaring up to the dreaded AUTOMATED TICKETING MACHINE. Now these ticketing machines have an odd by-product - they bring people together. Rather as in wartime, they act as the common enemy, against whom all may pit themselves, calm in the knowledge that they are facing a morally acceptable and universally recognised foe. As I approached the front of the skirmish line, I spotted a friend of mine, who was obviously also intent on travelling to London for a day out with her daughter and baby grandson. “Oh,” she said. “Where are you off to?” “I’m off to have lunch with my agent,” says I. At that moment, the man next in line to me in the queue says, “Who is your agent?” Well, I’d never met this chap before - never even seen him around - but the Blitz Spirit, engendered by my proximity to the AUTOMATED TICKETING MACHINE, burgeoned within me: “Oli Munson, at Blake Friedmann,” I answered. ”Well I’ll be damned,” he said. “Blake Friedmann are my agents too. I’m with Isobel Dixon.” We exchanged a few words, but the pressures of time, and the ineptitude of man in the face of machine, soon cut short our meeting.

Two hours later, I arrived outside the Blake Friedmann offices in Camden Town. A dark-haired woman was leaving the building. “Oh, are you Eva?” I said, thinking she might be our new contracts manager, whom I was due to meet that morning. “No,” said the lady. “I’m Isobel Dixon.” Well. You could have knocked me over with a feather duster. I explained how I had run into one of her authors, out of the blue, that morning, 100 or so miles away as the crow flies. “That must be Christopher Nicholson,” she said. “His novel is coming out in the New Year.” Faintly bemused, I clattered upstairs to find that Isobel had already phoned ahead to make sure an Uncorrected Proof Copy of Christopher’s book, The Elephant Keeper [to be published in 2009 by Fourth Estate], was waiting for me at the front desk. That afternoon, fortified by an excellent literary lunch, I settled down to wile away my trainbound homeward hours with Christopher’s new book - and it grabbed me from the very first sentence. There, I feel better, now, for having told the story. Odd meetings do happen - and life, although desperate at times, can also throw us the odd serendipitous curveball.

Nostradamus Documentary for Discovery Channel

Friday, December 5th, 2008

A couple of years ago I appeared on a Discovery Channel documentary called Nostradamus: The Truth - the documentary was produced by Mentorn, who also manage BBC 1’s Question Time programmes. Well, Discovery must have liked my work, because this week they asked me up to London to meet an American Production company, Actual Productions, and to film a further interview for their new two hour documentary on Nostradamus which is due to be aired next summer. One never knows what to expect on such occasions, so I rather tentatively made my way to the Regency Hotel in Queen’s Gate, where Bob Hughes was waiting to interview me. First thing off, the cameraman had to take away the usual red filter because I was already so brown and windblown from my usual rural pursuits that the customary filter would have turned me into a deep, and probably rather flattering, mahogany. Bob was great, and everyone [including the cameraman and his son/assistant] put me at my ease straight away. As a result, the predicted two hour interview actually lasted for three. When I left the hotel I couldn’t remember a word of what I had said, so I hope and trust that Actual can find something in their three hour videotape worth using! These sorts of things are good for publicity, needless to say, and they do concentrate the mind wonderfully, because one is, quite naturally, put on the spot by a series of intense questions. In my case it was good to realise that all the major predictions I had made in my book, Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies For The Future [2006], had, in the interim, come true. The Crisis In The Protestant Church that Nostradamus had anticipated for 2006 [the book was written in early 2005] was more than realised, with the 18th June 2006’s  elevation of Katherine Jefferts Schori to presiding Bishop of the United States Episcopal Church - when you twin that with the election of Gene Robinson as the first openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire, the scene was set for the major rift in the Protestant Church which inevitably ensued [and which is ongoing to this day]. My second major Nostradamian prophecy concerned a North Korean Crisis in 2007 - the foretold crisis was in fact triggered by the first ever Korean nuclear test, which took place on the 9th October 2006, leading to a long-drawn out face/off with the United States and its allies in early 2007 - a face/off that very nearly led to war. This prophecy, again, was translated and interpreted in early 2005, a good eighteen months before the trigger date. The final major prophecy concerned the Assassination Of A World Leader between 2006-2008. I’m very sad to say that the predicted assassination did indeed take place, with the murder, on the 27th December 2007, of Benazir Bhutto, past, and very probably future, President of Pakistan. The prophecy was further vindicated by the fact that both of Benazir Bhutto’s brothers had also died under unnatural circumstances, and that their brother-in-law, Benazir Bhutto’s husband, was elected President of Pakistan on 9th September 2008, thereby placing him in the perfect position to investigate and bring to justice the murderers of his adopted family. I rest my case.