The Shared Diary of a Novice Paranormal Investigator, aged 52 and Three Quar

When you believe in things you don’t understand, then you suffer.

(Stevie Wonder)

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamed of in your philosophy.


Ri fol ri fol tol de riddle dee.


Psychic? No, Chipsy!

I was so fed up that I went to Kefalonia.

I returned refreshed and full of resolve; firstly to complete my horrible dowsing project as quickly and as sensibly as possible, and then to find at last a really good recipe for melitzanosalata.

Day 5: 8 correct swings out of a total of 16 swings.
Day 6: 5 correct swings out of a total of 14 swings.
Day 7: 8 correct swings out of a total of 16 swings.
Day 8: 7 correct swings out of a total of 14 swings.
Day 9: 6 correct swings out of a total of 16 swings.
Day 10: 9 correct swings out of a total of 19 swings.

This makes a total of 79 correct swings out of a total of 163 swings.
If I had a one in two chance of getting the right answer, I could have got, by chance, half of 163.  That is 81 or 82.  I scored a little bit less than chance.  Small wonder it was a depressing experience.

Counting only ‘yes’ swings, I scored a total of 27 correct swings out of a total of 67 swings.  Much less than half.  That is useless.  I am the opposite of psychic.  What would be the word for that, I wonder?  We are in need of such a word.  Could it be chipsy?    I can imagine the coffee breaks at future conferences: ‘Oh, you must meet Doris.  Her spirit name is Running Tallow.  She’s chipsy, of course.  It’s a wild talent, they say.’

I have discovered, fairly scientifically, that I cannot identify a hidden card using a pendulum.  No doubt the results were depressed by my attitude towards the task, but I will not be taking that into account. If a skill is going to count as a real, usable skill, I have got to be able to use it even when I am out of sorts.  Otherwise, it is not a skill, but something like a lucky guess; a by-product of feeling chipper, something like beginner’s luck.  You can notice it as a feature, but you cannot use it or depend on it at need.  I can still drive a car safely through a hazardous town even if I am in ten kinds of nasty temper.  That is a skill.  Being lucky when I am feeling lucky; that is just something which happens from time to time, even to the chipsy.

So that is how Science put paid to my pendulum.  A shame, as I liked the dowsers, and they all seemed rather keen on pendulums. 

On a more positive note: the secret to making a good melitzanosalata is to bake the aubergine until it is well cooked, then season it thoroughly with salt, pepper and cumin.  The addition of a little Greek yoghurt improves the texture.  You need less oil than you might think

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