Andy Edwards – Paranormal Investigator, Father, Brother, Friend and Son.
It will soon be Halloween then November and then 1 month from today on November 29th my brothers birthday. Andy loved this time of year when he would do ghost tours down a mine in Cornwall as well as paranormal investigations in old buildings across the county.
He took me on a guided tour one year where we walked around a mine possibly Poldark Mine and then after closing time off to an old pub in Helston for a further taste of paranormal investigating. This really was his passion and on the night that I went out with him a lot of fun for me too. I am sure his enthusiasm for the supernatural and his ability to seek out friends and fellow supernatural enthusiasts did very much help get him through some very dark times in his life and for want of a better description help keep him sane, in a crazy world.
As mentioned already in other posts he was a medium with the gift of being able to talk to the dead and a paranormal investigator intent on proving to us mere mortals the existence of life after death and the supernatural realm.
I don’t share his gifts for the detection of the supernatural nor would I want to. Those gifts that he had would really scare the bejesus out of me, if I could do what he did. I have often believed though that the spirits of the dead can if they choose to visit us in dreams and Andy has been visiting me a lot recently. Mostly just to see what the hell I am up to or dreaming about. Not to pass judgement or haunt me but just sometimes even to play as brothers so often do. And as the seasons turn and the years add up it sometimes feels as if every year I grow older and the bugger that is my big bro gets younger.
This year has reinforced more so than ever a hope and belief in the power of a good God to triumph and succeed where us mere mortals would fail. I would like to think I am more at peace with my belief in and hope for the almighty than I have been in many years. Just because I don’t understand what Gods divine plan, hope and dream is for us little hummies that is not to say that God does not have hope’s, dream’s and plans for us as individuals or as a species or planet.
As for God’s plans for my brother or even my brothers plans for himself I feel this year more so than in others how much good he could have contributed and achieved so much had he still been here. So on the one hand I find comfort in God and in the other there is discomfort and remorse for no longer having Andy in this plane of existence.
Not left Devon since December 2019 and even when I do make it away I take the ever so little leap to the county next door to visit my mum for her birthday. We make it out to a Farm called Travaskis that serve amazing food which I have not been to before where we treat ourselves to a lovely meal.
There was going to be a new Covid-19 announcement made by Boris when I was in Cornwall and so was not 100% sure how long I would be allowed to stay and wanted to get back to Exeter to have a little break on my own and also catch up with some people and places in Exeter too.
I also had my annual GP appointment where the doctor tells me how much weight I have gained and also whether I have been diagnosed with Diabetes yet. They are doing no diabetes tests this year though and luckily I have only gained about 2 kg so considering all the cakes I have eaten during lock down it’s not too bad. I think the walk to the cake shops helped a little. I also went to Specsavers and picked up my first pair of reading glasses since I was about 5 years old. I had some glasses when I was a child to correct my sight and managed to avoid having another set up until now.
So they have now announced that they are going to shut all pubs at 10pm each night. I must admit some of my favourite joys this year have been catching up with people in some of the local pubs in Exeter although I miss my friends that I used to drink with pre lockdown at the Angel Bar.
Well where to start. Like all cities, towns and places people call home Exeter, Devon in the UK, has taken a bit of a beating this year. Shops shut, people staying at home and all that Jazz. As for me on the other hand I’m now working in the city again that I love to call home, at the heart of the city council in for want of a better word a pandemic planning room.
I work now for the environmental health team answering phone calls and emails for the team directing them to where they need to go to or sometimes I am even able to answer the questions myself.
Business is booming in the office lots of environmentally unhealthy things to deal with, listen to, act on and treat. Though I don’t really want to or cannot go into too much detail because the calls we take emails we get and things we act upon are all really related to people’s lives and are personal to them and strictly confidential!
So during this pandemic when most people are stopping going into the city, I on the other hand turn about face and do the opposite. I sometimes catch a bus to the city centre, sometimes walk (less than I should), sometimes stop in a bar for a beer on the way home (possibly more than I should under a pandemic year but less than I would in a normal year).
I go out to a bar about twice a week and this feels too much like I am taking my life in my own hands with regard to the potential picking up of Covid-19. I am very overweight have a borderline diabeties diagnosis and am nearly mid 40’s so I am not exactly in the young and just passing it on bracket of the pandemic population.
Though I do think that if I get used to not socialising I might permanently not go out. I instead continue to go out and love doing so more for company really than Guinness. I don’t drink at home and still love to meet people and watch punters when sitting in a local bar. My social lockdown beer drinking acquaintances have been one of the joys of this year.
My original group of socialising friends that I used to drink with in a local pub has really gone tits up though. Some are social isolating, some have had mini meltdowns, and others like me are just getting on and making the most of it. Our little group were like ten pin bowls knocked down very quickly by the bowling ball that is Covid-19.
My favourite drinking den and social outlet is still in lockdown as are some of my favourite people. It feels like we might be just about 9 months away still from returning to what I would love to call normal.
A normal Wednesday night for me was when the biggest dilemma might be heading back from the bar after having bought another pint of Guinness, while listening to some tunes from a local musician playing a guitar and waiting to find out whether I had the luxury of sitting in a seat or had to face the slightly more uncomfortable situation of stand up in the outside smoking area. Now I have not had a cigarette for what must be nearly 10 years now and have not missed those pesky nicotine sticks either, but it’s still socially preferential to stand or sit out with the smokers because that’s where all the cool cats hang out in the local pub.
What was once normal I now crave like a nicotine junkie waiting for his next inhalation of a smoke!
So week three into the new job it’s going well lots to learn and lots I still don’t know. I work mostly on the phones and then try to book in what the callers need or take the callers’ information down so that another member of staff can sought out their question for them. A part of me is thinking I am mad to start a new job during covid-19 lockdown wackiness and another part of me knows I would have been even crazier not to.
Back in March I was only sleeping about 2-3 hours a night and I was absolutely wired into finding out all the latest shenanigans in the news, in my head and about life in general were. Working at home at the time was the perfect time to kind of have a blow out and over do things a tad mentally. Now on the other side of that I’m on full battery recharge mode with most evenings and weekends I am snoozing at any given opportunity whilst attempting to top up lost sleep vouchers.
One of the rare gifts of this pandemic has been having the chance to reach out or have people reach out to me from past and present, new and old friends and that has been some of my favourite times.
For those that reached out to me I am very grateful and I hope to those that I have reached out to that they appreciated it too.
Tonight I had a real need to reach out so been phoning some friends and family seeing how they are. Most are doing ok in a lockdown kind of way. But still 9 months or more of this, well thats a might long time in any stretch of the imagination.
The UK Government has a quirky way to not dealing with a pandemic, first telling us to go home and trust the government while bucket loads of UK citizens die and now telling us to come out and spend, spend, spend so we continue to pay for the economy crawling forward on its belly prior to part two of this little smeg show continuing to unfold.
Well I hope you are well wherever you are reading this from and your God or Gods are smiling down on you. I hope we make it to the other side.
Beekeeping is a most enjoyable, fascinating and interesting hobby – and you get to eat your own honey too. Every year local beekeeping associations run courses to help new people to take up beekeeping and even help them find the equipment they need and a colony of bees. Training programmes continue to allow enthusiasts to become Master Beekeepers. For information on courses visit the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) website
2. Help to protect swarms
Swarming is a natural process when colonies of honeybees can increase their numbers. If you see a swarm contact the local authority or the police who will contact a local beekeeper who will collect the swarm and take it away. Honeybees in a swarm are usually very gentle and present very little danger. They can be made aggressive if disturbed or sprayed with water. Just leave them alone and wait for a competent beekeeper to arrive.
In areas of the country where there are few agricultural crops, honeybees rely upon garden flowers to ensure they have a diverse diet and to provide nectar and pollen. Encourage honeybees to visit your garden by planting single flowering plants and vegetables. Go for all the allium family, all the mints, all beans except French beans and flowering herbs. Bees like daisy-shaped flowers – asters and sunflowers, also tall plants like hollyhocks, larkspur and foxgloves. Bees need a lot of pollen and trees are a good source of food. Willows and lime trees are exceptionally good. the BBKA has leaflets on bee friendly trees and shrubs.
4. Buy local honey
Local honey will be prepared by local beekeepers. This keeps food miles down and helps the beekeeper to cover the costs of beekeeping. Local honey complies with all food standards requirements but is not mistreated to give it a long shelf life. It tastes quite different to foreign supermarket honey and has a flavour that reflects local flora.
5. Ask your MP to improve research into honey bee health
Beekeepers are very worried that we do not have enough information to combat the diseases that affect honeybees. Pollination by honeybees contributes £165m annually to the agricultural economy. Yet the government only spends £200,000 annually on honeybee research. Beekeepers have costed a five-year, £8m programme to secure the information to save our bees during which time pollination will contribute more than £800m to the government coffers. Even the Defra minister, Lord Rooker, who holds the purse strings to finance this, has said that without this extra research we could lose our honeybees within ten years. Write to MPs in support of the bee health research funding campaign.
6. Find space for a beehive in your garden
Many would-be beekeepers, especially in urban areas, find it difficult to find a safe space for their colony of bees. If you have some space contact your local beekeeping association and they could find a beekeeper in need of a site. It is amazing what a difference a beehive will make to your garden. Crops of peas and beans will be better, fruit trees will crop well with fruit that is not deformed and your garden will be buzzing!
7. Remove jars of foreign honey from outside the back door
Believe it or not but honey brought in from overseas contains bacteria and spores that are very harmful to honeybees. If you leave a honey jar outside it encourages honeybees to feed on the remaining honey. There is a good possibility that this will infect the bee and in turn the bee will infect the rest of the colony resulting in death of the colony. Always wash out honey jars and dispose of them carefully.
8. Encourage local authorities to use bee friendly plants in public spaces
Some of the country’s best gardens and open spaces are managed by local authorities. Recently these authorities have recognised the value of planning gardens, roundabouts and other areas with flowers that attract bees. Encourage your authority to improve the area you live in by adventurous planting schemes. These can often be maintained by local residents if the authority feels they do not have sufficient resources.
9. Learn more about this fascinating insect
Beekeeping is fascinating. Honeybees have been on this earth for about 25 million years and are ideally adapted to their natural environment. Without honeybees the environment would be dramatically diminished. Invite a beekeeper to come and talk to any local group you support and give an illustrated talk about the honeybee and the products of the hive. They might bring a few jars of honey too Honeybees are a part of our folklore and are one of only two insect species that are managed to provide us with essential services.
10. Bee friendly
When kept properly, bees are good neighbours, and only sting when provoked. Beekeepers wear protective clothing when they are handling bees. If a bee hovers inquiringly in front of you when unprotected, do not flap your hands. Stay calm and move slowly away, best into the shade of shed or a tree. The bee will soon lose interest. It is worth remembering that bees do not like the smell of alcohol on people, the “animal” smell of leather clothing, even watchstraps. Bees regard dark clothing as a threat – it could be a bear! Bees are sometimes confused by scented soaps, shampoos and perfumes, best avoided near the hive.
The Tiananmen Square protests or the Tiananmen Square Incident, commonly known as the June Fourth Incident (Chinese: 六四事件; pinyin: liùsì shìjiàn, literally the six-four incident) in mainland China, were student-led demonstrations held in Tiananmen Square in Beijing during 1989. The popular national movement inspired by the Beijing protests is sometimes called the ’89 Democracy Movement (Chinese: 八九民運; pinyin: bājiǔ mínyùn). The protests started on April 15 and were forcibly suppressed on June 4 when the government declared martial law and sent the military to occupy central parts of Beijing. In what became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre (Chinese: 天安門大屠殺; pinyin: tiān’ānmén dà túshā), troops with assault rifles and tanks fired at the demonstrators and those trying to block the military’s advance into Tiananmen Square. Estimates of the death toll vary from several hundred to several thousand, with thousands more wounded.
Set off by the death of pro-reform Communist general secretary Hu Yaobang in April 1989, amid the backdrop of rapid economic development and social changes in post-Mao China, the protests reflected anxieties about the country’s future in the popular consciousness and among the political elite. The reforms of the 1980s had led to a nascent market economy which benefited some people but seriously disaffected others, and the one-party political system also faced a challenge of legitimacy. Common grievances at the time included inflation, corruption, limited preparedness of graduates for the new economy, and restrictions on political participation. The students called for greater accountability, constitutional due process, democracy, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech, although they were highly disorganized and their goals varied. At the height of the protests, about 1 million people assembled in the Square.
As the protests developed, the authorities responded with both conciliatory and hardline tactics, exposing deep divisions within the party leadership. By May, a student-led hunger strike galvanized support for the demonstrators around the country, and the protests spread to some 400 cities. Ultimately, Deng Xiaoping and other Communist Partyelders believed the protests to be a political threat and resolved to use force. The State Council declared martial law on May 20 and mobilized as many as 300,000 troops to Beijing. The troops advanced into central parts of Beijing on the city’s major thoroughfares in the early morning hours of June 4, killing both demonstrators and bystanders in the process.
The international community, human rights organizations, and political analysts condemned the Chinese government for the massacre. Western countries imposed arms embargoes on China. The Chinese government made widespread arrests of protesters and their supporters, suppressed other protests around China, expelled foreign journalists, strictly controlled coverage of the events in the domestic press, strengthened the police and internal security forces, and demoted or purged officials it deemed sympathetic to the protests. More broadly, the suppression ended the political reforms since 1986 and halted the policies of liberalization in the 1980s, which were only resumed partly after Deng Xiaoping’s Southern Tour in 1992. Considered a watershed event, the protests set the limits on political expression in China up to the present day. Its memory is widely associated with questioning the legitimacy of Communist Party rule and remains one of the most sensitive and most widely censored topics in China.
Well I have met a homeless man on my visits to and from the shops in St Thomas recently and have been buying him food or giving him money. We got talking and I find out his name and that for at least nine months including through winter he has slept outside and he says it was very cold during winter and he does not want to do that again if he can help it.
I told him that due to corinvirus he might be able to be housed now and he said that yes he had been offered accommodation but has refused it as does not want to be sleeping amongst smack heads (drug takers). He does have a point as there are illegal drug takers in the community and I have seen a used needle in a place where they hang out.
I said that he should still get some housing advice so that he knows what his rights are and possibly get registered on the housing list. I was temporarily made homeless when I had to leave my University course due to ill health and because of that I have my own flat which I can afford to pay both the bills and rent without having to pay the commercial rate that the private sector would charge.
I told the homeless chap that I would print out advice for him and give it to him the next time I see him. So I have a sheet ready for him now.
I know nothing of where he is from, where he grew up or even if he is local. Maybe I will find out one day.
Afternoon of 13th May 2020.
So I met up with him today he now has the information I printed out on a paper for him and I hope he calls the number.
So there is a friend and author that I have been sending message s through on Facebook she has one of the biggest hearts for nature and the environment that I have ever witnessed in my life. Her book is called Babs2Brisbane and can be bought on Amazon and is all about her traveling to Australia by none flight method in order to get to a wedding and it’s a wonderful read.
I wont spoil it for you and let you know if she got to the wedding you will have to buy the book to find out.
The image above is from her travels many years ago. Not long after she met me I think. I had no idea I would meet someone that would run off to Austalia just after we met.
Why Babs has put up with me off and on over the years I really don’t know she is a very kind soul. She is also a good musician.
I told Babs I would get some views of the Historic Exeter Quayside near to where I lived to look at.
My old office for where I used to work for South West Widlife Fundraising before the Heartless Bastards sacked me.
Devon Widelife Trusts Cricklepitt Mill Head Office
Me and Babs both worked for Devon Widlife Trust at different times and I got made redundant by them after the Foot and Mouth outbreak while I was having a Psychosis, what’s known in the trade as kicking you when your down.
Well Babs you have not been to the Quayside in Exeter yet and I hope you like the little guided tour I did for you.
Thank you for being a good friend and I am sorry I am a little scaty I am not always this bad honest. Lots of Love Huw x
This song is by Emily who runs the Angel Open mic in Exeter on a Wednesday night she is a living Legend and her band are great. She also has a night on the Quayside once a fortnight. Hope you like.
Another one of Exeter’s folk – I last saw Rosie Eade sing at the Bowling Green Pub in Exeter back in 2019.