The first day
Charles picked me up at the station last night. We talked about cancer treatments and our plans for the future, its like we’ve known each other forever and I feel comfortable in his company. As we drive into the darkness he announces that Im staying in the guest room and if I don’t like it I can pick another one? He then states we are now on my drive, 5 minutes later we are still travelling …… I begin to suspect that Charles lives in a very big house. As we pull up to the house I see my suspicions are correct! Wow!
After a restless sleep, I open my eyes and feel the sun shining into my room and into the 5 windows of the bay. I walk over to the windows to embrace the magnificent view that unfolds before me. The rolling hills and the large beautiful river sparkling in the sun and in direct view a huge pine tree. It is so still that the scene looks like a painting before me. What a blessing Charles has looking out on this loveliness every day. Charles makes me breakfast an we have organic gluten free, sugar free muesli with sheep’s yoghurt and blueberries with a green smoothie to wash it down with. We sit in the conservatory, which looks out onto the river and the hills, there are a few boats in the distance. The boats are still, the only movement is from the soft breeze falling upon the branches of the trees, so the trees sway gently and rhythmically almost dancing in the gentle light wind. We talk about our lives, relationships, friends and our personal journey with cancer.
I spend the whole day walking along the grounds, my appointment with the doctor that Charles recommended is at 3pm so I have plenty of time. Joining me I have 3 dogs, a Labrador who belongs to Charles and the other two belong to the people who work in an accomadation on the grounds, which incidently is 40 acres! The company is called energy dots part owned by Charles and they provide attachments to put on your phone to stop the bad vibes. As I walk along the grounds I am followed by three dogs who are also playing and running around freely. I take photos of the splendour around me, but pictures cannot really portray the energy of this tranquil place. It has such peace, tranquillity and a kind of divinity about it. I sit on the bench at the front of the house, I breath in the beauty around me, it’s like being in a painting, I feel high and truly at peace. The immense beauty and tranquillity brings tears to my eyes as I start to think about my auntie who died 24 years ago of cancer, I remember the last time I saw her. We had all gone shopping and she walked over to some flowers and I watched her as she closed her eyes and smelt each one, she was absorbing life with all her senses, I could see that. Here I sit on a bench doing exactly the same, absorbing and embracing heaven on earth which many of us fail to see when we are stressing and focusing on every day tension, we kind of miss life by getting caught up in worry and pressure.
The fresh air has enlivened me before I see the doctor. I call a taxi and the driver is a Swedish lady called Anna. We have an in depth conversation and when she finds out that this is my first day, she decides to give me a guided tour as we travel into Totnes. She tells me all the history of the place, she even stops and starts showing me photographs! I didn’t mind paying for the extra 5 minutes of her stopping and pointing and pausing in the middle of the road to show me photographs. I decide I really like this woman, she is quite a character and I will use her taxi in the future. She drops me off at the wrong place as I embarrassingly find out, the receptionist of the clinic points me in the correct direction. The clinic is above a kind of hippy café that sells smoothies and vegetarian food and has a television in the middle of it that shows lapping waves and gentle music is playing. I walk up three flights of stairs and wait for my appointment.
Dr Stephen Hopwood is a medical doctor and Chinese herbalist who practices in acupuncture, Chinese herbs and nutrition. Stephen also ran a sky channel called Paradigm Shift. So on first meeting Stephen he asks me questions that are obviously to do with my medical condition and we talk about diet, sleep patterns etc. The first thing he advised me about was that the thyroid is an essential part of the immune system. A result of having a low thyroid is cold hands and fatigue. The session was interesting and informative. I then get a taxi back with Anna and go to the guest house in Stoke Gabriel which is on top of a small hill and absolutely gorgeous with the magnificent views that Stoke Gabriel is full of. The owners are John and Helen who are originally from Leeds. I’m hungry, so I ask them where the best place is to eat and she advises a pub at the top of the road and then tells me to use the torch on the keyring on my way back. I walk into the church Inn, it’s a small pub and I order a crab sandwich and half a Guinness. I eat and then I walk back. There are no street lights in Stoke Gabriel so I torch my way back. I don’t feel frightened at all walking in the darkness, this place has such nice energy, I feel an inner calm and peace. I settle into my room ready for tomorrows acupuncture session.