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26 January 2008

An Evening with Patrick Hutchinson "Soul Toucher"

The bloke on the left with his hand on fire is Patrick Hutchinson. He calls himself a Medium who can talk to the dead, and rejoices in the name of "Soul Toucher".

Last night he was "performing" at the Old Lodge Hotel, Malton, North Yorkshire. I went along with my good lady. We went with an open mind. The only spirits I encountered that evening had labels on them, like Gordons, Smirnoff, Jack Daniels and so on, and the only "Medium" described the dryness of the white wine my wife was drinking.

Hutchinson's ineffectual prattling in a strange variety of accents nearly had me asleep within the first 20 minutes, and every half sentence was punctuated with his incessant use of the expression "OK?" which actually came across as "Auk Eye?" He singularly failed to make contact with anyone useful "on the other side", and even with some of the audience almost willing him to come up with something meaningful (like some lady volunteering the name "Michelle" when Hutchinson said he was in touch with someone called "Mary") it just didn't work.

At one stage he tried to prove some kind of point by placing a table in the room, putting a wine glass on the table, then inviting a few people from the audience to stand around it with their hands on the glass. Whilst the rest of us (who could see very little) started to fall asleep Hutchinson tried very hard to will some spirit or other to move the glass towards him. This it steadfastly refused to do, so he tried exchanging some of the people, and also moved the table to another position. This went on for about 20 minutes with nothing happening and I developed the view that if these poor people stood around the table for long enough they would become so tired and fed up that one of them would push the glass to end the agony. I entertained the thought that this might be Hutchinson's modus operandi.

I would have been suitably impressed if he managed to make the glass move without having people stood round it with their hands on it!

Hutchinson's website has a number of photographs taken at the various locations he has performed in, and they purport to show "orbs" appearing in various parts of the room, either flying around or hanging stationery in some part of the room. They really are laughable. Here's one of the pictures, and one of these orbs is pointed out as being on the back of Hutchinson's jeans (he's the guy in the red shirt) ..

Now you have seen the "orb" hovering in the vicinity of his left buttock, I'm going to show you a photograph I took at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo last August, and here you will be delighted to see that I have been able to capture more "orbs" than you can shake a stick at.

The military tattoo must have been a very spiritual occasion, and I'm wondering if I should think seriously about becoming a Medium myself. I could earn myself £800 a night peddling the garbage that was thrown over us last night at The Old Lodge.

For a fuller description of the evening's events (and not a few laughs into the bargain) I would commend to you this post on the Bad Psychics website. Here is the link ..

17 January 2008

What are the Police for?

In particular, what are the Cheshire Police for?

Adam Swellings, Jordan Cunliffe and Stephen Sorton - all semi-permanently drunk teenage vandals on the rampage in Warrington - have at last been sent to prison "for life", but for this piece of justice to be done they had to kick a father of three to death outside his own home for daring to confront them. But for months before this happened this gang of drunken sub-human idiots had regularly terrorised decent people, and in spite of constant complaints to the Police, local officers were either unable or unwilling to anything about them.

The ringleader of the gang has had at least 11 previous convictions for assault, and breaches of restraining orders. Not long before murdering Garry Newlove outside his home he had been arrested for punching a man who caught him damaging his car. He was remanded in custody but some JP with half a brain allowed him out on bail on condition that he stayed away from the streets of Warrington.

I am wondering when we are going to reach the point when we all accept that thugs who inflict physical punishment on innocent people should themselves have physical punishment inflicted on them. How much longer are we going to be so ridiculously soft on these dregs of society. And I am wondering when the Police are going to get off their arses and help us reclaim our streets. And I am wondering when - on those welcome occasions when the Police do round them and bring them to court - our magistrates and judges will back them up by not releasing them back into the community again with a slap on the wrist and an instruction to stay away from certain areas.

Wake up England, for God's sake!

08 January 2008

New Year Resolutions

I'm not a great fan of new year resolutions because they tend to be forgotten about within a couple of weeks, and so the only new year resolution I am going to make at the start of 2008 is to see in 2009 (though not in a hurry).

One of my friends who blogs around in this particular blogosphere has said she wants to enter the new year with the ability to love and be loved. That is probably the wish of most people, though clearly not one shared by Osama Bin Laden and his followers.

Having reached the age of 70 just before the new year I am reminded of British comedy writer Denis Norden who said "One of the advantages of being 70 is that you need only four hours sleep. True, you need it four times a day, but still .."

Richard Armour, US poet and author, said, "Each year it gets harder to make ends meet - the ends I refer to are the hands and feet."

Happy New Year!

01 January 2008

"A Common Word" - Hope for the New Year?

Just before Christmas my eye caught sight of an advert in the newspaper I was reading. It had been placed by a group of Muslim leaders, clerics and scholars and was headed "A Common Word". It went on ...

"A Muslim Message of Thanks and of Christmas and New Year Greetings, December 2007"
"In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
May God bless Muhammad and his kin and bless Abraham and his kin
Al-Salaamu Aleikum; Peace be upon you; Pax Vobiscum
Peace be upon Jesus Christ who says: Peace is upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I am resurrected (Chapter of Mary; the Holy Qur’an; 19:34).
During these joyful holidays we write to you, our Christian neighbors all over the world, to express our thanks for the beautiful and gracious responses that we Muslims have been receiving from the very first day we issued our invitation to come together to ‘A Common Word’ based on ‘Love of God and Love of Neighbor’ (see
for the document and the responses).
We thank you and wish you all a joyous and peaceful Christmas Holiday Season commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, may peace be upon him."

"We Muslims bear witness that: There is no god but God, without associate, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger, and that Jesus is His Servant, His Messenger, His Word cast to Mary, and a Spirit from Him …. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Ahadith al-Anbiya’).
We pray, during these blessed days, which have coincided with the Muslim feast of the Hajj or Pilgrimage, which commemorates the faith of the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), that the New Year may bring healing and peace to our suffering world. God’s refusal to let Abraham (peace be upon him) sacrifice his son—granting him instead a ram—is to this day a Divine warrant and a most powerful social lesson for all the followers of the Abrahamic faiths, to ever do their utmost to save, uphold and treasure every single human life and especially the life of every single child. Indeed, it is worthy of note that this year Muslim scholars issued a historic declaration affirming the sanctity of human life—of every human life—as an essential and foundational teaching in Islam upon which all Muslim scholars are in unanimous agreement (see details at "

"May the coming year be one in which the sanctity and dignity of human life is upheld by all. May it be a year of humble repentance before God, and mutual forgiveness within and between communities."
"Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds."

Now I am far from being a religious scholar, or even a religious person. Indeed my practise of Christianity is paltry in the extreme, but I do try to follow the basic teachings in conducting my life. I have also been driven by doubts over many years about whether formal religion is of any benefit at all since religious belief seems to be at the heart of a great deal of major conflicts around the world, and in particular the age-old conflict between Christianity and Islam features large in our present-day world. Indeed there is a dangerous degree of polarisation taking place and a good deal of inflammatory and racist language been thrown in for good measure. It is not helped by recent waves of terrorist atrocities committed by people claiming to be true followers of Islam.

I therefore recommend anyone reading this to have a look at

and consider whether it gives grounds for hope that a group of prominent followers of Islam are pointing out the common roots and teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

As one of the contributors to the website's discussion pages had pointed out, words need to be followed by actions. He cites the fact that most Christian countries are happy to permit the building of mosques and the following of Islam (this is certainly true in the UK!) and yet in so many Muslim countries it is nigh on impossible for a Christian to follow his religion opnely. This has to be addressed.

But, when all is said and done, even the longest and most difficult journeys must begin with the first steps.