It takes time and energy to be alternative

Vic, the primal scream exponent, came round to rebirth me in a brick pyramid like Mrs Blair

Share
Related Topics

Conmen and wacky friends are not, thank heavens, the exclusive property of the Prime Minister's wife. Sit me next to a conman rather than a lawyer any day and preferably the genius who sold that unwitting American London Bridge instead of Tower Bridge. Now that really was a scam. Getting a discount off a student flat in Bristol isn't in the same league.

As for the flak that is constantly being hurled at Cherie Blair because she goes in for holistic medicine, healing studs, mantras, mediums, re-birthing, pyramid power and organic inner soles, most of my friends have done some if not all of that. So have I and a great deal more in my quest to find the key, the light, the path, the Truth, the ultimate wild rocket salad with mixed leaves, a light basil dressing and white truffle shavings at the end of the universe.

I'm sure I've told you about the psychic healer I went to see in Chelmsford who "operated" on my frozen shoulder with an imaginary scalpel. Afterwards even my least wacky, most sceptical friend Kate, who plays bridge and breaks the speed limit to get her library books back on time, had to admit that she could see a small, neatly stitched scar.

I may not have told you about Vic the primal scream exponent from Streatham who came round to rebirth me not in a brick pyramid in Mexico like Mrs Blair, but on the carpet in the playroom. I remember lying in the foetal position with my eyes tight shut while Vic crouched behind me making loud whooshing noises to represent the amniotic fluid surging round my unborn body. I did scream violently at the moment of rebirth but only because in his final frenzied contraction as earth mother/birth mother Vic pushed me so violently that I fell headfirst into the Fisher-Price space station and one of the lunar modules jabbed into my eye.

I have done one of those back-to-back weekend EST courses from California where tanned team leaders fresh from the Erhard Seminar Training School harangued me and the 250 other questing students about love and joy and choice and life for 15 hours at a stretch until we cried: "Yes, yes. We understand, we've got the message, we'll sign up for another course but please, please can we go to the lavatory?"

I've spent a week at the ashram in Oregon set up by the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh when he left Poona and twirled in the Temple of Meditation alongside lawyers who had just flown in from Washington in private jets. I have meditated in Dumfries, chanted in Ladakh, worn a load of Tantric, Celtic, Egyptian and Chinese charms on every conceivable and inconceivable part of my body. I've had my runes read, my cundilini raised, my chi located.

But hang on, this was years ago before the really serious quest, the practical business of dealing efficiently with children, job, ageing parents, illness, pensions etc took over. Being wacky is a full-time occupation and, if anything, we should admire Mrs Blair, who even with the demands of a high-powered job, ditto husband, baby and endless social commitments still has the time and energy to be alternative.

Apart from the conmen who regularly sell me useless kitchen gadgets (I have half a dozen gizmos to turn radishes into roses) I can remember only two occasions when I've been well and truly conned. The first was a call to say that I'd won a year's free groceries. I said I didn't know I'd entered a competition to win groceries. Maybe my husband had filled in the flier, said the caller, could they deliver them tomorrow? Sure I said and the following night a smooth-talking, sharp-suited operator called Dan arrived and spent five hours sitting at the kitchen table trying to convince me that if I bought one of his company's giant deep freezes and filled it with food from the cash and carry I would save what I normally spend in a year on groceries in no time.

The second was a call around lunchtime from a man who said he was a researcher from the Department of Education polling public opinion about current attitudes to corporal punishment. Did I have five minutes to spare? Sure, I said. Did I believe in corporal punishment? he said. No, I said. Was I ever been beaten at school? he said. Yes, I said. I went to a convent where the nuns regularly beat us. There was a silence and then distinctly heavy breathing. What were you wearing? he whispered huskily. Wow. Two for the price of one – a whacky conman. Bingo.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Graduate Pricing Analyst - 6 months / 1 year analytical experience

£20000 - £25000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Trainee Helpdesk Analyst / 1st Line Application Support Analyst

£18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Senior Management Accountant

£40000 - £46000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Global publishing and digital bu...

Year 2 Teachers needed for day to day supply

£110 - £130 per day + Competitve rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Yea...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Let me list everything and anything that was positive about Ed Miliband's speech

John Rentoul
 

By saying he'll fund the NHS with a 'mansion tax' Ed Miliband is waging class warfare — and I love it

Max Benwell
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits