Over 20 years ago, in 1983, a few days before the Harrods Bombing on December 17th, another bomb had gone off in nearby Kensington.
Whatever day it was, I remember the event well and can still picture myself standing in the doorway of our living room, catching the report.
As I watched, I remember having a "compelling thought" that Harrods would be the next target. Harrods in Knightsbridge is not that far from Kensington and is the next "up market" in terms of fashion / class. This could, therefore, be considered a merely logical (if perverse) train of thought.
However, at that same moment, I saw, in my mind's eye, a "flash" of very bright, white light. I know Harrod's building quite well and know that I saw the side of the Harrods building and that this flash emanated from the side of the building there, where there is a side street. Remember, I "saw" this on December 13th.
On December 17th, the bomb, which killed six and injured 75 or more, "Police believe the IRA planted the bomb in a side street near Harrods department store in Knightsbridge." It was at the exact spot I'd "seen" it days earlier.
One of my own friends had been going to go to Harrods on that day and had changed their plans last minute. When I heard about that, afterwards, I shuddered.
You cannot know how much this tormented me over the years.
The guilt of not having been able to save those lives nor prevent those injuries ate at me. Still now, I shake and feel sick at the thought. But who could I have gone to? The authorities would have thought I was completely insane, or that I was one of the terrorists.
As well they might, especially as my own grandmother was brought up in Cork, Southern Ireland, the daughter of a Protestant churchman and who told stories of when the Sien Fein came and took their guns from the farm in the early 1900's.
This has not been the only incidence in my life of such "compelling thoughts", which I can only describe as things that, logic says, I could not KNOW, but which were neither just fleeting ideas: they were very strong feelings that left me no room for doubt.
I'm not a gambler, I had never been into a betting shop and I know Jack about horse racing, but on the morning of the Epsom Derby in 1981, I walked into our local betting shop and put money, to win, on Shergar. I had woken up that morning with a "most compelling thought" that horse was going to win. I think it netted me a quid (pound sterling) and, it is the only time, sadly, it has been over this kind of event.
After the Harrods Bombing, it stopped happening over anything important, for many years. If that means that I suppressed an ability, through fear and guilt, that also seems to suggest that some such ability existed in the first place.
It happens over minor things, like I generally know who is on the phone when it rings, before I pick it up. Sometimes, that could just be logical expectation, but not always. This, I see as nothing more than a "party trick" level amusement, but it happens.
My intuition seems to work on a scary level of almost witch-like uncanny accuracy. My landlady has even asked me, "You're not a which, are you?" (Nah, if I was, I'd be using my abilities for my own gain, not rotting in her uninhabitable house.) My own mother displays this same witchy ability to know things she "can't know".
Is this what they call psychic ability? I do not know. I don't even know if I even believe that even exists. I certainly don't consider myself to be any kind of Doris Stokes. Give me something that can be proven, by scientific means.
On the other hand, I do know what I saw and felt.
That I can't explain how these things can happen, leaves me with a real conundrum.
Am I crazy or psychic?
Either, I have to call my own sanity into question and, believe me, I am not childishly resistant nor immune to doing so, in fact I do so, constantly.
Or there exists the very distinct possibility ...