Surprise, surprise! We had only been at Nicky's home for a couple of hours when I had my first 'experience'. All members of our little family were still present.
But let me start at the beginning.
Nicky, our eldest daughter, had once more asked me to baby/house-sit for her. She, and a long-time friend, had planned to go on a sea cruise from Durban to the Portuguese island of Pomene in the Indian Ocean, aboard the MSC Sinfonia. A friend/client managed to get her a fat discount on the trip. She deserved a break after the flurry of getting her 'adopted' daughter (Shenay, our granddaughter, and her niece) clothed (strict uniform) and settled in her new high school.
Ray, my husband, took me through on the morning of Saturday, 17th February. He had planned to put up a ceiling fan in Nicky's loft bedroom. The ladder available was too short, so his day's work was cancelled. We spent most of the day having lunch, and chatting, on the patio.
After lunch, Nicky went upstairs to put drops in her eyes, as she had an allergy which was affecting them. She lay on her bed, and I guess she fell asleep, although she says no. (But who takes almost three quarters of an hour to put drops in their eyes?)
I was sitting on the other side of the table, facing the open glass sliding door leading to the lounge and open-plan kitchen. Ray and Shenay were sitting opposite me with their backs to the interior. Movement inside caught my eye. As I watched, the silhouette of a person emerged from the passageway which led from the downstairs bedrooms and bathroom, moving towards the kitchen island. (Five steps, I counted them later.) I blinked, and the figure was gone.
On the Wednesday, while Shenay was at school, I sat outside reading at the patio table. I was in a chair facing the garden gate with the glass door to my left. Once again, movement caught my eye. This time, it was a reflection in the glass. I glanced up in time to see a dark mass glide past and disappear through the 6ft brick wall which surrounds the property.
On Thursday, I had my most surprising experience.
I was once more seated at the patio table, reading. (I manage a lot of reading while there.) This time I was in the chair nearest the gate, with my back to the interior. In front of me, and slightly to my left, are three quite large elephant ear plants growing along the wall. (Colocasia, for those who require the botanical name.) Suddenly, there was a sneeze from the direction of the plants. It sounded like one of the dogs. I peered around the chair which was obscuring a clear view of the ground at the base of the nearest plant, wondering which of the two dogs it was. No dogs in sight. At that moment, the nearest plant... Shivered! I didn't want to believe my eyes. The plants had been swaying in the breeze, but this was different. The other two plants were dead still, as there was a lull in the breeze. The two dogs were lying on the opposite side of the garden, enjoying the patch of sunlight which the shifting clouds had revealed. Both their heads were up, looking startled, in the direction of the elephant ear plants.
On reflection, I wonder if Nicky has an elemental residing in her garden?