During her 50 years as a psychologist, Pam has studied and practiced hypnosis in order to help people with their problems. Her work and research into the fascinating area of self-hypnosis has resulted in an important technique for promoting personal change.

Post No. 19: Anecdotes and Apocrypha: A Weekend in the Country

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Post No. 19: Anecdotes and Apocrypha: A Weekend in the Country

Kind of a Fawlty Towers weekend, but also tragic.

I have a very dear friend Kevin. We met when I was 27 and he was 17 – at the old convict gaol, East Sydney Technical College – studying Day Matriculation for the Leaving Certificate in 1964. He went on to study Law at Sydney University and I studied Psychology at University of N.S.W.

Kevin’s law firm did a lot of pro bono work for First Nation clients and the sexually complicated, in particular transvestites and sex change clients. Not your usual law firm, lots of heart.

Kevin had a client who was a closet gay and had contracted AIDS. He was married with four little children and when he was diagnosed he decided to live out his dream, which was to own and run a hotel in the country. So he sold the family home and bought a large white elephant: a run-down hotel in the Blue Mountains.

It needed a huge amount of work and money to renovate and make liveable, the electricity generators were not working properly, the taps produced brown water, and there was visible mould together with a mouldy smell.

The client died not long afterward and his young widow was left with this mausoleum. Kevin rallied the troops and 10 or 12 of us descended on the place on the Christmas in July weekend.

The beds were lopsided and uneven with broken mattress springs. Nothing worked. The dinner was slices of corned beef from the deli put into a white sauce. The only wine was sweet – perhaps Sauterne, but I think it was something even sweeter – from a cask.

There was a nuclear family staying there – mum, dad, young girl and boy. The rest of the guests had booked for a gay male Christmas-in-July party and were twittering and flickering around in fancy dress.

It was pretty much a disaster, the only light relief being the story that follows this one.

We had contributed something to the sorry mess, but Kevin told me later that the young wife had contracted AIDS and died.

About the Author:

I will soon be 81 years old and tickled pink to be still upright. I have a good life. I still see clients, mainly in their own homes. I attend a lot of congresses, conferences and training sessions (never too old to learn). My apartment sits across from the north end of Maroubra Beach with 270 deg. views. There is always something intriguing to gaze at – the whales and dolphins twice a year, the stand-up paddle boarders, the surfers, the walkers, the beautiful surf in all its moods. Every morning two lorikeets come for their wholemeal bread. I often sit on the balcony and cook lunch on my portable grill, sitting amongst pots of lettuce, spinach, eggplant, tomatoes, chillies, and herbs: French tarragon, bayleaf, basil, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, mint and parsley. Throw a handful of herbs on every meal. My wonderful son has an equally lovely wife and three sons, 18, 16 and 14. They are the joy of my life as are my many good friends (some dating back to primary school) and colleagues. I was divorced, and later had two very dear partners, now deceased. One of them was Bill Peach; many of you may remember him. I was with him for 15 years until he died in 2013. He infected me with the travel bug, with many overseas and domestic Journeys taking place each year. The other long-term relationship left me with a taste for champagne, good wine, gourmet food and the Opera. Most of my life I have played tennis and golf, surfed (even in winter) and skied overseas and locally. Slowing down a bit now, love to see a film and do cryptic crosswords and sudoko. Passionate about bridge. I feel I have been very fortunate and would like to continue in that vein. Fingers crossed.