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Nicole Bourcier Photographer/Artist/Author
Nicole Bourcier Photographer/Artist/Author

Soapbox Corner

I thought I would start a page of varied topics from chat or thoughts I may have on any given day Unlike my news page which only focuses on my news, this page could feature anything at all and being the eccentric I am, quite likely . Hope you enjoy wherever they may lead you...., If you would like to join in the conversation or give your own thoughts please leave your comment below by using contact page. Thank You
.Warning this story may not be suitable for children

From the initial response to me saying I would be writing a forthcoming blog on Ghosts. I felt if It was up to the critics/sceptics I should be writing this on my HEALTH page HA OR LACK OF IT! Depending on your point of view. But it is here on my chat page, as in my chat page intro, I did warn you all, that this page could contain anything unexpected. So here goes.......

Firstly, I am led to write this TRUE story after recently hearing somebody talk on the Jeremy Vine show. For those that have been with me on Twitter since joining you may well remember the tweets on this subject. This however is the first time I have given full account of my personal experience which is not something I do lightly as I was a sceptic as a child even though I loved unusually for a kid, all the horror films of the day which were actually very mild compared to the same genre today, and I loved a scary story of werewolves, ghosts and the like. However I know being in the minority I say now I would hardly be wanting to lose all my fans or followers as being thought of as 'she is a liar /she is crazy'. Which if I were not of this knowledge I am about to divulge with you I would be agreeing wholeheartedly with the former sentence about myself. Also I am not a journalist so have no need to draw attention to myself by writing something that is for many, hard to believe, but the speaker on the radio show although I agreed with a lot of what he said about his topic and 'many things you can explain away'. I felt compelled to write my story as this, MY Story, is completely what happened to me. I also now believe that maybe some people do not, or are not shown what/whoever it is, that is or is not shown to them BECAUSE it is deemed by a greater force, I cannot explain, that they would not believe and would deny their own eyes/self. Also when I mentioned this forthcoming BLOG on Twitter I was met as I expected with a barrage of abuse as if I am completely nuts even suggesting such a thing as a ghost. The TRUE account follows-all I ask is judge it for yourselves and keep an open mind, as I always have, in all things. As it has led me to adventures- some good, some bad, that you only ever expect to see, 'made up' in films. If I lose all my fans/followers so be it, but to deny this account would be to deny the ghost's existence and I cannot and will not do that as it would not be what I know to be true.

My Ghost Story- My parents managed Hotels. This time was slightly different as it was by all accounts a large country type house with an old grain store, that had been converted to hotel accommodation, in a very small way, compared to the very grand, nearer London hotels we had lived in before. It was a substantial country pub though, with three bars and two restaurants and a function room. It had a typical beer garden surrounded by hedging and trees and beyond that was nothing but farmer's fields. I was a teen at the time and I add this information as I have read before that it is often as a teen that these sort of happenings occur for whatever reason. Anyway my interest at that time was very much as it is still today -HORSES. Then I was working hard and saving like mad to get my own pony. I had even found the black beauty lookalike, Shetland pony I wanted to buy and as this beer garden had space for a pony. I had even converted a garage behind the pub in readiness in the hope my parents would agree eventually. I used to ride my racing bike 8ish miles a day whenever I could, to visit my as yet unbought pony, I had the odd school pal over for chat and crisps and a coke drink. I think by this time I did not have my old boxer rescue dog-Sharni. Unfortunately, I think she had already been, at least this is what they all told me at the time- let off her chain from her kennel by a chef and ran onto main road and been run over. I was out with our cleaner's family I remember that as she had two girls and I used to stay over as that family were great fun. I am giving you this information not to pad out a made up story but to give you an idea of the person I was then and how my mind worked to help you get a better picture in your own minds about your own feelings on what follows by an insight of me at that time.
Anyway enough of me here is my account-

I was outside one day. It was a perfect sunny day and it must have been a Sunday as the pub was not open early for if it was open there may have been people in the garden, but I was alone and all was quiet out there I was climbing on structures to relieve any boredom.. I was then sitting high up deep in thought about what, I couldn't tell you as that I don't remember, but what followed I have never ever forgotten . I heard a noise in the garden and looked up as I did so, I saw a man with a axe over his shoulder come out of the wood boundary and walk back in again closely followed by a border collie ( I knew my dogs as I studied books on all the breeds as a child as I love dogs as much today as I did then so knew the breed immediately) He looked straight at me and me at him for a moment. I remember at the time thinking his clothes were odd by the fashions of the day and looked very old. Breeches, long socks, he had a grey hair and beard. then they were gone into the bushes.
I carried on with what I was doing/ thinking. Saying to myself 'oh, must be a gardener/workman' and thought no more of it, being used to all sorts of strangers, employed by my parents, being around/in our home as it was also a business and 24/7.
I did mention when asked what I had done that morning 'Oh, I was out in the garden and saw our gardener/ workman and he has a dog' I said. That was the moment I knew something wasn't right! My parents told me 'we don't have anyone working out there at all'. 'But you must have I just saw him' They were very dismissive. So much so and me being a 'Virgo' child, not used to being disbelieved, over the next few days I became distant as the more they said 'no' the more I said 'yes' and my parents were for the first time ever at loggerheads with me and I now was most annoyed and dismayed at turn of events and how can I prove it now? the man and his dog have gone- home probably. wherever that is.
May be a week or two passed and I was still sure but as I felt I can't prove anything I resigned myself to not forget incident but never mention it again for fear of being told off.
This is where I got a knowledge of Karma and how things often have a way even against all odds of working out.
As I said at the start- this pub had three bars. One day I was sat on a long bench like seat in a bar adjoining the function room. The pub and restaurant were open and it was lunchtime so I was enjoying a bag of Smiths crisps and my drink of childhood choice- coke from the bottle, with a straw so it would last longer, as I could sip it. Anyway I was looking around and became aware of photos on the walls. There were lots, black and white, Some Old too. (I sometimes ask myself if this whole event isn't the reason that I got so obsessed with photographs and photography-who knows).
I suddenly saw a picture of somebody I recognised instantly as I thought 'hey, there he is, there is the gardener man! well. what do you know!' He is there, I thought, on the wall- so he does work here. I was just about to tell my parents pleased as punch as I had found a photo to prove he does work here after all!. I wasn't going mad as I was made to think. But wait, there was writing underneath the photo, I hadn't spotted. Before, I was just about to leap up to go tell them, I read the words first, very slowly 'This is the Woodman and his border collie dog who used to tend the garden' dated !8?? I noted! although cannot remember exact date now but I know I quickly worked it out to be sure what I now knew could not be wrong by miscalculation on my part of age of photo. No mistake and I felt uneasy and reeling as I knew I had not been going mad. I did see this man and his dog, only I was not expecting in my wildest imaginings that there was no way he was alive or the dog now I knew then -What I had seen were -Ghosts.
In the photo he was also dressed in the same attire that I thought so odd and really that had been the only thing odd I had noted about him at the time of seeing him in the garden as at the time there was for me no question that they were alive as real as you or me.
Of course, I told and showed my parents the photo. As they both looked at each other bewildered. As even I could not ever have expected proof. I mean who has ever captured a ghost in a photo! It was the first of many events in my life so far that I have used the saying 'You just couldn't write it! or make it up'

We left the pub/hotel sometime later as my parents separated having both found new partners. However, Mother kept in contact with our old staff there and apparently many staff who used staff quarters in the pub claimed to have seen the woodman with his axe on his shoulder in the building. That is how word got back to me, as I knew then Mother was now also convinced of my account of events. Every time she reported a new sighting to me, as she drove me to school and I sat there silent but content in the satisfaction of being proved- right and not mad at all. So Thank the Lord for Photos!!! My love was born.

footnote- In recent years this particular pub has actually always been my favourite as it was very pretty and if I had the money would buy it for sure although our Isleworth Hotel was the favourite for location. In fact the house live in now has a bathroom that when I viewed house has the same colour on the walls, same dimensions and identical window to my Father's office in that pub. It was like being transported back there in time and is, every time I step into bathroom here which has been the reason I cannot change colour . HA.
Also I researched the ownership of pub and found out it is still owned by Oxford College which I find bizarre especially when I tell you it is nowhere near Oxford!!!! as you might expect as would I. It also leads me to question whether the reason they keep it, is because they know of the ghostly happenings there? and own all the pictures to prove it !HA.