The CuriousPages Sketchbook

A “wobble” in my day, perhaps reflecting an earthquake in the Philippines

Yesterday (Wednesday 24 March) was one of those days when everything seemed to go wrong.

It started with my first booking. It was an “ad hoc” booking (my regular clinic session on Wednesday starts at 2pm, but I had booked an extra hour for this patient, from 1pm). I somehow had the feeling that this patient might cancel, so I didn’t book the room space until late that morning, though she had made the appointment with me two weeks before. I sent my usual text message reminder to her at about 9am and by about 10am all seemed ok, so I went ahead and booked the room, and then at about 12 midday, she sent me a text message to say she had to cancel because… (and gave an excuse, which may or may not be true; we shall see). This could have hardly been planned to be more inconvenient; she had given me one hour’s notice; admittedly, if she had texted me 10 minutes later, I would have already been on my way to the clinic, so at least I was spared that. As it was I had merely embarrassed myself by booking this session, which I then had to plead with the clinic manager a few hours later to let me cancel, and I had rearranged my morning, and taken my lunch early to be on time for this early appointment, and then had to sit around for hour doing not much.

But no, I’d forgotten; this was not the start. The previous day I had been having a video chat with Rhyan (from Cebu, Philippines), and he had said he wanted to have another video chat yesterday morning, at 10am UK time (6pm Philippine time); we are currently putting together his visa application for him to come to the UK, so we have lots of things to arrange, apart from just the pleasure of chatting. So, I had rearranged my morning, to make sure I could spare an hour or so to chat with Rhyan. At 10am, he was not online, but by 10.10am I noticed that he had just then sent me an email. I managed to contact him and he was in his principle’s office at school doing some work that he’d been asked to do (he is a teacher and they work them like slaves there). He said that he thought our next chat was on Thursday at 6. He tried to get permission from his principle to leave and go to the internet café, but she refused, so our chat was cancelled—apparently.

And then came the patient cancellation, with one hour’s notice. I arrived at the clinic for the rest of my day and the parking space was blocked by two wheely bins, which has never happened before.

Then I received a call while in clinic, which I did not answer; it was a national number and I thought it was the usual illegal sales calls (which I seem to have had a rash of recently). In my break, I typed the number into Google and found that lots of people had reported “nuisance” calls from this number and that the caller claimed to be from Nationwide Building society. This morning, I returned the call and found that it was indeed from Nationwide and they were enquiring about some recent irregular transactions on one of my credit cards.

While at clinic earlier, when I had got on the internet to check this number, I then found that my acupuncture practice website was not working; the header graphic displayed and that was it; no other text or information was displayed on the entire site; it was just an expanse of white. This rarely ever happens (it had only ever developed a fault like this once before, years ago), so it was a remarkable coincidence that this should happen along with all the other mishaps that were piling up for me on that day.

Then, in the evening of my clinical session, I was waiting for a new patient to show up and my phone rang. I answered it and the phone was silent. It was the patient’s number, so I tried returning the call, but could hear nothing on my phone. It seemed that my mobile had stopped working—at least, it worked perfectly, only the mic and speaker did not work during a call. This had never happened before, and it could not have come at a worse time. The new patient was trying to find out how to get into the clinic (the front of the building is closed at that time of day and patients need to follow a lane to get to the back of the building), and if I could not contact the patient, they would almost certainly have missed their appointment, and I would have missed receiving their fee (which was perhaps the more distressing aspect), and also, this patient had booked a slot that had left me with a previous two hour gap in my schedule, so I had been waiting for two hours for this patient to show up, and technology was preventing the meeting from happening. However, with a little quick thinking, I managed to solve the problem by using the clinic’s landline to phone the patient’s mobile (which was not as obvious as it might seem; I had never used their phone before, and ordinarily would never think of doing so, but desperate times require desperate measures), and this was perhaps the turning point of my day.

I got home at about 9pm, feeling that a conspiracy was afoot.

I opened my email to find that another patient had sent me a message, cancelling a session on Friday.

The day had seemed decidedly “wobbly”; I had had a feeling of needing to tread carefully, lest the whole fabric of my life begin to spectacularly unravel. Tread carefully, proceed with caution, attempt to solve the problems, one by one, and I just might get through the day.

And when I woke this morning (Thursday), I heard on the radio that yesterday, there had been a particularly large earthquake (6.2) in the Philippines. I wondered if all these events were linked. I have close emotional bonds with the Philippines, so did their earthquake cause the “wobble” in my life yesterday, or did my wobble and their earthquake all happen because of some other “wobble” that was happening somewhere else in the world?


The phone problem I solved this morning. Last night I did a Google search for my phone and this problem and found a forum group with a long discussion on this same problem. The suggested solution was to spray WD40 into the earphone jack, which I did this morning and the problem was solved. Apparently, this switch gets stuck sometimes and the phone thinks the earphone is plugged in when it is not.

Also, late that evening, I found that my website problem had been caused by a change that my hosting company had made to all websites on their servers, due to a security “issue”. After a few messages back and forth to one of their technicians, the problem was resolved.

The credit card problem, once I had phoned them back this morning to sort it out, turned out to be the perfect solution to a financial problem that had been on my mind for a few days. Long story.

Today, my life still feels a little “wobbly”, but I think these things go in cycles. I think I do get days like yesterday about once a month or so, and once the bad luck is over, everything then seems to go perfectly for a few weeks. Or perhaps it is when I feel a little “wobbly” that this state then encourages these bad luck events to fall upon me, though I’m certain that the earthquake in the Philippines was not caused by me feeling a little “wobbly”. Well, not totally certain; when you get to the point where you take “synchronicity” for granted, nothing like this is then beyond the realms of possibility.

There have been a number of other events recently where I have imagined that I needed something, visualized some event that might be advantages to me, and then a few days or weeks later, the event comes about (and these events can sometimes be major things). I have noticed this many, many times over recent years; often, I have suspected that I have somehow caused events to happen by merely imagining that they might be beneficial to me.

Alarmingly, these events can often be negative ones for the other people concerned, and in extreme cases, this can involve them kindly dying, which then turns out to be advantageous for me in some way; in such situations I have often wondered whether I had willed the person to die (such as unpleasant neighbours that I no longer wished to be around, and then the replacement neighbour turns out to be my perfect neighbour, which is the sort of coincidence that causes me to stop and think about these things—when it happens time and time again). Admittedly, this is the most extreme example of this phenomenon, but with events of a smaller significance I seem to experience this phenomenon on an almost daily basis, and all of theses events, though not earth shattering, still seem to be remarkable coincidences that have been put in place simply because I desired them to happen. All very spooky.


25 March 2010



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