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Faith and Hope – FATIMA

An episode – FATIMA – Hope and Faith

Our youngest daughter, Annelise, had the misfortune of not being able to start her family naturally so tried all the available alternatives, and endured heart breaking disappointments each time.

Marjorie and I shared Annelise’s pain and disappointments and prayed for a miracle; Marjorie vowed that we would thank the Virgin Mary at Her shrine in Fatima, Portugal if and when we had a new grandchild.

Finally, and this is an episode in its own right, she was gifted a beautiful infant girl in Mexico.

Circumstances prevented us fulfilling our vow for almost three years, until we finally made the journey in January 2106. It was not a holiday and we could allow ourselves just three days so we flew from Bristol to Lisbon, getting there on a wet and misty afternoon. We were advised against driving to Fatima in the inclement weather as the next day’s forecast was good but no more procrastination, and we set off to arrive in the dark. Now, how do we find the Sanctuary? We have been here before, but not with a thick mist and few people around to get directions from. Reminiscent of  “The Third Man”.

Eventually we were told that we had to go behind the building ahead of us and set off in search of a car park. We were pretty stressed out by then and found we were driving up a slope and right at the top was a large car park. I parked at a spot where I could just about see a railed path going down and got Marjorie out of the car. Bear in mind that Marjorie has a painful knee and is on crutches; somehow, she seemed invigourated. I recognised landmarks through the mist and gloom and pointed the out to Marjorie. “I don’t remember any arches”, says she as we briskly walk downhill. I recognised the location of the faint lights as we almost raced down and Marjorie finally recognised where we were.

Our first duty was to light candles as part of our thanksgiving and also for the many “intentions” Hazel had tasked us with. Marjorie glowed with fervour as she completed this obligation and we moved to the Oratory for prayer and contemplation. There were barely a dozen people around and the atmosphere was serene. Marjorie told me, later, that she felt peace go right through her body and it was the best ever feeling. She also felt a weight lifted off her.

Peering through the gloom again, and trusting my memory, I showed Marjorie where the shops were and we walked towards the bleak light to buy a couple of rosaries. The shopkeeper pointed us in the direction where we would find restaurants. We walked in an area we knew from the past, where the shops were no larger than telephone kiosks, and asked the woman shopkeeper where we would find food. “Santa Rita” she said, giving us detailed directions. Thanking her, we walked away and she ran after us to give me a religious medallion and a hug. Santa Rita was below road level and Marjorie, undeterred, braved the steps down. Gnawing at my mind was the fear of not being able to find our car.

Unsurprisingly, we were the only guests; the owner spoke fairly good English and suggested what we should eat. The food and wine (small bottle) were both good as was our host’s hospitality. I explained that I was concerned about finding where we had parked and without a moment’s hesitation he offered to drive us around until we found our car. My description of where I had parked narrowed down the search area, but we still had to drive a bit.

Marjorie dislikes my driving at night but Spirit was with us. A fulfilling and satisfying day.

Q & A

Who, what, why, where?

Here are a few interview questions.

1 – To start with could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

2 – Can you tell us a bit more about the benefits of your products.

3 – You’ve stayed true to your vision – ie not been tempted by MLM, do you feel this work is a vocation rather than “just a job”?

4 – which writer/thinker has influenced you the most.

5 – What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given.


I 1. The hospitality industry provided my background.  My hotel management training and qualifications provided me with the springboard to venture into the world, catapulting me to a number of countries worldwide where my real education began. Insularity went out of the window as I voraciously absorbed the cultures of the countries  I was fortunate to work and live in. Old heads will tell you that the best way to learn a business is by starting at the bottom, and by keeping an open mind as you climbed each rung of the ladder. In doing this I learned how to communicate with people at all levels and to appreciate the efforts needed to keep the wheels of the business turning successfully.

Domestic requirements put paid to globetrotting and I had to scale > down to a different level. It was a calculated descent, rather than a fall, and it took the steadfast support of my wife to help me through the initial difficult period. The inherent spirit kicked in and we went on to gain national recognition as Innkeepers. Physical problems put paid to this chapter.

In a chance encounter, a clinical aromatherapist friend happen to mention her using Neem effectively in treating a major head lice problem. I found a seed and lodged it in my fertile mind: I remembered Neem from my childhood ( did  I mention that I am from India?) and cogitated on the fact that no one seemed to know about Neem in the UK – nay, in the western world- so I decided to  spread the word.

2. Not for nothing is the Neem Tree called The Village Pharmacy, as the benefits are numerous. Taken internally Neem helps stimulate the immune system, liver detoxification, regulate body functions. It’s anti- fungal properties make it helpful in treating internal fungal problems. It is also antibacterial and antiseptic . All these properties come to the fore in Neem body products such as face creams, lotions, soaps, toothpaste and other oral hygiene products. The proven benefits of The Neem People’s Neem products are now fairly well known worldwide.

3. We like to paddle our own and have had to paddle upstream sometimes, but we have the satisfaction of knowing that our achievements to date are off our own bat, mixed metaphors et al. Like most starters we have had approaches from others to sell their products, but we will not be swayed from our path of promoting the benefits of the Neem Tree. We are passionate about this and set ourselves as examples of what the Neem Tree has done for us, and what it can do for others.

4. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and other icons have inspired many to rise above themselves. My inspiration comes from nearer home; my father.

5. Do whatever you are doing to the best of your ability, with dignity, and your reward must follow, though it may not be in the way you were hoping.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. You reap what you sow.


Fruits of labour

There are two irrefuteable  laws, one in physics and the other in Nature:

1. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction

2. What you sow is what you will reap

This is the lesson I tried to impart to my children and to all who trained under me.


It’s just a game

If you can’t beat them, join them and that is exactly what companion wife, Marjorie, did. She did not wish to become a cricket widow so she started taking an interest in cricket by asking me to explain the game as we watched  matches on television.

I am proud to be a British citizen and prouder still to be an Indian national, so it is understandable that I try to follow the Indian cricket team playing in all formats of the game. Marjorie finds test matches boring, preferring the excitement of 50 over and 20/20 games, and has yearned to watch a live match, so we were thrilled to see that India will be playing England, in a 50 over game, in Cardiff in September. This we must see.

I got on the ‘net and saw that there were just 1000 tickets left, so hurried to see if I could bag two. It must be that we are out of touch with reality because I was horrified to see that the cost of a ticket was £75. Our reality kicked in and kicked the idea into touch. Back to the television.

Healing Weekend 2011


This is the successor to the event started by the late Bill Harrison and it did the organisers proud. The organisation was almost faultless, the atmosphere uplifting and the crowds poured in.

The event is held in fields adjoining the SECRET WORLD, with an astonishing array of marquees. The two main marquees are of a modern design with a translucent top, which helped brighten up the inside. Day long entertainment was in a 400 seat marquee and three smaller marquees were used for talks and workshops. Healers had a large marquee to themselves, and a lot of exhibitors had their own shelters.

There was food aplenty with Linda’s Loaf, a Burger, Sausage, Roast van and the most popular Thai Food Tent. Children were kept occupied with face painting, hula hoops, blowing bubbles etc.

But let’s get down to business; fortunately the organisers are not greedy and the cost of exhibiting is far less than at all other larger shows. Our takings were not as much as we had hoped for, but we are not unhappy, as we know that we have cultivated a lot of new customers and mail orders will certainly follow. We did meet a lot of very nice people and renewed acquaintance  with some of our regular customers. We meet so many people as so many shows and it is difficult to remember them all, as some of them expect you to. The body language of approaching customers helps us to “recognise” old customers.

We have to guesstimate the quantity of each item of our stock that we think we will need at all exhibitions, and hope we will not run out of anything. It has often been a close call, but we have generally got it right and empty cases, as we pack up at the end of the show, are a pleasing site.

“How far do you have to travel?” is the polite question at the end of shows, and some feel that anything over fifty miles is far away. The Healing Weekend in Somerset is the nearest show we do outside Wales, and it is a mere three and a half hours drive away. Oh to be young again


On returning from the gym, this morning, I found Marjorie in a terrible state so I rushed and poured a tumblerful of my Sports Lucozade from a bottle that was in the kitchen. She grimaced with the first sip and sobbed that she could not possibly drink that as it tasted like cough linctus, so I gave her a glassful of Original Lucozade.

Some time later I decided to drink the Lucozade that Marjorie did not like and gasped, because it was neat whisky. A Miracle!!

We do not always have wine with dinner when we are away doing exhibitions, but sometimes feel like a chhota peg ( a wee dram) to fortify ourselves so Marjorie decanted some whisky into the first available bottle. We never got around to drinking the whisky.

It is all in the head

…bet you don’t know know who Franz Joseph GALL is.

He was the physician who discovered Phrenology. I wondered if Marjorie had been reading up on the subject and was intrigued when she told me I had a nice head. I thought she was referring to my intelligence, but my self esteem took a tumble when she whipped out the electric razor and before I could say, “short back and sides” I was completely shorn.

Proud of her handiwork, she stuck a mirror in front of me saying, “There, doesn’t your head look nice”. Luckily, I was not holding up the temple.

Next exhibition

23 April 2011

This is just a one day event at the Queen’s Hall in Narberth, and you never know what to expect. The last time we were here someone, who reminded me of Columbo, sidled up to me and fed me a sprat in the way of a blog. The mackerel was reeled in and I now have a state-of-the-art new website. This is once when I do not mind being caught hook, line and sinker.


16 and 17 April

As in previous years, Rosemary Griffiths’ Healing Weekend was a very pleasant one but not exciting. The two Dowsing workshops I did were well attended, with a lot of people coming back to our stand to buy dowsing tools. This is our crafty way of bringing people to our stand and getting them interested in the main business of selling Neem products.

We cannot understand standholders who sit behind their stand and do not try to engage potential customers.


4th April, 2011

Sadly the exhibition in Newport was a disappointment, partially due to the fact that it was Mothers’ Day. It was just as well that Marjorie and I were in a very positive mood even when we missed the little road that lead to the hotel and had to drive about ten miles on a dual carriageway before we could turn back. Familiar faces seemed pleased to see us while people we don’t see  on the circuit looked at us suspiciously.

Most exhibitors park themselves behind their stands and wait for customers to come to them, while we have a more pro-active approach and draw people to our stand. Giving a talk or doing a workshop is a good marketing tool and if you are good people come back to your stand. My workshop must have been good because most of my audience came to our stand to buy dowsing tools.

Our hotel was a revelation and we were very impressed with the allround standard. They did not serve dinner so I decided to surprise Marjorie by pretending to take the wrong road back to the hotel but drove to Cardiff, to a restaurant we had visited before. Unfortunately the restaurant did not open on Sundays and, fortunately, a passerby directed us to a similar restaurant that was open.

Our next exhibition is a very local one in our home town, Haverfordwest, on the 16th and 17th.


Our next exhibition is at the Newport Hilton, Newport, Gwent on Sunday 3, April.

This will be our first time at this venue and it will be nice to see familiar faces, so please visit us.