As I write this you will not detect me for I live on the State in a council flat after a breakdown I had from all of the pressure and post traumatic stress disorder from being in battle. You won’t see any payments and They want it like that, to have me controllable and on Their estate, not mine.
South Africa is here in my flat where I live listening to James Phillips from all those years ago, with my old End Conscription Campaign posters and my expensive framed photo’s of Nelson Mandela on the wall of my livingroom by my best friend in the world, most loved and trusted Rodger Bosch, ace photographer and friend who never ever complains.
I have not signed the official secrets act though I have made oaths of secrecy as you may or may not see.
I have to be careful. I have had rysin and botulism in my flat. And I have had numerous signs of being watched day and night by the security of the City and they are linked up to the campus which few know about.
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I was in receipt of £16 000 spaced out over two years with the promise of a third payment for my final year from the university. With this money I knew I could return to South Africa to see my father and a few friends after a seven year absence.
And I did in 2003, May, flying Air France which was peculiar because they treated me like a star. That trip was a strange event. I was followed.
I flew with a 40 litre rucksack and trekked lowkey, staying with my father for a few days before embarking upon a coach journey from Braamfontein in Johannesburg all the way down to Port Elizabeth where I was picked up by my sister Claire. I stayed with her in Jeffrey’s Bay for a few days thinking nothing unusual and flew to Cape Town where Rodger picked me up at the airport.
In Johannesburg I had stopped off at my old university, seen of so much turmoil, the University of the Witswatersrand and I walked around. I was approached by six young women, pharmacy students they said, and the asked me why I had left South Africa but I said nothing. Bath already proving a misery for me I was looking around for the possibility of moving my research to Wits and explored the Biology Department for a supervisor. There I met Gabriel Byrne’s twing brother, or him, posing as a researcher. This I did not like. Afterwards I made a mental note.
For the previous year the City of Bath had been full of actors, bit players, extras and stars, for the shooting of the movie Vanity Fair and it was an unwelcome distraction. Gabriel Byrne had been one of the stars and to see him at Wits was unnerving.
After my stop with Rodger I caught a train back up to my father’s place in Clovelly Road, Greenside, Johannesburg and the plane home. The train ride was disturbing too for the train stooped at a station in the Karoo and a stranger was ushered into my compartment in which I slept alone. I was already wrapped up in my sleeping bag and pretended to sleep while the light was switched and this new passenger settled in.
I met him in the morning, a pleasant fellow of chinese extraction who had a polystyrene box with him labelled “biohazard” full of he said, ostrich blood samples.
I tidied up my beer cans from the previous night and left him to pray while I smoked in the corridor. Then we sat together and chatted all the way to Johannesburg.
I flew back to Heathrow with all the samples I had collected on the way.
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I had met a dealer named Jeremy Williams who also ran a small business selling soaps that he handmade himself. He sold weed generally and not much else. Through Jeremy I met Marion, his shop assistant three days a week who won my heart with her warm smile.
As I knew at the time, that attack left me psychologically weak. I craved warmth and sympathy and Marion offered it to me after a long desert trip. It was a mistake I knew but I did not know how much at the time.
There was also something magical starting, a period if time such as I have never known, as if the plants and animals were in rhythm with me. For example, one of my key papers was on the dragonfly head-arresting mechanism as a form of natural attachment. I had a fantastic experience of catching two dragonflies, each in a separate position in Marion’s conservatory. One I found dead on her vine and the other flew in allowing me to close the door and capture it. The only time I have ever been near a dragonfly and it happened twice. Another time I was walking out of the North Road campus around two in the morning and I saw what looked like a honey badger in the road ahead. It looked at me then sauntered off down the road, leading me down the hill to the City before disappearing off the road and crashing through the bushes to the side of me out of view. Leading me to the honey-trap? Perhaps.
It took a long time to adjust to me gift and it came in a way that could not be channelled to the world’s natural fears and that is what I took – a lot of trouble and time to develop and now I am able to way up the chance of being in the wrong and see that it takes long-timed root cause analysis to see what is good and what is bad in the world.
COPYRIGHT BRUCE E SAUNDERS 2019