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*with apologies to that Shyamalan-Gibson movie*

Do you believe in signs? There was a time when I did, or at least when I thought I did, or when I thought I saw some. Hello, Ace of Base! That was the time when I used to read what the stars had to say for me, that’s horoscope for ya—on a daily basis, mind.  Back when I was this bright-eyed, naive (yes, there was a time when I was), hopeful kind of a witch. Well, now I’m no longer bright-eyed (see my previous post about me being near-sighted), no longer naive (beware those who think I am), and less hopeful hag. See? Hag! Where’s the hope in that?

I don’t know what happened along the way, but yeah, I guess I have changed.  Now I take things as they come. I no longer have big plans for this thing people call “the future” (whatever it is, I think it’s overrated). I’ve stopped making long-term goals. I’ve lost sight of the proverbial Grail. Why? Because I no longer see the point in believing that there was even one. The quest was futile, it always has been, so what’s the point?

This past month, or should I say, these past few months sort of changed the pointlessness of the quest.

Suddenly, there was a Quest.

And the quest was this Great UK Adventure with the girls.

Now before you roll your eyes to high heavens and exclaim, “oh no, not another emo entry!”, be reminded that I have never, EVER posted an emotional entry before. And I do not intend to start now, dear heavens no. I do intend to post something along the path of the strange and the uncanny, though. . . *rubs hands together in excitement*

Imagine this: when I submitted my abstract for the HP conference last year, I had no doubt about the whole thing. I was pretty sure it would be accepted. Fine, I am being immodest here, so go throw your tomatoes at me, I don’t care. But I am being honest. I expected to be accepted.  I knew the quality and the value of my proposal and I’ve been doing this for quite sometime now so I know how things usually go. Not that I haven’t been rejected before, oh no. I have (one time, ages ago), and it was frustrating, but back then I was just a newbie at such things. But I bounced back from that and went forward from there.

What I was not expecting was the would-be company come May of 2012, though.

And what awesome company it was.

Again, imagine this: when I announced to the world (fine, at plurkverse) that I submitted an abstract to the Scotland Conference at the University of St. Andrews, Giselle (a.k.a. Buttercup, a.k.a. the Wicked Witch of the East) immediately dived in and said “tally-ho!” Alright, she didn’t exactly say that, but you get my point. She was game, in fact, even when I was still drafting my proposal. She wanted to join me in my Quest, and I already imagined how fun the whole thing is going to be.

Giselle the Witch in front of the playwright’s birthplace.

When I announced to the world (again, fine, you-know-where) that my proposal was finally accepted, imagine this yet again: Abbey (a.k.a. Bubbles, a.k.a. the Wicked Witch of the South) wanted to dive right in and reconfigure the duo into a trio! She only needed one plurk night to think about it, if I recall correctly. She laid it all out for Batman’s will. And Batman said it was fine, and so it was good.

We were finally a trio.

Fade up: How Soon Is Now? by the Smiths. Photo courtesy of Pru. Next to her is Phoebe, and to the right is Piper. Yeah, yeah.

I must say the preparation for this Great UK Adventure was not exactly a breeze. The writing of my entire paper was back-breaking. The research was absolutely overwhelming. And the UK visa application was another thing, right, Abbey? 😀 Oh those documents to read and to prepare. Those bank statements that had to be obtained. The money that needed to be saved.

But we did it.

The anticipation was thrilling. This blog, in fact, came about as a result of our combined excitement. We figured we just had to put all our thoughts and channel all our energies into something productive. Hence, the birth of the fates’ pensieve.

We welcomed you to our world.

Our updates may have been erratic, but that’s because we were terribly busy preparing for the trip. We did write some interesting posts along the way, didn’t we?

And May arrived.

I will spare you the details (and believe me, the details would weigh a ton!) but I just have to say the whole set up was designed by the gods. No, by the Fates themselves! The whole gig was written in the stars!

First day of this epic trip, we (Abbey and I) got lost trying to locate the Carlton Hotel. Funny (now I can say it’s funny but back then, when we were freezing and exhausted and suffering from jetlag whilst dragging our luggage along the streets of London it was far from funny) but the Hotel was just right in front of King’s Cross Station, the very station where we exited, straight from Heathrow airport.

‘Tis Madness, I tell you!

Now what is so strange about that? This—–

Our hotel, apparently, is right beside, I mean literally just right beside St. Mungo’s. No, not a hospital thank the gods, but a shelter for the homeless if I remember it right (correct me if my pensieve is faulty, Gissy and Abbey). From King’s Cross to St. Mungo’s. How freakishly, amazingly canon is that?  Or was it a sign of weird things still to come?

Then this, at the British Museum.

We have arrived.

We got to have our photo taken with the goddesses themselves, the very image on this blog’s banner. I must admit I was already hoping to catch it prior to seeing it the second time around (first time I saw the Parthenon sculptures was back in 2007), but to actually have our photo, the three of us witches, in front of the original dames was just perfect.

And then what? See this?

Photo courtesy of Giselle.

First day in Edinburgh and where did we end up having lunch? At Black Cat pub! If we’re not the Charmed ones, then I don’t know anything anymore.

Or how about an hour later when we saw something else at the square that made us three jump in shock. I mean you should have seen us. Seriously.

Photo courtesy of Gissy.

I mean, come on. I knew we were in Scotland, but did it have to really slap us in the face and remind us of “that Scottish play?” (I read somewhere that saying the title out loud is cursed. I know, I know, I’m not really saying it out loud but keying it, but better be safe than sorry). Must the witches really follow us all over the Kingdom?

Or that we saw this, by mere chance, that same night, at the City Chambers? Can you say serendipity?

My gloved hand looks weird.

Or that we had coffee and cake here, also unplanned for that evening?

If you do not know the significance of this place then BOO!

Or that we actually stayed at a B&B called, *drum roll please* 11 Moray Place. Moray, get it? The Moirae!

And one of the books left for us to read (you know, for amusement, if there was nothing to do which was funny because we were booked up to our noses, pun unintended) by the B&B owner (a nice old lady named Florence) was this:


And that one brand of tea Florence left for us to consume was this:

I challenge the non-Pinoys and non-Spanish speaking readers out there to get the onomatopœia.

Okay, it was all too much for me. The signs were everywhere.

What if I told you that when we arrived in the U.K. it was freezing cold? What if I told you that days prior to our arrival at St. Andrews, Fife the sun was out (at least according to Linda, our Castlemount hostess) and minutes before ringing her bell the winds started howling along the ruins of St. Andrews? In fact, the rain started pouring immediately after we got off the train station. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the wind was trying its best to expel us. Or was that its own way of welcoming us witches?

(Speaking of Castlemount at the Scores, Fife, how about this which is just across our B&B? You know what the name of the lake is? Yep. Witch Lake.)

Me (and my nose ache!) and Abbey at Kensington Garden. Photo courtesy of Gissy.

What if I told you that during our last day in the U.K., the sun finally came out and I was sweating like that proverbial pig (the money in my belt bag was literally damp with my sweat)? Was it because the Kingdom was happy we were finally on our way? Or was it telling us something?

Was it an answer to the question, “When (Where) Shall We Three Meet Again?” Someplace where we could finally sweat and enjoy the, ehem, eye of heaven?

The ‘when’ is difficult to predict. But the ‘where’. . .

Will I do another MacArthur, this time in my beloved Brasil? Até mais!

How about this very last sign at the Heathrow Airport, minutes before the Parting of the Ways?

Do I believe in signs? I do not know. I guess I have no solid answer for this question, at least none at the moment.

What do you think?

Anyway, for now, let me review my rusty and not-so-dependable Portuguese. . .

Posso pagar com cartão de crédito?