Blog 38 - Arundel & CBS



I seem to have nice outings in October around my birthday and last year was no exception. I have recounted some of my adventures on coach trips before when certain risks were encountered. There was no risk in this outing but an unusual experience. You will have to read on to understand the significance of my green scarf. I was not wearing it on my outing.



I was looking forward to the coach trip to Arundel Castle with VISOR, a visually impaired support group, of which some people are totally blind and others with little sight. Although I have macular degeneration, I consider myself very fortunate compared to others in the group. I paired up with a lady with advanced AMD and I was a little startled when she asked me on the coach if I saw apparitions. At this moment in time, I do not. I had read about the Charles Bonnet Syndrome, CBS, apparitions of people or animals, which is a symptom of macular degeneration, but it was never discussed openly. This new friend now told me of her apparition, a lady wearing a green scarf on her head.



I quickly put this to one side as I threw myself into the history of Arundel, all 1000 years of it with two nieces of the third Duke becoming wives of Henry XIII, Ann Boleyn and Catherine Howard, and later Mary Queen of Scots’ most treasured personal possessions being bequeathed to the Countess of Arundel, wife of the fourth Duke. It left me feeling chilled as I saw the gold beaded rosary Mary had worn to the scaffold. I have always been drawn to her history and I left my friend sitting elsewhere in the castle to have a second look at these relics. On my return, she calmly told me, the woman with the green scarf was standing before her. I was startled, but suggested I stand between her and the apparition. This did the trick and she disappeared. Alas, the apparition returned on the homeward coach journey but with fastened safety belts, I could not contort my body to intervene. I have since asked the question amongst other sufferers, and yes another friend has her own version. It is not something which is openly discussed.



I wish I had known about this years ago. My late mother-in-law, a very wise, sensible woman in her nineties, lived in a ground floor apartment across from our house. She told us of a short plump lady dressed in white and a tall man, wearing a black hat and carrying a cane who visited her.  She lived alone and had no visitors! We tried to rationalise it was some contortion from her tv and the thick pebble glasses she wore, but then she saw ‘the things’ in her bedroom. We live in a very old area where centuries ago a monastery stood so then we thought she must be seeing ghosts. After my Arundel visit, I now have to think that Grandma probably had macular degeneration and was suffering from Charles Bonnet syndrome. We will never know.



The green scarf from a Charity shop, is silk satin, very bright, with hand rolled edges, and any apparition I see will be a loaf of cornbread from Tesco which has eluded my keen shoppers for weeks!



Busy Bee, Scarf Face!

Blog 38.

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