I feel I should preface this by stating that I’m a very sceptical person, who doesn’t believe in God, the afterlife, mysticism, mediums or anything supernatural, and so is my mum. I offer no explanantion for what follows, other that panic can have a strange effect. But it was very weird.
As it was half-term last week, me and mum are both off work, so on Thursday she picks me up and we take my dog for a walk on the beach. After a long walk along the cliffs, we decide to let her have one final run on the beach, so sit on some rocks and watch her scamper about. Then she (the dog, Poppy) spots some sea birds swimming out to sea and starts to follow them. Problem is, she’s not a great swimmer, and while the sea is very calm, she’s heading further and further out and is completley oblivious to our calls - she ends up a good half-mile out. By this point, we’re both starting to panic. I decide to ring the coastguard (I’ve no idea if they’d even come out for a dog, but decide it’s worth a try, and that if they won’t, I’ll go in after her myself), but my mobile’s still in the car. So I start running up the cliff path, and my mum gets onto to this rock a bit further out and keeps calling for Poppy. As I reach the top of the cliff, I look back - and Poppy, thank God (yes, I know I’m not a believer, but I can still blaspheme, can’t I?!) has turned round and is heading back towards my mum. I wave to mum, she waves back, and I run back down to claim my wet and shivering dog. Here’s the weird bit:
Mum: So who was that man standing next to you?
Me: What man?
Mum: The man standing beside you at the top of the cliff. He waved at me.
Me: There was no-one anywhere near me.
According to my mum, there was a man with dark hair, wearing a Navy-style pea coat standing beside me with his hands in his pockets. When Poppy turned round and started to swim back, he took a hand out of his pocket and waved to her. He looked as solid as I did and was so close to me there was no way I could have missed him. From where I was, I could see right across the cliff tops in all directions, and there wasn’t another soul around. If anyone but my mum had told me this, I wouldn’t have believed it, but mum’s a deeply practical northerner, and about as far from fanciful as it’s possible to get.
*For anyone who cares, Poppy seems to have recovered from her ordeal with no ill effects!