As one gets older, it is easy to forget that happened a long time ago, no matter how strange the event might have been at the time.
Here is the story and the mystery, looking for a solution. All suggestions would be hugely appreciated, even if it only shows the creative genius of all the clever people out there.
How the mystery began
Way back in 1975 I decided to travel around Europe for a year, and set of for foreign lands as a 25 year old long hair "hippie" with a love of music.
When not traveling in Europe I used London as a base, where I had some friends who lived there.
This provided me with a convenient place where I could leave some stuff when I went off on my travels.
During March 1975 I was hunting for a specific item, to send to my mother for her birthday in April.
I was looking for a small rectangular silver locket with a built in clock. I had once seen such an item and as I knew nothing about clocks or lockets, decided to visit some of the antique dealers in London.
After several hours and no luck in locating the item I wanted, I was now in some backstreets of the city. I walked into a small shop that had a door opening directly onto the narrow pavement. It was an old building and not in very good repair.
Inside was a small, slightly stooped, old guy. He did not greet me, but went off into the back of the shop, while I browsed around the tightly packed locked glass display cases.
He returned from the back of the shop carrying a big book that he placed on the counter. I walked up to him and as I approached, he looked up.
His face was old, he had a short sharp nose, a bush of curly and untidy hair and light blue eyes the colour of transparent Caribbean water. The eyes created a huge contrast to the rest of the face and for a moment I was slightly flustered.
I told him what I was looking for and he responded by saying "I do not have such an item, and that is not what you need today". "Today you will buy only this book and it is not expensive".
While he was talking he kept his eyes locked on mine, creating a strange intensity, that is hard to describe.
Some context is required at this point in the story I was a 25 year old hippy travelling light around Europe. I grew up in a very religious home but was definitely not "religious", and the last thing on my mind was anything to do with religion.
Another observation, and I only thought about this many months later, there were no other visible books for sale anywhere in the shop.
He continued his conversation and said "You will buy this book today and it will then be your responsibility to look after it. Forty five years from now it will be needed by somebody important, and it will help resolve a problem that you might have at that time. Remember that the maps, the temple and the third book is the key". "While you look after this book, you will have a long and healthy life".
"The price you will pay me today is ten pounds."
I took out ten pounds, paid him, picked up the book and left.
It is a big and heavy book that turned out to be a large, very old church bible, printed in 1660.
When I arrived back at my friend's home I tried to explain exactly what happened but was at a bit of a loss to explain why I bought the book. My friends thought it was a great story and we rummaged around the book finding a range of beautiful prints inside.
Not one of us had any particular interest in religion, as we were young, "free spirits", having a great life.
While I travelled around Europe, the book stayed with my few other bits stored at my friend's apartment.
When some ten months later I returned home to Africa, by boat, the book was packed in a case with my other bits and shipped as cargo.
For the next forty five years the book has travelled with me and my family as we switched continents and moved home several times.
The book had no special place and spent many years in cupboards and high up on shelves.
Surprisingly no fish moth or any creepy crawly caused any damage to the book over all these many years.
It would be fair to say it is one of those items that we have had for so long that it became almost invisible.
As with many things, over time, I forgot about what the old man told me at the time, as the book was now simply something I have, for no particular purpose.
A few months ago I was clearing some old information from my library system and came across some notes on this old bible.including a few pictures I took a long time ago. One of those shows a series of maps and as I was looking at this, my mind rolled back in time to my visit and conversation with the old man.
Several things relating to the book, the old man and his message, surfaced more clearly in my mind.
It is now 45 years ago that I bought the book.
I am almost 70 now and more healthy than I have any right to be. I take no medication, have not had any major medical issue ever, I am healthy as a horse, physically strong and have had a good life, by any measure.
In short what the old guy predicted for me, has been correct and that left me with the rest of the puzzle.
If I assume he was just a good salesman, then I can put my good health down to natural good genetics.
If however, he was not a good salesman but something else, then we have a puzzle to decode and I have no idea where to start.
I do not know any "Important" people and I have no idea about the rest of his message.
Ignorance in triplicate
His injunction about the maps being important, if taken literally could refer to the printed maps in the book, but having looked at them I have not been able to see any significance in them. That could be the result of my ignorance.
Similarly his comments about the temple could refer to an architectural print of a temple, but after looking at it I could spot nothing of particular interest and might just be more ignorance.
As for the "third book" being important I have no idea what that could be about and again it might come down to my ignorance.
How unravelling the mystery of his message will resolve any "problem" I might have, is also a mystery at this time.
Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated and if nothing else, should be very educational for me, as I clearly have a lot to learn about all matters biblical.
Who knows what we might learn from all the clever people who might read this.