Simone Denny, 49, Waiheke Island, NZ, tells her remarkable story..
Music blared and I swayed along to it, staring out at the Hong Kong skyline across the water.
“Thanks,” I said, to the acquaintance I’d been chatting to, who’d recommended I see her favourite psychic. “I’ll give her a try.”
It was 2005 and I’d been living in Hong Kong for a year, working for a bank.
Originally from New Zealand, I’d studied in America and then worked for years in London before moving to Hong Kong.
I was on a party boat in the harbour and this acquaintance had just advised I see a psychic called Zandra Marie de Vere.
“She comes every year to Hong Kong and is so spot on,” she said.
Aged 30, I had a few questions I was curious about so I quickly made an appointment.
A few days later, I went up to the psychic’s suite at the Mandarin Orient.
“You must be Simone,” her husband said, greeting me outside the door. “She’s just finishing up and you’ll be next.”
A short while later, I was ushered in.
Zandra Marie had blonde hair and a calm presence as I sat opposite her at a table.
She told me I’d move back to London within a year.
“Will I get married and who will it be to?” I asked, later.
She went silent.
“Yes,” she said at last. “You will meet the man you’re going to marry at work in 2008.”
I felt slightly crestfallen. I’d hoped I’d meet someone who did a different job from mine.
“He likes driving long distances…” she continued.
Afterwards, I wondered if her predictions would come true and then, within a few months, I was sent back to London with my work.
Maybe she’s on to something, I thought.
Three years passed, and I occasionally eyed out my colleagues wondering if they were “the one” Zandra had predicted but they never were.
Then one day, a fellow Kiwi joined our team. James, 33, had dark hair and a lovely broad smile.
He was kind and thoughtful and I was instantly attracted to him.
That night, I sent my sister Georgie, who was in London too, an email.
I met the man I’m going to marry today, I said. I don’t know why I felt that way, I had this deep knowing.
James and I flirted a bit at work.
“I’ve just returned from a trip driving across Europe,” he told me.
Suddenly Zandra’s premonition came back to me.
“I’m going to drive across South America with my brother soon too,” he continued.
“So you like driving long distances?” I clarified.
“Yes, I do,” he replied.
A few months later, we wound up at a bar after a work function and he leaned over and kissed me but immediately afterwards looked nervous.
“I had an office romance once before,” he explained. “It didn’t work out.”
shrugged. “Let’s just see what happens,” I said.
We kept our relationship a secret from our colleagues until we quit together in June 2009. Of course, they all said they’d known all along.
We put our relationship to the test by backpacking along the Silk Road, China and through South Asia together for nine months. We spent a month in Iran, went horse riding in Kyrgyzstan, adored the food in Lebanon and the people in Bangladesh.
We didn’t have a single argument the whole time.
Our final stop was Sydney, where we both found work and decided to stay.
James proposed in 2010 on Cape Tribulation beach in Queensland.
After I’d said yes I told him I had a confession to make.
“What is it?” he asked.
“I saw a psychic in 2005. She told me I’d meet a man at work who liked driving long distances,” I told him. “Remember you’d just driven across Europe when we met?”
“Wow,” he said, surprised and intrigued.
We decided to start trying for a baby straight away and I was thrilled when it happened relatively quickly.
James is analytical about everything and tracked my pregnancy every step of the way.
At the birth, he used an app on his phone that measured my contractions.
“They’re coming in every two minutes and ten seconds,” he announced.
I didn’t find this particularly helpful.
“I don’t care,” I cried, glaring at him.
Our beautiful daughter Bhodi was born and eight months later James and I tied the knot on the beach at Waiheke Island, NZ, where I’d grown up.
Bhodi’s sister India was born in 2013.
I wrote to Zandra Marie and told her that her predictions had come true. She was so chuffed she included our story in her newsletter.
I then had another session with her over the phone and she helped me to see I was chasing someone else’s definition of success.
I’d studied to become a life coach when I was still living in London and had used those skills throughout my career.
So, when we moved back to New Zealand in 2016, I started my own coaching business, helping other women find their own purpose.
Not only is it hugely rewarding but it helps James and I in our relationship too.
We are good at communicating and put all our issues on the table.
I’m so grateful I went to that psychic in Hong Kong all those years ago.
She was indeed spot on with her predictions and I couldn’t be happier.