Saturday, 30 January 2010

I wonder what excuses will be used?

Apparently, in the year 2012 we are "ALLLLL DOOMED" as the scots chap on Dads Army would say. Call me a sceptic but I think we will still all be happily plodding along in 2013 without even a toaster breaking. It wasn't long ago since the last doomsday and believers were in the streets hugging, kissing and saying their goodbyes. When will we stop looking for correlations from ancient bits of text and saying it means this and that. I am sure if I look through the Mayan predictions I will see something that suggests to me that Wigan Athletic will be european champions within 3 years - I hope they are as they are my team, but I wouldn't put a months wages on it.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Animals about the house

The latest "manifestation" in our humble little pile appears to be that of an animal. I have no idea as to what this is or why it should suddenly start to occur. At first I thought it was the usual peripheral vision stuff that sometimes happens when you think you have seen something out of the corner of your eye, but you then put it down to tiredness or rogue shadows etc, but it started to happen on an almost daily basis. I kept it to myself convinced that it was something to do with my vision, but now Fran has started seeing it as well. She announced last night that "I must be cracking up. Did a cat just dart across the room?" I chuckled and asked which corner it was in, and it was the corner I always see it in.
This could (I suppose) go towards explaining as to why the dog (after all these years) suddenly seems afraid to set foot in the lounge. At first we thought it was noises on the TV, but it never freaked out at the telly before. Maybe the dog has been seeing it longer than us!

Friday, 8 January 2010

My Childhood Playmate

As I am writing this I am in my little farmhouse listening to logs crackling on the fire and looking out across the snowy garden outside my office window. We spend years wishing for a white Christmas and then when we get one we all want it to go away now that January is here. The weather has lousy timing! At least this has given me a little time to devote to this blog.

One episode I wanted to write about was from my childhood.
Between the ages of about four and five I had an imaginary playmate. Most children do I am told. I would play with my little pal up in my bedroom. He would just turn up in the room but I never saw him arrive. One day we were playing with my toy cars and he suddenly asked if I would like to come and see where he lived. I said I would, so off he went and I followed him. We went into my parent’s bedroom.

In the bedroom there was a cubby-hole; a sort of full size door, behind which lay a small square room about three feet by four. Most old houses had them. He opened the door to this and went inside. I peeped around the door, and off to the right was a flight of stairs. Really unkempt and dirty looking – like in a derelict house. He was half way up the stairs gesturing for me to follow him. Some time before my mother had told me never to go in there but never really explained why, so I thought I had better pop downstairs and ask her if I could follow my pal.

I arrived downstairs and mother was at the kitchen sink washing up. I tugged on her apron and asked her where those stairs led to. She asked which stairs. I said “the stairs upstairs” she said I wasn’t making sense and there were no “stairs upstairs”
I was insistent and told her my I.P. (imaginary pal) had gone up them. I was so insistent I dragged her off upstairs to see.
When we arrived in her bedroom I pointed at the cubby-hole door and said “in there”
She reminded me that she had told me never to go in there. I pointed again and said “IN THERE” so she looked.

She gestured me to come see. There were no stairs, just a pile of old junk such as old vases and lampshades etc. She forbade me to go in there because I could have hurt myself. I looked and just couldn’t figure it all out. It WAS there – there WERE stairs. I sat down in a heap and cried.
That was the last I ever saw of my imaginary pal. I suppose I.P. must have thought I was no longer any fun to be with. I do often wonder though, what would have happened had I followed him?

Many years later I was recalling the story with mother when she took me completely off guard. She asked if my I.P. wore green velvet. I said yes he did. “Did he also wear white knee length socks, patent leather shoes with big silver buckles?” she asked – again I said yes. I asked her why she asked and if I had described him to her at some time in the past. She said that I didn’t need to. When she was a little girl, if she was about to come down with some bad illness, the night before she would say to her mother (my gran) “hey that little boy is sitting on the foot of my bed again” and gran would say “Oh Lord I better call the doctor now” It seems I had inherited the little beggar!

I had a couple of these little forays into the paranormal around that age. Another time I had been ill in bed. It was night time and somewhere around nine o’clock. I got out of my bed and my legs felt like jelly. I still had a fever and was far from right. I walked to my bedroom door and shouted down the stairs that I wanted a glass of water. The stairs were all in darkness.
Slowly, out of the gloom, I could see the figure of a woman coming up the stairs, I didn’t recognise her but she was smiling. I assumed she was some friend of my parents or some neighbour. As she drew closer I saw in complete terror that I could partially see through her. To say I let out a scream would be doing my efforts a gross injustice. I shrieked like a banshee, and as if from nowhere I found the strength to leap clear over my bed to the other side whereupon I hit the wall and slid to the floor in a quivering, crying, screaming heap. The whole family came rushing upstairs convinced that I was being attacked and murdered. My mother picked me up and said “David, what’s wrong? Speak to me” but I couldn’t. I had a big lump in my throat and could barely stutter out the words “woman on the stairs” and “ghost” Everyone knew I wasn’t making it up just by the colour of my face and lips. Apparently I looked like a corpse. I slept with the stairs light on for years after that.

Some years later an aunt had died and we came into possession of some old photographs. I was looking through all the old sepia tone snapshots when I came upon one particular picture that almost made me fall off my chair. My mother said “what’s up, you look like you have seen a ghost” I said “I bloody have, that’s her, the woman on the stairs” holding up a photograph. Mother said “Oh that’s your Aunt Lily, she died before you were born, I’m sure she meant you no harm” and do you know, she probably didn’t. She was probably just concerned; hence her smile, but she damn near gave me a heart attack that night.

The really ironic punch-line to all this is my birthday. It’s Halloween!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

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