I saw a spectre, no a person, not a ghost, it was a man in a hat. None of that covers it. Something was wrong. I sought advice.
I nipped across the road to my pals Julie and Arthur (those of Carowagon fame).
“I think I may have seen your ghost,” I said.
Julie had earlier sent me some footage which was inexplicable. A view from the skylight shows the tall Dog and Duck steps next to our house. There are two mysterious figures on the steps; the lower figure looks like some sort of priest and the one higher up and above our house appears to be a boy. Both are in black and white and seem quite old fashioned. They look real enough but why on earth are they dressed like a century or so ago, especially so early on a morning.
My sighting had come a few weeks after seeing the footage. I had awoken very early and been unable to settle so eventually had decided to get up and take a walk.
I had turned right on Quay Street which is parallel to the seafront and passed Arthur’s and then left through a cobbled lane towards North Wharfe.
I stood looking at the lights of the boats for a while and then wandered to opposite the way through towards the end of Quay Street, (yes this was a short walk, as I was getting hungry), my plan being to turn right and head home. Before I could turn I noticed a figure passing me heading towards the seafront. I would have noticed him anyway as there was no one else about but he seemed to be suddenly there.
I was halfway up the short street and there he was to my left, I hadn’t noticed him coming out of the carpark or down Long Greece Steps to the side of the car park. So I looked at him in surprise. He looked back in the same way. I looked away and looked back, he did so a couple of times. It was as if we were both thinking, ‘where did you come from and don’t you look strange.’
Later that day I went into more detail during my visit to Julie and Arthur. Why I had said I thought I had seen ‘Julie’s’ ghost was that he was dressed very similar to the boy in the footage. That was why I had looked at him, he was out of place. I hadn’t felt like I was seeing a ghost, it seemed like a man, yet I felt that something was wrong.
Partly that was the way he was dressed; tight black trousers, (although, unlike the boy figure, his were full length), boots, a long jacket with many buttons up to the neck, a white ruff or frilled shirt and to top it all off I could just say a black flat cap but it was very large; too large.
Now he could have been in a period drama – but at half past six in the morning.
It was at this point that Julie pointed out that the footage of the other out of place figures was filmed at around the same time of a morning.
Arthur asked me how old I thought he was and I said about fifty or perhaps a little less and that he had large round glasses and a moustache but that his face and all these features were quite grey.
I realised that seemed strange as he seemed like a real man. Arthur looked up at this and said perhaps it was a timeslip. It would make perfect sense that this was so, as if 2017 and (let us say) 1917 had interlinked for a while. This would certainly make sense of the mutual surprise and confusion.
It was a couple of days later that I awoke early again; this time with a start, a sudden thought: it was a timeslip but not to the past.
I leapt out of the bed, dressed, and hurried out the door – yes, at that point I was hunting my portal to the future. I was looking for a visitor from the future; one who thought he blended in.
There was something I hadn’t told Julie and Arthur the earlier evening; I had doubled back. On that first morning after the guy had passed I had rushed down Quay Street and taken a right up one of the cobbled alleys, back to the seafront. There he was.
He rushed up to the edge of the wharfe, held up a device, and moved on.
It looked like a phone, but didn’t have a screen and he didn’t seem to need to look through it. He moved a little way along and took a picture of Vincent Pier and its lighthouse, turned snapped the novelty shop and headed to East Pier and the Toll Gate, snapping systematically as he went. I left.
On that second early morning expedition I was intending to catch a record keeper from the future who was dressed inappropriately.
For this was my thinking now, our visitor had dressed in such a way as to blend in but had got it wrong by about 80 to a 100 years.
So it was that I dashed out of the house, but I bumped into another neighbour who was out walking her dogs. We chatted for a while, about my blog, and then I headed off up Quay Street. I got a glimpse of a group of people crossing the end from near the car park and they all seemed to be wearing something red.
They have adapted, they have seen a man from this time period and have emulated his look to blend in.
It is my intention to get up early tomorrow and head to the end of Quay Street and the access road from the car park. I fully expect to see several adults and teenagers wearing blue and white Converse, black jeans, a red and white shirt, a blue jerkin and a flat cap.
Missing Time: Watch out for it, you won’t know until it has gone!
The story that terrified me and for a little while got me worrying about abduction by aliens was a letter in a magazine. By I had read it my mind was filled with the idea for a while. Yes it was a letter, and yes it was in Fortean Times – I love that magazine but I do find many of the articles over analytical and rather too sceptical; almost as if they are desperate to disprove everything (I wonder if the lizards have taken over in a subversive plot!?). The letters pages though, that is where I start getting drawn in, in particular the It Happened To Me section.
There is something about an individual going out of their regular life to ‘admit’ to an unexplained experience many years after the fact which has me believing it totally. Of course, anyone can write anything; just look at how this storyteller works up the truth into a tale to intrigue! There is something about the decision to share which makes me think most of these tales are genuine.
This one really got to me, this guy, let’s call him Albert, recalled his experiences from back in the nineties and the on-going effects on him over the years ahead.
As I recall the story it was much like this…
He and his partner were organising security for a large upcoming event and they needed to test the walkie-talkies. So he set off in the car and kept a dialogue going with his wife and she recorded the range and power. So there was constant contact.
As he described his journey to maintain the dialogue level he turned into a long country lane which they both knew well. Ahead he commented that he could see a strange bank of fog stretching across the road.
As he drove through it he heard a high pitched piercing sound, his left ear started bleeding and the side of his face was burning. He started to scream and tried to describe the experience at the same time.
He drove out of the fog after only around a minute and turned for home. His wife was screaming into the walkie-talkie asking where he went, why he had gone silent for so long and what had happened? He said he had been talking to her throughout but when he got home he discovered she had been calling to him for a long time and that half an hour was missing.
She was shocked at the dishevelled way he was dressed and there was blood all down his burnt face. He expelled large amounts of clear fluid and then lay shaking in his bed. He awoke in the night and ran screaming from the room tearing at the door.
He has been terrified of being trapped ever since and his anxiety levels went through the roof yet he had always been a calm confident person before.
A psychologist was called in and eventually arranged a hypnosis session. When Albert was awoken the therapist said that he regretted he could have no more to do with this situation and would have to discharge him from his care. He was left alone in the room and offered the recording.
He was shocked to hear his own voice and the things he was saying. He had been stripped and placed on a large metal bed, there were many such beds, a girl was calling across to him asking if it was a dream. Grey figures experimented on them. Then a human-like being filled his mind with atrocities and then spoke directly into his mind saying that humankind must change their ways.
He was led to what was described as a Dimensional Shift Device and told he would be returned but not to the same time.
He has never fully recovered and sometimes even now wakes up with bruises, marks where long spindly fingers had gripped him and sometimes with his pyjamas on inside out.
That story was brought to us by ‘Albert’ in the letters page of ForteanTimes in an edition with the cover tagline, ‘The Truth is in Here’.
After all, who would miss half an hour.
Five hours! That is going to be noticed, and it was. Sue and Robert both worked office hours and were looking forward to getting off work and home in time to watch a television program of a special event.
Robert texted here and said he would pick her up. She texted back to say would he meet her in the supermarket car park across from her work and they would run in for some food.
As they dashed in she mentioned a desire to have some ice-cream and he suggested that they picked it up last so it didn’t start to go soft. Even though they were going to be home within twenty minutes she agreed. They grabbed pizzas, salad and garlic bread and then went to the ice-cream aisle.
When they got to the counter and lifted up the purchases to the conveyor belt she noticed a sloshing sound.
The ice-cream was completely liquid. The till operative went and fetched them a fresh one and they went home. They popped the oven on and prepared the food and then turned on the television.
Their program had finished! When Sue looked at the clock it was half past ten. Five hours had gone.
They were terribly worried and after a sleepless night Robert suggested they contact his friend who was a police officer. The friend pointed out that no crime seemed to have been committed but as it was him he trusted his word and would look into it.
The officer friend went to the supermarket and asked to check the CCTV footage. The cameras showed then entering, and making all their purchases, until the ice-cream aisle. There was footage of them entering the aisle, but there were no cameras down there.
He sat and watched for them emerging, he sat a very long time. There at last was footage of them coming out of the other end of the aisle. Yes. Five hours later.
Footnote: If any of the people in these accounts wish to come forward I will gladly correct any details and use real names and the actual places if they prefer. (The ‘girl’ will be grown up now and may also want to make contact.)
Communication from the realms of spirit from Gene Rodenberry beamed directly into my mind as I was watching Star Trek:
Pon Far –
If research was done into the reactions to the Pon Far it may be found that the vast majority of both Vulcans and other races they seek to engage with do not actually experience post-passion regret, I expect that the results of such a survey would agree with my anticipation, and therefor if you are ever in the presence of a Vulcan in the seven year cycle of Pon Far it is most advisable to acknowledge their advances and engage in the 72 hours of amorous encounter.
Do not in any circumstances buy the storyline that it will be best if this urgent desire is not satisfied; this is a false premise.
Now one should presumably look around for the next Pon Far experiencer.
It could become quite a hobby I imagine. I wish you well in your quest, and apologise if I am unavailable, I have left my Star Trek com badge at home.
Nerd in Norway; A Spotters Guide – It is actually a report on my performances at Gudvangen Viking Valley, Norway.
I am looking at the stories I didn’t tell and wishing I had fitted them in. But there are other times of course and I am thankful of the times, the many times, I was able to tick a tale off the list.
Ticks, lists, statistics, I am getting into these. Nerdy I am. Becoming a spotter. A lister. A ‘tick-er-off-er-a’.
Long journeys listening to the sixties and memories.
Looking out and listing waterfall world; shadow waterfalls, gentle waterfalls, rainbow waterfalls, multiple waterfalls, tiny waterfalls… I list and tick.
The times of tears might be listed soon. This is a place of many strong emotions – emotions amplified. Moving yes, but everything inside, everything discovered, everything listened to, everything experienced: amplified.
It might be the water. It is everywhere.
As I overheard, “They have water here,” says the tourist on the bus, “all kinds, rain and waterfalls and all kinds. It is like a great big island with sea all around it.”
Now – 61, 78, 30, 2000 (est.), 30, but more on these later, stay tuned. I bet you just can’t wait.
But at last you will get down to where you will read what this blog is actually about – make a second coffee.
I creature spotted – I cheat – I award points for imagination, molehills count (as definitive proof of the existence of a mole), as do beehives and woodworm holes. I play alone and only cheer internally. So that is alright then.
Interlude: A tourist at the hotel sat next to me has a sandwich, a baguette actually, she is eating it with a knife and fork – it is not going well. Wait, (this is my live-feed happening as I am writing), her husband is opposite, (they are old so I guess they are married), he has a suggestion, he is thinking she might do better by picking it up off the plate to eat, she is asking if he means with the hands, and he does, so she is trying it.
I hit sixty! Sixty different creatures. Yes. It included reindeer, firefly, alpaca, llama (duplication cheat), and I saw a thing climbing.
I didn’t count the enormous statue of Georg, (hours away from Gudvangen and surveying a valley where thousands of deer can gather some mornings). That goes on a list with a Roman Villa, hundreds of pre-history pictograms, standing stones, Half-Dan the Blacks funeral mound, concrete bunkers, winged horned gods, actual horned helmets too (oh yes), rock falls, trees on rooves (I gave up at 178 of them), ‘Danger Falling Rocks’ signs – extremely rare here for some unknown reason which I will probably blog about at some point, large fish rings, organic vegetable gardens (sadly a rare occurrence apparently), drummer boys, huskies pulling a white van and sounding like geese, iced coffee to die for, Godt og Blandett Frukt Salad (a must have), salty liquorice fish, trees in rivers, quadrillion-bends, ‘Deer Crossing 0.2 kilometre to 1.3 kilometre’ signs (go figure), naked wrestlers (no she needs to be on a later list which is chiefly flesh-related, as do arm-slings), bear-hunting dogs, armed seven year olds (I will document this more fully I promise), M. Thatcher pictures thanking her for Soft Ic, Pagans, Asutra, twins (no there’s loads), sausage boutiques, and
(Sorry I fell off that list.)
Btw the lady did manage to get most of the baguette in.
Btw 02 if you are someone who puts ‘of’ when you mean ‘off’ I actually hate you, quite actively, vigorously. Just thought you might like to know.
Tourists who are between coach and ferry and stand without looking up at the host of waterfalls.
No stop, don’t even start that list. ‘Tourists’ can wait.
I could write a list of the times people have told me of fearie things – a long list
(Please note; fearie is the topic, the place, or an actual list, not a being or thing.)
of the number of times people have approached me and insisted upon the existence of such and their observation of same. Usually just after I have done a silly story and have danced and pranced.
I know I am neither dancing or prancing in this picture, but I like it
They are very insistent.
I shall list this visit’s oddities.
There are several. Read on because you might be on this list.
The winged-thing will be listed last (damn I have just listed it). There was a drone. I have seen them before over Viking camps, once I saw one shot down by an archer, there were cheers. This one looked like one, but acted funny; shall we say impossibly.
I saw a brown blob. I am almost sorry it wasn’t black – then it would have been an ABB – Alien Black Blob. As mentioned often in Fortean Times magazine. They are officially what you get if you try and take a picture of an oddity. Always. Flying saucers, puma, yeti, troll, big foot, naked huldra; try it, you click, you look later – it’s a blob.
I cannot do other at this point than to instruct you to buy Fortean Times. If you are in the dark on this one search for Charles Fort; “Nonexistence of evidence is not evidence of nonexistence.” etc
My blob was brown, it was moving, it was far away, it was high up, it was climbing. I estimate bear-size.
Mine was above the Georg statue, Alan’s was above Goerg’s house. It was witnessed by many. I will not bother you with the photos of it, they have a distinct element of ABBness.
They watched it though. Crikey it was large. Gosh it was something other than is known. Wow are the hairs going up on our necks as we hear about it. It was tall as a hang-glider, slim as a snowboard, as quick as a skier, it disappeared as quick as a base-jumper. It is documented here, so it is true. There are photographs. It is true about Alien Black blobs too.
Calm down the hairs on your neck a little and read on.
There are wasps.
And this is the interlude where you get to listen to a story. A story. The thing I actually do. Yes, a story.
It involved Anders. He is cool. He is Viking. He talks steady and slow. We listen.
When I talk of the wasp I dance, I do voices, I comb my hair in a beautiful way, I get cross. I am wasp.
Anders simple says
“They are spirit.”
That is why he jumps. This is the only time his smile leaves. The only time the cool goes.
The deep dark growling drawl which is only just within the range of the human ear stays – so listen with your bones.
“They are spirit.”
This is why we should be frightened of them. This is why to be fearful of their sting. For they will sting. It is their intention. To sting.
The spirit which once was and now is wasp, is angry.
Imagine. If you will. To be of another realm. Where all is magical and – kind of – wispy. Then, you human being people stopped believing. Stopped sending all that belief in the magical to the realms around you. They dwindled. They faltered. They ceased. They died.
It is your fault.
The fairies died.
Spirit of fearie is part of this life and is subject to the same lore of living as us – reincarnation.
Can you imagine how cross they are.
Every single morning they wake up, the eyes are glazed as yours are, the brain is slow the same; thinking isn’t easy: “Oh a new day. Which frock shall I wear? I think I will choose a long flowing frock, and then I will comb my long flowing hair, add a few flowers. I will sing to myself blissfully as I skip toward the flowered meadows – and then I will – dance!
I am a wasp!
I am a bl**dy wasp!
No wonder they are angry.
Get ready to be stung.
That may be the end of the story, but not of the list.
There is one more. I can see it. I can still see it. So can the man who told me. I didn’t see it. Neither did he. It is in our mind’s eye. It is about to enter yours. Alan went on the Viking ship. Down to where the fjord walls are tall and close. It is quiet down there. The skipper is quiet; a quiet man. As they flowed, so did his words. To a quiet crew. “Out there it was. By the side of the wall, and only just above the water. The dark thing with wings. I have sailed this way, and other ways, many times. I have never seen such a thing as this ever. It was slowly flying with large angled long slim wings; a suggestion of shape, a definite shape of wing. A timeless slow sense of flying. I don’t know what it was.”I don’t know what it was.
61, 78, 30, 2000 (est.), 30.
Yes here it is. The time. The point of the blog.
I held a story circle each evening and sixty one people came and listened. Some of them popped in briefly, some came every time. Some of them said ‘awesome’ in a quiet voice. Some made tricky suggestions.
I felt young.
My main audience were 15 to 21. I am honoured to be listened to by such. For up to three hours at a time. I still see the faces.
From 61 to 78. I performed alongside others. Vikings flocked to take part in my stories and talks or to join our parade. 78 of them, yes, I worked with 78 co-performers. Some of them, I admit, are duplicates. When someone drummed and marched one day and then acted another day I count them twice. It is still a whole host of willing Vikings.
Each day my chieftain (Olafr Reydarsson, we call him Georg) and I led a group of musicians around the camp inviting everyone to join us. Lars Magnar of course was beside me. We stood upon the holy hill. Our rune-lore master, our Glima lord, our mythology study, our wise scholar of all of the once was, he stood among us, we called upon him, and he unleashed the ancient, the returned, the spiritual, powerful, Galda. That screaming call. It changes your understanding of what it is to be alive.
We welcomed, we warned. We stood upon the stage and we informed, we made fun, we celebrated, we shared, and a host of people from Anabel to T’or Eric filled the floor with their re-enacting. Mainly. We laughed.
We celebrated and laughed with the mayor, with the team who are building our Viking Town, with crafts people, with entertainers, with spiritual leaders, with the dead, with the children who crawled and climbed to be part of this.
And most of the tourists survived.
There were presentations on the new Viking town we are building.
T’or Eric carried a dead body across (Daan) and Anabelle wowed the crowds with her product demonstrations. We even had a guest spot from Lady Shaga and a couple of guys carrying a plank. Vibeke and her team fought to the death and Kjell robbed them.
We even had a slave team run screaming through.
Every day we lined up and were multi-national. The pic below here shows most of the people involved, but one or two weren’t there that day. We had many languages and many accents, including, Scooohtish, posh, New York and Minnesota.
I spent thirty hours in performance. I estimate that two thousand people watched us and I probably spent about thirty hours planning it all.
No, hang on.
I am wrong. I am wrong about the 78. I forgot about the one I wasn’t at. As Holger had been in the news we thought it right to redress the balance and have him kidnapped as a slave. I put the word out through Karyn who whispered while she was braiding, and over thirty women turned up to clap him in chains and wrap him in a net. He didn’t fetch much though.
One more number to finish. As I walked back from the bar I counted 31 waterfalls within sight of the camp.
And an enormous thank you to Angela and Georg for putting up with my trying ways and for making me feel so at home.
Bits – an anniversary, a call for poets, a call for artists and a confession…
As I respond to requests for books and CDs and bank the cheques, (on-line buyability coming real soon), I see on the list a request for Road To Ragnarok. This is a book of action poems from way back. The actual performances were in 2005 it seems, and were perhaps the best shows I have ever done. When I go to print the book to pop in the post, I see that it was published in 2006; that was the last show I created which was poetry based. I became a storyteller as a result of this project.
I went to my monthly poetry show and said it is all stories tonight.
It is the tenth anniversary of my becoming a storyteller.
Advice on charging for e-books and sound-and-image downloads greatly appreciated btw
A monthly blog of first poems. Your own and those of famous people you admire. Join the amazing experience and offer your poems (this is just for fun at the moment but may lead to a profit share publication in the end). I look forward to seeing your offerings.
PS If you have never written a poem., all the better, do your first now!
Call for Artists
The Horned God and the Wild Hunt – Viking Comics Inc. are leaping into their second publication. Join us by offering the art work to be part of things.
We need over a hundred drawings. This will be a blog and then later a downloadable display for presentation at, markets, festivals and museums and for sale on line as a profit share. Maybe even as an actual book too.
I may have caused my family trouble, and all mums visitors too. Everytime I am over there and mum says can you fetch me a paper I buy two. I am not keen on her getting all her news from a tabloid, so I’ve tried everything; i, The Telegraph, The Yorkshire Post. She is sticking with the Mirror. So this time I was over, I thought I would try something else. What did I buy her? The UK edition of National Enquirer (“The truth is out there, but sometimes it is hard to find”).
I didn’t tell her that its all made up. I am already imagining the conversations.
So this morning when I rang her I asked what she thought of that new paper. She really liked it, a real good read.
Be ready to hear that Elvis is alive and the second world war never ended, or that martians have landed in Scunthorpe.
But then again, she will love the celebrity stuff.
Here’s that snippet from my book…
Out of Chaos Can Come Life The magical Seeress in the gruesome start of this adventure shows us the way to the start of all time and the birth of the very angry Giants. Your first chance to play all the parts.
Soon-grown Norse, we gather in the company of the Seeress
Dark dark this earth-smell fusty low-roofed home
Choking smoke weaves, fills, to cause a tear
As crackle fire builds, dazzles, “See in the flame” she says
Flickering flare it builds to glaze; to change the mind See the Scinn-beings climbing to your eye,
by Wiccecraeft spell”
The whole of story of the Norse,
the Viking-gone, the rich-return
All the stories, tales so old-old old-old old, we know
So long told we know, and hold in hearts/In soul.
They tell us how, and who, we are.
Be. Believe. Drink, juice of berry dark -in true-carved cup. See.
Hints of creatures;
writhe about; in all we see. Supernatural/freestyle
Wild-Charging from the thicket of this plate
Leaping at us fierce, so full, from all that’s carved
Curling up so sinuous/sly throughout the very foliage we hold
Up from eye-glazing flame spout creature/spirits to fill
To fill us, fire us, blind us to all fear or doubt
A badger in the soul, A wild cat in the spine
The rise of wide ‘splade wings inside the eye
Serpent, fierce rodent, bragging stag, bulbous bull
Experience the essence of fierce animal within us all!
We feed her, the tall fine seer all dressed in rarest fur
Gluttonous yellow glob of goat’s first-ever uddermilk in lump;
Beaten brass spoon is soon unwrapped, – a Walrus tooth to hold
Still pulsing pulled is beating heart of wolf that howling dies
Obsidian blade that glistens raised – stabs-out a pumping chunk
She, Thorbiorg-girl, throws off her sable mantle. She is beautiful.
Clinging-smooth: all precious glittering stones,
she reaches into low-slung Tinder-belt
Then scattering blasts of magic, be it bones or skin, “Draw in!”
“And so we know,” she says, “the Gods are deep inside”
“May we have: The far-sight of Heimdall”, Hush, listen, hear.
Nod to know all knowledge, as wise good Balder
Feel thrumming thrill of calling on the thunder-power of Thor!
By the wealth of all you feel: You truly are. “Go Viking!”
“Dare now: For all the world will end – in Ragnarok
And as you quest, as I send, let all spirit make you brave
Huge walrus ring, Bull rush bracer – intertwined with spidertwine
Helm n cloak n belt n gown all inter-wound with power divine
“Worlds will end! Or we at least will slow!”
My Haunted House – an autobiographical novella inspired by It Happened To Me featured in the amazing Fortean Times.
I saw the shadows straight away, if shadows they are, as soon as I settled into the apartment; weaving along the book shelves under the stairs and across the top of the TV.
Something which should not be there but was, or rather, an absence of what should be there which is replaced not by a shadowy shape as such but with a very dark nothingness. It is as if creatures have lived here and didn’t want to leave, as their memory of being alive fades all that remains is where they were. It was something like that anyway, and after a while it settled down as if they had got used to me.
They do reoccur at times; when there are disturbances or new visitors or when the shopkeeper is agitated, but more of him later.
I had felt shivers on the stairs and occasionally a feeling of being crowded as well as the shelves by the door rattling sometimes and even losing a few of the contents to the floor. I didn’t think too much of it at the time.
Not the actual shelf unit
Then the project came in, three of us working together, Gramey at the computer, Helen and I at the table building the display incorporating his printed designs. At one point in the late afternoon I moved over to the settee of my one downstairs room to sit and write up a fee ideas. After a while Helen looked up and said, “Is your cat alright going out?” I haven’t got a cat and I told her so. “Yes it just got up from in front of the telly, its a funny looking thing, and wandered out of the door.”
I looked up as she pointed at the door, which was shut and indeed locked. “The door is locked and anyway I haven’t got a cat.” – “Yes you do,” came the reply, this time from Gramey over in the corner, “it has been laid on the mat all afternoon.” I haven’t got a mat.,
Not long after this I went along to the local spiritualists centre as they had a medium on, and I got a message. Among other things which he told me connected to my family, he also said that the house I had moved into was full of ghosts. They were everywhere, (he looked a little confused for a second), it is a portal to the world of spirit, no, spirits come and go through this door.
I was a little perturbed at the idea and mentioned my feelings to a friend over the tea and biscuits. She gathered a group around me. We had been talking for a while about having get togethers where we developed our own spiritual abilities, it was decided they all wanted to ‘meet’ my ghosts so the first session should be at my place.
All of them were my age or older except for one younger woman of around twenty eight. We nattered over coffee and cake and then I asked if we were all ready for getting started. They all wondered how we should go about things, I suggested we kicked things off by going round them Pom saying what we wanted to explore. They thought I should go first so I said I wanted to find out more about my spirits and their portal. That was it, no more suggestions came forward, as they all wanted to get stuck into this job. Our evening was shaped; we meditated, we called upon our loved ones and guides to aid and protect us. Then the messages and images started flowing. One lady picked up on the shadow beings and described them in more detail, she detected a few distinct types, another felt airy fluttering in one corner and connected with light bright colour, another saw a flowing S shape hanging near the stair rail, and yes, you guessed it, a cat upon the mat.
More came from around the circle, at least one more cat on the stairs, a man in the centre rubbing his hands, a door through to the next door apartment (where my shelves are), cages here and there, and a few mealy smells like grains or seeds or some such. There was also mention of a feeling of being crowded and large creatures waiting to move through the wall. That one wasn’t solved on this particular evening but I picked up on the man too, I described him as being attentive as if waiting to see what we wanted, he had a large white old fashioned handlebar mustache and a short grey overall coat.
It was then that the younger one of us spoke up. She remembered visiting this place many times as a child. She came here with her parents to buy hamster food, it had been a pet shop. I was intrigued at the idea that the younger person among us was the one with the memories which verified our ‘messages’. Us older ones are more used to being the ones with recollections of how things used to be.
“The bird cages were over there,” she pointed near the window where the airy flutterings were detected, the empty shadows were where the reptiles, snakes and spiders resided, there was a door through to next door as that was the aquarium shop; this door was where my shelf unit stood – the portal had been discovered.
She went on to match up the shop details to our memories, the wavy S shape was the tail of a chinchilla which perched up near the stairs and our descriptions of the shopkeeper match exactly to her memory.
People react unexpected ways when having such encounters and it turned out shopkeeper had been seen before. When I told Helen all about my spooky evening she said, “Ah yes, that’s the man I saw.” she hadn’t mentioned it at the time so I asked further, it was the day of the cat, he was in the kitchen, but she had only seen him through a gap in the cupboards when she had been sat at the computer. He had looked through at her as if wondering why she was there, but when she had stepped around the cupboards there was no one there, “You could only see him through the gap.”
I think the crowded feeling has been solved now, I hadn’t said anything about my experiences to the others in the mews, but my other neighbour at the time mentioned one day that he wakes up with a feeling his face is wet as if splashed. Not long after this I chatted to an old guy who does the maintenance. Before my place had been a pet shop, and my left hand neighbours the aquariums, they had been cow byres.
The craft shop down on the main street had been a butchers and the cattle were brought up the mews to our places. This I think is the reason for the crowded sensation I sometimes feel. He went on to say that there was a doorway in my right hand wall and the cattle were led through there to slaughter. The other buildings between there and the shop were for butchering and storage.
I believe that I feel these creatures presence when they are nearing the time of transfer to their final destination, one at a time through the doorway. I then had a chilling thought; the wet splashing – that is the blood of the ghostly cattle as they re-echo their moment of dying. I haven’t told my current neighbours.
I do have a cat, I brought her with me from my old house; Fluffy – well the spirit of Fluffy.
We was a lovely cat and she adored me. She was a large chocolate brown with golden fleck. She never went out of the house, she was a rescue cat and my niece turned up with her for me. The RSPCA had her since she was found in a cupboard. Someone had moved out and locked her and her kitten in a small dark space with a pile of cat food. Six weeks it was till someone else moved in – and Fluffy was still alive, but only just. When she was brought to me she ran upstairs to the attic and hid under a bed. She would sneak down in the night and eat and use her tray; three months she lived like this, then one morning I saw her creeping round the corner of the loving room. She never went up to my attic bedroom again, well except on a few special occasions. If anything ever went wrong in my life, a loss or a sudden shock she could tell I was down. When it neared time that I was thinking of going to bed she would go and sit at the bottom of the stairs. As I approached she ran to half way up, and as she ran it was as if her mew box would rattle, ‘mewmewmewmewmew’. I would catch her up, she would run to the top, and so on all the way to the attic. She would stand by the door till I was in bed, then she would climb up onto my chest, but only for a minute or so, then she would meow and go out the door.
Obviously I was very sad when she passed away. Only a month later something went badly wrong in life and I took myself to bed feeling down. As soon as I lay down I heard, ‘mewmewmewmewmew’ and then a pressure on my chest, only for a minute or so.
After I moved I cycled past my old home and I got the overwhelming feeling that Fluffy was looking for me. I called to her and I am sure she followed me home.
Recently there was another calamity in my life and as I flopped into bed I heard the familiar sound, ‘mewmewmewmewmew’ and then a pressure on my chest.
Fluffy is still with me.
So are my Bambi Angels.
I was invited to visit another spiritualist centre, this one was out in the sticks. A couple with a farm decided to build a church in their garden and, wow, people came from far and wide.
Sam took me along there to a development evening. It was a lovely friendly place and soon we gathered in a comfortable circle. As we were settling a late comer arrived; a very large man in really oily clothing came in and pulled up a chair. We started a guided journey then after a few minutes the facilitator said, “I am really sorry, I would never normally stop a meditation once it has started but you really do need to close your eyes”,.she was looking at oily man. He spoke in an incredibly deep gruff voice and explained that he always worked with his eyes open and then froze with palms open and eyes fixed ahead. As we continued I could not resist the odd peek as did everyone around the circle.
When the session drew to a close I was getting up to find a coffee when suddenly the dark oily figure was looming over, great big eyes bearing down into my chair, “You have spirits all around you,” boomed the gravely voice, “but not in the form of people who you have met, they are little animals, baby deer, bunnies, dormice, baby goats. Do you have a connection to animals?” I said that I didn’t especially (not counting my ghostly pet shop pals). There was a thoughtful stare, then, “Ah, they are cartoon animals, like Disney; Bambi and that.”
I think he saw my doubtful look, as, after a pause he went on to explain, these were ancient spirits, they had been gone so long no one would recognise their former earthly form so they could take any shape they pleased. I need their lightness and playfulness to stop me being negative.
Now, to summarise, I am surrounded at home by three lots of creatures, Fluffy, the pet shop boys and girls, and my Bambi Angels.
Do not be thinking it’s all about animals, there is the shop keeper yes, but there is a regal lady to, although she is an occasional caller.
The honorable Lady Joan of Barley Hall no less, our Lady Mayor of long ago.
I was doing a series of storytelling sessions at York’s celebrated, rebuilt, medieval hall and had been including tales told to me of hauntings there. I was readying myself to be on my way to work and thinking what material to use when I had a sudden wish to look in my crystal ball. It would mean I would miss my bus but I just had to do it. Straight away I saw a tall elegant lady, (not your standard beauty perhaps but incredibly alluring), I hadn’t been thinking of her but I immediately said, “Lady Joan!” Then the voice filled my mind, “It is all green. I used to have colour.” An image of the long table appeared, then centred upon two tall jugs with thin handles, they had stripes down of slim bright colour.
I put the ball down and rushed to work. I told the staff all about this, none of them had seen such pottery, then a quiet voice in the corner invited us to look at her recent purchase. She had visited a museum in Attick and bought the guide book. It had a pictorial section of Barley Hall when it was first opened. There on the table were the jugs I had described. It turned out later one had been broken so the other was put away. If you go in there now you will see it out on the long table.
That night when I got in I thought, I must write this story. For the sake of a bit of drama I held the name back till the end of the story. As I wrote, ‘It was Lady Joan,’ all the contents of my shelves by the door emptied out across the room.
That was the event which prompted me to encourage them to get that jug out of store.
I mentioned the chills on the stairs earlier and problems were accelerating. I came home recently and I had left the lights on and the door curtain open. As I was about to unlock the door I saw a shape under the table. It was a nothing. A snake was out of its cage. By I had the door open it had dissipated, I stood wondering and another bunch of things fell off my craft shelves and hit me in the back.
My nights were to become restless, as well as the increasing chills, I started being woken by my bed shaking, and then by loud rapping on my bedroom door.
A natural medium visited. After muttered discussions upstairs, she came down to say she ahd spoken to shop keeper.
He understands now that he is no longer alive and that I am the rightful resident, but he cannot move on as he cannot find his cats.
I am now about to call upon the spirit of my own beloved cat and ask her to find these cats and bring them to the shop keeper so they can rise up together.
The many interesting things told to me while I was working at Barley Hall.
The Nosegay Blog Too
The nosegay experience continues, and as promised in the first instalment, we will be visiting alternative realities, plus jumping hoops and drinking mud (participation is optional)
You can read minds, I am told, but only because I brought coffee at the right moment. Yes actually I can. I don’t, well, not generally, but I can. I wonder if I should. If I key in I can, and if I am asked. Then again I think perhaps I can only do it if it is team work; my spirits teaming with your spirits to your benefit.
I think that is how it works, then only if I have some sort of device; some artefact to rely on. This sort of thing gives me permission I think.
I hadn’t thought of it like this until it came up in conversation, but once I had thought of it lots of examples came flooding back to me.
“There is a pregnancy here but I cannot be quite sure who it is… it is like it is both of you.”
“How on earth did you know?” “Ah, but it is not you though is it.” “No, but I have been going through her symptoms with her as if it was me too.”
Actually that was before I had got out the usual runes and crystal ball; that is an exception though.
Often I don’t see all that much, or say all that much. When I said at a venue in South Yorkshire that I saw two men interested in her but she was unsure about one of them. The lady said, “Ooo yes, should I go back to him?”
I said I didn’t feel it was up to me to make such a decision for her but that I would look. There in the crystal ball was a firework crossing the sky. So I simply asked, “What happened on bonfire night?”
That’s all I said, for now anyway. Turns out they had been walking his dog on November the 5th on a moor in their area. He had let the dog off the lead, despite her concern and, of course, the dog took fright and, er, took flight.
He did not have time to search; his program was due to start. So he left her to it. Nearly two hours it took to find the poor terrified creature. She knocked on his door, he opened it, pulled the dog in saying, “My program’s still on” and slammed the door.
I did say more, I couldn’t help myself, “And you want to know if you should go back to him!?”
I often see things; I think it is their loved ones trying to prove they are around them. I recall describing a vintage coat that would never be worn taking up a third of the wardrobe: It was the young woman’s late grandmother’s.
Exclamations often come, “How do you know that!” – “Has he been in our house!” The latter being when I was reading tea leaves and described a shelf full of Chinese ornaments. I also at that session asked someone, “Have you been planting a tree this morning?” They had.
In the next session I recall seeing the broken umbrella a daughter had thrown in a bin before entering the hall. She turned and asked her mum if she had told me.
I have taken care to be sure no one can be identified in this blog; the following recipient will probably recognise themselves however…
With some of the things I’ve mentioned one might wonder what use they are but the following snippet was reported back to me later as being very useful.
I had seen details of a few things in the reading but promptly forgot all about it until my friend said, “You do remember how we met?”
I did I had done them a reading. I was reminded of what I had said, “Go in the marquee! – you are not supposed to but go in anyway.”
I had gone on to say they were looking out of a window of a big old building and there was a marquee in the grounds. As they were stuck for something to do they should go in. Apparently they did, it was some sort of amateur archaeology club and as my freind seemed interested they were let in.
There was a lot to be interested in and it was a long pleasant visit, so when a raffle ticket was offered it was seen as a way of making a contribution. It was a winner – the prize? A two week holiday.
At first the holiday was quiet. Everyone else staying there were in couples. Two other singles turned up though and the three of them got on great. My friend told them all about their book and it turned out these two new friends were publishers. They liked the sound of the book. They published it.
“So, thank you Adrian for your reading, I would never have gone in the marquee otherwise and I am very glad I did.
Perhaps I should do this sort of thing more often.
I’ve not gone into details here of the woman who changed her sexual preferences (in a sudden realisation of love) during the course of my reading but let’s just say that the woman she had arrived with thanked me as they left with a backwards glance and a very big smile on her face and both thumbs up in the air.
Those Sparkling Words
Tove Gulbrandsen says of Adrian Spendlow: Your trademark: Constantly flowing river of interesting, important ideas. Funny, silly, crazy. And delicious overwhelming deep thoughts about the most important stuff in our lives. Always from a surprising angle. That is you. Your gift. Your ideas will never stop. You lift them out; serve them – to let everyone receive your gifts. That is why I want so many to be a part of these treasures you are giving us.
A great and handy tip for improving your life with a slow cooker which is really simple is to go through all your cupboards looking for anything you don’t really like and your fridge and freezer too (No really, this really works and you will be totally surprised at how much better things are for you once you do this). Tip them in and mix them all together, take the slow cooker and throw the whole lot in the bin!
To really really improve life from the inside out take a dozen gadgets from the hidden depths of your kitchen and throw them as well.
I could write you a list, but basically, if it feels tacky at all – it goes.
I am looking for contributors to a Viking comic book project. I have the text and the storyline and thought it would be exciting to ask artists to take part. The original mini adventure was created for the Jorvik Viking Festival for the Jorvik Group and I would like for it to gain a wider audience. Initially it will be just for fun as a blog. Although there is the possibility of future publications as a profit share. If you would like to hear more please do message me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Working title; The Hammer Flies.
(Art by Gramey Smith)
Friends all over the World
But you get those friend requests, and go over for a look. (Ever done this?) You are not so sure. They don’t look that genuine. I will just have a look at their pictures and see if they look real and active and genuine and things. I click, I’ve clicked confirm by mistake. Ever done this? I have.
You Are Guilty
Yes, you are one of them. Have a look. Your social networking sites. You don’t look genuine. If you are one of those who hardly have any pictures of yourself. You haven’t put anything up but emotive mottos and wisdoms with rainbows and waves. Impersonal stuff. You don’t look real. You are a cat. Even worse, I clicked through to a friend request’s page and they are a sheep. A sheep! Turns out I have met them loads of times, but I didn’t say yes cos they were a sheep.
Well the rant on that one.
The World and I
You may have read my prose poem blog (World) where I decided that the world as it is just will not do. I thought you might like an update. You are still not doing very well; the place is a right mess. Can’t you all just get along or something” I am totally fed of you all. I am giving you a last chance. If you don’t sort it all out or at least make some progress towards being ok with each other I am off. Off. I am going to find somewhere else to live. This is your last warning World. If you want me around start doing things a lot better. I am packing as we speak.
Swan Girl and Other Fortean Stuffs Forts
I am a Charles Fort fan… “I conceive of nothing, in religion, science, or philosophy that is more than the proper thing to wear for a while”.
Convinced, or want more… “I believe nothing. I have shut myself away from the rocks and wisdoms of ages, and from the so-called great teachers of all time, and perhaps because of that isolation I am given to bizarre hospitalities. I shut the front door upon Christ and Einstein, and at the back door hold out a welcoming hand to little frogs and periwinkles.” – that’s got yer.
I will give you one more shot and if you aren’t a fan by then I abandon you… “If there is an underlying oneness of all things, it does not matter where we begin, whether with stars, or laws of supply and demand, or frogs, or Napoleon Bonaparte. One measures a circle, beginning anywhere.” Anywhere! Crikey Moses I am a fan (am I alone in this?). Just What I Fort
‘You’ll need a sense of adventure, curiosity, natural scepticism and a good sense of humour.’ Fortean Times
Back to the Present
I have had a bit of back trouble lately, a rare thing for me, but I have done some heavy lifting lately and yet I leapt out of bed this morning. It was agony. I trunched down the stairs and as I did my phone alarm went. It was on the table downstairs, and it was going like mad. I went to it, turned it off and went back up to bed. As I went up the stairs I thought to myself, that’s why I went downstairs, but, it hadn’t started till I was halfway down. In Norway this is part of the culture of Vardoger (English spelling) according to a harbinger feature in Fortean Times. You and the Yew
There is a conspiracy. There has just been a new way of looking at the ancient yews. Some of them may well be up to five thousand years old. They are effectively immortal. Some have been proved to have been alive when ancient sacred tree groves were referred to (“Remove the idols but do not destroy the ancient trees as believers will come to see them and you can seek to convert them”) so if they were alive then, they were possibly ancient even then. There has been a sudden appearance in Welsh churches (where the most clearly defined ancient yews are visited very often by visitors from around the world) of official looking certificates stating, ‘The yew tree in this church yard has been proved to be 500 years old.’ IE there seems to be a conspiracy to prove that the trees were planted after the churches were built. Are these certificates a holy lie?
Just reads a great story of an actual young woman who disappeared in strange circumstances; not in Fortean times this time, but in an exciting looking blog MacCreig – The Encyclopedia of Fantastical Anomalies. Go have a look. I am looking into this story further and plan to tell a version of it at gatherings, with thanks to MacCreig. Great story.
Just passed a dentists and they had a huge hoarding outside: Buy our invisible braces – well what a waste of time and money, I’ve never seen any, have you!?
Uther Pendragon at Barley Hall
As a follow up to my Nose Gay Blogs I thought I ought to give Uther a mention. It was great fun working on the Nose Gay project and I met some amazing people. This older guy in particular; a slight even frail looking chap who came to visit turned out to be not frail at all and very active.
He saw my selection of herbs and said he would return with a bunch from his garden for me to display in a vase. So I asked him his name, he bowed and proclaimed, ‘I sir am Uther Pendragon’ He bid me farewell after telling me of his life as a Viking and then saluted; he did first world war stuff too and all sorts of eras.
When I returned to work a couple of days later there was a vase of herbs on my table.
Loony Old Witch
Talk of being medieval reminded me of the wonderful times I had as part of Robin Hood as the Loony Old Witch; here’s some fun footage.
I am a fan of i before e. I reckon it works fine, on words what I use anyway. There is a move against it however; it seems there are far more words that it doesn’t apply to than it does. Then I realised, we don’t need such a thing anymore, it is from a bygone age. Now I go for
Red line underneath – Let your software be believed.
Write any old rubbish it’ll put it right. Anything else is simply nuggets! (Ah sorry that was predictive text.)
Exciting times as I hear from a production company who want to make a pilot for a forthcoming television series – Spendlow TV!!!!!
They have received interest in the project and are making the pilot for presentation. Part of the series will be live shows coupled with interviews and we will be presenting a double bill with a different act each time. In the first show Legendary (myself and Celtic-Folk artist Olivia Jayne Newton) will be teaming with another act to put on an evening in a cosy York venue.
Tales from Older People
The Read All About It project for York Stars was a joy to experience and I was honoured to be Project Manager and to work with such a great team.. There are still some of the books left and I would be happy to send you a copy for free (Message me on email@example.com although I will charge you £2 for postage) or ask me at forthcoming performances.
Or read on line – The Stories – The Images
Here is one of the stories:
One of the people with connections with Norway is a lady by the name of Haldenby, who tells us that of the places she knows in the land of fjords there is a town to which she felt an affinity; Halden. Intrigued by this link, this link to the Vikings, the origins of this surname brought interesting results. There is a small Lincolnshire town called Haldenby, which suggests her family may well have come from there as surnames were often descriptions of origins.
The ending ‘by’ or ‘bi’ was used by the Norse settlers to mean settlement and Halden originally meant half-Dane. Given that all Vikings were often referred to as Danes it seems that descendants of Haldenby, such as this lady, were from a group made up of Vikings and local people who had mixed, worked and live together as a harmonious community, perhaps even with links from before that with the Norwegian town of Halden. A presentation was made to Miss Haldenby for her to display and share with others.
See also Gudvangen Viking Valley or Viking Heaven