I saw a Spectre, it will see me later

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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).carowaggon

“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.sandside map

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.

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You will also like…

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Memory of Otternes

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Memory of Otternes

Otternes Farm, Flåm Valley, Sognefjord, Aurland, Norway

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When I sit here, I have sat here before. I am hobbit-like and living. In my sense of belonging, I know: I know this place.

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Families are thin, thin on the ground, of the mountain. Long line of families in the mountains, dug in, right into its rock and earth and grass. There are long deep roots which hold us in place. Some say if you chop too many the whole mountainside will slide with us into the brakk below.

Yes here I belong, and feel I always have and if it is so and I have visited before it would have been in ancestral time a momentous occasion.

I still feel, when I stand there now, the haunting presence of one unallowed to love, ghostly appearance in the corner of story. Even with a broken heart one can still be of use up on the farm, never allowed to leave, no matter how the visitor requested. The corners of this history are cluttered with such figures. Then look upon the well. The well so deep and wide it speaks. Its dangers are voiced within its memory, “Do not throw yourself down here, as I did.” “As I did.” “As I did.” “As I did.”

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For there is beauty here and love and light…

…and even in the dark-times-long there is the promise; the promise of moisture, the recollections of growth which knows it will return.

Others will come, for such is the way of a mountain farm. Love can be found in such a meeting. Small farm memories of seasons with only each other to survive and flourish for. Yet there will be gatherings and visitation where young hearts can view across the clans-collecting and see eyes; eyes which sparkle only for you.

This is why we bury the salmon. As a promise and a way of surviving. They will leap again, as will hearts.

We shall go down from our steep sides as will everyone among the wide spread hill families.

The leap. The leap will come. Nets will spread and one of us will leave one steep farm to join another. Here and there love will flourish among the catching.

The bounty is there in the grave. The grave of the fish, saving us throughout the winter.

So came the sheep. The flourishing is here too, with care. They also visit. New faces, growing adults, turning from teens, turn their flock this way.

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The drove is long and this is a place where we can rest; to replenish. Fish is brought from grave, berry from jar, and water from the well is hung above the fire.

Some of these creatures have journeyed far, as have I. An instinct inside me sees the path. It twinkles elusively in my mind. I believe it is ancient. As the brown sheep belong here I am of a different wool.

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Other drovers journeyed over the more flowing lands where I am from. Just as rugged, these moors were traversed to sea-going vessels which sailed up this very fjord I see flowing below to bring the trade.

As these pathways arrive here. I see them glittering as timeless memory moving in upon this land to spread and trade, spread and grow. My path stops here.

As soon as I sat upon this stoop, as my eyes twinkled, my long past had led me here and settled.

A part of me will always be here and always has. My path stops here.

For more on Otternes and Gudvangen including Adrian the Lamb and Johnny Chicken see here Farmer (Adrian) Giles

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http://www.otternes.no/en/

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My full blog selection

My opening speech at Gudvangen

Now try my Haunted House blog