Went to a party tonight in Highgate; strangely enough, in a house only situated one street away from where I was born! It seemed strange visiting that familiar road again after so long; but I was pleased to see that the houses had all remained virtually unchanged from the days I used to wander along that road on my way to school as a ‘kid’. That’s really another story, although it just somehow felt ‘compelling’ to walk back in familiar surroundings.
Not so impressive, was the sub-zero weather and the pavements covered with a thin layer of ice. Although it was not that treacherous as high pressure had kept the rain away, and a full moon helped to isolate the icy patches.
It was a “Burn’s Night Party”; albeit ‘moved’ a little to a convenient weekend date. I had known about the party a couple of weeks before from my friend Gareth who also knew the host (or should that be “hostess’ – I don’t know, my grammar sometimes!), Carrie a film maker and TV presenter, friend he knew.
I usually avoid such occasions, but as I had been to one of Carrie’s parties before and thoroughly enjoyed it, I told Gareth I would go but asked him to collect me. He said it started around 8, so I said that time would be fine for leaving, and maybe we could arrive around 9.
Now comes the ‘funny’ part – although I leave the word ‘funny’ in inverted commas!
He indeed came to collect me – but I was still in bed! That’s worse than it sounds, in fact, because I had only gone to bed at 11am that same day!
We eventually jumped on a bus some 45 minutes later, but on descending on a steep slope in Highgate on the way, I told Gareth he’d have to hold my arm as I had no confidence getting down it without slipping. He did, which made it a lot quicker for me than having to hang onto the icy railing.
There were quite a few people there already when we arrived. And there was the smell of haggis cooking in the neatly tiled kitchen.
My friend Andrew was there again with his beautiful companion; as also the editor of Pentacle magazine (whose Forum I used to write for back in 2006) and also a guy I knew who had previously interviewed me for television. Many other people were also present obviously, but I had not yet met these.
Whether any of these knew myself, I did not know, but one very attractive lady introduced herself and then proceeded to attempt to warm my hands up which were still freezing from the short trip. Her hands were warm and almost seemed to exude some ‘hot energy’ that melted any coldness.
Then came the haggis (or rather ‘haggis’s) all neatly served with swede and mashed potatoes. I had never tried it before, but it made a lovely meal and had obviously been well prepared. Red wine seemed to compliment it even further!
Midnight was soon gone, but luckily I had a lift back in a taxi.
I didn’t relish the possibility of attempting to navigate that steep slope again at that time of night!
Expecting a couple of people, but I’ve got a spare hour so decided to do a quick Blog before they arrive. Not that there’s much to say at the moment, except maybe that I’m a little tired. Too much work on the new book, I think, and trying to answer other queries all over the place. Anyway, got a new scanner now so that helps, especially when I’ve got to send pictures or documents to someone. The old one still works, but the problem is, its on the older computer and not compatible with the new one and everything had to be transferred by disc – which took ages.
I meant to put the Cauldron review of my autobiography yesterday, but K came over last night and didn’t really have time to do anything – except talk. Maybe I’ll post it up here later tonight, but just have to finish typing it out first.
K didn’t have much wine because she was driving, but that meant she could stay a little later. And she did! She doesn’t live that far anyway; not more than a 20 minute drive that time of night.
That reminds me, I had a private email just recently asking me about my relationship with K (cause I often mention her I suppose). You would all know who its from if I were to tell you. But I’m not going to as it was sent in private and I respect private correspondence. But in case anybody else is wondering the same thing, I’m afraid my answer can only be “no comment”. I must be allowed some privacy, for goodness sake; especially when there are a couple of very callous people around at the moment (one ‘he’ and a ‘she’) who would only try and exploit the situation.
So, on that note I really have to finish at the moment. Time is pressing on and I’ve hardly got anything done!
I have been asked to give another Talk soon on latest reports about a ‘vampire-like figure’ that has been sighted again in and around Highgate Cemetery. These reports seem to have escalated again in recent years, but luckily I have most of these witnessed experiences on record, with appropriate permission to use them for future books, Talks, etc. This is what I shall be doing at the end of March during this next Talk, although I’ll keep everyone informed with more precise details nearer the time. For the moment though, here are a couple of newspaper articles to give the basic background.
Well, another cold week seems to have set in. But I suppose it won’t go on forever!
I see you put our picture up on Facebook Andy, taken when you and L visited before Christmas. We should have cleared the table off – people will get the wrong idea seeing all that wine. Still, it was Christmas!
So, just a short post today everyone. Hopefully pics. will go up okay.
Well, had a good night yesterday, with 5 other people here altogether. They all seemed to turn up – and leave – at different times, but we just relaxed and chatted about nothing serious, which was nice. By coincidence, it happened to be my birthday, but I don’t think anyone realized this until later. We were arranging future dates, then one person remembered; then, of course, everyone remembered! I hadn’t invited anyone as a ‘birthday occasion’, that’s probably why (and I hadn’t, it was just a convenient weekend date), and quite honestly, I had hoped nobody would remember!
Anyway, we had some wine and we had some food, and just ‘lounged around’ in comfort.
Nice break anyway and I took a ‘night off’ from the new book. Now, in case anybody is thinking of asking me how old I am – don’t even bother! You won’t be answered!
I did have a phone call from a friend of mine this afternoon though, asking if I would give another London Talk. “When”, I asked. “End of February”, she replied.
I told her sorry, ‘no way’. Make it March, and I could do it, I told her. But not in the cold day’s of February! Said she could arrange for me to be picked up and dropped back. But I still said ‘no’. I still haven’t yet got over all that ice and snow yet; apart from which, the month couldn’t be that warm. People visiting me is one thing; me venturing out into cold winter months, is quite another.
But apart from that, things are fairly quiet. I always prefer it when things are quiet, and there’s not much to answer. Not that I don’t always answer questions or queries as I’m sure most of you can appreciate.
By the way, a review of my latest book “David Farrant – In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire” has just been published in The Cauldron magazine, so get a copy of that anyone if you want to.
I’d better try and get some sleep soon – still getting over last night!
My God, cigarettes gone up again, and before any clever person says you should have made a New Year’s resolution to stop smoking, let me remind you all, I only ever make one New Year’s resolution . . . and that is not to make any! Seriously though, can you imagine how uneventful life would be if you couldn’t smoke; have a glass of wine (or two), and do a couple of other things I’d better not mention here!
I mean; let’s get things in perspective . . . I work hard, I write hard, I am not a lazy person – but all that work really needs something to accompany it!
Which reminds me, I saw Speedqueen and Gareth on Tuesday. He had to leave at nearly midnight (last train, etc) but I sat up speaking to Speedqueen until 7 am. Another night gone into the realms of the Nether world: problem is, most of the next day followed it too!
People coming over tomorrow late afternoon, so better not get to bed too late tonight. Haven’t really even tidied the place up yet!
News? Well book is flying ahead. At this rate, I’m well ahead of schedule. But that point is really only academic – the next book will be out this year.
I’m surprised really how many people have already read it; probably because its on Amazon, or at least, that helps.
I heard from Jamie again tonight, and we are meeting soon. For the benefit of some of you who might not know who he is, just ‘stay tuned’ and I will tell you more later. I have always said, that time is only relative, if that might make more sense at the moment. What do I mean? Well, in reality, there is no past. The past is always ‘dead’ even when we go just one second beyond it! But there IS an ‘eternal present’ which determines Life. At least, life in the human span.
I’ve had quite a few enquiries about the new book – that is Vol 2 of my new Autobiography I did put a reply up to Barbara, but in case any of you missed it, I am still writing the next one! So its not available yet. I’ll let you all know well in advance here when the release date will be; but I’m not quite half way through it yet!
I did put up a picture of Jean-Paul, Sophie and myself yesterday to accompany the new book extract, but its not really the one I wanted. Only just come across that today (while looking for something else – typical!) so I’m posting that up now. It was taken in my flat in 1981 when they both came to visit. And please note, good people, it is MY copyright!
So really this is just a ‘half Blog’ as I didn’t have the picture yesterday.
I did some more on the new book today (and still some more to do tonight). My God! It is funny when you have to look back on things sometimes: I’ve reached a part where there was a story in the Press alleging – rather saying – that I was supposed to have ‘killed’ somebody in a ‘duel’ in Northern France in 1978. Problem is, the guy was still walking around ‘large as life’! Makes you wonder just far how some people will go to get self-publicity! But that will all come out ‘in the wash’, as they say. Problem is there’s so much more dirty linen in there!
Anyway, I’ve given you an advance extract of the Parisean Congress, so you’ve got that to go on with.
Me? Short break for an hour or so then back to more writing!
Barbara has asked how the books are going and if there ‘was any chance’ of a possible extract (see current replies). I don’t see why not. Not really giving anything away as its only an introductory piece. I’ll go look in the files after as sure I have a picture of Jean Paul somewhere; maybe even one of his friend Sophie also (who is also mentioned) IF I can find it. That’s a big IF! If I do, please note that the picture is exclusively my copyright and I hold the nehatives; or in this case, the transparencies.
The piece itself is really self-explanatory; even if I have not given you all of that chapter.
But please don’t send me anymore book orders for this volume yet. This is only an exclusive ‘one off’ advance extract, and the book will not be out until the summer. Orders now will only be mislaid, knowing my filing system!
(I am still looking for a new secretary – any offers!?).
Anyway, I will post this up but try and find the pic. First.
And enjoy everyone!
The French Connection
On February 19th, 1982, I found myself at La Gare de Lyon station in Paris. It had been a long journey with all the interchanges and the Ferry but now, in noticeably warmer weather, the platform seemed so long and desolate. I had rough Metro directions to get to Jean-Paul Bourre’s address, but I found it without too much trouble through cobbled back streets and scattered cafes, finally reaching a ‘shadowy-looking building’ like something out of Balzac.
The bell labels were all faded, but I knew Bourre’s place was somewhere at the top, and as there was a top bell – although without any discernable name – I just tried that.
Eventually it seemed to work and, amidst intermittent ‘buzzing sounds’, the catch was released.
I was about to enter; although shouts and ‘mocking sounds’ from a group of Frenchmen sitting outside a café opposite, seemed to be warning me not to do so.
I ignored them and went in, but the lights didn’t work and I had some trouble in climbing the steep stairs.
The door opened, and inside Jean-Paul introduced me to ‘Sophie’, a ‘friend’, he said, who was sharing the flat as well. She was a very attractive blond-haired girl some years younger than him, and eventually I learned she was Austrian but spoke fluent French as well.
Bourre’s flat, in fact, had much in common with the exterior of the building. Old and cluttered but cozy would be a good way of describing it, although you felt as if you’d stepped back in time, by at least half a century.
His books lined the walls on roughly constructed shelves, and there was an old manual typewriter on an old desk with papers strewn around it, which I took to be his ‘nerve centre’ of writing. Most of these were either on the ‘dark occult’ or rock stars – or the connection of some of the latter with the former concept. One book that caught my eye was John Lennon – Le Beatle Assassiné, with a black and white picture of Lennon on the cover. That was selling very well, Jean-Paul assured me; mainly due to his research that had uncovered that John Lennon’s death had really been an assassination successfully executed by the American government. They had apparently not liked his ‘love and peace’ rhetoric, especially when this entered politics or interfered with America’s wars against Communists! – such as the one in Vietnam – when Lennon was urging Americans to rise up in protest.
Jean-Paul’s books (and there were many more) really were quite fascinating; although I had heard similar arguments about Lennon before, and so was inclined to be wary of accepting such arguments at face value. There could have been some truth in what he was maintaining, but on the other hand this might have been just a ‘convenient ploy’ to ensure good marketing.
In any event, I didn’t really care either way. I had never had any interest in politics – including the rumours and theories that so often accompanied these. I was more interested in the impending Congress and Jean-Paul’s announcement about my involvement in the ‘Messe Rouge’ (“Red Mass”) everyone was waiting to see.
And of course, I wanted to know about the apparent involvement of Christopher Lee and Roman Polanski as well, considering my name had already been mentioned in the French Press as having been billed with them.
Eventually, we all sat down to eat, as Sophie had prepared a simple but enjoyable meal. It was a stew accompanied by thick slices of French bread and the taste of garlic, with fruit and coffee to follow.
We spoke about the Congress, though Jean-Paul seemed a little vague about this; he said many people were waiting to see me as I was well known in France now due to the Press (there had been a sensational front page article about myself in Special Dernière – France’s equivalent of the News of the World – about a year before) they wanted to hear all about ‘English Wicca’ and my experiences with the Highgate vampire.
Of the ‘Messe Rouge’ billed for the Congress, he said he would be conducting that but it would ‘look better’ if I took part, even if I just stood with the others so as to be seen as a participant.
Some relevant rapport was established, but after some more conversation about the next day’s event, Jean-Paul walked me back to my hotel. The streets were somewhat darker now as some of the cafés had shut, but I had an excellent guide for precise directions.
I went to the Luciferian Congress with Jean-Paul and Sophie the next afternoon. We went ahead of schedule so that I could be properly introduced to the organizers, and he could check the evening’s preparations.
The building had obviously been used regularly for functions before, and had a huge hall which I guessed could easily accommodate 500 people or more. A large platform ran along the back wall, and there were large tables along another, all packed with pre-prepared food with disposable plates so that people could just help themselves . . . [You’ll just have to wait for the rest! D)
Itreally is gatting warmer, in London, at least. Well, all the ice and snow has gone from the pavements, so at least I can get out again now, and not have to rely on other people. But Bless them’! they were all bringing me food and everything, now all I have to do is withdraw some money to pay them all back. But that’s no problem as the streets are ice-free now.
My friend Karen has been really good to me during my period of imprisonment; as has Gareth, Speedqueen, Nava, Patsy and several others. Thanks all of you.
News? Well that’s been a little slow at the moment. Though I’m pleassed to report that I heard from a very old acquaintance by phone recently called Jamie. I am meeting with him soon but will have to wait to see how much he wants me to put up here.
But ‘yes’ I will give more details – but only if he does not mind.
Forgive me, but no pic. tonight. I couldn’t be bothered finding one!
So for now everyone , have a good night’s sleep – or what’s left of it!
Just to welcome you home to this country, Craig; and I’ve done it in a main Blog – you should be greatly honoured. Well its to please K too, who’s no doubt ‘over the moon’ at your ‘return from the warm’.
Found no ‘ghost notes’ yet; but then again, to be honest’ haven’t really had time to look yet.
Anyway, here is a ‘Golden Oldie’ you might have missed. You remember when some ‘pudding’ from Yorkshire posted tht I was being evicted from my flat? Well these headlines state what really happened, even if you can’t read the text. K knows what really happened anyway, so she could tell you.
In a nutshell, I won a 9-year court case and, far from being evicted, I made the people concerned fully decorate it and I was awarded compensation. (So much for swallowing Yorkshire puddings!)
Think it is getting marginally warmer everyone, though I still can’t go out until the ice on the pavements. Don’t even mind if it turns to slush, long as its not slippery. Well, I do mind actually because I’m forced to wear sandals ‘cause of my foot, so feet might get a little wet! Anyway, worry about that later.
Here is a little piece I found having a sort out. It was in one of my diaries but never published it. Well it was never meant to be published as such, only being quick notes for a potential article. I believe I ‘ve used the picture in the past, but never the text.
Just a little something to keep K happy!
Like its name suggests, perhaps, Castle Rising rises almost majestically on the lowland of Norfolk some 4 miles NE of Kings Lyn. It is a well preserved ruin and stories of ghostly happenings have abounded there for decades. Perhaps most common is the story of a ‘wailing spectre’ clad in white who has been seen in the grounds before promptly disappearing. Legend has it that this is the ghost of Queen Isabella, consort of Edward 11, who was said to have conspired in his murder in Berkley Castle in 1322. Her ‘lamentable wailing’s’ have been reported even when no figure has been seen.
When a colleague and myself visited the Castle one hot summer’s day in the 1980’s. There was little to suggest anything too sinister about the place; a ‘cold gloom’ within its solid walls is probably the best way to describe it. Though outside people were licking ice cream in the hot sun; almost an eternity away from the gloom of the ruins.
Talking to a caretaker about the Castle’s history, the subject of its resident ghost invariably came up. He, himself, had never seen or heard ‘it’, but he stressed that many ‘strange happenings’ had been reported within the empty walls and the place gave a very different impression after it had got dark. He doubted if we could get permission to spend a night inside. ‘Insurance purposes’ would probably prevent this, he added somewhat quickly – almost too quickly to make us wonder if there might not be some other less obvious reason . . .