February 2011

Della’s Home

 Della is home.  She came back today after a 5-day working trip to Paris and reached me about 4 o’clock.  She parked on the forecourt, and I helped her up with her basic things from the car.  She left all the unessential work things in the boot, as she said it would be easier than carrying them down again in the morning.  She had brought me a couple of presents and also about six bottles of French red wine, which she said we could open later.  She slumped back on the couch, and she said that in the meantime she’d really appreciate a cup of coffee.  She looked quite exhausted – I could see it in her eyes – but the Paris is quite a long drive:  especially when you have nobody to talk to, she said.

 The trip had been successful, at least from the business meetings point of view.  But she said that apart from that, she was really stuck on her own, even down to eating in the hotel  I felt a little guilty, and I told her so again.  I had not looked before and had no idea my 10 year passport had gone over the date.  It was too late to do anything when did check.  They don’t issue Visitor’s Passports anymore, and there was little I could do.

 We ordered a Chinese meal about 6.30  Very good meal.  No lobster this time, but king prawns instead.  Anyway the whole thing was very filling.  And after that we could just relax.

 I really like Della: one main reason is, I know I can trust her.  We can talk about anything; whether objectively, confidentially  or even intimately.  It makes a refreshing change to know you can really trust another – unlike some of the black moods I’ve been subjected to recently, from some people ‘sulking’ just because they hadn’t understood certain things I said to them.

 Anyway, she said that she really wanted to go to bed quite early, and I said to  tell me when she was ready,  and I’d prepare the bed next door for her. The subject got on to the ‘bare shoulders’ scandal, which she really thought was quite funny as she’d was reading SNW.  She laughed, and showed me her night attire which she’s taken to Paris with her.  “This hasn’t got bare shoulders, but its pretty low cut as you can see”, she said.  We both laughed, and I threatened to mention it!   “You can if you want to. Its only a nightdress!”, she said.  Yes but what a nightdress!  I swear the thing hardly had any back on it!  But at least it had shoulder straps!

 Might be another Paris trip coming up in June, and I have promised her I will have my passport renewed by then.  And I will as well.  She is not back at work now till Wednesday.  So hopefully she will decide to stay over a little.  Its nice to have her back.

David

Just A Little Too Personal

 

From left to right: (Guess!), Carrie Firtzpatrick. Rat Scabbies and Gareth j. Medway

Not much has happened since my last Blog post, but I guess part of the challenges of writing Blogs is just to relate events as these happened in fact – maybe a few personal feelings thrown in, if necessary.  There have been plenty of those lately: but some of these are just a little too personal to relate here. 

 But on a ‘news front’ quite a lot has been happening – and continues to happen . . .

Gareth came round tonight and he was telling me about a ‘ghost hunting excursion’ he had last week when he and three other people, together with a film crew, had visited one of France’s most notorious haunted locations, in Normandy.  It was called the “Abbaye  de Mortemer”, not far from Rouen.  Stories of earthbound ghosts and other unexplained phenomenon abounded in this desolate ruin, and had also been witnessed by local people over the past decades.  They left for France last Friday, and stayed over until the Sunday night, I think they were quite exhilarated to have left the dismal weather of the U.K. behind, but were to experience even ‘stranger’ weather conditions whilst driving on their way to the haunted abbey ruin.  Gareth told me that throughout the finally long drive in northern France the weather had turned decidedly ‘misty’; even to the extent of obscuring a full moon that night.  Also strange, perhaps, was that this mist seemed so low that it literally obscured the tops of many windfarm generators, which seemed to be in abundance on their way there.  However, ‘climatic conditions’ aside, Gareth is with me tonight, and I have therefore suggested that he briefly give you his own account of the haunted abbey which they visited . . .

 We had trouble getting there, because the producer was relying on a satnav that kept going wrong, apparently because of the recent solar flare, and more importantly because there are two places called Mortemer, some forty miles apart, and it was unable to distinguish between the two.  So I told him to set it for Lyons-le-Fôret, the nearest town, and after we had arrived there he was able navigate the rest of the way by the quaint old-fashioned method of following the road signs.

 Our team included a professional medium well known to viewers of satellite psychic channels; Carrie Kirkpatrick, best known for having produced ‘Pet Rescue’ for the BBC in the 1990s; and Rat Scabies, formerly the drummer of The Damned.  The abbey, founded by Henry I, king of England and Duke of Normandy, in 1134, is now a ruin, except for what was the southern cloister, which was turned into a manor house in the seventeenth century, and is still inhabited, its owner having kindly given us permission to film there.  Henry I, as every English schoolboy knows, died of a surfeit of lampreys, and  he is said (though a local historian whom I interviewed for the cameras disputed this) to have eaten this fatal last meal there – it is recorded that the nearby lake supplied the monks with perch and lampreys – though more certainly he died at his hunting lodge at Lyons-le-Fôret.

 No ghost actually appeared before the cameras – you cannot bribe them by offering them Equity rates.  There were a few odd occurrences, however.  Whilst I was waiting around by the foot of the stairs in the hall, where some of our equipment and baggage had been put down, there was a sudden flash of light, accompanied by a ‘phut’ sound.  I thought that there must have been an electrical short circuit, but when I mentioned this to the others they pointed out that the only electrical item there was a metal detector, which was battery powered and then switched off.  I cannot explain this.  Though I wasn’t there, I heard that the door of the dovecote (said to have been used as a prison in the seventeenth century) opened by itself when there was no wind.  When we went up to the ‘Rose Chamber’, said to be the most haunted room in the house, I noticed that whilst it is very pleasantly furnished, there was a sort of oppressive atmosphere in it.  Carrie actually said that she found it difficult to breathe in there.  Perhaps a previous occupant was still present in spirit, and objected to intruders.

 At the end of the day, the film crew expressed themselves satisfied with the material that they had obtained, though I don’t know what it will look like when edited.  Afterwards we went to a restaurant in Lyons-le-Fôret, where I was served with the only vegetarian item on the menu, which proved to be inedible (and bear in mind that this was where Henry I died after an ill-considered meal), though the wine was good, and also the local cider.  Carrie happened to mention how previously we had filmed Rat Scabies as the Grand Master of the Knight Templars being burned at the stake, at which the producer said, “You’d better not mention that around here.”  I said: “Is that because we’re near Rouen, where they burned Joan of Arc at the stake?”  He retorted: “Where THEY burned Joan of Arc?”  So I replied: “All right, where WE burned Joan of Arc.”

 There was much more that happened, but I don’t want to overload David’s blog.  We went back via the Channel Tunnel (or the ‘Tunnel sous la Manche’ as the French road signs call it), and Mr. Scabies drove us back to London in his Ratmobile, dropping me off at Richmond station – it was only after he had departed that I discovered that the District line was not running that weekend.  For now, thankyou for reading this.

 Gareth J. Medway

 That’s an interesting account.  In fact, I was invited to go to Paris last Wednesday with a friend, but unfortunately, I only realised at the last minute that my ten year passport was a couple of months out of date.  Gosh!  Doesn’t time fly?  Even in decades?  I wasn’t able to obtain a Visitors Passport, as apparently these are no longer issued.  So Della had to go on her own, and I am really missing her company.  So, if I have been slightly depressed lately, that is the real reason.

 But thanks Gareth for your account of your Normandy trip; most interesting, like to go over with you maybe next time.  For now, everyone,

 David.

Only Human After All

David Farrant giving a Talk to The Secret Chiefs in 2001

Its raining, but its milder, and I still have to go out to get a few things.  Still got three books to package up as well which are getting a little overdue now; but worry about that when I get book.  One order is for my book The Vampyre Syndrome.  It first came out in 2000 but sold out recently; and typically, once a book is out of print, I start to get several orders for it!  Anyway, another large batch done now so that provides no problem. 

 Don’t really feel like doing a Blog today.  Just slightly upset over something; the consolation is, I know it won’t last for long.  But while it is lasting, I just feel a bit ‘lost’, and don’t really feel like doing much, if anything.

I’ve also been working on the photographs for my 2nd Volume.  There’ll  be 20 pages so more than enough space.  Think people prefer the old 1970 ‘witchy ones’,  and there’s more than enough of those to choose from.  The book carries on from 1974 (where Vol. 1 left off) and goes through to the mid 1990’s.  A lot happened during this long period.  We have more ‘occult duels’, involvements of the Far Right, ‘clergy’ who claimed to be opposed to black magic and who performed bizarre ‘exorcisms to ‘banish the ‘devil’ upon the unsuspecting;  and, not least, of course, the activities of some Cults and Sects whose activities were timed to disrupt normal social behaviour: at least where ‘religious values’ were concerned where such people tried to teach and spread these.  Yes, its all there, in all its sordid glory.  None of it fiction; but all strikingly true.  I also have pictures to back all these exploits up.  But all will be revealed when the book is released in April.

 I have selected just one pic. here.  It is of a Talk Igave to The Secret Chiefs on Mysticism and the Highgate ‘vampire’ in 2001.  It had a good attence as you can see.   Must just be my crisma!

 I am still feeling slightly depressed at the moment, but its nothing that will last.  Us ‘witches’ are only human as well, after all.

 David

Valentines Dinner

David Farrant, Christine and Gareth J. Medway at the dinner party
Its been such an eventful weekend. Went to Christine’s birthday dinner on Saturday held in a large pub in Barnet. About 13 people attended (and no, it wasn’t a witches Coven meeting – though it might have fooled a few people!). In fact, it should have been fifteen people but Andrew Gough and his girlfriend Layla couldn’t make it. Gareth came too, and Carrie (Queen of the Witches – sorry Carrie!) picked me up and kindly took me home again as well, which was appreciated as it had turned much colder. We had a large room set aside for ourselves and menus to choose from. Once having ordered, we had to collect the food from the buffet outside, and Christine very kindly collected mine as I think she noticed I was a little uncomfortable on my feet with all the people around. She just put everything on the plate and said I could select what I wanted!

All the girls were given presents quite near the beginning which consisted of large bunches of neatly wrapped flowers and attractively carved mahogany coloured boxes which contained shining crystals and sticks of incense.

Everyone had brought their own presents and cards which she opened beside me at my place at the table. I had also brought her a small present, but I told her I would rather give her this later. Nothing mysterious to make me say this; they were only books but being my own publications, I felt slightly embarrassed. Quite apart from this, one was the classic comic book “The Adventures of Bishop Bonkers” and I did not really want this noticed with its bright gaudy cover! And it probably would have been, being an Internet feature since its original launch in 2007.

But it was a relaxing evening. People just ordered what they wanted to drink from a set waitress who brought orders quickly, and this way it avoided any busy Saturday night queues. Quite a few photographs were taken to record the occasion, and Christine looked radiant as usual. But she was only 21 once again, as she jokingly told people!

On the Sunday, Della phoned me early afternoon. She wanted to discuss a business trip/holiday she is going on to Paris for five days next week and if I still wanted to go with her. I said, yes, of course, anything to get away from the miserable weather of London and be able to spend some uninterrupted time with her.

Well, it is mostly a business trip I gathered, and she is driving over as she has to take various samples etc with her for her company. I think she is also going to do an initial consultation for a Paris apartment and will be staying in a nearby hotel and visiting some local suppliers, taking measurements, discussing initial designs with the owner’s agent, and so on.

She reminded me, that although primarily an arranged business trip, there would still be plenty of time for sightseeing and evenings out around work commitments which should only take up 3 days or so, all in. She also said she wanted to have a look around the antique stalls near the Louvre, and wanted to revisit the museum while she was there.

Its quite a long time since I visited Paris, but that said, we have agreed to go together, and I am quite looking forward to it. Well, its only five days, and there’s nothing that pressing that can’t wait for that long!

So in all, quite an eventful weekend. And I’ve still got a few days to catch up on anything slightly urgent.

For the moment

David      

News From The USA

 

Jamie's new car

Everything is fairly quiet.  Have spoken to Della again and we’ve arranged a trip to a very special site soon .  It’ll be in the day obviously, and I know she has been anxious to get some good photographs there as it is linked to pertinent information she has already accumulated and wants to check out.  (And no! its not Highgate Cemetery).  We’ll probably a pub meal in the evening and, who knows, maybe stay over, as this would mean we be close on hand to go back there again next day  Then probably return to London late afternoon before it gets dark.  But we haven’t decided yet.  Whatever, will give more details afterwards.  Can’t really give any before as it hasn’t happened yet!

 Saw Jamie Wed, he came up in his new 3 Series B & W.  He came about lunch time and took me out for a drive in it later around the M25.  Luckily pretty clear run but it was well before the rush hour.  Had some wine in the evening, and caught up on a few things.  He told me he’s laid out quite a lot of money lately, including quite a lot for decoration to his house.  He invited me for a visit,  but  although I said yes, I said I’d prefer to leave iy for a month or two until the Spring had set in properly.  He said that was no problem, because if we waited until April he could bring Lauyrn in the school holidays, and then take me back with them.

 What else has happened?  Not a lot really!  Still writing as usual, but not nearly so busy now, now that the 2nd Vol. is finished.  16 months of hard work, with sleep patterns thrown into chaos – but its been worth it! 

 Had some more news from the USA on the film based on the comic book.  Obviously, they don’t need actors as such, as its all based on cartoon characters, but they have had to use actors to superimpose the voices and I was sent a couple of audio clips of some of the main characters (including myself obviously!).  You should hear the voice given to Hoggy and the ‘Bonky one’.  Hilarious is not the word for it!

 So just a short Blog for today as I am a bit behind.  Besides, I wanted to show you a picture of Jamie’s new car!  For now everyone.

 David

About Many Things

Its warmer now (thank God!) and that bitter cold spell has finally retreated back to Antarctica from where it made its most unwelcome visit.  Wouldn’t mind, but the cold is so uncomfortable to work in; nights get even colder and that’s mostly when I work.

In fact, I have recently needed to get another title re-printed.  My book The Vampyre Syndrome had virtually sold out and so needed another print run to meet constant orders for that.  First released in 2000, that has always been a popular title.  Maybe its because I detail the involvement of other people involved in the whole Highgate scenario, and I have found people tend to like a more ‘human aspect’ in the books as opposed to merely reiterating sensational newspaper reports and unfounded speculation and claims about the ‘gory Undead’ which really had no place in reality.  Of course, re-publishing a work, is not that simple.  It has to be revised, maybe the format changed (which this has been), and a multitude of other things to perhaps make a book more physically presentable.  And of course to do that, the whole thing has to be re-read afresh, a page at a time, not merely ‘skimmed through’ for the sake of quick sales potential.  But re-reading a work can often be ‘fun’:  it can remind you of things that even yourself, may have forgotten.  It is only a short book (68 pages) but some of the chapter headings I particularly like.  “Unholy Deceit” and  “And they Served me Dinner”, are two I particularly like.  A bit like a Coronation Street syndrome. I suppose. But then, it is these more ‘much more human’ sides of that case that people seem to want.

Which reminds me: Della invited me for dinner recently at her apartment in Knightsbridge.  I would have preferred for her to come here because of my travelling difficulty with walking, but I could hardly refuse because of her kind offer.  Besides, I really wanted to go, and she’d promised a special meal – although she wouldn’t say what it was; only that it wasn’t lobster again.  I think the truth is, she would never be able to bring herself to cook one, which probably puts many other people off.  Perhaps that’s one reason why its so expensive.

I arrived at her apartment block about 6 as we had arranged.  Found it without much difficulty as she had given me careful directions.  I think it was the first time I’d returned to the area since a child, and obviously I don’t remember much from then.  I do remember my parents shopping in Harrods now and then, and that huge store which seemed to wind around and go up huge staircases for an infinity.  That’s probably why I didn’t like it much.  It was too big and indifferent for a young child to comprehend.  It was just one of those places (and it was always at weekends) I just didn’t relish being taken to.

Dell’s apartment was just off a main street, and a concierge was still on duty outside.  He looked at me a little suspiciously at first, but soon warmed after we had spoken and I told him I was expected.  But he still rang her intercom to check, and I gathered there was a high concern over security.  Not that I sensed he thought I was any kind of risk, but rather just doing his job in accordance to the letter of his job.

Della greeted me outside the lift, and took my arm as we walked just up the corridor to her apartment, telling me rather embarrassedly ‘not to mind him downstairs’.

She took my coat and shoulder bag and hung these up in the large hallway, then beckoned me through to the lounge and announced she would make us a coffee.  I sunk back into a comfortable sofa to wait; really just glad of the chance to relax after a bus trip and three tube changes.  But the dusty grime and noise of London suddenly seemed long gone and there was a quiet in the place that really defied description.  There were no traffic noises or anything to remind you that you were still right in the heart of busy London.  I was dying for a cigarette, but that of course was out of the immediate question. I took the chance to take in my surroundings; Della had described the new place to me, but it was less intimidating in a way than I might have expected, probably because it had the mark of her about it everywhere. There were wall length windows adorned by long damask drapes, cream in colour, which almost reached the polished wooden floor from the top of the high windows.  A huge deep pile white rug surrounded the sofa, breaking up the boards’ highly polished cover.  There was a large table near one corner laid out with plates and cutlery, with an unlit candelabra in the middle, which was where I gathered she planned to serve dinner.  Several thick-framed paintings adorned the walls, although I could not identify these, not being any expert of art.  Books seemed to be everywhere, nestling in the recesses which formed part of the architecture of the room. It was one of those unspoiled Victorian apartments, its original coving and features having survived even down to the large marble fireplace, above which was an ornate gilt mirror reflecting the chandelier which hung from the centre of the ceiling; although this was not lit and the lighting came only from sunken wall lights. It was a pleasant light; not too bright, and not too dim. There seemed to be windows all around as well, although he drapes were drawn across them and it was impossible to see any view.  I had noticed from the street that many of the apartments had their own small balconies, so I guessed there might be one outside this main room too.   I couldn’t tell where it was, although I was just thinking in terms of her allowing me to have a cigarette later on!

 While Della was in the kitchen I had a look at her books, some were historical and a lot were about art, but there was a large proportion of religious, paranormal and occult matter mixed in amongst these. Eventually Della came back with the coffee. She was attired in a dark chiffon dress – almost ‘Gothicy’ in its loose fitting appearance – not short but it did reveal her slender knees as she drew up a chair to sit at the table, facing me across the room.  The front of this was fairly low cut as well and I noticed a mild lipstick and faint eye make-up as she leaned over to pour out the coffee.

 I asked her what she was preparing as it smelled nice, but she just repeated that it was a ‘surprise’ and wouldn’t say much more. Not long after I was to find out.  But while supper was cooking she gave me a quick tour of the new apartment. Apart from the bathroom and her own bedroom there were two spare rooms, one of which she explained that she used as an office (‘Don’t look in there, it’s full of junk!’). Actually it was full with rolls of wallpaper, swatches, a desk and a large architect’s drawing board. Her own bedroom was dominated by a large Edwardian brass bed, and another marble fireplace, this one complete with two busts, one of a Greek god adorned with grapes, and another gilt mirror over the mantle.

 As we returned to the sitting room, it struck me that apart from the office I had seen no evidence of modern technology at all, aside from her laptop on the coffee table. I mentioned that, and Dell kicked it under the sofa, saying ‘I think we can do with a night away from that old nonsense for once!’ I could not agree more. She lit the candelabra and a couple of other smaller candles, then went to bring the food.  She had prepared starters, soup and chicken cooked with onions, garlic and white wine.  She served it with asparagus, broccoli and thinly sliced new potatoes with an optional jug of sauce to cover it if wanted.  It was a lovely meal, and all the time we just talked, and talked.  It was mostly general at first, I asked her if she was worried that the current recession would affect her work, to which she replied, half jokingly ‘Don’t worry about me, there will always be people with too much money, who want me to spend it for them on beautiful things, because they have no taste of their own!’ But soon after we got onto deeper subjects, as we always seem to; this time she brought things round again to asking me about the potential of some magical ceremonies.  I reminded her that I was no longer involved; but still she still wanted to question me.

 So eventually, we got into it somewhat more deeply.  Time seemed to disappear then – at least in recognisable minutes – and she said she knew I had left all of it, but wanted to know what really happened, or could happen.  She was really not interested in all the sensationalism or how this had been interpreted by others: she just wanted to ask me, and about my own involvement.  I did tell her this was a very deep subject and I hardly ever discussed it because of that very reason.  But she had a personal reason for asking as she had come across others and she wanted to compare what I had practiced, and what she had since found out about, and her own formed views on High Magic.  

 I was hesitant, and it must have showed, but as she lent across to pour me another glass of wine, I couldn’t help noticing the small silver cross between her cleavage.  It glittered in the flickering candle light, rays that suddenly made me remember the reality of her true being.  She wore that crucifix, not for show, but as a personal item, that she had not even realised I had seen.  The contradiction perplexed me for a moment, but then, she has a habit of doing that to me at the simplest of times and I am not really ashamed to admit it. Her eyes glistened in that candlelight.  But it was not longer an expression of ‘cold indifference’ as it has been when we first met.  It was a mutual communication that penetrated far deeper.

 She asked me if there was anything else I wanted, so I decided to confess about wanting a cigarette.  She laughed, and said . . . “Yes of course . . . I don’t smoke very often, but just wait, and I will get mine”.  She went into another room and returned with a large glass ashtray and an opened packet of her own, for which she cleared a space for on the coffee table.  “There’s no need to go out on the balcony”, she said,  “we can have one here”.   I was surprised, because I would have never even guessed she would approve of smoking; let alone enjoying an occasional cigarette! I recognised her brand of cigarette, black with gold filter tips; well I suppose she is right, if one is going to smoke as a treat why not smoke something special?! Dinner all over,  we moved to the sofa, and Della suggested that as we were being ‘wicked smokers’ and talking about ‘wicked things’ we may as well drink something more exciting, it being the weekend after all. She fetched one of the decanters from the marble half table which abutted one of the walls, along with a couple of old fashioned shaped glasses and some sugar cubes, and asked me if I would like some absinthe. The lit sugar cubes she placed on the slotted spoon seemed to flame violet as she prepared the drinks in a way that was quite fascinating to watch, and before long our conversation had got even more animated than usual. It was not something I would usually feel comfortable doing, but in this strange sense of isolation and intimacy, the combination of absinthe and agreeable company seemed to make everything around me easier and even more fluid. Somehow it seemed to make everything seem brighter and more intense, although it was hard to tell the difference really. Della told me more about herself and her early life than I was previously aware of from our earlier meetings, including some information about her family and the ‘troubles’ as she referred to them. She also explained that recent sad events in her family had led to her move from her previous home in Kensington to her present dwelling and that even she herself still felt a bit overwhelmed living there and a bit embarrassed by it although it was her home now and she had no real need to feel like that. And as usual we ended up speaking about many things which would not come to the fore in ‘normal’ conversations, including many subjects that I myself would feel uncomfortable talking about with most others .And it was more than obvious that she understood. Things carried on in this way until the early hours, when the candles had burned down and eventually retirement to bed became necessary.   Well, I was a little tired by this time, and didn’t attempt to argue the point that I should try to make my way home.  I don’t think I would have  succeeded  against ‘Della Victress’ at that late stage, and, in any event, I don’t think I could have faced the long journey at that time of the morning. And really, there was absolutely was no need.

 David