As I must have said here quite a few times recently, things have been so hectic (over Hallowe’en at least) that they have really curtailed my ability to do every day blog posts here. Anyway, enough of that, I have already explained that! Suffice to say, the ‘Hallowe’en rush’ with all its commitments now seems to be over. So I hope to be able to write at a more leisurely pace again, and give you the somewhat more ‘boring’ accounts that go to make up my everyday life; and of course, that includes Della as well who has also been a part of this latest ‘humdrum’ of psychic and media activity.
Most of you will be aware that on Hallowe’en – exactly – Della officially launched her new website “Hidden Highgate”, which was accordingly reviewed and promoted in the Press, including North London’s Hampstead & Highgate Express. The Ham and High telephoned Della and requested an interview about her new site in advance of its imminent release. They wanted to know more about her involvement in local history, and strange phenomenon that had plagued Highgate so for long: which she had promised would be forthcoming on her new site. She had already given two radio interviews about this in the previous weeks (one on Para Talk Radio based in Los Angeles, and one for Mickey Gocool’s North London Paranormal Investigations) both of which had been very successful. But, as she is a ‘local girl’ the Ham and High wanted to have a more personal involvement with Della’s own research and motivations regarding the launching of her new Site. All fine so far, and a lot of people are visiting the site and sending emails as a result of the Ham and High coverage, so thanks, Ham and High! And thanks to your IT department, you know who you are 😉
Another really unexpected development lately, when Nancy Kilpatrick, the well known Canadian folklorist and author from Montreal sent us an email to say that she would be in London for a couple of weeks, and would welcome the chance to visit if this could be fitted into her schedule. In fact, I have met Nancy previously, in 1997, when she visited me at my home in Muswell Hill with fellow vampirology enthusiast Rob Brautigam. So needless to say, Della and I were more than happy to arrange to see Nancy and her companion Uwe again before she had to return to Canada and he to Germany.
Nancy as many of you will know is the author of “The Goth Bible” (2004), as well as the editor of dozens of anthologies of gothic literature and a fiction writer in her own right. She has long standing connections with the Count Dracula Fan Club, and we have many friends in common in this regard such as the venerable Jeanne Youngson – it always amazes me how one can develop such long lasting friendships from such unlikely beginnings! But that said, much as I don’t believe in vampires most of the friends I have made in this way over the years do not either! But that is not to say that do not have a sincere interest in writing and reading about them, as well as appreciating and seeking out an aesthetic appreciation of death and the hereafter.
We all had a nice meal together (spinach and ricotta lasagna a la Delia Smith, not blood bags!) and caught up on old times. We were very interested to learn that Nancy has managed to trace a family rumour about her ancestors’ manorial lives in England to verifiable fact, and indeed yesterday she made the journey to Leeds to visit the mansion that could have been her rightful seat if certain decisions had not been made over the years – an ancestor choosing love over money being the primary component. Her detailed research in this area has really born fruit, and we were both happy that she was able to physically visit such a strong link to her roots – and be welcomed personally!
Nancy is returning to Canada in the next few days, but no doubt she’ll be over again to the good ol’ UK soon, in the pursuit of her research. Nancy has certainly made the most of her time in England, and seems to have found herself invited to private collections at museums and to stately homes wherever she has set foot. That said, she has a long history of very specific research and regularly travels Europe seeking out artifacts which fascinate her. But she is always welcome here, at our humble Highgate abode, and in the summer, Nancy, you might even see the odd bat flitting about above Highgate Woods out the front room window! And we are both really looking forward to meeting you again when you next come to London.
But for now,