March 2011

The Wrong Tomb!


The 'King Vampires' vault!

Picture from yesterday’s Blog.  Sorry everyone, had to re-size this Pic, hence the small delay.  To summarise what I wrote in yesterday’s Blog . . .

Gareth got a ‘surprise’ picture for me himself, which showed him pointing to the grilled gateway below the Julius Beer mausoleum; where ‘Lusia’ had apparently led an intrepid group of self-styled ‘vampire hunters’ in 1970 (in fact it was claimed she was ‘sleepwalking’ one night) and that she said   that the ‘vampire’ lived inside. This photograph of ‘Lusia’ was actually used in a self-published book on the subject released with ‘best-seller’ anticipation in 1985; and this fictional work  claimed to tell the full story of the mysterious Highgate ‘vampire’.  (Hmmmm!)

Problem is,  its author was going on an erroneous assumption that the Julius Beer mausoleum was in fact an entrace to the Terraced Catacombs  towering some 20 feet above.  He failed to release that the Julius Beer vault was completely self-contained and that the entrance (Gareth is pointing to) was in fact, a ‘dead end’.  Or in other words, the ‘sleeping Lusia’ had been asked to pose outside the wrong vault!

But that aside, Gareth’s picture was very impressive, and I noticed that the old ground entrance to the Julius Beer tomb had changed little since it was first photographed in 1970, showing  the ‘posing’ Lusia.

But in any event don’t worry about it too much good people.  No need when the whole thing was really only pure fiction!

David (Farrant)

The New Daylight Now

Very sorry everyone, for another long space between my blogs; but really nothing has happened, and I was really waiting for something interesting to write about.  No!  Not the Highgate Vampire – well, having said that, it is in a way.  But to start at the beginning, had a visit from Patsy, her friend Rick, Jamie and Gareth, all set to go on the first official tour of Highgate Cemetery.  In fact, Jamie and Gareth turned up last night, and I have to confess we all sat around reminiscing with the odd glass of wine.  Around eight, Jamie suggested that people might be hungry, and he phoned up and ordered two hot curries for him and myself.  Gareth, not being a meat eater (although he does drink the odd drop of blood!) settled for a vegetable curry, which we all enjoyed, with some more wine.  Patsy had booked the tour for eleven a.m., and – as I said – it was the first official tour of the opening season.  I suggested, so nobody would be late for Patsy in the morning, they both made themselves comfortable in the back room.  That was it, so far, and I went back to doing a few things on the computer while they got themselves to sleep.  About four a.m. my friend Della sent me a message saying, had I remembered that the clocks went forward at one?  Being my usual truthful self, I e-mailed her back and said, ‘No, I had forgotten all about that.’  I was tempted to go and wake up Jamie and Gareth to tell them, but in the end decided just to let them sleep, and worry about it in the morning.

            Patsy turned up on schedule at ten fifteen, and they all had a cup of tea before leaving for the cemetery.  Unfortunately, Patsy had forgotten her camera, but luckily Jamie had his mobile phone, and I asked them to get a couple of pictures.  I said, I particularly wanted one of Patsy standing outside the Wace family tomb (where all her previous research had led to).  Gareth got a ‘surprise’ picture for me himself, which showed him pointing to the grilled gateway below the Julius Beer mausoleum; where ‘Lusia’ had apparently led an intrepid group of self-styled ‘vampire hunters’, who claim that the ‘vampire’ lived inside, and this photograph of her was actually used in a self-published book on the subject released with ‘best-seller’ anticipation, as it claimed to tell the full story of the mysterious Highgate ‘vampire’.  (Hmmmm!)  But that aside, Gareth’s picture was very impressive, and I noticed that the old ground entrance to the Julius Beer tomb had changed little since it was first photographed in 1970, showing a ‘posing’ Lusia.  While they were there, I also asked Patsy and the rest of them to verify an important point for me.  I wanted to know in particular if there were any holes in the roof of the catacomb which could have afforded any legal entry?  Patsy and Gareth assured me that, no, this was not the case, as these small portals originally constructed to give a little light, were no more than seven inches in diameter.  Apart from this, it was confirmed to me that the distance from the roof of the terraced catacombs to the floor was no more than eleven or twelve feet.  Luckily, although certainly unbeknown to me at the time, I discovered that these terraced catacombs had now been opened to the public – or at least, members who had paid for the official tour.  Whatever, it certainly afforded an excellent chance to view the interior of this Victorian monument to the dead.  It was good weather, and fairly warm sunshine, and they all had a good opportunity to take in various monuments in the old cemetery.  After the hour-long tour had finished, however, they all decided to go and look the eastern cemetery, where the legendary Karl Marx is buried.  His monument still stands imposingly not far from the main entrance, and it almost seemed that many of the ground level graves almost encircled the great man’s tomb.  They were not too sure if these could have been Marxist supporters anxious to be buried near their great father-figure.  They also came across the graves of recent internees, including Jeremy Beadle and Malcolm McClaren, who curiously enough are buried quite close to each other, TV producer Nat Taylor, and comedian Max Wall also shared burial places in the eastern cemetery.  It was now about one, but the day was still young after all.  What better way to finish it off than a light lunch in The Flask public house, which, of course, is reputedly haunted!

 Jamie set off around 4 as he still had a 2-hour drive left to get home  But at least that will be in the new daylight now!


Bounds Of Human Stupidity

Haunted Minsden Chapel

Done it again.  Sorry everyone!  Long delay since my last Blog, and no real excuse for it.  I guess I just wanted to take a little break from writing at the moment, having not long finished 275 pages of my new book.  That really has been a lot of work; especially as it all has to be ‘word perfect’ – unlike here where it doesn’t matter what I say so much and make the odd mistake.  Anyway, that’s the reason, and it just happens to be true!

Anyway, I saw Della over the weekend, and as she was still here by late Sunday afternoon, I was able to introduce her to Jackie and Julie who don’t live that far from Enfield.  Both ladies have a deep interest in spiritualism and the paranormal; and also know quite a lot about the Enfield poltergeist case from 1977.  This also interested Della who has always had an interest in that case.  So we spoke about that, among some other cases as well.  Thanks for the wine incidentally Jackie.  You didn’t have to do that, but it was a nice thought.

Della arrived on Friday evening and we had a relaxing few days, just basically doing nothing.   But she prepared food over the weekend and she really is an extremely good cook.  How she managed in my somewhat untidy kitchen is itself a bit of a miracle; but she did, and the food was as good as you’d get in any restaurant.  Going back, Gareth and a friend were also here on the Friday, and between us we managed to get quite a lot done on the cover of the new book.

We have all agreed a new title now; but ‘no’ I’m not telling you yet.  Its called ‘author’s licence’, which is not realising some things until the appropriate time.

More has been happening on the ‘interview front’ as well.  But I’m afraid the same principle has to apply to that.  But don’t worry, you will hear about them!  And it won’t be too far off from now.

Apart from all this, of course, there is the Los Anglers film project of the animated cartoon film which I have been advising upon.   I say ‘advising’ because this is the correct word.  It is not my copyright, although, of course, I have some say in its production as I am really one of the main stars in it.  I will only be ‘animated’ of course, but my only concern is that the caricature does not distract from my normal good looks!  And no, I am not kidding!  In fact, I have already expressed this view.   “David, do not worry.  You will not be disappointed with the final outcome”,  I was told.  I tend to believe that part, as only Americans could have pigs with wings going to heaven one minute, only to be immediately ‘booted into hell’ (minus his wings) for daring to question St. Peter!  But all good fun, I say.  The world needs to employ some humour sometimes, to go beyond the bounds of human stupidity!

Well, it’s a fairly drab misty day today – not cold, just a little damp.  But it was enough to stop me going out anyway.  Still got a few minor writing things to catch up on later, but nothing to lose sleep over.  Meaning if I don’t get it finished, will just have to be tomorrow.

So, I will try and do another Blog for the weekend.  Things are moving so quickly in other directions at the moment, there’s bound to be something to say.

For now everyone


Argue With Beauty?

Just spent a quiet day with Della today.  She slept in till lunchtime then joined me to check her laptop and emails.  I said I would make her some coffee but she pushed me back gently into the chair, and said she would make us both some, as she wanted to go into the kitchen to wash and clean her teeth.  So I thought it best just to let her get on with it. at her leisure.  I offered t make her some breakfast, but she said she wasn’t really hungry – although she was sure she would be later.  I told her I would have to leave her in the flat while I went out to get some food in for when we decided to eat.  She said she would go with me, as she would really like to cook something to eat for later, as she was ‘fed up’ with hotel food, and besides, she added, that way she could be sure I had something wholesome to eat.  Anyway, she enjoyed cooking, she said; and who was I to argue with beauty?!

 But it was still only early (maybe not yet 2) and she became fascinated by a load of pictures I had been sorting out for my new autobiography.  Many of these were just lying a round at random (mostly little-before seen 1970 b/w pictures)  and she asked me if I’d mind if she had a look.  I told her I’d let her read the whole manuscript that evening, but I the meantime I’d have to give her a verbal chapter synopsis as we went along, as I didn’t think it fair to expect her to read some 280 pages of the written manuscript.  I said she could take that to bed with her later.

 She laughed, but still spent time reading large parts of it in between comparing corresponding photographs.  She was a great help, and time seemed to fly by while we just concentrated on the book. 

 It was about quarter to five and still light, when she suggested we walk up the road and stock up dinner for later.

 On the way out, she showed me some pieces from the car which she had brought back, ‘signature pieces’ she called them. We decided that really they would be safer in the house so we brought them in first.  She held my arm for the 10 walk up the road.  I  think she was a little worried about my weak foot,  although I told her it was only on ice and snow that I had any trouble in walking.   I wasn’t joking (about the ice and snow) but she then said a rather unexpected thing.  Squeezing my arm, she said . . . “Don’t you worry, you’re safe with me”.  I knew she meant it, though didn’t question her further.

 We came back with a load of fresh food, and I noticed she had brought some fresh smoked haddock, new potatoes, other vegetables and an uncut loaf of wholemeal bread.  She carried the bag, which made me feel a bit helpless, but somehow not in the least uncomfortable.

 It was almost dark when we got back, but she made some more coffee and said she’d start cooking the food in a little while.  She said she’d prefer  to eat by candlelight, and she then produced a bottle of special whisky that she’s brought back from Paris.

 Her meal took about an hour. And everything about it was cooked perfectly.  We sat sipping the whisky, and we talked about what she had got up to in Paris.

She said she had been pretty lonely in the evenings, and had been re-reading Dante’s Vita Nuova and parts of the Divine Comedy. She told me about some of her favourite passages, one about Dante’s dream of the allegory of Love forcing Beatrice to consume Dante’s flaming heart. Apparently Anthony Hopkins gives a good reading of part of the sonnet that Dante writes about his dream, in one of his films. He has a new one coming out which Della wants to go and see, about a possessed priest. Usually I would give that a miss but Hopkins is a fine actor after all and it has been a long time since I have been to the cinema. She had also been re-reading the story of Paolo and Francesca, which she said is about two adulterous lovers who, having been slain for their crime, find themselves floating through the flames of hell for eternity. ‘It’s all frightfully romantic’, she said. Della really does find the most morbid and tragic things romantic. And she does have a funny way of putting things sometimes. What can sound like a simple statement often means she is thinking so much more but saving her words.

  We also spent more time going through photos for the new book; there are so many to choose from and we have now almost narrowed it down. Della helped me out with a few administrative bits and pieces as well. She joked that she should be my part time secretary as she practically is in all but title, and has a much better grip on some of my business propositions than I do. But I said she has far too much of her own work to get through as it is. How serious she was only time will tell, but it useful to have her help, especially as the subject matter is so sensitive and complicated, and I know I can trust her.  She also told me about several ‘mystical dreams, she’d had of late, but that, of course, involved things private to her, which I wouldn’t think of mentioning without her permission.

Dell also talked about a place in Kent she has been keen to visit for a while, for various reasons. She had mentioned it to me before but this time we went into a bit more detail about its relevance to various matters which we inextricably have in common, and unfortunately always will. So when it warms up a bit, or even if we get a day without rain in the next few weeks, we may go over and have a look around, maybe stay over and see if we can get talking to any of the locals in the surrounding villages.

 So we talked, and talked again.  I felt a strange empathy with her, but nothing I could attempt to put into words.  Lets just say she was very beautiful person who somehow felt fated to find me; or more accurately, me her.  I never question Fate, and am not going to start now.

 She has gone to bed now, and is probably asleep.  Though I did give her my new manuscript to read, so she might still be reading that.

 I just wanted to put this Blog down while it is still fresh and vivid in my mind.  It is now about 40 minutes later and I just knocked to make sure she was all right.  One reason I was concerned was because the wind has now changed to the North East and the cold air is hitting the window next door.  She was not asleep, and she was warm enough.  She looked at me with her deep brown eyes, and said . . . “Are you alright?  Is there anything you want?”.

“Just this”, I said.  And I kissed her gently.  She responded, but I didn’t intend to keep her awake.  So I just came back into the other room, and am left to think about a beautiful evening.