Just realised its been a week since my last Blog, but I have been occupied with the new one (relating to things paranormal) and called The British Psychic and Occult Society. The link is at: http://thebritishpsychicandoccultsociety.blogspot.com/ in case anybody’s missed it. I started it really to give interested people some insight into BPOS investigations, many of which have escaped public documentation, simply because the information obtained about many reputed ‘ghost cases’ is only contained on private Society files. This should not imply that writing up such cases is to betray confidences: to the contrary, only the facts relating to psychic occurrences or experiences have been included, not personal details or information relating to the people themselves. Where name have been given, it has only been with the express permission of a particular person who do not mind their names appearing on record; where names have been changed or withheld, this has been made abundantly clear in any given report. The same principle applies in reporting psychic happenings or ‘hauntings’ that have occurred at private addresses, although often people do not object to the name of a village or town being disclosed. Whatever, all the relevant information has been retained on file, and genuine psychic investigators can sometimes be given this in confidence, with permission of the people concerned.
Call me psychic if you like! but yesterday I received a Friend request on Facebook from a person who I’d been trying to get into contact with for some time. Jennie Cobban contacted me from her new location near Pendle Hill, and informed me that she was near completion of a new book on the history of the Pendle witches who caused so much controversy in the small village so many years ago. They were cast into prison on suspicion of ‘witchcraft’ where one of them died during incarceration and I believe another two were finally hanged. It is not a case with which I am all that familiar; although some of us did visit Pendle in 2005 with the objective of obtaining some new local information. I remember it was a very wet day and the damp winds of the dales penetrated protective clothing, while the rain around Pendle Hill had succeeded in turning everything into a mass of puddles and slippery mud.
No doubt Jennie has succeeded in uncovering some more interesting facts; but again, writing about events in history when written records are often scant or simply non-existent, is no easy task at the best of times.
I first met Jennie back in 1995, who approached me over a book she was writing on ghosts in the Barnet and Enfield areas. She, in fact, had a leading advantage having qualified as a historian and having access to many private files when she worked at Barnet museum.
Her interest in myself really stemmed from an incident in which I was involved in 1972 when I was arrested in a small Barnet churchyard on night and taken to Court charged with behaviour ‘likely to offend the decency of the church’. This Act was over a hundred and fifty years old (then) and was mainly put on the Statute books to persuade people to ‘behave themselves’ as they attended church. It might seem a little ridiculous nowadays; but it was actually a serious offence then for people to sing or shout to and from their way to church, or to discard sweet papers on church property.
Myself and another person ended up being fined £10 – which was quite a lot of money in 1972!
It was also Jennie who originally founded The Highgate Vampire Society which she asked me to take over in 1997 due to pressure of work. I explained at the time that Jennie’s choice of name merely reflected the huge interest that had grown up around the Highgate ‘vampire’ case, and as the BPOS had already accumulated vast files on this case, I can only assume Jennie thought I was the best person for the job!
But I do hope that maybe Jennie may see fit to write something on this Blog. If she does, I would allow her a full post or article if she so wishes. So, Jennie . . . if you find time?!
Quiet day today, but I did sign a film contract over the weekend. No! I’m not giving any details yet. You’ll all just have to wait and see!
For the moment
Well Della and myself have certainly had a busy few days; out and about a lot, getting various things done.
Important trip yesterday to a meeting in Surrey, which resulted in leaving London at midday, and not getting home until around 9pm. It was very important, being a legal appointment for 2.30pm, which was why we allowed plenty of time for buses and trains etc. We’d normally have gone by car, but to save parking problems as we had a few stops to make afterwards we felt this would allow us more time to relax than possibly getting caught up in traffic rushes. Anyway, we were in good time for the appointment, and even had time to get a quick meal beforehand. There were some legal provisions to be finalised which needed signatures of both parties concerned. It didn’t take too long much longer than an hour and a half, which was good, because we had a couple of other locations to visit near Reigate.
On another matter I have been personally informed of a rather interesting scenario. This was about 3 weeks ago, and somebody sent me information about somebody called Roy whom I had known a few years back and was an excellent caricature artist. To cut a long story short, I was able to make contact with Roy again, although this was fairly ‘slow’ as Roy is presently not online. But his letters were interesting and he sent me a new illustration to use if I wanted re: the Robin Hood ‘ghost’ matter. As everybody will probably remember, Barbara invited me to be Patron of the Yorkshire Robin Hood Society (from which I later resigned) and he was apparently still under this impression when he recently wrote to me. I explained a few circumstances to him and the illustration (beautifully drawn) captures these images exceptionally well. Basically it describes the ‘wicked witch of the North’ (in this case Yorkshire) and her equally scheming assistant called Katerina who are both out to exploit the ‘old’ legend of a ‘vampire-ghost’ reputedly reported by many locals at ‘Robin Hood’s grave’. I do not know when I will get a chance to use this, but I certainly see no harm in posting Roy’s latest work here. I have assumed he has given me permission to use it in one of my publications, but obviously, I want to ask him first.
Anyway, another fairly long trip to London with Della today, but this concerned the sale of my latest book and had nothing to do with legal matters. That trip was highly successful, and Della was especially pleased as she spotted a pair of shoes she has been looking for for some time (no, not glass slippers!). They cost her a small fortune, but I have to say they really do justice to her slender legs as she was ‘modelling’ them for me later around the flat.
Apart from that all is fairly quiet at the moment on the literature front. But who can tell? One really never knows just what is going to happen in this business!
So have fun everyone, and I’ll be posting again soon.
Well getting away from ‘Sooty’ and ‘Rupert the Bear’ for a moment, folks, thought it was about time I did a more serious Blog (not that the last entry wasn’t serious; it’s just that I was so overwhelmed by information being put out on the internet, that I just felt compelled to try to interpret this a little!)
Do you know!? There has been so much salacious gossip and innuendo about myself on the World Wide Web, that I sometimes wonder if other people live their whole lives in a complete fantasy world. These things always filter back to me; and sometimes, I am even sent links to this nonsense which I quickly have a look at. For example, a recent post which was just brought to my attention, that amounted to a summary of my private life with a person that they know absolutely nothing about, but which they apparently felt privileged to expound upon at some length, and make their own personal comments.
Would you believe?! That according to this pair of northern fishwives, my relationship with the opposite sex involves a ‘Stepford Wife’ syndrome, wherein I am being accused of humiliating – nay, ‘brainwashing’ – innocent young ladies into obliging my every whim and desire. Well I ask you!? I really wish they would be a little more specific! Just who are all these ‘Stepford Wives’ that they are alluding to? Without even being able to name any?! I do not have any Stepford Wives, although I do have a circle of close friends and associates; but none of these would seem to fit this given internet description.
I really don’t know where they came into possession of all this gossip…although there might be just one clue.
Back in my theatre days in 1963, one of the plays I took a leading role in was “Cinderella”. This received some quite favourable reviews from the critics at the time; although I only played the humble – but lovesick – “Buttons”. “Buttons” (i.e. myself, David Farrant) was supposed to play the part of a footman madly in love with Cinderella (well I won’t go on, you must surely all know the gist of that fairytale). It was, as I said, a well-reviewed play, but dear old “Buttons” failed to seduce Cinderella. Now, an interesting point here, I really fancied Cinderella in real life, but another actor (also a friend of mine) seemed to get all the kissing and ‘snogging scenes’.
No doubt, this is where our two Yorkshire harridans picked up this story , which they magnified out of all proportion from its original undiluted form… “Buttons” loved Cinderella – but so what?! It was only a bloody play for God’s sake!
All this really comes down to is the speculations of a couple of potential ‘housewives to be’, who in reality have no idea about my personal life; let alone my last stage appearances.
“Buttons” loved the lonely wench Cinderella, who marries her Prince Charming and leaves him speechless with remorse. But the difference is, maybe, that “Buttons” saw Cinders with a mop and painting brush in her overworked hands and chose to fall in love with her because of this very virtue. Prince Charming, however, was not so cute. He had other designs on Cinderella, which were made all too apparent in the Play.
But I ask you? Who did Cinders really love out of the two? It is only a play, let us remember. And not some performance performed at some Men’s Working Club or Bingo Hall up in the forsaken wilds of Emmerdale-land.
Really, I don’t care. All makes for good gossip I suppose! Seems like there is nothing more left to do in those hurricane-swept dales.
Anyway onto more interesting news now. I have just seen the rushes for the biopic documentary on my life, and the film is almost finished. This perhaps tells the true story of things that really happened; and not the imaginings of one or two selective – but deluded – people.
Also, another Talk coming up in a month or so, further details about both of these projects will follow.
On another matter, Della is staying here at the moment and is just about to cook me an exclusive dinner; her meals are always very enjoyable, and have to admit to being a bit hungry tonight. We have been painting decorating all day, and have worked up quite an appetite for some relaxation. A bottle or two of wine coming out with the Italian dinner to compensate for our labours.
Sleep tight everyone, and sweet dreams!
This link was just sent to me by a friend, who was aware of a certain person’s obsession with Rupert the Bear. I almost feel embarrassed to put the link here as it is such an awful song, but then, for a guy who likes sock puppets, and who used to collect all the annuals as a kid, I guess it might be relevant. (In fact the person even had a sooty puppet at the age of six!). Absolutely irrelevant, you might think, but the person does still have all the childhood annuals he collected next to his books on Black Magic which line his bookcase, which are clearly visible in photographs he posted on his Message Board entirely dedicated to myself. The link is:
Any difficulties in getting to that, just go to Jennie Lee singing “Rupert the Bear” on “Top of the Pops” in 1970 and which is now also on YouTube! Its a kid’s classic, I assure you. Not that I’m blaming the kids. But, after all, this person is now 67-years-old and you’d think his passion for this fictional little bear should have subsided long before ‘teen-hood’! Almost makes you prefer Rolf Harris, in contrast to that! I understand that the person has also taken to collecting toy train sets now as well.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m all for people having hobbies. But is he now trying to suggest that the UK’s beloved Rupert the Bear was involved in black magic!!??
See you all soon,
I was making myself a cheese sandwich this lunchtime (Della being at work), and I fell to thinking about how much the layout of the flat has changed over the years. For example, the kitchen seems to have so much more space now the table and chairs have gone (despite having all sorts of mysterious ‘mod cons’ which only Della knows how to operate). Which made me remember that old coin operated gas meter I used to have, and what a dreadful clunking noise it used to make – just like the sound of a portable tape recorder turning itself off when the tape ran out.
The back bedroom is completely clear now and has a huge new double bed and carpet, and the lounge is a lot more spacious minus some discarded chairs and a new sofa. Most of this new initiative has come from Della; well it has to really as I am still fairly limited to what I can do with that old – but on-going – back injury. Still, I do try, and sure that Della knows that which is why she tends to fuss over me!
And she is an invaluable help with all the writing to. She is a lightning typist (sorry Gareth, not quite as fast as you!) and always ready with suggestions if she feels I have missed something out, which often turns out to be so obvious. As well as that, it is much easier to dictate some things out loud without having to worry about watching the screen or check some spelling.
On the subject of writing, I have two more important projects to complete before the end of the year. One is an Introduction for a book of the paranormal by a fairly well known author, and the other, of course, is the publication of a complete Volume containing all my MMM series. That is just the main writing. The main film on myself is near completions, and already there is a similar project in the offing. And, of course, I have my new Blog The British Psychic and Occult Society to complete with research material, and there is also this one to attend to.
Della has really been so understanding and helpful in encouraging me in all these projects which are really so time-consuming. But sometimes, there are times to relax. And we can just sit and talk, but rarely without a good bottle of wine between us – or even one each! So its not entirely ‘all work and no play’. And even work, sometimes, has its lighter moments!
You see, another Blog. So I must be improving!
For the moment