How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
[dropcap_1]N[/dropcap_1]o Blog since Valentine’s Day, but I really have had a good excuse lately. Its just been so cold, and the cold makes me very lethargic; not so much inwardly, but physically when it comes to relaxing. And I need to relax when I am doing a blog entry. As I’ve said before, a Blog should not be an ‘exercise in writing’, or something one feels one has to do from a ‘script’. To me, it is more like a diary, and surely none of us feel like doing ‘diary entries’ if we are ‘not in the mood’. I’ll probably get more into the flow of regular Blogs again if the weather turns warmer in March.
Anyway now I am here I will to give you some news.
Well the latest ‘tittle tattle’ from the Yorkshire Green Belt seems to be that my ex ‘friend’ ‘Babs’ has recently had one almighty bust-up with a certain self-employed (although undeclaring) professional ‘exorcist’ in the Calderdale region. This was conveyed to me in a very hard to unscramble email which at first I thought was the work of a troublemaking prankster. But upon closer inspection, the email did indeed to appear to have been sent from the bone fide email account of Our Lady of the Supersonic Pooperscooper herself. For my part, I really don’t know why one or either of them bother. It is blatantly obvious that the childish nonsense is meant to impress me into believing that I am still cared about in that direction by one or both of them, when I have long since made it abundantly clear publicly that I want nothing further to do with either of them. I exposed the treachery of one of these people in my popular book Pact With The Devil, which has set many tongues wagging (not least in the Catholic circles of Huddersfield and beyond). It touched upon the droll lives of ‘lovesick has-beens (or never-weres)’ dwelling in the dingly dells of West Yorkshire. The book was written as an example to others, pointing out the dangers of dallying with a certain rather bonky theomaniac who only ever has his own interests at heart. I think my book ‘Pact’ sums up that whole story in its entirety, and hopefully stands as a well timed warning against some people who profess to love to God on the one hand; whilst simultaneously going to extreme lengths to destroy their perceived enemies in the most unChristian ways, on the other.
But to leave the somewhat sordid vales of Yorkshire, I had some more refreshing news from my friend Kev very recently. He is stationed in the Middle East at the moment (moving around different provinces) organising important sporting events for athletes from the UK. He informs me he is having a really good time and (in contrast to what I said at the beginning here) winter temperatures seldom drop below 25 degrees c, while the high summer can reach a persistent 40 degrees. As a consequence of his present work with the English teams Kev sometimes goes through brief periods when he has no access to a computer, because of this, our emails can be delayed for a few days or so.
But he has been in touch recently as I said, and he informs me that his new book (I better not give you the title yet!) is well on its way to near completion. It tells the history of his sporting life and achievements basically, but also reveals many other secrets about his early life in north London from the early 1970s period. From the drafts that I have seen it promises to be a very inspiring insight into Kev’s spiritual development as well (so vital to his craft). Kev is lucky in that he has a very professional business manager and personal friend who’s help all points to his forthcoming book becoming a huge success.
I first became introduced to Kev and his wife Bev back in 2010 and indeed, an entry from this blog from August 2011 shows a picture of Kev and myself when he came to visit me and (my now wife) Della at our home in London. This photograph is exclusively my copyright, but in recent times it (and a similar one) was stolen from my blog here and used on an unauthorised copycat blog that attempted to defame Kev’s forthcoming autobiography, without having even read it. A possibly amusing aside for some readers: the blog in question is maintained by a deranged ‘fan’ of mine, who is so obsessed with my friends and family (and of course myself!) that he felt compelled to ‘borrow’ the pictures without permission, and forced me to successfully request the help of Google to get the images removed from this loon’s blog, and help me retrieve them from the ‘stolen property office’. One of these images is the same picture which readers can see at the top of this blog – with its BPOS logo intact (previously scrubbed out presumably using Microsoft Paint by the digitally artistically inclined ‘fan’!).
This is not the first time that the ‘fan’ in question has plundered my property, presumably motivated by the creepy desire to feel ‘closer’ to me (as I am clearly ever present in his thoughts). Indeed, as far back as 1971 he appeared in court charged with stealing personal property of mine (letters, photographs and suchlike). The magistrate presiding over the case, Baroness Birk, due to lack of evidence pertaining to him breaking and entering on that occasion observed that it ‘looks as though this all started with people being friends, then they fell out, and this is what came of it. There is not enough evidence and the case is dismissed.’ Fortunately for myself and other ‘victims’ (I prefer the term ‘long suffering putter-up-with) of stalkers both short and long term, a cyber trail of evidence is not easily dismissed these days, and is nigh on inerasable.
My wife keeps telling me that I should not be giving this person the ‘oxygen of publicity’, but despite this I will also mention here that the same deranged fan also stole a banner from my personal website, which he used to present his weird hate/fan blog as some kind of bone fide fansite. I think anyone with a basic grasp of how to use a search engine would very easily come across my real website with its infinitely superior graphics (thanks Della!) and realise that this rather chaotic and aesthetically challenged effort is the work of a fringe ‘hanger-on’ – dare I say ‘interloper’ (??!! lol) who really should ask his community psychiatric team to increase his medication. Or perhaps send him on an ‘art therapy’ course or whatever they do with these people.
Well it seems that a lot of the ‘Friends of David Farrant’ who were featured without their consent on this ‘unfortunate’’s blog have taken similar DMCA action against him, as the blog is now looking, like its creator, more than a little bald!
Anyway, I will keep you all up to date with developments on other matters pertaining to the real world as these come in; have a radio interview scheduled for late next week so am hoping that the snow keeps away from Highgate as it will be ‘in house’ at BPOS HQ.
Della and myself have been having a comparatively easy day today; literally just lounging around doing virtually nothing. Well, not really ‘virtually nothing’, there is always something to do, even if its only answering emails or the phone. Its been very cold in London lately, which probably excuses the fact that I am wearing my dressing gown on top of my pullover (please note, dressing gown as opposed to my ceremonial robe or smoking jacket!). But seriously, we have still been kept fairly busy, albeit only on the computer in the moderate warmth of the flat. There’s always things to do! Queries to be answered, books to be packaged up and friends overseas to stay up to date with which is where we find Skype quite invaluable these days.
On the subject of phone calls, had rather an interesting one earlier from my friend Kev. He was phoning from Kuwait on transit back to Dubai, as he has got a busy couple of weeks ahead organising another triathlon event. So he will be virtually out the ‘online picture’ for a least a few days when he gets started on that. The good news is, he informed me that he has just finished his new Blog, which he hopes to get posted before he takes his plane flight. You’ll have to wait and see what it is, but I gather its all going to form a part (at least the facts are) of his new autobiography due out later in the year. All I will say is at this stage is it deals with a rather ‘sp(l)iffing’ individual from North Wales, and his dedicated travels to the South Coast whenever he gets the opportunity. Just waiting for Kev to post it really, so have to read it for myself before commenting any further.
Della has also been kept very busy with her research into the legends and folklore of quaint old Highgate. She’s been doing a lot of work in this direction, by actually getting around and photographing some of the areas and old dwellings and other buildings and sites that have been brought to her attention. Highgate, as anyone but the unenlightened would know, is a quaint old village on the outskirts of North London. She is sometimes loathe to release things before publication, but I persuaded her to publish some of her working notes together with her latest findings as I think these would be of interest to some people. She has already given a small synopsis on her own personal blog (see link below), but I thought I would mention this on my own blog here as well as I know it captures the attention of many dedicated people.
Anyway, enough of my ‘waffling’ as she is just about to make me a cup of tea and then I’ll let her take up the story …
I have been doing a lot of local history research lately, both on foot and at home on these dark winter nights. Some of this has involved researching the secretion of a hoard of objects in a hidden compartment at Lauderdale House, a mansion dating from 1582 which is situate in Waterlow Park, Highgate, north London, a short distance from the cemetery.
It seems that the discovery of these artefacts took place between 1961 and 1963. It is certain that the house was badly damaged by fire in 1963, but I am unclear at present if the fire occurred after the removal of the objects (which were conceivably in part intended to protect the house as much as its occupants) or if they were found during the restoration process after the fire.
What we do know is that a collection of objects was found during renovation work in a recess of the chimney breast in what is now the long Tudor gallery on the first floor of Lauderdale House. I understand that these artefacts included 4 chickens (2 strangled and 2 possibly bricked up alive), a candlestick, a drinking vessel and plate, a pair of unmatching shoes and a braided cord of rush matting (and an egg – possibly laid by one of the chickens in its death throes). One of the shoes has been dated to 1650 and the other objects appear to be of later date. Of particular interest is the combination of objects; to a casual observer they may appear to be typical examples of domestic practical magic. But upon closer analysis they could represent the remains of some kind of ritual magic, especially considering the plaited rush which seems to resemble a kind of knot magic, and the apparent presence of a chalice.
Chris Laoutaris in Shakespearean Maternities (2008) notes that ‘a witchcraft case involving the maleficium of Anne Kerke against a child was presided over by one Sir Richard Martin, who had himself indulged in […] ritual countermagic […] ordering the cutting of the witch’s hair which he attempted to burn …Could this be the same Richard Martin who originally built Lauderdale House? Martin was Lord Mayor in 1589 and in 1594, just five years before this incident, and his position of influence may well have led to him serving as a ‘justice’ in important trials. This, if confirmed, along with the findings presented in this study, would suggest that ritual acts, like that reflected by the Lauderdale hoard, constitute more than a ‘builder’s sacrifice’, representing a richer and more complicated social and legal dynamic between victim and witch than has hitherto been understood’
The dating of the objects seems slightly out of step with the idea that they were placed in the house at the time of its construction, but Laourtaris’ comments certainly merit further research about the subsequent owners of the house and their connections.
I have been in contact with the Museum of London about these finds, which are in storage, and intend to visit and view them in the Spring with Patsy. I have also been in touch with the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle and a researcher called Brian Hoggard who is involved in conducting an exhaustive survey of folk magic findings in England.
I shall publish more on this subject as when my research is concluded.
Relevant publications which mention the finds include:
London and the Civil War by Steven Porter, Macmillan 1996
The Archaeology of Ritual and Magic by Ralph Merrifield, New Amsterdam 1988
Shakespearean Maternities by Chris Laoutaris, Edinburgh University Press, 2008
London archaeologist – Volume 1 – Page 101, 1967
Man, myth & magic: an illustrated encyclopedia of the supernatural – Volume 3 – Page 361 Richard Cavendish – 1970
Diet and crafts in towns: the evidence of animal remains from the Roman to the post-medieval periods by Dale Serjeantson, Tony Waldron B.A.R., 1989
Chimneys and Chimney Sweeps by Benita Cullingford, Shire Publications Ltd (1 April 2003).
Hope you enjoyed it everyone, and I am sure she will keep you updated on her latest research into this matter which is far from over.
I have been invited to give another Talk in May (thank God it will be warmer then) but I’ll keep everyone up to date on the details once I receive them.
[dropcap_1]J[/dropcap_1]ust a quick word everyone (from me at least). Sorry to have been late again as usual but a LOT has really been happening. Anyway here is a guest blog entry from Gareth J. Medway – hope you all enjoy! (Well I liked it anyway! – David)
The late John Keel observed that scientists fall into two categories: he termed them Type A, who usually work for a government agency or a large corporation, and who are great inventors, and Type B, who tend to be employed by a college, and write ‘scientific rubbish’, which gets widely printed. He might have added Type C, that is, professional journalists who have no scientific qualifications, but are very well known to the public through presenting television and radio programmes about science, and who are usually assumed by viewers to be leading scientists. Though it is nearly forty years ago, I recall a James Burke episode of The Burke Special, in which he explained the theory of relativity, and basically made it clear that he did not understand it himself.
Last December came the news of the death of Sir Patrick Moore, who, as he himself stated, was an amateur rather than a professional astronomer, but unlike most Type C scientists really did know the subject well. The BBC did an obituary programme in which many people praised him, including Brian May, best known as the guitarist with the rock band Queen, but who is also an astrophysicist with a doctorate on zodiacal light. What was not mentioned was that Moore was a practical joker responsible for some spoof stories about flying saucers, so that for anyone interested I have written a short piece about this.
Gareth J. Medway
You can find the full text of Gareth’s article HERE