Monday, 30 August 2010

Glass Jars

This poem by me features in Casting Shadows, which, by the way, you can buy! Yay!

Glass Jars

He killed people and kept their eyes
in glass jars of various size.
He took out their brains and kept those too,
put some in jars and ate a few.
He peeled off their skins, cut their hair,
filled more jars and put them everywhere.
In his lab and in his room,
in the cupboard with the broom.
I couldn't move in that bloody place
for all the glass jars invading the space.
I wanted a normal house, I said.
Not one full of bits of the dead.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Ghost Busting

One of my interests involves walking around spooky places in the dark looking for ghosts. I'm not sure whether I believe in ghosts or not, I've certainly not seen one and I tend to try to explain away most of the weird experiences I've had.

But, ghost hunting in fun. It's nothing like you see on the TV, on Most Haunted and the like. You do get idiots who will scream at any little thing, or people who are highly suggestible and as soon as one person thinks they 'see' something, then they'll suddenly see it too. Or feel it. Or hear it. But you definitely don't get as much 'action' as they do on the telly. Or at least, I've never had that much happen.

My first 'hunt' was at Kents Cavern in Devon. Caves, basically. Bloody cold caves. It was disappointing, if I'm honest. I didn't feel spooked at all and was so tired I could've slept down there with the slugs.

My second hunt was at St Briavels Castle and that was much better! Castles are spookier than caves. And it felt creepy. On ghost hunts you get to use all the equipment, the dowsing rods, the EMF meters, the heat sensors, the pendulums. You also get to use planchettes and have a go at glass tipping - which is always my favourite thing.

The weirdest experience at the castle involved this one room that apparently only men ever used to go into. Our group all sat in there (several times) in the total pitch black and I was sat on a really comfy chair, the medium was talking about something and I could feel a breeze on my head so I kept brushing my head paranoid that there was a spider on me. Then when the lights came on and we went out the medium said to me that one of the men in the room liked me and had his arm around me. There was no way she could've seen me touching my head as the room was black.

St. Briavels is used as a youth hostel and in one room there is a rug covering an extremely creepy trapdoor where people used to get thrown down. Apparently they don't tell the people who stay in that room that it's there, yet people have woken up terrified in the room.


This photo is also from St. Briavels and is my first 'orb' picture. I don't know if you can see it, but in the middle of the black in the archway, just above the bench there is an orb. Ghost? Bug? Who knows.

My next hunt was at Haynes Motor Museum and I didn't think it would be scary at all. It turned out to be the best one so far. Lots of noises (which could've been the cars settling, or the roof creaking), lots of shadows, an 'umm' voice, some breezes... a bit of glass movement.

We went in the speedway room once and as soon as we got in there my heart was racing, but that might've been because of the mannequins in the room. I hate mannequins. We all know they come alive at night and eat people. We didn't go back in there again so I didn't get chance to see if it would happen again.

As on all ghost hunts, it's late and night and it's very, very dark. You walk around with torches and then turn them off to do seances and the like.

The photo on the left looks bright because of the camera flash. It shows, in between the two cars, a strange outline. Reflection? Or ghost? *spooky music*

The medium instructed me to take a photo there.

We went outside too, after we'd split into smaller groups, and the medium said she was going to get a spirit to walk through one of us. Everybody was being wusses so I volunteered. Apparently the spirit walked through me but I didn't really feel anything.

Other ghost hunts I've been on were to the Helyar Arms in East Coker, Somerset, and the Olde Forge Inn in Langport, also Somerset. The best things to happen in those two pubs were movements with the glass during the glass tipping.

Do ghosts exist? I hope so. Otherwise being dead is going to be rubbish!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Puppy School

I have just completed a six week puppy school. Well, with Beau. Half the time we learnt things that Beau already knew. Sit. Lie down. Then we leant things that I already knew. How to brush your dog. How to check for fleas.

But we did other things too, like 'stay' and walking on a lead and recalls. Beau loved it as he got to meet loads of people, who love him, and lots of other dogs, who he loves.

Plus, it usually tired him out for the evening. Bonus.

Anyway, we passed and have a little rosette and certificate to prove it. Beau is now a good dog citizen, according to the Kennel Club.

Still can't stop the little bugger from sleeping on the sofa though.

Sunday, 8 August 2010


So in the town where I live there's a large reservoir and nature reserve full of meadows and little streams and trees and whatnot.

As it's a Sunday and there's not a lot else to do, me and my mum took the dog for a walk down there. When we parked we saw a large people carrier full of people just sitting there. It looked like they'd been gassed. The two adults in the front were zonked out, two of the older kids in the back looked like they'd zoned out, and the little one was just staring forlornly out of the window.

Me and Mum exchanged glances and moved on. We had a nice walk around and met a gaggle of small children who descended on Beau exclaiming 'Aw midget puppy!' We met a border terrier, a couple of spaniels and a Jack Russell. We discovered that Beau does not like walking across those metal grids they put down over wooden bridges.

Then we headed back. The family were still in the car. The adults in the front were still asleep. The kids in the back looked bored as hell.

Now, is it just me or is that weird?! I wouldn't be sitting in the back of the car like that, I'd be giving the adults a prod and telling them to sleep at home!

I don't think I've seen anything so bizarre since the parrot in the backpack incident in Glastonbury.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

How to Talk to Children

I suck at talking to children. I don’t particularly like them and they are, quite possibly, scared of me. I’m also a really bad judge of age. I have no idea how old a kid is just by looking at them.
I remember going to a car boot sale with my brother. He was trying to flog some of our old crap to a couple of kids and we got talking to them. They asked us to guess how old they were. I know that children, unlike adults, like you to think they’re older than they actually are. Being kind (I thought) I said seven. I thought these kids had to be about five in reality.
They laughed and said no. Turns out they were ten.
Yeah. Like I said.
So, I’m walking the puppy and we come across a tiny child out with her grandmother. I couldn’t tell you how old she was. See reasons above. But she was tiny. She was scared of Beau. My little midget puppy.
I crouched down to her and the puppy’s level and tried to get them to say hello nicely. Beau wanted to get cuddles and I could see the little girl wanted to pet him. Unfortunately she would only touch him when his back was turned and of course, as soon as he felt her touching him, he turned around. So that kinda didn’t work.
Her grandmother (I’m presuming here, but I really hope it was her grandmother) asked me what the dog’s name was. I replied. Her response was “Bone?!”
“No. Beau.”
When they walked away I heard the little girl saying, “I liked Bone.”
We carried on our way. Around the bend there was two little girls, a westie puppy, and their grandparents all stood outside their house. I stopped to say hello to the cute puppy and let Beau have a sniff.
The child, stupid child, holding the westie puppy proceeds to roar and force her dog to come at Beau. He freaks out. Thanks, vile child, for scaring my dog and now making him weary of puppies smaller than him. Her grandparents (again, a presumption) did nothing to stop her.
Beau barked. The child said something unintelligible. Me, being rubbish with children and also lacking the ability to patronise them, just asked her outright what she’s just said.
She replies in a perfectly normal, understandable voice. Yes, children can talk like normal people! They don’t need to be patronised.
The moral of this story? Parents, grandparents, please don’t talk to your kids like they’re idiots or they’ll start to talk and act like idiots. We have enough idiots in the world. Thanks.