As it's All Souls Day, let's revisit my mother's lodge for a seance. We know from a previous blog entry that lodge members are asked only to heal, and to have no truck with past lives and spirit guides. See: Previous blog featuring the lodge...
On the QT they have seances, at which the medium tunes in to great mysteries of the past. Here are some of the readings. I've taken out anything that explicitly reveals the subject of the reading. Then we can play at guessing what it might be...
'There's something to do with a pile of tied up newspapers. Was there an evening paper delivery? They need to talk to the paper boy from back then as he saw something relevant but didn't understand at the time what it was he was seeing. There's also something to do with the plants by the front door. The leaves of one of them were too dark to have been real. Put there on purpose to deflect attention from something. He killed whoever it was because he was driven by an inferiority complex. He was born, as we used to say, on the wrong side of the blanket. HIs mother was an Irish milkmaid. On his way to commit the murder he switched the television on. Such terrible anger. I can see what he saw on TV. Adverts. When he fled after, he took a boat up the Thames - the house is not far from the river, I get that smell in the air. He threw whatever it was he'd been wearing overboard. He was wearing a full suit of armour. He hit the au pair with the thing on the end of the arm bit. It made a clanging sound. He went to Monte Carlo and gambled with the type of people who knew it would never be in their best interests to go to the police. These days he looks like Saddam Hussein.'
'I see this as an accident. Carelessness, if you will. I see someone in a sailing cap who was in authority - letters on the cap and brocade elsewhere - and he was distracted that day by some news. He has a telegram in his hand. His fingers are over most of the message, but I can see the words 'coupon' and 'eagle'. He is wringing his hands now. And he didn't check that the ropes of the ship were securely fastened over the seaside type of bollard they have along docks, and the ship simply drifted away without having whoever was meant to be on it, on it. He didn't report the ship as drifting of course, there would have been repercussions. I can see the owner of the ship. He has a scar on his chin and cunning eyes. He goes along with the disappearance of the ship story to try and get the publicity. He is giving the other man a real dressing down, though. Using American swearwords.'
'He played dice a lot, in taverns. On his own. Other men might have wanted to join in his games, but he wanted to play alone, just content in his own company. He used to graffiti the word 'man' on walls. He had a small moustache and grey tweed clothes and he used to go to - what do you call them in libraries? - no, of course not an IT room, this was the era of gas lamps we're talking about - reading rooms. He would watch the women folk in the galleries above him. He used to choose victims that closely resembled women who looked down at him in a certain way. With disgust, that would have been. He wasn't exactly interrupted the night of the two murders, when he got down to it he simply didn't like what he'd found. He got his medical knowledge in Spain. His father was in the merchant navy and was away during the relevant time. He had a sister who was epileptic and very blonde. He was a change of life baby, that's why he was hermaphrodite. His mother was a music hall performer - some kind of clog dancing or other. He committed all but one of the murders when he'd just watched her perform.'
Jack the Ripper
'They tied their bed sheets together, tried to climb down out of the window and fell. When their bodies were found there was such fear of a civil war riot situation they were buried in secret.'
The Princes in the Tower
'It's some kind of dinosaur. It is just not true that it's a tourist-garnering stunt as it has been sighted since centuries before the age of the charabanc. It has calmed down a lot in itself since eating a monk in the sixth century. It was after the age of the charabanc, of course, that the couple from Leicester saw it get out of the loch and run parallel to their car through the trees for a good two hundred miles or so. The exact same type of dinosaur has been sighted almost as frequently off the coast of Cornwall. People don't seem to be as interested.'
'I see the huge blocks being brought to this place by cart. Oh, there's a woman now rinsing her husband's - what do you call it when they're all part of something elite and professional? A guild, it is. I can see her rinsing her husband's guild's cart - no, actually, it's the blocks that are on it - with sea water and something she has in a clump in her hand. It makes the colour run - blue - from the smocky thing she's wearing. She made that herself, of course. The reason she's rinsing the blocks is that they're not from the place where they'll end up, and she doesn't want the women in the next shire over where they are going to think that she's a slattern. The blocks come from the lowest tip of Cornwall, as I see it, and that's where she's from who cleans the cart, as I said before. The other blocks are coming from someone in the middle of Wales. She smiles to herself, thinking how the women there are not at all into rinsing their blocks. She's smug. They had 'smug' back then, we forget that. We think of it all in terms of men throwing iron-age implements at elephants with fur and then dragging the women around by their hair. No. There was 'smug' back then. But no smog as yet, as you might wrongly be thinking, because coal fires hadn't been invented. I can see people digging in specific places and consulting an almanac to make sure that the blocks as they're laid into the ground will mirror the orbit of the planet Venus. They needed to praise Venus because of the fecundity she would bestow on them. There was a high death rate back then. No pasteurisation, for starters. There were also - this is terrifying to see - creatures from an ignored stage in man's evolution who went underground and walked stooped and got used to seeing in the dark. They would emerge from these dug outs where they lived and cannibalise the later humans. And there was no soap. I see that a cow was winched up and laid on the top of the first block that was put in place. I can't quite see if it's...yes, the tongue's lolling: it was dead when the winched it up there. It's an offering to the pagan god of the night sky. Poor cow. But there we are, that kind of thing was a sign of the times. It will stay on top of the block overnight and the people wouldn't expect it to be there in the morning, as the god will have taken it to eat. Oh, you'll be stunned! It's dead of night, and one of the elders of the village where these blocks have been put in this circle has pulled the cow back down in secret and disposed of it, to trick his villagers into thinking the god took it.'
The village elder taking the cow down from the top of the block made me think of my mother disposing of the carrot, mince pie and brandy I always left out for Santa and the Reindeers.