27 March 2013

Back to the future?

I used to tell myself I would never go back. That I would never wish to re-live my childhood, but that changed recently.

A time I told myself I had long left behind has dominated my thoughts these past few months. My journey through life likely at its half way point, I look back at the choices I made and the people I left behind.

Regret is an ugly emotion that refuses to be pushed back into its designated space once released. Teasing with the possibilities of "what if?" When over thinking is a habit thats hard to break the days can seem long and cruel.

Life has panned out as such, living in the past is unhealthy and futile. No matter how hard you wish its is fixed in time and can not be tampered with in this lifetime.

Letting go is hard. Really hard, but in order to live in the here and now it is a necessity. Wounds heal with time, even though some leave a scar

X

23 March 2013

4,398,829,698th


The figure aboverepresents the number I was born out of the Seven billion plus who are alivetoday. Of all the people who have ever lived I came into the world at 78,957,355,349th.That’s a hell of a lot of people.

Our name thoughwe like to feel is unique to us is not. The serial number we are we are givenat birth however is.

Is it wrong to striveto be more than a number, to think outside of the pre-packed box societyattempts to package as life to us from our early years of exposure to Educationand Religion?

We like tobelieve we are born free, our choices are our own and that any path is possible.It takes a rare spirit to break from the conformity of the masses and forge hisown destiny regardless of other’s opinions. The artist creates because it is inhis/her soul, not for any monetary gain or claim at greatness. It is who theyare.
I would not call myself an artist. I still live andcreate well within the box, but oh how my spirit longs to kick off the shacklesof a mundane and leave the world and its false freedoms behind to truly unleashmy inner voice.

22 March 2013

Adrift in black seas

Offer me light and I shall seek shadow,
Give me food and I choose to fast,
Show me cause to believe and I will strive to debunk,
Feel Love for me and I withdraw and become guarded,
For mine is the mindset of the damned, and no joy or affection shall dwell within.

21 March 2013

Children make it look so easy

My daughter is an only child, I plan on only one and I have been blessed with a happy, healthy little angel.

I sometimes worry about her social development. As I am out of work she is unable to attend nursery, of which she was a huge fan. Her language and imagination developed in leaps and bounds and it was heart warming to see her part of an extended family. It broke my heart to take her out of that environment.

So, presently shes stuck with her dear old Dad, and dear old Dad gets short of ideas to entertain her with. I worry this were stifle her development.

Which is why I am so happy to see her mix so well with other children when We take her out. With baby forever by her side she mingles seamlessly with groups of children, identifying the leader and making herself part of the fun through enthusiasm and laughter.

She has a confidence her Father lacks to this day, and he is very proud of her indeed.

X

Nightmare In Stoke on Trent

Sleep, the welcome reprieve from a day filled with the toils of modern life. A chance to rest the mind and body, to process the days thoughts and emotions and the chance to escape to a world of your own creation. However for some like me the inevitable promise of sleep fills us with dread.

I have suffered nightmares from as early as I can remember, to this day they have the ability to keep a hold of me during the waking hours also.

The first reoccurring nightmare I can recall involves me visiting the bathroom as a boy of about age 6. The room is as ever cold, with toiletries in the window and a damp towel thrown over the side of the bath. At this point I an unaware I am dreaming. I proceed to use the toilet when the light flickers and dies. The door which I kept slightly open for just such a case slams shut, and a Demonic voice hisses "DANIEL". It is then that I awake. For years I have hated anyone using my full first name for that very reason.

These days my nightmares consist of situations and memories passed, coated in layers of misery and self loathing. Other times I see horrific images of people I never met displaying terrible cruelty to each other, powerless to stop them.

The worst include people I love/have loved. I lose them time and time again and each morning the feeling of loss is as powerful as it was in reality. My head has a tendency to torment itself.

Whilst no firm explanations exist as to why some suffer restless sleep more then others, I attempt to harness these visions and feelings and use then in the creative writing process.

If I must endure these nightmares the lest I can do is to bring them to life for you, dear reader.

16 March 2013

Imitation = Ban

It came to my attention during another sedate family get-together that the do-gooders in their infinite wisdom are starting to ban those electric cigarette smoking aids from public places.

Now, these are aids designed as an alternative to patches and gum ideal for the smoker who cant quite kick the act of smoking. They give out zero toxins and are perfectly safe to use around children.

The reason for this ban I hear you cry? Well, because it looks like you are smoking when you use one and smoking is naughty naughty.

I'm almost inclined to purchase one myself and lord it around public buildings happily puffing away and correcting these idiots who are offended by my plastic ciggie in a loud and patronising voice. Sounds like a great new hobby I may of hit upon.

My main concern with all of this PC Health and Safety do gooder bollucks is where does it end? When do we as a people stand up and say " you know what, you are offended at my life choices...so what pal, fuck you and the horse you rode in on!"

What will be the next habit/consumer able the PC Police deem anti-social or morally degrading? All its gonna take is one more toddler to swallow a piece of 'Juicy Fruit' and that'll be the last of chewing gum. Maybe.

Free country my ass.


14 March 2013

A labour of love

I want to become a writer. Some of you knew that, most of you probably did not.

My motivation is such that I feel I need to share my dreams and ideas with the world, and that If I choose not to I have failed myself. I want to die knowing my words provoked feelings in people I may never of even met, even if it is just one person.

Sometimes I journey into a place so far removed from my daily life I leave reality behind. Entire days and their labours go unnoticed, the guilt I feel at missing such time is considerable. Indeed I seem to have an uneasy relationship with the passing of time, regardless of what I do I always feel I have pissed away this most precious of gifts.

It would be worth it, at least I hope it would if my time spent searching the void of my mind for inspiration bore fruit. As of yet I do not believe this to be the case.

To write honestly I risk pain. Pain to those I love, to those I have loved and also to myself. Yet I am compelled to try. I can only hope the readers forgive my sacrifices and understand their necessity.

I am reading "Stephen King -On Writing" at the moment, and I would say to an aspiring writer that this is a must. One of the key ideas he promotes is the idea of a 'writing space', free from noise and distraction. As a full time father, this revelation has left me feeling a little flat. I have no quiet escape in which to concentrate my thoughts to paper, nor can I see one in the future.

I yearn to write. It helps me to feel human when most of the time my mind is set on auto pilot. I miss so much beauty, so much simplicity as its buried in layer upon layer of the mundane. I feel the majority of us do the same.

Writing sets me free, its a feeling I wish to share with the reader. I fear whether this will ever be possible, but then I always was a worrier.

6 March 2013

The sound of trouble

Firstly, its important to clarify that I don't consider myself to of been a bad kid. I never stole (apart from modelling clay that one time when I was in class one,) I never beat anyone up and I never drank alco-pops in the park long after the slide had last been ridden.

I was however blessed (or cursed if you were a parent of my accomplices) with an active imagination and a desire to experiment with all the tools, chemicals and practices the local Police and school teachers go to great lengths to explain the dangers of.

It was Summer, I was fifteen and home alone. My parents had headed to Wales for a week in the Sun. I had refused to go along, citing my age as a sure sign of my maturity and trustworthiness.

The fields were green and well trodden, the football lying in some neighbours garden that was inaccessible to us, even with my superior climbing skills (which regrettably I have since lost. One time I climbed the steel lamppost in our street with just a pair of wellies and a desire to impress!) We were bored.

Then I remembered the small amount of explosives my father kept in a tuppaware box at the back of the shed. "Son" he began: "These are for scaring birds, and I'm not supposed to have them. Also don't tell your mother".

Now I never saw a reason to frighten birds before I swear to you, but on that day I decided the mocking flock of blackbirds sat high up amongst the branches overhead were going to get the bejesus scared out of them.

I took one of the grey powdery tubes out of the box (I later found out that some of them had split and spilled their greyish gunpowder contents all over the remainder and onto my fingers) and I struck a few matches in an effort to light the fraying string fuse. Eventually one took. Panic lurched my arm forwards and the amateur firework span out of my hands and exploded mid flight. The noise it made was beyond any volume my teenage ears had ever experienced. The blackbirds dispersed en mass in a glorious shower of excrement. Victory had never been so sweet.

For an encore I decided to light one that had been placed inside an empty cola can, in my mind this would be like a mini hand-grenade. My friends had their doubts but this only spurred me on.

The blast was magnificent, strips of aluminium falling to the ground like silver rain, sunlight dancing off each tiny metallic piece of debris. I had created a vision of beauty from a tool of chaos.

Thats when the neighbours started to shout and began to inform the police.

My friends vanished. I ran crying to the brook at the bottom of the field before realising the futility. I had nowhere to go, my brothers in arms had abandoned me to my fate. Reluctantly I trudged back to house where a stern looking police officer in a flak jacket greeted me.

He informed me there had been complaints of someone firing off a shotgun, and that if need be he had a rifle in the car. My bottom lip would not cease trembling. A neighbour of ours came out to explain the reality. He couldn't of done enough...anyone would think he was diverting any potential heat from his business of selling non existent computers, he really was quite charming.

So it was decided rather than a night in the cells I was to be remanded in the custody of my Grandmother. A call was placed out at the holiday camp for my parents to call Staffordshire Police at once.Of course they made sure they finished their game of bingo first.



3 March 2013

Ghost-Busted?

Venue - Alton Towers 2/3/13

Host - Paranormal UK/The Haunting

Weather - Clear Starlit skies, damn bloody cold though

As this was my first organised ghost hunt I was a little apprehensive, not knowing what at all, if anything to expect. A total of 60 or so guests and 20 staff (including 4 mediums) had made base camp in the Chapel area of the Towers ruins. Seasoned spook hunters and newbies alike huddled together in the cold eagerly awaiting the start of an hopefully eventful night.

We were split into teams numbering around the 15 mark, and given a list of locations (which included: The Chapel, kitchens, Banquet hall, First floor, Hex and the Gardens/Glass houses) and our investigation start times for each.

So, what did I discover about life after death during my six hour vigil? I present here a rundown of the phenomena I witnessed, and my honest opinion of said events.

GLASS WORK

When our guide asked if anyone wanted to partake in a bit of Glass work, my immediate fears switched to my distinct lack of glass blowing ability. I need fear not, as all was required was a slight touch on the top of an upturned glass tumbler with the side of your finger (to lessen the amount of pressure each of us may unwillingly apply and therefore dictate a false movement) whilst our group guide calls various questions into the surrounding gloom.

I witnessed the glass respond at various speeds/patterns, seemingly to the questions asked. At first I thought our group medium was influencing the glass as I watched his arm closely and he seemed to move a fraction before the glass started on its travel.

He then stepped away from the group and I replaced him. I can assure you the glass continued to move, in some cases quite vigorously. There were 4 guests as well as myself touching the glass at this time, and no staff were in contact with it. Each of us seemed to have a relaxed touch on the glass. What impressed me most was the sudden change of direction and dead stop of the glass. That would require a definite semblance of control from one of us, and I can honestly say I could not see from which of us it came.

In summary while it is entirely possible that some of the movement could of been caused by one of us, In my opinion whilst I was in touch with the glass I would struggle to name which of my colleagues it may of been.

TABLE TIPPING

Now I have seen Derren Brown fake this, and out of all paranormal activity I would say this is the one I am most dubious about.

I witnessed 4 or 5 team members seemingly be contorted by a small tables erratic movement. As I did not get hands on with this experiment I could not comment on to its validity.

At one point the entire group sat around a rather large heavy circular table (pinkie to pinkie I believe the technical term is). After several minutes of calling out the table did indeed begin to rock, seemingly in response to the questions asked. Again I was impressed by the sudden dead stop of such a large table, but with so many physical hands on the surface of it, I cannot rule out physical involvement by any one of the team.

EMF DEVICE

The device that measured Electro Magnetic Field activities peaked at most of the locations we visited, again seemingly in response to any of the questions asked by the guests/guides. Whilst it looked pretty impressive (as all areas read at 0 upon entering and exiting) outside interference cannot be completely ruled out.

Now, call me a cynic but being told a device with flashy lights measures something, and the device with flashy lights actually measuring what is claimed are too different things entirely. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the device was designed to be triggered via a switch held by an individual. I am in no way deflecting blame from myself either,  we were instructed at the outset to switch off our mobile phones as this can interfere with the EMF and cause false readings. I cannot switch my phone off (thanks Apple) as the button is broken. I also suspect I was not the only one who did not comply.

In summary, I may of inadvertently affected EMF several times.its also possible there was an individual with a control switch. Of course It could also of been paranormal activity, but it is important that I discuss the other options.

STONE THROWING

Hex was perhaps the most intense location we visited. The darkness therein was total, and the cold was noticeably much more apparent here. The group sat dotted around the inner sanctum in the pitch blackness, again calling out to any spirits present.

Distant tappings were heard, but could easily be attributed to the metalwork/wood responding to the cold air.

At two points a stone was heard to impact within our location, one very close to where I was situated. Although possible evidence of poltergeist activity, it is important to remember we were all sat in the darkness, you could not even make out the person next to you, and that they could easily of been thrown/kicked/knocked by a member of our group.

Towards the entrance to the ride our medium and several guest spoke of a presence by the large double doors. Several people claimed to see some kind of light moving across the panels, and one guest photographed what he believed to be orbs.

Cold, tired and a little underwhelmed by this point I decided to bite the bullet, and much to the protestations of the group walked up to the doors in the hope of seeing/feeling something out of the ordinary.

I didn't.

MEDIUM

At one point there was the group medium, myself and one other guest. he proceeded to tell stories of Charles Talbot and his bullying ways. He named three children and an old man, stating the year 1887 was important.

The performance was a committed one, however much of what he claimed can never really be proven but it did help to bring a bit of atmosphere and history to the nights proceedings.

Edit: my research has dug up the following...

Charles [Talbot], 15th Earl of Shrewsbury
1st son and heir of Hon Charles Talbot (by his second wife Mary Mostyn, 1st dau. by his second wife of Sir George Mostyn, 4th Bt. of Talacre, co. Flint), yr. bro. of George [Talbot], 14th Earl of Shrewsbury
born
8 Mar 1753
mar.
23 Sep 1792 Elizabeth Hoey (d. 13 Feb 1847), 1st dau. of James Hoey, a printer, of Dublin
died
s.p. 6 Apr 1827 (bur. at Heythrop, co. Oxford)
suc. by
nephew

No children, no significance for the date 1887.

This information does not tally with the stories recounted by our groups medium.


CONCLUSION.

I may of entered into the evening expecting to much, but I came away a little disheartened.

Now I believe the grounds do indeed hold some kind of energy, the building and the history are fantastic and deserve to be experienced by as many people as possible.

In terms of a Ghost Hunt though, there were so many people on sight that it was almost impossible to generate any kind of atmosphere, as you could hear people talking/laughing in different parts of the Towers and we would frequently be interrupted, breaking any semblance of progress or mood. I witnessed a few lights, flashes and other audible phenomena, but due to the amount of physical activity in the grounds most of it could easily be written off rightly or wrongly as distinctly not Paranormal. It would be interesting to go back one day with just the one group. Indeed if similar things were witnessed again their paranormal credibility would be increased ten fold.

I would recommend a night like this to the curious ghost fan, but a smaller group investigation would defiantly be preferable if I was to embark on one again. I don't scare easy and was heartily disappointed at the lack of atmosphere.

Dan "I want to believe" Weatherer