Ghostly Goings On V

Haunted Houses

I've stayed in a few places that are supposed to be haunted so I thought I'd tell you the tales. 

First there was Beamish Hall:
It is now a hotel, looks nice if you are ever in the North East of England it is worth checking out there and Beamish museum - Link

I stayed there twice while I was at college.  It was an optional part of our English course and was great fun, groups of 16 to 18 year olds away from home in a haunted house!  The house at that time wasn't a hotel but hosted residential courses, it was quite basic with a lot of the house unmodernised.  At might it was very spooky and there were a lot of unexplained noises but nothing to prove haunting.

Beamish Hall allegedly has a few ghosts, the most famous is the Grey Lady:
"Legend has it that the grey lady was in love with Mr Shafto, but was promised to another by her father.  On the day of her wedding, she ran to Beamish Hall to escape from her appointed suitor and hid in a casket in the lowest cellars within the hall.  Unfortunately, the lady locked herself in and suffocated to death, being found some months later.  Her restless spirit wanders the hall today, her wedding dress-grey with age, rustling as she moves."

Others include a man in a tweed suit patrolling the corridors, this is thought to be Mr Shafto.  A lady in pink sitting in the Eden room with her companions including a cat and a parrot.   Amongst the others are children in the attic and a nasty spirit in the kitchen.   It would seem the kitchen spirit had an adverse effect on the food, it was pretty bad, we ordered pizza.

So we are there for a weekend do lots of interesting team building exercises and bits of drama.  One of the things our artistic English teacher decided we should do was scream.  As in arrrrrrgh.  Just as a release.  So there we are taking turns to scream when a blood curdling scream comes from elsewhere in the building.  The screaming increased from there and that was the end of that session.  No idea if it was an echo, the staff joining in or the sound of a tortured soul.

Years later I stayed in Chillingham Castle:
This is a lovely place to stay, check it out - Link the website includes details of the many ghosts, it is allegedly very very haunted and has been on many TV shows.  I went with a large group of friends for a weekend that included a murder mystery evening hosted in the coaching rooms. 

The group I was part of stayed in the landseer rooms,  I shared my time little room with a gay guy and we had a great laugh.  I woke up the first morning and was reading when he woke up and said "shit, this is like a prison cell."  That was before he knew we were locked in!

The downside of the weekend was that I had just split up with a guy I'd lived with for 7 years, he was there too.  I had a great time but there were some tense moments.  At one point I had to escape a, and crept into the next suite where I say on my own and had a good cry.  Other guest may have heard the wailing and thought it was a ghost, sorry guys just me.

The couple staying upstairs from us had a massive fight one night leading to a lot of bumps and bangs which again other guests could be forgiven for assuming it was the blue boy having a party. 

I had to go and collect my dog before we went home.  I was very naughty and let her have a sniff round.  Little Looby didn't notice anything strange so I'm not convinced by the Chillingham ghosts.  Lovely, interesting place though.

Finally at the suggestion of Dan I have added another haunted place that I have stayed.  Edinburgh is allegedly one of the most haunted cities in the world.  I've been here nearly 10 years so I've obviously visited less tourist attractions than the average American would do in a weekend but let me try to summarise out ghostly residents. 

Looking at my fantastic picture of Edinburgh you can see the castle on top of the volcano.  The streets running down from the castle are the old town and this is where most of our ghosties live.  From the Royal Mile you can take a few different ghost tours.  I've done most of them now, the most famous is Mary Kings Close.  When I first visited this tour was very rough and ready, done by student guides.  It was great.  This is a narrow street (or close) that used to run from the Royal Mile to the Nor Loch.  They built new buildings on the Royal mile but left this street underneath.  The story goes that during a plague they walled it up and left everyone there.  The horrible history aside it is really interesting to visit.  They have now done this up to make it a proper visitors attraction, it had taken away some of the character but is still worth a look.  They just did their first public over night stay for Halloween, wish I'd known I might have joined.

The one I like best is the Vaults, Edinburgh's underground city.  This is basically a bridge where they have built both sides and the arches have been filled with vaults.  A quick pic:
You enter the vaults through various buildings, some of the buildings are using parts of the vaults as store rooms.  Some of the pubs are actually in vaults.  I've been down here a few times and it is always different.  They definitely have a spooky feel, you are under the city so there are strange noises.  They have odd temperatures with hot and cold patches.  In addition there are dark doorways and random little storage areas.  There are definitely rats in the vaults so you do hear them.  It's history is nasty too (a pattern forming here), Edinburgh's poor and criminals used to live in the vaults.  I think the famous Burke and Hare stayed in the vaults at some stage (might be wrong).  I'm sure they were dark, smelly and unpleasant then, they still are.

The first visit I did was with work, it's hard to scare a group of 40+ people so it wasn't very creepy.  The second time I was with 2 friends and the total tour group was 6.  The thing I noticed was the temperature changes, very obvious when you take one step from warm to cold.  The best bit was one of the girls on the tour who claimed to be psychic.  She kept describing the spirits she was seeing.  Old women sitting knitting in one vault.  A man running down the centre corridor shouting at us to get out.  She seemed genuinely scared and wanted to leave.  We had been drinking so we were equally but very differently affected by spirits, I've not often laughed that much while trying hard not too.

One of the bars that backs on to the vaults is Whistle Binkies, very popular as it often has a late licence.  This bar has it's own spirit in the form of a long haired 17th century man who sits at the end of the bar, he's called The Watcher, because he watches (see what they did there).  Apparently he has been mistaken for a tour guide in the vaults, not sure how interesting he would have been as I don't believe he speaks?  A lot of people have seen him.  I'm not one of them, I don't drink much, I'm not sure if there is a connection between these things.  They have a second unseen ghost called The Imp which stops clocks and locks doors, more scary than the Watcher.

There are a huge number of ghosts around Edinburgh's old town.  A lot of the bars, hotels and theatres have ghosts, just have a flick through the list on this interesting paranormal site - Link.  I suppose since history says there has been settlements in Edinburgh since it was a hill fort in the 1st century.  Yep a lot of people must have died here so even if only a tiny, tiny percentage hang around we would have a lot of ghosts.  We've also had a lot of influential and famous residents who may have left a residual influence.  I'm particularly looking forward to the first sitings of Dolly the sheep's ghost, she now lives in the national museum.

I think my favourite ghostie is Deacon Brodie (also a great pub on the Royal Mile) he was the inspiration for the Jekyll and Hyde story, a respected business man by day but a criminal by night.  Apparently he was hung using the gallows he designed.  He is said to still walk around The Royal Miles carrying a lantern, with all the strange things on the Royal Mile I'm surprised anyone notices.  In August all the ghosts in Edinburgh could parade up and down the Royal Mile and no one would bat an eyelid, they'd be lucky to sell any tickets for their show.

Ghostly Goings On IV

Suspicious Psychic Snippets

While I haven't been back to a spiritual church meeting since I was in my mid teens I have occasional encountered a psychic, other than vague suggestions of personality and relationships they haven't ever said anything that has astounded me. Other members of my family either seem to attract or seek out psychic types and therefore I have an interesting collection of things that have been said that are a bit strange.

My Aunt went through a phase of visiting a spiritual church after her mum died. She had noticed at home that two of her clocks kept stopping at the time her mother died and could smell lavender occasionally. This made her think her mum was still around so she went hoping for a message. Her mum had been ill for a long time, cancer and later some sort of Alzheimer's type memory loss. It was very sad and could be distressing but at times she could be unintentionally very funny. She was a lovely lady and kept her humour throughout her illness so was able to laugh at her own antics when she realised what she had said or done.
Amongst the many messages my aunt got where some that have stuck in my mind, she was told:

"You have a knee in a draw?" She had her knee cap removed and had kept it, it was in fact in a draw in her bedroom, she swears there is no way anyone could have known this.

"Hickory, Dickory, Dock, the mouse ran up the clock" A nursery rhyme her mum used to keep saying while she was ill, there was no reason for it.

"Do you have a son in the spirit world?" No she didn't. "I am been shown an image of someone climbing out of a bedroom window and running away, it is definitely a male in spirit." My Aunt had a dog called Fred who used to unlatch the bedroom (first floor) windows, jump out and run away. She would be sitting down stairs and would see him land and head off down the street. She had moved since Fred died so didn't think anyone there would have known about this.

She was also told that her mum was making her presence known so that she could feel the love that was there. I don't know if this is true but it probably made her feel better.

My Dad gives off some sort of come and speak to me vibe while walking down the street and often gets stopped by people who will give him things or chat to him. It's not the buy some white heather thing, we were walking around London one day while I lived there when a very very old gypsy lady came over to him and gave him a good luck charm. She stood talking to him telling him all sorts of random things. She said he had two children one who was academically clever (me) but that the other was more intelligent (my brother). I still haven't gotten over this!

He had another lady approach him in a similar way when he was on holiday, he really thought he had been set up by his friends or something. She knew so much about him, predicted that his mum would have another heart attack in amongst other health issues but that she would be fine, that all happened. Told him he would buy a new house and move within the next 6 months which he did. Described his personality so well it was scary. Told him things he hadn't known about his grandfather and great uncles. He was really quite shaken by the accuracy of what she said.

My Dad is a big guy, he has always had a manual job and isn't really the type I would expect to believe in the supernatural but due to a number of events over the years he is a strong believer that there are people who somehow are in contact with spirits. Although not the clincher I think one of the deciders was been told many years ago that he would spend his later years living with a woman who wasn't his wife and have two children with her. At the time he was happily married with two children and laughed this off. Now he does live with a woman who isn't his wife and they have two children. My mum and dad got divorced but ended up back together.

Anyway not so much a ghost story just a few oddities. What do you think, can people contact the dead? Have you had any strange messages?

Followers Favour

Dear Lovely Blog Followers

Thank you for all your comments, they are very much appreciated.

I was hoping to pick you brains.  I'll try not to do this too often.  I am about to enter a writing competition to try to realise a goal I have to get something published.  It is for a magazine and I'm sure the competition will be intense.  I'd like to think I have a reasonable chance.

They want writing about anything but have said it should be witty, well written, real, interesting and honest. I think I can manage that.

What I was hoping you would help me with is to tell me which of my posts stand out for you, is there anything you have read on my blog that you have remembered or that has particularly interested you.  I am just hoping to get an idea of what sort of topics I could cover.

I have some ideas but too many and need to make some selections.

I'd be really grateful for any feedback you can give.  Getting published has been on my to do list for a long time.

Thank you
Mrs Midnite :0)

Ghostly Goings On Part III

I used to love horror movies until I started living on my own.  Then I realised that it is far too creepy, the final straw was after watching The Grudge.

I went home feeling a little bit spooked, had a cup of tea and went to bed.  My little dog at the time curled up to go to sleep on the floor next to my bed and I started to drift off to sleep.

Suddenly the furry muppet was in the hallway barking and I was wide awake with my heart pounding in my chest.  Initially I was going to employ the universal defense against spookiness at night and hide under my covers.  But The Grudge had already prepared for this.  In the movie a lady is followed home by the ghostie and hides uses the cover defense, rather shockingly the spirit creeps under her bed cover and drags her to her doom.  So I sat up and put the light on, small and furry returned to her bed and settled down.  I waited for my heart rate to return to normal so I could go back to sleep.

Later when I had gone to sleep muppet got up and headed for the kitchen.  She started another round of furious barking waking me up in a state of heart attack inducing panic.  I was nearly in tears, shaking as the adrenaline surged round my body.  I put the light on and crept out of bed although anyone with ears would have been able to hear my heart banging.  I tip toed through the hall and into the front room, flicked on the light and saw nothing.  Onwards I bravely went towards the kitchen thinking this is the bit in the horror movie where the stupid teen dies horribly.

Once at the kitchen door I flicked that light on to see something a lot like this:

Yes, my cavalier laughing her furry little socks off at the success of her scary story.  I'm sure her cavalier friends all had a laugh when she told them about her clever trick!

PS, That's not Sasha laughing, it is the fabulous, wonderful Looby who I had before Star and Sasha.  A dog renowned for her wicked sense of humour.

Ghostly Goings On Part II

A spooky experience I had in the early 90s when I was about 16.  I had a good friend at the time called Jill, she was really into rock music and had embraced the whole Goth life style.   I liked some of the same music but not everything she liked, we both loved a good vampire story but she could get a bit macabre.

She wanted to go to a spiritualist church so asked me to go along with her. I hadn't been anywhere like that before and didn't really know what to expect but thought it might be a laugh.  So off we went on a Monday night.  The church was a corrugated iron hall at one side of a big field in the centre of town.  We got there to find that the majority of the congregation were pensioners.  There were 3 or 4 people sitting at the front and then a few rows of mismatched chairs in a semi circle.  We took some seats in the second row just off to one side.

The meeting / service whatever you would call it started with a prayer and then the people at the front started giving people messages "from the other side".  I wasn't really very comfortable in the meeting because I was freezing, I had goose-bumps and was close to shivering.  During the break I spoke to the ladies we were sitting next too and one of them said something strange. 
"If you feel you have something to say you should just speak out." 
I just said "OK, I will." 
Later in the break Jill said she heard the woman say, "she definitely has a message but doesn't want to share."

Jill asked me if I had a message.  No, I told her that I had a song stuck in my head, I thought I must have heard it before I left the house.  This was the song:

Towards the end an old man focused on me and said "you have a strong spirit guide with you, she is protecting you from harm."

I was a bit shocked to be picked out but probably just gave a nervous smile. He went on to say that The guide wasn't a relative but an oriental girl who had drowned.  He said that I had a experience where I could have drowned (which I did) and that this spirit had protected me.  He said that I should listen to my guide.

Not long after that a lady stood up and said she had a message but wasn't sure who it was for, she said she had a young woman from the spirit world who had taken her own life. She mentioned that there was a strong Scottish influence.  Someone said that might be for them.  She went on to say that the girl had a difficult life and couldn't see any way out but to take her own life.  She wanted to apologise for all the pain she had caused but that she needed to end the abuse.  The lady said that she thought this was her niece and that she had shot herself.  None of the family understood why she had done it, they knew she was unhappy but thought it was just teenage moods. 

If you know the Aerosmith song story (or just watched the video) you might see some similarities between that and what was said about this woman.  By this point I was shivering, it was absolutely freezing.  I had an urge to say something but I never did, I don't think it would have been right.

When we stood up to leave I noticed that there was a gas heater just behind where we were sitting, Jill had felt warm through the whole meeting.  This freaked me out so much that I never went back.  No amount of begging from Jill would make me, she persuaded some other friends to go instead.

Ghostly Goings On Part 1

As we are approaching Halloween I thought I'd run a special series of spooky posts.  Looking back I have had a few interesting, potentially supernatural experiences so I thought I'd share.

The School Ghost

When I was around 9 I think I saw a ghost, I was out riding my bike with a friend, Glen and we saw a man on a horse.  We both stopped and stared for a while because the man had no head. I started to say something about it but Glen interrupted and said "don't say anything."   It wasn't a frightening experience, maybe a bit creepy but the horse and rider passed us just as a normal man on horseback would. 

The Headless Horseman" by Veronica Smith

I know now that near to where I grew up there is a old house, Beamish Hall that supposedly has a number of ghostly residents.  I have stayed there twice and it is a pretty atmospheric place.  I have heard stories that there is a headless horseman as well as the most famous grey lady.

Although Glen didn't want to talk about it I couldn't resist telling my friends at school the following week.  Even at the age I was a story teller! This first story lead to a new game of telling scary stories during break time.  At that age you would be surprised how many horror stories you know, we had ghosts, possessed dolls and mysterious moving objects.  The whole school was sharing ghost stories after a few days.  Even one of the teachers joined in with her ghost story:

Two of the older teachers Miss Bell and Mrs Elwood had been away on a residential teachers training course.  During the night Mrs Elwood told us she woke to see a woman standing by her bed.  She was wearing a nuns habit and Mrs Elwood said she knew it was a ghost although the woman looked real.  She lay watching until the woman left.  The next day she mentioned it to Miss Bell and turned out she had seen it too.  Both were quite scared by the experience.

It seemed that there were ghosts everywhere, the temptation was too much for my young creative mind.

A small group of us decided that the school needed a ghost, so we made one up (I say we, it was my idea).  It wasn't an old school, built in the 70s but for reasons I don't remember we decided that our ghost was a student who killed herself in the toilets at one end of the school.  I'm sure the story wasn't very well thought out but as we were only trying to convince 7 to 10 year olds before the days of Google it didn't need to be.  The story was rolled out one lunchtime and by the following afternoon it had taken on a life of its own.  New details were added, names and reasons for the suicide.  A teacher bullying the student who wasn't very clever. 

The following week two of the girls from the lower class heard something in the toilets.  Another saw a strange girl in the corridor.  Soon the girls were to frightened to use the toilets and the boys from the top class were daring each other to go in alone.  One girl actually fainted in the toilets she was so scared after hearing a noise.

Eventually an assembly was called and the head teacher explained to us all that no one had died in the school and that there was no ghost.  Did anyone believe them, no chance.  This taught me the power of whispered rumours and the weakness of official statements.  The stories continued in to the next year when we were the top class. 

A few years after I'd left school, in my late teens I went to a reunion at my junior school.  I heard some children talking about the ghost, fortunately at some stage the story had evolved and apparently the ghost is just lonely and wants to be friends. 

I guess I should really apologise to the school and teachers for causing lots of problems with my story.  I never meant any harm and it taught me a lot but I suspect it was a bit of a nightmare for the school at the time.

Miracle Jeans

Last week I wrote about my battle to buy miracle jeans.  Finally I successfully ordered these denim phenomenons.  They arrived in a heavenly glow and I freed them from their cardboard packaging with joy in my heart. 

BUT it seems they are a false sensation.  I pulled them on, zipped them up and yes they flattened my stomach partly by pushing down which could be uncomfortable over a whole day but they also created major muffin top!

I'm quite annoyed by this bit because I measured and got the size recommended.  Funnily the jeans don't feel tight, they are quite comfortable but there is a definite muffin ness and when  I sit down it is very obvious.  That aside the material is less denim and more Lycra, that to me says jeggings not jeans.  They also have quite a straight leg considering they were meant to be bootcut.  All in all not a miracle and certainly not worth 100 of my hard earned pounds!

The search for the perfect jeans continues.  But here to cheer me up is a muffin cat, enjoy!

Tattoo Trouble

I sort of want a tattoo but the road to body design is paved with problems.  I'm not sure if I will ever be able to make a decision on what and where to permanently colour myself!

First issue is the what.  This is going to be on me for ever, it takes me ages to decide what to wear on a morning.  So careful consideration is required:

Anything with words is dodgy in case of an illiterate tattoo artist:

I also worry that tattoo man might get carried away and forget to stop:

I guess I'm thinking that it just won't look right:

Like seriously my dogs with some coloured pens could draw a better panther and WTF is that unicorn doing?

The other worry is that I pick something that dates really quickly or that I hate after 6 months. 

Remembering the various tattoo fashions I have seen through the years that I sort of liked - dolphins, butterflies, devils moving on the Chinese symbols and tribal designs.  I think you can kind of tell when a tat was done if they fall into one of the fashion tattoo areas:

I'm not sure I'd still love Flipper now although I did really like them about 15 years ago.  I suppose not sticking to the fashion but getting something that appeals specifically to you is the secret.  I need to watch out in this too because a lot of the tattoos I see and think wow are really more for men:
I have always had a thing about dragons so have strongly considered getting one of those. Slight issue with that because Mr Midnite has a black dragon already and I suspect people would think I got one to match. His and hers tattoos!

So if I narrow down to things that actually mean something to me am I considering a cavalier tattoo?  Well it would be original because even the power of Google can't find one:

Actually I have it narrowed it down to a dragon, something with a Star and a Sash or some sort of flowery thing:

So with the what in progress I have to consider the where?  I want something I can hide if needed and reveal when I want to.  I think I also want something I can see.  Some places that have been withdrawn from discussion because they don't fit these requirements:
The head or face -
Anything around this area -
The back, partly because I can't see it and party because the lower back ones are now known as slag tags -
Don't fancy anything on my stomach, not my favourite body part and I would hate to see it stretch if I got pregnant or just fat.  Not really wanting anything on my upper arms of legs either and anything on my chest is totally out, best feature does not need anything added -

Have I left anything?  Oh yes, sides, wrists, hands, ankles and feet.  Not much to choose between so why can't I decide?

Any suggestions or advice will be appreciated and I promise if I ever make a decision I'll share.

Miner Thoughts

I'm sure everyone has seen the news that the miners in Chile were all rescued earlier this week.  Great to see some good news, I found it quite addictive watching them come out.  I love the reactions they had to their freedom, everything from hugging strangers, kneeling in prayer and handing out souvenir rocks. 

I just want to say before I go on the I have great respect for the miners who seem to have stayed calm during the whole 69 days.  The first days when they didn't know if anyone realised they were still alive must have been awful. 

I get a bit claustrophobic so the idea of being trapped underground in a pretty small place is horrific to me.  My dad was a miner, in fact most of my male ancestors were, my great great grandfather was killed in a mining accident, I found the details on a website.  I have actually been in an a couple of mines, one in a museum and one working mine.  I didn't like either and couldn't wait to get out.   But I have being thinking that apart from the youngest these guys have been miners for a long time.  They are used to these conditions and most likely don't get claustrophobic so the things that would terrify me wouldn't bother them as much.

When I was reading about the preparations for them coming out I got the impression they were going to be kept isolated and that they were expecting them to be really traumatised.  That's not the impression I got watching.  I wonder how much of that is the initial adrenaline rush and excitement of getting rescued?  I'm also wondering how much the press have hyped the expected trauma for the story?  What will the long term effects of these events be for these men, will they get post traumatic shock?  I don't really know, I think I would have nightmares about tunnels and being trapped.

The whole ordeal made me think a few different and slightly random things that I thought I would share:

1) Apart from the first days how different was the miners experience to that of the big brother contestants?  OK it was dark, damp and probably a bit smelly but the rest?  Trapped in a confined space with a group of other people you wouldn't necessarily choose to be with.  Entirely dependant on the outsiders to pass you information, food and water.  Your day broken into tasks to keep you active.  A few TV cameras and 24 hour coverage all we needed was Davina presenting and some kind of voting.  How long before a reality TV show thinks of recreating this?

2) How long will it be before the Fenix rescue capsule is a new ride at Alton Towers or Disneyland?  Can you stand the terror of the Fenix rescue ride?

3) If in some kind of weird event I ended up trapped with my work colleagues for 69 days there is no way we would all make it out alive.  I work with a man I am going to affectionately call the Prince of Darkness, in this situation there would be a choice between him or the rest of us surviving. 

4) 5 of them were coming out to face the fact that their wives and mistresses had met.  Would you perhaps be taking the next shuttle back down?  5 out of 33 men here have a long term mistress, do you think this is a reasonable representation of the numbers across the rest of men?

5) If you were one of the miners and assuming the TV and book deals don't set you up for life would you ever go back in a mine again?

6) I misguidedly thought my dad as an ex miner would be interested in the rescue but when I mentioned it during the news he wasn't.  I guess when he walked out on the last day he put it behind him although to here him talk after a few pints you would think he was still down on the face.  He did comment that if they had got trapped no one would have drilled down to get them.  Makes sense, they were mining 9 miles out under the North Sea.

A pondering

Something I was thinking about this week.

My friend just got a shiny new car, she cried when she left her old one at the garage and collected the new one.  The car salespeople gave her some very strange looks.  She has been telling me how she loved the old car, the places it has taken her and the fact it has kept her from getting soaked waiting for buses.

It made me think about how we get attached to some things but not others.  I was pondering why some things become part of the family and others don't.  I hear people who have named their cars and talk about them as though they have feelings and intentions.  I guess your car does take you lots of places and goes with you on holidays and days out. 

But why don't other objects take on a persona in the same way.  For example I just changed my boiler.  For over 7 years Bruce the Boiler has kept me warm during cold winter nights, he has provided hot water to keep me clean and to fill nice relaxing baths.  I kicked Bruce out without a second thought, no tears were shed for the boiler. 

Any idea why cars creep into our hearts but the humble boiler doesn't?

Ouch, ouch, ooowe

I'm in pain in case you wondered.

Not a clue what I've done but for most of today I have had a pain in my left shoulder and up into my neck.  It wasn't there when I first got up, before the sun did, to go to asbo rehabilitation.  I don't think it was there when I dropped my car off at the garage for its service.  It was there at work and has stayed. 

I suspect it was caused by carrying my laptop on the long car-less trip to work.

It hurts!  I try not to take painkillers because I used to get so many headaches I could end up taking them all the time so I decided to only take them for really painful things.  I have had to take them today, I want to cry it is so sore.

I'm trying to think of something that might help.  I have a microwave dog hot non-water bottle which is coming to bed with me.  But think I might need to go for a massage or something to try to get it fixed.  Any excuse for some pampering.  Wonder what else I can try:

I think this acupuncture might be working!

Bad Hair Year!

Hands up how many people have gone and had a perm at some stage in their lives?

Somewhere around the age of 13 I decided this was a great idea.  Lots of girls at school were turning up with sophisticated looking spirally waves of hair and I thought that this was the solution to my boring, dull brown, perfectly straight and fine head of hair.  A perm will add body I thought, it is the answer to all my hair trauma.  So the idea was suggested to my mum who I'm sorry to say did nothing to prevent it.

Around that time one of the major stars in the soap Eastenders was:

Roly the dog.

Can you see where this is going?  Yes, not for me the glamorous spiralling waves of hair, no my hair went with the tight curl, frizzy poodle look.  Many of the cruel children at school, more often referred to as friends, noted the similarity between myself and Roly.  Oh how we laughed. 

They were in fact wrong, Roly is clearly a blond, I'm a brunette.  My hair looked more like this:

So I tried the obvious and attempted to brush it out, leading to this look:

Yeah I rocked that look!  My next attempt at disguising the Roly hair and avoiding the ridicule of my peers was to scrape the curls into a pony tail.  Although in fairness I think that in my case it should be renamed the poodle tail:

For weeks I went to school with my head looking surprisingly like a Poodle's butt.  Finally in desperation I bought a home perm and slapped all the solution on my hair.  I combed it through onto a piece of clingfilm and then wrapped more cling film round my head trying to keep it as straight as possible.  30 minutes later straight but slightly frizzy hair was returned. 

Never again will I be tempted by the sophisticated looking curls, I have learned my lesson.

To do or not to do

That is the question.

I have a problem.  I have life guilt.  It is a strange thing, I wonder if you get it too.

Life guilt is where you feel bad that you are not making the most of your life. I feel quite bad about this, it bugs me, clearly this is linked to some of my other problems.  I swing between feeling that I am too busy and need a break and the feeling that I am not doing enough.  I can't decide which is right.

My week is I think pretty full.  Monday to Friday I'm at work.  Monday to Thursday I get up and do dog training before work, Friday it is after work.  Wednesday night, Saturday morning and the occasional Sunday I do Yoga.  Sunday afternoons I take Sasha to agility.  Tuesday Night I generally visit best friends and the boys.  Monday, Wednesday and at least one other night I see Mr Midnite.  I also need to sleep plus all those other boring things like food shopping, cleaning etc etc.  By Friday night after dog training I'm normally happy to stay in and watch TV with the furry ones and Mr Midnite if he isn't busy.  My parents often say they wish I was going out when I speak to them but really I'm not bothered, I'm tired and just want to chill.

This weekend I missed my Saturday yoga and stayed in bed with Mr M.  After a nice lie in I took the girls to the beach, did my shopping, cleaned the bathroom, did my washing and searched for the perfect jeans.  Today I have been catching up on blogs, doing some dog training but generally just relaxing.  I am missing dog agility because its cold and windy outside and I just don't feel like it.

And here comes the guilt, 2 days and I haven't achieved much.  I would like to do more and now I feel like I have wasted valuable time.  I can't get my head around the idea that doing nothing is an acceptable use of time.  I am sitting thinking that I should have:
- gone to agility
- sorted out my wardrobe
- painted my hall cupboard
- bathed the dogs
- taken some clothes I bought back
- done my ironing
- read my friends book
- taken the girls for a long walk
- visited friends
- etc etc etc.

Do other people do this or is it just me?

Kings of Leon - Why?

This is the only reason I like The Kings of Leon:

It made me laugh!

Arrrrgh online shopping

I'm trying really, really hard to buy a pair of fantastic sounding jeans that allegedly tuck your tummy in and lift ya butt!

They are NYDJ (Not Your Daughters Jeans) and don't seem to be stock in that many places, none in the Edinburgh shops as far as I can tell so turned to the vast possibilities of online shopping.

So here I am on a Saturday night bank card in hand ready to pay the massive amount of £100 for these miracle jeans.  Is there anyone out on the world wide web prepared to take my hard earned pennies?  Apparently not. is unable to find my address so can't do a credit check so I can't register therefore I can't buy.  Littlewoods direct (actually the same company) managed to find my address but no flat number but they charge £20 extra per item if you want to pay without opening an account.  Don't fancy them doing a credit check on my name for the whole block of six flats and not keen on paying £40 more. 

Additions, allowing me to pay with my card, finds my address without the flat number, delivers in the evening but when I try to complete the transaction some sort of cross verification thing means my computer won't let it finish.  Some fiddling later and finally I have placed an order and paid.  Only to get a notification saying my order will be confirmed once they have completed checks. 

I think it is a conspiracy to stop me getting my new jeans and looking a size smaller!

Douche Bag of the month

My bloggy friend Scrappy always does a douche bag of the month but I really really don't agree with her October bag of douche so I see her douche bag and raise her a Geordie douche bag of astounding proportions:

Yes, Mrs Midnite's very first (and probably only) douche bag of the month is Cheryl Cole.

The reasons are many and not least the travesty that is her single fight for this love complete with weird pants uniform and seriously bad miming.

But that is not the reason why I am douche bagging her, the reason is her really, really, really bad decision in the girls group of the x-factor.

These were her choices:

So which of these girls did the idiot Cheryl send home?
1) The girl who has consistently performed well and managed to sing and remember her words at all stages of the competition.
2) The girl who wowed then in the first rounds but couldn't sing in this final stage
3) The girl who has forgotten her words and given pretty poor performances during at least two stages.

You guessed yet, Cheryl the douche bag put through girls 2 and 3.  I can only assume that she was in awe of the ability of someone so young who could perform so well and consistently.  Perhaps she didn't fancy the competition in the singles charts next year?

Simon can we kick Cheryl off the x-factor and bring back Sharon or one of the guest judges that stepped in while Cheryl was sick.  Seriously Cheryl has no idea.  I hadn't planned to watch x-factor this year because the majority of the acts make me want to stick knives in my ears but as usual the car crash TV has sucked me in and now there will be no escape until I am forced to compulsively buy a Megadeath single to keep one of these monsters from getting the Christmas number 1. 

Did you see Must be the Music, real talent judged by people with real talent, the way forward I think!

Letter 3 - My Parents

Dear Mum and Dad

There is no way I can write a letter to you both together because you are so different and have been there at different times in my life so I can only do this by splitting you up as you have split up so many times before.

Letters the challenge update

Continuing the attempt to write letters to people in my life for blog eyes only as described in the letters challenge post.  Letter number 3 is to your parents and I've been trying to write it for a while.  It's hard, the whole challenge is actually harder than I expected.

Today I was watching a reality TV show, Tough Love where a match maker attempts to help some women overcome their relationship issues.  I've never seen this before but was flicking through the channels earlier and got sucked in to this program.  The women were asked to write letters to their Daddies, he said that every woman has Daddy issues and that until these are resolved they will colour their relationships with other men.  Interesting!

My counsellor has told me repeatedly that I need to learn to deal with my issues with my Dad, that once I can deal with him I will be able to deal with anyone.  The Tough Love guy thinks writing a letter even if the Dad doesn't read it should help.  So I'm going to try to give letter number 3 another try.

There are some others I'm thinking might cause me issues too!

Threats and abuse for the ASBO dogs

It's now 5 and a half hours since the latest ASBO dog incident and I'm still pretty upset and stressed about it.  I thought I would share the new installment for anyone still reading.  Sorry to bore you all but they are my babies and this mess is doing my head in.

So just before 4 today the dogs were fast asleep and I needed to go outside for a minute.  As soon as I opened the door the girls appeared and made a break for freedom.  They needed the toilet and shot down the stairs to go out (0 to peeing in less than 60 seconds).  I followed them and once toilets were finished I shouted them to come back in, no chance the taste of freedom was to much.

Typically in a toast falling butter side down way the little fur balls ran straight down the path to scared boys house.  Star was actually going into his stairs, I think she was planning to visit.  I didn't see the kid but of course his dad was hanging out of the kitchen window smoking and immediately started shouting:

"You've been told"
"They got out, I'm taking them back" I replied, I think quite politely
"If I see those dogs again I'm going to kill them"
It then descended into him swearing and threatening me and the dogs. I told him I was going to call the police and he said go on then and I'll tell them how you f**king dogs are terrorising my son.

My neighbour (from the flat opposite mine in my block) heard him shouting and walked along and started having a go back at him, she said that the dogs were not threatening or aggressive and that he should deal with his son's phobia.  He turned on her and said

"Have you got children?" (Yes, two son's in their late teens / early 20s)
"You've got grandchildren, how would you feel if they were frightened"
My neighbour responded, "they aren't frightened, anyway you have a dog yourselves."
"We haven't have a dog for years, since before he was born." Was the blokes response.  "You should mind your own business."

I walked back home with my neighbour, Star under my arm and Sasha following.  She has told me before that the kid that is so scared is actually a bully, he pushed her husband's grandchild over and stole her shoes.  I see where the kid gets his bullying habits from. 

I called the police when I got home and they said they would send someone out.  After an hour or so two police women arrived on my doorstep.  I think I was pretty honest.  I explained that their kid is terrified of dogs and that they had scared him once by running up to him, this was when the dad had first abused me.  From then on I had mostly kept my dogs on leads but there was a second incident when I let Star off because a toddler wanted to walk Sasha.  That led to them complaining to me and then calling the police.

I explained that I understand he is frightened and have done my best to avoid him by taking the dogs out the other side of the house and keeping them on leads most of the time.  I told them that I let them out without leads first thing in the morning (6 to 6.30am) and late at night because I think it is unlikely that the child will be out.  I also said that they are going to daily training classes because I am aware that they don't always listen but that they are not in any way aggressive or threatening. 

I also said that the problem was partly my fault because since the dogs were small I have allowed them to play with the local children and that now they love children and always want to play.  The dogs don't understand that this one child is frightened. 

I said that this was an accident and that I went to get the dogs straight away.  I told them I was annoyed with the dogs because they didn't come when called but that I didn't intentionally let them run around.

I am really annoyed with the dogs, £300 and counting plus getting up at 6 and spending loads of time on training for them to totally ignore me when it matters.  At the classes they come when called every time.  So frustrating but it is because they saw some children and wanted to play.  I need children distractions at the class.

I said to the police that I feel as though this family are now watching me and that I have seen them watching out of the window when I am going back and forwards to my car.  The kid runs away when he sees me regardless of whether the dogs are with me or not.  He shouts for his mum and she comes to the window and watches me.  The dad stopped one day when he was getting in his car and watched me go from my car to flat before continuing with what he was doing.  I think this is harassment.  Added to this the threats on Star and Sasha lives I am totally fed up with the whole situation. 

I have lived here for 7 years, I loved it here.  I get on with my neighbours, it's quiet, pretty central, good bus route, near work and my flat is great.  Now I just want to move but I can't afford to.  If I was renting I would just move but I have a mortgage and have pretty much just finished updating the flat.

The police said they would speak to this guy about his threatening behaviour and attitude.  They agreed that I am doing everything right and thought that letting them off their leads when the child is unlikely to be out was acceptable.  I hope that getting a warning from the police will stop him but I suspect it will make him worse.

I have a number of thoughts and suggestions from people some very unreasonable:
- My brother says he will come up with a borrowed Rottweiler and sit outside the guys house to see if he says anything.  When he sees him he wants to ask if he is going to come out and kill his dog.
- My dad would like to come up and have a chat with this guy.
- Mr Midnite is going to start taking the dogs for walks past their house and see if the guy has the guts to say anything to him (hasn't so far).  I don't want to wind Mr Midnite up with this because although I never see it he has got a temper and I don't want him getting in trouble.
- Boy best friend has said he will come round and walk the dogs.
- I am considering getting a Rhodesian Ridgeback or similar as a body guard for the wee ones.  Try killing one of the without a shotgun.
- There are numerous rough and dodgy people that I know for my dark years who would happily show the guy what it's like to be frightened to go out but I'm not the type to do that sort of thing.
- I am thinking of asking my dog trainer how much it would be to do a session here because the dogs act differently near home to anywhere else that we go.
- I am going to start keeping a note of anything that happens (most of the events are blogged anyway) and if it doesn't stop now I am going to find a lawyer and see what action I can take.
- I am going to make sure all my neighbours know that he has threatened to kill the dogs.  I don't see why I should keep my mouth shut when he was yelling his intentions out of the window, all the kids heard anyway.

I have to say if anything happens to my dogs I will be devastated and I will never forgive this family.  There is a good chance I will bite the child myself.  My dogs might be a bit excitable but they are friendly and harmless.  We haven't done anything to deserve this treatment. 

So angry about this whole messy situation I just really don't know what to do.  I think I need to speak to my doctor because this sort of stress could easily make me ill.  I have been OK recently but I stay that way by avoiding stress and too much of anything.  I deal with stress at work by keeping my home life calm, I do so many things and avoid a lot of other things to keep calm and balanced.  I've cried loads today, my dogs are a lot of the reason I can cope and I can't stand the idea of them getting hurt or taken away.  I am probably starting to sound like I am over reacting but I am feeling like I can't go out without this family watching me, waiting for another mistake so they can attack.  Am I getting paranoid?

Asbo dogs in sheep attack

This is the video I took on Star and Sasha's first full day living at my house:

Please note no sheep were harmed in the making of this film. 

The noisy one is Star, she is always very vocal in her play flights with Sasha.

About me

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30 something female, GSOH, independent, unreliable, seeks sanity. Must like dogs and handbags!