Eighteen years later….
6570 blogs, 5,452,432 words (that includes Metro columns though as the bloke who sends me those figures has everything in a word document - thanks very much Jon Burton), fourteen Edinburgh Fringes, a few podcasts, two house moves, one marriage, two kids.
Every anniversary makes me laugh at my own foolishness. After one year of never missing a day of blogging I thought that that might be remarked upon somewhere by someone (in a newspaper, cos we used to have those back in those days), but eighteen years in and no one really gives a fuck. And I’ve gained a maturity to realise that that is the correct response.
I had the weirdest night in this house since those early haunted days of baby ghosts, carbon monoxide and broken central heating (actually the guy crashing into next door’s garage was pretty weird too). Ernie had woken me up once, but I’d managed to find his lost soft toy and then fall back into bed and barely disturbed my sleep. Minutes or hours later my wife shouted out “No!” in her sleep. She does this quite a lot. I imagine she is reliving our wedding day and finally managing to shout out the right response to the registrar. Anyway her shouting woke me up from a deep sleep. I opened my eyes and saw my son walk into the room. Had he opened the gate on his door or had I left it open? He stood by the bed not looking at me, but facing off to the side. “Ernie,” I said, “Ernie!” But he didn’t turn to look at me. I assumed that my wife had been shouting “No” at him as that’s how we spend 90% of our time. But he wasn’t responding to anything so I reached out to him and he disappeared in front of my eyes, melting into the air.
It was a ghost Ernie. But moments before he was solid and real and I would have sworn he was there. It felt 100% real.
Now quickly I surmised that I had still been sleeping, that this super real vision had been a dream or at least some state between dream and waking. So many people who tell me they’ve seen a ghost report it happening on waking, but this was the most realistic version of this I had ever had. I still knew it wasn't real though...
But as logical and anti-superstition as I am, I still had to go next door to check my son was still alive and I hadn’t just witnessed his spirit passing on and saying good-bye (though he hadn’t even looked at me, the stupid ghost prick, what kind of farewell is that?)
Ernie was asleep and breathing. But I was still freaked out. And maybe it was the ghost of the crying child that I’d seen and he just looks a lot like my son. Ernie occasionally talks about people going in and out of the boarded up door between our rooms that hundreds of years ago would have been open.
So the jury is still out on ghosts. Even if they only appear to you when you think you're awake but might be still asleep. Maybe they do that to maintain the mystery.
So I managed to get back to sleep in spite of this weirdness, but then was woking up by a strange humming coming from my bedside table (where the ghost Ernie had been looking). I wasn’t asleep this time and feared that some electrical equipment was malfunctioning, but I unplugged the Amazon Echo to no effect and couldn’t think what else it was. It stopped and I was again freaked out. Then my wife woke up and said that she’d put a wasp in the bin earlier, that she’d thought was dead. It was amazing that she’d worked out the cause of the buzzing. And again freaky given the ongoing battle with Brian Wasp that a dead Lazarus wasp had come alive in our bin.
And then presumably died again.
I got back to sleep again, but a three wake up night is never good and I had lots to get through today.
But amazingly I wasn’t too knackered and everything got done, including the recording of TWO sketches for Twitch of Fun and all the prep for the Alistair Green RHLSTP. Luckily he’s quite an enigma and there wasn’t too much to research (I’m a huge fan of his videos and consequently have seen most of them). We had a great chat, with some very funny riffing and this felt like a super productive day. Even though our house is still haunted.
RHLSTP with Arthur Mathews (Father Ted, Toast of London, Amish Sex Pistols) is now up on audio
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