Poison, seen as the chosen choice of women over the centuries is no less potent today, but not all poison comes with the tell-tale skull and crossbones mark. I was reminded of this today when speaking to a woman who’s been the victim of a hate campaign from one of her own sex and, like many others, I can empathize with what she’s going through. It is all around us and yet many fail to notice its effect until it’s too late.The slow, steady poisoning of the mind. Poison such as this, begins with an insidious drip, drip and it is deadly when used on a mind that was not very strong to begin with. Rumors, gossip and whispers have the same effect as deadly nightshade and poison not only the mind, but blacken the heart and reach with grasping tentacles for the very soul. When one human being, I use this description very lightly, to call them psychopath, would somehow diminish their responsibility, but we know what they truly are and a title does not excuse their actions. It must take a very sick and disturbed mind to sit and watch as someone slowly dies either in body or mind and I can’t help, but hope that a power far greater than man’s is watching and shaking their head with disgust.
I find that as I begin the task of moving house, that my mind strays to the Last and the Nevermore. This will be the last Halloween I even spend here and there’ll be no more Christmas, New Year’s or birthdays spent here. As the days count down, it becomes a huge wrench to pack away the familiar and the comforting treasures I have gathered over the years. This is the only home I have known in all my married life, as I came straight here from my grandmother’s house. Every room is filled with precious memories and despite the children having flown, the air retains their scent. They wafts from wardrobes as I open each door and my heart aches as I rifle through forgotten items left behind in their going. I know I have to leave, as it’s been over six weeks since I’ve written anything and that’s a huge thing to someone who sees the blank screen on the computer as a challenge. My creativity has been stifled and like the Wicked Witch of the West, I am fading, fading and need to be restored.
I lit the fire for the first time tonight. That’s a sure sign the winter is truly upon us. It’s stormy out, the trees bend under the force of the wind and the rain is beating against the window, like the tapping of dead fingers on the glass. Stay warm, my friends.
This is my latest profile photo for Locating the Gothic. I’ve told you about the wonderful events we have planned for the autumn and while I know it’s hard to think about this when the sun is shining, the winter is inevitable. So don’t leave it until the wind is howling in the chimney and ghostly fingers tap at your window panes to have a look at the site.
This is a modern ghost story that happened a week ago to a friend of mine who works in a nursing home. There was one patient, an old lady in her eighties who she was particularly fond of and would spend hours chatting with her during the night shift. This went on for many years. Each night the old lady would come in to the common room and sit in her favourite chair. Anne, my friend, knew she was on her way, as her arrival was preceded by a racking cough. The old lady suffered from her chest and the cough was a distressing and painful one. One night, last week, the old lady failed to turn up, so Anne went to check on her. Sadly, she had passed away. The following night, Anne sat reading in the common room. Every now and then she glanced over at the old lady’s empty chair and felt her heart ache with sadness. Around 4 a.m., when the wards were all silent, Anne was roused from her reading by a racking cough coming from the empty chair. In that instant her nose started to bleed for no reason. You can imagine her fright, as she rushed from the room. She has never suffered from nose bleeds, her blood pressure is normal and there was no one else around with a cough. Strange, of course, and something that makes one stop and think.
Just finished a marathon pancake making session. I don’t know if my family really like gluten free pancakes or they’re just too lazy to make their own. I had an order for six from my aunt Kitty, four from my dad and another mountain to make for Robert, who will try to eat his weight in pancakes. Luckily, I had two pans on the go and this made it easier. What’s everyone giving up for Lent? I was going to say wine, but we all know that’s not going to happen, so I opted for chocolate instead.
Another wet and grey Sunday here in Limerick, but below is a link to put you in the mood for such a day . Click on the link to find a list of events for the coming October, and although it may seem far away, you know how the months fly by, and I wouldn’t want you to miss out. For all of you with a yearning to put pen to paper, you will see from the site that I will be teaching a Creative Writing Workshop on the Gothic novel. I know we have a wealth of people in Limerick who have so many great ghost stories to tell about our city,so go on and have a look. And keep liking the Locating the Gothic page.