Saturday, December 24, 2016

Festive Wishes

On Thursday I drove up to Edinburgh to pick up my son, Rogan, and bring him home from university for Christmas.

Yesterday he helped me construct a new computer desk because sometime before new year he's going to be building me a new computer! A couple of months ago he built his own, inspired by a few of his friends who'd done it, and realised he could save a few hundred pounds if he bought the components and stuck them together himself. Such was his success that he offered to build one for me if I bought the parts, and that would be his Christmas present for me.

It certainly beats a pair of slippers...

Maggie's busy creating enough food to feed a small army, despite there being only half a dozen of us here for dinner tomorrow, but that's always been her way.

Meg has bought and paid for all the gifts she's giving everyone else. It took a little bit of managing as she has no sense of money at all. You might say you like hot chocolate, or you might say you like Ferraris - she would buy you either if she had the money and not distinguish the difference - it's just something you like so she'd want to get it for you. Her generosity is legendary, but her ability to understand cost is non existent.

So, Christmas is here once again and I feel truly blessed to have a roof over my head, food in the cupboard and be surrounded by a loving family. I know that so many people are lacking in one or more of these things, and that's heartbreaking.

No sign of snow this year, so a Christmassy photo wasn't easy to find, but a couple of weeks ago there was a bit of frost and I managed to catch the last of it sugar coating the tips of some holly leaves, so I thought that would do.

Whatever your cultural, religious or spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof), I hope this festive season is good to you and your loved ones.

Wishing you all the very best!

Kim x

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Mostly Ghostly at Comlongon Castle

Did she jump, or was she pushed?

Either way, The Green Lady, believed to be the Lady Marion Carruthers who fell to her death from the tower over 400 years ago, has apparently been haunting Comlongon Castle ever since.

Comlongon Castle at night

Earlier in the Autumn, I was contacted by Buzzfeed to accompany one of their reporters who would be staying overnight after attending the Ghost Tour by Mostly Ghostly Investigations - Dumfries and Galloway’s first paranormal investigation team and creators of a range ghost and local history tours.

Hilary investigates for Buzzfeed

Researched in-depth and presented with a theatrical enthusiasm, the tour takes you round the castle while you are given the history of the building, the region, the local fueds, and reports of ghostly sightings - from the anecdotal to the well documented.

The Tour

It was all great fun, helped on by the fact I've done photo shoots out at Comlongon before now (see Comlongon Castle, Robyn Stapleton, and an Owl... and Photographing The Yahs), and Kathleen - one of the Mostly Ghostly team - happens to work with my stepdaughter, Holly, on her day job.

Personally I've never had any ghostly experiences - the paranormal seems to have passed me by. I once visited a psychic who apparently was able to tell everyone else in the group I was with, "things he couldn't possibly have known." This self confessed band of arch sceptics were astounded by his abilities. However, with me he got everything wrong. Random chance should have dictated he would have made one or two lucky guesses, but no, not a single point of accuracy. The others in the group, rather than conclude the guy was a fraud, decided the only likely explanation was I must have some super-strong psychic blocking powers...

But this lack of personal interaction with any spooks, spectres or things that go bump in the night, didn't stop me having a bit of fun creating a couple of ghostly images using long exposure techniques with my camera.

Kathleen looking quite ghostly

Hilary's wife, Madz, appears as a spectral presence on the chair in front of the bed

If you'd like to follow them on Facebook, you can keep up to date with the various tours put on by Mostly Ghostly Investigations, and Comlongon Castle periodically does competitions to win a stay in their amazing castle.

And if you'd like to read the final Buzzfeed article, you can find it here: Buzzfeed: G-G-G-Ghosts