The Rock!

07-01-2014 Tuesday

17.00

Yes! I have survived yet another day of school. I am invincible! Although I don’t really know if you could call it a superpower,’ Hi there, random citizen, I am Schoolsurvivor Man, here to serve you.’ No, I don’t think it would work. And I would not look cool in a superhero outfit. Some people just have that; no matter what they wear, they always make the outfit look ridiculous.

Why do they teach all these useless things at school? I want to learn about catching ghosts, but they don’t teach you that. They give you maths, and history and mostly the boring bits, too. The only correct answer I have ever given so far is,’ He died.’ Most likely I will have to learn ghost hunting in my own time. I have already watched the film ‘Ghostbusters’, but I reckon that is not the way to do it. Besides, they have got all these gadgets that cost a lot of money. I think I will have to settle for a DIY ghost buster. I will have to look into these things.

Right after school I started searching the web a little, but there was not much I could find on who Sarah and Philip really were. There were a lot of websites describing the ghost story and sometimes even somebody talking about a sighting of the ghost, some pictures (mostly drawing, actually), but none of the websites I found mentioned anything more about their lives than what I had already heard. There is an air of mystery about this whole thing and it’s not just Sarah being a ghost.

Some things just don’t really add up, but I think that is quite normal with these ghost stories. Most of the time these stories have been passed on from person to person and very little was written down. Information gets lost and changed and stuff. Maybe Mr Bent knows more, but I somehow doubt it. He is not particularly fond of the Internet.

Hark, Hark, Mum is calling. I think from now on I am going to call my house ‘the rock’, because I have been living under it for years now. Seems like I don’t know anything about the world out there. Mum tries to keep me inside as much as possible. I wonder if she thinks I am not ready for the world or if the world is not ready for me. It’s not easy being schoolsurvivor man. So long and see me tomorrow.

I Don’t Like Mondays

06-01-2014 Monday

19.00

I don’t like Mondays. Well, actually, I do, as long as they are holidays. First day of school in a new year, well it’s not really our first day yet. We still have this day off, but school is open. Things probably haven’t changed a bit. Some of those kids are most likely still being their same old selves. My guess is most of them did not see the need for good years resolutions when it comes to their personalities.
There are some kids that are okay in my book, but I don’t really have any friends as you may have gathered from the story so far. By the way, I am not going to name any names in my story. Not real names I mean. I am giving everybody fake names, because I don’t know whether they want to be mentioned in here, and I don’t want people to find out who I am and I don’t really feel like being bullied by others because of this book. I will also have to make up the name of the school I am going to, although I am not sure if it is going to be possible for me not to give anything away as I am writing way too many details about everything that is going on in my life.
We’ve got some big tests coming and I haven’t even begun studying. I should, but I can’t help thinking about the story of Sarah and Philip. Mr Bent was really horror struck at the end of the story. He looked as white as a ghost himself. He was trembling, although that could also have been the cold or his age, but I think it was fear. After he had finished the story he walked out of the room. He left me sitting at the table with an empty teapot and some crumbs on a plate. Either he was throwing up, taking a dump or he had scared himself shitless.
After some five minutes or so he came back into the room. At least he had some colour in his face again. He put a glass of water on the table and sat down in the chair, looking outside. I have no idea what he was looking at as there was not much to see out there. It was mostly dark. He murmured something, but I couldn’t makes heads or tails of it.
I looked at him and asked him whether he had ever seen Sarah. He turned his head round quite quickly. It startled me a little. He has got these big bushy eyebrows and his look can be quite scary sometimes because of these hairy monsters just above his eyes.
‘Yes,’ he said, ‘as a matter of fact, I have. Although I wish I hadn’t. She scared the living daylights out of me. And ‘no’ I hadn’t seen her brother. That woman was frightening and yet saddening, too. To see a dead woman still looking for her long departed brother is not something you’d like to see everyday.
After her death, they buried her behind the bank. There used to be a church there called St Christopher le Stocks. That was even before Sarah’s death. The churchyard was still there until 1867. They started moving the bodies to Nunhead Cemetery because of work. Still, Sarah must have been very special to being buried there. She was buried amongst some very important bankers.
That’s all I have to say tonight. It’s been a long day and a very long evening. I hope you enjoyed yourself, because I am going to have to throw you now. Well, not literally, of course, but you know what I mean.’
So, there you have it. That’s it and that’s that. Even though I have the feeling Mr Bent didn’t give me the entire story about his encounter with Sarah. It may have been too scary for him. I don’t know. It was too scary for me just listening to it.
Unfortunately, it’s time for homework. Thanks for reading, see me tomorrow.

Till Death

05-01-2014 Sunday

17.30

Nope, I did not have time to report back yesterday. But, I am here now, so your worries are over. Hopefully you are doing fine, too. I am doing just great except for a little headache. Thanks for asking. In case you haven’t noticed I am trying my best to be a bit more sociable. After having done some research (I asked Mum, Dad and Grandma), it appeared to me that these are some of the things people say when they want to start making small talk. I think I am not very good at making small talk … or big talk for that matter.

Last day of my holiday and what am I going to do … nothing. I am going to finish the story I started telling a couple of days ago. Mr Bent was very enthusiastic when I told him about my blogs. He is not much of a social media person himself … he is not much of a social person. He kind of keeps to himself most of the time. I hardly ever see anybody come over and in the few cases I meet him outside, he either just went down the road to get his groceries or he is putting his rubbish out. He is a great storyteller though, wish more people would come and listen to him. No, I don’t, actually.

 

‘Sarah continued coming to the bank every day. She would always ask the same question over and over again,’ Have you seen my brother?’. Of course, nobody had seen him. Well, some had seen him, but that was before he died or … when he died. In any case, sometimes Sarah was given some money so the bank could buy off some of their feelings of guilt (if they had any at all … feelings that is), and sometimes she’d insult the workers and scream at them.

At some point Sarah started thinking that the bank was keeping a large sum of money from her. Did Philip not leave her money after his death? Didn’t he have a bank account there? Were they keeping this from her on purpose? How much would it be? All these questions started running around in her head.

It is said that on one occasion she even insulted a very important person at the bank, a certain Baron Rothschild. He was just minding his own business, when Sarah walked in again, wearing her usual black clothes, asking after her brother and receiving some money from the clerks. When she saw Baron Rothschild she started accusing him of being a villain and a robber. Screaming how he was keeping a very large sum of money from her, some 2000 pounds – which was a lot of money early 19th century. He gave her some petty cash, which seemed to please her … for a day. She’d just be back the next day, and the day after, and so on, and so on, etc. etc.

After 4 years of coming to the bank each and every day, the bank finally grew tired of her. So tired that they decided to offer Sarah a large sum of money. They made her sign a contract that she was never to return to the bank again her entire life. As Sarah was a woman of her word she never set foot inside the bank again her entire life. And then she died …’

 

Mr Bent stopped and stared out of the window for a minute. He looked up at the ceiling, then he moved his head down very slowly. He took a deep breath as he looked at me and then continued.

 

‘The contract never said anything about not coming back after her death. She is often seen on Threadneedle Street. She is still dressed in black and referred to as the Bank Nun and she’s still repeating that very same line she repeated for some 4 years,’ Have you seen my brother?’.’

 

Time sure is fun when you’re having flies. I’ve been spending a lot of time on this blog. I am not sure if I will have so much time when school starts tomorrow. Even though the story of Sarah and Philip is finished, the story of Mr Bent is not finished yet. It will have to wait till tomorrow I’m afraid, because dinner awaits and after that it’s homework. I don’t know why, but school seems to like giving tests right after a holiday. So long everybody. See me tomorrow.  Image

Have You Seen My Brother?

04-01-2014 Saturday

08.30

I can’t believe it! I simply can’t believe it! Last weekend of the holidays already. What have I been doing? What have I done? What did I do? Nothing! That is why it is called holiday; you don’t do anything. Christmas was boring, boxing day was boring, New Year’s Eve … boring.

Yesterday I made a Facebook page. My Grandma told me to do it. She says I am too ‘socially awkward’ and should really get some friends and Facebook seems to be all the rage. I don’t really know what all the fuzz is about. It took me nearly two hours to figure out everything and still I have no friends. Turned out you have to find ‘friends’ and ‘add’ them like as if I am in a supermarket and putting friends in my shopping cart. What is this shit?

Anyways, I left off in the middle of my story yesterday. Mr Bent was about to get to the good part. He is a bit of a slow talker, but it makes the stories sound so much eerier. Wish I had a voice like his. Must practise that as well. So, let’s pick it up just after Philip got hanged.

‘As I said, news has a way of travelling fast, but this news never seemed to have reached Philip’s sister Sarah. One day she walked into that bank and asked one of the clerks if she could see her brother. The clerk, unknowingly, told Sarah the whole story about how Philip was accused of being a forger, about the trial at the Old Bailey and about the hanging. Which, as you can understand, might not have been his smartest move.

Sarah was shocked; she was horrified. The news struck her as lightning, yet, she couldn’t believe it was true. Her brain more or less short-circuited. Why had nobody told her? Why wasn’t she at the trial? Why wasn’t she at the hanging? All these ‘why, why, why’ questions must have driven her mad.

The following day she showed up at the bank again. She was dressed in black and she was wearing a black veil. It was as if she was really mourning her brother’s death. But … (pause for dramatic effect) … she walked up to one of the clerks and she asked if she could see her brother, Philip, as he worked at the bank and she wanted to speak to him. Of course, the clerk was puzzled. He must have tried his best to get it through to her that her brother was dead and therefore could not be working at the bank; they don’t employ dead people. Every day that followed Sarah walked into that bank, dressed in the same black clothes, saying,’ Have you seen my brother?’.’

 

This is where Mr Bent got up, walked to the window and stared outside for a bit. The weather was getting bad. Like in real horror films. It started raining and the wind started to howl a little. He was staring out of the window as if in deep thought, sipping the last of his tea, not minding the biscuit. It was almost as if he heard her say it at that very moment and he just couldn’t bare it.

 

I’m sorry, the story does go on, but my stomach is calling me. I’m in desperate need of food. Hopefully I have time to report back later, we’re going out today. We’re going to have lunch at my favourite café. Though I’m not really sure if I can mention the name here, but it has the best mint-shakes in town and they do the best free-range egg sandwiches in the world (as for as I know). Mind you, they have to be put under the grill, because I hate cold eggs! See you later. Image

Sarah and Philip Whitehead

03 – 01 – 2014 Friday

17.30

I know; that was a very long walk. Mum and Dad wanted to go shopping and I had to come. I don’t think they trust me enough to be alone in the house too often. As if I was planning a London Project X or something. We went up and down Oxford Street, then up and down Regent Street and in the end Mum ended up buying the clothes she said she liked in the first shop we went into. These things do not make me want to look for a girlfriend.

So, where was I? Oh, yeah, Mr Bent was about to start his story. It would be best if you could read this in one of those low voices. Closest thing I can think of is Morgan Freeman, but even lower still and at a steady pace, take your time reading this and sometimes, in the middle of a sentence, just breathe in very deeply (as if you are in deep thought) and then continue. Here goes.

 

‘We are going to go back as far as November 1811. That’s a mighty long time ago. You weren’t born, I wasn’t born, not even my dad was born then; it’s that long. In those times there weren’t any mobile phones, there was no Internet, no TV, no anything. If you wanted to talk to anybody, you had to go out and meet that person in person. Streetlights were just candles that were lit by people. News had to travel by word of mouth. They say news travels fast, but in those days, not all news travelled fast. Which was a shame for poor Sarah Whitehead.

Philip Whitehead, Sarah’s brother, worked at the Cashier’s Office at the Bank of England. The Bank of England, as you may know, is situated on Threadneedle Street near Bank station. Bank station itself is also renowned for some ghostly activity, but we’re not going to talk about that now, because we are interested in the story of Sarah and Philip.

Philip was said to be a man of genteel appearance, whatever that may be. He’d worked at the bank for a couple of years when he was charged with forgery. Whether he was forging money, papers, or both is not really known. Nonetheless, forgery was what he was charged with and he was taken to the Old Bailey where he was – as you can guess – found guilty.

Nowadays, forgers get fines and they are sent to prison where they will have to spend some time and then after a couple of years, they are released and can build up a new life. Back in those days forgers were just as bad as killers, and murderers, and people who took other people’s lives and such. They were criminals. Therefore he was sentenced to death and early 1812 Philip Whitehead was hanged.

Some think that being hanged is a terrible way to die, but when done correctly, it’s actually a very fast, swift and humane way to kill somebody. If the length and strength of the rope is accurate, the short drop and the sudden stop will break your neck and you will die almost instantly without a lot of pain. In those days they had much more terrible ways of dealing with criminals that I am not going to talk about as they are not suitable for kids.’

Oh geez… look at the time. I have got to go. We are going to Grandma. She has got this New Year’s Afternoon Tea Party, sounds more like a Mad Hatter’s Party to me. She is completely loopy, but I’m not buying it. I think she is trying to con us into believing she is getting old and forgetful. Before to long she’ll be shouting,’ No room, no room!’ I think it’s all just a big show and when have left the room she just laughs and laughs and she’ll laugh her head off thinking of how she has fooled the lot of us again. Anyways, got to go. See you tomorrow.

 

1.10

Just noticed I forgot to post the former post. So I am posting it now. Just got back from Grandma’s place and I was right … Mad Hatter’s Party. Got to go and get some sleep. Good night.