Today’s The Day

11-01-2014 Saturday

18.30

I told Mum there was this arts-project at school and that we had to go out and make a drawing of a building that is typical for London and that we had to draw it in than 30 minutes or less. She said I could just find a picture on the Internet and make a drawing from that. Mothers just don’t understand.

After two hours of just staring at my screen, pretending to be looking for a good picture, I told here there weren’t any good ones and that I really needed to go out there and do some ‘field work’. She finally let me go on the condition that I would bring back some fish and chips for everybody. Since I like fish and chips so much I said I’d do it.

It’s not everyday that I get to go anywhere else than school. It took me some time to get to Bank, and Mum made me pay for my own fares, but it was well worth it. It was an incredible building and I got pictures and all! Of course I had to make a drawing, too. The sketch I made took me a bit longer than 15 minutes. I’m not much of an artist. I don’t think Mum will find out that it took me a little bit more than said 30 minutes. Besides, it’s not an actual school project anyways, so who cares!?

I walked a little up and down Threadneedle Street, sat in front Bank of England for some time and looked at the magnitude of the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, just staring at it with great awe. Of course I was hoping to get a glimpse of Sarah Whitehead. I think I got there too early and it was still too light outside; no sign of her. Maybe I could draw a little ghost in there just for fun. I could definitely use some ghost hunting equipment.

When I got home I showed Mum my drawing, but she wasn’t impressed. I’m not too impressed about it either, but I did get to see the Old Lady. Not sure if this really was that bank from the Mary Poppins film though. I will have to watch that film again. Time to celebrate today’svictory. See me tomorrow. Image

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

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.