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Cats on the Titanic

Discussion in 'Animals on the Titanic' started by Lynda Franklin, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    My friend Jane, who lived in a Tudor manor house, had a commendably empirical approach to her ghost - a Grey Lady. (We have a lot of those in these isles). She used to billet guests in the bedroom where the distraught and murdered young 17thC wife was said to wail, walk etc., without telling them of the legend. And then inquire at breakfast if they'd had a good night. I spent a peaceful night in it, sleeping well, though I did wonder how old the mattress in the 4-poster was. So far, her researches had never revealed anyone whose rest had been disturbed. However - and I am ashamed to say I fell into this category - once guests were told of the experiment, none of them ever wanted to spend another night in there. I knew I'd lie awake listening to every creak and groan and, believe me, in Tudor houses at night you'd be amazed how noisy they are.

    This poor Grey Lady had allegedly been strangled by her much-older and jealous husband and, the day she disappeared, he ordered a small ornamental lake to be constructed. It's said he buried her there before it filled with water. I gazed sadly at the lake. There was no natural or artificial water inlet. I said to Jane, "Well, he might have thrown her weighted body in, but he could never have buried her beneath it." "No," agreed Jane. "We have to dredge it every few years to help the spring. It's natural. He just walled it in."
    Others, however, had foreseen this objection and stated that she'd been bricked up alive behind the library wall. Efforts to knock holes into this to check were thwarted by Jane's father on the reasonable grounds that it was load-bearing, quite apart from the issue of vandalising the panelling.

    It's sad how often the prosaic thwarts these romantic notions.
  2. >>This poor Grey Lady had allegedly been strangled by her much-older and jealous husband and, the day she disappeared,<<

    Has anybody checked any public records to see if this alleged event even occured? You would be amazed at how many "True and Amazing Tales of the Supernatural" are contrived quite literally out of nothing.
  3. Jim Kalafus

    Jim Kalafus Member

    >If you want to sweeten the pot, show me how many of these "psychics" predicted it when they were investigated, arrested, tried, and convicted of a number of charges ranging from fraud to extortion and racketeering.

    With a straight face, they'd tell you that it would be "abusing their powers" to predict their own futures. And, their supporters would use that as another means by which to reenforce the legitimacy of the psychic! (Is there a vomiting-face emoticon?)
  4. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    Decades ago, as a child, I remember a wonderfully-named Mrs. Cattermole, who was a cleaner in my aunt's house. She said she had the 'gift'. I don't think any of my family really subscribed to her gift, but I do remember her spending quite some time at the kitchen table discussing 'the future', instead of doing the cleaning. I think this only really proves that housework is very boring. I'd much rather listen to Mrs. Cattermole than have her scrub the kitchen floor.

    In the end, though, she had to.
  5. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey Member

    "Can you do the kitchen on Friday, Mrs C?"
    "No, sorry, missus, I'll be in the infirmary"
    "Oh dear, are you unwell?"
    "Fit as a butcher's dog, but I'll be knocked down by a bus on Thursday"
  6. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    Knocked down by a tram, Bob ... a tram. We're going back a fair way here. All long gone, now. And I remember my Aunty Evelyn on the doorstep, confronted by the 7th Day Adventists.
    "I've already been saved, thank you."
    Courteous, but final. I must emulate her dignified response in future, instead of quarrelling futiley.
  7. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey Member

    As I've said before, Mon, nobody makes much effort these days to get the job done. Even doorstep evangelists. Just one "**** off!" and it's "Fair enough. We'll be on our way then". None of that traditional determination to become the ultimate foot-in-the-door nuisance. But it does help to be brandishing a baseball bat, just in case.

    Shame on you for not knowing that buses have been around at least as long as trams. I rode on both in my youth, and also followed behind to collect the manure for the roses.
  8. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    You always go just that one step too far, Bob. Collecting the manure, indeed. I'm talking Sheffield, lad. It were trams.
  9. Jim Kalafus

    Jim Kalafus Member

    The psychic to whom I refered much earlier, who has a ridiculous name I'd LOVE to post but cant, (she'd sue for defamation of character); she of the "Your money has a curse on it" incident, is still around.

    Recently, one of her daily clients "lost" her husband to a sudden heart attack. She, the psychic, of course did not predict this. But DID spread the "R-----'s husband just died" gossip thru her phone network. Which I thought was funny, in a black comedy kind of way. Not a great source for seeing your future, but a first rate way of getting gossip about your personal tragedy broadcast.
  10. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey Member

    Aye, a tram it were, lass, I'll give thee that. And does tha recall that Mrs Cattermole was on t'way to address special meeting of t'South Yorks Psychics' Society. They had to put sign up on t'door: 'Cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances'.
  11. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    You've reminded me of a cartoon which made me laugh about 5 weeks ago in Private Eye, which I've tried to find, and can't. It featured a sign outside a hall saying "Conspiracy Theory Convention" with "Cancelled" emblazoned across it. There were several bearded men walking away, scratching their heads / chins, and looking ecstatically suspicious.

    Aunty Evelyn, incidentally, spent her entire life working for the Methodist Mission which is probably why she was able to say "I've already been saved, thank you," to doorstep evangelists - and mean it. I don't have this advantage. I only have logic, which seems a rather poor substitute these 21st Century days, amazingly and regrettably.
  12. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    "Has anybody checked any public records to see if this alleged event even occured? You would be amazed at how many "True and Amazing Tales of the Supernatural" are contrived quite literally out of nothing."

    Well, Mike - to the best of my recollection, the entire estate - Tudor house, lake and all - was bulldozed in the 1970s by a construction company. Aaaarrrgh!

    And as far as I know, nothing whatsoever was found in the way of human remains - anywhere.

    At the time I was there, I don't think anyone would have thought to try to verify the story. No internet, and very difficult to access 17thC records to prove anything. My friends did, however, think that a young wife had probably once vanished, merely because local people don't forget. Many people did vanish. My friends didn't even have her name, though. And they didn't believe in ghosts.
  13. >>You would be amazed at how many "True and Amazing Tales of the Supernatural" are contrived quite literally out of nothing.<<

    I am a tour guide at the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture which overlooks Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas.

    One of the weirdest "Conspiracy Theories" I have heard is this one:

    "After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy the Masons erected an obelisk with a flame on top on Dealey Plaza."

    There is but one "obelisk with a flame on top" on Dealey Plaza and it was placed there by a Pioneer Group in the 1940's when Dealey Plaza was being developed...There is a bronze plaque on the obelisk which states this.
  14. >>Many people did vanish. <<

    Vanishing was easy to do in the 17th century, and then as now hardly involved anything in the way of supernatural causes or after-effects. A lot of people if they had the means and the desire to do so simply moved on. Pretty easy to pull off and with communications between towns as poor as it was, few would think to look anywhere to ask nosey questions.

    Some, of course, fell victim to highwaymen and it was easy enough to make such people "disappear" into a shallow grave somewhere...or into a river...and nobody would be the wiser save some well fed worms or fish. wink.gif
  15. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    Indeed, Mike. But it wasn't so easy for young married women to just vanish. No place to go. So the Grey Lady probably met a grisly end and her lordly husband got away with it.

    I don't know if you are watching it, but there is a programme - made between us - the USA / Brits - entitled The Tudors. In historical detail it's not so bad really, except Henry VIII is a really fit young guy, Even in his 40s. This is rubbish. He was grossly overweight, ginger, syphillitic, and suffering from leg ulcers. Not attractive. Still, not much you could do in those days. How awful if his eye fell on you as an attractive mate and potential mother of a son.
  16. Oi, I'm ginger! Are you being "Orange-ist?"
  17. Jim Kalafus

    Jim Kalafus Member

    I always prefered Ginger,
    to the alternatives of MaryAnn or Mrs. Howell. She served as such a potent symbol of the Female Eunuch, 1964-1967. Trapped on an island where all the men were either gay, asexual, or married-and-foul, she was still forced to wear improbably complex hairstyles, tons of make-up, and tight evening gowns by daylight, while at the same time doing half the housework for seven people. Yet, each time she tried to use her sex appeal for advancement, with each of the 550 men who accidentally stumbled on to the island, she was soundly rejected. And, at the end of the day, left behind on the island. Men obviously expected her to LOOK like an Ambassador Hotel call girl, while remaining virginal and doing housework.

    MaryAnn, of course, didn't have it any better. Virginal, cute, and forever wearing gingham, it was SHE who had to ride the bicycle around in endless circles to run the electric generator on those episodes in which an electric generator was required for plot advancement. She got to do the other half of the housework. Which shows the value of being wholesome... you end up in the same place: housework.

    So, yeah, I prefer Ginger, although how she fits into a Henry VIII context escapes me. Fat or thin, he'd look ridiculous in the red bouffant wig.
  18. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    Sorry, Richard! I'm sure there were loads of other fat, syphilitic bastards who were dark or blonde ... but Henry was ginger happy.gif
    However, the Henry on my TV at present is saturnine, lean, mean and has slicked-back black hair. We briefly saw him leaning on a stick two weeks ago, but he seems to have jettisoned that now and is gearing up with an incredibly stupid Katherine Howard, who quite clearly has had loads of experience with men. So more fool Henry. (I think the series is departing from the historical record now, despite its earlier commendable attempts to understand Princess Mary, Thomas Cromwell etc.).

    This was all done much better 3 decades ago when the Australian Keith Michell gamely donned all the padding, wrinkles, and bald wigs necessary; stumped around on a stick, roaring in a mania for people to be thrown into the tower; and actually making one believe that he really thought 17-year olds might fancy him for himself if he hadn't been King, or they hadn't been threatened by ambitious male relatives. Great performance. He died rather convincingly, too, in the end.
  19. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    Jim - what are you talking about? This sounds barely credible.