November 6th, 2008

Gunpowder And Ghosts

I think bonfire night is dying out. There were very few fireworks last night- and they stopped early. I smelled bonfires around tea-time, but I didn't see any.

Two explanations. One is that it's being swamped by Halloween. The other is that our safety-first culture is killing it. I saw a news item a few days back about a police task force in Liverpool that was going round confiscating "illegal" fireworks. They'd collected over a ton. Spoilsports, I thought.

A third possibility is that I've got a skewed view of things from living in a Muslim area.

Living TV had a show in which "acclaimed spirit medium" Derek Acorah investigated sites associated with the Gunpowder Plot, picking up on residual energy and talking to ghosts.  Professor Ron Hutton, historian of Wicca, was scoring his performance. Very impressive it was too, which points- I suppose- to his having done his research- which wasn't always the case on Most Haunted.  It sounds absurd, but this was actually quite a neat little history lesson- and I learned things I hadn't known before. When Acorah enacted the last moments of the gang's leader Robert Catesby-  who died clutching an image of the Virgin after charging a line of musketeers-  it was curiously moving.  Terrorists may be wicked in all manner of ways, but don't try telling me they aren't brave.