Are you brave enough to enter the Alleys? (Part 1)

Are you brave enough to enter the Alleys? (Part 1)

Riddles and Puzzles. Ciphers and cryptograms. Mysteries and folklore.

I fancy myself as being quite good at working them out but in reality, I’d be kicked out of any lectures by Robert Langdon before even being allowed through the door!

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But my lack of expertise doesn’t stop me wanting to conquer a coded challenge so when a local mystery began to unfold a few weeks ago, I was eager to get cracking.

It all started with a small news story, that gained momentum on social media, of some mysterious, ancient looking crates found in abandoned tunnels under The Land of Green Ginger.

Now, despite having a particularly magical (and therefore fictional) sounding name, this place does exist within my home town of Hull. A small street in the city centre, it is often attributed with housing the world’s smallest window, within the George Hotel.

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The tunnels, among many beneath the city streets, were once possibly used for smuggling, as much of the now paved centre was originally the docks, and some were reportedly used by monks to move items from their monasteries. So, a discovery of this nature was not completely unusual but was nevertheless exciting.

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“…the Renegade Master…”

“…the Renegade Master…”

“…D4 damager, power to the people!”

In other words, as Wild Child and Fatboy Slim once said, I’m “back once again, with the ill behaviour.”

Well, perhaps no ill behaviour, I’m very low key rebellious these days…

Hello! Have you missed me? I’m mean I’ve been gone a whole two weeks, I’m sure many will be experiencing symptoms of withdrawal by now. Or is that just me? 😉

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Wednesday Lensday: Medieval Meanderings

Wednesday Lensday: Medieval Meanderings

A couple of weekends ago, we decided to visit the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Not only is it a fabulous, free museum packed full of weaponry and armour dating back from Anglo-Saxon times to modern day, but it is situated down by the river, which allows for some nice photography.

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Sow-en is it All Hallows’ Eve? (A history)

Sow-en is it All Hallows’ Eve? (A history)

Tomorrow, tomorrow! It’s only a day a-waaay!

Yes, tomorrow is the last day of October, the night the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest – Hallowe’en! Also known as Samhain (pronounced by some as Sow-en – you see, now the title makes complete sense!) it is officially my favourite celebration of the entire year – I get far more excited over this than Christmas.

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Why? Absolutely no idea! I’m not sure whether it’s scooping out all that delightful grot from inside a pumpkin or dressing up to look like an idiot, but I love it. Although Britain is slowly upping its game when it comes to this festival, I’m determined one year to experience it in the US…and then maybe stick around for Thanksgiving too. Please inbox me with your invites…

But what makes a great Hallowe’en? And what’s behind the certain traditions? Here’s my look at what I consider the four most important elements.

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Top Ten guide to (my) Paranormal Activity!

Top Ten guide to (my) Paranormal Activity!

Sam? A’ ye there Sam? What’s ‘ee sayin’, ‘ee wha’? Ask him again Sam…’ee wants to come through? No! Keep ‘im back Sam. I said n…

Cue eyes rolling back, reminiscent of The Undertaker, a rasping voice, uttering only semi-coherent sentences and a flurry of excitement and panic as crew members rush to remove the man from view.

What we have here folks, is a typical scenario in a past favourite ‘reality’ show of mine: Most Haunted.

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Fronted by a team of amateur, paranormal investigators (including an ex-Blue Peter presenter and her cameraman husband), the programme would visit various, notoriously haunted, buildings around the UK, in search of recording the dead, who still apparently resided within.

Their in-house medium, Derek Acorah, would (claim to) converse with ghosts with the aid of his spirit guide, Sam, often absorbing their spirits and chattering in tongues (albeit with a Liverpudlian twang!) before collapsing in an asthmatic heap! People screamed, doors slammed and objects moved of their own volition. In fact, spoons being lobbed out of the ether became a recurring theme. Perhaps this is where the idea came from for the audience watching The Room…

(Have a look. The quality of this is naff but it captures the chortle-worthy ‘possessions’ that made for compelling viewing!)

And it was all kinds of brilliant! Ridiculous and scary in equal measures. Even when it became cheesy and predictable, I faithfully tuned in, hoping to capture a real ghost on camera. My mum was an avid co-watcher, literally sitting on the edge of our sofa, waiting with wide-eyed enthusiasm to have the wits scared from her: My step-father however, was a little more cautious, ready to reject any ectoplasmic offerings with his down-to-earth, skeptical logical mind… from behind the safety of a cushion! It made for a whole load of family fun, so much so, that we decided it would be a good idea to become ghost hunters ourselves!

Fad number 666: Paranormal Investigation. (Do you see what I did there?!)

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