The Shared Diary of a Novice Paranormal Investigator, aged 52 and Three Quar

When you believe in things you don’t understand, then you suffer.

(Stevie Wonder)

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamed of in your philosophy.


Ri fol ri fol tol de riddle dee.


About a Month Later

Welcome back to the oddly timed, but absolutely true, adventures of Rifol, who, for no real reason, is trying to learn about the paranormal.  For us, a wet bank holiday weekend marks the transition between the warm rains of August and the cooler damps of September.  For Rifol, however, winter is in full flow.  It is dark by tea time and she is wondering where to put the Christmas tree this year...

Progress is slow, slow, slow in the paranormal world.  Nothing seems to happen, even if you try to push the right buttons.

I received an email from National Rational, the scientific group I have managed to half-join, asking me if I intended to go on their training day.  I replied, saying if they could send some information, I may well do just that. A very kind friendly answer arrived, apologising for the missing new members' pack and promising to send one soon.  I asked if the training event would be suitable for a person with no experience, and did not get an answer until a few weeks later, when I was invited to book a place on the follow-up event.  Kafka is alive and well, and he runs a club.

Heart below boot level, with no clear way forward, I jumped back on the internet and reconsidered the local groups.  Peculiarity of spelling and syntax is an unnerving feature of many club websites.  This does not inspire trust.  ('We have got youre, saftey cover'd') I also suspect we will all be just spectators in an all-night imitation of TV shows.  I really do not want to pay to watch other people Doing Things (whatever they are) with Stuff (whatever it is).  If I am going to poke about in the paranormal, I want to do it in person, especially if it costs money.  There do not seem to be any other options for the inexpereinced, however.

After a lot of hesitation, I paid up and joined the nearest one, still in the virtual world, accessed from the anonymous safety of the living room.  Charmed by the ready welcome from the club secretary, I ventured into the chat room.  This was yet another entertaining use of the new PC!  I had never been in a chat room before.  It was very odd, but I did like it.  After a shaky start, during which I realised I was sending myself private messages ( I hadn't said much) we had a wonderful time bitching about that TV programme.  Nothing brings people together like a scorn fest.  It was almost, but not quite, like making some new friends.

I went back in the following week, no stranger now to emoticons, fragmented syntax or inventive spelling.  The second visit was far less satisfactory.  There was a different group of people.  We did not continue the bonding ritual; we all talked about our pets ('I love my pussy to bits')  This was not a paranormal adventure.  It was distinctly mundane.  I felt I was losing the plot, so I had a glass of Baileys (in December, it is almost mandatory) and lost it more thoroughly.  Chat rooms are probably not for me.

I was surprised, though, and very pleased, to receive an invitation to their Christmas party.  It is very generous of them and, at last, I will have an opportunity to meet face to face with some people who might know something about Stuff.  Being a lone investigator is not very illuminating and meeting like-minded people will be so much more fun.  I have persuaded my Long Suffering Spouse to miss the football and accompany me to the party instead.  That puts me in heavy Relationship Debt, which might take some time to repay, so I hope it is worth it.

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