account arrived via e-mail.
Where do I start? I have
known for some years that I had some sort of precognative powers: when
I was in my teens (back in the 60's) I saw four things when I was between
sleep and wakefulness. You know: the state you are in just before you
go to sleep properly, but if someone talked to you, you would wake up
What really scared me was that over the next few nights (at home) he sort of appeared to me. I could not see him but I knew he was there. As I was (and possibly still am!) the type of person who could not cry out if I was frightened, I would freeze and not be able to move anything other than my eyes. I thought that if he was on the other side, he could possibly read my mind. So I thought very hard about what I wanted to say to him, which was:
With that, he (or something!) picked up my mug (which was on the floor by my bed), took it across the room and placed it on my chest of drawers. I never saw or felt him again....
The haunted Nissen Hut!
have heard, there was a time when angling was ranked highly among my leisure
pursuits! Finding an ancient, little-known lake hidden among the trees on
some half-forgotten estate was my recurrent dream twenty years ago! Every
cast at such a venue held the promise of a 3lb Rudd or 6lb Tench!
Few know of the lake where my tale takes place: it is in the grounds of an old Georgian hall in mid-Norfolk and was created by the damming of a small stream at the time when the hall itself was under construction. Of more immediate relevance to this memoire is the fact that the grounds of the hall were sequestered during World War 11 for the construction of an American bomber base: squadrons of B-24’s and B-17’s flew countless raids over Germany from the concrete runways that were laid down around the old hall at Havringland. Some years ago, two companions and I decided to fish the lake intensively to assess its potential: we secured permission for a season’s night fishing and planned our campaign around a rolling rota. One night I found myself at the lake with Peter Nesbitt, a well-known specimen hunter and Second World War fighter pilot. We caught some fish, but not large enough to maintain my alert expectancy: my mind began to wander, and I missed a number of bites as my concentration began to waiver. I decided to go for a walk in the bright moonlight to refresh my mind and restore the circulation to my cramped legs: I took with me a small torch, intending to use it to look for earthworms. Some distance from the lake was an old Nissen hut, a relic of the estate’s wartime service.
I made for this, thinking I could respond inside to an urgent call of nature! Reaching the empty door-frame in one of the hut’s concrete end walls, I switched on my torch and entered. All thoughts of my own pressing mission instantly evaporated at the unexpected sight that greeted me. Both end-walls were a colourful riot of aircraft nose-art: almost every square inch was decorated with replicas of the images that superstitious US aircrew painted upon the noses of their bombers. I played my torch over the walls and marvelled at the skill of the long-forgotten artists.
My companion, I knew, would be even more intrigued by these nostalgic images than I. Returning to our ‘pitch’ by the dam at the Eastern end of the lake, I settled into my bed-chair and described my discovery to Peter: he was, as I had expected, keen to view the paintings, but elected to postpone doing so until the morning: he had, it transpired, just begun to catch some good Rudd. As the morning sun rose above the trees behind us and put paid to the fishing, Peter remarked that he was now ready to explore the old Nissen hut and its unexpected murals. He followed me silently to the dark opening through which I had entered: I stepped aside and motioned him in, handing him the torch as he passed. After a good two minute interval, Peter reappeared in the doorway. “ Is this supposed to be some kind of joke, boy?” he growled, before striding past me towards the lake. I had no idea what had annoyed him, but thought I had better check the murals before following him. You have no doubt already guessed the denouement: the concrete walls were completely bare save for a coat of grimy whitewash……………...
I received this fascinating e-mail from new correspondent Alexandra: