Who’s that knocking at the door?

I’d just settled down last night to enjoy a pizza… a delicious ham, pineapple, onion and mushroom, freshly baked pizza with deliciously stretchy cheese… and somebody rang the doorbell. Then pounded on the door. The knocking reverberated around the Foyer and up the Stairs numerous times. Echoes are all the more prevalent around Halloween, haven’t you noticed? They rang the doorbell again. Constantly, with urgency.

I put my slice of pizza down, and walked to the door. The staff appear to be having another night off. I opened the door widely, and saw only the trees outside, beyond the Courtyard.

I thought it was trick or treaters at first, so I closed the door and returned to my pizza. No sooner had I sat down, the ringing and knocking started again. I went to the door once again, and could hear voices from the other side. No… not that other side… the other side of the door.

“I told you we shouldn’t have pressed it together.” A woman’s voice said.

“But it’s quicker this way.” A man said.

“But look, we’ve been here three times already and haven’t gotten a reply from the door.” the woman said.

“We keep getting dragged away.” the man said.

“So why do we keep being sent back?” the woman asked.

“I don’t” the man said.

I opened the door, and there was nobody there again. Maybe I WAS hearing voices from the other other side. I closed the door again, and went back to my pizza. No sooner had I sat down, the knocking and doorbell ringing started again. I put my slice down once again, and ran to the door. Yet again there were voices.

“Why do we keep ending up here?” the man asked.

“How should I know?” the woman asked. “I’m as clueless as you are!”

“And why together? Why at this mansion? What are we looking for?” the man asked.

“Maybe we should do it separate…” the woman said, her voice silenced rather sharply at the end.

I opened the door, and once again, there was nobody there.

I’d decided enough was enough. I put two slices of pizza on a plate, and left it outside the door. I returned to what I had left of my pizza, closed the Living Room door and left the spirits to it. If they called again, I never heard. My computerised doorbell log did show that they called back another six or seven times, when I checked later. The hidden camera on the doorbell captured a lot of light, but not much else… apart from one very clear shot. As I thought, it was trick or treaters messing about. I hope they enjoyed their slices of pizza.

Click the doorbell below to view the images caught by the camera. I’ve only included a couple with the light as they were all pretty much the same!

Click to view

Twists Within the Ups and Downs

They say the first step is all it takes to launch the future of your dreams. They also say that first step is the hardest.

It isn’t only steps into the future that prove difficult. Trying to get up to the rooms in the top of the Right Turret is just as hard – if not more so.

The Right Turret (pictured here on the left as the photo is from the back of the Mansion!) has an unusual Spiral Staircase that runs up (or down, depending on the way you are going!) with an added twist. Yes, you read that correctly. A Spiral Staircase with a twist. Two twists, actually. The first twist is that the rotation swaps over halfway up/down. You start climbing the stairs in a clockwise direction, and reach the top going round anticlockwise. The same with the descent. Anticlockwise to start, clockwise to finish. It’s as though the Staircase has a one-way policy top and bottom.

If that wasn’t odd enough, when you reach the halfway point, up or down, the bottom step moves itself up to become the top step. so you can end up taking the same step over and over again and not really going anywhere. It took me a while to work that one out. Half a day, actually. It can be an uphill struggle climbing and not going anywhere. Going down is much easier. You can stand where you are and let the steps carry you. Round and round, clockwise of course.

Now, it’s obvious to miss out the middle step, and reach the top quicker, but sometimes the climb is more fun than actually reaching the top in the quickest time.

At the top, however, that’s where the room is. Beyond the heavy wooden door lies the corridor. Yes, a corridor at the top of a Turret with several rooms off each side, and a final staircase at the far end leads to the Very Top.

The Very Top. The room that feels quite daunting to approach, with ominous shadows lurking where shadows shouldn’t. Whispers echo – possibly from the lurking shadows – or more likely from the vastness of the room at the Very Top.

Some ask if it is worth going through all the exertion of climbing to the top just to get to such a room. Sometimes it has to be done.

Even rooms at the top need dusting.

Week Two

My weeks in lockdown begin on Fridays, so that means today is Day One of Week Two. I don’t work on Fridays or at the weekend, so since Monday I’ve been working at home during my normal hours. The benefit of that is as soon as clocking-off time comes around I’m instantly transported back into the Mansion without the hassle of having to navigate the roadways with the, well, I’ll just say ‘other’ drivers.

The weather this week has been absolutely glorious. Obviously, I’ve only seen it through the window, but as I’ve had windows open, front and back, I’ve felt the occasional breeze as it slipped through one way or the other. Today was no exception, apart from instead of a gentle breeze it was more of a force thirty gale. I could bear it no longer and had to close one of the windows, then catch my breath, sort out my ruffled hair, and then climb out of the other window to retrieve the lengths of curtain that had been blown through. And then after that I had to sort out my ruffled hair again.

One of the benefits of not going out is the need to not need to use hair products. In one’s own presence, it doesn’t matter what one looks like, although I’m sure some of the mirrors here in the Mansion groan when they have to reveal my reflection to me. Mind you, the groan may be from me at having seen the reflection, thinking about it. And it’s more of a gasp, rather than a groan.

I’m finding myself becoming bored of the negativity that is constantly being saturated out about the virus. Yes, the pandemic is infectious. Yes people catch it. Yes the numbers are going to increase the more people that catch it. The numbers of those who recover is also increasing, but that news is positive so isn’t shared. The vast majority of people who catch the virus display mild symptoms. That too, in a way, is positive. but they are all collected together into that massive cloud of negativity. Sigh. Such is life. We mustn’t forget that we are here to live in fear, after all.

I’ve been focussing on my Place of Peace and Tranquility a lot lately. That’s a magical place that exists inside my head, where I can go whenever I need to. It is always relaxing there, with the most wonderful of views. I wrote about it a while ago here (this link opens in a new window), but the place has grown and changed a lot since then. It’s like an island paradise, where I can see whatever I want to whenever I go. It costs nothing, and I really do Feel Good after going there (and whilst I’m there as well, it must be said!) It’s probably a good job I’m here at the Mansion by myself, because for quite a bit of the time I’m here only in body… my mind is totally elsewhere (possibly gazing at a golden sunset, or the rainbows created in a mist by a waterfall, or the clear blue depths of a still water lake where the occasional swan glides on by)

So. In lockdown we do what we do. Some of us do it differently. The important thing is doing it so we Feel Good. We have time to make the most of it, so we should. Doing that for ourselves also means we are doing it for others too.

It’s gone a bit warm in here again now, so I’m going to attempt to open the front window again. I have my paperweights ready.

Flickering

The lights flickered as I stepped through the front door. Not collectively, but consecutively. First it was the the light outside the Vestibule. Next the light on the ceiling at the base of the Stairway. Then it was the wall lights around the Foyer. Followed by the lights up the Stairway, and then the ones up on the Landing. Fair enough, it happens, usually on dark and stormy nights. But on dark and stormy nights, the blinking of the lights doesn’t reverse the pattern and then start again, back through exactly the same routine.

“I’ve only been gone for a couple of hours!” I declared.

The floorboards groaned and all the lights flickered, this time simultaneously.

“I did say I wouldn’t be long. And I do go out on a daily basis! You should be used to it by now!”

More floorboards groaned, but the lights settled down and switched themselves off.

The Mansion. Subtle as ever, and always up to some kind of trick! Hopefully, things should be quiet for a short while now. Until the Mansion becomes restless again, that is!