Ritual, an essay on food preparation, routines, and flatmates by Sophie.
And yet there is a thing 3. The process of mixing the oats and the seeds and the yoghurt every evening to start again the next day is some kind of weird, sweet therapy. It is the moment when we look at each other with a mutual confidence – we can find the serenity needed to keep going through the next working day because we’ll have had a solid breakfast. We can keep going.
Our ambivalence for this evening custom is rooted in a deep contempt for the humdrum and a heartfelt willingness to avoid being a disillusioned twenty-something. Cynicism is easy. Getting up at 5:30 and embracing the tupperware is not. The ritual of the preparation every evening offers harmony and comfort. We manage to find some semblance of order in our otherwise chaotic days. And the oats get super creamy.
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What I am about to share is true and is something that still confuses me from time to time. But I know it’s true, not only from what I wrote down in a journal I kept, but the fact that my younger sister experienced something similar when she went there and slept in the same dorm that I did.
When I was in year 6 (England) we had the opportunity to go to an activity centre farther out in the Derbyshire countryside, an activity centre called Whitehall. The building itself was originally built in 1604 and you can read more about it here on its website. Since we had booked in November, there was less demand for placements so we got to stay for 4 and ½ days.
On the first day I remember a fire alarm going off, bit with no known cause for it. Later that week we came back to our dorm (the one in this picture) after a day out. Our dorm was the smallest and had six beds with a six worded name (Mordon? I’m not sure since it’s been so long). Our door was locked and all of the pupils, teachers and most of the staff followed us on our excursion. When we came back, our room was a mess. We had drawers under the bed where we could put our stuff. They were all pulled out and our items were thrown all about the room. One girl lost a necklace, my best friend had pages torn out of her journal, and I had batteries stolen. We never found out who did it.
One of the boys acted strange on the trip, having hit another in the head with a suitcase and claiming he found scary Mary carved onto his bunk (a story I think he made up about how a girl named Mary went looking for firewood, slipped on the ice and hit her head. The wolves ate her and now she haunts Whitehall - or so he said. I can’t confirm that story).
Later that week as we girls huddled up in each of our beds, we told a creepy urban legend. Now, it’s to be noted that the boys and girls dorm are separated. When facing our door from the outside, the door to the boy’s dorm rooms was to our left and kept locked at all times to keep the boys and girls separate. To our right was 2 other girls dorms and at the end of the hallway was the teachers’ dorm and the light switch for the hallway.
By this point it was late, about 11pm, and we all had our torches on. I was on the bottom bunk closest to the door and my friend was on the top bunk with her wind up torch. We told the urban legend of black blood. The story went like this:
There was once a girl who was left alone at home with her dog. Her parents had gone out shopping and asked her to keep the house. She agreed and enjoyed the time by herself.
We all knew this story a bit, it was quite popular, but we still leaned it to listen to it from the girl opposite my bunk.
Then, the girl received an email, saying “Black blood, black blood, coming to your home.”
This was when things started to get weird. I was closest to the door and could hear creaking along the corridor. The lights were left on in case we needed to find our way. Everyone was supposed to be asleep by now, so nobody should have been walking there.
The girl was unnerved but shrugged it off and turned her computer off. She lay on her bed, petting her dog to comfort herself. Then she got a text:
“Black blood black blood, coming to your door.” Followed by “Black blood black blood, coming up your stairs.”
The girl was afraid and locked her bedroom door. She tried to contact her parents but couldn’t reach them, so she hid under her covers with her dog under her bed, whimpering.
By now the sound of creaking is getting closer, and I’m starting to get freaked out. We all have our torches on and pointed upwards towards our faces.
But while the girl hid under her covers, her phone buzzed once more, and read:
“Black blood, black blood, coming to get YOU.“
The rest of the story goes that her parents came back to find nothing but dead, black blood on her bed where she once was, but once the girl spoke that line, everything happened at once.
I think the first thing that happened was all of our torches went out at the same time. All of our batteries died. Mine were new, and my friend’s torch was a wind up one - one that would not go out instantaneously if the batteries died, yet it did.
At the same time, the door slammed shut and the corridor lights shut off. The curtain by the window fell out of its place as if a draft hit it, but one much more powerful than a door being closed.
Naturally we screamed, and a teacher came and turned the corridor lights on before telling us off. We didn’t tell any more ghost stories and no more incidents happened. However, the following morning during breakfast, my best friend told me that, as we all looked towards the door, she looked to the curtains and said she saw a woman beside them who sank through the floor.
When my sister went there 2 years later, she and her friends shared the same dorm. They were up late chatting when a friend of her’s phone suddenly went dead and they couldn’t turn it back on. That’s what I recall her telling me anyway.
TLDR; Spooky stuff happened in the smallest girl’s dorm at Whitehall, but nothing massive. I worry that time has altered my memory, but I know for certain that the room was trashed and that all of our torches went out at the same time and wouldn’t turn back on. If anyone else has gone to Whitehall or has had experiences with it, I’d like to hear them.
A tank’s barrel is seen on the course of the Tank Biathlon competition
during the International Army Games 2016 outside of Moscow, a man’s
shadow is seen behind a Turkish flag at Taksim square in Istanbul and
sparks fly behind Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the Scuderia
Ferrari SF16-H Ferrari 059/5 turbo on track during final practice for
the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany are some of the photos of the day.
Photo credits: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters, Charles Coates/Getty Images, Petros Karadjias
This won’t be a popular post but an important one. Most of us have accounts we follow that we shouldn’t be…accounts that may tempt us, distract us or in some other way negatively influence our lives. Sometimes it’s not readily apparently but they have a longterm effect on us.
We are in interesting times with social media and it presents new ways of influence and temptations. I recently had to unfollow a few accounts myself.
If you are really honest with yourself, you’ll know which accounts you need to unfollow.
Our “virtual” lives go hand-in-hand with our day-to-day lives now. Let’s apply the same biblical principals to both.
Even if it’s not just brands or celebrities you are unfollowing, your relationship with Jesus is far more important than a few hurt feelings. Hope this helps some of you. http://ift.tt/2ahDRsh
cherryblake said: Kids and thier silly gay ships these days
*Tsk* Indeed, @cherryblake, me ol’ fruit salad, Back in our day, when we were young and wild, we were subtle when it came to fan-girling over the precious gay ships.
Now, I found that in my old age, I don’t even know what subtlety is anymore - BRING ON THE GAY SHIPS, you young kids, and GIVE ME SOME MORE M/M AND F/F PAIRINGS TO CRY OVER, DEMMIT. THIS OLD LADY WILL FIGHT ANYONE WHO COMES FOR MY GAY BABIES.