Monday, 25 March 2013


The hair on the back of my neck stiffens when I watch this 6 minute video entitled The Ghosts of Hampton Court Palace.
It's not that there's anything outrageous there - well, maybe one thing that seems a little odd, but the whole thing is so atmospheric. It's one thing to go around the place in daylight, and quite another to contemplate going around it in the dark, after closing time when everyone has gone home. My house creaks as it settles at night, and its not twenty years old yet; imagine the creaks and groans that must come from a place that's five hundred or more years old. I once got locked in the library in a college where I worked - my fault - and that was a creepy place once everyone had gone home. I had to ring the police, who rang the caretaker, who came wandering along, laughing, with his Great Dane. The dog saw me through the glass doors and ran at full stretch along the corridor, barking, and then couldn't stop on the polished wooden floor and landed in an inelegant heap against the doors. I think caretakers and nightwatchmen must have nerves of steel and possibly little imagination, otherwise they'd be basket cases before too long.
I collected one or two more videos that I thought I'd want to watch again. This one visualises Henry VIII as an old, middle-aged and young man. Curious how the clothes that look so fantastic on a big man look so odd on a young man. 
Then comes a piece with vocals from Claire Ridgeway on what she thinks Anne Boleyn looked like: Lastly there's an eight minute piece on the execution of Anne using actors I do not recognise. I still think the Canadian actress Genevieve Bujold was the best Anne Boleyn...'get a child on that sweet, pale girl--if you can!' I can still hear her saying those words, but I think putting up bits of film here would be contravening copyright, so I won't attempt it.

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