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Tuesday 10th October 2017


Given that I lived in the actually quite dangerous city of London for 28 years, it’s a bit peculiar that the countryside at times seems scary. There was safety in numbers before and also a kind of perpetual daylight thanks to streetlights, but when it’s night and you’re walking your dog in a field, you’re on your own, with only the useless light of the moon to guide you. You’d think that after 4,47 billion years it would have found a way to make its light brighter, but it’s just as shit now as it was at the beginning. Turn it up mate, stop being so tight. Look how well the sun does in the daytime, without all the help from the stars that you get and despite it being much further away. Lazy moon. You think you can get away with it because everyone is asleep.
I quite enjoy spooking myself out and venturing into the dark, even if the hooting owls and braying horses can make you jump. My walk takes me past what looks like an old abandoned camper van by the side of the track. I assumed it was empty as it looks like it has been there for years, but last night there were dim lights in the window and smoke and sparks flying out the little chimney. Not only was someone living there but they’d lit some kind of real fire in there. I hurried on, scaring myself, like a Halloween Loyd Grossman,  by imagining who would live in a house like this. All in the mind of course, but I didn’t want to hang around to find out that I was correct.
My daughter also has got to the age where she is imagining things and seeing stuff that isn’t there in the dark. She told my wife that there is a monster in the fireplace in her room and that she saw his eyes staring out at her. Part of me is proud that she has got to the point where she’s capable of creating something like this in her brain and part of me is worried that there is a monster living in her fireplace, that only she, in her childhood innocence can see. This house has been standing for over 300 years, so there might be ghosts. Or just actual monsters. Though why they choose to live in the fireplace I don’t really know. Maybe it was the ghost of Father Christmas.
I don’t think my daughter has seen “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”, or Harry Potter and I don’t think there are any monsters in fires in Monster Inc (am I wrong?) so don’t know where she got this idea of fantastical characters in fireplaces. Which makes it all a bit scarier. I mean, what if she’s right?
Today my wife put a box in front of the fireplace. Was this to help my daughter forget, or because Catie was secretly worried that  there might really be a monster in there. Kids can see things that we adults can’t. I want to move back to London where it’s safe.

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