Saturday, October 31, 2015

I Bid You Velcome ...

Welcome, my pretties ... All Hallows' Eve is finally upon us, and as the insomniac  appears to be on some sort of vampyre kick this month, she thought to continue today's blog post in the same vein. See what she just did there? Vampyre. Vein. Get it? Ha. Hahahahaha.

Let us pretend you are Jonathan Harker, en route to pay a visit to Dracula the insomniac  at Castle Dracula The Little Gothic Cottage this evening. You arrive at Bistritz just as darkness descends and the foreboding full moon begins its ascent into the night sky - a very interesting old place, being practically on the frontier (truth) - for the Borgo Pass leads from it into the Spooky Forest.

As you await the arrival of your horse-drawn coach (also an accurate statement), you'll see your driver has not yet taken his seat and is talking to the landlord, Dwayne. They are evidently talking of you, for every now and then they will look your way, and some of the people seated on the bench outside the door will come and listen also, and then look at you, most of them pityingly.

Look closely and behold how the landlord, Dwayne,
has decorated the Bistritz General Store especially for your arrival ...

The time will seem interminable as you start on your way, now in almost complete darkness, for the rolling clouds obscure the full moon. Suddenly, the driver will pull up the horses in the courtyard of a vast ruined cottage, from whose tall black windows come no ray of light, and whose broken battlements show a jagged line against the moonlit sky.


As you stand close to a great door, old and studded with large iron nails and set in a projecting doorway of massive stone stucco, of a bell or knocker there is no sign; the time will seemed endless, and you shall experience many doubts and fears crowding upon you. What sort of place have you come to, and among what kind of people? You'll hear a heavy step approaching behind the great door, then the sound of rattling chains and the clanking of massive bolts drawn back; a key being turned with the loud grating noise of long disuse, and the great door will swing back.

Within stands a short, dumpy old woman, clean-shaven save for a few bristles sprouting from her chin, and clad in black from head to foot without a single speck of colour about her anywhere. She holds in her hand an antique silver lamp, in which the flame burns without chimney or globe of any kind, throwing long quivering shadows as it flickers in the draught of the open door. The old woman motions you in with her right hand with a courtly gesture, saying in excellent English, but with a strange intonation:—

I am the insomniac, and I bid you welcome to my cottage. Come in; enter freely and of your own will. The night air is chill, and you must need to eat and rest.

Death the Bride, Woman Mourning Dead Child, Death of Beatrice ...

Hey there, welcome to our house! 

Your hostess suggests that you will need, after your journey, to refresh yourself by making your toilet. She trusts you will find all you wish. When you are ready, she bids you come into the other room, where you will find your supper prepared.

Oops. Forgot to mention you should probably avoid the outside toilet.

That's where the spare Home & Garden decor is stored
until such time as it finds a permanent resting place.

After completion of your ablutions you return to the Great Room, where you find your hostess standing to one side of the great fireplace, leaning against the stonework amidst a collection of her favourite things which she has gathered together in one central location, specifically for your enjoyment. Or perhaps they've been gathered together in preparation for the photographer's arrival ... who can say for certain.




She makes a graceful wave of her hairy-palmed hand, with its long sharply-pointed black nails, towards the table and says:— I pray you, be seated and sup how you please. You will, I trust, excuse me that I do not join you; but I have dined already, and I do not sup.

But I may just have a teensy sip of that absinthe, if you'd be so kind as to pour.


After supper, you retire to the Library where your hostess joins you, explaining she has learned English through careful study of the newspapers, magazines, and other literary output of that country. And she will casually drop today's issue of the Calgary Herald on the table beside your chair, not coincidentally opened to this very page:

Not an expert, by any stretch of the imagination ...

But thanks for that, Shelley!

At this point in our story, the insomniac  completely steps out of character and starts dancing around your chair, fist pumping and high five-ing the taxidermy while emitting ear-shattering squeals of excitement that sound something like, “thank you Shelley for thinking of me for this article thank you Tom for being so patient trying to get a picture of someone who detests getting her picture taken thank you Calgary Herald for publishing the article thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!

Oops. Probably should have warned you to cover your ears before that outburst. What, you have to leave now? So soon? But you haven't seen the rest of the cottage yet, decorated in all its Hallowe'en finery!




Might one tempt you with a snack before commencement of your return journey? Or perhaps a toy to provide some small measure of entertainment during your lengthy coach ride home?


No? Well if you feel you must, then go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring!


And as your driver jumps into his seat and shakes the reins, the horses start forward and you all but disappear down the dark drive under the light of the full moon, the insomniac  will slump somewhat forlornly in the projecting doorway of massive stone stucco, sadly muttering, “Well, I guess we'll never see him  again.”, turn the key in the door (which is old and studded with large iron nails) as she firmly swings it closed behind you (accompanied by the sounds of rattling chains and the clanking of massive bolts). A solitary tear drips messily from beneath her wrinkled eyelid.

And ... scene.

IA


PostScript: Practically every word of this post has been cribbed from Project Gutenberg's online version of Bram Stoker's Dracula - names were not changed to protect the innocent (sorry, Dwayne). There simply wasn't time to compose something from scratch, being as ill-prepared as ever as far as blog posts, impromptu meals for unexpected guests, Christmas Markets and Hallowe'en costumes are concerned.

And as the afternoon draws to a close, it's looking more and more likely that this evening's attire for the Hallowe'en festivities at the local saloon will be Something That Clawed Her Way Out From Underneath a Rock - a costume requiring very little in the way of preparation on the insomniac's  part, but one suspects will become increasingly difficult to verbalize coherently as the evening progresses ...

Happy Hallowe'en, everyone. :)

55 comments:

  1. I am in awe and honored to have virtually met the wonder of you and your world! Your photography, home and Grand Room are breath....taking! I love your hair! " hairy Palm!" I am chuckling out loud!
    Enjoy your coming adventures, you will charm all you meet!
    Thank for the view of your enchanted world! X

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    1. Jeez, Debi ... the wonder of me and my world? It's actually a pretty boring world most days, not that I'm complaining or anything! I cut my hair short a few years ago - now that it's finally grown back, never again. I look forward to the day it's completely gray and I'll be a Real Live Crone. Well, hopefully live. :)

      Stoker's Dracula had hairy palms, did you know that? I didn't until today! I'm glad Mr. Oldman doesn't. Thank you for visiting my enchanted world, Debi ... it's always a pleasure having you. ❤

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  2. Your home is to die for! I say this while studiously ignoring the skulls and skeleton. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Bane! I avoid that outhouse myself, actually. Not quite ready to make an art installation out of its contents yet. ;)

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  3. Woohoo!!! For the article in the Calgary Herald!! How fab!!! The Cottage looks glorious... but that doesn't surprise me one bit, of course!!

    And this made me laugh out loud, my outrageously self-deprecating friend!!! ;D

    "Within stands a short, dumpy old woman, clean-shaven save for a few bristles sprouting from her chin, and clad in black from head to foot without a single speck of colour about her anywhere."

    Happy (belated?) Halloween!!! ❤

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    1. Was I ever surprised when the Herald writer emailed asking if I'd like to participate! Would I? Are you kidding  me? LOL

      I'm very comfortable with self-deprecation. Even after all these years, I can still hear my mother's voice in my head ... Don't say anything nice about yourself. Nobody likes a braggart. ;)

      It's almost 9:00 p.m. and we had five kids tonight - that's practically as many as we had at the Gothic Mansion! I'm very happy. And I hope you had a good turnout at your place too, Emma! ❤

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    2. We did have a good turnout! I was close to running out of goody bags for them! Looks like I'll have to make quite a few more next year. :D

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  4. Your décor is completely amazing, and your house is to die for.

    Bram Stoker's Dracula (with Mr Oldman) was on TV last night, so I watched it (again) and thought of you whenever the aforementioned gentleman made an appearance.

    This is a brilliant post. Happy Halloween, dear Lynne and congratulations on your newspaper article ♥

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    1. Thank you Yvonne, for the lovely compliments on the decor, the cottage, and on the post! I was so disappointed there wasn't a showing of Mr. Oldman's Dracula this month on any of the TV channels we get. I've been scouring the thrift stores, but I imagine most people NEVER get rid of their copies of such a delightful movie. I'll be heading over to eBay today. First of the month, you know - the pension cheques have arrived. LOL

      Thank you! I was pretty excited about the article ... up at Dwayne's buying a paper every day this week to see if it had been printed yet. ;)

      P.S. Did you notice that lovely piece of black lace peeking out fromn under the Bird at Peace paperweight on the upstairs mantel? ♥

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    2. Aww, that's such a shame. I hope you manage to find a copy, but don't spend all your pension now, will you!? :D

      If I happen to come across a copy on my travels I'll pick it up for you.

      I didn't notice, but thank you for pointing that out, it fits in perfectly.

      Your tarnished pot shouldn't be too much longer (another month perhaps!) and I'm sure that will fit in perfectly, too ♥

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    3. By the way, would you mind if I shared your newspaper clipping on my FB page?

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    4. Not to worry - I've found a copy of the movie for $6.88 at Walmart this morning! I should have it in my hot little hands right around the time your beautiful tarnished pot arrives. Isn't postal service horrible, especially considering what they charge?! I haven't decided where I'll put the pot yet - I think some sort of display with your lace and pins and maybe even the book plus Emma's bird - preferably under a glass dome to protect it all from dust. ;)

      Seriously? You'd want to put that on your FB page? That would be awesome, Yvonne - I'd be honoured. ❤

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    5. I'm glad you finally found a copy.
      I bet your display will look completely gorgeous.
      I've shared your newspaper piece in Facebook and Twitter ♥

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  5. Definitely not your typical Halloween article ... miles above the usual orange and black and jack-o-lanterns ... I'd be jumping up and down, too.

    Loved the cottage tour.

    Happy Halloween to you, too!

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    1. I've had to figure out alternative ways to decorate for Hallowe'en over the years, Hartwood Roses - just like horror movies, I can't do orange! LOL

      I'm glad you enjoyed the tour, and a belated Happy Hallowe'en to you and a lovely All Souls' Day! :)

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  6. Oh Lynne, you crack me up! That was hilarious and I loved to see more from your collections of curiosities.

    I looked up the on-line article. Congratulations! It peeks the reader's interest for sure I hope and think that many will find their way to your shoppe!

    Happy Halloween, dearest!

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    1. Haha, happy to be able to crack you up, Ms. Misantropia! Seriously though, I think my entire collection of curiosities is sitting right there on the fireplace. The rest of the house was barren! ;)

      I'm late getting to everyone's posts but I will be by for a visit. The crunch is on for the market now! Happy belated Hallowe'en to you, dear! ❤

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    2. Wah - I still can't comment in the normal way - I have to reply and interrupt conversations I am not even included in - what a bore! Love the little gothic cottage. But not so little eh? Wow - your décor is beyond Halloween. If I had amassed such an amazing collection, I would leave it out all year too. I especially love the death pictures with the welcome sign. What a sense of humour you have my darling! Also, now you are a celebrity having made the paper and your minions will stalk you. Love your pictures, love your haunt. Thanks for sharing!

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    3. That's too weird, lady M! I've gone to the settings and checked - anyone can comment, even Anonymous persons. But I did take off the word verification - maybe that will help? Anyway, if you want to try to leave another comment, hopefully that will have worked. Yes, it is a bore - stupid Blogger.

      We originally had planned on building just a one bedroom but ultimately decided if the offspring don't want to keep this place after we perish, a three bedroom would sell better. Besides, I've already taken over one complete bedroom with my sewing machines and craft stuff. Having to move out of the Gothic Mansion at 3500 sq. feet into a 2700 sq. foot house was a lot easier than having to downsize to 1500 sq. feet, let me tell you! Although it did allow me to weed out those things I didn't absolutely love. It's quite sparsely decorated in here now, compared to the old Victorian. ;)

      I debated about getting rid of that Welcome sign - it almost fell victim to the downsizing frenzy! But I think it's a nice contrast. Ah yes, a celebrity. Just what a recluse wants; especially that stalking part.

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  7. Great article and this may well be the first photo of you I have seen in any of your blogs, and an excellent one at that! Your home breathtakingly decorated as I've come to expect. You ceratinly have an eye for such things. I hope you and your husband had an excellent Halloween. Finally, "Vintage with a Flair Christmas Market"?! I am so I intrigued at the possibility of what this could actually be.... I'm sure you won't disappoint in it's up and coming blog post!

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    1. I think I may actually have posted two other unaltered photos of yours truly during the life of this blog, Mark. It's a rare occurrence and one I'm not terribly comfortable with. LOL

      Thank you! I feel that after only a year, I'm probably not quite finished with the decorating yet. I'm still not 100% positive I can live with white walls forever, although it certainly makes the taxidermy and pictures stand out far more than they did in a house covered in wallpaper! Vintage with Flair should be fun - I know I'm looking forward to seeing what the other vendors have for sale. Did I mention I'm probably not done decorating yet? Hah!

      How did your haunt end up going? Please tell me the HOA just made a terrible mistake by locking the gates and it wasn't done on purpose. :(

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  8. Hairy palms and chinskers - sounds like me! Cackle cackle.
    Your abode is delightfully sinister for FREAKING OUT SMALL CHILDREN. Hahahahah!!! That's what Halloween is all about. Absolutely perfect interior - thank you for the tour. And awesome about the article in the paper!! Isn't it cool to see yourself in print? Your photo is brilliant. And I adore the crow-head-woman picture.
    Great post, as always!

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    1. Chinskers - totally stealing that word, Melanie. I wish I didn't have any good reason to use it, but alas ... ;)

      We had five kids Hallowe'en night and NOT A SINGLE ONE WAS FREAKED OUT! Where oh where did I go wrong? **wrings hands in dismay** I don't really like seeing myself in print - I begged them to just take pictures of the store stock, but to no avail. The crow-head couple are pretty cool, I agree! And thanks! :D

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  9. I absolutely adore both your home and your writings! Next year I'll think I have to celebrate halloween in your amazing house ;)
    Haha, your skeleton at the table looks really twisted and crazy! I don't know why but my skeleton always looks sort of kind and happy on pictures :'D

    Loved the article as well!

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    1. Awwww, thanks Lesthi! You could totally come over here for Hallowe'en, but I'm embarrassed to admit we'd probably be shuffling off to bed at 9:00 p.m. LOL

      Oh no - a kind and happy skeleton? Although that is kind of sweet. Ours definitely looks twisted, and he was back in his box right after Hallowe'en. Who needs a psycho skeleton sitting at their dining room table any longer than necessary, right? ;)

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  10. Oh, I loved reading this last night, Halloween Night!! It was so atmospheric, the beautiful photos, your gorgeous home, all so great! Happy All Saints Day to you! ~Siobhan xo

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Siobhan! And a Happy All Souls' Day to you! ❤

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  11. Terrific post! And I LOOOOVE the pics of the Little Gothic Cottage in the Big Spooky Woods!!! Just looking at the house itself as one comes up the drive is enough to set one drooling with envy... :::pause to wipe drool off laptop keyboard::

    Where was I... Oh yes, your decor is fantastic! When can I come visit??? Seriously, I wish I could. Hope you had a fantastic Samhain/Hallowe'en!

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    1. Thank you, Lucretia! We just got copies of the professional photos done of the house - there's so many odd angles I was having a hard time getting pictures of the rooms. I'll probably do a post of the whole place soon, although you know me - soon just may end up being January sometime!

      Come visit any time, although preferably after this next market is over. You'd be sleeping on top of piles of Christmas decorations at the moment! Hallowe'en was quiet - I suppose it's a sign I'm getting old when I'd rather stay home and watch Beetlejuice than dress up and go to the saloon, doesn't it? Hope yours was wonderful! :)

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  12. What can I say? This post was classic Insomniac! It was wonderfully written and your photos continue to amaze and mesh so well with the written words. Well done! I loved it!

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    1. Awwww, thanks Nightwind! My favourite moment was when I read that Bitzritz was practically on the frontier - I mean, does that not work well with the General Store photo or what? I haven't shown it to Dwayne yet - I hope he finds it as amusing as I do. ;)

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  13. How awesome-- you truly know how to set the festive mood =D
    I would definitely call you an expert, my humble friend!

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    1. Heh, thanks Madame MM! It was a fun post to write ... that seems to be happening more and more lately, thank goodness. ;)

      You are far too kind. I still have much to learn. :)

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  14. Congrats to the Expert of the Eerie, I'll high five you too, it's so Exciting! And of coarse I've been anxiously awaiting an Invite into your Holiday decked out Home... in a word, Sublime! Knew I'd LOVE it... Thanks for Sharing it... Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

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    1. Thanks, Dawn! I'm terribly uncomfortable with the word Expert, so you can just high-five me and leave that part out, okay? But yes, it is exciting! Honestly, if I hadn't had a photographer coming, I doubt I would have bothered decorating for Hallowe'en this year. It all seems rather a lot of work if nobody but me and the spouse sees it. Now I have to head over to your blog to see what you did in the way of decorating! I'm very behind on everyone's writings - last minute rush for the Xmas market this weekend and I feel really unprepared - as usual. ;)

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  15. Brian & Janine in BarcelonaNovember 3, 2015 at 6:25 AM

    Congrats on the newspaper article, nice pics and hope you had a great Halloween. Where's the big-ass dog though? Always enjoy reading your blog.
    Be&Jaf

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    1. Thank you! And it was a quiet Hallowe'en with five kids at the door, so that was better than I'd hoped for. No more big-ass dogs for us ... we have big-ass moose as pets now! Anyways, I don't think a sight-hound would do well out here - he'd run for days and we'd never find him.

      Good thing I write a blog so the family knows what we're up to, eh? I should probably just email the news like normal people do. ;)

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  16. Brian & Janine in BarcelonaNovember 3, 2015 at 6:33 AM

    Woohooo Lynne: Nice pics of the new(ish) place & we finally see a pic of you on the page, albeit in a somewhat backhanded way! Love the views & reading your blog. Where's the big-ass dog.
    Ciao for now. Be&Jaf

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    1. Woohoo indeed! Can you believe we've been in here a year now? Sometimes it seems like we've never lived anywhere else and that's a good thing, I think. Yes, well I'm an expert at backhanded, aren't I? LOL No more big-ass dogs! Well, maybe just one more - who can say for certain. ;)

      Hey, if you're both going to comment then you need to reverse your signature line so I know which one of you I'm replying to! Have a great time in Barcelona, hope all went well, and think of us freezing here in the snow at -11C today. Just in time for Diane's arrival from Israel. :)

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  17. Holy cow! This was amazing!! And so cool the paper did a write up on you. That picture with you holding the skull looks perfect. Well done and great post.

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    1. Thank you, Vapid Vixen! The write-up was pretty cool - well, in my mind anyways. I'm not sure how I should feel that a picture of me holding a skull looks perfect - I'm going to go with terribly flattered. ;)

      I see by your Blogger profile you also enjoy speaking in the third person. I like you already. :)

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  18. I am in awe of your styling and photography skills, and your home! It was with more than a little trepidation I entered but once there I completely forgot my fear. What a feast! Everything. I like that we sometimes borrow a bit from the old stories and retell, keeps the lore alive, you know? Well done on the newspaper article too, enjoyed reading that as well. x

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    1. Awwww thank you, LeeAnn - aren't you sweet! Especially that bit about the photography skills ... kind of a running joke around here just how badly I can ruin a perfectly good photo op. I'm glad you got over your fearfulness, and were able to come inside and visit! It's too bad you had to leave so early - next time, stay for tea. :)

      I like the old stories. They have such a way with the English language that I miss these days.

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  19. I'm a bit late, but Happy Halloween. Love the write up, even if you did crib most of it. LOL! I'm just a bit sad that its all over and done with for another year. That and the fact that I despise November. I'm off to drink what's left of the Halloween night booze.

    Ali

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    1. Hey, happy belated Hallowe'en to you too, Ali! I haven't been back to your blog to see how yours went yet. Under the gun now - setup for the Xmas market is tomorrow. Eeeep!

      I hear you ... I think I will probably crash hard on Sunday when all the excitement is over for this year. But I'm okay with that - sort of looking forward to futzing around and starting the Christmas baking. And knitting. Bwahahaha. P.S. Save some of that booze for me. ;)

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  20. OMG! I would like to live in your house! It's amazing!!!

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    1. Aw thanks, Madame Kismet! I think I actually like it better than the Gothic Mansion, believe it or not ... it's certainly easier to keep clean. ;)

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  21. What do you mean you are not an expert on eerie, I love your taste in decor! :D As a literature student I was over the moon with all Bram Stoker's Dracula references! <3

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    1. Really? You do? You're so sweet, Jade! ❤

      I miss the old style of writing and how they used to speak. And yet, yesterday I tried to re-read Treasure Island and gave up after just two pages. I guess I only miss it if the novel is something I'm actually interested in. I should stick to vampyre stories probably. ;)

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  22. Brilliant, Insomniac! Love it and thank you for the invite, the meal and the snacks. How lovely to see your abode decked out in Halloween splendor. The article was amazing and well-deserved. I'm throwing out those tacky purple bats because they never felt right anyway and all the skulls stay!

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    1. Thank you, lightning x! And you are so welcome for the invite ... Please - come by any time!! ;)

      If it weren't for the Herald article, I probably wouldn't have bothered decorating again this year. Sad but true. Exactly how tacky are those bats? If they're purple, surely they can't be all that bad? LOL

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  23. I've already said Happy Halloween to you, elsewhere around the web, but I had to stop by here to say that I'm ashamed to learn that I was not following your blog. No wonder I never got a notification for anything you posted *sigh*. I hadn't even liked your page... How did this happen? I'm blaming memory goblins... that's it.

    But I shall never miss your eerie yum (Mistress Expert *giggles and cackles*) because I've started stalking you via different platforms. Yes, I have you surrounded. ;-)

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    1. Don't be ashamed, Magaly ... you're here now and that's all that matters! I'm notorious for forgetting to follow people on all their platforms. It's difficult staying current with all this Social Media stuff sometimes. But Memory Goblins seems like a very valid reason for me, too. ;)

      It feels nice to be surrounded. ❤

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