Now you see them now you don’t.

Orbs in French property (8) for sale

Luzy, France, 2004. Orbs? Dust? What do you think? I was viewing a house which was really a shop that was for sale. Practically every picture taken has in it an orb or whatever they are. Worryingly I appear to be surrounded by them. Only glad I didn’t know that at the time.

mum and C

Summer 1977. The car park and back of the haunted Royal Hotel in Guernsey, CI. The hotel has since burnt down. Yes, spooky indeed. To the left is my mother to the right is Chrissie, a friend from school, and someone who could see ghosts lucky her NOT. And hidden from view on the left is the ghostly gate with its rattling chain and padlock.

To continue with this ghost theme I have included a few relevant photographs which makes a welcome change from showing pictures which have nothing to do with my blog whatsoever.

So what’s with the ghosts? Well, for starters, if you’re looking for an absolute fright night of a hair-raising experience cease reading and move along. Seriously. You won’t appreciate these accounts you’ll possibly find them too tame and fair enough each to their own. But, believe me, you had to be there. My interest in ghosts is not because I enjoy or want to be frightened out of my wits. I only have to look in the mirror in the morning for that little delight. My interest in ghosts is purely platonic. I find the subject fascinating and with that in mind, let’s get down to business.

During the couple of weeks when Chrissie came to stay with us at the Royal Hotel back in August 1977, I was to witness one of the most frightening yet fascinating experiences of my life.

The Royal Hotel in Guernsey was reputedly a favourite with all things supernatural and could even boast its own haunted bedroom. Well, perhaps not boast exactly as they didn’t like to advertise they had a resident phantom on the premises and refused to allow anyone to stay in the room unless it was absolutely unavoidable as come the following morning it was always the same story.

The guest would complain of a freezing room and the feeling of being continuously watched. My mum and I were shown the allegedly haunted room and it was spooky. The day was warm, the sun was shining, but in that particular room it was cold and oppressive. I couldn’t wait to leave it and never return.

‘This is such fun! It reminds me of “Blithe Spirit”.’ Mum looked round eagerly at the deserted reception area. ‘George, there you are, this is my daughter Rosemary home for the school holidays and whom I’ve brought along with me this evening,’ she said. She lit a cigarette and laughed.

George, the elderly night porter, looked up at her in something approaching adoration. He couldn’t have been more goggle-eyed had she been Vivien Leigh.

And so we settled down with a silver pot of hot coffee and began our vigil. George, along with another porter, continued to make his rounds. The two gentlemen stopped now and then to chat with us on their way. We’d swap notes. Check times. Apart from the four of us the place was deserted. All guests and staff were asleep or in their rooms upstairs and rightly so at two o’clock in the morning. Sensible lot.

As I sat there sipping on my hot drink I was open to the possibility of witnessing a ghost and I was both fascinated and terrified of what I might see. I believed in ghosts but quite frankly I didn’t know what to expect.

Mum had told me about the strange noises she’d been hearing outside her bedroom window late at night during our weekly phone calls. At the time Mum was renting a suite in the hotel. Her room backed on to a private courtyard that was chained and padlocked every evening. Mum would hear the padlock rattling and thinking it was George would shout out ‘Good night, George,’ but he’d never answer. Night after night the same thing would occur. Come three o’clock in the morning the chains would rattle Mum would shout out and receive no answer.

Finally she cornered George. She thanked him for checking the gates every evening but couldn’t understand why he didn’t answer her when she called out to him.
‘It’s not me, Mrs Bach. No one goes out there at that time of night.’
‘Who rattles and checks the padlock?’
‘Well,’ he said quietly. ‘Put it this way, no one likes to go out there and quite frankly no one does,’ he paused. ‘At least no one from our current staff.’

And so Mum was introduced to the spirits of the Royal Hotel and from that moment on she dived into her ghost hunting with gusto.

We’d been sitting on our velvet-covered chairs drinking endless cups of coffee for about an hour when George and the other porter returned from making their rounds. It was quiet. No one spoke. It was still. And it was cold. Suddenly, the heavy door that led from one of the bars into the reception area about twenty-five feet in front of us began to swing open. Fascinated I watched as it opened slowly, deliberately and steadily exactly as if someone was pushing it from the other side. Except, no one was there. And I know this because the door was made of solid glass and I could see right through it. Suddenly it banged shut. We simply stared at it. Knowing what we had witnessed but unable to comprehend it. A moment later, one of the glass doors that led through to the dining room began to swing open. It was exactly as if someone had come in from the bar, walked down the large L-shaped reception area, turned the corner where we were holding our vigil to walk right past us and through to the dining room beyond.

But, as for an actual apparition having being sighted, none had been, until now.

To be continued…

Sweet dreams tonight,

Royal Hotel

A few years down the road and this is us standing in front of the Royal in July 1980. The hotel, still haunted and prior to it burning down has been painted a rather unattractive fleshy pink colour rather like a steak going off. In the picture is yours truly, my mum, and the wife, lovely lady, of an old Salem (Bavaria) school friend of Dad’s, the eminent ex-Dean of Ohio State University, Dick Meiling.

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Ghosts, UFOs, and nothing kinky.

Orb in France (6) Ninja

France 2004. Considering the topic of this week’s blog I thought this picture appropriate. No, it’s not about cats doing their yoga the subject is touching on ghosts. Did you spy the orb to the right of Ninja’s foot? Hmm… any comments? Love to hear them.

Well, that’ll teach me. Going to sleep whilst in the background a documentary about ghosts and UFOs rattles on. I awoke the following morning to discover a strange mark upon my person. Nothing kinky, I assure you. I sleep solo. Alone. Apart from the odd visit from Tina who burrows herself under my duvet with the ferocity of a mole and then proceeds to take over the whole bed.

On my arm was not one scratch but three and they were formed in the shape of a perfect “Z”. I’d been visited by Zorro! Seriously. It looked liked I’d been marked by the masked man himself.

Spooky, or what?

Love all this ghost stuff. Even if half the time I do scare myself silly. Especially the stories about ghosts who knock at the window or door asking to come in. It might sound tame and you might be thinking ‘oh, how polite,’ but good manners do not come into it. Absolutely not. Scary thing to have happen and I can do without it thank you very much. I’ve never seen a ghost and I never want to but I have been witness to bizarre smells, chilly sensations, and doors swinging open and closing all by themselves.

I kid you not.

Predominantly thanks to a mother who was interested in all this stuff way back in the ‘70s before the likes of Zak and his ghost hunting team and such programmes guaranteed to make you smile and cringe in equal measures.

My mum did it first!

To be continued…

Wear it spookily. And sleep well tonight.

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Enigma by Wolf Black aka Rosemary Bach-Holzer

Insects, Fiat 500s and naked legs

Rosi and cats

This is me doing my impression of an Afghan hound and succeeding wonderfully. Bremerhaven, Germany, circa 1983. On the left in front of me is Friske and to the right, her sister, Bu. Why are my legs naked? Nothing saucy, I assure you. This was pre-tracksuits and leggings. It was summer, hot, I’d just got home from work, removed my tights and pencil skirt for comfort, and apart from a sort of dressing gown didn’t have what you now call leisurewear. Didn’t exist. On reflection I could have worn some dance leggings in a large size. That didn’t occur to me.

When an insect the shape of a flea, brown in colour and the size of a Fiat 500 invades my space, I do tend to become more than a little concerned. Especially when they, please note I refer to the aforementioned insect-come-car in the plural sense, congregate in the kitchen.

But what occurred last week is the limit. I mean, first it was the invasion of the Mosel worms and now this. Whatever they are! The Mosel insect-come-small-aircraft?

Really, I put up with the ‘Och,’ curses wrong accent. ‘Ach, zat is only zee German Mosel verm, zay are harmless,’ for long enough. Crawling all over the worktops and draining board until I put an end to their excursions by covering the overflow hole with a small strip of masking tape. Ha!

But, I diverse.

I’d left out overnight to drain on the draining board my small amount of clean washing-up. It’s more hygienic that way. Yes, in theory, certainly not when insects-come-small-abode-in-town-with-river-views descend upon it.

I grabbed my new ladle, bright yellow handle, good quality, heat-resistant plastic so not to scratch nice iron frying pan and was about to start stirring my garlic mushrooms when I spied something. I leant in closer only to recoil almost immediately. One of those insects-come-whatever was there right in front of me on my ladle partially squashed and half dead. Horrors! It could have ended up in my meal. Thank you very much!

My ex-husband was bemoaning the fact he hadn’t bought himself one of those snazzy utensils.

That was soon amended.

Until next time be well.
Wear it well.

PS. Plug time. More about the Mosel verms and other daft tales (and tragically they are all true) can be found in “Musings Amusing”. It’s free! Visit, if you feel like living dangerously, my website as below for more details.

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It’s a dog’s love.


Meet Rex. A beautiful Alsation or German Shepherd. Family dog circa 1965. Mum adored him and it was mutual. They were practically married.

Rex was a large and beautiful dog. He was only one year old when this photograph was taken by Daddy during a social event at the local rec (recreation ground) in Crowthorne, Berkshire.

Rex adored Mum and Mum was crazy about Rex, however, Rex also had another great love. Male dogs. He tried on more than one occasion to impregnate a fellow dog and for his troubles he contracted a disease which resulted in a bright purple solution being applied to his… err… lipstick. Well! I’m being polite. As I say, he was a big dog and this applied to all parts of his body. Including his lipstick.

The vet duly painted Rex’s pertinent part with this aforementioned medicine which was so bright the poor dog may as well have had a neon sign on his head saying “Look at me!”

As much as Mum loved Rex she was too embarrassed to be seen out in public for all the world to see her dog going about with an aubergine hanging between his legs and thus taking the dog for a walk became Dad’s job. At least until the disease cleared up and things went back to normal.

Shortly after this episode I was feeling momentarily impish and I think possibly trying to get to Mum. I walked over to Rex who was pottering about in the garden, stood behind him and pulled his tail. Not hard. I was barely five years old at the time I didn’t have a lot of strength but I gave it a tug and he whipped round and had me pinned to the ground quicker than you could say, “I’m not too keen on little girls either so get lost, kid.”

There was I on the grass flat on my back staring up at this face with fangs staring down at me when moments later he jumped off and I scrambled to my feet. I wasn’t hurt but my little red corduroy pinafore dress was torn on both shoulders.

Right, I thought, I’m not having this. I walked indoors, changed into my little green matching corduroy pinafore dress, stopping only to complain to Mum on the way who basically told me it was my own fault. And it was. But still I hadn’t learnt my lesson as I went outside and did it again.

Quicker than a Bruce Lee kick I found myself back on the ground with a face panting over me. That’s when I gave in. Two dresses ruined in one day I submitted defeat, learnt my lesson, never did anything like that again, appreciated Mum could love both me and Rex, and salvaged what was left of my wardrobe.

RIP Rex. Beautiful dogs. I adore Alsations but for some reason to this day where German Shepherds are concerned it’s never been reciprocated. Weird or what? And with a name like Wolf too.


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Sloppy Joe and Fish Fingers

-4- Rosemary Bach circa 1966

It is I. Circa 1966. My brother, Richard, in the background on holiday on the beach in Bournemouth, UK. Wearing the same hairstyle as of today including the same determined expression. Building sandcastles was a serious business. Photo taken by Dad, Rolf Bach, professional photographer.

It’s a bit nippy out. On the odd occasion I have bravely ventured outside all snuggled up in my cardboard box… I’m kidding! Little joke, or yoke seeing as I’m in Germany. I’m referring to a previous blog entry about expensive coats and the boxes in which they arrive.

I’m snuggled up in plenty of layers consisting of my vest I wear all year round, a long-sleeved thermal top I also wear all year round, a woolly polo neck jumper and on top of that a huge sloppy joe and my Dents cashmere-lined gloves and my hands still feel like frozen fish fingers. And I care not if I do look like the Michelin man. So what! Dare I tell you what I wear on my head? A jumper. Absolutely! An unused jumper I was about to throw away but instead in a flurry of creativity I transformed it into a hat. It works too. And I don’t appear to be on the receiving end of any titters, pointing or funny stares either.

“Ooh, look at her Helga, she’s wearing a jumper on head!”
“Ach ja, what do you expect, Gudrun, these Brits are a strange lot indeed.”
“Ja, I suppose you are right… (pause)… at least it makes a change from knotted handkerchiefs.”

Yep! Done my bit for recycling and it keeps my bonce warm.

On that note I do hope you’re all keeping cosy. My cousin three times and once removed told me how snowy and chilly it is in New York State right now. It hasn’t snowed here, yet. I think it’s waiting for the right moment like when all our Calor gas bottles are empty.

And the significance between joke and yoke? In the German language the letter J is pronounced as Y. Absolutely! I do not yest with you.

TTFN wolf cubs and take care,
Next time,

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Enigma by Wolf Black aka Rosemary Bach-Holzer

Out with the old and in with the new?

MPJ - Mum at Pontins, Jersey May 1966

Looking back as we go forward to 2014. Mum on the far left having won a prize (I think for scrabble) next to her stands the ubiquitous sixties, suave and sexy compère and to his right, Miss Pontins in person. Wonderful stuff.

How was your Christmas? Festive, merry and full of contemplation? Although that last bit probably belongs in the New Year along with your good resolutions that last all of a week. Two if you’re lucky.

Yes, I will be nicer to next door’s cat even if he does relieve himself all over my roses.

No, I won’t swear and wish horrible things on the driver who nips in front of me without so much of a flash of an indicator instead of waiting patiently in line like everyone else.

Actually, cut that one. As for the first resolution personally I have no problem with any animal in my garden but I do wish dog owners would clean up after the poor thing has done its business in public. The animal would if it could and whilst dog owners have this ability many choose not to exercise it.

And finally, yes, I will endeavour to stick to my New Year resolution list for at least six months if not the whole year.

And I have one more to add to that. Why not make it your resolution to read more? And I know just the books… what!

Happy New Year to one and all and let’s wish the same to everyone else.

Peace and Happiness.

See you in 2014!

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Rubber rings ahoy!

Rubber rings ahoy

No coats, cashmere or otherwise, required here. Got something in my finger, probably from somewhere nasty as Bournemouth did tend to have a sewage problem to which brother Richard gave his immediate attention. Caught on camera by a professional photographer, my father, Rolf Bach.


I blame Stuart. Totally. Who? Stuart Le Fanu, a fictitious detective. British, charming, wealthy, debonair and partner and close friend of Dick Love, also a fictitious detective, American, down-to-earth, loves his dog. Both of whom are the key players in “Enigma”.

Stuart, and Love, dress well. Nicely. It’s important. It gives the reader a complete picture. It tells them who these people really are. My fingers tapped their way into the website of a retailer which Stuart frequents and there I discovered it. My quandary. My conscience.

Clothes do indeed speak volumes but if I spend GBP 900.00 on a GBP 1,200.00 coat in the winter sale what does that say about me?

It’s tempting but can one truly justify spending GBP 900.00 on a coat? Even if it is 100% quality cashmere and full-length. Really? It would keep me warm though as I do feel the cold terribly, disgustingly so, and it would be a one-time buy only…

Your thoughts?

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