Views from the Ouse

A new year is upon us! How was the first week for you? Based on comments from friends, I assume it involved staring at an exam paper with all the uncomprehending terror of a rabbit at the barrel of a shotgun, while all your happy memories of Christmas were surgically replaced by fear and snakes.

As for me, I just handed an essay in and rode off into the sunset. Well, jogged. Well, shuffled a bit. But then I didn’t have anything else to do!

Everyone else was busy having lives, like dicks. I spent so much time on my XBox it told me it needed space and wanted to see other people. I suggested a potential weekly feature for Nouse, consisting of racy seaside sketches of the prophet Muhammad, and the editor just shook her head and left the room. So in the end, I went on a ghost walk!

Yes, a ghost walk. We have one of those – in fact a couple of them. Oddly, no-one asked me who I was gonna call, which I felt was a missed opportunity.

Still, at first, I was skeptical. Real, indisputable evidence of the afterlife? Glimpses of the tortured shades that flit between life and death? Provided for £4 by a man in a bowler hat? Impossible! Surely not! But then I actually went on the walk, and shockingly, I was completely and utterly right. I was so far right I spontaneously grew a UKIP tattoo.

It was a ghost walk with no ghosts. So that’s basically just walking, then, isn’t it? And talking to someone while you do it. I haven’t started charging people for that privilege yet, but maybe I should try sometime. All I need is an undertaker costume.

I’d imagined ghost-hunting would be fairly easy – drive around in the van for a bit, solve mysteries, remember to feed your talking dog – but it mostly involved standing around listening to stories about hauntings in various spots around the city. Would we be visiting these places?

Well, no, said our guide, a qualified ghostologist. It’s slippy out there. But we’ll be visiting places that look a bit like them.

The stories were interesting, though. For instance, did you know that the walls of Clifford’s Tower have a vaguely reddish tint? According to the guide, this because they ran with the blood of Jews slaughtered a thousand years ago! Or possibly because of fungi. But possibly GHOSTS!!! But also fungi.

So in the end, I learned things. They may not have been useful, or even actually true. But they were definitely things. And I LEARNED them.