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The Unusuals


Exploring the unexplored
Francis Bannerman. -scotland-usa-strange

BANNERMAN CASTLE

His name was Francis Bannerman. He had come to the United States from his native Scotland when he was three years old and he and his family lived in Brooklyn. He worked in trade. He had specialized in purchasing American army surplus. The American Civil War and then the Cuban war had indeed left behind…

Beresford-Newyork-famille de grece

OUR BERESFORD GHOST

The Beresford is one of the most magnificent buildings in New York City on Central Park West. That is where we settled when we arrived from Europe: in a large apartment with spacious, high-ceilinged rooms. It was light-filled, with a splendid view of the park. Marina, myself, and our two daughters were very happy there….

Marie-Laveau-Saint Anne-New orleans-Vaudou-voodoo-spiritual

THE QUEEN OF VOODOO Part 3/3

Briskly, he walks through the French Quarters, crosses Jackson Square, turns around the Saint Louis Cathedral and reaches the gates of the cemetery bearing the same name. Now, he is no longer in a hurry. He takes his time to dawdle amongst the graves, looking for the one on which to lie. The moon, shining…

Marie-Laveau-Saint Anne-New orleans-Vaudou-voodoo-spiritual

THE QUEEN OF VOODOO Part 2/3

As luck would have it, Marie Laveau soon after met the love of her life, Christophe Duminy de Glapion. She would never marry him, for the simple reason that he was white and that the law of the time forbade such an union, but they had many children – fifteen according to legend! In any…

THE PIRATES, MELIDONI

We cross a hill near Aghia Elessa then begin our descent into the unknown. There is a dirt track, rocks and stones and the sea. Nothing else. There are no houses, no roads, no telegraph poles. The hills rise up in the distance, the sea is an intense blue and there are no signs of…

Lady Ferrers

THE WICKED LADY FERRERS

Andrew Perry was furious. On one December morning in 1970, Perry, the owner of the only stable in the region that rented its horses out to holiday-goers, discovered that somebody had broken into his stable during the night, saddled his black horse and went riding with it, exhausting it to such an extent that when…

stone of scone-stone of destiny-England

THE STONE OF DESTINY

There is an object that goes by the name of the ‘stone of destiny’. It is a rather large, dark grey stone that has been carved into a block and has no ornamentation or inscription on it. It had been custom to use this stone during the coronation ceremonies of the old Kings of Scotland…

Guy Fawkes-House of parliament-London- England

THE MAN WHO WANTED TO BLOW UP THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT

My number one hero is a man called Guy Fawkes. He was an Englishman who, at the start of the 17th century, quite simply wanted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, along with all the members and the king, present for the opening session. Alas, he failed, because the plot was revealed…

pekinois-british airways-

The dog and the British airways

During the 70’s, there was an Anglo-Saxon millionaire who split her time between London and New York. She was British Airways best client, the company coddled and pampered her to no end. One day, she called the airline and requested that they transport her dog, a tiny Pekinese, from London to New York.  She then…

THE LAST KING OF OUDH

In the 17th century, the English devised a rich and powerful kingdom, that of Oudh, around the lavish and marvellous capital of Lucknow, to counterbalance power relations, however weakened they had become, in the Great Moghol in Delhi. In the middle of the 19th century, the sovereign of Oudh was Wajid Ali Shah. He was…