Clearing the Fug.

Kitchen dresser vignette thingy.

So, I haven’t been able to get here nearly as much as I’d like. Nor have I been able to do much of a tour of other people’s interwebby homes, either. There have been many interruptions, of late.

In truth, it’s been a trying few weeks. I think I only realise this sort of thing in hindsight. When there’s a slight lifting of heaviness, and then I realise what I’ve been carrying. How much I seek to carry, how much I don’t want those I love to carry burdens. I think I may overcompensate. It affects my sleep, my heart, and waking thoughts. And I’ve certainly been working too hard, too. Often a bit of a coping mechanism of mine.

Now I crave silence and daydreams, and lovely old books. I want to turn the chatter, and speed, and volume down on everything. A sign I’m in overload. Life needs a mute button sometimes, hey?

And I nearly slipped into a funk, today. The weather was just too inclement for a walk, and although there’s been blinding flashes of Spring sunlight, there’s also been pounding hail.  So despite the odd foray out into the garden to rescue seedlings, I’ve remained pale and indoors.

At this point in August, I’m usually ready for the dark and damp to PRO*. Despite the fact that hitherto the last week or so of August, I’m entirely cheerful about the gloom.

But this morning, there was an odd smell in the kitchen, and the house was feeling (and smelling) a bit…fuggy. I sat down and worked for a bit, but kept being distracted by the untoward aroma. The walls began to close in, and I was feeling grumpy. Finally, I decided that Something Must Be Done. Because fuhgoodnesssake.

So I got all Boadicea in the kitchen. Turns out, the source of the pong was t’oven – an abandoned experiment by the Moon-girl. So, I duly scoured that one, swiped down the fridge, and checked on the poppets in the freezer**.

Look…sunlight! It does exist, after all.

That done, I liberally dusted the carpet of the upstairs living room with baking soda and essential oil of orange, leaving it for an hour or so before vacuuming it all up. Oil burners were lit, and resin incense, (Celtic blend –  fresh, and pine forest-y) was burned on charcoal; whilst sprigs of daphne were picked and placed strategically about the place.

Basically, I imposed impossible odds upon my domain, defying my house to be smelly. And as the Nose that Knows, I scored a victory against noisesome stenches everywhere.

And the parrots were moste impressed, (I could tell), as they sought shelter from the seething rain, deciding that my balcony was entirely their own.

Bit of a crummy shot, but you get the picture. At one point there was a parrot sitting on the back of a chair and tapping its beak at the window. They are the cheekiest, loveliest creatures.


After all that titivating, I gave my work the side-eye and told it to wait a bit. Because it jolly well can, while I make a pot of tea, (sage, rosemary, skullcap, melissa, peppermint), light a candle as the sky darkens once again, and write a post.

Defiant, much?

Tell you what though, I do feel superbly cheerful after all that. And I’m making lists for things that need doing as the weather warms and dries. A goodly amount of Spring pruning, (which has begun). Lots of painting: Moon’s bedroom, my kitchen blackboard wall (which needs a refresh), Frankenstein’s Potting Shed (it needs to be a darker and redder shade), the balcony; as well as sundry pieces of salvaged furniture.

Also, I’ve been thinking about starting a closed blog, although I feel slightly squirmy at the whiff of exclusivity that implies. Because even though I’m at home here, I do feel skittish. My intuition always knows Things I’d rather it didn’t.

A tiny, private hearth of only a few souls might be freeing. But I don’t know. It may well be just a passing fancy. I am myself here, but only a fragment of the whole. Perhaps this is what we all feel in the world. But I do find that I am not a tough-skinned creature. Even less so as I grow older.

gratuitous quilty shot. With my favourite piece of furniture. Which is very old indeed, and which apparently stored rice once upon a time in Mongolia. Of course.

I do feel that was a choice that I made at some point. A refusal to become calloused, and armoured. It feels like an act of defiance, to open to the vulnerability of feeling everything. To sink into the risk, and the danger of that.

I don’t refuse to age in my body, hungrily chasing a youth that’s fading rapidly. There’s possibly more fear than there is magic in a jar, or in a needle filled with botox.*** But I do refute a kind of ageing that is emotionally cauterising and safe. I hope I remain foolishly Romantic until I die. It’s why I can no longer live in the city. It’s too much. I need to remain tender, raw, and easily hurt by the world. I truly believe that we can’t numb selective parts of ourselves, without numbing the whole.

All the thoughts that gather in me, that I’m too private to share, spill over into fiction at the moment. So maybe the tension between who I am, the worlds I contain, and what little of myself that I can offer here, is fruitful after all. Perhaps that’s the best means of expression. Often it’s perhaps what drives us to write in the first place. That and wanting to give something of ourselves that is entirely all of us to give.

Anyway, just thinking aloud. I shall pootle off now and actually do some work. Then, there shall be wine and song this evening, followed by re-runs of Dr Who with the fam.

Bestest to you all, sweet dears. xx





*Piss Right Off. For yes, I am a delicate flower.

**I’m afraid there are poppets in my freezer. Which means you’d be entirely justified running away from the Mad Witch. Disclaimer though: only the very, (very) badly behaved earn the dubious honour of being put on ice. So, there are not very many in there. Yet. They are well cared for, next to the frozen peas. Hey, whatever gets you through the night. It’s cheaper and safer than a gin habit. Um. I don’t imagine any of this is very reassuring to you at present.

***Shudder. Apart from the needle in the face thing, (yes, even apart from that), I think spending that kind of money on that kind of thing is frankly a bit poo-headed, in a kind of “let’s dance while Rome burns, shall we?” way. I’m aware I’m on shaky ground here, and people are free to do what they bloody well like etc. To me though, it just seems like something that feeds a fear, and then freezes it onto your face. Also, I could never decide upon which facial expression I’d want to be stuck with until the stuff wore off again.

6 thoughts on “Clearing the Fug.

  1. It’s maybe partly the swing of the wheel towards Spring in your case and Autumn in mine. There is something in the air unsettling. I’ve cleansed and censed with frankincense on charcoal and with lemon in diffuser. We got egged t’other night which didn’t help:( why do youths get pleasure from chucking eggs at Windows ? It’s so disconcerting when you are sitting quietly reading and there are 2 terrific bangs on the window:( I do wish we had the wherewithal financially to move back into the country away from this estate in this town with so many restless angry souls living here. But I digress my dear. Please consider me to be a part of your new blog if you do take that decision. I may not always reply what with this terminal cancer stuff what’s going on and with my health things. But I read and enjoy each word that flows. Much love to you and yours x


    1. Oh merrymoggie…you got egged??? Bah. You’re right, there is an unsettled quality around at the moment. I do tend to love change, but I feel this is a little different. So yes, lots of cleansing! I’m with you on that.

      And of course I would invite you along if I opened another blog! I doubt I will do another one, to be honest, and I’d still keep this one going whatever the case. But yes, I’d love to see you anywhere I go, if you’re keen to accompany me!

      Do take care of yourself, won’t you? (hugs) xxx


  2. firstly, i love all this.

    the visuals: the kitchen dresser vignette with squirrel. the mongolian rice chest. the indian painted cabinet. the parrots. the words: all of them.

    i’m engaged in something of a domestic quest to eliminate a fug in my own home…i cannot locate a source of said fug, despite having moved furniture and cleaned like a maniac. the unpleasant smell is making me wonder if it is some kind of metaphor at this point; since conventional cleaning cannot remove it, but incense, sage-burning, and chime -ringing oddly DO affect it, albeit temporarily…

    so ridiculously pleased that you have poppets in your freezer. even *i* don’t have freezer poppets. (yet.) i *may* have various manky sachets in hidden places, strange folded pieces of paper covered with runes and words and pictures. odd dangling “witch-mobiles” fluttering in the breeze. clouds of smoke as things burn in a metal basin on occasion. bones, stones, and amulets. herbal potions that are wisely kept well apart from other herbal potions in the house. and a poppet or two well-wrapped with red thread in my past…but not frozen! (so, imagine my glee…)

    “I truly believe that we can’t numb selective parts of ourselves, without numbing the whole.” this is something i feel to be true, very strongly. both external and internal numbing leads to a degradation of feeling integrity in the whole organism. which is a loss on so many levels.

    lastly, i love all this.


    1. Fugginess (it has to be a word, don’t you think? And quite distinct from fugliness), or rather its source can prove to be infuriatingly elusive at times, hey? So much so that it reminds me of sundry magical realist novels, (as you say – a metaphor).

      Re poppets: I’ve been admirably restrained about it all. I have only three in there…so far ; ). A small-town bully, a malicious gossip/slanderer, and a corrupt NGO manager. Their behaviours have affected far more than myself, (which is often the rule I have for poppet-freezing). I’ve been tempted, in the past, to send others to the freezer, but have chosen to let them cease to exist, instead. And I love that we’re having this conversation. I’m chuckling as I type… I love our conversations in


  3. ah, all of the loveliness. i’m at a similar stage of being quite unable to bear the house-fug — only similar, in that i haven’t yet been able to mobilize myself to launch in. i think perhaps it’s a case of paralysis of overwhelm. or this fecking humidity. i find myself fantasizing about a cleaning lady. but then i ask myself how i could expect her to work in such dismal conditions? *sigh*

    “All the thoughts that gather in me, that I’m too private to share, spill over into fiction at the moment. So maybe the tension between who I am, the worlds I contain, and what little of myself that I can offer here, is fruitful after all. Perhaps that’s the best means of expression. Often it’s perhaps what drives us to write in the first place. That and wanting to give something of ourselves that is entirely all of us to give.”

    yes, yes and all of the yeses. i’m still wrangling with this one….trying to balance what feels right and what’s too scary. still finding myself wearing a muzzle, much of the time. but perhaps if i didn’t feel so publicly muzzled, i’d have less to write about elsewhere. such is the strange love-hate thing i have with the interwebs.

    poppets in the freezer. what an intriguing idea! we generally have a rotation of skulls [there was a crow skull in there for almost a whole year], various bags of dried herbs and disreputable bananas, but never a poppet.




    1. humidity…blergh. It can be hard to push through that – it’s sapping. I often fantasise about getting a cleaner too…or rather, a bathroom cleaner, (my absolute least favourite job of all household tasks). But I think I’d actually be too embarrassed by my bathroom to let a stranger in there ; )

      The private-public, creativity tension thingy is a constant tightrope for me. I’m always finding myself renegotiating. At the moment (I think) I’m trying to “reclaim” this blog more. It’s always been home-oriented, but I’m allowing it to show itself as slightly salty and cobwebbed. Like myself ; )

      btw – a letter is on its way, (as of this morning). But who knows when it’ll reach your shores! The postal service lately has me thinking it would be best to send letters by owl. xxx


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