…..another month bites the dust. W. has been gone since the 10th of May (returning tomorrow), and I’ve had pneumonia. But that’s cleared up and I’m now fighting mere allergies. Which have my head completely plugged up, ears and all, even with a cortisone nasal spray and an inhaler on a daily basis. Boo hoo, poor me. Actually it’s getting better, but I like to milk these things for all they’re worth.
I continue to read until my brain hurts. I’ve done some amazing spring cleaning, store-room and various junk collecting spots (I’m embarrassed to admit they’re EVERYWHERE in this house…) and I’ve probably developed a severe reaction to dust along with all the pollen in the air. A little air purifier and a cool air humidifier are supposed to help me sleep, but I’m wondering if all the noise they make is counter productive. And I’m also trying to figure out why I get my second wind at this time of night so that I don’t feel even remotely like sleeping, and then it’s a huge struggle to get myself moving in the morning.My page a day forgotten English calendar has generally been boring the hell out of me, except for this wonderful little gem from the 18th of May, which was the birthday of Elias Ashmole (1617-1692). What an unfortunate name. The word for the day is pigwidgeon – “a kind of cant word for anything petty or small; a fairy. ” Since when are fairies petty?? Maybe they meant to say pretty. “The word is of obscure origin and meaning. Some have identified it with the name of a fairy knight favoured by Queen Mab, the wife of Oberon.” (A fairy knight??) That just seems wrong.
Anyway, all that aside, Elias wrote a manuscript titled “An excellent way to get a fairy”, which reads:
“First, get a broad, square crystal, in length and breadth three inches, and lay it in the blood of a hen three Wednesdays or three Fridays. Then take it out and wash it in Holy Water and fumigate it. (Sounds pretty easy so far, right?? Crystals, hen blood and holy water being common household items. I’m puzzled about the fumigator though, but that can probably be googled.) Then take three hazel rods of a year’s growth, peel them fair and white, and write the fairy’s name, which you call three times, on every stick being made flat one side. (So if you don’t know the fairy’s name, at this point you’re in big trouble). Then bury them under some hill whereas you suppose fairies haunt the Wednesday before you call her; and the Friday following, call her three times at eight, or three, or ten of the clock. (What kind of hills do fairies haunt? Are they the size of ant hills? or potato hills? or foot hills? This is why I can never be good at this. I just don’t know.) But when you call, be in Clean Life and turn thy face towards the east; and when you have her, bind her in that crystal.”
Is it just me, or do you think there’s a couple of steps missing there at the end? And after the mysterious binding, then what? What exactly do you do with your crystal bound fairy? Although this all at first seems like a LOT of information, apparently I need more. And some motivation would be good too. Otherwise I think I’ll just let the fairies get on with whatever it is fairies do and leave them alone. Besides, Mr Ashmole never says in so many words that this excellent method actually works, and he does throw in a lot of tricky conditions that set you up for failure. Like if your hazel tree is under a year old or your watch is wrong, the whole project is doomed.
And speaking of doomed projects, I’ve decided to take up painting again! So far I’ve bought some new paints and a couple of boards and have drawn two outlines on them. Whew. All that in just over a week! Now I need to decide on a place to start the actual painting without taking up a ridiculous amount of space and making a colossal mess. Where the light is good. In a chair that’s comfortable and where the table doesn’t wobble. And a lot more conditions too numerous to get into. I’ll get back to you on how that’s going. Three Wednesdays from the next rainy Friday, if not sooner.