The black spots which tell you which ring is which on my stove have worn away (probably from too much scrubbing, ha ha!) So last night instead of stewing fruit for my breakfast today, I set fire to the bread board.
When our Chinese Takeaway arrived, the delivery man asked if I'd been burning incense. I said no, although I did like to burn oil from time to time, and he said to make sure I did it for the next four weeks as that very day heralded the start of Ghost Month in the traditional Chinese calendar, when the
Gates of Hell are sprung open to allow ghosts access to the world
of the living. Apparently these spirits spend the month visiting their families, feasting
and and seeking victims.
'It's the most dangerous time of the year,' he continued. 'Evil spirits are on the look-out for souls to capture. The best way to get rid of them is to burn incense and light candles. I've started doing it in the back of my shop, and already I can see black shapes streaming past from the corner of my eye.'
Yes, I know. But I have had several encounters that defy reason, and I don't believe in turning down advice from the Universe in the form of our lovely delivery man who gives us a bamboo calendar at the start of every non Chinese New Year. Plus, exercising my own demons has not worked. Miles over Dartmoor and they nap in the footwell of the passenger seat on the way home, jumping out fully restored at the end of our journey while I collapse on the bench in the biscuit tin by the sea, good for nothing. Maybe it's time for exorcism instead. Pass the matchbox, please.