I recently finished a novel called The Good People by Hannah Kent.
The story is set in Ireland in the nineteenth century and the Good People are the fairies whom Irish people still believe exist. My Irish grandmother often spoke of the fairies. They were always part of my childhood.
If I lived in England these Little People would be called Hobgoblins; in Scotland they are Urisks. In Scandinavia, they are known as Tomte and in Slavic folklore they are Domovoi.
Every country has its own folklore and it generally includes the Little People of some sort.
The names may be different but the belief in these mysterious other world creatures is quite real.
Australian Aborigines have their own Little People. They come with many names from Woodarjee to Rai, Janjarri and the Mimih to name just a few.
I’m convinced there are Little People around here. Gremlins … that’s what I call them.
They lurk in our unsuspecting kitchens, our wardrobes, our garages, and sheds.
Today, I spent more time searching for the tiny whisk I use to beat an egg than I did in making the cake.
Three kitchen drawers full of kitchen ‘stuff’ and I haven’t found it yet despite returning to the search all week.
Where could those gremlins possibly be hiding it?
And while I’m on the subject of kitchen drawers, just how many garlic crushers/graters does one need to extract the juice from garlic? In my case, it is at least six different implements and none of them work as well as my meat pulveriser, which I use to simply thump the garlic to a pulp.
Another of my gremlin teasers is beetroot. If ever a vegetable was a living breathing calculating devious conniving creature this is it.
No matter how carefully I remove it from the fridge, or peel and cook it, or ever so carefully open a tin, beetroot will find a way to leave its bright red stain on everything, from clothes to hands to kitchen benches – everywhere! No matter how tight the lid, how carefully it is handled, it defeats me every time.
This week I needed a very small spanner. Searching through tool boxes in the garage, where it should be, was an unsuccessful exercise. I can find any number of other useful devices I had forgotten even existed out in the garage, but the spanner evades me. The gremlins are at it again.
If I take a sudden fancy to wear a particular pair of earrings I will spend hours searching for them in little boxes, in glass containers, in special drawers and jewellery holders. They won’t be there.
I will find them a week later, exactly where I put them last time, and the gremlins will be fairly dancing with joy at my frustration.
I know this is all first world problem stuff, but I like my life to be unchallenging and easy these days, so I must attempt to bring more order into it.
There’s comfort in order. I just don’t quite know how to achieve it yet and I have a sinking feeling it will not change at this stage of my life.
So, it will continue to be a challenging few years for me to deal with the gremlins and seriously attempt to defeat them at their own game.
Putting things back where I found them might be a good start. I’m going to give it a go.
I’ll start with that whisk … when I find it.