What are you up to?
The good lady asked in some puzzlement as she watched me arrange a pile of Scrabble letters in an oval pattern on the table, around which I had wrapped a couple of purple blankets.
I looked up, as if I had barely noticed her coming in.
What are you up to? Are you playing Scrabble without a board? What's this bit?
She gestured at a small bit of wood I had placed in the middle of my letters.
Oh this? It's a planchette. For my home made Ouija board!!
The good lady staggered back. Had she been sitting on a stool she would have fallen clean off.
A what!? A what? You can't make a Ouija board, they are evil!?
I laughed, sometimes it was easy for me to forget that the good lady was from a tiny fishing village in the North East of Scotland. There, they still burnt a boat every winter for good luck or some such tosh.
They're not evil, lass. In fact it's all to do with the involuntary movements of the hands on the planchette. It was originally a parlour game.
I rested a finger on the little planchette.
No. No, no, no. Stop it. I am not having that in this house. I don't want The little lady touching anything like that. Those things are bad.
I cut her off. The planchette had quivered under my finger and as we both looked down on it, it slid slowly across the table.
Are you doing that?
Whispered the good lady, her voice hoarse with fear.
I whispered back.
The blankets surrounding the table suddenly burst apart and a small figure leapt out.
Yelled the little lady as she sprung out of her hiding place.
Wargled the good lady, reeling back in fright.
Myself and the little lady laughed long and hard at the state of the mummy-bear who, for a moment, had looked like she was going to shit herself inside out with terror.
You have been upstairs cleaning for so long we got bored.
I said, grinning like an Irishman eating a shoe.
Hmmph, fine. I will stop with the cleaning for a while.
Grumbled the good lady.
And so we settled down to a game of kids Scrabble in which the little lady resoundingly beat us with an astonishing mishmash of made up words.
I love holidays!