We moved a lot as kids. Dad was a policeman, so we moved for the job. Then when Dad left, we moved for a cheaper house.
Mum had also moved house a lot before she had us. She said it was her gypsy blood. I think she just liked the clean out, the fresh start, the packing and unpacking – all the things that go with moving.
The first ritual of a new house was to unpack the ‘essentials’ box – this had the following:
- the kettle
- mugs and spoons (you can’t have coffee in a plastic cup)
- a blanket to sit on
- ashtray (mum never went far without one)
- fruit boxes for us kids, or cordial or something similar
- toilet paper
- pen and paper – as well as all The Lists
- masking tape
- white sage incense
Mum would plug in the kettle, send Dad for milk and give us kids a biscuit and a drink. We’d sit on the floor and have our first picnic in our new house.
Next – we needed to rid the house of evil spirits. Mum would light the white sage incense and proceed to walk through the house into all the rooms. To chase out the bad omens and evil spirits, she said.
I don’t think Dad appreciated this ritual so much – thus why he had to go get the milk. He would come home and scrunch up his nose.
But us kids liked it. The smell meant home and safety.
Even now, if I’m going through ‘a rough patch’, I’ll burn some white sage. Waft it about. I might even have a picnic on the floor with a biscuit and a coffee. Give the incense some time to chase out the bad vibes.