Freda’s Journal

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Freda’s Journal – A pox on my house!

Published March 29, 2014 by Annie Oliver

old diary

Well you may have noticed that this old godmother has been quiet of late. I’m almost ashamed to say it but I’ve been most dastardly hexed! It all started when I stopped to help a bonny young maiden. She was a-struggling with bags of shopping up the winding hill which leads to Thistle Cottage, where I live. As I reached to take some of the bags from her, quick as a flash, she leaped out and grabbed my wand, which was tucked neatly into my best checked apron. The liberty!

No-one steals Freda’s wand, though many have tried. We had a tremendous tussle – let me tell you, just because I’m old doesn’t mean I can’t pull some wrestling moves –  and the wand snapped clean in half. I grabbed the two halves and held tight and she knew she was beat.  I was weakened, though and she slapped a hex right on me before running off, cackling.  I can’t believe I was fooled by a stinking witch! Either I’m losing my touch or those witches are getting more and more crafty because there wasn’t so much as the slightest scent about her. Usually, witches smell of sour milk and cat fur. Usually, witches are thin and pale and have the look of a nurse. You can tell them a mile away. Not this witch. She was plump and pretty, with red lips and long curling locks. The cheek of it!

The wand-breaking alone cost me a weeks worth of wish-granting, which was no good for my reputation. Of course, the wizard I sent it to for fixing gave me a courtesy wand, but it was an obnoxious thing and not at all used to my crooked finger, so the hex was unleashed. First, the gum-boils sprouted. I couldn’t even get my false teeth in and enjoy a nice bit of toffee. The two days following, the whole house was laid up with the galloping vomits. However, my nose was also hexed to grow another quarter inch and form a sharper point, so every cloud has a silver lining. ‘Tis a useful weapon, my pointed nose.

I tried to get the courtesy wand to unhex us, but I might as well have used a twig from the garden as tried to get any magic out of that useless thing. My sister Edna had a try at unhexing us, but she often gets her words mixed up. She ended up chanting ‘re-live us of this curse’ instead of ‘relieve us of this curse’ and the whole thing started again with a vengeance. Anyhow, I eventually got my wand back and unhexed us all and then I went about counter-hexing the cheeky young bint. Strange thing is, I could not find her to hex. Our magic mirror searched through the Earth, Shade and beyond for her, but there was no sign. As the mirror is a haughty, obnoxious creature who must always be right, of course he would say that she does not exist, but I saw her with my own eyes! Edna suggested that I fell over and knocked myself out, accidentally hexing myself and snapping my wand. I told her not to judge my daftness by her own.

Either what Edna says is true, or there is a new breed of witch on the loose. A witch who can hide in plain daylight and can’t be sniffed out by the nose of a fairy godmother with hundreds of years experience. I can tell you plain that this has unsettled me.  There is either something dark afoot or I’ve finally turned as fruity as my daft sister. Either way, I’m sleeping with my wand under my pillow this eve…

Freda’s Journal

Published February 28, 2014 by Annie Oliver

old diary

Today I have mostly been gadding about and tending to my garden. My garden is most important because ’tis there I grow the herbs and plants that I need for my spells and hexes. Let me tell you a little about the garden of Thistle Cottage…

A creaking gate leads to a twisted path which is surrounded by the largest, pinkest thistles you ever saw. They wave in the wind as though to greet you, which is quite pleasant when you return from a busy day godmothering to spoilt brats. However, just lately they have been taking liberties and creeping out over the path. Growing like wildfire, they are. So, this morning I simply took out the garden shears and waved them at the Thistles while Glaring. By tea time they were in their rightful place again. Even gardening can be done with the right kind of Glare and a threat.

From the front path, Thistle Cottage gives you a crooked smile, with its oversized front door and lopsided windows. It is made of stone which Edna and I collected ourselves from the Enchanted Mountains of Aurelia. ‘Tis no normal stone, as it moves and changes according to the mood of the house. You see, my dearies, Thistle Cottage is as alive as you or I. But more of that later…

Around the back of Thistle Cottage the garden really comes alive. The garden is not a wide one; rather it winds and turns like a crack in the Earth which has been filled with flowers and grass. A tunnel of whispering trees leads to stifling darkness. Beyond the tunnel has never yet been explored. ‘Tis rumoured that dark enchantments lie there. Folks that have journeyed there have never returned and ’tis rumoured that one tree grows for every person that has been lost there. If you look closely at the trees they do appear to have faces, and they do seem to sigh a little… All I know is that standing at the edge is like facing a dark abyss. It makes my head itchy. There are some secrets that even Thistle Cottage cannot share and I am not about to start being all nosey about them. That would be asking for trouble.

Mind, I can’t keep my goddaughter Scarlett away from the tunnel of trees lately. What with the night-time whispering I am hearing from her room and the strange atmosphere around Thistle Cottage I am fair worried about her. I have told her to stay away from the trees but something keeps drawing her there. Three times this week I found her at the bottom of the garden, staring into the darkness. I shall have to watch out for her. One day I might have to find out what lies beyond, but for now I have far too much to do to be ending up a tree if it doesn’t work out.  I don’t trust Edna to unhex me, either. She couldn’t even unhex her way out of  the mobile phone contract that some smarmy salesman signed her up to. There are worse hexes in this world than in mine and they are called ‘contracts’. From what I have seen, they are used to perform great evils and place people in never-ending binds.

To the left side lies my snail farm, which I have to feed with leaves once a day. Snails are a rare creature in my homeland of the Shade so imagine my delight when I came here and saw all the snails slithering around in broad daylight. ‘Tis wondrous for trade and I often slip into the secret portal that lies beside the snail farm to my own land, to barter the precious snail silk I collect.  You call them snail trails and find them fairly worthless, but they are an essential ingredient in many potent spells.

We also have a spider farm in an old lean-to. Cobwebs are most useful for spinning into a fabric we in The Shade call spingleweb. ‘Tis the fabric used in many a magic cloak or fancy ball gown but it only lasts a few hours before turning to dust. This is why a certain spoilt princess should have listened to her fairy godmother when she told her to be home by midnight…

Well, I’ve rambled quite enough for today and the frogs feet won’t pickle themselves…

Freda x

Freda’s Journal

Published February 19, 2014 by Annie Oliver

Yesterday, my God-daughter Scarlett took me out to the cinema. My sister Edna had to be left at home, for she is greatly a-feared of the giant screens, believing them to be bewitched by real Giants. There is no use telling her otherwise. Edna is a bit of a sop at times. You should have seen her the first time she used a telephone to speak to Scarlett – as soon as Edna heard her voice, she began a-hooting and a-hollering that a dark wizard had shrunken Scarlett and entrapped her in the telephone.  It took me two hours and ten cups of nettle tea to calm her down.

We went to see Disney’s Frozen and it was fantastic! I had to remind myself it wasn’t real. I was so incensed at the twist at the end that my poor old wand was twitching in my handbag to unleash spells onto the screen.  I’m not a popcorn fan so I took my own snacks – some crispy dried newt skin and a few dandelion bon-bons. The weasely ferret of a manager tried to take them off me, telling this wizened and wise Godmother that she wasn’t allowed to take her own snacks in. How rude! A sharp Glare soon put paid to that. Likely he has woken up this morning with unexplained warts and terrible flatulence and doesn’t quite know why…

In the evening, I spent some time back at Thistle Cottage with some good wizards who were a-visiting from my homeland, The Shade. I cooked them a nice nettle and grub stew and showed them Emmerdale and Eastenders. They were quite impressed with the televisual machine, although I kept them away from Jeremy Kyle, who Edna calls ‘the Dark One.’ I returned yesterday to find her counter-hexing the screen every time he said ‘wind your neck in’, which she believes to be a curse of the highest potency. I also managed to sell the wizards a fair few jars of peanut butter, which has revolutionised nut-eating in a land where a full set of teeth is detrimental to any self-respecting witch or wizards reputation.

I am still worried about my Goddaughter Scarlett, though. She is in my care and I may be over-anxious with her, but after everything that has happened in our little family, I need to keep an eye on things. She has dark blood running through her veins, you know. We thought we had it under control but just lately I see that glint appear in her eye and then I hear her whispering late at night. Is she whispering curses, or even worse…talking with a Soul Thief again? I consulted with the Magic Mirror but all was cloudy – although his allegiance is to Scarlett anyway he would not tell me what she is up to. Even the cat is keeping quiet.

Hmmm…I’m going to need help. Time for a trip to The Silver Jug to see my old frenemies Septicus and Lavinia Newt, I think, and I’m going to need lots of false teeth and cheese ‘n onion crisps for bartering…

 

Freda’s Journal

Published February 17, 2014 by Annie Oliver

Today has been a most busy day.

After being rudely awoken by my sister Edna choking on her false teeth (She left them in and was a-dreaming of eating Pork Scratchings) I performed a quick upward thrust on her gullet, went downstairs, put a handful of nettles into the brewing cauldron for my morning tea and went into the garden to harvest some snail silk. ‘Twas a beautiful moonlit morning, which meant that the silk had dried most pleasantly. Snail silk, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is an essential ingredient in most spells and hexes and for that end, I keep a small snail farm at the far end of the garden, right next to the portal to my homeland which lies betwixt the rose bush and the compost heap.

I then set about getting my God-daughter, Scarlett, up for school. There is no spell in the land strong enough to wake Scarlett from a slumber so I opened Edna’s door wide. Edna’s snoring is enough to wake the long since dead. Following this, while Scarlett was still a-stomping about, I polished the Magic Mirrors. If you don’t polish them every morning they get huffy and refuse to talk, which is not at all useful when you need to find the location of a hidden amulet or the secret antidote to a deadly poison-curse.

After Scarlett went to school, I slipped over to my homeland of The Shade to do some bartering. Some items you have here are incredibly useful there. Take false teeth, for instance. It took me over two hundred years to grow a gapped-tooth smile that the ugliest crone would be proud of. No self-respecting Fairy Godmother would be seen with a full set of teeth. It just wouldn’t be done. However, fearsome reputations of ugliness do not help when you are trying to eat toffee or peanuts, do they? That’s why I’m doing a roaring trade in false teeth over in The Shade. Gums for day time…False teeth for night-time snacks when no one is looking. Although, I do have terrible trouble getting hold of the false teeth. Scarlett says I should start a website called webuyanyteeth.com.

On my return, I spent most of the afternoon starching my girdles and polishing my best wand, ready for any trouble, because it’s been quiet for a while and I’ve got a churning feeling in my gut that something or someone is coming to spoil my peace. Plus, Scarlett is getting awful bad tempered again, and if you read the story that my writer friend Annie told for me, you’ll know that this means trouble.

And now I’m in bed ready for it all to start again the morrow. Me and Edna sleep in twin beds and although her snoring, gurning, chop-slapping and grunting of a night do not make for the best nights sleep, we are sisters and that’s how it always has been and always shall be. Fairy Godmothers do work best in pairs – though ’tis said there is always one Good and one Wicked of the pair. If I am not the Wicked one I shall be sore disappointed.

Freda x