First, we lost our garden keys: specifically two for the shed and one for the back gate. Annoying, but not noteworthy. A week later my spare car keys disappeared - the last time I definitely had them was to drive to Staffordshire last weekend. We found a dead frog just hanging in the pond, which my nature-savvy friends tell me is unusual. The birds have stopped coming to the feeders. There has been a strange smell coming and going. The washing-machine is making funny noises. There has definitely been a kind of oppression in the house: a sort of pre-headache malaise that lifts when I go out. Like I say, it's as though I've annoyed the house.
Clearly there is a rational explanation for this. The shed keys have been engulfed by the Flymo; I've simply forgotten where my car keys are; the neighbours' cat has done for the frog and seen off the birds; my dustbin needs sanitising. I need a new washing-machine, and I've simply had a headache (and perhaps I should check the carbon monoxide levels coming out of the boiler).
I have a lot of friends who reckon to have contacts in the spirit world, friendly ghosts at their beck and call and all sorts of similar malarkey. Just for fun this morning I asked them for their help via Facebook. Could they possibly twirl their pendulums and ask for aid on my behalf?
Back came the answer, so feeling extremely stupid, I got myself comfy and then held out my hands, palms upwards (obviously) and said out loud that I was sorry if I had offended the house, but could it please reveal where it had hidden my keys? Answer came there none. I went off for a shower.
All of a sudden I had the strangest feeling that my keys were in my green rucksack. Sure enough, there they were. How forgetful am I! The thing is, though, that I haven't used that particular bag for nearly a month. Oo-er!