In the early hours of this morning, around 1.30am, I was awoken by a loud crashing coming from downstairs. Raising my sleep laden head from the pillow I asked, ‘What’s that?’
‘Don’t know’ replied The Man, mumbling half asleep. I didn’t bother him too much because he’s not well right now.
Immediately, I realised that I would only find out what caused the noise if I went downstairs to have a look. I pushed my feet in to my slippers and gingerly made my way down the cottage staircase. Strangely it never occurred to me that it might be an intruder. The dog never barks at anything so that was no indication. When I opened the door to the sitting room I was confronted by a quivering Jpeg, desperate to escape into the garden.
I switched on the main light — a horrible white glaring bulb — and then I saw. . .
Wait for it . . .
The huge mirror we have above the fireplace was no longer in situ but smashed to pieces on the floor. The odd thing was it was face up so all the pieces were still held in place. It must have just slipped down from the wall, taking most of the ornaments on the mantlepiece with it — only one of those was broken, an Ikea dancing woman. The family carriage clock had also fallen but thankfully it was completely undamaged, in fact, I think it’s keeping better time this morning than for months.
I managed to transfer the broken mirror from the floor to the kitchen table to be dealt with in the morning. I vacuumed up the tiny splinters that had found their way across the carpet. I then had to go into the garden with the dog’s lead in order to drag her back in. She’s very anxious these days. I comforted her for a while and when I thought all was well I went back to bed. As I left the room, I glanced at the wall above the mantelpiece which looked very naked and ‘un-homely’ — if there is such a word — and a little wave of melancholia came over me.
By the time I got back into bed I was wide awake and any chance of sleep seemed shattered, like the mirror. I began to think about the consequences — according to the Great Book of Superstitions — if you break a mirror etc., etc., but it’s all rubbish isn’t it? I managed to convince myself that all would be well as I hadn’t actually broken the mirror myself. But I touched the wooden bedside cabinet with my fingers, just in case, before I eventually went back to sleep.
Are you superstitious? I know my mother used to come up with all sorts of things: don’t pass on the stairs, throw spilt salt over your shoulder, never give anyone a knife for a present without giving a silver coin, no new shoes on the table. The list goes on and even though I say I’m not superstitious I cannot stop myself from adhering to some of those little rules.
We will have to replace the mirror but right now we’ve put a painting there. Hmm. . . maybe it looks better? What do you think?