Thursday, 20 September 2012

Fact Stranger Than Fiction

The pouffe was smoking; no I don’t mean literally sitting there with a cigarette in its (non- existent) mouth or on fire type smoking; but that you could smell smoke and that the smell was coming from the pouffe.

The pouffe had belonged to my Nan, a heavy smoker for as long as I could remember; and yes it did cause her demise in the end. The only time she refrained from smoking was when I took my newborn baby daughter to visit her (then she told me granddad off as he was about to light his cigarette!)

The pouffe became a significant part of the visits made by myself and my family. We had moved away so were only able to visit a few times a year but whenever we were in the area, even if we weren’t actually meant to be visiting her, we would call in and see my Nan. The kids would charge into the front room, which usually earned them a scowl or those often heard words “Oh for goodness sake” or “What a racket” my Nan being the ‘seen and not heard’ generation, as they raced to see who could retrieve the pouffe from its resting place behind the sofa and therefore gain a seat. When my Nan passed away my daughter asked if she could have the pouffe. My mum and my aunt did their best to clean the pouffe and it arrived at our house smelling and looking a lot fresher than it had left my Nan’s.

The first time I smelt smoke coming from the pouffe I laughingly told my mum that her mother was haunting me and then I set to spraying fabric freshener  assuming the straw filling must have let out the aroma of smoke. The next couple of times the aroma of smoke arrived we paid more attention, especially as they coincided with something going on in our lives, and asked my Nan (the pouffe) what it was she was trying to say.

Pure fantasy and imagination you may say and I would agree with you if not for the fact that one incident happened first thing in the morning. I opened the lounge door, drew back the curtains and went into the kitchen. Half an hour later when I returned to the lounge the aroma of smoke hit me straight away; it certainly hadn’t been there the first time and nobody had been in the room; let alone, touched the pouffe.

So what’s the truth? Why does my pouffe smell of smoke despite numerous squirts of fabric freshener? Is it because the straw filling releases its scent? Or is it a sign that my Nan is still watching over me? All I know is that sometimes there’s no reason for the lounge to be filled with a pungent stale cigarette smell, yet it is and at those times I usually say ‘hello’ to my Nan and wait to see if anything is about to change in my life.