Monthly Archives: April 2011


Perhaps it’s the wonky spring weather, with the bright grey skies and the constant threat of rain. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been spending hours in the catacombs. But lately I’ve been feeling quite doolally.

Doolally is an adjective meaning feeble-minded, crazy, or deranged. It’s British slang and comes from the early 20th century term doolally tap which is an army term for camp fever. Doolally Tap is derived from Deolali (the name of a town near Bombay where British soldiers would finish up their tours of duty) plus the Urdu word tap for fever.

Not only did you get a word today, but you also got a bit of a history lesson. Lucky doolally ducks, you are.

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A Storm Brews in Brooklyn

The gathering storm has gathered and is blowing in Brooklyn. The shutters are clapping against the house and the eaves are creaking. The Lillywack got loose into the garden, though I’m surprised she made it down all the stairs on her own. Seems suspicious. I fear my premonition about oncoming wickedness is coming true. The creatures are all agitated, and I can’t shake the feeling that it’s not because of the weather.

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As we are having ourselves a wet and chilly spring, it would behoove us all to find the appropriate alexiteric.

Alexiteric is defined as a preservative against contagious and infectious diseases, and the effects of poison in general. It is from the Greek word meaning ‘protection’ and was often used in reference to an amulet.

While there are many natural substances that work against contagious and infectious diseases, I have not yet discovered an alexiteric that works for unwanted family members. Even my hedge of wolfsbane can’t prevent their random and unwanted appearances.

Long walks in the rain can keep certain individuals at bay, but I’ve found that the most toxic relatives are the hardest to shake.

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Curiosity and the Catacombs

Spent another rainy day exploring the catacombs beneath the basement. An advantage to having a house on the back of a hill? Miles of winding hallways filled with family relics. Once they’re cleaned up, I’ll share them with all of you.

As you’ve undoubtedly surmised, my family is far-flung and fantastically eccentric. The objects and detritus they leave in their wake is both puzzling and delightful. And it makes this house seem full even though I am the only one of the family still living here.

Which suits me just fine. I find their objects d’odd much easier to live with than my family members.

I took a tea break on the front porch. This cold rain is bringing something ominous with it, though I can not say what.

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