It is fug season. Even in California. The rain has kept us inside, doors closed, and the cold has reintroduced me to chilblains. And so the weekend fug forms. In our house the word 'fug' has broken out of it's dictionary definition. It still hints of Collins' Concise 'hot stale air' but has also attracted other nuances unique to our family. For us, a fug generally includes a light floor covering of newspapers; strewn supplements, discarded driving sections and the news pages folded in upon themselves like a fortune telling cahootie. Likewise, cushions and pillows must obey the laws of gravity and find themselves suitably muddled into the mess. To create a real fug, there must be jumble of toys and bedding liberally applied to the sitting room floor. One thing that works very well and is the current favourite in our house, is a rocket ship made with duvets dragged from bedrooms, blankets pulled from boxes and the contents of the saucepan cupboard. A fug can be enhanced when an elaborately engineered train set, built with such care, is then bulldozed and lies abandoned in the chaos. A Christmas tree dropping needles will help in establishing a proper fug and a warm fire, if you have one, will do wonders. At that point Dom will be reveling in it, he will sigh contentedly saying 'Ahh, now this is a proper fug, all we need is a dog.'
Some of you will have spotted that a fug isn't that different from a tip. A stuffy tip (thankfully without the dog). In the absence of an open fire, we have a thermostat. And, here is the biggest contention; let's call this, the battle of the fug.
Our thermostat is on the wall near the kitchen, we walk past it to do just about everything. Dom sets it to 72, I turn it down to 60. Dom raises my 60 to 76, I see his 76 and turn it back to 62. Dom then ratchets it up to 80 and I switch it off. And so it goes on. Saturday. Sunday.
I am by no means obsessively tidy. But, I generally keep cushions on chairs and bedding in bedrooms. When I'm down on the floor, playing inside with the boys, I find I group the toys, putting the cars together, or the farm animals in the farmyard. I can't help but search out the missing shape for the sorter, or find a way to make the geometric bricks fit neatly in their cart. I confess to picking apart playdoh to try and separate the colours. I dream of having an organised craft cupboard. And so I fight the fug here too.
By Monday I have majority control over the house again and most importantly, the thermostat. But it's hard not to like a fug, it denotes the weekend, and the season, and I can take solace in the fact that we don't yet have a dog.