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Superstition

One for sorrow, 2 for joy… We all know this nursery rhyme, but not everyone follows the ‘protocol’ of saluting a solitary magpie in order to ward off bad luck.

I have been saluting magpies for as long as I can remember. When I first went to college in West Sussex a family of magpies lived in the garden which surrounded the halls of residence where I was staying. They would often sit in one of the trees by my window, cackling and squawking, teasing me and urging me to salute, count and calm my inner superstitions.

Black cats on the other hand don’t phase me in the least, partly because there has always been confusion in my mind as to whether a black cat is good luck or bad luck.

Four leaf clover, a rabbit’s foot, shamrock, lucky white heather – there are so many so-called lucky artefacts that offer some form of comfort to so many people.

I saw a shooting star the other morning and had made a silent wish before I was barely conscious of what I was doing.

Tomorrow is the start of the Chinese New Year – Kung Hey Fat Choi – and there are so many rituals associated with preparing for this special time.  The Chinese will clean their houses, as any good Scot will do on Hogmanay, and settle their finances, decorate their homes and plan family meals.

This is the year of the Monkey and there are associated lucky numbers, colours, flower and even directions.

In Western astrology, precious and semi-precious stones and gems are the trademark lucky symbols for each sign.

We can pick and choose what suits us or ignore the whole damn thing! For me I am Aries the Ram, or leader of the Zodiac; I am the Chinese snake; I follow the blood type/Mediterranean diet and have decided that I am never happier than when things go well, my family and friends are happy and I get plenty of sleep and exercise.

Superstition – a poem

Cross your heart and hope to die

hold a rabbit foot, salute a magpie.

Black cat, white heather, four leaf clover,

Fortune cookie, count to ten over and over.

Black cat, shamrock, shoes off the table

Superstition, contradiction read another fable.

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