10 June 2010

My mother's superstitions

A chance remark from my brother in law has reminded me of the bizarre range of superstitions my mum had. Right until the end of her life she could surprise us, by quoting an appropriate reaction to a given situation. Here are some that I remember:

"If you wish to live and thrive, let a spider run alive" - to this day, I can't kill a spider, and will go to enormous lengths to rescue them from the bath.

If you pour out a pot of tea that someone else has made, you'll have ginger twins. (Thinking about it, this must only apply in domestic situations.)

If you give someone a present of a purse or wallet, you should put some money it. This will mean it will never be empty.

Be careful when you're stirring food on the cooker: stir with a knife, stir up strife; stir with a handle, stir up scandal.

Never cross knives.

If the palm of your right hand is itchy, you're going to come into some money; the left hand, you're going to have to pay some out.

If you get a kind of crema on your tea, you may be coming into some money: the amount depends not on the size of the foam, but on how long it lasts.

If your ear's burning, someone's talking about you.

It's unlucky to put new shoes on a table. But I think everyone knows that.

I'm sure I've forgotten loads. Dear readers, few as you are, what superstitions did your parents have? And what's wrong with ginger twins?

1 comment :

marion said...

I've remembered another knife one: you should never give a knife or scissors as gifts. They will 'cut your friendship'. If someone does give you a sharp object you should pay them with a small coin.

There were also flower related superstitions: no red and white flowers together (blood and bandages) and no Lilac flowers indoors (no idea why)