Something old, something new. Weekend challenge.

Side VieW’s weekend challenge, “something old, something new,” of course got me thinking about weddings. This old rhyme is very well known:

“Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue,
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.”

The ‘something old’ represents continuity; ‘something new’ offers optimism for the future; ‘something borrowed’, symbolizes borrowed happiness; ‘something blue’ stands for purity, love, and fidelity; and ‘a sixpence in your shoe’, is a wish for good fortune and prosperity. This remains largely a British custom, but maybe it’s also practised in other countries.

So, having got the obvious out of the way, my mind went off on a bit of a tangent, and I got to wondering, “What about old men who marry young women, and vice versa?” We probably all know of some celebrities who’ve done this. For example, there was Charlie Chaplin, who at 54, married 18-year-old Oona O’Neill, and the inimitable Joan Collins, who at 68, wed her toy-boy, 36-year old Percy Gibson. These age differences might sound  quite extreme, but if we’re talking really bizarre, what about the marriage between this 112-year-old Somali man, and his 17-year-old bride!

He said that he’d been waiting for her to grow up before asking her to marry him. Altogether, this Mr Dore has 114 children and grandchildren. His oldest son is 80 years old and three of his wives have died. He is hoping that his new bride will give him more children. How many is enough? ;)

Just to balance things out a bit, here’s a 104-year-old Malaysian woman, who married a 33-year-old man. This was her 21st marriage, but sadly, she has no children…….yet. ;)

These stories just prove that however old you may be, there’s still hope of a happy marriage with someone young and new. Never say die, until you actually do.

Have a great new week, everyone. Chat again soon.

Friday 13th……are you superstitious?

Side View’s challenge, “Friday 13th,” reminded me that I did a post on this subject, back in 2010, so I looked it up and gave it a bit of a tweak and some editing.

I’ve never been a superstitious person, but I remember when I was growing up as a child in a small mining community in England, there was much superstition around. People would throw salt over their left shoulder  to ward off evil spirits, especially if you had broken a mirror, which was thought to bring 7 years’ bad luck. One NEVER walked under a ladder, even if it meant stepping off the pavement into the road to avoid doing so.  I could never understand why one would risk being run over by a bus, rather than take a chance with the bad luck thing. Undecided  “Touch wood” was a common saying, after expressing a wish that something bad wouldn’t happen, and if you saw a funeral car or procession, you had to inexplicably touch your collar. I remember putting up my umbrella before stepping out of someone’s front door into the rain, and you’d have thought I’d committed a murder. The fuss and fury that ensued was ridiculous.

Friday 13th has been viewed with dread by many superstitious people over the centuries. The number 13 of course has always been synonymous with ‘bad luck’ and many highrise buildings don’t have a 13th floor. Most airports skip the 13th gate, and airplanes don’t have a seat number 13. Hospitals and hotels regularly don’t have a room 13, and Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery for fear of bad luck. People who fear the number 13 are known as, ‘triskaidekaphobes.’ Some may argue that their fear is well founded ; there was the ill-fated mission to the moon, ‘Apollo 13’ and it’s believed by some that if you have 13 letters in your name, you will have ‘the devil’s luck.’ Examples given of this, are Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy, and Jack the Ripper. South Africa’s Julius Malema, just misses this by one letter, and I think that his “devil’s luck”  may have almost run out. Wink

Even Friday itself has its bad luck connotations. For example; a bed changed on a Friday will bring bad dreams; any ship sailing on a Friday will have bad luck; never start a trip on a Friday, or you will meet with misfortune; never start to make a garment on a Friday, unless you can finish it the same day, or the wearer will be prone to accidents.

So, as Friday 13th combines these two unlucky entities, it’s no wonder that some folk stay in bed the whole day, afraid to venture out. Did you know that  ‘friggatriskaidekaphobia’ is the name given to people who are afflicted with the morbid, irrational fear of Friday 13th? Quite a mouthful isn’t it, so don’t try to say it, or you could choke, or even lose your false teeth, and that would definitely be bad luck.  It’s thought that as many as 21 million Americans are in the grip of this age old superstition.

As we mark today the second Friday the 13th of 2012, here are some interesting facts about this superstitiously unlucky day:
Friday the 13th is set to creep up upon us yet again in July this year. The most times that the 13th will fall on a Friday in any given calendar year is three, while the longest period without it is 14 months.

On April 13, 2029, a Friday, the asteroid 99942 will make its closest encounter with earth.

US President Franklin Roosevelt would not travel on the 13th day of any month and would not host 13 guests at a meal. Napoleon and US President Herbert Hoover were also said to suffer from triskaidekaphobia.

In Paris, one can hire a quatorzieme, or a professional 14th guest, to remove the so-called bad luck brought by the number 13, especially on Friday 13th.

Friday the 13th may not be as unlucky as people think. A 2008 Dutch study showed that fewer car accidents, fires and crimes occur on the said day, probably because superstitious would-be victims make an effort to stay at home out of harm’s way.

According to CNBC, the US market has been up 80 times out of the past 140 occasions when the 13th of a month landed on a Friday.

Well, I showed my disdain for this silly superstition, by changing the sheets and pillow cases on our bed this morning. The only bad luck that’s likely to come my way, is that I have to iron them. Cry
Have a great Friday 13th everyone. Chat again soon.

Side View’s weekend challenge………Tellurian

Sidey’s weekend challenge, had me scratching my head for an idea. A Tellurian is an inhabitant of the earth, or an ‘earthling’, which is a term commonly used in science fiction to identify humans as opposed to extraterrestrials. So what could I say about us mere mortals? There are so many of us crammed onto this planet we call our home, and we’re all different. Just like snowflakes, and even identical twins, there are no two exactly the same.

We all have our own personality, likes and dislikes, thoughts and feelings. The only thing which each of us has in common, is birth and death. So with this thought in mind, I wrote this acrostic poem.

Tellurian

T emporal, this stardust lodger,
E arthbound soul with heavenly fear
L abouring to make a living
L est he cannot feed himself
U nspiritual yet with eternal hope
R acially profiled by his peers
I n all creation he’s unique
A n uncelestial being,
N aked he arrives, and to dust he returns.

Hope you’re all having an awesome weekend. Chat again soon.

Weekend challenge……. REVENGE…..a short story.

Hi again everyone. I hope you’re all having a great weekend. Sidey’s challenge reminded me of this short story I wrote in 2010. I’ve tweaked the ending a bit, and hope that those of you who read it before, will enjoy reading it again. Having been a church organist myself for many years, I hasten to assure you that this is neither a true story, nor as one blogger erroneously suspected, a confession. Laughing

 

THE VOLUNTEER ORGANIST

 

Miss Amelia Jenkins adjusted her neat little bottom on the hard organ bench. Almost thirty years of dedication, with never an absence from duty, not even for a holiday by the sea. Why, she even insisted on cleaning the organ loft area herself; no-one else had been up there for many years. “What selfless devotion,” the parishioners often remarked amongst themselves.

As she selected the music to practise for Sunday’s service, she thought back to a time when this organ loft had been her little love nest, unbeknown to anyone but Jamey and herself. He’d captured her affections, telling her that looking up from his pew on a Sunday morning, he’d thought her the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen, with her hair like a golden halo lit by the sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows. She’d had high hopes for their future together.

Then came the fateful day when he’d told her that their secret meetings must stop. He had become engaged to Gloria, a local businessman’s daughter. She was a good catch for any man, he’d said. Pretending not to care, she’d generously agreed to play the organ for their wedding. He was to meet her one last time in their special place, to discuss the music for the auspicious day.

She’d unlocked the gate and let him in. He’d seemed rather surprised to see the two glasses and the bottle of fine red cabernet. “A toast to your marriage,” she’d announced, as he lifted the glass to his lips and drained it dry. “Belladonna is now your bride. No pretty woman named Gloria for you my sweet,” she’d muttered, as she heaved his lifeless body through the trap door beneath the organ bench.

Gloria had been devastated to find that she’d been jilted. No-one could imagine where Jamey had disappeared to. “Cold feet,” they’d said. “Definitely cold,” Amelia had thought to herself, with a wry smile. She’d done her homework well, and the quick lime worked a treat. The flesh had soon been eaten away and Jamey was now just a pile of bones, their love affair a distant memory.

She tapped the trap door impatiently with her shoe, as she racked her brain for another place to hide his bones. After all, thirty years without a holiday is a long time. “I’ll think of something,” she said out loud to herself, as her fingers touched the organ keys and the church was filled with the majestic strains of that well loved melody, “Abide with me.”

As the music filled the night air, the church elders were meeting in the vestry. Gordon Hislop announced “I propose that we show our appreciation to dear Amelia for her long years of unstinting service. It’s high time she took a holiday. We’ll insist upon it, and whilst she’s away, we’ll replace that old organ with a new and larger one. The floor boards will of course need to be replaced to take the extra weight. She’ll be so surprised and delighted when she returns.” “Amen to that,” his fellow committee  members concurred, as Gloria, now the vicar’s wife, entered with a tray of tea and biscuits.

©September2010 Another Day (Letterdash)