Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

We really are a daft lot. I have discovered that I try to switch off the electric kettle before it automatically cuts out. Why? For good luck! Of all the stupid things to do. But it’s worse, I have just realised that I don’t switch off the kettle for good luck, if I let it switch itself off something bad may happen!

Electric Kettle
But before you scoff, are you superstitious? Crossing your fingers, touching wood, giving a coin to someone who gives you a knife or saying ‘white rabbit’ on the first of the month. Most of the people I speak to have some lurking respect for superstition and I suppose one of the most common is Friday the 13th (There I’ve said it - touch wood, fingers crossed etc etc).

Of course you knew it but just in case you didn’t know, the fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia. Now say that 10 times really fast!
Dec 13th
Friggatriskaidekaphobia comes from Frigg, the Norse goddess of wisdom after whom Friday is named, and the Greek words triskaideka, meaning 13, and phobia, meaning fear.

A bit of bad news for all of you who suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia – all years will have at least one Friday the 13th. The good news is that there cannot be more than three Friday the 13ths in any given calendar year. The longest one can go without seeing a Friday the 13th is 14 months.

Now go and kick a black cat, open an umbrella indoors, put your shoes on the table, walk on a crack in the pavement, throw spilt salt over your shoulder, watch out for a single magpie.


Or better still, stop switching off the electric kettle and instead believe in fairies.

Comment from Steve
Even the most rational and logical person seems to operates mainly at an emotional level without even realising it. There’s a deep rooted awareness that superstitions are as old as mankind and that in itself seems to reinforce a subconscious urge to heed by them and also create our own.

When I lock the yard at night, I use two high security locks - they’re identical in construction but by two different manufacturers. I always put one make of lock on the left side and the other make on the right side. I would even go as far as to taking them off and putting them back on again if I got them transposed. I’ve a feeling that it’s more to do with the ‘ceremony of routine’ because that’s where these little idiosyncrasies seem to pop up - the things we do the same way every single day. Like the way we go about making breakfast or our bathroom routine - it throws us if we break the routine by doing something different.

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