I'm not the superstitious type... ok I avoid walking under ladders but that's just sensible. In Brussels, we have a lot of ladders and laddery-type things that tend to pop up leaning on houses of people whose roof needs fixing, or who are moving out via an upstairs window (that's how it works here - with tall narrow houses and winding staircases it's the easiest way, believe me). These sometimes have big boxes, heavy tiles and/or slippery fingered exhausted men up them, so crossing the road is the only way of making sure you stay out of the danger zone.
Anyway, apart from ladders I may notice the odd magpie and search for its pair (one for sorrow, two for joy...
) but I blame my father entirely for that one, passing on his stupid superstitions, and make sure to laugh at myself when I catch myself doing it.
I was in Bucharest recently, in a traffic jam on my way to the airport, thinking about babies. It seemed like everyone I knew was pregnant or had just given birth. One friend had just had a son, a family member had had a son and another was expecting, and three more friends were a month away from giving birth - one little boy, one little girl and one unknown.
We rounded a bend and crawled along the road, and there they were. Four magpies pecking away at something, in a huddle together. That's weird
I thought I never see such big groups.
I caught myself being grateful to them that they were a group and not just a single bird so following my tradition of laughing at myself I sent a text message to my pregnant friend who didn't already know the sex of her baby. You're having a boy by the way. The Romanian magpies told me.
He was born last night.One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy