Are you superstitious, well I am for sure because I am welsh and we live our lives completely controlled by myth and legend. no walking under ladders, no passing on the stairs, if I put something on inside out it has to remain throughout the day!!! because simply it is bad luck . My friends here in Italy are fascinated by the fact that I will only leave a house from the door that I entered which has on occasions resulted with me climbing over various hurdles and falling over objects in the pitch dark knocking and bruising various bones. When the stupidity of my behaviour is pointed out by my long suffering husband. I always answer convincingly
” imagine what could have befallen ,me if I had left by another exit I could have broken a bone !”
You see it is the the fear of something worse happening to me if I break from tradition in Italian they say “Porta male” bringing bad luck.
My lovely renovated house is full of all the old religious artifacts, all still resting in the same position as when I took over the ruin watching over us and keeping us safe.
Mary stands in a small recess on my kitchen wall with an ever watchful eye as I go about my daily chores.
The old dingy rosary beads hang in the corner of the bedroom over the beautifully painted dressing table. keeping nightmares at bay. It just goes on and on.
The trouble is that superstitions and legends are created by ourselves passed down by the generations and on many occasions with no idea where they had originated.
I worked for a period in OH’s catering business and was bemused to see ardent football supporters about to watch their heroes, making the same drink order week after week, sugaring and stirring in a certain way and making two gulps before they entered the ground. All because somewhere in the back of their memories they had done these deeds when their beloved team had won. Anything less in their own minds would only bring imminent disaster
So for me my most important lucky mascot is my magical Christmas tree. A very special little tree.
It was many years ago when OH and I were first together , we were somewhat down on our luck living in an old rented cottage with little spare cash, happy to be together but struggling to make ends meet.
I have always loved Christmas it is a special time it brings happiness and love. I adore to see the children’s faces light up when they see Santa laden with his sack of presents even though his cotton wool beard keeps coming away as he chuckles.
To them it is real and they believe.
Me, I love to decorate my house create a wonderland for us and our guests to enjoy. Our little bit of magic.
But that Christmas we had nothing I was woeful without a tree what bad luck could that bring. We emptied our pockets and put together the grand sum of twenty pounds
It was Christmas eve and we went searching for a tree, everything we found were too expensive. We just happened to pass by a rather expensive garden centre reputed for their spectacular Christmas displays. We looked at each other and OH said “Ok lets give it a try and see what we can find”. We entered with trepidation but to our relief everything was reduced. We strolled about our eyes wide looking at the dazzling displays. red , silver, blue, gold everything was colour themed and twinkling in the dimmed light. Then suddenly we came across a large display. A forest of glistening Christmas trees all decorated beautifully with red, gold and green baubles, it was simply stunning and there, standing right in the centre was this bewitching little pine tree. Its little green needles where tipped with frosted snow that shimmered in the light. It had a few golden baubles, and lovely red and gold candles clipped onto the end of its little branches. It was so enchanting We both looked at it catching our breaths I whispered to OH ” I have never seen a tree like it,”
“nor I” he replied.
What were we to do?
We thought it would be much more expensive than our twenty pounds. Thus completely out of the question. We looked on longingly but then continued our search trying to forget the little tree. But it had waved its magic spell and made us unable to leave it behind.
OH went in search of some help still unsure as to whether it was even for sale. After a few minutes he emerged with the assistant at his side he was beaming, “she says it is an old one and we can have it for twenty pounds if we take it as it is, without a box and decorated.
Wow what a dream ! what a special gift! she had given us.
We paid our money and the tree was lifted out of the display, OH carried it carefully and placed it in the rear of the car opening the sun roof to allow it to peep its head out. We kept glimpsing at it admiringly on the way home.
That first Christmas we just had those few baubles and candles to adorn it and every time we looked at it, it made us smile even more so when our little cat would hang from a nearby chair pushing out his little paw to try to catch one of the golden baubles.
From that day on wards our luck changed and we were on our way but we never forgot our little tree. It became a Christmas ritual for us to buy a special little ornament from where ever we visited to adorn its pretty little branches. Wheelbarrows, colourful christmas pudding,
a silver moon and even a Scottish father Christmas piper it went on and on.. Christmas never started until she was erected and decorated standing proudly in the corner of our different homes.
Visiting children loved it I would make little competitions to find the various objects and award them with a bag of shining gold chocolate coins.
So now many years on I am here in Italy In a house under renovation and to my horror and immense concern the little tree had to remain in a box.
What bad luck could this bring I ask.
Maybe I will never know but this renovation has certainly been one of the hardest things we have ever endured, testing our patience and tolerance to the limit, constant dust, freezing cold, mud, builders and a continual drain on the funds.
A few years have now passed and although the renovation is not complete I finally have a handsome house to live in and today 5th December 2016 I finally get to put up my special little tree.
What a delight to see and touch each little decoration, remembering each purchase as it tells the story of our life together, our travels our secrets. OH says proudly this is our history. What joy we have when we find the two loving turtle doves nestling in their basket,
the lucky Christmas rabbit and the golden swans with their billowing fluffy white tails.
Now I know that Christmas has at last arrived at my house and the little tree sits in the perfect spot under a cotto brick arch in the corner of our lounge, looking magical shimmering in the light crowned by her little guardian angel watching over our Christmas festivities.
Once again it creates a smile on the faces of all that see.
And us our memories fade of all that doom and gloom from the renovation. I gaze over at our twinkling tree and I think how lucky I am.
What a special little tree.
Happy Christmas everyone. I do hope that you find
your special little tree.