Superstition is all rubbish (touch wood)

SO are you the superstitious type? Do you panic when you see a black cat? Or throw salt about - or whatever it is people do?

James Marston

SO are you the superstitious type?

Do you panic when you see a black cat? Or throw salt about - or whatever it is people do?

As I sit here in my small Felixstowe pied a terre with sea views (distant) sipping on almost but not quite non alcoholic gin and tonic I don't think I really believe in superstitions, touch wood.

I don't throw away the crust of a Cornish pasty, I don't leave my teeth under my pillow - well not anymore - and I certainly don't put new shoes on a table - that would be asking for it.

Funny isn't it, the little things we do and don't do to preserve our luck or wealth or health? Strange these odd ideas handed down from generation to generation.

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Recently I came across some Suffolk superstitions while doing a little bit of research at the Suffolk Records Office.

I thought I'd share them with you and see if you've ever heard of any of them.

- A bumble bee entering a house is a sign that a stranger will shortly visit it.

- If a young person gets her apron soaking wet while washing linen she is sure to have a drunken husband.

- It is unlucky to burn green elder.

- It is unlucky to bring hawthorn blossom (May) into the house.

- If one uses yew to decorate the house at Christmas there will be a death in the family before the year is out.

- To put one's stockings on inside out accidentally is a sign of good luck.

- It is lucky to see the new moon over the left shoulder.

- If a cat has a cold it is sure to go through the house.

- If a child knocks a tooth out he is told to burn it, otherwise if a dog found it and ate it a dog's tooth would grow in its place.

- A man will spit in his hands for luck.

- Never begin a piece of work on a Friday.

- One must wear something new on Easter Sunday, otherwise there will be no good luck during the year.

The one about not starting anything on a Friday is particularly good isn't it? I'm trying to resurrect that one.

So do you know any Suffolk superstitions? Let me know.

What a shame about Tony Hart.

I'm sure my generation will fondly remember trying to get their artwork into the gallery - I never even tried knowing that even at an early age art was not a strong point.

Morph was good though - he was always up to things.

NEVER mind the green shoots of recovery - when's the spring coming?

Has anyone seen any evidence that it's on its way? A little sign? A frond? or even a snow drop?

Maybe I'm not looking hard enough but I haven't seen a green shoot in ages.

It feels like I haven't seen the sun for months, Christmas came and went and I just don't think I like January very much.

Drop me a line if you've seen that spring is on it's way and tell me about it.

James' Mailbag:-

Dear Readers,

It seems my recent comments about the New Year's honours list have struck a nerve. How interesting.

As regular readers know I do like an epistle - it's so rare to get a hand-written letter isn't it - so keep them coming.


Dear James

YOUR article in yesterday's paper has prompted me to write to you reference “the right people being honoured”.

In 2007 I sent all the paperwork I could collect to the cabinet office to try to obtain a national honour for an elderly friend of mine who has done so many events for charities his family could not find all the receipts etc, as he is so unassuming he didn't keep them!

He has been a butcher all his life, keeping pigs to supplement his income and has organized more tombolas, dances, cheese and wines etc than any of us can remember, mostly opening his home and garden to strangers to do this.

Why is it that actors, pop stars, politicians, MPs and directors of large companies, all people being overpaid for doing what they most enjoy, receive all the honours?

I hold out little hope for my friend the retired butcher but who knows?


Bellwell Lane,


Dear James

I READ your piece about who you think deserves an honour out of people you know in Suffolk. Three people at once spring to mind - in fact I initiated an attempt to have one of them put forward several years ago but it must have got lost in the (quite complicated) pipeline.

1. Percy Mason of Wickham Market.

Percy must by now be around 90 years old and as far as I know is still chair of the local Pensioners' Association. Not only is he a very worthy champion of pensioners' causes (he has been one for the past 25 years!) but has in the past been a very active member of the local community, a district councillor and a member of the British Legion,

Anyone who has lived in Wickham Market for any length of time will endorse this. He is a household name here. I no longer live in Wickham but I would like to put his name forward again before it is too late! (They have had the car park named after him I believe but I feel he deserves more recognition than this!)

2. Bryan Hall, the present district councillor of Wickham Market.

Absolutely dedicated to every facet of this role. Serves on all manner of committees, was instrumental in raising huge funds for the recent rebuilding of the church spire - in danger of collapse and a landmark for miles around.

This all took around two years or more. He is also a champion of improvements in public transport and was involved in the recent enhancement of Wickham Market Hill.

3. Eileen Cantrell, founder and owner of Foxearth Nursing Home, Saxtead Green.

The nursing home was started by Eileen 25 years ago by her taking in one or two needy folk to her own home while she worked as a health visitor.

It gradually successfully expanded and is now registered to take more than 60 residents. It has a second to none reputation for both nursing and social care. Eileen's special skill, however, is her expertise in the care of those suffering from dementia.


Albert Road,


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