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Kerri McLean

Find a penny, pick it up and all day long you'll have good luck. If only that old saying had proved true for me...

Kerry McLean


I was out walking my dog at the end of last week when I spotted something small and shiny, glinting up at me from the side of the rain-soaked footpath.

It was a little brown one pence piece and for a moment, conscious of my hands, red and stinging painfully in the freezing conditions and with the sleet chilling my shoulders, even through my padded winter coat, I thought about walking on and leaving it where it was, half hidden beneath the mulch of leaves.

But then a little voice piped up in my head with the words, 'Find a penny, pick it up and all day long you'll have good luck'.

That little inner voice in my head sounds an awful lot like my granny, who has always made short shrift of anyone who doesn't heed her.

So, I bent over, fished it out from the rotten leaves and went home, content in the knowledge that the next few days were going to be good ones, now that I had a lucky talisman.

Only it didn't quite turn out to be so. I knew that bad luck was literally afoot when I walked back into my house.

It turned out that it wasn't only coins which were hidden amongst the leaves on the footpath near our house for as I felt the heat of the house seep into my bones, the smell of dog poo did the same to my nostrils.

I cursed the lazy dog owner who hadn't bothered to pick up after their pooch as I cleaned first the hall floor and then the treads on my wellies.

I like to think that I'm a woman with an iron constitution but oh my, that's a task that truly turns my stomach!

The next bit of bad luck also made my stomach flip but for different reasons. My husband took his car in to get serviced, only to be hit with a four figure bill for work that needed to be done.

Given that the car was barely worth much more, it seemed time to wave farewell and pick up a new motor to do the many miles he has to do up and down the road to Belfast.

Now, many people might feel the pain of paying out thousands for a new car somewhat lessened by the thought of a shiny new car but my husband has as much interest in cars as he does in the life cycle of a moth.

Given that his beloved Liverpool also lost an important game this week it left him in fairly foul form.

One that matched my own when on Monday night I tried to turn on my cooker only to discover that it had died on me.

I'm not a great cook so I never had Mary Berry expectations of what I could produce but even my lowly dishes were hit and miss thanks to that oven.

It would take random decisions as to how hot it would actually get and the right side always got hotter than the left, resulting in my having to repeatedly turn any cooking trays.

But over the years I had come to know it's strange little quirks and we rubbed along well enough. After the car fiasco, our already much lightened savings account took another bashing with the purchase of a new oven.

It was installed last night and I have so far avoided using it and it's complicated display. Why do oven makers insist on putting on a hundred and one settings when all anyone I know uses is the fan oven and the grill?

Given all the bad luck that has come my way over the last few days it probably comes as no surprise that I've decided that I must actually have picked up the proverbial bad penny.

I had at least a couple of people's bad luck all in one unmanageable lump.

I feel the need to get rid of that little mischievous coin but I stuck it in a jar with at a few hundred other identical coins.

So be warned local shop owners. I'll be paying everything with pennies until I'm sure I've got rid of that coin and my luck starts to change!

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