In all my life, I never met a more superstitious person than my Mammy. From dawn till dusk she practised the Black Art as my Dad called it to try and avoid all the pitfalls the devil aimed at you.
I could write a book on her fetish, but here are a few of her crazy meanderings in the world of pseudo-magic.
1. A gingernut biscuit was cracked on an elbow and depending on the number of pieces, that was the number of wishes you would be granted!.(Only ginger-nuts would do the trick!)
2. Nothing sharp was to be accepted by hand. It had to be put down first.
3. If you inadvertently put on an item of clothing the 'wrong way round' it could not be taken off and replaced correctly. That was the only way to avoid sudden death or worse!. And tough luck if it was your Y-fronts!.
4. Nails must NEVER be cut on a Sunday.
5. All 'multiple' sneezes had to be counted and the sum total provided either good or bad omens!.
6. I broke a wee mirror once and spent the winter in our coal-bunker as punishment.
7. If you saw a horse (a still common sight on the streets in the 40s/50s) it was imperative that you wished it Good Morning/Afternoon and offered it a sweetie. This accounted for the permanent paper bag of solidified gummy 'soor plooms' in Eves' handbag.
8. The only cure for plooks was sulphur and treacle. (Maybe not a superstition but it tasted like one!
9. It was good luck to bow to magpies.
10. It was criminal bad luck to stir a pot counter-clockwise.
11. Spilled salt MUST be tossed over the left shoulder or you would die in 1 minute!.
12. The worst possible bad luck came from being cheeky to her!.