This year boasts an unlikely, or unlucky, abundance of Fridays the Thirteenth. I’m not superstitious, but looking around the
, it seems that plenty of folk have been in the past. So I have taken for the next of my 26 Treasures a tiny piece that seems to have ‘luck’ woven into its name. Museum of Scotland
‘Luckenbooths’ were originally lockable market-booths selling cheap trinkets along
’s Royal Mile: so no luck there. But this little brooch provided protection from supernatural forces (such as the ‘evil eye’ that I alluded to on the last Friday 13th) and was intended to help charm a nursing mother’s milk. Edinburgh
Legend has it that Queen Mary gave a luckenbooth charm to Lord Darnley... .
Tomorrow, someone I used to know quite well is getting married. I can’t deny a pang of envy, but wish them luck all the same. A. E. Housman said, ‘give crowns and pounds and guineas, but not your heart away.’ If only I’d heeded that advice those years ago, as I sat drinking gin on a warm sofa with a certain soprano.
to charm or sustain you;
from this day forth
for the rest of your life.”
So she took it.
And he took her for a wife.
I locked up my booth, heavy-hearted.
Out of luck, love-locked-out, I departed.