Is Good Luck Patting a Stone?
10 AUGUST 2011
I have been thinking a lot about luck lately. And after the past few days that saw the streets of our country ransacked by vicious, fire cracking, looting scumbags I have been thinking about it all the more. Yesterday, I got myself so wound up by obsessing over the riot coverage on Sky News and Twitter that I spent the day quivering in my living room feeling like they were coming to get me, just me. When I woke up this morning and realised I still had all of my fingers and that my house was still standing, I felt lucky.
But was I lucky? Of course I wasn’t. The thugs took a night off and the odds of them torching my house were probably about 1000/1 anyway. But still, something about saying I was lucky made my relief all the more satisfying.
I am currently filming a program for Channel 4 about luck, and as part of this I am spending a lot of time in a Yorkshire town called, Todmorden. It’s very pretty, the people are nice, and in the local park there is a statue of a dog that is apparently a lucky dog. I named it Lucky.
I had heard rumors that the statue had been deemed lucky after a few people had patted it and subsequently experienced good fortune. When I arrived, skeptic or not, I patted the stony, cold head of that dog like my life depended on it. I joked with my crew ‘as if that was lucky’, and then I carried on with my life as if I didn’t care. But I did care, something was different. Since patting the dog I have been almost searching for luck to come my way. I am expecting it, I want it. Before I patted Lucky, I am not sure I ever thought about it.
Occasionally, I warn myself to stop setting myself up for disappointment, but then something will happen that makes me think that dog might have the powers it is famed for after all. Since patting it my career has taken a very sudden turn in a more positive direction by way of work I have been offered. As well as this I have bought five scratch cards and won at least my money back on all of them, and my boyfriend got a job in Australia which means I get free business class tickets to go out and be with him. How can I not think I am lucky after all that? On top of this some members of my film crew came out of a terrifying car crash on the M1 completely unharmed (they had touched the dog) and I, of course, survived the riots. Which I still feel is nothing short of a miracle.
I am not a spiritual person, but trying to deny that my life has changed for the better since I patted Lucky would be a lie to myself. But the big question I have to answer now is, does Lucky the dog really have magical luck emitting powers, or did my attitude change when I touched it? Is all this recent good fortune because of a statue in a park in a small Yorkshire town, or have I brought it on myself?