While many are particularly fussy about the company they keep, it is a little more difficult to be choosy when it comes to neighbours. Of course a doctor, lawyer or celebrity would be quite a stroke of luck for those who would think these ideal neighbours. For others it may well be someone with a large boat, a big swimming pool and a few spare Ferraris, while other people may see a qualified motor mechanic or plumber as ideal. Someone from whom you could reap a few friendship fringe benefits.

In my case however, I must be one of the luckiest people in the whole world when it comes to my neighbour. When it comes to omens of good luck in many parts of the UK and Europe, little is as lucky as a chimney sweep or ramoneur as they are called here in French.

The legends and superstitions behind chimney sweeps are very old and in parts of Great Britain it is considered lucky for a bride to see a chimney sweep on her wedding day. In fact sweeps hire themselves out for weddings. It is also considered good luck to shake hands with a chimney sweep or to be blown a kiss by one. Where I live, people will always touch a sweep when they see one. Just for luck. In Croatia it is good luck to rub one of your buttons if you pass one in the street. And in Germany, small ornamental sweeps are given as New Year gifts.

So is my neighbour a real chimney sweep. Of course he is. Complete in his traditional uniform of an all black suit with golden jacket buttons and of course a black top-hat.

Good Luck Lives Quite Close
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One thought on “Good Luck Lives Quite Close

  • 17/09/2010 at 8:19 pm
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    Well, Aren't you the lucky one Derek!

    Having a bit of the Irish in me, Tales, legends, superstitions, and of course Blessings are commonplace.
    As far as neighbors go, Having the best car, or the best pool, or the best anything is superficial and unimportant. It doesn't matter if your neighbor is a doctor or a shepherd. I would rather bask in the richness of character and friendliness of a poor neighbor, than the snobbish, ignorance of a wealthy neighbor. And I am not generalizing. Nice people wear many different coats, and I believe that most people truly are nice.
    I am fortunate in that I have wonderful neighbors. My neighbors are my friends. Some are nosy, but hey! Hence the term nosy neighbors. And they are good for town watch too! It's a dirty job but somebody has to do it.

    An Irish prayer

    May God give you…
    for every storm, a rainbow,
    for every tear, a smile,
    for every care, a promise,
    And a blessing in each trial,
    for every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share,
    for every sigh, a sweet song,
    And an answer to each prayer

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