British Expat Newsletter:
24 January 2007

Hello, and welcome to those who have joined up since our last newsletter.

In this issue

  • This week: Luck
  • Virtual Snacks
  • Bizarre Searches
  • Quotation and joke

This week

Our house was descended on by a large swarm of what we thought were wasps. Having had a similar experience in New Delhi (there’s a somewhat rambling article about that here: Delhi Daze: The Birds and the Bees) we thought we should act quickly before things got out of hand.

Dave hot-footed it up to the compound office to request help. Meanwhile several of the compound staff were grinning and pointing at the swarm. In the Land of Smiles I guess some people will laugh, or smile, at anything. Anyway, the compound manager came along, assessed the situation and told us we were very lucky. The swarm wasn’t wasps but bees and this was a sign of very good luck for us.

Apparently they’ll do whatever it is they do and move on to another lucky person in a couple of weeks. (Does anyone have any better advice?)

It all seemed a bit strange to us but it got me thinking about luck, superstition, destiny and all that. I’m a great believer in making your own luck. People might say how lucky we are to live where we do, but I don’t think of that as luck. We worked darned hard to make it happen. There again without the luck of being born in the UK, and the economic advantage that can bring, it might never have happened.

What does luck mean? A black cat crossing your path? A horseshoe? Or what? We might scoff at some of these things as just superstition but, for me anyway, there can sometimes be a doubt in my rational disbelief. Dave and I once stayed in the best room of a (very cheap!) hotel. The room’s number was 999 because that was thought to be lucky. We laughed about it but were rather surprised to discover that our lottery ticket won that week. (About £200 but worth having nonetheless.) By the way, that’s the only time we’ve ever won the local lottery despite doing it week in week out. A coincidence? Yes, probably. But (until if/when I know different) I’m rather glad we’ve had a visit from the lucky bees.

Has anything similar happened to you? What’s considered to be lucky where you are? Please let us know!

PS: Sorry we missed last week’s newsletter, we were in Cambodia again. Watch out for some more new content soon – including some breakfast photos! We’re still wanting photos for our breakfasts around the world gallery, so please send ’em in: Breakfasts

Do you have anything to say about this topic? Or do you have some suggestions for other issues we might discuss in our weekly email? Why not comment and tell us?

Virtual Snacks

Just a few suggestions if you have a little time to spare:

There’s a massive collection of superstitions at [Obsolete link deleted]. Did you know that it’s bad luck to change a horse’s name, or that a baby born with teeth will grow up to be extremely selfish?

Professor Richard Wiseman, Chair of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire (he led the team searching for the world’s funniest joke) conducted a study in 2002 which concluded that lucky people do indeed make their own luck – apparently if you believe you’re lucky, things do go better for you. Unfortunately his homepage seems to be down right now. But here’s an article he wrote for the BBC’s website in 2003 about his research into luck:
BBC Magazine: The loser’s guide to getting lucky

Ever wish you could buy luck? Apparently now you can. Dharmic religion student Tomas will meditate to improve your life and help you achieve your long-term goals, and if it works you can send him a donation to help him go to India. Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it?
[Obsolete link deleted]

Bizarre Searches

Some strange search terms which have led people to visit British Expat recently:

  • lugger clark
  • bumps and bruises skate shop
  • cowboy style
  • the deathstrip watchtower berlin
  • hugh jackman weeping
  • luka kovac bad temper
  • violent prayer
  • woodworm guarantee selling
  • artwork boy fishing sketch
  • old england lambswool

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

British Expat Magazine


“If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”

– anon.


Lucky Irish Golfer

One fine day in Ireland, a guy is out golfing and gets up to the 16th hole. He tees up and cranks one. Unfortunately, it goes into the woods on the side of the fairway.

He goes looking for his ball and comes across this little guy with this huge lump on his head, and the golf ball lying right beside him. “Goodness,” says the golfer, and proceeds to revive the poor little guy.

Upon awaking, the little guy says, “Well, you caught me fair and square. I am a leprechaun. I will grant you three wishes.”

The man says, “I can’t take anything from you, I’m just glad I didn’t hurt you too badly,” and walks away.

Watching the golfer depart, the leprechaun thinks, “Well, he was a nice enough fella, and he did catch me, so I have to do something for him. I’ll give him the three things that I would want. I’ll give him unlimited money, a great golf game, and a great sex life.”

Well, a year goes past (as they often do in jokes like this) and the same golfer is out golfing on the same course at the 16th hole. He gets up and hits one into the same woods and goes off looking for his ball. When he finds the ball he sees the same little guy and asks how he is doing.

The leprechaun says, “I’m fine, and might I ask how your golf game is?”

The golfer says, “It’s great! I hit under par every time.”

The leprechaun says, “I did that for you. And might I ask how your money is holding out?”

The golfer says, “Well, now that you mention it, every time I put my hand in my pocket, I pull out a ten euro note.”

The leprechaun smiles and says, “I did that for you. And might I ask how your sex life is?”

The golfer looks at him a little shyly and says, “Well, maybe once or twice a week.”

The leprechaun is floored and stammers, “Once or twice a week?!”

The golfer, a little embarrassed, looks at him and says, “Well, that’s not too bad for a Catholic priest in a small parish.”

This entry was posted in 2007 by Kay McMahon. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kay McMahon

Kay has been an expat for nearly 30 years. She set up the British Expat website back in early 2000, whilst living in London and missing the expat life. These days she spends much of her time lugging computers and cameras around the world. (Dave gets to deal with all the really heavy stuff.)

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