NZ Woman's Weekly

Colin Hogg’s superstitions

Colin Hogg’s superstitions

I’m not sure how I feel about being at the start of a year that ends with a 13. It’s the sort of thing you’ll strike only once in a lifetime. For safety’s sake, I won’t be making any New Year’s resolutions. Except, of course, to strive to be a better man, but that’s a never-ending project.

So much happened in 2012 – I travelled, I became semi-employed, there were new grandchildren, a daughter turned 30 and I went to a party in Sydney to celebrate, which was pretty wild of me.

I wouldn’t mind a bit of a sleepier time in 2013. But I am a little concerned about that 13. I grew up in a superstitious family – at least the women were – and I remain funny around ladders, spilt salt and the number 13, among other things. Mum’s nervous about black cats, but apparently if you cross your fingers after an encounter until you see a white horse you’ll be all right – or something along those lines.

I don’t go that far. There aren’t enough white horses around these days and I’m not iffy about black cats. We’re getting a new white cat, but there’s been a disagreement about what to call her.

The 13-year-old daughter, who thinks she’s the boss of everything these days, wanted to call her Nugget. I objected – I was keen to call the kitten Shirley after my mother-in-law. A previous cat was named for my father-in-law and our dog has my dad’s name. But the daughter wasn’t having that.

She said Shirley was wrong for a cat and maybe she’s right. As a step away from Nugget, I suggested Chicken, but that got the veto from the strong-minded daughter too. I have a feeling we’ll probably settle for Fluff, which would be a pity. The test with a pet’s name is how you feel about shouting it out across the back lawn.

I’m sure there will be bigger issues than the new cat’s name in the year ahead, but I hope they’re not too much bigger. I have modest plans. I intend to expand my dinner menu as I continue my role as the at-home guy, while the wife goes out to spend her days slugging it out at the terrifying frontline of the executive world.

In the year ahead, my scattered children will become more scattered with my son, currently a chef in Melbourne, planning to take himself and his lovely girlfriend off to live in even-more-distant New York. It’s been his dream for years to go there and I’m not the sort of father to stand in the way – even if those dreams take them away to the far side of the world.

Meanwhile, the daughter in Sydney seems set to stay there for a while yet – at least. And the married one in Melbourne won’t be home any time soon. I don’t see those as reasons to be sad, but reasons to plan a bit more travel in the year ahead.

NZWW Dec-22-2014-issue

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