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I got a new charm today – a ladybird. What does this signify? Well I’d been thinking I needed one to mark the momentous occasion of my surgery, but I didn’t think they made gallbladder shaped charms, so it was always going to be a bit left-field. So there are three reasons I got the ladybird charm:

  1. I like ladybirds.
  2. They are supposed to be good luck, and although I don’t rely on luck I feel it was a major blessing that I was able to get into hospital and have the surgery so quickly (and no I am not implying that I consider blessings to be the same as good luck – it’s a tenuous thematic link with the ladybird thing, ok? Perhaps a kind of mnemonic).

    I’m not sure where I picked the luck thing up; as a kid I just knew they were lucky. But when I looked it up (on wikipedia of course) I discovered that it’s a worldwide myth:

    In parts of Northern Europe, tradition says that one’s wish granted if a ladybird lands on oneself. In Italy, it is said by some that if a ladybird flies into one’s bedroom, it is considered good luck. In central Europe, a ladybird crawling across a girl’s hand is thought to mean she will get married within the year. In Russia, a ladybird is called Божья коровка (God’s cow) and a popular children’s rhyme exists with a call to fly to the sky and bring back bread. Similarly, in Denmark a ladybird, called a mariehøne (Mary’s hen), is asked by children to fly to ‘our lord in heaven and ask for fairer weather in the morning’. In Irish, the insect is called “bóín Dé” — or “God’s little cow”.

    So there you go. I had to quote the above because many elements of it fascinated me. No wonder the Russians had to queue up for food if they were relying on ladybirds to bring bread back for them – how could they fly to the sky and bring back bread, unless they have some incredible weight-strength ratio thing going on (perhaps like an African swallow…)? In what way does this bug look like a cow? Or a hen? But then again, it doesn’t really look like a bird or a lady, so maybe I’m clutching at straws.

  3. So to get back to the original topic, the main reason I chose this one is that the charm’s design looks exactly like my scars! A little gruesome, perhaps, but I think it’s kind of funny – a line down the middle where the cut was, and a series of little dots on either side where the staples were.

Just in case anyone was wondering, I’m healing up quite nicely. Though I went to the gym today for my first personal training session since going to hospital and we had to stop after half an hour because apparently my lips went blue and that was cause for alarm.

Little steps.