Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Luck of the English

I bought a lottery ticket last Friday, and no, I'm not writing this on my way to the Seychelles. I was planning to keep Mum about my win anyway, just buy a few nice things, set the family up with some play money and breath a huge financial sigh of relief.

What a shocker though, it didn't pan out.

I've never got more than one number out of six right anyway, so why do I do it? Why? Because it's almost worth it isn't it? That $3 (me, LK & Anna) for a few hours of what if. That kind of hope defies rational thought, you *know* it's never going to happen, but bloody hell, you've already spent that money a thousand times in your head haven't you.

It should be obvious to me that I'm not going to win, and not just because I did statistics at A-level and at College. If that doesn't teach you, nothing else will. No, the real reason I will never win the lottery is because I'm not a lucky person. Oh, I believe in that count-your-blessings kind of luck, the 'you've got your health' sort of thing, work hard and make your own luck. Of course I do. As they say in tennis, the more you practice the luckier you get, and I do honestly consider some of the things that have happened to me to be on the jammy side. But lucky? No.

I won a bottle of gin once in a raffle. I was ten.

My brother on the other hand is Mr. Four Leaf Clover. We once went to a raffle at his football club, and his name was pulled so many times they had to start giving the prizes to someone else. Or maybe that's just how I remember it.

Was there a point to this? I think so, although my brain is as usual addled by wine. I think the point is that although I didn't win *again* I knew what I'd do with the money if I had it, and that made me remember a very different life.

I think the most depressed I've ever been, (excluding opening our mortgage bills....) was when I'd just graduated from College, and I had no clue what to do in my life because, I was a fucking Geography graduate which is the epitome of directionless apathy. Anyway, in those days I was honestly at the point where I thought, if I won the lottery, what the fuck would I do? I had no career, no bloke, no-one to travel the world with, no goals, no ambitions, everyone I knew was starting pretentious jobs in 'The City', and I felt like I'd just run out of runway. I would have maybe splashed out on some new boots at Hobbs, but as for real ideas - nothing. There can be very little as pathetic or depressing as someone who can't think of what to do with a lottery windfall, but then maybe I was just a tad self-involved and introverted. Anyway, just a few weeks later I took a chance and moved thousands of miles to a country where I knew literally no-one, and now look. Or rather, now luck. It just goes to show. Our friend and ex-landlord likes to say it's always darkest before the dawn, (which I repeat as a mantra every time I check the mail), but it's true. Sometimes it takes not winning the lottery to make you realise, as it did me today, that things could be a lot worse.

I do need a new fucking car though.

*****************************************************************************

As for the competition - there've been some interesting guesses, and some abuse - thanks, itsgrimupnorth whoever you may be, and Redfox/Turtle Rocket, number 20? please, I'm ashamed of you.

I think I'm going to give it one more week. If you're feeling lucky of course.






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