Day that brought bad luck for me, from toe to tea

HOW did it go on Friday the 13th, or doesn t all that stuff bother you? I knew it was a Friday, but had forgotten about it being March 13 when I got up at 06.00 hours, intent on the Rosie Lee ritual. Too intent perhaps. Heading for the kettle, I carelessl

HOW did it go on Friday the 13th, or doesn't all that stuff bother you?

I knew it was a Friday, but had forgotten about it being March 13 when I got up at 06.00 hours, intent on the Rosie Lee ritual.

Too intent perhaps. Heading for the kettle, I carelessly gave the bed leg a good kick in passing with my bare right plate, whose little toe bore the brunt of it. That particular digit has never been quite itself since Recorder front-desk charmer Primrose (I kid you not) descended full on it during one of our wilder moments out on the floor at an Ilford Town Hall Saturday night hop more than 50 years ago.

Prim was a slender nymph, but it really halted me. "Do you want the trainer on?" she giggled, as the hop became literally that for me. I liked Primrose's GSOH (good sense of humour) almost as much as her slim legs!

It was probably thinking of those pins as I sat on the edge of the bed nursing the same, newly-bruised, toe that stopped me noticing sooner that the kettle wasn't making its usual encouraging, won't-be-long noises. No amount of jiggling and fiddling worked. Kettle u/s.

Not to worry, a glass of cool milk would do. Which well it might have done had I not knocked it over! God knows how. It was only your average glass but it went everywhere. A hasty salvage job was needed as the white puddle seeped along the dressing table.

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Among the items grabbed was the pocket calendar on which I cross the days off, like some of the lads used to do as demob neared.

I do it now to keep track of what the actual day is. When I saw it was Friday the 13th toe and duff kettle were explained.

As I was mopping-up, Pushy the cat leapt from outside, on to the window-sill, and sat watching what was going on in that inscrutable way they have.

"A proper moggie would lend a hand or at least a tongue," I grumbled, Pushy being the only feline I've known who turns her whiskers up at milk.

Animals, they reckon, always lock on to bad vibes. Pushy bunked off to hide under her favourite bush in the garden. "Stay there, Push, it's Friday the 13th," I called after her.

Cue a dismayed cry from the kitchen: "It dings but won't go round." Then yelled madam: "Ouch, I've just got a shock off it running right up my arm!"

The microwave had come out in sympathy with the kettle. Bashed toe, spilt milk, two electrical appliances on the blink. Friday the 13th all right. As the man said, 'we should'a' stayed in bed'.

Madam scoffed at that. But as I ferried kettle and micro to the motor to take them to be fixed, she nonetheless issued stern orders to be careful. I was already being careful in case the cat tripped me up. It worried me slightly that Pushy for once stayed under her bush rather than my feet. Did she know something?

Maybe. Because on the five minute run to the repair shop I passed a badly damaged truck and a virtually crushed Renault. A couple of cops made notes. Friday 13 for the poor beggars in that wreck, I thought, guiltily remembering the fuss I'd made over my trivial concerns.

The electrician told me when I got there that the noise the collision created late the night before had brought him and his neighbours running.

Extricating the injured had taken until well past midnight - and into the 13th.

Going back I was so careful, that everyone else on the road passed me.

I was also very circumspect that night about the bed leg.

Racking my brain for memories of previous such days I recalled, with a start, how on January 13, a Friday, a few years earlier we'd flown in an under half-full plane. The airline were delighted to sell the tickets.

With a window seat each to ourselves and a cabin crew who couldn't do enough for us, we had a fine time.

But I'm not sure I'd do it again quite so blithely. Not after the way kettle and microwave packed it in on us on this Friday the 13th.

Toe and milk mishaps I could maybe have stomached.

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