Back in the middle ages folk had the right idea when they warned against “talking of the devil”. Originally used as a threat against directly naming God's nemesis, talking about said figure or evil in general, these days the proverb has a new face - “tempting God” in the 1300s, “tempting fortune” in 1603 and more popularly “tempting fate” around 1700. My superstitious forebearers were of a more religious disposition than me and believed “speaking of the devil” would actually incite the horned “man”, therefore resulting in unfortunate consequences (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speak_of_the_devil).
This week I've had a very unpleasant reminder of exactly how accurate said proverb can be. As I clicked on “update”, I turned to a colleague to breezily comment how awful a computer crash at that precise moment might be. Having spent a good hour and a half bumbling through an enormous professional development questionnaire on a website used by my new employer, I should have known merely verbalising my thoughts was “tempting fate”. OK, the computer didn't crash; instead, as soon as I'd saved the document and logged out, I returned to a rather empty proforma. Being a little paranoid I wanted to reassure myself my endeavours were safely logged. My actions failed to provide me with peace of mind, revealing a blank document that in the process proved I am indeed incredibly unlucky.
On countless occasions when my luck has failed, my generally ignored “gut” has often rather cleverly already predicted any negative outcomes. Today, I've made a personal vow to henceforth try to avoid stating any such negativity in order to perhaps escape repeat instances where fate is quite blatantly tempted to shaft me again. Feeling rather unlucky at present, I have to wonder whether the very act of writing this blog is already tempting fate?