Gamblers have a uneasy relationship with luck. After all, we're hard-headed mathematicians spanking the arses of mis-estimated probabilities and systematic pricing errors. Strange that we're also a neurotic mass of wine stains, gibbering through the glass darkly about hubris and the gambling gods.
And naturally this spills into our real lives. On the one hand I know how privileged and advantaged I am, yet, on the other, can't help thinking we've had the most awful run of luck since we moved to Shropshire (for which incidentally we still entirely blame my sister-in-law and a broken mirror).
However, the last couple of months I've had that feeling, that all gamblers know, of being able to see the end of the losing run - glimpsing the sunlit uplands of a successful Cheltenham meeting say, reaching out and touching the joy of that life-changing win treble.
And I'm not talking about gambling, except as a metaphor. After all, sadly that's only a small stakes hobby these days. I'm talking about the world of work. I've been struggling to find any work this year. It's been one long frustration. But lately there have been glimmers, hints, possibilities. Hope.
And it was in such a mood yesterday that I was slathering my toast, when it fell from my grasp and somersaulted to the ground. And landed butter side up. I bent down to pick it up and said out loud: “There. See. Told you.” The world back in kilter. The deck reshuffled. The wheel in spin.
And then somehow, I've no idea how, I dropped the toast again. Butter side down. That's the thing about the gambling gods. They hate dreamers.
I was planning a half year review as to progress. I was going to post a separate update on each of the three streams of my portfolio life. Then I read one of the entries in my book The Northern Line to Shropshire and realised that it said it all - even though it was written in 2011.
2. One Dog and His Man. Out now in paperback.
3. Farewell Trip.
Published by Carina UK.
4. Silly Verse for Grown Ups