Has it made any difference? Wait until the book comes out ...
Meanwhile, this month I've been looking at superstitions surrounding horseshoes. And one train of thought took me in a totally unexpected direction. You see, I couldn't find a lucky horseshoe. Despite living in rural Buckinghamshire and despite the proliferation of little girls called Penelope trotting around on their precious ponies, I have not found a single horseshoe on the side of the road. For maximum luck, you should find a shoe and approach it from the open points end.
But this superstition began when horses were the primary mode of transport. So what's the modern equivalent? Well, cars have replaced horses ... and cars do occasional 'throw a shoe'. That's right. I reckon the modern equivalent of the horseshoe is the hubcap. So I've collected a few. For luck. But after a while, my long-suffering wife started to ask, "Why is the back garden full of hubcaps?" And I had no good answer. What could I do with them?
If only I'd been as smart as the wonderfully named Ptolemy Elrington. He's a Brighton-based artist who has made the hubcap into his medium of choice. And his work is extraordinary.
"Hubcaps are aesthetic in purpose, but ultimately of very little use," says Elrington. "They're automatically rubbish when on the side of the road, but with a little effort and imagination I transform them into something which gives people a great deal more pleasure. My hubcap creatures are made entirely from recycled materials; all the hubcaps are found, usually on the side of the road, and therefore bear the scars of their previous lives in the form of scratches and abrasions. I believe these marks add texture and history to the creatures they decorate."
I told him about my book project. He said, "I like the parallel of hubcaps and horseshoes being lucky. I guess they have been lucky for me as I've been very happy in my career."
I've posted a couple of pictures here but there lots more on his website here.