You'll find a lot of right old scribble on the internet about umbrellas. True, the information superhighway has undoubtedly unlocked access to knowledge on a scale previously unimagined. The advent of blogging has had a profound affect on our society - witness the power of Peston's coverage of the banking debacle, for instance, or the ripples caused in the usually humdrum world of macrame by this blog. On the flipside though is the fact that the capacity to mislead and misinform is also everywhere.
Ponder that old chestnut about why it is bad luck to open an umbrella inside the house. The previous link explores some theories but take it from me, a huge pinch of salt is required while examining these. And I should know as I made all of these supposed historical reasons up myself over a balmy weekend in Blacbury last year. Think of it as Boggapedia.
The truth is far easier to nail as I discovered over the weekend. I was in the drawing room and decided to test the draw (technical term for time taken to fully open an umbrella) on my new Tesco's value range gentlemen's brollie. I over-enthusiastically released the catch and knocked one of my fake Wedgwoood cermaic shepherdess figuerines off the mantlepiece. Unfortunately it landed square onto Barkles' sleeping noggin. He awoke with a start and dashed into the pantry, knocking over the stilton I had bought from the local farm shop that morning. Barkles hates stilton and went ballistic, pawing at everything in his path - including the presentation cabinet containing my priceless pre-War umbrella, reputedly owned by that most famous of umbrella carriers, ("I have in my hand a piece of paper..and a brolly...peace, and shelter from rain, in our time"), Nevile Chamberlain that I secured on eBay for £13.40 last year. Glass, historical spokes and fabric everywhere.
That's why it is bad luck to open an umbrella in the house.