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Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

On curses and blessings,
with Classical Music Agony Aunt ALICE McVEIGH

dear alice,

how can i get rid of a curse that was put on my family 15 years ago? it was my mum and dad that were cursed, but me and my brother have gotten affected too.


Dear Natalie,
Now thousands of agony aunts would simply tell you not to be so idiotic, but I personally am superstitious enough to believe in curses -- at least, I've been a believer ever since I cursed a nerd who shoved me out of the fast lane of the M25 going well over 110 mph (and I ought to know, having been travelling at ninety) only to spot his crumpled-up sports car ten minutes later, accompanied by a pretty panoply of whizzing ambulances etc. I felt a bit thoughtful then.

There are also, as any paid-up, wild-eyed fundamentalist will tell you (ad nauseum) a hell of lot of curses in the Bible. Even Jesus pulled one on a fig tree, which withered and died immediately, which always struck me as very hard luck on the fig tree, though doubtless deeply symbolic.

So I'm not going to tell you not to be stupid. There is a book (can't remember who wrote it) called Blessings and Curses, and it'll sort out your little problem. It was given to me by a well-meaning friend (and a very good cellist) who believed that a curse had caused my infertility -- while I was desperate enough (before getting pregnant with Rachel) to try anything ...

Blessings and Curses -- Biblical Truth Simply Explained, by Derek Prince

On the other hand, has it occurred to you that, like me, you might just be going through a period of -- er -- plain old-fashioned bad luck?

Such as Yours Truly has suffered lately, for example?????????????

Such as: having ONE credit card cloned was bad enough, but to have my debit card cloned the same MONTH simply stunned and amazed me (until I heard, on the school-run-grapevine, that petrol at any BP garage should be bought CASH ONLY -- you heard it here first -- and that arrests have been made, even. (Oddly enough, my cards were cloned A DAY AFTER I bought petrol at a BP garage, too, so I was a bit dim not to make the connection personally.)

Then my dryer died, lamented by all.

THEN I got the latest, all-singing, all-dancing, trojan horse virus, which stumped my Norton anti-virus system, crawling my computer's simplest typing speed to dead-heat with my Giant African landsnail on a specially sluggish day ... I never had a virus that Norton missed before, OR had a credit/debit card cloned before either.

Then I had The Gig From Hell, when I battled across London on the wild and windy day, got out at the wrong station (London Bridge station was 'falling down' and closed, no taxi rank, and no taxis) so there was me, cello in one hand, suitcase full of stand, quartet pads, evening dress, lights, the works, in the other, having to negotiate around 94 steps and several tube lines to get to where my quartet was playing. (The gig itself was also hell, composed of irritating, loud and drunk City types and lasting longer than usual).

But still worse was to follow. The day after the Gig From Hell (some players freely blame the sushi) I came down with the flu bug from hell, from which I am only just now emerging, blinking, dimly, into the light of day. The first day I lost the will to live, the second I practically craved death, the third I still couldn't eat anything or stir from the sofa but I dimly began to remember that it was my duty to live, in order that my only daughter be properly spoiled (Simon is completely hopeless at spoiling daughters) and now I have been known to be able to sit at the computer for a whole five minutes at a time before dizziness and faintness compels me to go lie down.

Ask Alice

So there you have it: am I cursed? Is some cello rival or would-be agony aunt stuffing pins in an Alice McVeigh doll as I write? Or is this just one of those bloody things?

Yours, pretty unconvinced, yet gradually rejoining the ranks of the living,

Copyright © 26 January 2007 Alice McVeigh, Kent UK

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