Julius Caesar I would suggest was not the only person to ignore the words of a soothsayer to his misfortune. You will of course remember the timely warning from Shakespeare, advising Caesar to "Beware the Ides of March". So, ignoring the advice off he goes ... and doesn't come back alive. A fate perhaps I might rather uncharitably wish on some people today although I would be okay stopping at the not returning bit, without the ultimate fate.
There is no clever word like Ides for the 9th of any month, although someone more learned than I will surely put me right. That said, why my focus on the 9th - and particularly of May? A little review of events that have taken place on 9 May in recent years could provide a clue.
9 May: Well, apart from the rather historic Treaty of Windsor between Portugal and England in 1386 (the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world still in force) in 2016 Rodrigo Duterte won the Philippine presidential election, promising war on the drug trade and the killing of criminals. His victory was not widely predicted right until the last moments, and therefore perhaps a little surprising.
9 May: Again from an historical angle on this day in 1788 the British parliament accepted the abolition of the slave trade, and not before time - although in the light of recent reports from the UK and elsewhere on current slavery cases it might be something that needs re-visiting, BUT on 9 May 2017 a political event in South Korea sees Moon Jae-in elected President of South Korea after a snap election to replace disgraced former President Park Geun-hye.
9 May: History once more tells us that this day in 1927 saw the official switch of the Australian capital from Melbourne to Canberra, and the first meeting being held in the Capital but closer to today and in what I would consider a huge upset - actually more in the "unexpected" camp, than dismay - in 2018, Dr Mahathir wins the Malaysian election.
Okay, all a bit of nonsense perhaps? But if you are a numerologist or soothsayer - or particularly a politician, I would be very cautious of selecting 9 May in 2019 as an auspicious date for an event!!
Actually, numerology is something I have given a passing nod to from time to time on the basis that there have probably been more accurate predictions based on numbers than I could write off as total coincidence, but also I've never studied it particularly. Similarly, I have never been particularly superstitious. How can you be when in one year in particular I had to move from House No 13 on Friday the 13th of October when you have a birthday on the 14th of the same month? I mean it defies all the unlucky numbers of Cantonese and Western cultures. We survived the move - but only after having tied a red ribbon round our house No. 11 to capture all the good luck, and then driving straight to the new house without looking back at the old one! Why not ... believe a little; it doesn't do any harm.
And talking of not doing any harm - it has taken me long enough to write another blog - (I blame work although I have spent the last 10 days in Menorca on holiday with some of the grandchildren), I had sent a copy of the "new" version of the Ant and the Grasshopper story to amongst others my good friend Doctor John. I was bemoaning my lack of activity in blogging when - after reading the story - I get a note from him suggesting I might be a grasshopper! Perish the thought - but I did start writing this 9 days ago!!