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  • A long, long time ago, when we were in college, we all piled into a car and went to visit the White Witch of Cobh. Cobh is a small coastal village near Cork - pronounced 'Cove'. It was the last port of call for the Titanic.

    To cut a long story short – the white witch gave us all private readings lasting about 20 minutes each. I got a fairly vague reading - with the exception of one piece of information – she said I would die at 72. At the time 72 was so far away I was delighted – today I’m not so sure... Just before she finished, as an added extra, she offered me the opportunity to ask 3 'silent questions', that required "yes" or "no" answers.

    Here’s how it would work: I ask three questions that have yes or no answers. She would take off her necklace and hold a crystal at the end of a chain – very still – and after I asked the question, in my head, the crystal would swing to the right for YES and to the left for NO.

    “Would I live beyond my 72nd birthday?” was the first question I asked – the crystal swung violently to the right. Holy Moly! The White Witch got it wrong. I forget the second question but the last one was – “Would I ever win the Lotto?” and the crystal swung violently to the left. Bummer. But by the law of averages (whatever that is) maybe the crystal got that wrong too.

    I have played the Lotto off and on since, almost to prove her wrong, especially when there is a big payout, but one day I read that if you bought a Lotto ticket on a Monday there’s a better chance of you dying before you’d collect the Lotto winnings on the Saturday night.

    Now, I don’t know what to do… maybe I'll just look forward to getting a cheque from the President of Ireland when I am 100 years old. If I make it, that is.

    This is not the White Witch of Cobh. It is a photo of my 91 year old mother dressed up for Halloween last year taken on my sisters iPhone.
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