By: Blonde Two

Here is our Isle of Man picture of the day.  We have been down to the Calf of Man at the very south of the island.  Again, beautiful.

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Interesting Manx fact.  On the Isle of Man it is considered very unlucky to say the word R-A-T (shh, don’t read it out loud!)  Hereabouts they would much rather you said long-tail.  We Blondes, with our love of mixing words up, quite like this and I think will adopt the superstition ourselves.

One of the stories behind the superstition caught my imagination.  There was, in the 1600s a Manx gentleman who was awarded a knighthood by Queen Lizzie One (just like the Blondes, there have been two Queen Lizzies.  He travelled safely by ship to London, knelt before her majesty and sailed back to this fair (oh so fair) island.

The problem came as he disembarked his ship.  The island people were so excited that many of them gathered to greet him.  Unfortunately this poor chap had a R-A-T shaped mishap as he disembarked the boat that brought him to land.  He trod on a R-A-T, fell over and bashed his nose on a barrel and broke it (his nose, not the barrel).

I am sure you will agree that a broken nose is unfortunate but maybe not enough to make a whole island want to ban a species.  The problem for our, now oddly nosed, gent was that, under Manx law, no person with a facial disfigurement was allowed to be a member of the ruling nobility and he had to hand his Dukedom over to his son.

Sometimes superstitions are difficult to remember but, if you should be on holiday in this lovely place (we Blondes thoroughly recommend it) and let the R-A-T word slip, all you need to do is to pull on your forelock, tap on some wood and whistle.  You can imagine the hilarity with which these instructions have been received by our bunch of teenage lads!