Tag Archives: present

Palm Reading and Face Writing

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Hello, and a very merry Bank Holiday Monday to you!  How’s it going?

Our lives are composed of a bizarre mixture: routine tasks and brand new experiences.  We spend our time carrying out the same objectives day after day, adding a twist of new faces, places and events at the same time.  For example, this weekend I spent a delightful afternoon with two of my favourite friends (standard), and had a palm reading (new one).  I indulged in a spontaneous night out that included drunk dialling (standard but no longer acceptable at my age), and did the ALS challenge this afternoon (for the first and categorically last time).  I hope that your weekend has been a similar combination of old and new, although perhaps not with quite the same ingredients as mine…

So.  Palm reading.  Bit of a weird one for someone like me, who is very much with Dara O’Briain when it comes to this stuff like this.  I was brought up Catholic, so I’ve never really been exposed to much astrology and suchlike.  I also have an automatic mistrust of anyone who claims that payment is necessary for a spiritual experience.  I’m looking at you, Scientologists.  

The reason that I decided to go for a palm reading was because my friends were going, and I thought it might be fun.  I may not believe in psychics, but I was intrigued about what the palm reader would say (or what my hands would say, I guess).  It was a bit hit and miss: apparently when I get married it will be forever, I will have two children and I’m going to go to New Zealand at some point.  So far so funky.  There was a bit of a sticky moment when the woman tried to tell me that I was a designer and I had to gently explain that I can barely draw stick figures, and her ideas about my current love life were frankly baffling, but other than that a lot of what she said made sense.

When I say “made sense”, I don’t mean that I will now become a fully signed-up psychic fan; I mean that the observations she made about me as a person were fairly accurate.  Obviously she picked up a lot from my body language, demeanour, facial expressions etc. rather than just the lines on my palm, but there is something quite interesting about a complete stranger being able to identify certain things about you based on one meeting.  It may not be psychic, but it is a bit spooky.

As I said, life is a mixture of old and new, but while we’re running around living our lives we sometimes forget that our past and present (but probably not future) can be extremely evident to other people, even if they don’t know us personally.  In No Country for Old Men, one of the characters is convinced that our past is all we really are: “You think when you wake up in the mornin yesterday don’t count. But yesterday is all that does count. What else is there? Your life is made out of the days it’s made out of. Nothin else.”

Our lives are written in our faces and actions, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  If we keep pushing ourselves to experience new things as well as getting on with our usual routines, we can always make our future selves look different to the way we look now.  

I’m off to finish packing up my books (5 crates down and I’m still only halfway through.  This is not going to end well).  You have yourself a truly magical Monday.

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Monopoly Tactics

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Good morning, dear reader!  How are you today?

We have very strange relationships with locations, don’t we?  Our lives are personalised Monopoly boards.  Knowing where the best pubs in your area are is like owning all of the stations, visiting our best friends is like landing on Community Chest, and our homes are obviously Go (although, sadly, we tend not to be awarded £200 every time we get there).

What’s your equivalent to owning hotels on Mayfair and Park Lane?  Where do you go each day that makes you think of picking up a Chance card?  Is there anywhere in your life that may as well be Jail?

Like a game of Monopoly, life tends to bring us back to the same places again and again. It might be a favourite coffee shop or just the place where you happen to work, but you will return to places and build up impressions of them over time, whether it’s over a few days, several months, or a lifetime.  This can be a very good thing: Covent Garden (as in the real place, not the Monopoly square) has been the location of some of my favourite moments in life so far.  I’m thinking in particular of the starry, chilly evening a few years ago, when my dear friend Mario and I went and saw the Jack Daniels Christmas tree made of barrels. We were probably on our way to the theatre or something.  Anyway, Mario got talked into buying me a rose by a very aggressive and amusing flower seller, which I dried and kept.  (The flower, not the salesman.)

Sometimes it’s hard to revisit places that hold a claim over us: places we loved to visit with friends who have long since drifted, old haunts from a broken-up relationship and even previous schools can leave us feeling a bit depressed.  The past is very much the past, and standing in the same place where they happened won’t make the good times come back.

The trick to navigating the Monopoly board of life is not to let your previous turn (as it were) dictate what you do next.  Even though we should cherish and enjoy reliving our pleasant memories of a place, we ought to be looking for opportunities to make more, not regretting the ones that have gone.  For example, I still go to the Southbank a lot.  Sometimes I really don’t want to, because I have very mixed memories of being there, but in the present day it’s usually fun, and it’s interesting, and there’s always something new to discover about it.

With that in mind, I think we should all agree to try and be optimistic about going to work today.  Who knows what new experiences we might have there?

Have an unexpectedly amusing Wednesday.