The mission: Maggie O'Farrell tries to find out what the future holds - shame no one warned her about Kevin Kline

rophecies and predictions, I've always believed, are the territory of the mad and/or pathologically bored. And why would I want to know what's going to happen to me next week? I don't, after all, have to wait very long to find out. I also suspect it's a slippery slope: it may start as a harmless peek at your horoscope, but before you know it you're a crystal- carrying nutter frightening everybody with your talk about auras. But I decide - for one week only - to throw trepidation and scepticism to the heavenly spheres. I will believe the predictions and live accordingly.

I approach the world of my future with caution, which rapidly degenerates into confusion: "Move quickly," a women's magazine urges, "details may be scarce, but you mustn't wait." The whole thing seems to rely on making ridiculous and unspecific statements that can be subject to any interpretation you fancy.

When I visit Magda, a tarot-reader with ill-fitting dentures and star- sign wallpaper, she says: "Beware of being the Healer. Make a transition to the Warrior. Thursday could be an important day for the beginning of a spiritual union." The palmist, meanwhile, strokes my thumb for an uncomfortably long time and then tells me that Wednesday may bring "an amount" of money.

I make a vague Faustian pact with some divine being or other that if it all comes true I'll rush out and buy a crystal and never, ever take the piss out of horoscopes again.

Monday: begin the week by moving quickly. Unfortunately, any semblance of velocity isn't easy to achieve on a crowded escalator and I trip on my Birkenstocks, one of which flies off and strikes the woman ahead of me in the back of the calf.

Tuesday: am moving less quickly owing to ankle injury sustained in Birkenstocks/ escalator incident.

Wednesday: hobble to the doormat to see if any unknown benefactors have sent me a cheque for a million pounds. Find instead a letter saying my council tax has been miscalculated and I owe an extra pounds 100. Furious, I grind the letter up in the waste disposal unit and denounce the palmist as a charlatan. In the afternoon, my father calls. I perk up instantly, wondering if he's about to say, "Your mother and I are re- mortgaging the house and disinheriting your sisters. It's all yours." But, instead, he harumphs about the weather and asks me if I've ever read any books on 19th-century Edinburgh.

Thursday: not entirely sure I want a spiritual union, partly because I don't know exactly what it is. Does it mean sex or no sex? I didn't like to ask. Through the day, I come across a bus driver with stains down his front, a man in an annoying jester hat and a bloke playing a banjo badly outside Boots. Denounce the tarot reader as a fraud. But in the night I dream I'm marrying Kevin Kline.

Friday: oh my God. Am I destined to become a Hollywood wife? This is horrible. I don't even fancy Kevin Kline.

Saturday: a friend phones to moan on about the long hours she works. I am busy sympathising when I remember the healer/warrior advice. Cut her off, mid-moan, and say in my most warrior-like tones that I have to go. Kevin could, after all, be trying to get through.

Sunday: no call.

Monday: I can live once more outside the bounds of prediction. Maybe there's a kind of small print in astrology to say that sceptic's trial periods don't work. But I have emerged crystal-free and Kevin-free - and that's just about all I care about

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Maths Teacher

    £110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

    Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

    £40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    ***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

    £30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    ***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

    £35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    Day In a Page

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker