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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

    £28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

    £16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before