Saturday, 31 March 2012


At my final junior school summer fair, I paid some unmemorable number of pence to a palmist in an orange tent and learned that I would live to be 82 or 83. It's the only piece of information I retain from that interview. The palmist could have alerted me to me other, equally significant life-patterning events but I have no recollection.

I imagine she abstained for ethical reasons. If you told a ten-year-old girl that she was destined to have five children and three husbands, and that girl told other adults, you'd be in trouble, wouldn't you? It would surely be seen as sowing the seeds for future capricious behaviour. Then again, how ethical is it to tell a child that she's going to live to her 80s? One could base any number of life decisions on that. One could decide to make one's money last just up until that point - and then have to survive until one's 90s without being able to buy nice food or heat the house properly.

Recently I have come to think of this period of inner turmoil as my mid-life crisis. It was the twentieth anniversary of my dad's death a few days ago. I was twenty when he died and I'm forty now. There is a birthday fast approaching. So I feel that I have now lived half my lifetime and half of that has been with a dead dad with whom I still have a relationship even though he now resides in a box in a cemetery in the north west of the city and doesn't socialise.

We got together on the day, reminisced and watched footage from the old family videocamera. I tried to write something down for the occasion but only managed drivel that I didn't want to share. Instead I wore an old shirt of his. We sorted through old photographs. It was a happy evening although as we were leaving my mum confessed that she had been feeling awful a few days before. We surrounded her in a multi-siblinged embrace. 

Now it's officially the second half of my life - I don't care what you think of palmistry. I will do better. I'm not over my problems and I'm still working on my relationship with my dad but at least I'm past this particular milestone.


  1. Girls who have good relationships with their fathers are not normally promiscuous. So I've been told. Glad to hear you have fond memories of your one.

  2. Sadly I'm not the exception to that rule, GB. I had an awful relationship with my father - but there are still fond memories.