This story begins in early January, before Lucy had trotted off to Moscow and when I still had friends around to go to lunch with… happier times indeed.

Myself and Lucy were having a lovely last outing before her return to Russia and to celebrate, we had a fabulously middle-aged afternoon. We met outside Ask, enjoyed the most basic Italian lunches on the menu (spaghetti bolognaise and a carbonara) and had a wonderful discussion about interior design and home accessories: Lucy blamed this on the fact that she’s in her twenties; I had no such excuse. After lunch we wandered around Lakeland, browsing the pallet knife selection and comparing the size of cake tins before heading to Paperchase and finally Little Waitrose. I can safely say that I enjoyed every single moment of our afternoon.

Whist waiting for our buses, we decided against chatting with the fellow bustopers and instead chose to pass our final few moments together by reading aloud our horoscopes.

As an avid reader of Shout magazine back in the mid-2000s, I consider myself very well acquainted with the horoscope malarkey, as is Lucy because as all 13 year olds know, there’s nothing more fun than hoarding piles of magazines and dog-earing the pages with the funniest horoscopes to show to your best friend.

With our most patronising voices at the ready, we turned to the horoscopes page in Cosmo and began to read (long story short about why I’d bought a copy of Cosmo: I was in Boots earlier buying toothpaste and felt silly holding just toothpaste so grabbed a copy at the till. Impulse buying at its finest).

It had been a long time since I’d read a horoscope and my earlier confidence was beginning to dwindle. Mentions of ‘Money, Property, Possessions, Charity and Business’ were throwing me off and I was desperately searching the page for mentions of ‘hot lads’, ‘well fit crushes’ and ‘back to school’. Then I remembered that I’m 19, pulled myself together and began to read to Lucy.

It is really not your fault that you have been unable to run your money, business, property or charity properly, as you have been unable to get the full story or obtain a clear picture for months’, I began, looking up at Lucy. ‘What you have needed all along is the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn, a rather practical sign, so that you can gain new angles and see the situation from others’ point of view.’ There was certainly a look of confusion over Lucy’s face, and I’m pretty sure my face looked the same. What on Earth did this mean?

Unable to garner any meaning at all from the Sagittarius reading, we swapped roles and Lucy began to read mine. ‘Leo. Everything you own, earn or owe is a far bigger priority after Mars changes signs to Pisces on 12th January, when a person or organization which is low on tolerance or patience will affect your plans.’ Upon hearing such garble my face had definitely contorted itself into the following position…

This only serves to emphasise just how unclear one situation has become,’ continued Lucy, ‘as the Mars-Neptune conjunction on 20th January will reveal the lack of firm boundaries in an arrangement which is, frankly, all over the place.’

We sat in silence for a moment as we both attempted to understand what we’d just read. It was then that Lucy said, ‘you know, if we were in Russia right now an old woman would be telling us to stop sitting on this wall because it makes you infertile’. First the horoscope and now Russian nonsense, things were getting more confusing by the second.

I looked down at the magazine attempting to find something that I could agree with but despite my best efforts, I simply couldn’t see anything that I believed. It hadn’t been money wasted though because if not informative, at least it provided us with a good chortle before we said our final farewells.


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