Astrology, fortune telling and real life

Blogging is quite difficult. Short blogs seem better than longer ones but sometimes longer blogs are required.

Next week I will have been married to the same man for 53 years. In anyone’s book this is a long time. A life time. I could witter on for quite a long blog but I’m not going to. Here’s a photo of the bride and groom. So young, so callow …

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Years ago, in Australia, I went to a Chinese astrologer. This dear old man told me that, because in Chinese astrology I was a monkey and Roland was a tiger, there was no hope for our marriage. He then asked for our Western astrological signs – a bull and a scorpion. Even worse! He was flabbergasted when I told him how long we had been married. I think at that stage we had been married about 25 years. Oh well, you can’t be right every time.

In South Africa, a Greek lady once read my fortune in coffee grounds. She was quite accurate about my history – possibly because her daughter was a friend of mine. I can’t really remember what she had to say about my future and, in the event, it would all happen as it happened anyway.

Even further back I had a reading done by a strange man who was more concerned with how I pulled faces when I spoke (I do, I know I do). He was also concerned that I should pay him immediately. I remember nothing that he said but I do remember that he was pretty creepy.

There was one astrologer I visited annually, here in Western Australia. She would draw up my star charts and her readings were usually excellent. She would tape the reading and give me the tape. Her readings for the year ahead were quite specific and accurate. I was sorry when she stopped her work as an astrologer and went to uni to do a psych degree. I imagine she would have excelled as a clinical psychologist.

Many of the times I visited soothsayers, astrologists, fortune tellers and the like was when I was in a state of flux. When I was at the crossroads, so to speak. I can remember sending a friend a cartoon of myself standing at the crossroads with signs pointing north, south, east and west. This last weekend when I was at a mindfulness retreat I drew a picture of myself with many pathways leading who knows where. In my drawing I’m heading off the page following a magpie. You’d know it was me because of my purple top and dark sunnies.

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I’ve learned now that life keeps on whoever I consult. I make decisions which may be right and may be faulty but I do what I do.

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Astrology, fortune telling and real life

An Interloper in the Bush

Main Camp, in retrospect, was a place where I learned many things and unlearned many others. In Main Camp I was given a puppy, a Doberman bitch. I named her Liza. Her mother was called Janz and her brother, Prinz (you get the drift). Liza was my best friend and my only confident throughout those years in National Parks. She saved my sanity in Main Camp and in Binga, Roland’s next posting. Liza’s tail was docked, that’s the way things were done in those days. I used to wonder what she would look like with a tail. She was amazingly quick – both in physical speed and mental acuity. Liza would help me in the garden, carefully digging up everything I planted. She was extremely protective of me from the beginning right up until the day she died twelve years later.

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This isn’t Liza but it looks a lot like her

In Main Camp I learned that women had little value. They must not be seen as being independent and, frankly, were not really welcome. Most of the other Rangers’ wives in the camp were unimpressed with me and I was made to feel an interloper. The Alpha-woman had ‘chosen’ a bride for Roland and that bride was not me! I learned fairly early in the piece to curb my tongue, to placate and defuse the situation. For a sparky, even volatile, person like myself, this was purgatory.

So, truth be told, the first year of married life was ghastly. If I had had the courage to drive out on my own, I would have done so. In the event, Liza was my salvation. With Roland away on patrol for weeks on end, she was by my side, supporting me in my isolation and in my anger and sadness.

Of course there were highlights. It was not unmitigated doom and gloom. My younger sister came to stay and one night I showed her the elephants as they scratched their thick hides against the corner of the house and munched on the mulberry trees. She was kneeling up on the couch peering through the window and I can remember her saying, “Where are they? I can’t see them!” and then I pointed to the gleaming tusk not a metre away from her. I wonder if she remembers falling backwards off the couch onto the cement floor?

One evening I was walking Liza down on the airstrip and noticed that the Park’s pack-horses and donkeys had not been rounded up for the night. I managed to get behind them and, with Liza’s help, herded them toward the camp. We had not gone far when I realised I was rounding up a herd of wild zebra. In the half-light of dusk their stripes were inconspicuous. We beat a quick retreat. The danger of lions had completely escaped my attention.

In Main Camp, Aaron came to work for me. Aaron was cook, housekeeper and friend. He came with us when we moved from Main Camp to Binga and when we moved from Binga to Salisbury (Harare). He stayed for a while in Salisbury but it was far from his home and he eventually moved back to be nearer his family in Matabeleland.

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I am writing down memories. As memories go, there are some that I would not consider committing to paper – and some of this feels like one of them! Some memories are too incriminating of me and some may be hurtful to others. Nevertheless, there are some I’d like to “write out” but not in a public forum. Many of my less savoury experiences I have written about in my private journals. Sometimes I feel this is merely burying them deeper in my psyche. Would publishing them prove to be cathartic?

An Interloper in the Bush