When I was much younger and, may I add, considerably smaller, I used to love to crawl into the tiny space between the back of the sofa and the bookshelf in the sitting room and hide myself away for an hour or so, from the rough and tumble of my early family life.
Here, in this special private space that I made my very own and tucked well out of way and sight, I could scan without interruption, the lower shelves of the bulging bookcase for interesting things to read. At the same time, I could also turn a deaf ear to my Mother’s pleas for help (being the only daughter) from the nearby kitchen.
The fiction section was way too high up for me to reach without fear of being seen, but the lower two shelves contained plenty enough reference books for me to read in my stolen moments of guilty pleasure. Amongst all of the books on the bottom two shelves, apart from an Atlas, there were three books in particular, that I especially enjoyed looking at.
The first was the Karma Sutra. In all honesty, I’m not sure at that age that I had any particular cognition of what it was all about regarding the sexual aspect, but as someone who struggled to perform even a basic summersault in gymnastics at primary school, it all looked pretty impressive to me (and still does). The next book that fuelled my imagination, albeit in a totally different way, was a book on Astronomy. Even as a young child, I loved looking up at the stars out of my bedroom window at night and this small book gave me the names of all the stars and planets and their whereabouts in the sky. Lastly, was a book on Astrology. It was different from the other books in that it hadn’t been well been well thumbed through, and the pages were rather stiff and new. I decided to make it my business (during these stolen moments) to read this book, and so I did, cover to unread cover until finally I had read up all about this Astrology thingy. I found out something quite remarkable, something that nobody in my family had ever bothered to tell me before; I was an Aquarian.
Armed with the knowledge of the Complete Illustrated Karma Sutra, the remembered names of a few stars and planets, and the knowing of one born under the sign of Aquarius, the next 30 years sailed by. Until one particular evening, quite by chance, whilst searching through the local telephone directory for the number of a garage that did cheap spare tyres for the Land Rover, I found my eyes drawn to an advertisement for an astrologer in my local town.
How absolutely ridiculous I thought to myself as I dialled the number and heard myself make an appointment for the following week.
To be continued…