Saturday, 31 May 2014

Fortune Teller

I was sorting through some old filing today and found an old purse of mine, discarded because the boys and G had surprised me for my birthday with my first designer purse – Little Man giving me the wrapped present with eyes like saucers saying ‘Do you know how much this cost?!!!’ Needless to say, I loved it, and immediately transferred all the flotsam and jetsam from one to the other, and left the original on a pile to fester for a few (ok, four) months.
But today, just before I was about to toss it heartlessly into the bin, I looked in it again, and found five little cards just like this one, nestling in a zippered compartment.  And I pulled them out, read them, and remembered…

Last Summer, we had taken a family trip to Portsmouth Harbour – G no doubt thinking that we were in dire need of some cultural stimulation, and we spent a happy hour or so on the HMS Victory, me battling vertigo down the steep stairs, and claustrophobia in the bows of the boat, whilst G practically swashbuckled through the whole tour, boring the boys on the various merits of the different size cannons, how to load a cannon and how surgery was done in a room that resembled a larder. They perked up as they saw daylight and the tat stalls that marked the end of the tour.  I perked up as we dismounted and saw that there were several tea rooms right outside. Little Man was grumpy, and had started to play up by whinging and moaning when he wasn’t allowed to buy a replica cannon, and kicked Middle Son when he laughed at him.

We decided that before the delights of the Mary Rose exhibition,  and for our sanity, that we needed sustenance, and in the spirit of the day wandered into one which was appropriately named the Georgian Tearoom.  This was attractive to all of us, me because it had plenty of tables and lots of tea and coffee choices, the boys because it served ice creams, and G because at one end of the tearoom it had a whole load of Victorian penny arcade games.  For a new English pound, plonked into a coin machine, you got several old pennies with which you could operate the games.  Shove ha’penny, little pinball machines, bagatelle, skittles and so on, as well as the novelty type things where your penny made things happen – an old cine film for example (a little risqué with a woman getting undressed, and I noticed that the eldest two boys had a couple of goes). 

And then, like something out of the 1980’s film BIG, we noticed this machine standing a little aside from the others.  It had a rather scary looking fellow glaring out of you from behind the glass, and the writing below identified him as Old Joe, who would tell your fortune.

Well, this was too good to be true.  So needless to say we all had a go.  And amazingly, we all got a different fortune.  Even more weirdly, our fortunes matched our personalities.  It was kind of freaky. A cold chill ran down my spine, as Old Joe turned his head and winked at me evilly.  (Ok, I made that last bit up, but I bet you shivered…)

So here goes, following are the five fortunes.  Some of you may already know the family and so could give it a good guess, but to give others a fighting chance I will give you a quick summary of each member.  

Me: opinionated, fiercely loyal, doesn't suffer fools gladly, loves cooking, writing and creating; G: runs his own business, family man, loves real ales, walks, pubs and watching his boys in sports; Eldest Son: (14)sporty, athletic, hard working (one paid job and one voluntary job), annoying teenager with 'tude; Middle Son: charming, easy going, sporty, techno whizz; Little Man: loves creating, inventing, acting and dancing, constantly questioning.


Fortune A

Fortune B

Fortune C

Fortune D

Fortune E
The answers are at the bottom. 

I have no idea if Old Joe is still there in the Georgian Tearooms.  I’d like to think, like the film BIG, that he has suddenly disappeared. And I'm glad that we didn't make any rash wishes.

Or so we all thought...


A= G, the entrepreneur of the family; B = Little Man, the entertainer of the family; C= Eldest Son, crashing through life as a teenager; D = me, the creative one; E = Middle Son, our charmer and music fiend.