There are times when one contemplates one’s ephemeris with a degree of trepidation.
Noting that transiting Mars was due to turn retrograde during our week’s holiday in Devon in England – from which I was planning to attend the UK Astrological Association’s ultra-special 60th Anniversary Conference on 22-24 June – was one of those times.
“Ooops…”, I thought, noting that Mars, as he slowed down then turned retrograde on Tuesday 26th June, would be conjunct my husband’s Sun and opposite my ruling planet Mercury. “ This may not be entirely without incident…”
We were due to leave for Devon on Wednesday 20th June. Cutting a very long story very short, we didn’t, owing to some trying circumstances arising prior to our departure. Having spent a total of ninety-seven increasingly stressed and frustrating minutes in three separate calls to India where UK Trainline’s ticketing administration is located, we managed to re-book our seats, departing one day late.
It’s a long train journey from Glasgow to our Devon destination. Nine hours, to be precise. However, I was revelling in a lengthy period of time to do nothing but read, chat desultorily, and stare out the window. Until lunch struck. I use this verb advisedly. Biting into my sandwich I felt a stab of pain, on inspection discovering that a bit of my lower back tooth had sheared off. ( I still don’t know where it ended up…)
A plethora of mobile telephone calls followed until I achieved an emergency dental appointment at 3pm on Friday afternoon – when I should have been arriving at the AA Conference. In any case, given the stresses preceding our departure, I had decided I could not face the extra travel which would be involved to get there only one day after our arrival in Devon, and had reluctantly cancelled my Conference booking.
We arrived in beautiful weather and resolved to make the most of it, centred round re-doing some of our favourite walks, during which my husband acquired two nasty cleg bites, banged his hand which resulted in most dramatic and widespread bruising, and developed a bad cold which meant him coughing and sneezing his way through our much–anticipated visit to Cornwall’s Eden Project on Monday 25th June.
Photo: Anne Whitaker
We almost did not get there. On Sunday afternoon, whilst crossing a road at a main roundabout, I tripped and fell, ripping a new pair of trousers, cutting my knee, gashing my left toe and staving my right hand with which I broke the fall. It still aches. Miraculously, the fall was the only thing broken…
Considering how highly-strung you are, you are a remarkably relaxed fall-er,”
observed my beloved. You’d never guess he is Aquarian, now, would you?!
Tuesday 26th June arrived, Mars went retrograde, and we had a delightfully relaxed day, the highlight being a long and delicious Italian lunch in a favourite restaurant. The weather was extremely warm; with the rest of the town’s population outside eating ice cream, we had the place to ourselves. A delicious bottle of chilled white wine made an excellent cooler. We concluded that, despite vicissitudes various of a decidedly martian nature, we had had a most enjoyable few days. Tomorrow, time to go home.
However, Mars had not yet finished with us.
Picture the scene. The end of a nine-hour train journey. We arrive in Glasgow Central Station at 18.15 hours, on time. We are tired. We are hungry. In my bag are a tangerine and an apple. Oh – and a bottle of water and some chewing gum… The train is very crowded with returning commuters travelling from nearby locations. Oh. There appears to be a problem. Leaves on the line? No. The wrong kind of snow? Hardly.
Fortunately, we are in a train at the head of a queue of four: they can neither move forward nor back, owing to late/delayed trains all over the place. The reason? Points failure ahead, points failure behind. Stuffed. Stuck. One and three quarter hours later, we stagger off with our luggage. Goodness knows how long those poor folk behind us in the queue had to wait to escape.
In a very crowded Central Station, stranded travellers are milling around. “Scotrail regret to announce that all train journeys to and from Central Station are now cancelled. Please accept our apologies…”
I wondered idly to myself, as we wearily joined the taxi queue snaking round the block opposite the station, whether I should present myself in the control room and offer to broadcast the following announcement: “Sorry, folks, but I’m afraid the planet Mars is now retrograde until the end of August. Best be philosophical about all delays…”
Well, maybe not…
And how is YOUR retro Mars proceeding thus far? Do tell!
800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House