Friday, September 30, 2005

All Astrology is Bunk, of Course

OK. I promised. We’ve left Amsterdam, we’re on our way to Istanbul, and there’s six of us on the bus. All good mates, naturally. All with the same jolly youthful objectives in mind.

Well, not quite. Couldn’t really happen, could it? What we really have here is six entirely disparate blokes, in varying states of youthful confusion, crammed into the back of an ex-Royal Navy ambulance with very small windows and their hormones teeming, and all, I suspect, with entirely different motives for being on board. Unless you take the hormones as an indication that we probably all had roughly the same motives.

So – like all good novelists – I’ve been trying to get inside my characters. And finding it damnably difficult, frankly, for the following reasons:

A/ I know them all as friends, albeit a little distant in some cases.

B/ They’re all still alive, and I’m not here to upset anybody. I like these people, dammit.

Time for a cop-out, I reckon. Which means, dear reader, that before we get cracking on the next stage of the journey, I’m going to give you the briefest of character profiles – strictly as I remember them and linked to their sun sign.

Tee hee. That way, if anyone thinks I’ve slandered them, I can blame it on a false impression arising from too much study of the dark art of astrology, way back in my wasted youth.

Brilliant. Here goes:


Sagittarius. I’ve already mentioned the travelling, right? Sag likes to travel, I’ve been told. Yaya did it first and still does. Also exceeding affable, kind-hearted, and inclined to becoming saturnine when drunk. Which translates as a tendency to pour you yetanotherdrink with a wicked grin on his face.


Aries. See the airplane in the previous post: of course Andy has an airplane. Sharp-witted, intellectually challenging, knows what he wants to do and doesn’t piss around before he gets on with it. One of my over-riding memories of Andy comes from a few years later, when he fetched up in London with the deliberate intention of making some sort of success of his life. Promptly did exactly that. And you should see what he can do with fireworks.


Sagittarius. Just like his brother. Equally sociable, but slightly less well-travelled. This is because at this stage of our story, he’s one of the two youngsters of the party (a relative term that doesn’t mean much nowadays, but a couple of years makes a big difference when you’re twenty). Even then, a grafter – I remember Stuie having a succession of real grown-up jobs that would have had a wimpy student like me running in fear.

Mark F

Scorpio. Stuie’s best mate. Still is, I suspect, though at a considerable difference. Our other youngster. A perpetual schemer and planner, always looking for new and better ways to make money. Later, this will translate into hydroponic farming in the Canary Isles, production management, and lots of things to do with computers, mainly in Australia. The only person I ever knew who actually got a Sinclair ZX Spectrum to do something.


Virgo. At the time a vegetarian law student. Consequently the only one of us who knew how to cook with any competence. This may have had something to do with spending a lot of time hanging around a sort-of-maybe start-up kind of organic commune the other side of Chelmsford. The vegetarianism survives to this day, the law went the way of all flesh the minute he started taking pottery classes on the side. Now a potter of some considerable reputation.

Your Correspondent

Virgo almost Libra. I’ve been warned off saying ‘on the cusp’. Instead I’m right at the back end of the third segment of Virgo which allegedly makes me atypical. Venus in Libra makes me a big softie, Mercury in Virgo makes me chattery (usually whilst writing), Moon in Scorpio represents my dark emotional fuck-up side, and there’s Mars sitting over there all on its own in Sagittarius making me inclined to take great big dramatic risks at crucial and inappropriate stages of my life. Anything else you want to know about me can probably be figured out from reading my previous posts.

Pat’s a Gemini, but we’ve left him back there in Holland twinning it up with the Amsterdam girls and experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs. Of which more later, no doubt.

Right now, it’s time to go to Germany. Accompanied, even today, by a strangely apprehensive feeling…


Blogger Ms Mac said...

Hmmmm... they do say astrology is bunk but I am the perfect mold of Taurean, also "on the cusp". I am intrigued by your characters already!

9:17 pm  
Anonymous stella galaxy said...

Thank-you. Fascinating.

Interesting that the flighty airsign jumped ship to play. Three leader fire signs there and - phew! - two amiable, if quietly critical Virgs with a bit of watery Pisces to balance you all out.

Bet you Virgs had to smother some shudders at the mess the other's left behind :-)

This moon is Scorpio business...well, I won't say too's a worry frankly.

duedges: you guys.

3:14 am  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

You see? That's what we forgot to pack: an astrologer.

8:17 am  
Anonymous Sharon J said...

I dunno what to believe when it comes to astrology but an author friend gave me a copy of her friend's book "A Writer's Guide to The Zodiac" just a few days ago and so far I'm finding it interesting. At least to the point where I've discovered that my heroinne is very definitely a Cancer. My hero seems to be lacking something so I'm looking to round him a bit more by using the book. Not sure it's worth £6.99 for 63 pages though. ~Sharon J

11:59 pm  
Blogger Richard Scott said...

OK - I'm hooked & can't wait for the next instalment.

2:28 pm  

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