In truth, I'm on the hunt for new money making schemes so I can finance the luxury lifestyle to which I've become accustomed.
Now that the economy has contracted, I can no longer afford those little consolations of Mrs Trefusis. The tiny treats that made life seem so much lovelier are now irritatingly not only way out of reach, but also way down the list after the ghastly dull oven and the just-kill-me-I'm-so-bored-thinking-about-it washing up machine. The sheer enjoyment of looking and feeling good seems to have become the subject of extreme recessionary disapproval. But as we plunge from recession into depression, the economy merely operates as a metaphor for my mood.
I started this blog as an alternative to seeing a wincingly expensive Bond Street psychoanalyist, with the realisation that if the thought of new shoes was infinitely more cheering than having my head-shrunk, I was feeling rather better. To borrow from Linda Grant in The Thoughtful Dresser, "If I were heading into the Great Depression, I wanted to arrive there well-dressed". But now that the world is in economic depression, I can neither afford to be so well-dressed, nor therapy, nor new shoes, nor any of the other bibelots that formed a cossetting palisade between me and the tenebrous, liminal places in my head.
But I am at heart a pragmatist. If I can't learn not to rely on these things to shore me up against my ruin, I will have to find new ways to fund their purchase.
I considered following in the footsteps of the Catholic church and selling saints fingers as relics (as tipped off by Jaywalker, though Cardinal Newman apparently had the last laugh) until it was pointed out to me that this was simony and would result in immediate excommunication followed by hellfire for all eternity. Nice. A little trip back through Dante* reminded me that any experience I had - however distant - of fortune-telling automatically relegated me to Circle 8 along with the simonists anyway, and since the start-up costs of selling 'relics' might require hard cash, my pecuniary interests have led me to reconsider dabbling in a spot of astrometry.
Once upon a time, before the children came along, I wrote horoscopes for a magazine, alongside the usual day job. And having spent several years training with The Company of Astrologers, I'm no end of the pier fortune-teller. I have my credentials, and I'm quite sure that in these uncertain times there's a market for it: I simply need to find my customers.
It might take several horoscope castings to collect enough cash for shoes though I rather think a tarot reading would get me the price of a blow-dry.
I've had a lifelong struggle trying to settle on what Aristotle called The Golden Mean. Will this latest wheeze help turn me into a happy medium?
*take the Dante's Inferno quiz for yourself and find out where you're headed.