Don’t forget your CHIP & PIN!

Lunch time, Monday 11 May 2009, for all its routine niceties; Red Leicester and tomato sandwich, salt ‘n’ vinegar crisps and a water, came with a hint of realisation.

Not something you can sprinkle on sliced, fried potato, bag-up and win a prize for, mind. But certainly a familiar flavour of months passed. I’d wandered into town to pay some bills and check up on album releases. I still enjoy the artwork but don’t get to see much of it these days, the Internet is closer to my bed than the shop. Don’t worry, for every album I own I assure you I’ve recorded one myself and have let the world have it for free, or at least, I will do!

With 15 minutes to spare, I surely had time to get me some grub! Ah, but the universe had conspired against me, for it was Monday after all.

‘Are you paying by cash or card?’

‘Cash?’ I was sure.

‘I’m sorry, you’ll have to go to the self service check-out’

Firstly, I need to apologise for the fact that as I wrote the speech for the cashier just then (see above) I’d got it into my head that she spoke as if the tip of her tongue lived between her bottom teeth and lip and therefore imagined her to have that very voice as I typed – funny how time can distort one’s memory! Most of the derogatory stereotypes of girls from Stevenage are a bit of a myth though, an exaggeration of characters I’m sure crop up in every town – but she wasn’t one of them.

Let it be known that every single transaction I’ve made in Tesco, Stevenage going as far back as I can remember up until now, save for tobacco purchases, have indeed been made at the self-service checkout but today I had hard cash nuggets I was willing to spend on a one-to-one basis. And I would have my way! Apparently there was an issue with the tills, affected by some sort of gremlin that had rendered them no longer available to accept or process cash! I would later learn that this was due to a far more serious nation-wide hic-up and every store in the UK was affected! And that my friends is the one same weakness I’ve always felt Captain Picard’s mortal enemies, a race called the Borg, would fall prey to eventually, the peril of being of one collective hive-mind, or, centralised computer database system; one goes down, we all go down! Not so tough now eh? Tills on strike are they? Rage of the Machines! So off I wandered over to the self-service, only to meet a queue that chased itself back through and around the clothing isle! What?! Are credit and debit cards not a ubiquitous commodity of the modern age? (I thought of that bit later; I was too morose at the time to be so witty!)

Apparently not! I weighed the options up in my head whilst looking back towards my old friend, the cashier, who now had bananas piled up in front of her, next to many loaves of bread!

Card I’d decided, I’ll pay by card. I’ll admit defeat at the hands of clever-clogs, who really was quite well spoken for this side of the M25, do what I usually do, and pay by card. Although for the record, I’m still angry at some invisible adversary for not being able to break the mould just this once!

‘Are you paying cash or card?’

I giggled slightly as i said ‘Card! as if to say ‘isn’t this all fun!’

She laughed, along with me I’m sure, but I could have sworn my reliably sporadic and unpracticed clairvoyance told me it was mockery! Thankfully it was all over a few minutes later, five minutes after my lunch had ended and I was due back at work! Damn!

The realisation came as I was walking back to the office and it dawned on me that, for all the fun I’ve been having lately, making the most of the incipient Spring, gallivanting off here and there, I’d had a slight hiatus from the world of astrology and was near enough out of sync with the movements of the planets above. Could this be? I wondered.

It had certainly been over 3 months since I’d written ‘Beeep, beeep….’ an article concerning the last Mercury Retrograde phase, when transportation, communication and their applicable technologies seem to go all askew. Yes, I think we’re about due for the next one, taking place in Gemini, if I’m not mistaken!

So off I clopped with glee, certain I’d have rhyme and reason for this corporate chaos! And there it was, 5:01am GMT on 7 May, Mercury began to reverse in the zodiac sign of Gemini, and everything started to make sense again! Now, as I’ve explained in previous articles, this reverse cycle is merely an illusion created by the relationship between the Sun, the Earth and any given planet – it’s orbit determining when and for how long these apparent reverse cycles occur. I wont go into too much detail here as I have already done so in the aforementioned articles on the Rogue mag and Rogue astrology blogs, so feel free to have a read! The Image below shows this phenomenon in action using layered intervals of photography taken from the same vantage point, somewhere here on planet Earth, just so you can be sure I’m not completely barmy! It can be a tricky idea to get your head around at first, but in time and with the appropriately pondered mental 3D model, you can imagine just how it all works. For instance, here it is in all it’s 2D glory!

Good Day, England! Don’t forget your CHIP & PIN!

An earthly perspective of retrograde motion
An earthly perspective of retrograde motion
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