Oprah Winfrey could turn a book into a bestseller just by mentioning it on her television show, and I know how that feels. Being an influencer is a heavy burden to carry, but it doesn’t faze me.
I continue to impart my wisdom and provide guidance to the millions of readers of The Echo around the world who pour over my opinions every week, and I won’t let you down - but I nearly did.
When I started writing this column in 2016, I didn’t expect to be still at it six years later, yet here we are. I thought I would run out of things to say, and I have to admit, I nearly did on a few occasions during the various lockdowns.
Most of what I write about has to do with the normal, everyday things we get up to, so when we aren’t doing anything, that creates a problem for me.
I keep up to date with world affairs too, though, as I offer counsel to world leaders. I’m told EU meetings are often delayed to coincide with the publication of Monday’s Echo, to allow politicians the opportunity to absorb my wisdom before making important decisions.
It hasn’t gone to my head though. I can easily mingle with the great unwashed too and often gather material from just talking to ordinary people. A simple chat on the high stool can throw up something interesting, which is why Covid-19 didn’t do me any favours. My supply line was cut off.
The pandemic is still the main topic of conversation, and we’re all fed up with hearing about it, so I thought it was time for some good news for a change as we enter the new year.
It would be nice to welcome 2022 with some positivity and, with that in mind, I consulted Nostradamus to see what’s coming down the tracks for us.
Michel de Nostradame was born in France in 1503. He studied medicine and became a physician, treating plague victims throughout France and Italy. It’s believed he had a psychic awakening during that time and began to practice the occult, making predictions of the future, which he published in The Prophecies. Many people believe his predictions have come true.
I tried reading this book, but got totally bogged down because he didn’t make it easy. He avoided plain English, preferring instead to write in riddles or quatrains, which are mini-poems. One of the reasons for writing that way was to protect himself from persecution from the Catholic Church. They considered prophesying to be the work of the devil, but I think it was only the work of an over-active imagination.
Take this for example: “Earth shaking fire from the centre of the earth will cause tremors around the New City. Two high rocks will war for a long time, and then Arethusa will redden a new river.”
Supporters of Nostradamus say that refers to September 11. The ‘New City’ is a reference to New York and the two high rocks relate to the twin towers, but that’s a bit of a stretch for me.
Another prediction said: “Under the opposite Babylonian climate, Great will be without the outpouring.”
This apparently translates to mean a climate war will start during 2022.
I have no idea how they came to that conclusion, but his prophesy of World War II is a bit more credible: “Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers, The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister. Into a cage of iron will the great one be drawn, When the child of Germany observes nothing.”
I got very excited when I saw another one and developed a new- found respect for Nostradamus; “There will be a twin year (2020) from which will arise a queen (corona) who will come from the East (China) to spread a plague (virus) in the darkness of night, on a country with 7 hills (Italy) and will transform the twilight of men into dust (death), to destroy and ruin the world. It will be the end of the world economy as you know it.”
That was brilliant, but unfortunately it turned out to be an internet hoax, and not the words of Nostradamus at all.
I wasn’t making much progress in my quest for positivity, but I was determined to find some sign of encouragement, so in a final desperate bid for inspiration, I turned to the stars. My Pisces horoscope for 2022 tells me: “The presence of Saturn in the eleventh house of wealth, profit and ambitions at the beginning of the year will increase your income sources. You will get rid of your debt and work towards accumulating wealth.
“From April, Saturn will transit in its own sign Aquarius which falls in your twelfth house, which is the house of travel, expenses and foreign journeys. You will live far away from your family with an opportunity to go on a foreign trip during this period.
“From the middle of April there are signs to be careful about your health. Mid-May will cause an increase in your mental tension and there will be controversies and misunderstandings in the life of lovers.”
That’s almost as confusing as the Nostradamus stuff, but as far as I can tell, I’m going to get a few bob, go on a holiday, get sick, and row with the wife. So, nothing new for me in the New Year then.