'Virgos are intelligent, patient, and humble. With Mercury the ruling planet, people born under this sign are quick-thinking, observant and analytical. The typical Virgo man has a quiet dignity. He has discriminating tastes and an appetite for learning. Many Virgo men are stylishly unassuming. Cooking for the Virgo man can be trying. He has a tendency to be fussy. He is a gentle soul with much charm."
That paragon sounds just like me. Unfortunately, I am not a Virgo. I only know one sign and that is my own and it is Aries. Like some more astrological claptrap? OK.
"The Virgo woman has discreet charm. She is intelligent, thoughtful and careful about her grooming. Virgo women are efficient and hard-working. They are ethical and never put career achievements ahead of their moral code. They want to earn what they get and refuse to be manipulative or controlling. They are well-organised and do a good job of balancing personal and professional responsibilities."
Well, I wouldn't mind giving one of them a try. Sadly, even if a prospective candidate told me her birthday, I wouldn't have a clue what sign that was and consequently might embark on a disastrous relationship.
The more I read on Virgos, which I had randomly selected, the more I like them. They are great lovers and marvellous friends. I then tried a few more signs on the internet and liked them just as much.
We would all love to know more about the future. Or some of it. If I am to be run over by the 48A bus next week, I would prefer it to be a surprise. My affairs are in order and I don't owe anyone money.
Sadly, some people take nonsense such as the above seriously. Superstition is alive and well. Saner people read their horoscopes for a bit of fun. I read mine when I am feeling a bit down. I used to read them when I fancied someone and was desperately gathering up 'evidence' that she was besotted with me, too. It is a bit like thinking of buying a car and only looking at the good reviews.
While we cannot tell the future, we are getting better at predicting parts of it. With more good data available, the weather forecast is increasingly accurate. Most of us are still not any better at predicting the 4.30 at Chepstow than our forefathers were.
Humans have always been interested in the future. Some claim to be able to predict it by observing a rooster pecking at grain. It is called alectromancy.
And people try to influence the future. Some try prayer. There is not a shred of evidence that it works, but it may make people feel better and renew their intentions to be slightly nicer people. Sadly there is no legal power that can change what you wrote on the exam paper.
Here are a few things I can tell you about the future. If you drink too much, you will get a hangover and feel depressed. If you keep doing it, you will put on weight. If you go for regular walks and runs, you will get fit, lose weight and be delighted with yourself. And if you keep smiling you will have a lot more friends. And idiots will continue to go to fortune tellers.
There is really only one thing I know about The Future. It is one of my favourite Leonard Cohen albums. I will listen to Closing Time with pleasure and hope that my personal closing time is in the dim and distant future and that there will be a compatible woman of some star sign or other at the bar with me, ready to hit me hard on the head with a bottle when I fall off my perch.
I would like to go quickly and have no problems, with my final image being a feisty woman.