In which our intrepid hero has a brush with fate, and smuggles baked goods home under the watchful eye of the law.

Well, it’s been an eventful couple of days.

Firstly, I got a much-needed haircut. (I’d like to take the opportunity to make a gratuitous plug for Southern Style in Engadine.) My usual hairdresser wasn’t there—having taken the weekend off to celebrate her recent engagement—but the results were good, nonetheless.

I then decided to pop by a Tarot reader that a friend recommended. The reading wasn’t bad or anything (the only real worry was a warning about chest complaints), but the delivery wasn’t exactly up to scratch.

For a start, the spread was a nonstandard 3×3, nine-card deal, and—although the traditional readings of the cards could, in some sense, be considered accurate—the interpretations that the card reader gave were well off the mark.

She looked at the Nine of Swords in my "past" column, for instance, and decreed that it wasn’t anything too bad. Traditionally, this card is associated with intense loss, remorse, doubt, angst, depression and other miscellaneous not-nice emotional stuff—which would be somewhat closer to the mark.

(Incidentally, I have a sneaking suspicion that shopping-mall Tarot readers take the potentially scary major arcana out of their decks. I’ve never seen Death or The Tower, for instance. I’ve also noticed that they never seem to come up with reversed cards. But that could all just be chance; I haven’t been to that many Tarot readers.)

Sunday consisted of a trip to Petersham for a meeting. Somehow, I managed to get lost on the way there, but at least I left the meeting with a banana cake.

Okay, picture this: I’m standing on a train platform, tired, decked out in black, pocket bulging from a neolithic-era Discman, playing Tool’s Lateralus. In one hand, I carry my copy of The Illuminatus Trilogy; in the other, a banana cake. I’m petrified; as the train arrives, I remember that the last banana cake anyone had ever offered me was loaded with hash butter. And that train stations are patrolled from time to time by police with sniffer dogs.

To reiterate: big, black-clad, scary guy; metal screaming from headphones; holding banana cake and book that potentially marks him a hardcore stoner conspiracy freak; visibly nervous and jittery.

Big. Scary. Wielding banana cake in threatening manner.

How does this not constitute a honeypot for narky transit officers?

Somehow, I got home safely, and the banana cake turned out to be absolutely normal—the most psychotropic substance was the yellow food colouring in the icing. I need a holiday; I’m starting to take Illuminatus a bit too seriously.

Then there was Monday