Category Archives: Blackpool Tourism

Blackpool Tower to be lit up for Guide Dogs’ anniversary

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Tower will be lit up yellow and dark blue this week to help celebrate the 90th birthday of the Guide Dogs charity.


It all started in 1931 when two intrepid women who had heard about assistance dog training in Europe and America started Guide Dogs from a lock up garage on the Wirral.

Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond trained the first four dogs, who were paired with veterans of the first world war blinded by wounds or gas.

The dogs – Flash, Folly, Judy and Meta – gave those men immediate independence and that was the start of the charity so instantly recognisable today.

Members of the Guide Dogs Fylde Coast group

Members of the Guide Dogs Fylde Coast group

Local Guide Dog users and supporters are also marking the 90th anniversary by taking part in informal ‘Glo-walkies’ on Blackpool Promenade to help celebrate and raise money.

The Fylde Coast group has also had a fundraising stall in Houndshill shopping centre, one of their first public events since Covid restrictions were lifted.

Guide Dogs North West spokesman Shirley Morgan said: “We are having buildings lit for us around the UK and the Tower will be lit for Guide Dogs on Thursday October 7 – part of a month of celebrations and hopefully a very clear reminder of what Guide Dogs does.

“We have many guide dog users on the Fylde coast, but the charity supports adults and children with sight loss in many ways. Help from Guide Dogs doesn’t only come with a cold wet nose!

“Lockdown had a huge impact on Guide Dogs. Like most charities, it saw a drop in community income, but the important task of socialising puppies and training guide dogs was also slowed, meaning that waiting times for a guide dog have increased.

“Now the charity wants to get back on track and hopes that the GD90 logo on the Tower on Thursday will be a powerful reminder of the work it does, not just in the North West, but throughout the UK.”

While many aspects of its service have changed dramatically over 90 years, some things remain the same. Shirley added: “The impact of being told that you are losing your sight is the same as it was 90 years ago – frightening and isolating. That’s why our reason for being here is still the same; we want people with sight loss to live the life they choose.

“It’s why we work with local authorities and transport providers to ensure that the needs of those with vision impairment are considered when it comes to redevelopment. Guide Dogs has been lobbying for more robust rules around the use of e-scooters, especially on pavements, and for more awareness around the rights of guide dog users to access shops and restaurants.

“In our 90th anniversary year we really hope to forge new links across communities to spread the word about what Guide Dogs does, perhaps through our speakers who visit schools, or by inviting groups to visit our regional Guide Dogs Training Centre at Atherton.

“Our Fylde Coast supporter group is also on the look out for new members and would love to hear from anyone interested in getting involved.”

Gill Studden from St Annes is co-ordinator of the Guide Dogs Fylde Coast group and hopes many people and dogs will take up the Glo Walkies challenge during October. The Glo Walkies route is North Pier to The Sandcastle Waterpark, in either direction and co-ordinator Gill Studden is eager to get as many people involved as possible..

She said: “We welcome runners, walkers, toddlers, pram pushers, dog walkers, wheelchair and mobility scooter users and if you want to dress up with Glow items that’s great.

“Having a month to complete the challenge means you can choose the weather and fit it around your own schedule. Some of us will walk on Friday October 8, beginning at North Pier at 7pm.

“You don’t have to register but please take some photographs at the start and finish and share them with us at our Fylde Coast Guide Dogs Facebook page. We have a Justgiving page for donations and sponsorship too. It’s great being out and about again after all the restrictions of lockdown – come and join us!”

Details at

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Review: Derren Brown Showman at Opera House, Blackpool Winter Gardens

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The infamous illusionist came to Blackpool with his latest tour, Showman


Derren Brown
Derren Brown

Just before his show finished, Derren Brown asked the audience not to disclose anything about what they had seen, on social media or in any kind of review.

In all honesty, it’s common knowledge that Derren, and most magicians and illusionists for that matter, rely on intrigue and mystery, so splurging details about secrets of their shows would spoil it for those yet to see it.

What I can tell you however, is that Derren’s latest offering, Showman, is personal, for him and his audience.

This is something, Derren hinted at himself four days before the first of three shows at Blackpool’s Opera House on Friday (October 1),in a pre-recorded video on Twitter.

In it he requested anyone heading to see the performance, which is his first tour in six years, to bring along an object from home that has personal significance, and small enough to hide in their hand.

Tip: if you are attending one of the other two Blackpool shows on Saturday (October 2) I recommend taking along exactly what Derren has requested.

The audience plays a pivotal part in almost everything he does, so if sticking your hand up in the hope you’ll get a go up on stage is your thing, you must go to a Derren Brown show.

Derren is aware of his sceptics and openly challenges their theories and inevitable dismissive thoughts on what they see and how he pulls his tricks, mind games and hypotheses off.

But even I, having been convinced beforehand that I wouldn’t be wowed at all, was still left reeling from a number of his stunts several hours later.

The show ebbs and flows, with slower periods but Derren has a knack for keeping you focused for the whole two-hours.

What also intrigued me was Derren’s ability to ooze charm and warmth one minute, while also being sinister and methodical the next.

He’s witty, charismatic and familiar and behind the atmospheric music, choreographed lighting and booming sound effects, there’s just a normal guy wanting to share how the mind works.

Showman is enthralling and confusing, funny and sweet and Derren’s delivery and engrossing presence completes the perfect illusionist concoction.



‘The Queen’ is coming to Blackpool Madame Tussaud’s for the first time

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Her Majesty the Queen is to take up residency in Blackpool – at Madame Tussaud’s


Her Majesty the Queen is coming to Blackpool – in waxwork form (Image: Julian Calder/Wikimedia Commons.)

“What’s taken her so long?” we hear you all mutter under your breath, when you hear The Queen is moving to Blackpool.

And we agree, but sadly, the real life Her Majesty is not in fact upping sticks from Buckingham Palace for pastures new on the beautiful Fylde Coast, but her waxwork replica is.

That’s right, soon you will be able to take a selfie next to Queen Elizabeth II again, when her waxwork arrives at Madame Tussauds on Thursday, October 14.

The original Queen waxwork was first installed in Blackpool in 2012, but this new one will replace it, and take pride of place on her own throne, naturally.

The official unveiling ceremony will be complete with a Royal Procession outside Blackpool Tower and a rendition of the National Anthem, before the monarch takes up residency in her new abode.

We know it’s exciting, but please keep calm everyone, as LancsLive have been invited along to the ceremony, to give you the first look.

Lucky: LancsLive received an exclusive invite to The Queens' big arrival in Blackpool
Lucky: LancsLive received an exclusive invite to The Queens’ big arrival in Blackpool (Image: LancsLive)

Everything you need to know about the big annual panto at Fleetwood – including a former soap star

Home | Blackpool Gazette

It will soon be time for panto season and Fleetwood’s annual show at the Marine Hall is returning this year after the pandemic caused last season’s fun to be cancelled.


Aladdin is coming to Fleetwood

Aladdin is coming to Fleetwood

Panto fans can fly away on a magic carpet ride for a trip to see perennial favourite Aladdin at the seafront venue from Thursday December 9 until Sunday December 12.

And headlining the cast will be soap star legend Peter Amory, best known for his role as the villainous ‘Chris Tate’ in Emmerdale, who is playing the evil Abanazar.

There will be hilarious comedy, songs, dancing, audience participation and more as the perfect run up to Christmas.

The Marine Hall have once again teamed up with North West pantomime company Trio Entertainment to bring the much loved story of ‘Aladdin’ to life this Christmas.

Peter said: “I am really looking forward to appearing in Aladdin this Christmas.

“I have played panto villains a number of times and I love the experience and can’t wait to get back into the pantomime mood again…it’s going to be great fun!”

Producer Kevin Brown adds “We cannot wait to transform the Marine Hall into a magical festive space filled with lots of panto fun this December!”

The cast also includes Tom Balmont, Natasha Griffith, Sofia Klimovsky and Tiago de Souza.

Tricked into going into the cave of wonders by the evil Abanazar, Aladdin finds himself trapped in a cave with nothing but a dirty old lamp and no way out.

When Aladdin rubs the lamp a magical Genie appears to save the day and rescue him from the cave and grants him three extravagant wishes.

Aladdin is joined by his wacky washerwoman mother Widow Twankey along with the beautiful Princess Jasmine, her guardian the crazy but strict police chief and a magical spirit to guide our hero along the way on this magical carpet ride of a pantomime!

Tickets are £9.50 for Adults, £9 for Children and a Family ticket is £34 for four people.

Group booking discounts for 10 people or more are also available.

Show times are as follows:

Thursday December 9 – 10am and 2pm; Friday December 10 – 10am and 7pm; Saturday December 11 1pm and 7pm; Sunday December 12 at 1pm

You can book by calling the Marine Hall Box Office on (01253) 887693 Monday to Friday 10am until 3pm or by visiting the website



Blackpool’s new nine-screen cinema and huge Wilko takes major step forward

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The cinema is set to include the biggest immersive screen in Lancashire


CGI image of Phase 2 development
CGI image of Phase 2 development

Work has begun at site of a new huge Wilko and nine screen cinema in Blackpool.

The Houndshill development team met on Friday (September 24) to break ground at Tower Street Car Park at Houndshill Shopping Centre to mark the start of the main contract for phase two works on site.

This comes after three key deals were signed in February, which enabled the scheme to commence.

Blackpool Council’s acquisition of Tower Street Car Park, a lease agreement for a new 22,500 sq ft wilko store and a deal with MMC Cinemas for a nine screen, 850 seat, 40,500 sq ft multi-media cinema complex.

The cinema is set to include the biggest immersive screen in Lancashire.

GRAHAM has been appointed as the lead contractor and CBRE the project manager and cost consultant for the scheme.

The first phase enabling works will involve initial utilities diversion works and the preparation of site for the main building works to follow.

This first phase of the project will be complete by winter 2022.

When completed, the scheme is said to deliver over 100 jobs.

There will also be 0.5 acres of brownfield land developed, 76,500 sq. ft. of new commercial floorspace and more than 260 construction jobs created over the build period.

Ground breaking at Phase 2 of Blackpool’s Houndshill redevelopment.

It is thought that the scheme will increase the shoppers and visitors to Houndshill Shopping Centre by 1.2m.

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council said, “We are committed to diversifying and modernising the town centre to encourage residents and visitors to choose Blackpool as their main shopping centre of choice. This means celebrating our well known heritage buildings, driving footfall to new areas of the town and encouraging people to stay for longer.

“The Houndshill Phase 2 extension will deliver a new range of high-quality entertainment, retail and leisure choices that meet the needs of the modern family, which will complement the existing shops at the Houndshill, boost both day and night time business, and increase the amount of time and money spent in the town centre.

“For the town centre to prosper we must continue to provide new reasons to attract resident and visitors and to extend the time of visits into the evening with more entertainment and leisure choices that the whole family can enjoy. New purpose-built, ultra-modern buildings that can adapt to ever-evolving consumer aspirations are important and will shape how we use our town centre in the future.”

The overall scheme has been facilitated by £5m of funding from the Government’s COVID-19 Getting Building Fund, following formal approval by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in October last year. Blackpool Council will fund the balance of the scheme through prudential borrowing.

Full schedule of works:

  • Tower Street Car Park is now closed but the Houndshill multi-storey car park will remain open throughout the project.
  • Alternative short-stay and long-stay car parks are available across town, including pay and display on-street parking in the vicinity and nearby open air car parks at East Topping Street, Bonny Street and Central, as well as West Street multi-storey.
  • The site is now fenced off for the duration of the building works but pedestrian access will still be available and the Houndshill retailers are not be affected
  • The section of the northbound carriageway of Coronation Street which runs adjacent to the development site at Tower Street Car Park will be closed to traffic
  • A temporary three-way signal system around the junction of Coronation Street and Adelaide Street will control traffic past the site, ensuring that access to and from Houndshill Car Park, the M&S collection point and the staff entrance to the Winter Gardens is maintained.

For more information, click here.





Visitors slam ‘busy’ Blackpool World Firework Championship

Lancashire Telegraph

Blackpool’s World Firework Championships kicked off earlier this month and people flocked to the coastal area to watch the free display.


While most visitors were in awe of the fantastic firework displays on opening weekend (September 11), others were alarmed by just how busy it was with some saying that it took hours just to get out of the car park.

The event will be running on various weekend dates until October 23 – but many have vowed to stay away after being put off from the jam-packed opening display.

Lancashire Telegraph: Crowds at the Blackpool Firework ChampionshipsCrowds at the Blackpool Firework Championships

One Twitter user, @JohnAMEllis uploaded a short clip of the fireworks to their social media but critiqued the hectic journey home.

They wrote: “It was amazing but took three hours to get out of the car park and get home (usually a 30 min journey).”

Jamie Patterson said he had “never seen Blackpool so busy” while Chris Meadows commented that the “traffic in and around Blackpool was bad, parking spaces were not really available”.

“Going off last week’s opening event I’d advise people get there at eight am to secure a place… it was a little busy,” Antony Jones joked.

Twitter user, @kilnerlufc, said: “Blackpool is horrible at the best of times as it is, but making the mistake of going there when Blackpool are playing at home, and it’s the Fireworks Championship… Never again!”

Other Twitter users were disgusted by the “terrible” litter left behind after the busy event.

Elaine Kelly said: “Fireworks were fantastic… however, the litter that was left was terrible.

“Wasted food everywhere and empty bottles and cans strewn all over the pavements. There were security officers about but they were just standing around not doing much.”

Another said: “Please pick up your rubbish and food, last Saturday was embarrassing as the street were littered after the fireworks.”

Stuart Fielding added: “Last night I realised why I had not been in Blackpool on Saturday night for a long time.

“Stick to the more refined Poulton in future. The firework display was good though.”

Andrew Hughes also agreed that the fireworks championship “was a good night” but added that it was “overcrowded” with “no social distancing in place.”

With more firework displays set to take place in the coming weeks, a spokesperson for VisitBlackpool has some advice for future visitors if they want to avoid large crowds and parking issues.

They said: “The free fireworks events invariably attract large crowds to the Promenade.

“We would encourage people to arrive early and, if possible, park on some of the larger car parks to the south of the resort (between the M55 and the football club) rather than heading into the town centre.

Lancashire Telegraph: Crowds at the Blackpool Firework ChampionshipsCrowds at the Blackpool Firework Championships

“The promenade is only a short walk away from the car parks and people can either take a stroll to the Tower Festival Headland or catch a tram.”

They added: “We would also encourage people to stagger their departure time.

“After the fireworks have finished, there is plenty to do in and around the Promenade with free light projection shows on the front of The Blackpool Tower building and an opportunity to walk through the Illuminations which will be on until midnight.”

When is the next Firework Championship display?

The World Firework Championship displays take place on alternate Saturday evenings with the next one set to take place this weekend (25 September) with a display from Ireland.

Saturday 9 October is Germany’s display and Saturday 23 October is the celebratory display and winners announcement from Titanium Fireworks.

All displays subject to suitable weather conditions.

The events start from 7.30pm with the first fireworks firing from approximately 8:30pm.

The best place to see the display is along Blackpool promenade as the launchpad for the display is in front of Blackpool Tower.





Makeover at St Annes amusement arcade

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A St Annes amusement arcade has received a makeover after plans to renovate the outside of it were given the green light by council bosses.


The proposals to improve the Surfside Entertainment Centre, based at The Island on the South Promenade, include six new illuminated fascia signs.

The amusement arcade is operated by Wigan-based Crown Leisure Ltd, which also oversees arcades in Blackpool and at Haven’s holiday parks including Marton Mere in Blackpool and Cala Gran in Fleetwood.

As part of the application submitted to Fylde Council, a representative from the company said adding the illuminated signs will ‘improve the external appearance’ of the amusement arcade.

Surfside Amusement Arcade in St Annes

Surfside Amusement Arcade in St Annes

Previously the site did not have any signage in place advertising that it is an amusement arcade.

The six signs, designed and installed by Granthams Signs and Graphics based in St Annes, have been spread around the South Promenade building and will all feature LEDs.

The plans were met with approval from officials working for the town’s council.

A spokesman for St Anne’s Town Council Planning Committee said: “Development enhancing the contribution of this site to the town’s tourism, culture and leisure offer will be encouraged.

“Any development must be of the highest design quality and must enhance and make a positive contribution to this seafront location.”

Originally known as Pleasure Island, the site still features some signs with its original name. Fylde Council owns the freehold of the entire Island site.



Things are brightening up at Blackpool’s Old Electric Theatre with all new youth theatre group and shows with award-winning actress and comedian Katie O’Brien and poet JB Barrington

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool’s newest theatre, The Old Electric is looking for young wannabe stage stars of the future to join their brand-new youth theatre.


New youth theatre group is opening up at Blackpool's Old Electric Theatre pictures: Claire Griffiths

New youth theatre group is opening up at Blackpool’s Old Electric Theatre pictures: Claire Griffiths

The latest project aims to bring young people from 14 to17 year olds together to work as a company, rehearse and perform new work in front of audiences.

Melanie Whitehead, artistic director of The Old Electric said the youth theatre presented a unique opportunity to work on issues that are key to young people.

She said: “There’s a great spirit of presentation in Blackpool with different organisations delivering triple-threat style activities but there’s maybe not so much for those who want to understand how to use language to develop confidence and how we can take important, big concepts and shape those into powerful stories to share with others.

This theatre group is for those young people.

“This last 18-months has been especially difficult for young people; we need to listen to and support them now more than ever.

“We want to help young people feel safe when socialising, for them to be able to form new friendships with like-minded people, to express themselves creatively, to develop as people and as artists, and for them to know that they can have fun with their peers once again.

“It is our aspiration to connect our local young people with other theatre-makers of all ages and stages; we’re already having some exciting conversations with colleagues in Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton and London and know that for some Fylde Coast young people this chance to feel connected with high-quality theatre, is a unique and exciting opportunity come at just the right time.”

The youth theatre at the venue in Springfield Road, starts on Friday September 17 at 6pm to 7.30pm on a weekly basis.

There are also opportunities for young people who are interested in backstage and technical aspects of theatre-making.

Registering for a place is free but needs to be done in advance at No auditions are necessary.

There is also a new 18-25s Young Theatre-Makers group.

Shows coming up at the Old Electric:

Catch 22 Years

An empowering show from Katie O’Brien about her personal alcohol addiction – she actually gave up drinking alcohol before she was legally allowed to drink.

Award-winning actress and comedian Katie presents a fresh, funny, and taboo-smashing take on addiction and recovery.

She has been in a love-hate relationship with 12 Step fellowship and modern-day psychology for over two decades and has a few things to say about why it works and why it doesn’t.

Hilarious, brutally honest, heart-warming and provocative, a one-woman show that challenges perceptions of recovering from addiction, pathologizing humanity and the quest of self-discovery.

Katie will also be delivering a workshop with people in recovery.

The show is on October 7 from 8pm.

Tickets £7

Lacking Poetential JB Barrington

Cult performance poet JB Barrington unleashes his searing and satirical poetry, full of strong sentiments and sharp rhymes.

Barrington’s unique, gritty style has won him several high-profile fans including Suggs and Johnny Vegas, and the bands Sleaford Mods and Reverend and The Makers who he has supported extensively on tour.

The poet’s recent work has included a commission from Sky Sports and a poem promoting mental health awareness. He also recorded a segment for Channel 4’s Dispatches about the controversial HS2 high-speed rail link project. His sell-out one-man shows deliver a rollercoaster of emotions with a brilliant and imaginative display of poetic writing covering social issues, economics, class and loss.

JB Barrington at the Old Electric Theatre on October 16 from 8pm

Tickets £10



Blackpool Air Show dates confirmed as event set to return in 2022

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The popular air show was cancelled for the past two years but will return next August


The Blackpool Airshow is returning for 2022
The Blackpool Airshow is returning for 2022 (Image: VisitBlackpool)

The Blackpool Air Show will return in 2022, it has been confirmed by organisers.

The show, which is of the seaside town’s most popular free annual events, was cancelled for the past two years because of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions on mass gatherings.

It is scheduled to return on August 13 and 14 next year and the aerial showpiece is expected to once again attract up to 100,000 visitors.

A selection of the world’s finest military and civilian aircraft, including the Red Arrows, are set to fly and perform along Blackpool’s seafront.

And on the ground, visitors can browse a range of stalls, attractions and food concessions in the Air Show Village on the Tower Festival Headland.

A VisitBlackpool spokesman said: “The Blackpool Air Show is always one of the highlights of the summer and we have been keen to get the 2022 dates in the calendar as soon as possible so that visitors can book ahead.

“After almost two years of disruption to our major events programme, we are confident that 2022 will see a return to a full programme of our traditional events, with some exciting new ones to be announced in the months ahead”.


I went to see Blackpool’s ‘palmists to the stars’ and she predicted babies… and jealousy

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Blackpool is famous for its fortune tellers and clairvoyants – but what’s it actually like to get your palm read? We find out…


LancsLive's Rebecca Lockwood visits palm reader Leanora
LancsLive’s Rebecca Lockwood visits palm reader Leanora (Image: LancsLive)

Blackpool is pretty remarkable when it comes to tourist attractions.

It’s got everything you could possibly need to have a fun-fuelled day out; Pleasure Beach, The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, go-karts, an entire Magaluf-like strip of arcades and more.

But one thing that Blackpool is famous for is its fortune tellers, palm readers and clairvoyants.

When it comes to spirituality, I am firmly on the fence. Whenever anything to do with the afterlife or religion or anything in the realm of ‘spiritual’ comes up in conversation I simply say: “I don’t know”.

I had never been to a palm reader or clairvoyant before, but as I passed the doors of Leanora Petulengro in Blackpool I was more intrigued than I had been before.

The waiting room for Leanora’s service was full of tourists waiting for a reading and I was spurred on to see if it was all really believable.

I whacked £20 out of a nearby cashpoint and joined the queue. Turns out, I’m due a marriage proposal, but what else does my future hold and how accurate to me is it all?

Two children are on their way ‘soon’

I made my way into the private reading room and lay out my palms in front of Leanora. Between us was a covid-screen and my genuine nerves about the whole thing.

Being in your early twenties is a pretty reckless time and I suppose I didn’t want Leanora to tell me everything was going to go downhill very quickly. Leanora read my palm and immediately we were on to parenthood.

Leanora is a 'palmist to the stars'
Leanora is a ‘palmist to the stars’ (Image: LancsLive)

I was surprised I didn’t get uncomfortable, babies are definitely out of the picture for me at present, but I was shocked when she asked if I was already a parent. I laughed and said no.

My palms said I was having two children, a boy and a girl, and they would come soon.

I suddenly started wondering if I should leg it to Boots and grab a pregnancy test, or whether the two would arrive in a basket via a Stalk courier like an old-fashioned Amazon delivery.

We moved on quick enough for me not to have a pregnancy-scare meltdown on the prom.

I’m on my way to a wedding AND a christening soon

Not only do I have a long happy life to look forward to, but my palms said I’m on my way to a wedding and a christening soon.

This was much to my disbelief, I don’t personally have any engaged or pregnant friends so such events seemed pretty off the cards to me.

“It will be good for you,” Leanora said, “you should go.”

I don’t know how I’m going to get myself invited to such events, but if anyone wants to test the truth behind my palms feel free to chuck me over a friendly invite.

Apparently I’m surrounded by jealousy

My palms told Leanora that I’d just had a career change, which is true. I’ve recently graduated from uni and have been lucky enough to land myself here at LancsLive – a job that keeps me in Lancaster.

But, Leanora said, you’re surrounded by a lot of jealousy. My palms’ point about jealousy was the only negative to my palm reading.

She didn’t tell me who or what or how, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say comparisons in your early twenties are rife. Everyone you know is doing something or other, if they’re not working they might be having kids or travelling the world. Fair enough, I thought. Leanora told me to let it go, so I did.

I’m due a marriage proposal

Next up, we were straight onto my current partner. We met earlier this year through the dating app Hinge, and have been together since March 2021.

Leanora told me that I would marry my current partner and our marriage would be “happy” and “comfortable”.

According to my palms, my partner, Max, is set to own property soon and we’ll move in together. Good for him, I thought, and good for me I guess – I have a lot of questions, will I be paying rent?

That wasn’t a stone throw away from the truth to be honest, we’ve had the discussion about moving in together but the timing is yet to fall into place.

I didn’t have the chance to ask Leanora about the rent arrangement as she quickly told me I would acquire my own property eventually. Great, I thought, I don’t know why we need so much property though.

Now, my palms said, I’m expecting a proposal. Leanora asked if I had the offer of marriage yet and I said no, thinking to myself please hold your horses. We’ve been together for under a year.

But generally the reading made me feel happy. Whether I believe her or not, it offered me a sense of security in my relationship that can often feel up-in-the-air when you’re navigating your twenties.

That’s when it all made sense.

The queues to these places are so incomprehensible to people who feel secure in their present lives, but for people who are worried or insecure or hopeless – or maybe just curious – your concerns are seen immediately through your hands.

Whether you believe it or not, there’s something comforting about a stranger telling you it’s going to be okay – but maybe I got lucky, I cannot imagine the sheer panic of hearing anything worse than ‘two babies are on the way’ from my palms.