Undercover Joanna
Fortunes | Postcard

While in Blackpool, I had my fortune told five times. I mostly had palm readings, but once had my face and palms read, and another time had my face, palms and a crystal ball reading.

I was nervous for my first reading, but eventually got better at it. I am given lucky days, colors and numbers. I will receive good news in several months. I will move. I do something public. Since I'm not in a relationship now, soon I will settle down--usually in marriage, and with children. I will live until my eighties. My future is bright.

From a fortune-telling machine in Coral Island, I learn my aura is blue, that of creativity.

Fortune tellers have been a part of Blackpool's history for a long time. Mass Observation, in the thirties, studied them. I visit its archive and see observer reports and cards from fortune-telling machines. I learn, from Roma Lee, whom I interviewed, that the Roma came here because it was a horsy town--the landaus and the donkey rides. Men did this work, and the women told fortunes.

But fortune plays a role in everything in Blackpool. I win a stuffed dog at a dart game; the man who runs it talks to me whenever I pass by his stall and always wants to know how I am doing with my job search or work when I get a job.

The arcades are full of games, from water pistol races to slot machines. There are bingo centers and casinos, and the Town Council hopes to expand on this and make Blackpool a place of mega-casinos.

In my time at the social club we play bingo, and buy raffle tickets. Someone I know wins a bottle of vodka in the raffle. My friend buys me a lottery ticket.

Blackpool has had a good run. But it struggles. The regional economy and tastes in holidays have changed. I am told about the good old days more than the future. Good luck to Blackpool