Zen-like contentment is sign of a wasted life

Imogen Telford is quite possible the calmest, happiest, most contented woman you are likely to meet.

The day we meet in her local cafe she is busy colouring in a picture of a bird-of-paradise with a set of felt tip pens.  Ordering an organic Fairtrade skinny chai latte with raw ginger-infused cacao sprinkles, she tells me that she is entirely satisfied with her boring, low-paid job in a gift shop.

“I was doing well at uni studying for a degree in Molecular Biology.  I had plans to work on inherited serious genetic conditions.  But then I discovered Reiki and bumming around, so I dropped out of uni.  I travelled for a bit in Thailand in order to find a sense of self and get my hair braided, and then came back to the UK and got a job in a shop.  My dad was really pissed off with me, but I’ve never been happier.”

I ask Telford how she manages to afford those fancy chai lattes on a shop assistant’s wage, but she says she only orders fancy beverages when someone else is paying. “I find that if people know chilled and lovely I am, it isn’t hard to get them to buy me things. I just tell them about my personal spiritual journey and they just offer to pay for lunch.”  But surely she’d rather buy her own stuff?  “There’s a price to pay for working in a boring, unimportant job with no prospects, but it won’t be me paying it.  Also, dad’s a multi-millionaire property tycoon.  That makes me feel so at peace with myself.”

Telford is single and says she is not looking for anyone to share her meaningless life with.  “I have rejected the opportunity to find lasting love with someone special.  I prefer cats.”