Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Every two weeks, the blogosphere comes alive with something called a Blog Off. A Blog Off is an event where bloggers of every stripe weigh in on the same topic on the same day. The topic for this round of the Blog Off is "What did you want to be when you grew up?"

In my life, I've wanted to be many things and I have achieved a few of them.  But the first career desire I remember expressing was to be a hairdresser, probably because I liked the word.  Making people feel good about their appearance still seems to me a worthy occupation and a survey conducted in Britain a few years ago found that hairdressers were among the happiest inhabitants of my native isle.

With my Sicilian hairdresser, Raffaele

Like most little girls, I went to dancing classes and for a while I wanted to be a dancer:

Then we all wanted to be pop singers like the teenage star Helen Shapiro.  My friends and I worked at lowering our voices long before a certain Margaret Hilda Thatcher thought of it.

Later I wanted to be a doctor, like the character Audrey Blake in the television series Emergency - Ward 10 but unfortunately I was hopeless at the sciences at school and soon discovered my linguistic bent.  And that rather sealed my fate for in those days the only career that anyone suggested to a female linguist was teaching.

I did actually want to teach by then, though and entered the profession willingly rather than drifting into it.  And despite several attempts to escape from the educational sphere, I have always ended up back in it.

In one of my many classrooms, c.1976
Another thing I wanted to be was a wife and mother but that destiny has eluded me.  In my youth, pregnant women sat around in smocks in cosy front rooms and were cosseted and I've always thought that that would be rather nice.  George Eliot said that it is never too late to be what you might have been and for some women science has made very late motherhood a possibility.  I do not wish to pass judgement on their decisions here but that path is not for me.  I have not, however, given up on the hope that one day I will meet someone who really loves me enough, for, like most people, I would like to be "first" with someone.

If I had not become a teacher I like to imagine that I would have become a journalist and in recent years I have been a columnist and been paid for it.  My remaining ambition is to become an author but if any self-publishing companies out there are thinking of spamming me with their details, please don't.  I'll do it "my way."

So there is still something I would like to achieve.... when I grow up.

Now for some nostalgia:

Emergency - Ward 10

Helen Shapiro - Walking Back to Happiness

Here is the complete list of bloggers participating in this round of the Blog Off:


RNSANE said...

Well, I suppose, at 67, I'm still not quite grown up. Here I am, heading off to India for four months - though I've changed my ticket for a third time. I leave now on Dec 1, depart India on April 6 and will stopover five days in Korea ( free stopover ). I, wisely, changed the date from the outbound trip, in ice and snow.

Funny, most of my childhood, I wanted to be a nurse and I did accomplish that...and, after 45 years, I wasn't happy when the budget cuts here, ended my employment.

As for marriage, oh, lord, I wouldn't want to tell you how many times I've tried that - but, for the last 20 years, I've been happily single.

Unknown said...

I think you should go for it. Write that book. Publish it and do it on your own terms! It will be a new learning adventure.

Joseph said...

Well, I’ll be damned! More people in my age group. I’m 66, and because so many of the bloggers in the Let’s Blog Off Group are still actually making a living of some sort, they tend to run a good twenty years younger than me, and that’s the old ones! The younger ones are obscenely so! I think you’re right to stay single, RNSANE, if that’s what suits you. So much of it is really just luck of the draw. I happened to fall in love with a woman 35 years ago who suits me to a “T” and me to her. But there were several others along the way I might have married—and been absolutely miserable with! So, you never know.

You never really know about life choices either. The catechism is that those who work hard will always get their reward, and that every successful person worked like hell to get there. I don’t believe it. My father worked hard all his life and never caught a break. And I can say that about a lot of people. I can also look back on a lifetime and see any number of times when things could have just as easily gone the other way, and I would have ended up in the soup with a lot of other people who never caught a break.

I must say, though, that I really envy you the choices you have made in your own life, Pat, especially those that have resulted in your making the move to Sicily. Man, what an adventure that is!

Ann said...

If totally honest, I would have to say being a singer or dancer would have been on my list as well, though I had no aptitude for it. I think doing things your way is the only way. Keep it up!

Ann said...

I think doing things your way is the only good choice. Good for you!

Paul Anater said...

Thanks for a glimpse into Pat. I always enjoy your posts (not just the Blog Off ones) and I'm thrilled that a little thing called Twitter brought us into each other's lives. What a miracle that thing can be.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This was wonderful to read, Pat! I think you've had a very fulfilling life.

I always wanted to be a nurse and accomplished that, but now I am retired and enjoying the second half of life and whatever that brings!

builderforlife said...

Great to always have a dream, thanks for the post Marcus taylor

Anonymous said...

Another touching post. I'm sure you were a wonderful teacher! I am now waiting for an autographed copy of your first book! : )

Claude said...

Truly enjoyed this post. And the photos of you along the way. My best wishes for what you still want to accomplish.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Carmen. Join the club! I think it's wonderful that you are so adventurous and I'm sure you'll have a great time. It's horrible when one's profession becomes a political pawn. Hi, Todd. I will one day! Hi, Joseph. I know what you mean - the young ones are very young! I would rather be on my own than married to the wrong person but being on your own is not all it's cracked up to be, either. I agree that we can never know how the path we didn't take would have turned out. I have no regrets about moving to Sicily but it is not always easy! Hi, Ann. I had no aptitude for singing and dancing either. Thanks for the encouragement. Hi, Paul. That's very nice of you. I'm glad I "met" you through twitter, too. Thanks, Pat. Sometimes I think my life is a hopeless failure, you know. Thanks, Marcus. Hi, Scott. Well, it takes time to become a good teacher but I think I got there in the end! That's a deal re the book. Thanks, Claude, for your kindness as always.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Write your novel, edit and format it carefully, and publish it on Kindle.

I know several people who have published their work that way, after mainstream publishers wouldn't touch it, and who have done very well.

You get a considerable proportion of a small sale price, but believe me after a few 000's of downloads, the sums start to add up.

And you get to keep the rights.

The suits in publishing are on the way out, like the suits in the music industry.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks for that advice, WY. I really appreciate it.

nothing here said...

1976 seems like only yesterday....in Leckwith

Well I had heeded one and not another I may well have been ... Chef, Interior Designer

But now I am not even that which I thought I set out to be...although I still reluctantly hold to that title...

Maybe I still don't know...

The career master didn't help either...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, "Nothing here". I'm interested to know you wanted to be a chef. I can't make up my mind, even at my age!


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