Tuesday, January 17, 2012


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 "If you could turn back time...".

We've all done it, haven't we?  At certain moments, we've all thought, about trivial events or life-changing ones, "If only I had...", "If only I hadn't..." or "If only I had said / could say...".  Here are some of the the things I might change if I could turn back time:

I wish I could have come of age in an era when women wore hats - it would have spared me so many stressful moments on bad hair days

and I often wish I'd become a housewife and a mother instead of a career woman:

The garden shed my grandad made into a "little house"
for me to play in

I'd like to be able to say that if I could turn back time I wouldn't have broken a flowerpot over my friend "Wrecker's" head when I was four - she got the nickname because she broke all my toys - but I'd be lying, even 58 years later.

"Wrecker" sitting on my car [which she didn't break!]

Being blessed with curves was not an advantage in the late 1960s so I'd change the fashions of the Mary Quant era.

And I wish I'd spent more time studying and less living it up at university, but to have done so would have been to have denied being young.

If I could turn back time I would have spoken out more often about some situations and kept a wise silence about others. The advice in this early twentieth century postcard is not a bad maxim:

"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence."

I also wish that I had learned to live within my means long ago and had not, in Mr Micawber's words, "blighted the blossom".

If I could turn back time, I would have come to live in  lovely, Baroque Sicily sooner but we tend to forget how "life" can get in the way of our plans and dreams.

Duomo di San Giorgio, Modica

We can, of course, never know how things would have turned out on "the road not taken" and perhaps it is better thus so I would like to end this post by telling you about a happy moment that I would change only by prolonging it:

Christmas Steps (Rosalind Mitchell) / CC BY-SA 2.0

I do not know how old I was but probably not more than two or three.  I was standing with my mother at the top of Christmas Steps in Bristol, UK and we were waiting for my father.  

Christmas Steps:  such a wonderful, Dickensian-sounding name for a little street full of secondhand bookshops, as it was then, and in my mind, it snowed every time we went there.

And suddenly there was my father, walking up the steps towards us and beaming at me, holding his arms out.  I loved him so much at that moment and as his arms and warmth envelopped me I felt so safe.

If I could turn back the clock, I would make that moment last forever - as, indeed, it has, in my heart.

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
The roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference."

- Robert Frost:  The Road Not Taken 

Below is the full list of bloggers participating in this week's theme:


Rosaria Williams said...

That scene of you waiting for your father, precious indeed.
Yes, I too would turn back time to be back among a similar scene.

Claude said...

As always, a beautiful post, so warmhearted. And the ending is such a moving tribute to your father's love. Merci, avec quelques larmes!

collier1960 said...

In a regret laden age, what a warm sentiment:

"a happy moment that I would change only by prolonging it"

Thanks for directing out thoughts to the things we DON'T regret.

James Higham said...

Not sure we should turn back time. There are fine times at each age we meet.

Jenny Woolf said...

Interesting post. But I don't tend to think about things I would have changed, because you never know how they would have worked out, really. still, anything I do feel regret about is usually (contrary to the postcard) because I have stayed silent when I could have spoken out.

Whispering Walls said...

I love your bonnet!

Unknown said...

Wonderful post and keeping all things close to your heart is the important lesson.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post & blog!

Liz Hinds said...

What a lovely post, welshcakes!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Rosaria. I knew you would understand. Merci, chère Claude. mon père était mon prince. Thank you, collier1960. Yes, in many ways it's a good thing we can't turn back time, James. Hi, Jenny. You are right - we can never know. Thank you, WW! Heratfelt thanks, Todd, Jackie and Liz.


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