Posted by: madkentdragon | March 6, 2010

When I grow up I want to be …..

That was the question asked on Twitter this week and my answer was 17 – knowing what I know now!

At 17 I left school with a good collection of exams and a job in the civil service and the promise of a bursary for university at 18 – provided I passed a couple of further exams. Working in London was not what I’d expected – well nothing was what was expected by a 17-year-old with the dreams of a 12-year-old – I’d not been allowed to go out with boys and had kept my nose to the grindstone; with only a church youth club, guides and the choir as my social outlets.

Now I earned my own money and although completely unworldly wanted more from life than this! Well I got it, 1965 was the year and in that year I left school, started smoking – I now have COPD – got pregnant got married to someone who at the time seemed sophisticated and the antithesis of my own father. BIG mistake!!

My parents felt I’d let them down and my mother came to the registry office to make sure I got married and  I wore a grey suit. My mother’s “what would the neighbours think!” attitude did nothing for the occasion and the freelance photographer who was hanging around outside the office was duly rebuffed.I was only 17 and so they had to give consent but it was given grudgingly and I was told “You’ve made your bed so now lie on it” And so after a nondescript ceremony I went home to his parents’ house with my husband.

What would I say to myself if I could – DON’T DO IT – OK leave school and go the bursary route to Uni – do not smoke (I still do, too hooked to stop) and when that charming bus conductor asks you out – say “Sorry but no!”

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t regret my sons – they are my friends as well as family, but I threw all my life away and escaped from it all far too late – even the sons were telling me to leave & offered me somewhere to stay. But you’ve got to think that you are worth it – and that’s another story…..



  1. Many of us with less than perfect lives have the advantage of knowing that true happiness is not determined from the moment we leave school. We are stronger for our disappointments and the lessons learnt. BTW, I’ve never heard of a dragon who doesn’t smoke!

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