This year Jack is taking his GCSEs – I find it hard to believe he's now 16 and ready to move from school to college. There's so much more pressure on children and exams these days I think, which ultimately is a good thing. George Bernard Shaw's belief that 'Youth is wasted on the young' was probably truer then that it is now.
When I took my O levels it was the summer to end all summers… 1976. Do you remember that year? We woke up to bright blue skies and sunshine one morning in May, and it stayed that way until September.
I used to revise in the garden in my bikini, or at the Upper Deck swimming pool in Hampton Court, and what I couldn't read while laying down getting my back brown had to wait until the evening! The temperature never dropped below the high '80s and this was even taken into account when marking the papers that year… could have been a completely different set of results for me if it had rained!
But you know the most poignant thing of all is that I remember so clearly how I felt about life then… how scared I was about leaving school, not seeing the same people I'd spent the last five years with, and not truthfully knowing what I wanted to do with my life. As my mum was on her own she'd told me that unless I could decide on a career I'd have to leave school at 16 and get a job… which I did.
Commuting to London that September as the blue skies finally clouded over, the rain set in, and my working life began, I often dreamed of where I'd be in say 10 or 20 years time.
What did you plan to do when you were 16? What was the dream job you always wanted? Did you find it? Do tell! I'd love to hear from you, as it's something that always fascinates me – where we begin, and ultimately where we end up.
Well I've ended up with an ironing pile the size of the Eiffel Tower which I must attend to, but see you later today and over the weekend.
Look forward to hearing from you,