Did you have a hero - or, indeed, do you have a hero now?
As a small boy my first husband's hero was Teddy Tail in the Daily Mail. His father was a stern and very strict man. My husband always wanted to read Teddy Tail before he went to school but he dare not touch the paper, so his mother used to stand by with the iron, so that if he disturbed the pages she could iron them flat again and his father would never know.
I suppose my son's first hero was probably Rupert the Bear as he read him avidly as a small child. The good thing about Rupert was that you could 'get' the story without reading the text at the bottom of the page because it was given in outline under each picture in rhyming couplets. The one that sticks in my mind was Rupert going over the garden where Mrs Bear is busy pegging out the washing: I do declare said Mrs Bear
That's our Rupert flying up there.
My son still has many of his Rupert annuals, so maybe he still has a soft spot for him.
I don't remember having a hero as a small child. But as I got older people began to tell me how like Jean Simmonds the actress I was. And so I began to collect pictures of her, try to get my hair like hers, try (as far as I could) to dress in similar clothes. I suppose one day I realised that whatever I did I would never ever have her willowy figure - I had far too many bumps in the wrong places - and so she began to wane.
Later on I admired Vanessa Redgrave - still do in many ways - again her slender figure, her leftish views, her independence, her way of dressing - all appealed to me. But by this time I was old enough to just see her as a figure to admire.
But what about today - what heroes and heroines are there around for young people? Footballers, so called 'pop stars', figures in the media - all with far too much money and often with outlandish views, crazy clothes, weird hairstyles, tattoos - do young people try to emulate them?
Trends come and go just as heroes and heroines come and go. But no longer are the pioneers seen as heroes. I can't imagine many young people worship the men who go into space or the women who make it to the top in any field.
In today's paper there is an article about mid-life crisis which hits chimps as well as men apparently. The article suggests that just as male chimps develop red bottoms when they wish to mate with the females, so middle aged men tend to wear red trousers (or maybe yellow or some other bright colour) when they get the urge to roam.
I put this to the farmer over breakfast - he wouldn't be seen dead in red trousers - and he merely replied, without taking his eyes of his own daily paper - 'no way!' But then, he didn't meet me until he was a bachelor of 49 and we have only been married for nineteen years - so maybe his mid life crisis is still to come. I just hope he is conservative in his choice of hero; I don't want him suddenly turning up in leather trousers, gold chains and tattoos!