Would you do the same if you had your life to live all over again? I thought this earlier today as I watched dawn break quite quickly and daylight arrive almost as if by magic.
When I passed the scholarship many years ago (a year early at the age of ten) and went to Lincoln Girls' High School, my parents had to sign a form promising to keep me at school until I was 16 (school leaving age was fourteen in 1942). They reluctantly did so as that would mean my father would be retired by the time I left - so there was absolutely no thought of my staying on until I was 18 and going on to University. In fact it never entered my head. I knew that at 16 it was leave and get a job in an office - and this I did. I worked in a Drawing Office for a couple of years and from then on I worked for my brother in law, who was a building contractor and worked on church dilapidations, until I married.
It was thanks to my husband that I progressed with my education - I already had School Cert and went on with his encouragement to take further qualifications through the Open University and then - because we lived near to Birmingham - further qualifications there. My parents thought I was mad and that I really ought to 'start a family' because that was what girls did. But I married early and left having my son until I was 26.
Then when my son began school I went into teaching - I never regretted it - I loved it and quickly rose through the ranks - loved the young people I taught and got pleasure in helping young people, many of whom had come here from the other side of the world with little or no English.
I took early retirement when another Comprehensive school closed and it was offered to anyone who was 50 and over. My first husband was eleven years older than me and had just retired so it all fitted in perfectly. I never regretted it and we had wonderful holidays to places like Samarkand, Bukhara, all over what was then the Soviet Union (and cheap as they wanted our currency) so we could go on the Trans Siberian Railway and tour all over.
This morning I sat looking at the dawn breaking and having my second coffee after my dear carer had gone and thought 'I wish I had studied Meteorology' - because no two dawns are ever the same. The cloud formations vary from morning to morning and the types of clouds vary and apart from cumulus clouds I know none of them.
Where would I be if I had gone down that road? Too late to try now because my brain is not as good as it was at retaining information. Trying to study with a wandering mind would be useless.
I suppose we could all ask ourselves would we do the same if we had our life to live over again. Perhaps it is a good job we can't ........I am certain I could never have had two such happy marriages (1 for 39 years and 1 for 23 years) so maybe it is good that I gave cumulus clouds a miss.