1983. The year I turned 10 years old.

me in 1983

This is the only picture that was taken of me in the whole year, to my knowledge. It’s hard to imagine that now. I may occasionally go for a day or two without taking any pictures of my children, but it doesn’t happen very often.

In 1983, my life plan included the following:

  • Read every interesting book that has ever been written
  • Own lots of horses and dogs
  • Have 10 children
  • Run a riding stable
  • Above all else, do not become a teacher.

All through my childhood, I remember being told I would make a good teacher. I heard it so many times, that it put me off completely. By the time I graduated from university with a degree in English Literature (What do you say to an English graduate who has a job? Big Mac and fries, please…) I had moved on from the idea of running a riding stable, but didn’t really have any better ideas. I worked in a bookshop for a while, then went to Cairo on an overseas experience placement and found myself teaching in a small primary school for the children of mission workers. I discovered that I loved it after all, and after a few years of voluntary work (in Cairo, then Bristol, then Cairo again) I came back to do my PGCE. I thought I would get some teaching experience here for a year or two, then return to Cairo, but I got married, we reluctantly settled down in suburbia and somehow we seem to be still here.

I didn’t have 10 children. I didn’t even have 6, like my granny. That would have been fun. But having four chidren is pretty amazing. I do know how lucky I am.

I have been somewhat put off the school system, both by my experience as a teacher, and as a parent, so now I am “teaching my own.” Home educating is the most rewarding job I can possibly imagine. Running a riding stable would probably come a pretty close second.

I don’t own any horses, even though I think I asked for one for every birthday throughout most of my childhood. I don’t even have any dogs. We have some tropical fish…It’s a bit of a come down.

I can still remember the moment, in my early teenage years, when I realised that my lifetime would not be long enough to read all the books on my wishlist. It was a terrible disappointment. Now, if I read a whole book from start to finish, it’s a major achievement, and it happens only a few times a year. That will get easier as my children get older, right? I hope so.

2013. The year I turned 40.

birthday pavlova

(Excellent birthday pavlova. Full marks to Suburban Dad.)

This is me now. And I mean right now. So I’m sorry if I look a bit tired. That’s because it’s nearly 1.30am.

me now

Have I changed? Yes and no. I might have made a few compromises along the way, but books, horses, dogs and children are still among my favourite things.

Another one of my favourite things is breakfast cereal. But not particularly for breakfast. Usually very late at night (or in the early hours of the morning) when I have finally published the blog post I have been working on all evening. This may sound like a tenuous link (oh alright, it is a bit), but those who know me well will know that it’s true. My default setting is Muesli, but if I’m in the mood for something different I often choose Special K, which is why I have signed up for the Britmums Special K challenge. Other people have written some amazing posts, and haven’t left it till the last minute like me. There will be some very deserving winners, I am sure. As for me, I was happy enough to receved a somewhat battered box of the new recipe Special K in a sparkly purple jiffy bag. I’m quite easily pleased.

special k

Special K has changed its recipe for the first time in 30 years. It now contains three grains (rice, wheat and barley) instead of two, and it’s made with wholegrains as well as 8 vitamins and minerals. I was tempted to hide the box and keep it all for my late night snacking, but I decided to put it to my discerning panel of taste testers. These are the findings of my extensive research:

  • Owl and I like it slightly more than the original recipe, as it seems more substantial and satisfying. We both think it is still a bit too sweet though, and possibly even sweeter than it used to be?
  • Supergirl says it’s okay, but she prefers the original version.
  • Suburban Dad still isn’t interested in cereal and I don’t bother to persuade him to try, because that means there is more for me.
  • Monkey, Rabbit and Tiddler say “Mmm, it’s nice” with their mouths full. They are too busy tucking in to give any further comments. Then they get distracted, so do I, and before I know it, the packet is finished.

I think it lasted barely 24 hours. We’ll definitely be buying more!


This is my entry for the Britmums/Special K “How I’ve changed Linky challenge.”


2 thoughts on “1983

  1. Sonya Cisco

    Ooh hello fellow 1973 baby! Love your post, and that pavlova looks AWESOME- might demand one for my imminent 40th!


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