Somewhere out there, in a parallel universe, my alter ego, known as Alternative Simon, is sitting at his keyboard. He will be surrounded by books, sitting at a desk and will smile gently, secure in the knowledge of his successful career and healthy bank balance as he heads into retirement.
He will not be sitting at his dining table surrounded by clutter (including a pile of things that need throwing away) because he will have folders and shelves and no compulsion to hang on to things that “might come in handy”. He will definitely not be wondering how he ended up working in a shop part time and sneezing copiously.
He will almost certainly be a lecturer in history at a University of moderate reputation, with a specialisation in British Civil Disorder of the nineteenth century, a number of papers and possibly even a book with his name on it.
In turn, he will dream of his possible life in a University with ancient foundations (Cambridge by preference), with book-lined walls and a tweed jacket. If only, he will sigh, he had worked harder t school. The alternative Alternative Simon will be an expert on British Civil Disorder of the 19th Century, with books and TV spin-offs for Brandreth – the Nottingham Captain and Chartism – the Revolution That Never Was.
And, of course, the alternative Alternative Simon will sit there chewing his pen (none of them will be much good with technology) and wishing that he had followed the healthy outdoor farming life portrayed in the works of William Cobbett, whilst avoiding Cobbett’s more non-woke opinions. He may even dream, in the midst of the turbulent rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle of a successful historian, regret the succession of trophy wives and drug-fuelled orgies and wish that he could swap it all for one good woman and a sideline in writing poetry.
Well, you never know, it could all be true. The picture is from my first month of blogging and was the cake we had on the farm to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We have just celebrated our 33rd. How the years fly by.
I love when you make an “I love Julia” post. This one made me cry. Happy Anniversary to both of you. xo
Thank you. Several editors have also cried after reading things I have written . . . 🙂
The one good woman makes up for a lot of lost dreams in my experience. In almost any alternative Tootlepedal life, I would be dead by now. Happy anniversary!
Thank you. When all said and done, the Nobel Prize for Literature is only a medal and a cheque. It won’t listen when you and make cups of tea. 🙂
Thank you. 🙂 We celebrated by eating steak. Then I had a nap. Too much excitement . . .
When my daughter was a tot, a 70 year-old said to me had been round the world three times but how he would much rather have been a father. He then said, ‘Children keep you poor and keep you young’.
Anyway, academics with children are now worrying about their pensions, no doubt in part because of the tuition fees they feel they should pay to support them. So, no one really wins, do they?
My Dad worked abroad a lot and felt the same about family. That’s partly why I worked for myself – plenty of flexibility for the kids, particularly as they became more involved in sport. I’d have loved more money and a decent pension but I liked the time with the kids too. Swings and roundabouts.
My internet dropped out, so you may get two replies for the price of one!
Anyway, yes I’m with you. More money would be nice but you can’t take it to the grave with you.
There’s no pockets in a shroud, as they say in Nottingham.
Nice one 😊
Simon, my husband and I made the exact same choices. <3
Though I may daydream about alternative lives, I think we made the right choices. Anyway, if I had money I would have to worry about it. 🙂
A superb tribute to your “one good woman”. Congratulations to you both
Thank you Derrick. It was a shock to look at the old post and realise I’d been blogging for a quarter of my married life. 🙂
What, you and Bear and the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle? That probably falls into the Shakespeare’s Monkey category – write enough and some of it will be right. 🙂
Well, Happy Anniversary. But how did you know so much about my life?
The alternate universe might actually be just one of a multiverse. Just think of the possibilities! 🙂
Wishing you and Julia a happy 33rd Anniversary, and many more to come. Yes, those years do fly by all too quickly.
Thank you. I feel we are starting to get the hang of marriage, but won’t get complacent yet.
I’m off to think about the world where a thin Simon is lacing up his running shoes ready for a couple of training laps before some yoga . . .
Just remember, wherever you go, there you are. 🙂
It is a thought I will unable to shake off, both for its brevity and for its wisdom.