Sitting here today and thinking about how the world is going….you know the pandemic, the increasing sour relations with China, waiting for Brexit to finally happen in full and the new laws regarding wearing masks…I thought back to my youth, and how carefree it was as then we didn’t have a worry in the world…not really.

When I look back I had a great childhood and even though there was no such thing as mobile phones, game consoles (infact I was almost 13 when that first game came out for your TV where you hit the ball back and to), and I did not actually see a computer till I joined the Army (I was taught to type on the old bone rattlers)….so everything was a first, new and exciting.

I think about the people I have met and the people I have loved and continue to love, those darling relatives I have lost and the places I have been….the good and bad times. The typical teenage strops thrown at my parents and of course to me I was always right….even though I wasn’t and I know that now. The youth of today could learn a thing or two and respect your parents as even now as a woman in my 50s I will always watch my P&Qs around my Mum, and always pay when she comes out with me as the thought of my Mum paying is a no no…and even when getting her full shopping I refuse the money as she made sure I was looked after as a child, and now it is my turn and she tuts each time…but she has given up and knows me too well now……it is a shame I cannot spend time with my Dad…and this got me thinking…..

If I could travel back in time and give the young me a piece of advice…it would be to spend as much time with Dad as is possible, ask all the questions that I could and listen to all his advice, and to know that he is doing it for my own good….as one day he will not be here. Even when he passed away and I was almost 40 it felt like being hit and hit hard….the panic that he was no longer here was a terrible reality. Dad and I used to enjoy watching politics together, answering questions on University Challenge and reminisce about his time in the Army and mine……and going to museums and battle areas….his favourite place was Bovington tank museum as he was an old tankie himself.

There have been many things that I have been proud of and in the beginning I wanted to ring Dad and tell him, but he isn’t here any more and don’t get me wrong I tell Mum and she gets delighted but she is the knitting, child advice, cooking advice type of Mum and if I am half as good as she is as a Mum then I have done good….but Dad had a wicked sense of humour and I could tell him anything and he would not judge. The funny thing is that it is me that gets mortified if my Sons tell my Mum a rude joke…..not her as I think she is probably a game old bird but me going you can’t say that……..but hey people that’s my Mum…….and when I told her I am writing a book with a bit of raunchy sex in it….the look of horror on my face when she said she would like to read it……got to try and wriggle out of that one.

So 2020 has not left me scarred either emotionally or physically as I do go out (complete with mask), and after having coped with disabilities for over half my life you get that what the hell attitude, and just tick it off as another thing to cope with, and we are trying to get our lives back to normal but regardless of any age to not have Dad here has been the hardest, as he always knew what to do and his words were as if Aristotle himself had spoken such wisdom, and I think he was also a little bit of a rebel.

I do not believe in a higher being but I do believe that one day I will see the old man again and then boy will he reel off all the mistakes I made as that is Dad.

What would you tell your younger self if you could go back?