the fam

the fam

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

When I grow up...

When I was a little girl, I remember wanting to be an Ambulance driver. I have no idea why..think I just fancied driving fast! 
not quite an ambulance
I also wanted to be a Space Cadet for a while. They had lovely bright shiny lycra suits and could fly..what's not to like?! Then there was the palamino horse (I had to make do with a pretend one whose stable was behind the sofa) Not a career choice exactly, just thought I could own one along with a house by the was all going to be so easy!
Next, maybe a Police lady (forget your Police Officer, this was the 70s and the nice Police Lady wore a skirt and everything!) 
'ello 'ello 'ello
All of these fantasy lifestyles soon went out of the window when I started Ballet at the age of 6. A Ballerina! That's it!! So for the next 10 years I took 5 classes a week in Imperial and Classical Ballet, Modern, Tap and Acrobatics, took medal tests, taught baby ballet classes, took scary exams with very old severe-looking ballet examiners and danced to an actual person playing a piano and performed in stage shows (writing, producing and starring in two of them!) 
Angelina Ballerina
At the age of 16 after receiving the first ever Distinction for a Gold Medal test at my dancing school, I was invited to join a modern dance group in London.
me (far left) dancing to Summer Holiday
At this point I should have been ecstatic, but sadly by this age, my love of dance had waned and I had decided I wanted to go to Art College instead. I had won several National Art Competitions and always got good grades for my artwork.
the 'artist' at work
I often wonder what would have happened if I'd gone off to London - it all sounded very glamorous at the time. The reality of a life on the stage though is often very tough - dancers are notoriously poorly paid, often unhappy and always starving! Not the best career for a girl who likes her Sunday Roast!
I loved Art College - I took a 1 year Foundation course and had the best time of my life! Being creative every day was brilliant. I got to try out different fields of art and design - Graphics, Photography, Fine Art, Textiles and could opt for one of these to study further. I chose textiles as I enjoyed working with different textures and fabrics.
textile show..not quite sure what I was modelling!
The next step was a degree and I got an interview at Manchester Polytechnic (it changed to Manchester Metropolitan University in my final year!) to study Constructed Textiles. What a mistake that was! Looking back I hadn't been fully aware of what the course involved (my own fault) but with Manchester courses being extremely hard to get on to, I took the place. My first year was miserable. I loved the city and my social life was great but I hated the course and although I was getting good grades for each project, I wanted to leave. I was persuaded to stick it out and thought maybe it would get better. Sadly my second and third years were just as bad but mainly due to a tutor who for some reason had taken a dislike to me. Granted, my time-keeping was appalling but I always stayed late and finished every project on time. I was given ridiculously low marks for every project (ridiculous compared to my 1st year grades as nothing much had changed fact I thought I had improved!) The only time I was given really good marks was when we were given projects by external examiners. So, I persevered but almost gave up in my final year.
degree show
My tutor's parting gesture, after having been asked if she could check over my degree show stand and help with the last few details, was to go home early without even bothering to find me. I was deeply disappointed with my entire degree course and looking back, there was one field in particular I really wish I had
However, as in my earlier posts, I'm pretty happy with how things turned out..a wonderful OH, 2 beautiful boys, a lovely home and an ever-expanding business. I may not have made the best career choices along the way but I think my dreamy younger self would have been quite happy with her lot...there's even an imaginary horse behind the sofa.


  1. Just been catching up with your blog Mrs. Sad about the degree course but I can relate to it a bit. I got my heart broken early in the 2nd year and changed from graphics to illustration and spent the next two years propping up the bar and scraping through ( not quite - but you get the idea!) and wish i'd done fine art looking back! Still as you say - look where you are now X

  2. Hey Gabs! Hard isn't it at the time? I completely regretted it and felt so disappointed with myself when I didn't do my best. There are so many other things going on in your early 20s too that I think I would have been better until I had more of a clue! Mind you, I still don't really have a clue even now!!
    Look where you are now too...don't think either of us have done too badly!


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