Monday, May 16, 2016

A foreign country

Once upon a very long time ago in that foreign country that is called the past when English (and I expect the Scots and the Welsh and Irish were also called "English" then) would play Cowboys and Indians, and Cops and Robbers with no hint of guilt associated with any of those roles (Doctors and Nurses notwithstanding). In those days of Harold Wilson's white heat of the technological revolution and MacMillan's  wind of change blowing through Africa it was a common question to ask any child of primary age "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Well notwithstanding a temporary glitch where I wrote of my ambition to become a rag and bone man in an essay (Steptoe and son was popular at the time) the cliche was that every boy wanted to become an engine driver (this is pre diesel) and every girl wanted to become a nurse (well my mum when she was a little girlie did and she nearly was as well which is another story)

As we got a little bit beyond junior school it was the talk in the family (and pretty much fantasy when you consider the chances of it ever happening) that Marcus would become a doctor because he was interested in nature and biology (to the extent that children brought him road kill to dissect) and I would become an Architect (or Town Planner) because that was my fascination.

The nearest I have ever come to Architect is with my shed and greenhouse building but I did at least achieve some brief influence on the City Plan when phrases that I had originated were adopted during a process of negotiation around objections.

Well be that as it may, Marcus never became a doctor, indeed like me he crashed at the time of taking our A levels and the best he could do at University was a joint honours in geology and biology that he subsequently dropped out of.

By the time I got to Uni, I had also long forgotten my ambitions to become an Architect of Corbusian shining cities even if I was on the Universities building committee dealing with much more mundane concerns such as the infamous white tile problem with Yorke, Rosenburg and Mardall's grand design, and the need to renew the subterranean heating system which was causing endless problems (New York in miniature)

I digress and short cut to the future, that is to say the present. It is ever so funny, that on a day today when my doctor (MD) congratulated me upon becoming a doctor (PhD) I am reminded of all this. Marcus himself doesn’t quite know what to make of it in that he has said to me “but I was the one that was supposed to become the doctor”

I guess in time the novelty will wear off, I will get used to the routine that this is my title now and I have earned it. Perhaps I will even find something useful to do with it, but for now I can still be somewhat incredulous that I got here.