‘I’m late…I’m late…for a very important date!’
So sang the white rabbit as he rushed ahead of Alice down the rabbit hole in that marvellous Disney cartoon of Alice in Wonderland.
I hate being late for anything don’t you? I suspect that this comes from the time when I had to catch a 7.15 am train for school every day. That train never waited a second beyond it’s scheduled departure time and my heart would pound as I ran down the road, always last minute, and breathless.
“And what do you want to do when you grow up?”
Miss Raynor, a compact woman, gowned in scholarly black looked down disdainfully at me. With piercing blue eyes and tightly curled grey hair our headmistress wasn’t someone ever easily impressed. She didn’t even entertain a sense of humour and was rarely seen communing with children. She did however like to meet the new pupils and so today she had deigned to visit our form room and as luck would have it, talk to me!
Up until that heart stopping moment this 11 year old was oblivious to the need for forward planning. Do? What could she possibly mean? I might not want to “do” anything for quite a while, thank you very much. I wracked my brains for a suitable response. What did girls like me ‘do’ exactly and when might we ‘do’ it?
‘Er…Er…’ I stumbled, eager to offer a plausible response, ‘Please Miss, I might like to be an …Air Hostess!’
Oh goodness, where on earth did that come from? Sounded reasonable however.
“Good Lord Lesley Ann! Are we wasting our precious educational resource on a trolley pusher? Oh dear me no girl! What must you be thinking?”
“ Well Miss, I like speaking French and I wouldn’t mind meeting new people and travelling…”
“No, certainly not! Never heard anything like it! Air hostess is it? Absolute nonsense!” And that, naturally, was the end of that.