Through the eyes of a Child.


Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.


Do you think the child you were would be impressed by the person you’ve become?


I don’t know about impressed; I think surprised would be a more appropriate reaction.

As a child, when I thought about what I would do with my life, writing never featured on my radar (there’s a clue about what I wanted to do).

I didn’t enjoy school and couldn’t wait to leave. I had decided that I was going to sea and I was going to see the world. I wanted to be a ship’s Captain, one day. I knew it might be tough, that there would be parts of it that I wouldn’t like,

But, when I eventually went to sea, the thing that I found I hated the most wasn’t the separation from home life for months at a time. It wasn’t the long hours or the rough weather or everything that I had to learn, it was something completely unexpected.


It was having to write letters home and describe where we had been and what we had done that filled me with dread. I had difficulty scribbling more than a page, it all seemed to prove that my teachers were right and that I was incapable of expressing myself on paper.

After seeing so many wonders (in the 1970s the world was a different place), I felt guilty for not being able to describe them to my family and friends, who hadn’t.

Little did I realise what would come next, years later. I must have been storing the experiences up in my head, generating ideas and letting them mature until they were ready.


So, to answer the question, I think that the teenage me would be as amazed as my old English teachers to find that I can, in fact, string more than a few words together and keep them making sense. And that I’ve done it more than twenty times. Even more amazing is the fact that people I’ve never met have complimented me on that ability.

As for the whole Captain thing, that’s another story. Let’s just say that I did far more with a ship than my younger self ever expected I would.


Until next time.



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8 Responses

  1. Sally Cronin

    With 7 schools in three countries under my belt by the age of 14 I was never top of the class in most subjects and usually behind everyone else in several. My headmistress told my mother to enrol me in secretarial college at 16 as I was not academic and would be unlike to achieve much in the future. By that time I had been working after school, weekends and holidays along the sea front for almost two years and had the responsibility for running one of the busy souvenir kiosks in the summer after leaving school. Shortly after this dismissive meeting, I came back from lunch to find the girl who had been running the kiosk during my absence in conversation with two women. She turned to them and said that the manager was back now and would be able to answer their question about the item they were interested in.

    I do wish I had a camera in those days to capture the expression on my headmistresses face!

    I did do a year’s secretarial course which led to many different jobs and a steady rise up the ladder. Far too many children are labelled at a young age and often loose their will to succeed. Most are good at something and often those who are practical and learn a trade have more success that those who follow an academic path.

    I would reassure the child and teenager I was that if you work hard and find a passion for something you can be as good as anyone else.

    • Richard Dee

      Thanks for commenting. Like you, I had several schools in quick succession between the age of 11-13 and managed to miss large hunks of the syllabus because of it. Teachers never believed my protestations and called me ‘lazy’ and ‘stupid’. In the end, I gave up. I had to redo my exam year as I failed everything. I managed to scrape enough passes the second time around to get a job at sea. The rest, as they say, is history.

  2. Ornery Owl

    I wouldn’t do well at sea. Frequent ear infections messed up my inner ears and I become seasick rocking on the tiniest waves. My letters home would be all about how I spent yet another day yakking over the side of the boat. I doubt that would have spawned much of a writing career!

    • Richard Dee

      I never suffered but know some fine people who did. All I can say is that they must have been dedicated to the job, because they were frequently very ill.

  3. P.J. MacLayne

    I once took over a week to write a letter home. I’d do 2 paragraphs and got bored. The next day I’d add the new date and write 2 more. I decided I’d written enough at theend of the week and mailed it.

  4. Daryl Devore

    Following your dream to go to sea must have been terrifying yet exhilarating. And it takes some people a while to learn that they can put words on paper.
    Tweeted.

    • Richard Dee

      It had a lot of memorable moments and I loved just about every minute of it. Writing, which once felt so difficult, is now as easy as breathing.

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