And so it led me to ponder how different my life would have turned out had I been blessed with a different stepfather, and had we done a different history syllabus at school. Having always been interested in history, I think it quite likely that I would have sallied off to university and become a historian.
Just think of the possibilities…
I might have become a TV personality. I might have been invited across the pond to become a guest lecturer (or whatever they call them) at some prestigious Ivy League institution, with all the attendant attention from young lady Americans attending there. I might have become a successful author of books with titles like Executions: Seeing the Funny Side and Mary, Mary, Not So Hairy.
It is equally possible, of course, that I might have fallen out of a dormitory window in a drunken stupor a week into my BA studies, broken my neck and never smiled again. (For which expression I am indebted to Messrs Sellars and Yeatman and their unrivalled version of English history entitled 1066 and All That, a tome which I would recommend to anybody wanting to read a historical account which tells it as it is – or was. Or wasn't...) This is precisely why I never express regret at not having become a historian, or not having done anything else different for that matter.
And I might have ended up like David Starkey. Yuck.