Sunday, 7 February 2016

What do you want to be when you grow up?


I had a phone call on Friday from a young woman who works for the Crown Court system of the UK, telling me that they had over-ordered jurors for the time I had been summoned, and she could offer me two options: to have my service deferred, or be excused altogether. I opted for the latter, and am now overwhelmed with relief about it. I had not realised how tense I had been about the whole thing.

Partly it was the requirement to be awake and alert in Bristol at 9.15 am every morning for at least two weeks ('It is very rare that a case lasts longer than 200 days...'), and partly the scary notion that one unconvicted criminal is able to decide on the ultimate fate of another, even with strict legal guidance.

Things like this on the horizon actually loom over me for weeks in advance, blocking out more of the light as each day goes past. They become milestones seen from a great distance.

I know people who - having booked a holiday well in advance - carry on working right up until the hour they are due to leave for the airport. I start mentally fretting at least one week before I am due to go, and this interrupts my work to the extent that I can concentrate on nothing else.

The Boy recently advised me that I should spend more time in 'the present', but I had to tell him that it was because of spending too much time in the present in the past, that my future holds so many uncertainties. There has to be a balance, but - as yet - I have not been able to achieve it.

When I was about 24, I had my horoscope drawn up. The first thing the astrologer said was that it bore a striking resemblance to Hitler's - a great, sweeping horseshoe around one side of the chart.

The next thing she said was that I was capable of achieving anything that I set my mind to, or my heart upon. Isn't everyone?

Anyway, what a thing to tell an immodest and arrogant young man, unless you want to see them fizzle out into obscurity by resting on laurels they have not yet won.

52 comments:

  1. I want to grow up to be an evil-tempered old broad who bites the nurses. Almost there... just waiting for the right nurse to sink my teeth into.

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    1. I can put you in touch with a suitable one, but you will have to move to the Prestatyn area.

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    2. Also, I have replied to your email.

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    3. I'd considered him, but don't want to drink Dettol after, considering what he's usually covered in. I'll go look it out.

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  2. I am surprised you are such a worrier. I would not have thought it. I had my horoscope drawn up when I was 40. I was told that my chart was very unusual in that I have no earth signs on the ascendancy, in fact mine was the only chart he had ever seen without earth signs in it. My birthday is one day before Hitler's. I don't know what any of this says but the astrologer who knew only my date, time and place of birth got many things right about me.

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    1. Well yours is closer to Hitler's than mine, then. Well well. There is definitely something in archetypal sign traits, but this could be just as much to do with the weather than anything else. I have noticed that people born in perpetually hot countries often show all the extrovert signs of Leo, no matter when they were born.

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    2. Tom, please don't take this down as Rachel does when someone/thing doesn't please her. Hippo wouldn't. But then he has the hind of a rhino.

      Rachel has made me laugh on a few occasions (for reasons best kept to myself). This, her comment, takes the biscuit and spoon whilst running. To take it from the top: She had her Horror Scope drawn up. I know at least one person who'd now leave the dinner table. No, not me. I am fascinated by people whose moon is rising in anger.

      Rachel was declared "unusual". Ain't that the truth. Also do pencil in her birthday (19 April) lest you forget. Rachel doesn't take kindly to people who don't put her where she belongs.

      Hitler? I am pretty certain that Hitler wasn't a playground bully given to bad language. Other than that: I adore the picture of Rachel quietly stargazing.

      U

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    3. I will not have you coming over here and carrying out some petty and irrelevant beef against anyone, just because they (quite rightly) delete your abusive comments. If you don't like Rachel, then DON'T VISIT HER SITE. It isn't rocket science is it?

      I am leaving your comment up for the time being because I want people to know what an irritating child you are, but anymore of this and I will delete everything you put up here too.

      Behave yourself.

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    4. What an odd response, Tom. Hadn't expected that of you.

      Glad I am not your "child".

      U

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  3. There's still time?
    I have finagled to be excused from jury duty three times in my life. I could not judge another person.

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    1. Here, if you are over 70, you have the right to refuse service - also if you are a nurse or some other profession like fireman or something. You can defer service for 3 months, and I am so glad I didn't!

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  4. I suffer from similar anxiety, especially before a trip. When the kids were young we would go to the mountains every summer for 6 weeks. Six weeks of stuff for a family of 6 is pretty considerable - I felt justified in gradually becoming more crazy as the day for setting off approached. They remind me now that every year I would yell, "This is the last year we're doing this!"

    But really anything outside my routine can set me off. Teaching a new class, taking a train from X to Y for the first time, having people to stay. There is just so much to worry about that I am overwhelmed. If I lived in the present as the Boy suggests, there would never be milk for the morning coffee.

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    1. You had very good reason to suffer anxiety attacks before a holiday. In my experience, holidays are harder work than work itself, and this gets worse the more security there is at airports.

      I was in Bristol one hour before I got the phone call, and I almost parked up to walk the route to court so I wouldn't be late on the first day. I'm also glad I didn't do that too!

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  5. Re: your title question, I'm still trying to figure that out.

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  6. Having a horoscope drawn up is not something that I would have imagined you doing. Not sure why. Nobody grows up. Not really.

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    1. I have said it many times before, but the ability to believe in anything makes life so much more interesting.

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    2. Oh, and I would not have had it drawn up were it not for the fact I was going out with the astrologer at the time - too expensive for such an unlikely set of predictions.

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  7. You can have a birth chart done for free online. I was struck by Rachel's comment about having no earth in her chart because mine is the same way....almost no earth at all, and very little water. Everything is all fire and air with me (I'm full of hot air! Ha! Ha!) I'm a really early Aries with Leo rising. My moon sign is Leo, too. I don't place much faith in astrology but the descriptions of my chart fit me very well.

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    1. I now have a pretty good idea about how the first 65 years of my life are going to pan out, so I am no longer interested.

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  8. One of the perks of being married to someone who is in the Civil Service and works within the prison system (my first husband) is that you are never called for jury service. Now I am far too old in the tooth.

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  9. I have to say that I'm a bit like you. Whenever I have to drive somewhere new I worry about it but, once I'm doing it, I'm fine. I think that we make it more of a problem than it is. XXXX

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    1. We have Sat Nav - or I do, anyway.

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    2. We also have SatNav .... built -in. XXXX

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    3. (So much for my chromatic spacing attempt)

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  10. P would agree with you wholeheartedly about travel. He gave up holidays and travel 20 years ago. He couldn't stand the worry.

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    1. My next holiday destination is going to be reached by automobile - hopefully going back in time 70 years by visiting the Norfolk coast.

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    2. Oh, and that wasn't meant to be offensive to Norfolk - I really do love the way it has staved off the 21st century - all those iron, black and white road signs from my childhood, etc.

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    3. I wasn't offended. I fear you may be a little disappointed that is all. It is 50 years back not 70.

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  11. My anxiety really hits at the end of a holiday when I'm due to return to the 'real world'.

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    1. Try sunning yourself on a Tunisian beach and you might not feel that way, Bea.

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  12. I think about trips and vacation much too much (what shall I take: will it rain? will it be hot? shoes for a dress and shoes for a pair of jeans etc pp...) I learned that is far better for me to travel on a sudden impulse (Alina&I went to NY after one&half week of booking - great, no time to get nervous; only little volume for packing!)
    But then: the older I get the less tension I anticipate (mostly) - I learned that it always worked out. In a surprising way sometimes - but that is good - keeps one from growing-up :-)

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    1. I would travel on sudden impulse, but this would be impossible for me.

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  13. I once received a notice in the mail that I was supposed to be on jury duty. Unfortunately, because I am just a 'registered alien' and not an American citizen, I ended up being excused. Unlike you, though, I was ready to feel 'almighty' and let the hammer drop on someone. So it was quite a disappointment when I didn't get to go.

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    1. I pray I will never have you on my jury when they finally catch up with me.

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  14. I feel benevolence coming on. I might just let you get off easy.

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  15. I can't understand why people of all walks of life don't want to do jury service. It is one of the most important axis of our democratic society. To be judged by your peers ( not a judge) is something that has defined our society and freedoms for hundreds of years. It is crucial that a jury is composed of a mixture of people of different ages, professions, sexes etc. If you have never served nor been accused then you may not know how much of the law enacted is dependent on the decision of 12 ordinary people who sit in judgement.

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  16. I forgot to mention that I have served twice on juries and eventually studied law and was called to the Bar. Not something that was foreseen by the computer horoscope I had done in the swinging sixties in London. Anyway I survived the entrepreneur who devised the scheme which was tied into a computer dating site (he tried to rig it to make me his date) but it eventually turned him into an unhappy millionaire. He sadly committed suicide many years and marriages later.

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  17. I did my own chart. It said I would study painting at college, become a total failure, and end up growing vegetables in France. I was really quite shocked at my accuracy.

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    1. Total failure? Are you still suffering the Winter blues? Anyway, I consol myself that it is not within our remit to declare ourselves total failures, that's a job for others - sometimes 12 others.

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  18. Many years ago I was called to do jury service, but the date quoted was to be a week after I gave birth to my first child! Thank goodness they let me off, and never called again. Didn't know that 70 was a cut off, so I can relax now then! A friend of mine was on a very long murder trial here in St. Albans. I think it was the one where body bits were found in various local country side places. She found it harrowing to say the least!

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    1. In the run-up to my being called, I did a little research and discovered that the cases most feared are the fraud ones. They usually are (I was told) very long, very complicated and very boring, and the jury spends most of its time in complete ignorance about what is really going on. Now a nice, juicy murder, on the other hand...

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