I wanted to be an Astronaut amongst other things
Lads What did you want to be when growing up
From an early age you just never really fully understood the things older people did or why they did them .The idea of having a job or going to work, well that was for the grown ups and that was beyond our needs or wants .We were the next super hero, sport star or pin up.
Wind the clock back to the happy days of the long summer holidays or in the back yard or adventures on the river bank we set in motion our future plans. We were going to live out our lives through our comic books, annuals or just by playing in the street. Dreaming the dream was our bedrock and the mundane never got a mention. Such creativity which seems to pass for most with age was the stuff that made our tiny minds go to places only the likes of Captain Kirk and the superstars of that time visited ,we for a few short years were to believe anything is possible .For the many where did it all go wrong ?
For a bit of fun we carried out a bit of ‘research ‘in the office to ask what they dreamed of doing when they grew up and came up with a short list.
Astronaut. (Or Spaceman)
Undoubtedly has to be the choice of most boys at some time of their formative years, dreaming of going into space or flying the shuttle or a rocket. The chance to travel to Mars or even make believe planets was a thrilling concept .Our Dan Dare comics or the timeless ‘Star Wars ‘ saga made it an easy choice as a future career visiting far flung planets and boldly going……
The chances of actually becoming an astronaut though is highly unlikely. A degree in or acareer in engineering, science, medicine are pre-requisites. Some astronauts come from a military background .Every 2 years NASA receives an average of 4,015 applications from those wanting to become an astronaut to fill around 20 places every 2 years. The screening is extremely tough and thorough .Around 120 trainees are invited back from that original number to the Johnston Space centre for a week of interviews, medicals etc
Many then drop out because they fail the medical, the training and also when they find out what the job really entails as it will put pressure on them like never before.
Growing up in the 1970′s and 1980′s seemed an era where Britain’s streets should have been safe as houses. You can quite easily rattle of 5 or so detectives from the small screen who were impulsive viewing for both young and Old. From the Professionals, The Bill, Taggart, The Sweeney, Shoestring …to step across the Atlantic with Magnum, Starsky and Hutch and Kojak .The list goes on.
But fighting crime or cracking a case is no glamour business but can be a tough unnerving career whether it is working locally or nationally. Progression in the State sector to becoming a detective obviously starts with joining the Police where then you will progress to the ranks of the CID or onto areas of intelligence with MI5 or MI6.
A private investigator (often abbreviated to PI and informally called a private eye), or inquiry agent, is a individula who can be hired by groups to undertake investigation work. Nowadays they are referred to as ‘Professional Investigators’ and carry out various detailed work in the area of covert or sensitive projects.
A real glamour career this one. Formula One on the BBC on a Sunday afternoon ,as it does today,would beam all the glitz and speed into our living rooms from circuits from around the world.
Unable to get to Monza or Monte Carlo , those young fans wanting to live out the adrenalin of this sport would manufacture a ‘bogey’ from the wheels of an old pram and planks of wood, with bit of string or rope for the steering wheel. Priceless fun .This may have been as far as most would be Jackie Stewarts or Paul Di Resta’s got.
To become a racing driver, one of the most lucrative of all sporting careers has to be one of the most challenging and difficult to crack.
A grounding in Kart racing is a normal first step through the Silverstone Race School, Formula Renault or Zip formula and F3 before the ultimate step to F1.But alas this rites of passage through the motor sport ranks requires a lot of money and investment .Scholarships to assist progression are available but more often or not sponsorship or an investor is the pre-requisite to this most glamorous career.
Compared to becoming a Formula one star, the probability of making into a career as pro-footballer is much more of likelihood as you don’t need money but talent.
In the days before council regulations of ‘No ball Games’ and green fields being sold off for property development,the site of football being played by the youth and the young was a commonplace across the land. Indeed playing in the street was normal. Many dreamed of pulling on the jersey of our favourite club and even better of our Country .Following in the footsteps of Kenny Dalglish and Joe Jordan our boyhood heroes.
Again to shine in this competitive arena you had to stand out to catch the eye of the School coach or even a Scout from a local club or Pro–Team. Many are not good enough to get that call ,some talented individuals also lose interest when their eye catches other more attractive distractions, whilst a minority do go to the professional ranks .
Unfortunately my school yard games of ‘world cup’ were my only taste of playing for Scotland .Enjoyed it though.
Girls got dolls .Boys got a gun. That’s the way it was when most of us were growing up. In the gardens or waste ground for many the toy fight between the British and Gerries (maybe a bit politically incorrect nowadays,with reference to WW11) was an intense game between two groups who would go home muddy and weary. The choice gift at Christmas, birthdays or Saturday morning in the toyshop was a cap or water gun or plastic machine gun. These toys’ allowed us to be a crack soldier taking on the enemy who hid in your neighbour’s garden or who were holed up behind the coal bunker, whimsical and thoroughly exciting.
A real career in the army though, for most, is not an immediate career choice as the reality is that it is a very tough and dangerous job, with the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan freshly illustrating the risks of joining up. The British army is one of the best armies in the world and for those who choose and are selected can expect a rewarding career with travel, attainment of skills and fulfilment of a kind that many of us can only dream of.