What if HMS Rye hadn’t run out of smoke canisters whilst escorting a convoy in the Med in 1943? Well I wouldn’t be here and neither would my children and grandchildren.
What if my mum hadn’t persuaded me to go to a works dance with her in 1973 and I’d gone to the disco I’d been planning to go to with my mates instead? Could I have ended up married to someone else?
Life is full of what ifs and when you really start to think about it, it snowballs and you just end up thinking of more and more.
What ifs can get you started on a story.
What if all the people in this photograph were still alive? Well it would be a miracle – my grandad, his younger brother Willie and older sister Olive would all be well over 110 years old.
What if my great aunt and her daughter hadn’t rented a flat in that house when they were over here on holiday (they lived in Sydney)? That very glamorous looking blonde lady (I remember vividly how in awe I was of her) owned the house and I’m pretty sure that after their conversations with Aunt Olive they made the decision to emigrate and went to live in Perth.
I only know for sure that three of the people in that photograph are still with us. That poor unfortunate child at the front in the frothy yellow dress is definitely still with us. She’s sitting here right now, on my chair, using my computer and wondering why her mum made her wear a party dress that day, or perhaps it was her decision, too long ago to remember.
And that pretty young lady at the front on the right is my cousin Pat, one of the nicest people I ever knew and one of the best friends I ever had. She died much too young, much too soon and I will never stop missing her.