Watching children’s TV in my Balham flat was a great way of establishing which career I might (or might not) follow.
Monday’s Picture Book asked children, “Do you think you can do this?” Well, no, because it is lunchtime, I’m only four and I’m on my break; I can erect a box girder bridge after my afternoon nap.
Tuesday’s example showed Andy Pandy – a man in a clown suit, whose only friend was his Teddy. As an only child, I could identify with this; for many years, my best friend was a glove puppet. Living in a box didn’t appeal, though.
Living in a flowerpot with an inarticulate neighbour had even less of an attraction. Coupled with forever being on the run from the gardener would have meant I’d have had totally frayed nerves by the time I was ten.
I always felt with Rag, Tag and Bobtail on Thursdays was a recipe for social disaster. Hedgehog, mouse and rabbit respectively – you’ve only got to be living near a cat and it’s Goodnight, Vienna (where Mary, Mungo and Midge was set).
Which left Friday – you’re running out of days for any career guidance inspiration.
Did I want to work on a farm? Did I want to be subservient, as clearly Mr and Mrs Scrubbitt were? Watching The Woodentops ruled out potentially being a vet, cleaner, farmhand, twin-child psychologist or spotted dog.
It would take several years before I found my métier. I eventually became a dragon, making soup on a remote planet.