What Happened????

Personality-wise I like to think I mostly resemble my paternal grandfather.

He was a keen gardener, very quiet and patient and with a wry sense of humour.

He loved solitary early morning walks in the nearby countryside and along the coast. During the summer holidays I would be allowed to go with him and loved it, walking in silence and seeing the wild animals in the early morning light. Water Voles are almost extinct here now but then they were plentiful around the old flooded quarries and I enjoyed watching their antics.

Water Vole pic from the BBC


Lately I have been thinking about those walks a lot. They were a big part in forming the person I became. I even looked on Google satellite view to reassure myself that those places still exist – they do. Maybe next spring I will travel there and do those walks one more time, with my camera.

Meanwhile, maybe it is not only him I resemble now…:

A horrible realisation occurred to me when I was drafting my contribution to October’s WFNC. Allow me to explain.

You know the old generalisation about women turning into their mothers? And middle-aged men turning back into teenagers (at least in their dreams)?

I think I have turned into my old boss.

I started working for my current employers when I was only 25.

My boss at the time was a very pleasant guy but some of his quirks seemed very alien to 25 year old me:

  1. His closest friends were all women, whereas I had been working in an all-male environment for 7 years and regarded women as being mysterious and possibly dangerous. It took me years to work out that this appraisal was very accurate 😉
  2. Though he had a license – he refused to drive and hated cars.
  3. In his early-fifties then, he was already jaded and frustrated by bureaucracy and desperate to retire
  4. He was never happier than when in the workshop tinkering with building his own lab equipment.
  5. He was a very keen photographer.
  6. He liked Cricket. He was very disappointed that his new recruit had zero interest in joining the site team.
  7. He had a love of old brass tools and similar objects, to the point where it was a running joke around the site.

I learned quickly just to humor the old bugger.

Fast forward 28 years…

I am now 53, a non-driver by choice, with all-female friends and am very jaded with work except when tinkering with lab equipment. Then I started putting together the latest WFNC post and realised that my prized photographic props were….

Antique brass tools, all of which I bought recently. I even have a hoard of old brass Bunsen-burners in my office that I rescued from the rubbish last year…

Thankfully Cricket still bores me rigid, so I know the transformation is not complete!

But it does prompt me to wonder – do my younger colleagues really like or respect me? Or are they too, in their turn, just humoring the old bugger…..

Who have you grown to resemble over the years?


  1. I highly recommend getting out more to see the plants and animals, Darren. It makes me feel alive. Even did it in winter last year and surprised myself by enjoying it. That was a hint by the way. 🙂

    If it is any consolation, my son who is nearly 25yo, has many friends who are in their 60s and 70s. He is assisting two golden oldies with their research for a book on native orchids. They do lots of field trips. If I could be half as fit as they are, I would be very happy. My son is certainly not typical though. I blame his father for that. 🙂 So what you need is a young, quirky friend who drives a car so that you can go exploring every now and then. Aren’t I full of advice? 🙂

    I breathed a sigh of relief when you said cricket bored you rigid.

    I look like my father but thanks to my family, I don’t think like him (well not much anyway).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are right Tracy, and I should get out in nature more. We used to live a mile from a lovely nature reserve and I spent a lot of time there in my 20s. But I was working 12 hour shifts and had a lot more days off.
      I envy your son actually. I have a great interest in your native orchids and have grown quite a few too.
      Like him I always got on better with people a generation older and I think because my interests were more aligned with theirs than with my peers. I have been on many botanical trips with old timers who put my fitness to shame!
      I look like a mix of my parents really but glad I resisted inheriting my mother’s less pleasant personality quirks…

      Liked by 3 people

  2. What a lovely post Darren. I used to explore streams as a child and build dams with stones. I fancied myself as an explorer… Sadly, I don’t remember ever seeing water voles.
    I am not sure who I take after these days, maybe my late father. He loved pottering in the garden, eating out and dressing up in nice suits. He was also a great dancer, which I rarely do these days.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was forever exploring ponds! Freshwater bugs and things always fascinated me and are why I bought my first microscope when still at primary school😄.
      Your father sounds a cool guy. Dancing is something I have never even tried…..yet…

      Liked by 3 people

  3. What a lovely read! Since being out here and finding that US tv channels are fairly rubbish, we’ve joined Netflix. On Netflix there is a series called Travels With My Father which is a documentary about Jack Whitehall the comedian and actor taking his father to some rather wonderful and far flung places. Seeing the two generations together is fantastic … the differences, the similarities and ultimately, the love. It’s amusing to say the least and I find myself sort of in between the two of them. Jack Whitehall must be early 30’s and I think his father is late 70’s (he was married before and then met his younger wife). So I find myself loving Jack’s effervescence but also wanting to share the grumpiness of his father. Lovely post and forgive my rambling, it’s just that you made me ponder as to where I am on the age scale! Kx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Katie😍. I have never seen their show but saw them together on ‘Who do you think you are?’ and was fascinated by their dynamic.
      Apparently we are supposed to get more conservative as we age. I, forever the oddball, am going the opposite way! X

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ha! I think as we get older we begin to understand old bosses, family, and even our younger selves – and our naive outlook. I definitely have wondered how much I’m turning into my mom. Sometimes it’s not funny because I don’t want to be a nag to my partner. But it’s kind of crazy, really, we were raised by these people! Anyway, loved your little reflection – and that killer brass collection. 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Lani. I think you are right and experience changes things. I was estranged from my parents for decades so lacked role models really.
      The bunsen burners I thought might make a cool sculpture for someone with the right tools.


  5. I am so glad you haven’t succumbed to whatever attraction cricket is meant to have!!
    If it helps, I suspect that many younger people (Tracy’s son probably excepted) don’t really “get” respect quite the same way. I think appreciation of experience and wisdom come with, er …. experience and wisdom.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m much the same. And spending years as a parent at endless soccer matches has made it so much worse. I’ve seen more aggressive behaviour from parents of competing nine year olds than I would ever have believed possible — and not always only towards “the opposition.” I was so relieved when my kid gave up team sports!

        Liked by 3 people

  6. I think it’s good we don’t know what people think of us!! I think I must have got mixed up in the hospital as I’m not like either of my parents, although it does frighten me when I get the urge to brush stray hairs off someone’s shoulders…my mum does it all the time!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I hope to never be like my mom. I do find myself emulating some of her tendencies, though. Oddly, my youngest reminds me a lot of my dad. We see it in videos my dad took of himself working on jukeboxes or model airplanes. This is odd cuz the two met maybe three times and are only related by marriage (Dad was my 4th dad).

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Love this post. “Maybe next spring I will travel there and do those walks one more time, with my camera.” Yes, please do go back and do just that. I would love to see a water vole. So glad that cricket still bores you rigid – the other traits are all admirable 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Such a funny post Darren. Thanks for the smile. Yes, yes, yes… Do those walks one more time with your camera! Revisiting places from your childhood might lead you to uncover another layer of the places, and of your past. I like Tracy’s suggestion too: ” Find a young, quirky friend who drives a car so that you can go exploring every now and then.” I am not so young anymore, but apart from that detail I’d say that I fit this profile. Anytime my friend! xx

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Oh dear. I think I am turning into my mother and that is a terrible thought. She was dead by 65! I might look like her physically (and all the bad genes that go with that) but do feel healthy at 62 and have a better outlook on life, just! 😂
    Seriously, we are all different to eac other and different to the younger us too… I call it wisdom! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My wife has always been like her mother who died at 68 but has a healthier lifestyle. Her mother was already half crippled by arthritis by 50 but my wife has no sign of it.
      I feel younger than I did at 30😉😄


  11. This made me laugh. We seem to morph into someone as we age. I am partial to your collection. I think Tracy and Do are right. You know some of the best photos are with Do driving 😉 I have become a mix of my mom and dad. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Such a fun read, Darren! 😄 It reminds me of a quote by Oscar Wilde I recently came across:
    “Children begin by loving their parents;
    as they grow older they judge them;
    sometimes they forgive them.”
    I think this could be true for bosses too. 😉
    And I love those brass instruments! They’re so cool and will make for some awesome background in your photos like in the one with the coffee beans and leaves last time. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Sarah! I love the Oscar Wilde quote. I confess I am not good at the whole ‘forgiving’ thing…
      Potential use of the brass items as photo props is the excuse I intend to use for buying such things 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  13. lovely post. I don’t know who I resemble. I’m turning into someone who likes to get into her pjs at 6pm, doesn’t like big groups of people anymore and will probably be a recluse in 20 years times 😉 with cats hahaha 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love the post Darren and I love you as you are……old bugger in the end always win😉as for me I must say I m a good mix between my grandpa and my step dad but I don’t really think about personality resemblance , or, to explain myself better , there is in the beginning but then life experiences make us all unique.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sabina. You are so sweet❤. I agree with what you say about experience making us all unique!
      I was thinking this morning that early in my career there were always much older and more experienced colleagues to rely on if advice were needed, people who had seen it all. Now I realise that I have become that person in my department but on the inside I still feel as bewildered as I did when I was 25! X

      Liked by 1 person

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