If I Could Turn Back Time

Good evening ladies and Gentlemen, My name is @JohnRands_TMTL and I’ll be your Wombat for this evening as I was asked to step in for a week to curate @Wombat37‘s #SundayPics.

And so, aiming not to disappoint, I tried to come up with a theme that would inspire the imagination. So for one week only we fired up the Twitter Time Machine and send a younger version of ourselves a picture postcard saying:

“Hey younger me … SURPRISE!!!”

Now for the most part I’ll be grouping the pics by category, as opposed to listing them in posted order, but I think it only right to start with the first post of the day, @xkylet

Xkylet picture came with a lengthy explanation which I’ll reproduce in full below, so as not to remove any of the meaning.

As you have probably noticed my picture is of my nurses’ uniform top, as my current profession is probably the biggest change in my life over the past few years. My grandfather was a bit of a pioneer in the computer world, nothing famous, just working hard on getting UNIX to talk to printers and the like and this instilled in me an interest in the technical side of life. Following courses at school and college I found I rather liked electrical installation work, you know, wiring and the like. Good bit of conduit bending, always getting the screwheads level (I still tut when I see this not done – no pride in their work!). This lead to me doing BTEC courses in electrical stuff and then higher engineering qualifications. What with one thing and another I ended up going to the University of Surrey and leaving with fond memories and a BEng (Hons) AUS – probably a bit more than required for your electrician.

However, there’s always a ‘however’, about the time I finished uni and went travelling my grandfather fell ill. He had cancer and over 9 months or so he deteriorated and eventually died. I mention this only as I feel it was the catalyst that prompted my change of career. As an engineering student on a course with loads of boys I hung out with a lot of nurses and as my grandfather grew frailer I felt sad that I couldn’t do more for him – I didn’t even know how to help him sit up in bed without pain! I discussed this occasionally with a friend, but not too much as I’m a funny bugger.

My grandfather passed I entered my first job in engineering and did OK, nothing amazing, just OK. I stuck at it for 5 years until eventually events at work and an opportunity to travel again made handing in my notice the right thing to do – when I returned I decided to go back to uni to add three more letters after my name – RNA.

Anyhoo, so that’s that. I started off wanting to be an electrician, switched to engineering and have ended up a nurse. All because of a few little things. But they all add up.


That certainly set the tone for the day, as most people seemed to have looked similarly deep inside to find something of meaning to say this week.

@inhumanbeing says that the young man who was aiming to be a rock climber 20 years ago would be very surprised to find that he traded his harness and crabs (hurr hurr) for this modern accessory.

And if the boys think they’ve gone a long way in terms of career, the girls have them beaten hands down in terms of mileage.

tells herself “Ja, you REALLY made it to Europe & even found a Husband there!” and has the papers to prove it, and @Starlitwolf put together this fantastic illustration showing her journey from single lady in America (with dog) to wife and mother living in the UK (and yes, the dog came too)

Would have laughed in our faces (apparently) if we’d told her she’d be living in the Midlands, with this merry archer, and @ScullyScully would similarly have never have believed that she would not always live in London.

Conversely instead of surprise from she travelled to, @ButMadNNW‘s younger counterpart would be surprised by where she returned to, saying “Hiya, 17-year-old me. Remember the move to CA & swearing you’d NEVER return to the MidWest? Well…”

I believe the snow signifies not only the American MidWest, but also what real snow is like (for the benefit of we countries that shut down over winter)

And while the thread turns to the idea of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose @MrsTrevithick delighted me by telling her younger self that “You Never Will Learn That Horizontal Stripes Do NOT Flatter You” (I had honestly not considered that our younger selves may be surprised by what hasn’t changed)

Right, now seems a good time for an interlude – but don’t go running to the lobby for your ice creams now, for we have musical entertainment between acts.

@matt_cochr‘s submission is probably unique in this weeks submissions as not only would his younger self not have believed he’d be a degree student on an internship working on a Peter Gabriel video, but from the sounds of it he doesn’t entirely believe it to this day. Apparently he worked on hanging those lights to give the illusion of daylight.

Now technically @thom_white‘s photo didn’t come with a song attached, but when he suggested his younger self might have been surprised to find that he married his best friend’s girlfriend, one song flew immediately to mind (apologies if it is inappropriate)

And finally in music @OldMotherRiley provided this screenshot of a YouTube video (and yes, I did indeed try clicking play several times before I twigged it was only a picture)

Her younger self would not have known what this was, let alone that she’d play it.

For the record I also have no idea what it was, but have been reliably informed that it is a serpent and sounds similar to a flatulent hippo (I don’t know about you dear readers, but I’m gonna take that on faith and not bring the two things together to compare)

OldMotherRiley didn’t include a link to the video, but the miracles of modern technology provide the following.

Which brings us to an interesting point. OldMotherRiley also says her younger self would have quite rightly asked “What’s Youtube?” (“A place to see videos from all over the world? Pull the other one, its got bells on” – please excuse the mandatory morris pun I had to add there, JR)

Because it only stands to reason, if our younger selves are in the past we are people from the FUTURE!!!!

Who is that masked man, and where does he get those wonderful toys? Who knows, but @Keith_C_Jarrett aged 10 would have gotten into cars with any stranger wielding this futuristic device.

@TiggerLlily would have been amazed to know she would have a camera which could also tell her where her photos were taken, or that she would be so widely travelled. I assume this is an IPhone?
Well if so then @Alliterative would apparently use the same futuristic device to show his skinny younger self that he will find himself with weight that is a bit high, high cholesterol and triglyceride.

@hastillonlyme‘s younger self would have been surprised to find herself with a computer, and also to find herself with an 18 year old Son to fix it. (The photo does cone with the label reiterating that she does mean Son)

My surprise is that looking at the left of the picture, he appears to be fixing it with the aid of Jams and preserves!

Which brings us into family – quite a few people will surprise their younger selves by being family men and women.

@Janegoth provided this beautiful photo from what was obviously one of the happiest times in her life, which she’s sending both to her 20 year old self who’d be surprised she had a family so late, and her 33 year old self who didn’t think it’d happen at all.

If you look closely at the little diva in this next picture you may see @ed_moose wrapped around her little finger. Young Ed will be surprised that he’ll help produce something so cute.

@ThatLauraKnox also has a daughter posing for a shot, and writes on her time travelling postcard “Dear young one, you will have a beautiful daughter who will do you proud”

And having gone from birth to young adulthood, we return like the cirle of life to this scary assortment of implements that @babymakingfiles used for the purposes of … babymaking as she never EVER thought she’d have to shoot up IVF drugs to get pregnant.

Most followers of both SundayPics and @AMeadey were suitably impressed by this offering. AMeadey chose this image as she never would have thought she’d not only have kids but have the ability to make a Train Cake

On a similar creative theme @andromedababe shows off some artwork, saying she never dreamed she’d be Infant Teacher! (Which I assume means a teacher of infants)

Also on the subject of both careers and art, please join me in welcoming my friend @eventexposures who joins sundaypics for the first time this week (largely due to my badgering) and says “Dear younger self, YES u can make a life doing what you love … ignore those who tell you otherwise” I can tell you that this is her photography gallery/studio in the Brighton Marina – and yes, that is a car in there.

And since it appears that the eyes have it right now, with all this lovely artwork, how about a closeup of @Ariadnes_webs eyes and her surprise to her younger self, which she sums up in the single word “Lines”
@davidtims vain younger self would never have predicted needing eyeglasses in his 3rd decade.

Please note, David’s head may be slightly less coconutty than pictured in real life.

And again looking at eye-balls @Ironthighs had Mr Ironthighs make this happy looking chap to signify that ‘good walk ruined’ – golf. A game that Ironthighs younger self would have been surprised to know she would grow up to understand.
While we are in the great outdoors @alezed sends us this picture to show off her boyfriend. No really he’s there, in the distance. Hmmm, does anyone else remember the Monty Python sketch “Not being seen”.
Alezed doesn’t say what would surprise her younger self. I’ll assume she means either being with a fellah that I’m sure makes her so happy, or being with one who seems to walk a long distance away from her.

@keithy73 writes “Dear younger self, stop twisting your face & enjoy this (castle not the sheep’s bottom)”
More sheep (although not mooning the camrea this time) in the image from @CymraesCoch who as a homeless 19 year old in the Midlands I certainly never imagined living somewhere like this. And lovely it looks too.

Continuing the thread of house and home @mooglemeg shows us this healthy looking house-plant, which would surprise her younger self as she used to have a phobia of them throughout her childhood (back to room 101?).
@louwiseman‘s younger self would also be surprised by the fact that she would LIKE gardening, and that she would have decking (its not specified in her tweet but I assume that its her garden that is decked, not Lou)

Now Lou did a #SundayPics naughty and submitted two pics this week. Normally one would be picked by the curator and the other left out but I will allow this as a one off for reasons that will be apparent shortly.
In Lou’s original post Lou writes “Dear younger me,surprise: you’ll take up running @ 39 & ACTUALLY LOVE IT!!” – incidentally, a respectable time on the board there.
@Julietims younger self would have died of shock seeing this picture of her and the rest of #TeamTims in the Great Manchester Run. Although JT does point out the unfortunate Grandfather Paradox caused by making your younger self die of shock.

@Miss_Housemouse tells us that she’s had arthritic hips since childhood so it’s a surprise that she now spends her spare time doing this…

Which brings me to my own humble submission. This little collection of race tee shirts, medals, bib numbers, prescription goggles, wetsuit and running hat (Gosh, does that hat say TweetFeetUK, is this somehow connected to the fledgling running blog and twitter account? Hmm, maybe.)

Back when my younger self was still TBTL I would never have imagined doing so many active activities, including my run events and the paddle round the Brighton Pier (well, almost around)

Having done one of those very 10k runs on the day of this sundaypics this brings my mind to injuries (trust me, its a relevant link) which is the best opportunity to bring in @Moschops66 who offered us the opportunity to admire this needlework, something his younger self wouldn’t have foreseen.

Hopefully no such injuries were present for @MacJude on this skydive, although I have it on good authority the only injury was a cupid arrow in the heart. Why? Because on this jump 6 years ago she had no idea she’d just met her future husband

Which us nicely back to family matters, this time the people out there whose younger selves would have been surprised by spouses and partners.

You may want to know who that attractive young thing in the car is … Well its Wombat driving one of the Wombettes off to university. This offering was from @little_mavis. Apparently she’s known Wombat since the age of 14 and didn’t expect to find herself married to him, nor would she have expected to have two daughters off at university.

@sarahpez says “Dear younger me: surprise! I never thought I would find a hubbie at Uni that is an awesome cook” Which is understandable, who would expect to find anyone who can cook in an average uni?

The next two entries would have been equally at home in one of the earlier sundaypics – Weddings.

On the left we have @MrsSuze who says “That’s me in the dress and in the suit. Whooda thunk it?”

On the right in black and white (and I do love a bit of monochrome) @ToffeegirlUK says rather touchingly “Dear Younger Me: Surprise! I never thought I’d ever marry the man of my dreams and be happy with him! “

And since we’ve just had pictures of people dressed fancy in our time warping photo collection, how about some fancy dress?

On the right we see @white76 who never thought she’d go out like this.

As this week’s SundayPics draws to a close lets look at more of the people important to us. having dwelled on kids and spouses lets remember how important our own folks can be to us (and the parents amongst us hope our kids do the same)

@flossieTP offers this beautiful photo, another lovely black and white shot. This thumbnail doesn’t do it justice, and I urge you look at the full picture. As a little bonus one of the articles on the paper is about twitter.

Flossie says “I never really thought my dad would get old. It’s really hard to see such a strong man grow frail.”

@jamerz3294 offers another of my favourite shots and stories from the day. Why would this surprise his younger self? Well as he says…

“Hello young me, here’s a picture of our Birth Mom, we were reunited in NYC onstage of the Sally Jesse”

And so as I put the milk bottles on the step, turn out the lights and rattle through the overcrowded keyring of SundayPics ready to lock up and pass it back to its creator I bit you all good day, thank you all for your support and for those who sent photos in thank you for sharing your images and stories with me, twitter and the blog readers.

But of course I can’t leave yet, and you should have all spotted one regular contrinuter is so far missing. Well they do say nice guys finish last. and so by rights last place goes to our very own wombat (this may be because he likes being called nice, or because he would like making a joke about ‘finishing’)

Dear Younger Me, it sounds impossible to you, but 1 day you WILL support a team other than Rotherham


About wombat37

A Yorkshireman in the green hills of Lancashire, UK Not a real wombat, obviously, or typing would become an issue. I do have short legs and a hairy nose, however. Oh, & a distinctive smell.

Posted on October 4, 2010, in Hey younger me ... SURPRISE. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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