My little brother has just celebrated his 21st birthday. He is much taller - and certainly more grown-up than I was at that age.
I hit the magic number in the middle of a heatwave. It was the summer of Nessum Dorma and Gazza’s tears; Madonna was Vogueing and I had a holiday job picking strawberries. The majority of my big day was spent in bed feeling sorry for myself – I had lain in the sun too long the previous day and had burnt my back. I was tempted out with cards and parcels that had arrived in the post from my far-away family and friends, and a proffered glass of gin mixed with champagne. It made me maudlin and melodramatic.
It was a summer of transitions: I was a month out of university and a month out of the relationship with my first great love. I spent a lot of time navel-gazing as I hovered on the cusp between two different worlds. It was a time of freedom and opportunity, but I felt the rug had been pulled from under my feet.
If Dr Who offered to whiz me back there in the Tardis, it would be interesting to visit my 21-year-old self. I’d like to tell her that everything would work out OK; but I wouldn’t want to swap places with her.