When she was pregnant with me, my mum worked at the Atomic Energy. I don't think she personally handled atoms and I don't think whatever she did there harmed me in any way. Her best friend at the Atomic was carrying at the same time. A girl.
I was born in the cold December of 1961. A Wednesday's woeful child, full of tears.
I've still got the mark where they put the needle in. Antibiotics straight into my chubby little leg. I've got the mark but not the memory. I remember nothing from baby years.
The first thing I can recall is riding my tricycle, legs pumping away like manic sausages, heading along the pavement for my dad as he came home from work, a packet of Murraymints for my consumption about his person.
I don't remember our dog. Dino was named after the Flintstones' pet dinosaur and loved nothing more than to eat my mum's cigarettes. The possible risks of having a small child and a dog together were thought insignificant. But a small child and a dog who eats your cigarettes were too much for my mum's meagre housekeeping to handle. The cigarettes were essentials. So either the child or the dog had to go...
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