Dino went to a good home and I was allowed my own space. I was an only child and I soon learned to play alone, happy in the company of Baby and Daddy Mugger, my two pandas.
My first few years were spent in Welling, not far from where Kate Bush was growing up. Except she lived on a farm. A Welling with a farm is a different Welling from the Welling I've always known. Maybe she lived in a magical, invisible farm in the sky above Welling.
My mum and dad were pretty close to their respective sisters and parents so there was quite a lot of visiting. I didn't enjoy the company of people outside my immediate family. I knew most of them were nice and they gave me nice drinks and nice things to eat but I would rather have been alone with Baby and Daddy Mugger and my toy cars. I loved the shapes and colours and metallic feel of the cars and they would tootle along at a nice slow pace under my gentle guidance. I had no truck with those children who hurtled their cars along as if they were machines of destruction. Those crashing, smashing little bastards were all around but not yet destroying my toys. Not yet.
When I was four my dad got a job as an engraver for the Shand Kydd wallpaper company. The job was on the south coast and we upped sticks for Christchurch. The next year was to be one of the happiest years of my life and one of my mum's most miserable. They say you can't please all the people...
Some book reviews
9 hours ago