One Christmas we all got yo-yos. I didn’t even want a yo-yo, but my brothers did, so I wanted a yo-yo. Mum accidentally gave my the red yo-yo in my stocking, which Tom wanted, and I wouldn’t let him have it because it was in my stocking and therefore mine, until he cried so much about it that Mum made me swap with him. I can’t remember what colour I ended up with, maybe it was yellow. The yo-yos were plastic and sparkly because they were full of glitter set in some kind of resin, I guess, and the string around them was white and I remember it being a nice material. If I unspooled my yo-yo it would hit the ground, so I had to stand on the kitchen table and yo-yo off the edge of it for extra height. I wasn’t very good (I wasn’t very good at most activities) so usually the yo-yo wouldn’t come back, and I’d have to wrap the string back around it.

Maybe it was the same Christmas that Tom and I put Christmas decorations on Toffee the Hamster’s hamster cage. They were little plastic bells and baubles with red pipe-cleaner bits so you could wrap them around the branches of a Christmas tree or something. After we wrapped them around the cage, Toffee ate some of them, and he died not long after that. I remember Edd cried. I feel pretty bad about Toffee, now.

Rob had some meccano, when we lived at Viney Avenue, and he used to make things with it on the floor in the boys’ bedroom. Tom and Edd had bunkbeds and Rob had his own bed, and I had my own bedroom, and my bed was a platform made over the top of the staircase. My bedroom didn’t have a door. I know that I don’t remember the upstairs of the house very well, because when I try to picture it I just see a slight reconfiguration of the house we lived in afterwards, the one that is still ‘home’ now. We had a lot of lego, which was kept in a big red toybox. Much later that red toybox was used to bathe Tess, the dog. I remember when we played with the lego it had to be poured out onto an old bedsheet, so that when we were finished with it you could bundle up the sheet and pour it back into the box. Some of the lego was for building a pirate ship, which had real fabric sails, but most of it was ordinary bricks. We had a game which had something to do with crocodiles, and rope bridges, and little bars of gold. I remember the game because I liked very much the little bars of gold.

In the back garden there were some pretty little blue flowers growing out of the cracks between the paving slabs. I asked Mum what they were called, and she said that they were called Forget-Me-Nots. I decided that Forget-Me-Nots were my favourite flower.