I can’t remember my first bedroom. I can’t remember my first house. I can remember random bits of goings on. A goldfish which died and floated on its side, eating fish fingers. A small black and white television, Opportunity Knocks, The Generation Game and way, way back, something hosted by Cliff Richard and Sandy Shaw on the Eurovision Song Contest. There was the Beatles’ All You Need is Love and a very floppy 45 record my sister had which probably came out of a comic. She went to Brampton Down School for Girls where they wore straw hats and had tuck boxes. I went to a nursery where I won a pop-up puppet for my eggs in a basket made out of Plasticine and then I went to another school on the corner where we played British Bulldog at breaktime and sang Morning Has Broken in a sunny room to someone playing an upright piano. I remember my nanny and a French lady called Francoise. I remember the Red Arrows flying over, going to see a hovercraft at the airport and being sent home to build igloos in the garden when it snowed heavily. I remember lying across the red leather seat of our Triumph 2000, the lines of stitching making lines on my cheeks as we went along the roads through the flat marshes on a Sunday listening to Sing Something Simple on the radio. I remember a French onion seller on a bike, my red tricycle with the yellow wheels, bonfires in the garden in autumn and Alfie the collie dog next door at the vicarage.
This evening I’ve been for a walk with a 91-year-old dog who tries to bite every other male dog he meets, a 5-year-old on her first outing with an iPod in her pocket (her last, I’ve decided) and a 3-year-old who insisted on coming even though he was obviously far too tired, moaned, pulled me in the opposite direction to the dog, needed to go to the toilet in a bush, tried pull the head off someone’s pampas grass and at one point clung onto some railings firmly and refused to move. Next time, I’m going on my own. At the time of writing, I’m talking to my eldest son on MSN about the effects of a Pepper Passion Pizza he ate at the weekend, which guitar he should buy, negotiating the price of said guitar with his grandmother, fielding sales calls from people who want to give me a free kitchen and trying to think what I have got to do for tomorrow. Oh, and I’m trying to remember my first bedroom.