For a long time I've blamed this:
But I'm doing a poetry workshop in a few days' time about childhood and where we come from and I've been gathering a few bits and pieces that are triggers for writing about my past: a thruppenny bit, black and white photos, an old school exercise book, a red hardback Famous Five book. I've bought some things too: Green Shield stamps, Black Jacks and Fruit Salads ... and this:
God, I remember it so well! My first reading book. And the joy of reading it all by myself. The heady independence!
I mean, I can still recite it. And suddenly I am four all over again.
I remember the eponymous dog also. Rover! He was black, he was. And quite big. He loved playing with his ball. He was -
A BLOODY BORDER COLLIE!