Chapter 1.

I have many flashes of early memory.

Dad carrying me in his arms across what I now know to be Waterloo Station.   Visiting Gran’ma Ruberry, Dad’s mother, in hospital where she died when I was two.   Playing with a china cockerel in somebody’s yard and seeing hatless soldiers marching past without guns – “That was my Aunt’s house in Epsom and they were Home Guards”.

Hearing a voice on the wireless and being told it was Churchill.   Pop Ruberry, Dad’s stepfather, coming to stay with us in Wolverhampton for a holiday – I liked him because he always smiled and had grey hair.

Looking through a picture book at a coloured drawing of a wooden man with long hair lying in bed and me thinking it was Gran’ma Ruberry when last I saw her.   And reading book about a barrage-balloon who lived in the blue clouds and came down only to eat fluffy pink porridge.

Sitting on Gran’dad Bayliss’s lawn with Dad and waving to two Spitfires and being told when I was a bit older that the plane just ahead of them was a “Jerry” who they’d been chasing.

Memories, joyfully nostalgic – a two-edged sword.

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