The piper in the loft

The piper in the loft

Long before our loft was converted for the sole use of the son of the household, strange noises could frequently be heard coming from (usually) the front room. The sounds I was making as I learned the fingering for my recorder. The idea came from my mother, who had...
The boy in the attic

The boy in the attic

Triang’s model of the ‘Princess Royal’ – pride of my model railway collection. However much you love a young son, the time will come when you may well wish that he had a place of his own to play… For me, that wish was fulfilled – in...
Out and about in Woldingham

Out and about in Woldingham

My childhood was – in comparison with what most children today experience – one long adventure. The 1950s were in some ways a more innocent time (and certainly less paranoid). It was quite normal for even quite young children to be out all day, and...
Encounters with mortality

Encounters with mortality

My much-loved Uncle Herman died while I was still very young. My mother – naturally – wanted to attend his funeral. And, with some considerable hesitation, took me along as well. What she hadn’t counted on was the open coffin. So what did I see? I...
Denmark – my motherland

Denmark – my motherland

Visiting my Danish grandmother (‘Mormor’) in her flat – the portrait on the right is of my Uncle Herman The arrival of a new scion of the Tofte clan – me – needed celebration in true Danish style. But in the early years of my life I...