The history, Part 2

‘Oop North was pretty good. We built our own house or at least some builders did. This involved lots of running about on scaffolding wearing a bike helmet and generally getting in the way. I started school. It was good. I was a shy, slightly withdrawn child but nevertheless school suited me. I don’t recall any particular problems fitting in or making friends. My two best friends, Amy and Nicola, and I were inseparable. So much so that one school photograph day we all turned up wearing the same dress (and no, the school didn’t have a uniform). I’ve always believed this was a genuine coincidence but thinking about it, it seems more the sort of thing scheming parents would have done for the “Awwww” effect. Every Friday after school, we’d travel to each others houses to eat little fishes, chips and beans and watch the Animals of Farthing Wood on cBBC. They were good, innocent times and I was happy.

When I was eight we moved again and this time it was slightly further afield than half way up the country. My parents are both teachers. Before my brother and I were born, they taught in Kuwait and were never really settled in the UK. I remember my parents telling me they had to talk to us about something important. How did we feel about moving abroad? But where to? Karachi, Pakistan. I was vaguely aware that such a country existed but couldn’t have told you anything about it or even locate it on a map.

Six months later we were all on an aeroplane and fleeing the country…


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