One Summer, when I was 15, my Mum hosted some students from Spain – who both fell in love with my elder brother (and possibly my kind and lovely parents). Soon we had a house full of students – and their friends, and their friends, and their friends. One day, when my Mum was almost going crazy with so many teenagers, the doorbell rang. I opened the door to find our friend Josie Popple, holding a towering stack of cake tins: ‘just something to feed the young’. I think my Mum almost fainted with joy!
She must have baked for days, and if I know anything about kindness at all, it’s in the shape of Mrs Popple and her cakes.
Years later, when she died, she left me this hat, because she thought it would ‘suit me’. Another unexpected joy! I thought of it today, and put it on (the benefits of working at home). I think I have drawn my 15 year old self in it, casually disregarding… let’s say 25 years. You can call that artistic licence.