FIRST CHAPTER 

1932-1937. February 3. Aquarian girl child.

BORN ON THE SIDE OF A MOUNTAIN IN SOUTH WALES. CLOSE TO THE REASSURING SHADOW OF THE CHAPEL. GREW ACCUSTOMED TO THE SCENTS OF MY GRANDFATHERíS GARDEN. ROSES AND RHUBARB. FORGET-ME NOTS AND VIOLETS. HYACYNTHS AND DAFFODILS.GERANIUMS AND FUSCHIAS. BIRTH IN PONTYCYMMER WAS A BLESSING INDEED, MOST PARTICULARLY TO A FAMILY WHO HAD MOURNED SO MANY INFANTILE DEATHS. YET I WAS A SICKLY CHILD. WITH HACKING COUGHS AND VILENT BOUTS OF VOMITTING, UNTIL AT THE AGE OF SEVEN I SUCCUMBED TO ACUTE MASTOID AFFECTED IN BOTH EARS AND THE FAMILY PREPARTED FOR ANOTHER SMALL COFFIN AND YET ANOTHER FUNERAL. YET I SURVIVED AND FROM THEN ON I WAS PRONOUNCED TO BE BLESSED WITH A LUCKY STREAK. AND SO IT HAS PROVED THROUGH THE UPS AND DOWNS OF MY LIFE. SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE THAT. IRREPRESIBLE.

LIFE IN THE SEEDY SUBURBS. DOMINATED BY MY MOTHERíS SENSITVITIES AND MY FATHERíS ĎATTENTIONSí.

AGE 2, 4, 6, 7. FATHER.