My sister and I were always very close. She is just two years older than me and as she was something of a tomboy, we were thick as thieves throughout our childhood – exploring together, laughing together – and getting into trouble together.
In that regard, our mum was the main disciplinarian. Although we both occasionally went over our father’s knee for a slippering, I got the feeling that it was never a job he relished and that he much preferred his wife to smack whatever bottoms were needed when called for. Again, the slipper was her favoured implement – it made a big, dramatic sound and hurt a bit, and we cried, but corporal punishment was never anything too terrible.