Warmth back and front

My parents split up when I was eight and my sister Clare was 14. I understand that the family was already in a bad way financially when this happened, so while the divorce was being sorted out my mum, Clare and I all moved in with my maternal grandparents. The house where they lived wasn’t huge – just a three-bedroom semi – so Mum had the small box bedroom for herself and we two kids were put in the larger spare room, with bunk beds.

Naturally it wasn’t the most ideal situation to have two children of the opposite sex sharing a bedroom, but we managed. I suppose the wide age gap reduced the worry for Mum a little. When we got up in the morning, Clare would take her clothes to the bathroom and get dressed there, while I would be left to use the bedroom for dressing. At night, things were a little less complex. I naturally had an earlier bedtime and slept on the top bunk, so Clare would often change into her pyjamas in the semi-darkened room, having first checked that I was asleep.

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