8 Dec 2012

Sark, Ireland

In 1967, the age of six, I was cast to make a film for the BBC Schools programme 'Watch' on the island of Sark. I travelled there with my mum's friend, a BBC production designer, Roger Cheveley as my chaperone. A few years later Tanya, Diana and I went back there for a family holiday.

I can't remember if it was in Sark or on the trip to Ireland we took during the summer holiday in the midst of grieving for our father but I recall one of Tanya's earliest traumas was on a sunny day when she fell off a pier into the water between the dock and a boat so nobody could hear her and nobody noticed she was missing for several minutes. She was rescued just in time. I cannot erase the memory seeing our mother running down the dock and diving in the water and bringing a limp lifeless child out of the water. Laid out on the stone pier, Mum gave her mouth-to-mouth while bystanders looked on aghast. Suddenly Tanya retched and began gasping for air, her tiny body blowing up like a bellows to gulp in the air. A few hours later she was having egg and soldiers for tea.

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