Saturday 9 August 1986

…We went to Bradgate Park this morning.
We paddled in the stream, climbed hills and drank out of drinking fountains.
This afternoon I was swinging on the garage roof when I fell down.
That is no laughing matter.
I hurt myself a lot. I got no bruises…

See, I did go outside from time to time, even getting into the odd scrape.

Swinging from, or more correctly clinging on to the edge of, the garage roof allowed me to fancy myself as something of a daredevil. It wasn’t too far off the ground, but on this occasion I must have lost my grip prematurely and landed not on my feet but on my side or back.

I used a wooden ladder to climb on to the roof. This ladder should not really have been allowed anywhere near an unsupervised child. It had nails sticking out of it, and some of the rungs were loose. I think my parents had inherited it from one of my grandparents, who themselves had quite possibly inherited it from someone out of The Road To Wigan Pier.

Nonetheless I treated it, as I did the garage roof, as a challenge.

A challenge, moreover, that reaped benefits. Namely, the fact that once I was up on the roof I got to see into all the next door gardens, allowing to me literally look down on my neighbours.

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