It was the first day of summer and Dick had his pins out – muscular, tanned and holding up an unpredictability I adored. Dick was my brother’s godfather and lived south of the border, some place called Dorset.
We were drinking lemonade on the wobbly bench by the tennis court. Dick was reading my palm.
“You’ll never settle down”, he winked, “you’ve got the Okavango Delta on your palm. See those? They’re your love lines, hard to count. Most people have one, but you? You’ve got a handful. Oh, what a contrary life you have ahead, little Pip.”
My ten-year old disappointment looked on incredulously, eyes filling faster than the ace he’d spun in our closing game. Withdrawing my hand, bottom lip quivering, I was unsure whether to sob or smile. I wouldn’t have a future like Mum and Dad, or Dick?
And then I got it. “Let’s play,” I said.
My family home is an incredible place, bursting with material rich for memoir. As I drew it I thought of a summer’s day – that’s when it was at its best and where my memory popped up. It’s a formative memory that involves people, the outdoors and the sanctuary of my own space.