In the 1980s I lived in Coffee Hall, in Milton Keynes. Near coffee Hall, there was Bean Hill. The underpass between Beanhill and Coffee Hall was painted with a Wizard of Oz theme. Magic!
I went to Copperfield Middle School, now closed since 31/3/2004, and there was a special teacher: Miss Foster. It was the first time I connected with a teacher. She made a big impression. After the trauma of Northern Ireland, at the height of The Troubles, and having a Northern Irish accent in 1980s England, she was nurturing, made me feel I was good at something: reading. She called me to her desk, put the bookmark under the words, and I read and read. I was very shy. My face got hot. There was a little class library and I checked out the books. I read and read. A kind of salvation.
At Copperfield, there was a special trip to London, to see the Nutcracker. Afterwards, I stood on my tiptoes, spun and spun. I wanted to become a ballet dancer. There was a second trip, but I wasn’t allowed, it was for Jesus Christ Superstar. I was very religious.