I read a lot growing up and in our large, sprawling house at Ridge, I run away from home often. My final destination was usually my mother’s trunk room in the west wing of the house. I would sit there with a tin of Milo which had turned into a sticky mass and wait until I was missed. My mother busy with her bakery would hardly notice and eventually I would release myself from that ridiculous notion of running away and ‘come home’.
I was very prone to accidents. My first major accident was when I poured a pail of scalding hot water on my frock and writhing with pain, rubbed the fabric of my frock on my burns. My father I understand was very upset, since the nanny had left me in the bathroom with the hot water to go and pick something up.
One afternoon whilst I was supposed to be napping, I crept downstairs and instructed the man in charge of the bread making machine to make way for me. I began to work the machine and then in an attempt to push in the dough, the rollers caught my hand and dragged half my arm into the machine. It was turned off immediately, but there was I on a stool with half my arm in the tight grip of the rollers. My mother heard me screaming and came downstairs. As they tried to open up the rollers, it got tighter and I screamed even louder. A man entered our compound and managed to loosen up the rollers so my arm could be removed. We didn’t know where he came from and we never, ever saw him again.