When I first got my tracksuit I liked it so much that I wore it all the time at home. It was navy-blue, exactly like my Dad’s, and on Sunday mornings we went together to the Woodfield Club, to play table tennis. My Dad was a coach, and I was learning how to play. It was quite addictive, even though I was only moderately successful, and despite my perfectly formed Forehand Attack, lost most of my games. I played in the Woodfield Club Ladies Junior Team, which sounds a great deal grander than it was. It was at the Club that I had my first conversation with a boy, Bobby McDermott:
‘What’s your favourite subject?’
‘French. What’s yours?’
That was as far as it went.
One day there was an argument in our house. My mother went upstairs, and my Dad took me out for a drive in the Ford Prefect. I was wearing the tracksuit, we drove around aimlessly, and it was a sunny and happy afternoon. When we got back the atmosphere in the house was tense, and it stayed like that for the next few days. I ran between my parents taking messages from one to the other. It was quite strenuous, so lucky that I was wearing the tracksuit. Then I decided I had to make the peace between them, and this got even more demanding and tricky. There were tears, and lots of running about, and eventually my Dad smiled and started to speak to my mother again. My tracksuit and the table tennis coaching had proved their worth.