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Me and My 'Cardiff High School for Boys' site
Eightyone days old
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I was born, at a very young age, in the upstairs bedroom of number 5, Clare Road, in the Grangetown district of Cardiff, South Wales, United Kingdom in 1952. My mum and dad had been living with my dad's mother, as they couldn't afford to buy a house at the time, and were waiting in the queue for a rented 'council' house to become available. Living with the in-laws like this was quite a common arrangement for young married working-class couples then. It wasn't too long before they got a council house, in one of the better parts of Cardiff - a place called Llanishen.
 
I was the second born of what was to become a brood of six, two boys and four girls, spread over an eighteen year range. Or at least, I thought that's what it was, but not long after my father died, I discovered the family skeleton in the cupboard - my dad had fathered another daughter by an Italian girl during the war when he was stationed in Italy, long before he had even met my mother. One of his war souvenirs he didn't bring back, and kept very quiet about!
 
When I tell people these days I've got four sisters and a brother, they often say that I must have come from a large family then, but I didn't think it was large at the time, and still don't. In fact, I would not have minded a couple more siblings, especially an older brother, older by quite a number of years too. Someone close to act as my role model, for me to look up to and to tell me the things that boys need to know before they need to know them. That would have been really great... As it was, my elder sister had to fill in. She did her best, but...it wasn't the same.
 
This is the earliest photograph of me in existence. I still had all my 'bits' when it was taken, but not for much longer... If I look a bit apprehensive here, perhaps I could detect in the background the sound of a knife already being sharpened, ready for its use on me in the not too distant future...
 
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" Ride 'em, cowboy! "