Sidney in the 1930s

1930 The great depression drives the economists mad. To make things worse, I get born but it's only in Hackney Road, so calm down everyone.

1931 The Empire State Building is constructed without my permission. Meanwhile I learn how to keep people busy answering my every whim.

1932 Roosevelt is elected president of the USA, and that's before they had disabled access to the White House. I get to walk everywhere - bring back the pram!

1933 Some interior decorator is appointed Chancellor of Germany. I learn how to schmooze and wet the bed so maybe there's a chance for me.

1934 The long march of the Chinese Red Army - a bit further than my daily schlep to school. Yes, I'm at school, in Scawfell Street. Good name, huh?

1935 Mussolini invades Ethiopia - everyone is confused because they call it Abyssinia. On top of this we move to Dalston Lane - I go to Sigdon Road school.

1936 The Spanish Civil War - everyone takes sides, but the fascists get the guns. At school I see a cartoon being drawn and coming to life - so that's how things work!

1937 Frank Whittle designs the first jet engine. For my birthday I get a Meccano set, so now we're both engineers. We visit Millie Kaffebaum and I play on their piano. It goes very quiet, so embarrassing - I won't be doing that again.

1938 Chamberlain agrees to let Hitler have a little bit of Czechoslovakia and says that we have 'peace in our time'. He's lying of course - even I, an eight-year-old, can tell that.

1939 Second World War. I'm confused - I know about the Third World, but the Second World? Incidentally, I can't believe that I still don't have a bicycle.


Napoleon by the sea

Aah! Those were the days

Me and my sister Muriel

Happy days?