Welcome to day 25 of Bloganuary. Today’s topic is:

‘Write about something that makes you feel strong.’

I think being an only child makes a person feel mentally strong. I’m as weak as a kitten when it comes to physical strength, but I was brought up the only child of two working parents in the 1960s when people did not go to prison for raising latch-key children.

From the age of seven I walked to school on my own, and from the age of nine there were no babysitters for me in the school holidays as I told my mother that I did not need them anymore. I hated having to go to the woman next door, who had two sons that I did not like. I was one of those bookish, sensible kids who was old before their time, and often spent the entire time that Mum was at her part-time job sitting on the settee and reading. I never worried about being alone in the house. However, if friends called for me I would go out and play, but would have a key around my neck on a string. We would sometimes roam for miles around the East End of London. Mum told me never to touch the cooker, and that was about all the instructions I ever had.

One day I decided to put on my skates and go outside. Mum had told me to take the empty milk bottle out and so I skated around from the back door to the front with the milk bottle in my hand. Somehow or other I tripped over a paving stone. The glass bottle shattered, a shard stabbed my skin, and blood started to drip from my hand. There was nobody about, as my parents were at work and the woman next door was not at home.

There were no mobile phones, and we did not have a landline at home. It was up to nine-year-old me to find a way out of the situation. I skated further along the street to another neighbour I knew, leaving a trail of blood behind me. The neighbour removed the glass and bandaged up my hand. Mum was beside herself with guilt when she came home, but the fact that I had been on my own hadn’t bothered me too much as I was often alone anyway. The accident made me think for myself.

Nowadays children have mobile phones and they’re on the phone with the least problem to find out what to do. They don’t seem able to think for themselves these days, and believe me, that isn’t good.