It is based on an actual memory of being left alone in the house, confined to my bedroom one Sunday summer’s evening while my mother and her partner, Bert, went out drinking. I was aged seven or eight. My friends were playing outside and for a time came to the bedroom window of the ground floor maisonette to talk to me. I was in pyjamas and desperate to join in and play with them. But I was not allowed. Those Sunday bells could be heard in the distance.
I took the confinement in my stride. I don’t remember feeling sad. The sadness came as an adult as I recalled my lonely childhood. The distant peal of church bells is for me the sound of loneliness.