Uncle Peter's abrupt departure from my daily life left me a bit alone. Grandpa and Grandma were wonderful and at home I was safe and happy. The walk to school suddenly seemed menacing. There were long stretches through deserted housing estates, empty playing fields and woods. There were "bullies" on the way and strangers lurking in the nearby woods. Rescue came in the form of Auntie Peggy. She was Ian's Mum and brave and strong like him. I'm sure she'd tell the devil to pull himself together and stop having tantrums. She held my hand tightly as we walked to school and all the dangers melted away.
Auntie Peggy wasn't my real auntie, she was a very kind and generous neighbour. She remembers looking after us as babies. She was always bright and brisk with a heart of gold. Once she was busy tidying away our toys and Uncle Peter gave her a massive shove. We weren't used to such efficiency. She still remembers that.
Auntie Peggy and her husband Uncle Tom were the perfect neighbours for our family. They made things for us, stilts, tree houses, Victoria sandwiches. Auntie Peggy would come in the back door regularly and call out happily "coo eee ... just checking that everything is alright ...". We thought she was funny and loved her. She certainly made my childhood a safer place.