The first thing that I can remember happened when I was four years old. It was my Aunt Luisa’s wedding day and I was a bridesmaid. I was dressed in a white muslin dress with a blue sash, a hat made of crinoline straw, with a wreath of forget-me-nots and a coral necklace. I was put to stand on a sofa while my Grandfather’s servants from next door came in to see and admire me before the wedding carriage came to take us to the wedding. I also remember that it was pouring wet and that a very big red-faced man carried me to the carriage under an umbrella.
I had the sort of looks that old men liked in those days, and my gold hair, blue eyes and rosy cheeks represented my Mother’s ideal of what a little girl should look like and of how she should behave. But it was not mine, for inside I was anything but the good little girl with copy-book manners and golden curls.
I detested old men who made a fuss of me and very early got the nickname of “Miss Touch-me-not”.