Grandma’s house had no carpets, just bare floor boards that scratched at your feet like cat claws, windows that rattled in the frames at night as if the glass was tapped by invisible fingers.
At home, Bren would lie in front of the fire, read her Beano till her eyes felt prickly from the heat. Here, the cold knifed under every door, made you tuck your feet up on the hard wooden seats.
Then there was the cupboard at the top of the stairs.
No higher than her waist, each door had a round window with slots in, eyes to see in through. Or out of.
Her sister Tally had dared her to look inside but the doors seemed impossible to open, the little catches always slipping and jiggling under her fingers.
Then one day as she was passing she heard a click, a sigh of well oiled hinges.
For those outside the UK, The Beano is the longest running children’s magazine in the country, its first edition being published before the Second World War in July 1938.