Dad was a crane driver at the docks, loading and unloading shipping containers, ten hours a day, six days a week.
Often, to keep us from getting under Mum’s feet, Dad took us with him, left us mudlarking on the foreshore as he swung the sulphur crane limb towards the sea, towards the shore.
I was small then, unable to translate the containers’ markings into words, the words into thoughts.
Dad would join us on the pier at break time, share a square of cheese, chewy ends of loaf, one soft apple.
I’d pester, ‘What’s inside the big boxes, Dad?’ ‘Where are they going?’ ‘Who would need so many things?’
He’d shrug, look mystified, as if it had never crossed his mind to wonder.
That was the difference between us. I needed to know how the world worked, he was content that it did.