I turn twenty two and wait to use my toothbrush...
Then later I watch Mary Poppins, lying on my stomach in a button-up floral all-in-one. A spoonful of sugar makes the growing old a little sweeter. A french-plaited dungaree-clad girl sugars petals for me, and meringues softly peak all over the kitchen.
Strawberries turn to coulis, seeping into cotton, and chocolate cake is sliced as I become militant over paper plates. We're all beneath a patterned sheet, parading inside a Chinese dragon, and begin to run down Parliament Hill, tripping over our extra wool and licking our lips after the final macaroon.
Words are wrapped in music: proverbs and rhymes in parcel-taped manuscript paper. The perfect present is bound up in the Guardian Review, both Amy Pond and Shakespeare. The glitter-stickered accompaniment shows two old ladies, black and white, wearing hats, me in fifty years... Appletiser and Muriel Spark poetry from a second-hand bookshop in Hampstead are sparks of thoughtful loveliness.
Sitting on the floor, amongst the many chair legs, finishes an evening and makes me feel five years old again, seeking out and drinking the dregs from wine glasses left out by parents' party guests.