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“Come on, Harry, give it a chance, you’ll love it there, you wait and see!”. It wasn’t that my father was an insensitive man, far from it. But by then he was in his late forties; he’d been running, expanding, the small engineering firm his father had started in Kidlington, for almost twenty-five years, and he’d forgotten what it was like to be eleven years old. He’d forgotten how small your world is at that age, a world which consists of family, school and friends – and now, he and my mother were proposing to cut me off from two of those three things, at a stroke, and without a thought for my feelings. Or at least, that was how it seemed to me: “But Dad – I won’t be able to see Nicky, or Max, or anyone!”. He put a comforting hand on my shoulder, gave me one of his easy smiles: “Don’t worry, Harry – once we get settled in, we can go back to Oxford to see them; or maybe you could have them over to stay, from time to time? And anyway, you’ll soon make new friends, you’ll see, especially once you start school again after the holiday!”. His cheerful words weren’t convincing – he meant what he said, I know, but I also knew from experience that his good intentions often disappeared under the weight of business. And the thought of having to start at another new school, after just two terms at St Peter’s College, depressed me even more. I wouldn’t miss St Peter’s, to be honest – I’d gone there having easily passed my eleven-plus exam, but the snobbish atmosphere and level of teasing which just stopped short of real bullying hadn’t endeared the place to me. But would my new school be any better? Or could it, horror of horrors, be even worse? I was to start at the County High School, in Banbury, at the end of the Easter holiday – we were moving then, so as to minimise the disruption to my education. Or rather to cause it, from my schoolboy point of view.