Auntie Jackie always gave me daft presents when I left after staying with her for the holidays. One year it was a huge jar of homemade chutney. I ate most of it on the train, and was sick in the station car park while I waited for Dad to pick me up. This time, Jackie handed me a zip-up bag, with instructions not to open it until I was sure I was by myself.
‘You have the makings of an adventure in there, my dear,’ she said, as she turned to go.
‘What sort of adventure?‘ I asked, but she was already walking away.
Strictly speaking, I wasn’t alone yet. An old woman was sitting on a bench at the other end of the platform, but I didn’t think it would hurt to take a peep in the bag. I tugged on the stiff zip. Inside, there was a coil of rope, a rusty torch, a bottle of water, one Wellington boot, and an old teddy bear with no eyes. There was also a small sandwich-shaped parcel wrapped in foil. I knew better than to expect it to contain food for the journey. I was about to close the bag again when I felt a hand on my shoulder.