What was your greatest fear as children, o Readers?
Mine, between the ages of six and twelve, was nuclear war. In the early Eighties the eventuality was a heavily discussed subject in the news and everywhere. Besides, a career officer father and a whole family very keen on international politics meant that I heard a lot of mealtime discussion of what the USSR and the States might do to each other over our heads. In addition there was a spate of fiction and nonfiction stories about it – and I had a knack for watching and reading what I should not. Oh, the nightmares I got out of watching The Day After! And I saw those Soviet leaders on the news, so hard-eyed and grim, and they rather looked like people who’d have little qualms in destroying the world… At one point I even wrote a letter** to the then General Secretary of PCUS Andropov, explaining to him how bad it was, and could he please not bomb us? Yes well – but I must have been eight or nine. Continue reading