Almost certainly mentioned this before, and given that we’re now on Day 137, I’d be stunned if I hadn’t repeated myself several times, but we went to Canada when I was eleven.

My mother had cousins in Toronto and a brother who travelled all over the country but was, at that time, somewhere around Thunder Bay, as I recall. Anyway, we went to see Niagara Falls.


I’m not sure what the set-up is these days, but we wore bright yellow disposable anoraks and went down into tunnels, which opened out underneath the water-drop. The sound was colossal. It was incredible. Walking through the tunnel, we came to a short wall, with protective bars along the top, to save people from injury.


I suppose it was erosion, from all the millions of gallons rushing past every few seconds, but there was a small dip in the stone wall. I’d guess – around five tablespoons of water, sprayed from the falls, sat in this little dip.

My mother, prepared for any and all situations at the drop of a hat, went through her handbag, found the most depleted of her medication bottles, tipped the contents into a waiting hankie, and had me fill the now-empty bottle with water from the dip.


I still have it. A bottle of Niagara water. It’s twenty-five years old. There are bits floating in it. And the little paper sign I stuck on it has faded so badly, I have to hold it in the light to read the indentations in the paper. Nothing in the world would part me from it.