Lots of the items of childhood come round again in waves. Every few years, you see them again. Yoyos are a prime example of what I’m talking about here.


Just you wait. If you haven’t seen a yoyo for a couple of years, they’re on their way…

When I was ten, and prepping for my 11+, the latest craze was the troll doll. There were millions of them, they were everywhere, I had a good couple of dozen in my house.


I know they’d been about before because, during the course of an extraordinarily long biography of Greta Garbo in my twenties, I learnt that she had kept a village of troll dolls underneath her sofa. I find that utterly delightful.

Also in the course of that book, I found out that her fame and evasiveness was such that she couldn’t pay her bills. She had the money. It was just that her signature on a cheque was more valuable than the cheque itself, so people rarely banked them. Obviously, I’m not at that point yet.

Give me time.

Anyway, my troll village is a little more blatant and dog-friendly than any arrangement under an item of furniture. My trolls live over the doorframe in my sitting room.

Being normal is overrated.