Gaggi's Table.

Mum and Great-grandma murmur in the sitting room; discussing the doings of relatives I've never met, and I have been released to the ticking quiet of the kitchen. Ducking beneath the huge scrubbed wood table and hemmed in by cream painted chair legs, I dive into my world. Here I sit cross-legged; a gangly little girl in hand-me-down clothes amid a scatter of paper and colouring pencils.

The chair legs are my granite castle walls, the metal hull of my spaceship or the moss covered trees of a fairy glen. This is a place of brave knights on white chargers. In this world I navigate my starship through asteroid fields or prance with a fairy king and his woodland court.

My pencils fly over the page. Here I am a tall and willowy elf maiden with golden tresses and shimmering wings. On the next sheet, a capable and determined rocket pilot or the crisply uniformed nurse bathing the brow of her injured adventurer. Other pages show a velvet gowned princess with pointed hat and veil, or a diminutive prima ballerina, twirling on daintily slippered feet, in a ruff of pink tulle and sequins.

Beyond the palisade of legs is a world of sums and spelling tests.

Of, "Listen but don't tell."

Of, "Can't afford."

Of, "Sit up straight."

Of, "No."

But here under Gaggi's kitchen table is the magical world of, "Yes!"

END