It clicked with Little Georgey at around the time of his eleventh birthday. At first it was his father’s inventiveness, the way there was always some unfathomable new excuse: No, there could be no new holiday, not while the roof needed fixing. No, there would be no big birthday presents this year, not while his mother’s job was unsettled. The roof was never fixed. His mum worked happily. But there were no big presents, no holiday. Little George asked why. His father shook his head and laughed. Little boy, he said, little boy, it’s the way things work. You’ll learn.