A Thatcher dartboard and hidden cheese? Time to meet Emily Bromfield

Can you hear the sound of clattering keyboards? For the writers working on 26 Treasures of Childhood, it’s first-draft deadline day this Friday. Some will be putting the finishing touches to their beautiful prose, others will be scratching their heads in a panic. A select few are sitting smugly, feet up on the desk, job done, just waiting to hear from their editor.  So before a tide of beautiful text washes over her, we thought we’d get one of those editors, Emily Bromfield, onto the blog, to answer our now-familiar questions…

What object are you writing about and what were your first thoughts when we told you?

Nope, sorry, I just can’t think of a family-friendly caption for this one

It’s a painting from 1982 of a Conservative Party Conference with Maggie, Dennis and other Thatcherites. And I’m quite delighted, 30 years later, on behalf of my four-year self, to get my own back in a small way on a woman whose face became a regular fixture on my dad’s dartboard. I can still picture him aiming for the forehead.

What lost object from your own childhood would you like to own again, and why?

Not available in my local Waitrose

My Fisher Price car garage: a great home for caterpillars and hiding the Bel Paese cheese that I wasn’t supposed to eat before dinner. It got given to charity without my knowledge a few years ago. I’ve still not quite forgiven my mum.

Hop into my time machine and it will take to you back to one specific hour of your childhood – where and when do you want to go, and why?
On holiday in the Cotswolds aged seven. I had a glow-worm green pyjama-wearing toy that I slept with and one night, turning off its lit face, there were still flickering gold specs in the walls that I thought were real glow-worms. It was only light seeping in from the corridor, but it made me believe in magic for a while.

Emily Bromfield is not in this photo. Well, I don’t think so. She was wearing glasses when we met.

Can you surprise me with one unusual fact about your childhood?
Not exactly unusual, but I had a really bad lisp until I was about eight or nine, when my mum sent me to speech therapy to correct it. Sometimes now, when I’m very tired, a hint of it comes back and I remember how much I used to struggle with the letter ‘s’.


What’s the earliest thing you can remember writing?
Perhaps not the earliest, but my first proper story was about a field mouse that got tragically killed by a combine harvester. The accompanying illustrations were quite gruesome. I’d clearly lost my faith in magic brought on by my glow-worm and was verging towards Hammer horror instead.

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