I was about seven when pocket money started, initially 50 cents (about 25p) and then rising to one Australian dollar. I used to save it up and spend it all on books – mostly English pony books. They were an escape, totally removed from the reality of my life. Not only were the natural and social worlds entirely foreign, but the children were allowed to roam the countryside alone, get dirty, fall off horses, and work together to solve problems. I was not allowed to run around outside, play with the children in the street or even go barefoot, due to the influence of my working class grandmother, who was heavily into being “respectable”. The books might have been portraying a privileged life, but the ones I liked best were those where the relatively poor girl with the cheap pony beat the “toffs” to the first prize.