I have been forced to have a radical rethink on the seminal influence of Ladybird books. A friend has just been round and dived with glee in to the box of covers - ‘Oh The Nurse! that was my favourite.’ All her nostalgic joy was directed at the educational ones - and as she is an Oxford educated Renaissance Woman who can unblock an S bend with one hand, while writing books about the Perfect English Cottage with the other, I have to consider whether my enthusiasm for stories about greedy, vain and discontented farmyard creatures set me on the right path in life. Maybe the Ladybird books we favoured in early life had a direct impact on our futures. Someone should write a thesis on it….