The first one was when I was evacuated to Leonardslee and there was a fire.
He must have been one of the farmers. I woke up and he was carrying me down the stairs. He was talking to me and his beard was popping in and out of the top of his shirt. I had to touch it because I’d never seen one before…now I have to touch every one I see.
The second one was a man with shoulder length ginger curls and a big ginger beard, that really carroty red. He had to be one of the Lewins, which is the Jewish side of the family. I climbed up on his lap and he smelled different from my family.
I thought when I grew up I was going to have a beard because I loved beards – and I was so disgusted when I found out that because I was a girl I wasn’t going to be able to grow my own beard.
The gentleman in the clay tablet is Sargon of Akkad, the second king of Assyria 721 – 705 BC. His beard is rather nice, curly with ringlets.
Now that I’m making him in a clay tablet, I’m finding it really difficult to recreate the beard. I want it to be perfect.
And he’s got such a lovely nose. I do look at people’s noses too.
interview by Zoë Gilmour