Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life book series (PSFL)


Looking up from my desk, I glimpse a picture of a black and grey battle ship set against a vibrant blue sky with a glowing sun in the corner. It’s been drawn and given to me by Laura, one of my research participants at Queen’s Park Primary, whom I came to know well and like very much. The picture now takes pride of place on my office pin board. As on many occasions before, I’m transported back eight years, this time to a day when I visited Laura’s family home after we’d been making ‘family books’ with her peers, Tom and Stephanie:

Laura (age nine) rides her bike alongside me, telling me it’s ‘OK’ for her to ride on the road, as she always does. We reach her house, which has an expansive driveway and a large inflatable Christmas archway by the door. Laura tells me to come in for a cup of tea. She opens the door. Joseph (age 11), who also knows me from school, is standing there, saying, ‘What are you doing here?’ in a gruff voice. He then laughs, and ushers me in with one hand. Stood beside him is Laura’s younger sister Jane (age three), a round toddler wearing Winnie the Pooh pyjamas. Jane uses the same hand motion to beckon me in as Joseph did. Laura’s nan appears at a door to my right. I murmur something about not wanting to impose and Nan tells me to come in for tea, but warns me, ‘It’s a mad house in here.’


Personal Relationship Personal Life Corporal Punishment Middle Childhood Child Poverty 
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Copyright information

© Hayley Davies 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.King’s College LondonUK

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