My Stepdad was a dab hand at wood work, and he crafted me all sorts of brilliant toys in the first few months after he married my Mum. He made me a rifle out of an old broom handle, complete with trigger guard and an old screw for the iron sight. There was also a medieval castle, painted grey with turrets at each corner; and a garage for use with little Matchbox cars. These hand crafted toys were built to last and I remember playing with them for many years. He also made me a sword which he painted silver and a shield with a red crusader cross on the front. When we - children of the estate - played knights, the other kids would smash their plastic swords against my wooden shield and theirs would bend (I would expect that a child with a crusader shield might not very welcome on a West London council estate now)! It was early days in our relationship, and he was trying his best – I assume – to be a replacement father for me and in doing so had already done more than my birth father ever had.