It took just two children in Cuba to take me back to a childhood I’d forgotten. So many years ago, when I was younger than these children. I was probably about 4 years old and trying to master the art of spinning a top, something which most people will never even have heard of. In the days when one’s birthday and Christmas were the only times when presents appeared, the spinning-top cost about a penny I suppose, the stick could be anything from a twig to a cane with a piece of thin string wrapped around it. But oh, what joy when the top – which you’d decorated with coloured chalks – spun out and around and around.
Cuba was even poorer than it is now when I visited it last, the blockade was in operation, no paint was allowed into the country as it was all owned by DuPont whose estates the Cuban government had nationalised, and for the children, spinning tops were the most fun to be had. They did however, have an good, free educational system, unlike the rest of the Caribbean.