Games people play

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The Independent Online
Helen Storey, 38, designer

Kate Storey, 36, biologist.

We had two brothers, so there would be times when maybe the boys would play together, or we'd play with the boys. There was a lot of fighting, which is normal when you have four children in a very small flat.

Pillow-fights happened quite often, and we were occasionally given toys which would last for a bit and then break. We were given bows and arrows, so around Easter-time we were all Red Indians.

We also enjoyed scaring each other shitless by playing hide-and-seek. The flat was in a very dark Victorian villa in Belsize Park, so there were plenty of places to hide. You hid in the coat-rack with your feet in the wellington boots and waited until one of your siblings went past on their way to the lavatory. That was quite popular.

The two of us had a ridiculous game which we used to play when we were about 10 or 11. It was called boarding-schools. We knew some people who went to boarding school. They slept there and they had another life. We thought that what you did at boarding school was ride horses all day and do anything you liked.

We would pretend we had horses when we went on our obligatory walks on Hampstead Heath every Sunday. We'd canter off into the distance, then we'd go into the bushes and have one of those strange conversations about being in a boarding school. Our imaginary boarding school had a lot to do with freedom; a place where we could organise things ourselves and be left to our own devices, but obviously our parents were quite nearby. Occasionally we got into trouble. We'd often run into the kinds of men in bushes who wear raincoats. That shocked us, and eventually put an end to our boarding-school game.

Helen Storey's acclaimed autobiography `Fighting Fashion' is published by Faber & Faber, price pounds 25 (hardback), pounds 12.99 (softback).