When I was ten years old, my Dad took a day off work – unheard of for him as a teacher – and he took me out of school for the day. Not my older brother, my older sister or my younger sister – and we drove for two and a half hours from Durham to Marsden, near Huddersfield, to see my grandmother. I was really excited to be going and I took my new treasured birthday gift, a Madonna LP, to show her. I remember the smell of the hot vinyl in the car on the way there. But when we arrived, Granny didn’t come out to see us like usual. Dad ushered me into a quiet, dark room. My plump, happy Granny looked cold, tired, and painfully thin. I felt shocked and confused; no one had told me she was dying.