MARCH 1951: I am teased at school because of my accent and learn Latin, English and French instead of Russian. I start filling in the areas in Geography and History which had previously been left blank and looking for some inner grounding in Religion and Philosophy.

JUNE 1951: On the farm where I was born, there is a bad-tempered labourer. While we children are playing, he catches a chicken, places it on a block of wood and chops its head off. He thrusts the chicken into my 5 year-old brother's hands – and the chicken keeps flapping. My brother opens his hands crying and the chicken runs a couple of yards away.

JULY 1951: My mother and I take the night train to Rimini. It is my first time by the sea. Although I cannot swim, my mother, swimming on her back, carries me a long way out to sea on her tummy. It is wonderful.