FEBRUARY 1970: Our daughter Anja is born in Frankfurt.

APRIL 1970: I am given a Steiff cuddly toy, a cocker spaniel. I take him with me everywhere, even the doctor’s. I hold him in my arm but hide his head with my jacket. His eyes don’t look real enough.

MAY 1970: As a left-hander I have to learn to write right-handed at school. I get a bad mark for my awkward wobbly lines.

MAY 1970: When I come home from school at lunchtime, my little sister is in hospital. The diagnosis: cerebral malaria. By the evening she is lying in a coma and the next day at sunrise her wild and free soul flies away from us forever.

AUGUST 1970: I stand in front of my class. For a year I have been living with my mother and grandmother in Switzerland, known only as Johanna. I demand my own name back. It is not a problem.

OCTOBER 1970: I have had enough of Switzerland and fly to Canada, where I have found a job with a Swiss company.