I can't remember ever learning to read. It was just one of those things that came to you, like walking or eating. I think I was fairly surreptitious about it too, as I surprised my mother with my facility for textual decoding (can you tell I used to be a teacher?) one day when I was about three years old.
We were out for a walk somewhere (at a guess, Stanhope Park, in Darlington) and I needed a wee. I told Mum and she said I'd have to wait. But no, I said, there is a toilet here. No, that's not for you, she said. You can't go in there. But, but, I said, I can. Look, the sign says "Laddies"!
OK, not perfect decoding of the double-consonant rule, but nearly there. I made her laugh, and she got her revenge by telling friends of the story when I was in my mid-twenties. And thirties.
Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I was browsing Facebook recently, and came across this advert in the sidebar.
Do they think I was born yesterday? Those are gurls. I know. I'm nearly four.