"I am an archaeologist who knows more about other people's pasts than my own.
Jersey. Where I was born in 1959.
My late father, Allan, went to Jersey in the 50s, and met my mother, Phyllis, at a dance. She was an islander. Her parents had come from London to set up a boarding house.
Life had changed for her forever in the summer of 1940. "I don't know how we got off the beach that day..." is all she will say.
As islanders fled the Occupation, she and my widowed grandmother stayed.
My mother will not talk to me about those years. And yet I cannot let it go. I yearn to connect her Jersey memories with my own. But there is no validation, no detail. I have grown to distrust my own recollections. What do I really remember?
One of the garden walls. Old stone. I was told it was part of a monastery. But I have no proof.
Nor do I know the truth behind a swastika painted on the front door. I overheard my mother say a female lodger had once entertained a German officer. But I can remember the colour of the window paint. Deep carmine, like my mother's lipstick.
I remember the orchard, the trees boughed over my grandmother making pastry in the yard. I remember feeling safe and happy there.
I remember the day this was taken. May 1963. I am with my mother and "Tina". Who was she? We are outside the German Underground Hospital. See how the darkness snaps out the early summer light. Deep inside, I remember the feel of the concrete walls. The dankness. I had no proof that people had died there, but I still shivered.
Who? Why? I asked my mother as I moved through childhood. She did not know. But her resistance to this, and other Occupation stories, was laughed away.
When I was seven, we left Jersey in a rush to England. Left the house not to Germans, but to a hotel chain. The orchard became a tarmac stand for rental cars. The house part-demolished. My bedroom quartered for itinerant hotel workers.
Jersey is still home. But I cannot live there. Jersey excludes those who left before they were ten. And so I am also an itinerant.
Jersey was my first excavation site.
Now I gather other people's pasts there, to know my own."