Poverty is relative and as western society progresses, the bar is continually raised. Each generation has its own interpretations and the society of my childhood would, today, be considered one of abject poverty. Although, unlike other parts of the world, starvation, the mark of true poverty, was unknown to us because families fed themselves by practising frugality and ingenuity, an art that has been lost.
Levels of happiness do not equate to poverty unless starvation is involved and my recollections of childhood were idyllic. Money wasn't a factor. Recreation was the outdoor world around us, and not just one of a number of options: no TV and computers back then. Indoors was for homework or served as a punishment. So many experiences encountered during such an exciting childhood could spawn many stories and, in secondary school, my adventures worked to my advantage when it came to essay writing. Supernatural stories flowed off my pen so easily, influenced as I was by the stories of other children and my contact with the travelling community of that time. Hardly an academic (as the name of my secondary school, Aberdeen Academy, would suggest) my supernatural essays were read out regularly to the class by teachers who could make them sound exciting. Ten out of ten was the norm, unlike other subjects.