Sadly, we weren't any good at it.
Still, because I was a bookish child (and because luckily my classroom at school had a bookshelf) I did have hope; and most of the hope came in the form of magic.
(Well, the delights of reality were largely out of reach.)
Anyway, for some time my greatest hope was centred on being able to get my hands on some vanishing cream.
If I could vanish, you see, then I could steal onto a train and go...anywhere. If I had vanishing cream then my family would stop being annoyed by finding me with my nose in a book when I should have been standing about, healthy but cold and bored, in the garden.
And the greatest, the most tremendous thing about vanishing cream was that, unlike wardrobe-portals to other worlds and talking mirrors, it actually existed. There were advertisements for the stuff in the newspaper.
Vanishing cream still does exist. I know now that the vanishing bit of its name refers to the fact that once you've rubbed it into the skin it disappears, but I'm still fond of the idea of the stuff. It's usually called moisturiser nowadays. You won't, obviously be able to spot it on a face near you, but someone in the house will almost certainly have a pot of the stuff.
Rub some on. Go on: it's worth a try. It just might work...
Spot the Frippet: vanishing cream. The word vanish comes from the Old French esvanir, from the Latin word ēvānēscere to evaporate, from vānēscere to pass away, from vānus, empty.