Thunderbirds and puppetry in general were one of my chief obsessions when I was a young lad. That and magic. I was mad keen on magic, and eventually learned enough to do shows and make a bit of money at it. I did not have much of a gang, but I was the leader; the other gang members were one other boy and my younger sister, who usually got experimented on or became a test pilot for our home-made fairground rides. We liked making fairgrounds - either models of rides or actual rides. One was a tin bath that was supposed to slide down a ladder. Not very successful and potentially lethal. Another thing we did was shops. Having accumulated a lot of toys and stuff, and being conscious that some of these things were not much use anymore, we sold them, every Saturday, on a "stall" at the front of our house. One day, I decided to sell my electric train set on the stall. A man came along, expressed interest in the steam engine and asked "how much?" I think I said "ten shillings". (It was a work of art, a Gresley Pacific in green livery with a tender.) He told me he only had five shillings and said he could pay that and come back later with the five. As a ten year-old boy, I accepted this. He was an adult and in those days children were pretty much in thrall to adults. Of course, this man never returned. He had cheated a ten year-old boy out of five shillings.
Strangely, I trusted the buyer of my electric railway engine. I was in business, but I was in business as a child. In fact I was merely emulating what I had seen. That is all. Any perceived skill on my part, as a salesman, was a clumsy copy of what I had seen in the market.
Ten year-old boys generally go through the motions.; they pretend, they practice, they aspire, but rarely do they act with full knowledge or motive. To a ten year-old average lad, life is very simple and very transient.
Which is why I feel so sad that two young boys have been convicted in court of the attempted rape of a young girl. I feel as if we have gone back to hanging apes for being spies.