One night when I was about three or four I woke up with a loud cough. It also woke up my parents and my Mother told me that I had The Croup. She mashed up an aspirin in some canned peaches which I ate and then she wrapped me in an enormous blanket. My Dad put me on his shoulders and took me out into the damp night air.

It was incredible. I had never seen or felt four in the morning before. Everything was motionless and quiet and there were so many shadows that I hardly recognized my own neighbourhood. It was as though I had discovered this mysterious other world that I never even knew existed.

For about half an hour I sat there on my Dad’s shoulders, listening to the sound of his footsteps, looking at my neighbourhood under the light of the moon and breathing the cool, salty Halifax night air. When we got home my cough was gone, and when I crawled into bed I felt as though I had the most precious secret imaginable.