I'm sitting on the cool hard floor in a ray of sunlight, the smell of wet cement all around. A man's brown shoe and blue trouser leg, both liberally besplattered, step into my field of vision while a hand reaches down to pass me a slice of white bread. I reach up to meet it. I know this hand: it is my father's.
My mother once helped me work out how old this memory is. From the description of certain details, such as the shiny black tiles I can almost see in the left hand corner, she could deduce that it must date back to the spring of 1964, when my dad was doing up the house we moved into after we left my grandmother's that summer; and more often than not during that time, minding me. I must have been between 18-20 months old at the time.
I always liked my father's hands. They were very elegant (if such can be said of a man's hands), and strong, with long, slender fingers. My own are a lot like his, though obviously smaller.