I sometimes wonder whether that’s why my mum left – because Grandma Hendry gave her baby the wrong name – and possibly the wrong birthday. Nobody ever talks about it and, somehow, I feel like it’s a question I can’t ask. But she must have been there –or rather here– then, of course, at the start.

I live with Grandma Hendry and my dad on Barranmor, a small island that my dad says is in the Irish Sea and that my friend George says is in the Atlantic Ocean. I think George is probably right because he knows most things (although our teacher, Miss Tarleton, insists he is not the oracle). We’re in the same class at school even though he’s a year older than me because there are so few children on the island.

George is fearless. A while ago Miss Tarleton told us, “Living here on Barranmor, you, little boys and girls, cannot help but have limited horizons.”

George put up his hand.

“Yes, George McLure,” Miss Tarleton said.

“But if you go and stand on the beach, Miss,” George began fearlessly, “you can see for miles.”

“As you well know, George McLure,” Miss Tarleton replied sharply, “we measure distances in kilometres.” She paused before adding, “And I would ask you to be more precise in your calculations in future, George.”

Chapter 2

Now, I’ve told you George is fearless. A good example of George’s bravery is the time Tommy McGregor came into school, reporting that when he’d been down at the harbour at the weekend, sitting on the boulders, whilst his dad saw to the boat, he’d spotted a panther on the rocks.

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