This is Alice the teddy bear, named by Mum after her own mother. I was also named after Nanna, but I got her middle name - plain Jane. Being as contrary as any little girl I, of course, would much rather have been called Alice. I even told Mum and Dad that I was going to change my Christian name by deed poll as soon as I turned 18, although I never did get round to carrying out this threat.
Alice came to Tiptree with my parents when they moved here from Frinton-on-Sea eleven years ago. They had adopted her when they lived there beside the sea, after Mum saw her in a shop in Connaught Avenue looking rather unloved. I think Mum must have taken Alice to the optician's for an eye test, because I'm sure she didn't used to wear glasses. Perhaps she's developed the dreaded middle-aged reading sight. Anyway, the way she's peering over those spectacles at me I don't think I'd like to get on the wrong side of Alice. Not at all like her namesake, who I never got the chance to know beyond the age of 5, but of whom my strongest memory is being cuddled and offered a Rich Tea biscuit from a ceramic biscuit barrel with a honeycombe pattern and a china bee on top of the lid.