mother MUM: A bright and beautiful young actress, making her way in rep across Britain and abroad, having escaped from an adoring father and a brutal mother. After touring with Rose-Marie across Europe she returned to the ‘English Theatre’ in Paris, where she also modelled for a Russian sculptor. A lawyer, visiting his studio to commission a bust of himself, met my mother. Her diary records: ‘a French Canadian Scot, tall, soigné, cultured – the man of the world for whom I had been searching’…and so I came along.

mother Mrs P: Marvellous with tiny babies – she’d wanted half a dozen of her own but only got one. An SRN (State Registered Nurse), she ran a baby home; a woman of generous, motherly proportions who miraculously turned me from a pale, wan scrap to a bonny, brown babe in a fortnight! But when babies turned into toddlers, their attraction waned. Why her warm love withered away may have been a combination of a disastrous marriage, the onset of war, lack of money, anxiety, frustration and loneliness. She was so capable of more…after the war she proved that by opening three care homes for elderly people.

Gilly GILLY: I met Gilly when I was 45 on a rambling holiday in Austria. On a climb, Gilly stumbled and fell, breaking a front tooth. I was right behind her, and she was quite distressed. We became friends, and at the end of the holiday she joined the choir in Crawley that I sang with, travelling down from London each week, and staying overnight. So the friendship developed! She was a Cambridge graduate, with a lovely way of speaking, and lovely to look at. She was a director of the British Standards Institute, and introduced me to her circle of friends – going to the theatre, opera, concerts and galleries. We had much in common, and I should have married her…but aye, there’s the rub.

jm ME: WHO AM I? I’m not really John Munro. I started off American, later became a stateless alien, then a naturalised Britisher, and finally a US citizen again. I’ve had three different surnames, and four careers. I was an only child, with two ‘mothers’ and numerous carers, but no father. I never married, despite proposing five times and being accepted thrice. I’ve no children, but six God-children and their kith & kin. I was insecure, anxious to please, but angry inside. Critical and prickly, wanting to love but never managing to. But then, something happened…and now I’m really Andrew Archibald.