My first political memory is Friday November 22 1963 the day John F Kennedy was assassinated. I remember lying content on the floor next to a crackling fire in the living room. The TV was on and suddenly there were pictures of a motorcade and crowds and emotional broadcasters. My grandfather must have been staying with us for a few days because I have such a sharp image of him standing staring at the TV with a look of disbelief and shock on his face. He called my Dad to tell him the news. I think I remember this scene because of the violent and scarey intrusion into my safe world. For the first time I became aware of life outside my cosy English rural life. I was 7 and this scene somehow marks for me the loss of innocence.