When I was a child I used to tap around the flat with a stick trying to find out what it was like to be blind. I folded scarves into triangles and knotted them around my neck and arm to make the sling for the broken arm I never had. I always wanted but never needed spectacles. I tried on other people's braces in the playground and limped around the corridors of my block of flats in imitation of children at school who had had polio and wore calipers on their legs. I thought it so glamorous to have 'a condition', and I was also curious to find out what it was like being without something I took for granted. But I have no memory at all of pretending to be deaf. I played games putting my fingers in my ears, of course, making things louder and quieter, but I never thought of it as seeing what it was like to be deaf. There were children in the playground who wore hearing aids, pinky beige flesh coloured implements you couldn't miss, but I never wanted to try them, or wondered what life would be like without hearing as I wondered what life would be like without sight.