Following on from the phenomenal success of Writing Home, Alan Bennett reminisces about his early years from his schooldays to undergraduate life at Oxford University. It was an ordinary childhood - growing up in Leeds taught Alan early on that 'life is generally something that happens elsewhere'. Yet the children who long for German bombs to lend their city some wartime glamour; the working class mother who reads Ideal Home and dreams of coffee mornings and cocktail parties; and 18-year-old Alan - a practising Anglican who is deeply distrustful of God - strike a chord within all of us. In fact, it is their very ordinariness that makes these tales so special - combined, of course, with the wry observation and tender understatement that have earned Alan Bennett his place at the forefront of contemporary writing. The stories on this volume are: 'A Strip of Blue', 'Proper Names', 'Our War', 'Eating Out', 'An Ideal Home', 'Aunt Eveline', 'A Shy Butcher', 'Unsaid Prayers', 'Days Out', 'No Mean City'.