WINNING writer Mike Reilly's short story is an extract from a bigger project.
He's writing a novel about boys in a West Yorkshire children's home.
And he was inspired by his own experiences.
He explains: "My upbringing, which was entirely in children's homes, is very personal to me.
"Since I walked out into the world on my own as a teenager in the mid 1960s, I have always kept it firmly behind me.
"But I have found that since I began to write seriously a couple of years ago, it has provided a deep well of emotional experience for me to draw on."
Mike stresses that he has no desire to write autobiographically.
He adds: "I suppose my story, which took many re-writes to capture the essence that I wanted, is an evocation of those times, even though it is fiction."
An item in the Examiner provided an unexpected blast from the past at Christmas.
He spotted a picture of a festive party in our Saturday nostalgia section, Memories, taken in 1953 at a children's home called Ash Villa.
Mike says: "I was amazed because I was looking at an image of myself as a child for the first time.
"I obtained a copy of the photograph, which I have framed and hung in my office at home to remind myself, if ever I need it, of who I am."