A Reding Universal Exercise Book, ruled feint, and approved by The Education Department.
Of its 32 pages, just 6 have been used.
On these pages a series of gold star stickers.
2 pages for my sister, 2 for my brother and 2 for me. The date beside each of our names: 1974.
After each installment of gold stars, a message, hand written in red pen, from our father:
A very good girl/boy (mine says 'wee girl' - appropriate as the youngest). The black stars have all been taken away.
And they have. There are no black stars to be seen. There are gaps where we can presume the black stars once were.
The only thing we don't know is what any of the stars are for and why there was a range of black and gold ones in the first place.
Were the black stars bad things we did? Or might have done? Or were about to do? I was only born in 1973, how many black stars could I have accrued in just one year? Or were they perhaps dark spots in his life that we somehow helped take away?
It will forever remain a mystery.
The story behind these stars from the past.