Around a couple of corners, up the lane and behind a falling down fence lies a whole yard of what we call 'Santa Clauses'. Were they linked to wishes in childhood, cousin to blowing out candles all in one go, shooting stars, four leaf clovers and the rest? It's a great idea for keeping kids quiet: I remember my friends and I spending hours searching through clover for the elusive leaf and rummaging about for a specially marked flower amongst the yellow "daisies", which were some kind of aggressive weed. Not that I particularly wistful or wishful child - whining was more my thing. Nor did I plan to use my wishes for good - oh, I always claimed I would wish for world peace, to fit in with the other morally hoity-toity girls, but really, my plan was to wish for a million extra wishes and then use them at my leisure. No need for such loop-holes in this backyard.