3 years old
Here I am in the backyard of my childhood home, with my favourite doll Marika. I used to imagine her coming to life when I was out of the room and would often enter my bedroom abruptly in order to catch her out – though I never did. I slept with her by my side until I was quite old, possibly thirteen.
She has a hard rubber body, arms, legs and head; and detailed finger nails. Her hair is brownie blonde. Her eyes are made of blue glass but are now sunken, and her face is scarred by indelible black ink, thanks to my ‘little’ brother. I’ve never quite forgiven him, though he was about one year old when he attacked her and scribbled over her face. Interestingly he grew up to be tattooist.
I still have Marika. When I was pregnant I hand washed her original dress and tried out a bevy of solvents on her poor face. But she remained scarred. My daughter has never been particularly fond of her, but I love Marika still.