In 1996, my family and I moved to Ascot, Berkshire (UK), to house #7 in Broadpool Cottages. This was a small group of eight homes owned by the Crown Estates (i.e., the British royal family) and placed in a small offshoot of Windsor Great Park.

We lived there for about five years while I worked in nearby Bracknell and, later, Wokingham.

In addition to being near the Royal Ascot Racecourse, the area was also home to members of the royal family. Prince Andrew, for example, lived less than a mile from us, through the woods on the other side of the A329, on the opposite side of the racecourse. We would sometimes see his daughters, the princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, out riding their horses.

There was a Ferrari dealership a few miles away, and we could sometimes hear the high-pitched whine of their engines as they sped down the A329 on test drives.

The woods were full of blackberries in September.