Jo, seventeen, has been abandoned by her alcoholic, bigotted mother, Helen. Pregnant by a black sailor who subsequently abandons her, Jo moves in with her friend Geof, who has himself been kicked out of his flat because of his homosexuality. When Jo’s mother comes back to the apartment, she bullies Geof into leaving, and prepares to move in herself. In this speech, Helen has told her daughter that Geof has just popped out to the shops and is pretending that everything is fine. She distracts Jo by painting a picture of an idyllic childhood, the only giveaway of the neglect she must have suffered being the fact that no-one seemed to care where she was…

You know when I was young we used to play all day long at this time of the year; in the summer we had singing games and in the spring we played with tops and hoops, and then in the autumn there was the Fifth of November, then we used to have bonfires in the street , and gingerbread and all that. Have I ever told you about the time when we went to a place called Shining Clough? Oh, I must have done. I used to climb up there every day and sit on the top of the hill, and you could see the mills in the distance, but the clough itself was covered in moss. Isn’t it funny how you remember these things? Do you know, I’d sit there all day long and nobody ever knew where I was. Shall I go and make us a cup of tea?