This is the first thing I have to say.
Between the ages of four and five I forced my parents - against their will - to dress me as a jockey. I refused to leave the house unless wearing white jodhpurs, a blue and green silk jumper, a riding helmet, and - most importantly - a pair of tiny leather boots with brown turn-ups.
My mother, when buying said boots, thought it prudent to buy two pairs of different sizes, as I was a growing boy, and refused to wear anything else. It is perhaps worth mentioning that the whole 'growing' lark never really went my way and I only made it to 5'3''.
I had soon worn both pairs of boots to shreds.
Eventually, I demanded to be taken to a race track. My parents agreed. Once there, I insisted on meeting the noted jockey, Lester Piggott. Lester, upon being confronted with a small child dressed as himself, felt that he was being in some way mocked. After much cooing, hushing, and appeasing from my father, he agreed to sign something for me.
I do not remember what he signed.
I do remember that I could not read it, as his hand-writing was illegible.
Then I wept inconsolably for forty minutes.
Lester didn't know what to think.
Thankfully I gave up dressing like a jockey and instead adopted the costume of a musketeer - which I think was better for everyone involved.