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Django Bates

Django was born in a house near New Beckenham Station. A ropy, semitone flat D'Almaine Piano was the most fascinating toy in the house. He found the clatter of railway workers working throughout the night comforting, but had reoccurring nightmares about a Hippopotamus head slowly moving from one side of the ceiling to the other, and of having fluttering moths stuck between his toes. When he was three and a half, Django and sister Paddy were taken by their parents, Frances and Ralf, on a tour of Europe. They travelled in a motorbike and side-car. The door kept flying open as they trundled through France, Austria, Italy, Romania and Yugoslavia. They lived on stolen maize blackened over fires, and Icecreams given to Django in exchange for having blond hair. At one point Romanian Gypsies gave the Bates family a wooden mug full of warm frothy milk which they had just pulled from a cow.

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