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I had my usual Sunday night chat with my parents on Skype an hour or so ago.

Mum told me that at our last chat, she had said something to me while I wasn’t looking at the screen, but looking up something for them, and I’d replied quite naturally.

I don’t even remember this, but Mum and Dad had both noticed and were saving it up to tell me: they hadn’t mentioned anything at the time, because I had then told them what I’d found in answer to their original query, and the moment passed.

I must be doing better than I think. Sometimes it feels as if progress has slowed, but in reality it’s still ongoing, albeit probably at a less conscious level. As a small child, you’re not really aware of acquiring language, it’s just something that happens, but your parents and all the other grown-ups notice. So Mum and Dad are doing the same sort of thing they did with me over 40 years ago . . .

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