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Following on from John Larkin's account of his family's Irish roots in Larkin About in Ireland , this is the story of his family's move to Australia in the 1960s as ten-pound migrants . From the cold and damp mining town in rthern England where he was born, to the sun-drenched streets of western Sydney, this is a comic memoir of his childhood. Laughter helped people survive the potential for anger and violence in grim mining towns like Maltby, and while Larkin's story is set against a background of poverty and disappointment, there is always a sense of people's determination to keep going and keep laughing. The author survives being attacked regularly by his knife-wielding, teddy-bear-decapitating older sister. And along the way, he takes time out to offer an insight into classroom dumpers, Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men, pacifistic lollipop men, cocks and cocks in waiting, school milk, cobblers, kids who eat paste, deranged science teachers, and parents who tried to feed him to the sharks.