TPR vacated the bed for B, who pleased me enormously by stretching over to turn on the World Service. ‘This is my kind of night-time companion’, I concluded, then rolled over onto my side in anticipation of sleep.
Unfortunately sleep did not come to B. He would not settle in this ‘unsafe’ environment.
All my hopes of slumber were dashed when B’s bedroom robots unexpectedly came to life. I first noticed an iguana walking across a chest of drawers. Then a group of cartoon characters sprung up from the gloom of night.
The most frightening automaton was a life-size five year-old girl who looked and sounded identical to my niece A. The only difference was her red hair. This was also the giveaway that she was not real: you could see where it was stitched to the plastic skull.