I've just been listening on the radio to someone from the Prince's Trust talking about youth unemployment. He was stressing how difficult it is for the unemployed young to get a foot on the job ladder, and how much simply coming from a poor background reduces one's opportunities in the job market - few contacts, no money to spare or borrow, no-one to emulate.
I was thinking that most of my - and J. G.s - problems are in the end down to us both having been from very poor families, and both of us having fallen off the world in 1981 and never really having got back on. Neither of us even had phones until 1985, and we both lived in places with limited opportunities, me in Salford, which was a by-word for poverty and unemployment, J.G. in Glossop, which is pleasant enough but on the edge of nowhere.
Our problems might have come and multiplied simply from those unfortunate starting conditions.
It's no consolation, we've still pretty much missed out on everything life should be, but perhaps it wasn't as much our fault as we usually think.