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I was born in New York, but I grew up in San Francisco. I began to live in London 25 years ago. If I am asked now where I want to live forever, I would say London. But I will always be American.

San Francisco, like London, has many parks. Every day my sisters and I were taken to play in the parks as children. I didn't go to school. I only had three hours of formal education when I was five. I was sent to school in the morning but came home at noon on the first day. I said I didn't enjoy it and hadn't learned anything. My parents thought that school was unsuitable for me. They agreed with me, so I never went back to school.

Then my mother taught me and my two sisters at home, in the way of an English lady who had good education. We learned languages and reading more than sciences and maths. Sometimes she taught us herself, but we also had other teachers. They asked us to take lessons every day. About once a week we walked to Golden Gate Park. While we were walking, my mother taught me to read music. One day I noticed a little toy train in the window of a shop and I remember now how I'd like to have it. I couldn't say "r" when I was small. My mother said if I could say an "r" well, I would have the toy train. I practiced and practiced. Then one morning I woke everybody up with my "r"s. I got the toy train. I usually get the things I want in life — but I work hard for them.

    
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