Did we all have someone in our childhood who was The Best Giver of Presents? In my case, it was a family friend called Vere Guilford. She entered deeply enough into the person you were to get presents right. At the perfect moment she gave me a lockable cassette box. When my soul was starting to ache she gave me a double-cassette pack of Beethoven symphonies. At Christmas 1974 (I remember the mild disappointment on unwrapping it) she gave me Volume I of the twelve-volume Oxford Junior Encyclopedia.