My Godfather went to live in California, so I never really got to know him – but he always sent me a Christmas present. These invariably arrived very late and in a very bashed up condition; one year I got a huge doll called Baby Secret who whispered in an American accent when a string was pulled; the next year it was a dented metal box containing a microscope with glass slides and test tubes.
Choosing presents and posting them obviously became a chore; the following year I received a letter from National Geographic telling me a subscription had been paid for and I would receive a magazine each month. Not the most suitable present for a little girl who was still avidly reading Milly Molly Mandy books, but I loved getting the big yellow envelope from America every month and I especially liked the maps and wallcharts.
The thing that I remember most was following the Apollo missions to the Moon. In February 1969 the National Geographic magazine came with a map of 'The Earth's Moon' – front and back, with all the craters and features named. I've still got it, complete with the pin hole where I stuck in a pin on July 20th 1969 to mark where "the Eagle has landed".