My encounters with Melanie Klein have taken many forms: reading her books and papers, my two personal analyses, supervision and various other forms of learning from senior colleagues, my own clinical work, discussions with colleagues of my own generation and later with students and supervisees, explorations in the Klein Archive – everything, in fact, except direct exchanges with Klein herself. The closest I came to direct contact with Klein was watching her from a distance at the British Psychoanalytical Society when I first started psychoanalytic training in 1956. After my first year I went away for nearly three years on an anthropological field trip and when I returned in the autumn of 1960 she had just died.