It’s Been a Funny Old Life Part 3 – Prosed ponderously by Inchcock


As an ankle-snapper I had a skinny physique,

In fact they knicknamed me ‘The Pipsqeak’,

When Mam was at home, times were bleak,

She and Dad shouted and fought, they didn’t speak,

She rarley stayed home for more than a week,

To the outside loo, if one wanted a leak,

Getting the tin bath off the yard wall every week,

Demanded a certain safety-first technique.

Drag it into the front room in front of the fire,

Clean it up with bleach and a pad of wire,

Heating up water in kettles & pans was dire,

The use of the fire and stove I’d aquire,

To keep the bath topped up as Dad did require.

After several top-ups Dad would retire,

Then t’was my turn in the cold water in front of the fire!

Dry missen off with the wet towel Dad had used,

Bath back on’t wall ready fer it to be reused,

Out to the coal-house while Dad snoozed,

Chopped wood brought in coal, getting bruised,

Laid the fire for the morning – felt abused!

Life was how it was, so why feel sad or blue?

No hot running water, fridge or TV it’s true,

Tableclothes? The Evening newspaper would do,

Lighting the gas-lamps was risky too,

When Pennies in the meters were due…

Mam had some arcade coins, one or two!

No toilet paper for our out-side loo,

Cut-up newspaper for wiping: the memories ooh!…

9 thoughts on “It’s Been a Funny Old Life Part 3 – Prosed ponderously by Inchcock

  1. Ah, this triggered similar memories of my childhood, Inchy – the ritual ‘bath’ every Saturday night. Well bath is an exaggeration. It was actually a small plastic basin usually used to wash dishes or peel potatoes in. Me mum and dad would place the basins in front of the coal fire in the living room, fill them with hot water from the kettle, and me an’ ma sister would strip naked, step in the basins and get sponged down my our mum and dad. After we had been dried with a towel, we’d be smothered in a cloud of talcum powder, put on clean jammys that had been warmed up in front of the fire, and settle down with a cup of tea and a sugar sandwich (two pieces of buttered bread with sugar sprinkled on them (oh we did live well!) 😆

    • Very interesting Dunc thanks – you did live well an-all mate. Having someone wash you down… a luxury I never not did have I’m afraid. I still have some scars from topping up the water for Dad… Hehehe! Hope you well cocker? Off to the doctors nurse in a bit… in a bit! Not for a bit Duncan – I cna read your mind! TTFN mate.

  2. I remember the old wash tub also Inchy. And the outhouse. We didn’t have the decorated door like the rich folks had, just that plain old plank door, one seater. We did have the luxury of a thunder pot in the winter, and at night. Not a fancy one, but at least we didn’t have to run outside in the cold. Those were the good old days, or so they say. Never knew anything else, so I never missed what I didn’t know.

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