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!…